|Auden - art from the First Things (see below)|
J. R. R. Tolkien
FOR W. H. A.
Woruldbúendra sum bið wóðbora,
giedda giffæst; sum bið gearuwyrdig,
tyhtend getynge torhte mæðleð;
sum bið bóca gleaw, on bréosthorde
wísdóm haldeð, worn fela geman
ealdgesægena þæra þe úðwitan
fróde gefrugnon on fyrndagum;
sum bið wilgesíð, wærfæst hæle,
fréondrædenne fæle gelæsteð.
Sumne wát ic, secg héahmódne,
þe þissa gifena gehwane on geogoðféore
him ealdmetod éstum gesealde.
Wer wíde cuð Wíhstan hatte,
swilce wæs éac háten on eardgearde
Wægmundinga Wígláfes fæder
secga holdestan, and siððan eft
beam Wíghelmes þe æt beaduwe gecrang
æt Mældune be his mandryhtne
on gefrægan þam gefeohte. He nú forð tela
níwan stefne þæs naman brúceð
him to weorðmynde, Wíhstan úre.
Swa sceal he á mid mannum mære wunian,
þær sittað searoþancle sundor tó rúne,
snyttrum styriað sóðgied scopa.
Ic þis gied be þé to grétinge
awræc wintrum fród, Wíhstan léofa,
þeah ic þorfte hraðor þancword sprecan.
Among the people of earth one has poetry in him,
fashions verses with art; one is fluent in words,
has persuasive eloquence sound and lucid;
one is a reader of books and richly stores
his mind with memory of much wisdom
and legends of old that long ago
were learned and related by loremasters;
one is a mate to choose, a man to trust,
Who friendship's call faithfully answers.
Another I know of noble-hearted,
to whom all these gifts in his early days
the favour of Fate freely granted.
Now wide is his renown. Wystan his name is,
as it once was also of the Wægmunding
in his far country, father of Wiglaf
most loyal of lieges, and in later time
of Wighelm's son who in war was slain
at Byrhtnoth's side by the Blackwater.
in the famous defeat. He follows after,
and now anew that name uses
to his own honour. Auden some call him,
and so among men may he be remembered ever,
where as they sit by themselves for solace of heart
the word-lovers, wise and skilful,
revive the vanished voices of makers.
These lines about you I linked together,
though weighted by years, Wystan my friend:
a tardy tribute and token of thanks.
© The Tolkien Estate Limited 2020