The Dream Of the Rood




Anglo Saxon English

Hwt! Ic swefna cyst secgan wylle, hwt me gemtte to midre nihte, syan reordberend  reste wunedon! uhte me t ic gesawe syllicre treow on lyft ldan,  leohte bewunden, beama beorhtostEall t beacen ws begoten mid goldeGimmas stodon fgere t foldan sceatumswylce r fife wron uppe on am eaxlegespanne

Beheoldon r engel dryhtnes ealle, fgere urh forgesceaft.  Ne ws r huru fracodes gealga, ac hine r beheoldon halige gastas, men ofer moldanond eall eos mre gesceaft. Syllic ws se sigebeamond ic synnum fah, forwunded mid wommumGeseah ic wuldres treow, wdum geweorodewynnum scinan, gegyred mid golde;  gimmas hfdon bewrigene weorlice wealdendes treow.

Hwre ic urh t gold ongytan meahte earmra rgewint hit rest ongan swtan on a swiran healfeEall ic ws mid sorgum gedrefed, forht ic ws for re fgran gesyheGeseah ic t fuse beacen wendan wdum ond bleomhwilum hit ws mid wtan bestemed, beswyled mid swates gangehwilum mid since gegyrwed.

Hwre ic r licgende lange hwile beheold hreowcearig hlendes treow, ot ic gehyrde t hit hleorode. Ongan a word sprecan wudu selesta: "t ws geara iu, (ic t gyta geman), t ic ws aheawen holtes on ende, astyred of stefne minumGenaman me r strange feondas, geworhton him r to wfersyneheton me heora wergas hebban. Bron me r beornas on eaxlumot hie me on beorg asetton, gefstnodon me r feondas genoge

Geseah ic a frean mancynnes efstan elne mycle t he me wolde on gestigan. r ic a ne dorste ofer dryhtnes word bugan oe berstana ic bifian geseah eoran sceatasEalle ic mihte feondas gefyllanhwre ic fste stod. Ongyrede hine a geong hle, (t ws god lmihtig), strang ond stimodGestah he on gealgan heanne, modig on manigra gesyhea he wolde mancyn lysan. Bifode ic a me se beorn ymbclypte.  Ne dorste ic hwre bugan to eoran, feallan to foldan sceatumac ic sceolde fste standan. Rod ws ic arredAhof ic ricne cyning, heofona hlaford, hyldan me ne dorste.

urhdrifan hi me mid deorcan nglum.  On me syndon a dolg gesiene, opene inwidhlemmas.  Ne dorste ic hira nnigum scean. Bysmeredon hie unc butu tgdereEall ic ws mid blode bestemed, begoten of s guman sidansian he hfde his gast onsended. Feala ic on am beorge gebiden hbbe wrara wyrdaGeseah ic weruda god earle enianystro hfdon bewrigen mid wolcnum wealdendes hrw, scirne scimansceadu foreode, wann under wolcnumWeop eal gesceaft, cwidon cyninges fyllCrist ws on rode.

Hwere r fuse  feorran cwoman to am elingeIc t eall beheold. Sare ic ws mid sorgum gedrefed,  hnag ic hwre am secgum to handa eamod, elne mycleGenamon hie r lmihtigne god, ahofon hine of am hefian witeForleton me a hilderincas standan steame bedrifenne; eall ic ws mid strlum forwundod. Aledon hie r limwerigne,  gestodon him t his lices heafdum, beheoldon hie r heofenes dryhten, ond he hine r hwile reste, mee fter am miclan gewinne

Ongunnon him a moldern wyrcan beornas on banan gesyhecurfon hie t of beorhtan stane, gesetton hie ron sigora wealdendOngunnon him a sorhleo galan earme on a fentidea hie woldon eft siian, mee fram am mran eodne, reste he r mte weorode. Hwere we r greotende gode hwile stodon on staole, syan stefn up gewat hilderincaHrw colode, fger feorgbold


a us man fyllan ongan ealle to eorant ws egeslic wyrd! Bedealf us man on deopan seaeHwre me r dryhtnes egnas, freondas gefrunon, ond gyredon me golde ond seolfre. Nu u miht gehyranhle min se leofa, t ic bealuwara weorc gebiden hbbe, sarra sorga.  Is nu sl cumen t me weoria wide ond side menn ofer moldanond eall eos mre gesceaft, gebidda him to yssum beacne


On me bearn godes rowode hwileForan ic rymfst nu hlifige under heofenumond ic hlan mg ghwylcne anraara e him bi egesa to me. Iu ic ws geworden  wita heardost, leodum laostran ic him lifes weg rihtne gerymdereordberendum. Hwt, me a geweorode wuldres ealdor ofer holmwuduheofonrices weard! Swylce swa he his modor eac, Marian sylfe, lmihtig god for ealle menn geweorode ofer eall wifa cynn. Nu ic e hate, hle min se leofa, t u as gesyhe secge mannum, onwreoh wordum t hit is wuldres beam, se e lmihtig god on rowode for mancynnes manegum synnum ond Adomes ealdgewyrhtum. Dea he r byrigdehwere eft dryhten aras mid his miclan mihte mannum to helpe. He a on heofenas astag.  Hider eft funda on ysne middangeard mancynn secan on domdge dryhten sylfa, lmihtig god, ond his englas id, t he onne wile deman, se ah domes geweald, anra gehwylcum swa he him rur her on yssum lnum life geearna.

Ne mg r nig unforht wesan for am worde e se wealdend cwy. Frine he for re mnige hwr se man sie, se e for dryhtnes naman deaes wolde biteres onbyriganswa he r on am beame dyde. Ac hie onne forhtiaond fea enca hwt hie to Criste cwean onginnen. Ne earf r onne nig anforht wesan e him r in breostum bere beacna selest, ac urh a rode sceal rice gesecan of eorwege ghwylc sawl, seo e mid wealdende  wunian ence."

Gebd ic me a to an beame blie mode, elne mycler ic ana ws mte weredeWs modsefa afysed on forwegefeala ealra gebad langunghwilaIs me nu lifes hyht t ic one sigebeam secan mote ana oftor onne ealle men, well weorian.  Me is willa to am mycel on mode, ond min mundbyrd is geriht to re rode. 


Nah ic ricra feala freonda on foldan, ac hie for heonon gewiton of worulde dreamumsohton him wuldres cyning, lifia nu on heofenum mid heahfdere, wunia on wuldre, ond ic wene me daga gehwylce hwnne me dryhtnes rod, e ic her on eoran r sceawode, on ysson lnan life gefetige ond me onne gebringe r is blis mycel, dream on heofonumr is dryhtnes folc geseted to symbler is singal blis, ond me onne asette r ic syan mot wunian on wuldre, well mid am halgum dreames rucan

Si me dryhten freond, se e her on eoran r rowode on am gealgtreowe for guman synnum. He us onlysde ond us lif forgeaf, heofonlicne ham.  Hiht ws geniwad mid bledum ond mid blisse am e r bryne olodan. Se sunu ws sigorfst on am sifate, mihtig ond spediga he mid manigeo com, gasta weorode, on godes rice, anwealda lmihtigenglum to blisse ond eallum am halgum am e on heofonum r wunedon on wuldre, a heora wealdend cwom, lmihtig god, r his eel ws.



Modern English

Listen, I will recount the best of dreams, which came to me in the middle of the night, after speech-bearers turned to rest. It seemed to me that I saw a most wondrous tree, the brightest of rood-trees, raised aloft, encircled by light.  That beacon was completely covered with gold; studded with beautiful jewels at its base and with five upon the shoulder-beam. 

All those made pure through eternal decree, looked upon the Lords angel there. Nor was it a criminal's cross; but holy spirits, men over the earth, and all this famous creation gazed upon it. Wondrous was the tree of victory, whilst I was stained with sin, badly wounded with iniquity. I saw the tree of glory, richly clothed, shining joyfully, adorned with gold. Jewels covered splendidly the Lord's tree.

But still through that gold I could sense the ancient hostility of the wretched ones, as it had immediately begun to bleed on the right side.  I was engulfed in sorrow; fearful because of that beautiful vision.  I saw that shining beacon change covering and colour; sometimes it was drenched with blood, soaked with blood's flow, sometimes adorned with treasure.

I lay there a long time gazing at the Healers troubled tree, until I heard it call out. The best wood then began to speak words: "That was years gone by, I still remember, that I was hewn down at the forest's edge, cut out of my tree trunk.  Strong foes took me there and made me into a display for themselves, ordered me to hoist up their criminals. Warriors carried me on shoulders, until they set me up on a hill; many foes fastened me there. 

Then I saw mankind's Lord hasten with great zeal; he wished to climb on me. I dared not contradict the Lords will when I saw the earths surface trembling. I could have slayed all the foes, but I stood firm. The young Healer stripped himself (that was God Almighty) strong and resolute. He stepped up onto the high gallows, brave in the sight of many, where he would set mankind free. I shook when the warrior embraced me. I didnt dare to bow down to the earth, fall to the ground. I was raised as a cross! I raised the King aloft, the Lord of heavens, I dared not bend.


Then they pierced me with dark nails. The wounds were visible on me, open vicious wounds. But I didnt dare harm any of them. They mocked the two of us together. I was drenched all over with blood, flowing from the mans side, after he had released his spirit. Many cruel fates I endured on that hill. I saw the God of hosts severely stretched out. A shadowy darkness covered the Lords corpse with clouds, its shining radiance; a darkness crept over it, black under the sky. All creation wept, lamented the fall of the king. Christ on the cross.

And then, from afar came the eager ones to the Prince. I beheld it all. I was filled with deep sorrow, yet I bent down to the hands of those men, humbly and with great zeal. Then they took the Almighty God and lifted him from that terrible torment. Those warriors then left me, standing, sprinkled with moisture, punctured all over with tiny arrows. They lay the exhausted Lord down there and stood by his bodys head, watching over the heavens Ruler. And he rested there a while, weary after that great battle.


And then, before me his slayer, those brave warriors began to build an earth mound, carved out of the brightest of stone, and placed into it the Lord of Victories. When they had done this, they began to sing a dirge, mournful in the evening hour. They then wearily took their leave of the glorious Prince, he rested alone. But we, standing there fixed, wept a good while until the voices of the warriors had faded away. The corpse cooled, fair dwelling of the soul.

And then a man felled us all to the ground. That was a dreadful fate! One of them buried us in a deep pit. However, the Lords thegns, friends, sought me out and adorned me with gold and silver. Now you might have heard, my beloved hero, of that which I have suffered at the hands of evil doers, painful and grievous this was. But now is the time that I should be revered throughout the world and all men from far and wide should pray to this beacon.  


On me did Gods son suffer for a time. For this, I now tower in glory under the heavens and can heal all those who hold me in awe. In olden days I was made the harshest of punishments, hateful to people, before I showed them, the speech bearers, the true path to life. Behold, the Lord of Glory, heavens guardian, honoured me over the forest trees, just as he, Almighty God, also honoured his mother, Mary herself, for all men, over all womankind. Now I call on you my beloved warriors that you speak of this vision to all mankind, reveal with words that it is the tree of glory on which Almighty God suffered for mankinds many sins and Adams deeds of old. Death he tasted there, but the Lord rose again with his mighty power to help all mankind. Then he ascended into heaven. And he will come again to this middle earth to seek out mankind on judgement day, the Lord himself, Almighty God, and his Angels with him, that he will then judge, he who wields the right to judge, everyone according to what they have earned during this transitory life.

Nor should anyone be unafraid of the words the ruler will speak. He will ask before the multitudes where is the person willing to taste bitter death for the sake of the Lords name, as he did beforehand on that tree. But they will be afraid and not know what to say to Christ. But there will be no need to be afraid for any of those who bear before them in their hearts the best of signs. But through the cross shall every soul who desires to dwell in the Lord come to the kingdom from the earthly path.

I prayed to the cross with a joyful heart, with great zeal, there where I was alone with little company. My spirit was inspired with longing to seek the path to the next world, that for which it has yearned for so long. It is now my lifes joy that I might seek the victory tree alone more often than others to honour it well. This desire is strong in my soul and my hope of protection is directed to that cross.


I dont have many powerful friends on this earth, for they have passed on from the joys of this world, sought for themselves the king of glory and are living now in heaven with the High Father, dwelling in glory. And I myself long for that day when the Lords cross, which I beheld here on earth, will take me from this transitory life and bring me to where there is great bliss, joy in heaven, where the Lords people are seated at the feast, where there is perpetual bliss, and then place me where I can for evermore dwell in glory with the holy ones in bliss.

May the Lord be a friend to me, he who suffered that time on the gallows-tree here on earth for the sins of men. He liberated us and gave us life, a heavenly home. Hope was restored with glory and with joy those who had suffered burning there. The Son was victorious in that journey, mighty and swift, when he came with the hoards, the company of souls, into Gods kingdom, the Almighty Ruler, to the joy of Angels and all the holy ones who dwelt in heaven before, who dwelt in glory, when their Ruler came, Almighty God, there his homeland was.


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