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Old English elegy and critical tradition. Hibbert, Anne Lingard 1970

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THE OLD ENGLISH ELEGY AND CRITICAL TRADITION b y Anne L i n g a r d H l b b e r t B.A., Oxon., 1965; M.A., 1969 A THESIS SUBMITTED I N PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n t h e D e p a r t m e n t of E n g l i s h We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF,BRITISH COLUMBIA O c t o b e r , 1970 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced deg ree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r ee t h a t t he L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r ag ree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y pu rpo se s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Depa r tment The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co l umb i a Vancouve r 8, Canada Date IS** 6cfM>U-: 1170. i ABSTRACT C r i t i c a l comment on Old English elegiac poetry i s discussed from the following three standpoints: d e f i n i t i o n of the genre •elegy*; interpretations of representative elegiac poems; s t y l i s t i c analysis. The theories of c r i t i c s are evaluated, with.the aim of establishing the features of elegiac poetry i n Old English and assessing the adequacy of c r i t i c a l coverage of them to date. Not many c r i t i c s have attempted to define the Old English, elegy as a genre, and t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n s tend to be either too vague or too r e s t r i c t i v e , needing to be q u a l i f i e d i n a number of ways. However, i t appears that the elegy i n Old English i s an abstract kind of poetry. Itpresents a state of mind rather than a s p e c i f i c person or event. In addition, there .are c e r t a i n recurrent features by which the genre can be defined. The elegy presents the viewpoint of •an i n d i v i d u a l , usually i n monologue form.. I t often contains s t r u c t u r a l elements which are conventionale The t y p i c a l themes of elegy are separation from a loved one, e x i l e , banishment, the contrast between present desolation and past or absent happiness. These themes are associated with con-ventional descriptions, the recurrent features of which ex-tend to quite small p a r t i c u l a r s of wording and imagery. Interpretations of the following elegiac poems are discussed: The Seafarer, The Wanderer, The Ruin,, The Wife's  Lament, The Husband's Message, Wulf and Eadwacer. C r i t i c a l theories regarding these poems show, by and large, a change from considering.them primitive and pagan (sometimes.with i i C h r i s t i a n interpolations) to stressing t h e i r sophistication, unity, and esse n t i a l C h r i s t i a n i t y . I t i s , on the whole, a change f o r the better, but the sophistication and the Ch r i s t i a n element now tend to be overemphasised, e s p e c i a l l y by those c r i t i c s who interpret the poems as a l l e g o r i e s . Present i n -terpretations show two main trends: a tendency to relate the poems to L a t i n influence, often p a t r i s t i c , and a movement to-wards closer investigation of the poems by i n t e r n a l evidence alone, without regard to sources and analogues. S t y l i s t i c studies have mostly considered Old English poetry as a whole, rather than any p a r t i c u l a r branch of i t , but although the elegies employ the same formal devices as the rest of the poetry, they tend to handle them i n a fre e r and more personal way. Also, the tendency of Old English poetry to use external description with a symbolic purpose i s p a r t i c u l a r l y shown i n the elegies, which make an extensive use of natural description as a vehicle of mood. There has been a change i n s t y l s t i c analysis s i m i l a r to that i n inter-, pretation. Instead of regarding Old English poetry as un-sophisticated, as e a r l i e r scholars tended to do, modern c r i t i c s stress i t s subtlety and s k i l f u l integration, both s t r u c t u r a l l y and s y n t a c t i c a l l y . This change of attitude has affected c r i t i c i s m of the elegies, although the focus has not usually been s p e c i f i c a l l y on them. The s t y l i s t i c investigations which have shed most l i g h t on the elegy as a type have been the formulaic analyses. Apart from the formulaic studies, there has been l i t t l e d i r e c t s t y l i s t i c examination of elegiac poetry, and.it i s here that most remains to be done, as regards both . formal devices and the looser patterns of imagery and description. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Page INTRODUCTION 1 I. The D e f i n i t i o n of Elegy: Theme, Motif, and Structure 5 I I . Interpretations'of Six Elegies: The Seafarer, The Wanderer, The Ruin, The Wife's Lament, The Husband's Message, Wulf and Eadwacer Sk-i l l . S t y l i s t i c Comment on the Elegies I67 CONCLUSION 231 BIBLIOGRAPHY 234-INTRODUCTION This study i s an attempt to examine i n the l i g h t of changing trends i n c r i t i c i s m those Old English poems which have been c a l l e d " e l e g i e s ' . 1 Although there were one or two editions of Old English poetry i n the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, by and large, scholarly i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the poetry begins with the nineteenth. This i s espe-c i a l l y true of the poems to be considered here. In the case of these poems the s t a r t i n g point i s J . J . Conybeare's I l l u s t r a t i o n s of Anglo-Saxon Poetry, published i n 1826, which contains c e r t a i n elegiac poems, along with other specimens of Old English verse. Not much work was done i n the f i r s t h a l f of the l a s t century, but i n the second half Old English scholarship increased rapidly, u n t i l by the end of the century a very great deal was being produced. This -'•All t i t l e s of poems throughout w i l l be those used by G.P. Krapp and E.V.K. Dobbie i n t h e i r c o l l e c t e d e d i t i o n of the extant Old English poetry: Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records, 6 Vols (New. York, 1931-53). Most of the poems are i n Vol. I H f The Exeter Book, 1936. . Quotations w i l l be taken from the following editions: l . L . Gordon, The Seafarer (London, i 9 6 0 ) •Pr. Klaeber, Beowulf, Third E d i t i o n (Boston, 1950) . R.F. L e s l i e , Three Old English Elegies (Manchester, 1961). (This edition contains 'The Wife's Lament', 'The Husband's Message', and 'The Ruin') L e s l i e , The Wanderer (Manchester, 1966) A l l quotations from poems not found i n the four above editions w i l l be taken from Krapp-Dobbie. For the sake of consistency, accent-marks w i l l be i n -cluded i n a l l cases, whether or not thi s corresponds with e d i t o r i a l practice. London, 1826. 2 survey, then, w i l l l a r g e l y concern i t s e l f with c r i t i c i s m from the end of the nineteenth century up to the present day, a l -though a few s i g n i f i c a n t contributions before t h i s period w i l l need to be noted. The emphasis w i l l be on the work of English and American c r i t i c s . I t w i l l appear that there have been ce r t a i n tendencies and fashions i n c r i t i c i s m p r e v a i l i n g at d i f f e r e n t times. Aside from the purely textual and l i n g u i s t i c studies, nine-teenth-century c r i t i c i s m frequently shows that the e a r l i e r scholars were attracted to Old English f o r what might be c a l l e d 'romantic* reasons. They saw the poems as represent-ing t h e i r own Germanic o r i g i n s , primitive and pagan. Their comments are sometimes rhapsodic rather than evaluative: •Read i t , Teuton! and your heart-strings w i l l twift&h as i f plucked by a hand reached out from the past*.3 Linked with th i s type.of • c r i t i c i s m * i s another prominent nineteenth-century a t t i t u d e , which i n fact persisted long a f t e r the end of the century, namely the c r i t i c a l approach which attempted to separate out the ' o r i g i n a l * , 'pagan* parts of the poems from the • l a t e r * , * Christian* interpolations. This approach has now l a r g e l y given way to an emphasis on the i n t e g r i t y and thematic unity of the poems as found i n t h e i r manuscript form. Comments and theories as to the sources and analogues of the poems have always been forthcoming, but they have tended to 3A.H. .Tolman, *The Style of Anglo-Saxon Poetry', PMLA, III (188?), 3^. \ concentrate on more and more detailed and minute p a r t i c u l a r s . In p a r t i c u l a r , the poems have been increasingly related to L a t i n influence, both i n theme and s t y l e . This trend i s not recent, but only i n the past t h i r t y years or so has i t become widespread and thoroughgoing. The reason f o r t h i s can be seen to be a reaction against the previous emphasis on the primi-t i v e and pagan character of the poems. L a t i n models, c l a s s i -c a l , and more es p e c i a l l y p a t r i s t i c , have been c i t e d . The demonstration of L a t i n influence i s thus linked with the modern emphasis on the e s s e n t i a l l y C h r i s t i a n nature of the poetry. I t i s also linked with the modern trend to stress the so p h i s t i c a t i o n , rather than the primitive nature, of the poems. The elegiac poems are not characterised by a cle a r thought-progression. While the e a r l i e r c r i t i c s simply re-garded them as confused or varyingly interpolated, more re-cent c r i t i c s have been concerned to explore t h e i r hidden meaning, which would give them kinds of inner coherence or consequence that externally they seem to lack. Some c r i t i c s have thus been led to exegetical, a l l e g o r i c a l interpretations. Others, working along the same l i n e s of 'explication de texte* as have been applied to more recent poetry, have examined the poems by i n t e r n a l evidence alone, studying structure, Imagery, and d i c t i o n . On the one hand, there have been a great many studies i n t e r p r e t i n g the poems with regard to themes and sources; i . e . , these have been studies of 'content*. On the other hand, there have been very few studies of elegiac poetry as a type or of I t s s t y l i s t i c features. For t h i s reason, the chapter on •Interpretations*, below, i s very much longer than those on "Genre' and "Style* respectively. In these two chapters, p a r t i c u l a r l y the 'Genre* chapter, much has needed to be added to the statements of c r i t i c s to i l l u s t r a t e the s i g n i -f i c a n t marks of these poems. C r i t i c a l statements and theories w i l l be evaluated i n the course of t h i s study, with a view to analysing t h e i r contribution to our understanding of the elegiac poems. 5 CHAPTER I The D e f i n i t i o n of Elegys Theme, Motif, and Structure There have been s u r p r i s i n g l y few attempts to define and c l a s s i f y Old English elegiac poetry. Many c r i t i c s , e s p e c i a l l y the e a r l i e r ( i . e . , nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century) ones, have r e a d i l y used the terms 'elegy' and 'elegiac' with reference to Old English verse without explaining what they meant by these terms. Since no Old English poetry i s elegiac i n either a c l a s s i c a l sense or i n the sense i n which the term i s used with reference to l a t e r English poetry, some explanation of i t s usage i s desirable. The purpose of this chapter w i l l be to examine some of the more noteworthy d e f i n i t i o n s of the word 'elegy' as applied to Old English, with a view towards establishing the charac-t e r i s t i c features of Old English elegiac poetry. The survey w i l l be i n the main h i s t o r i c a l , with indications of the l i n k s between related schools of thought. As elegy i s marked c h i e f l y by i t s themes, motifs, and structure, a f a i r l y d e t ailed consideration of these w i l l be c a l l e d f o r . Additions to the d e f i n i t i o n s given by c r i t i c s w i l l be supplied where necessary. The term 'elegy' as a designation f o r cer t a i n pieces of poetry i n Old English i s used., i n a sense s i m i l a r to i t s broadest meaning as given by the Oxford Dictionary, that of 'song of lamentation'. Not a l l who use the term apply i t to the same pieces of poetry, some c r i t i c s being more res-t r i c t i v e than others. Taking a l i b e r a l view, we can say 6 that the word 'elegy* has been used to describe the follow-ing poemsi The Wanderer, The Seafarer, The Ruin, Resignation, The Rhyming Poem, The Husband's Message, The Wife's Lament, Wulf and Eadwacer, and Peor. There are other pieces which represent r e f l e c t i v e poetry, but which have not been consid-ered elegies. The Dream of the Rood i s an example. I t s rather s p e c i f i c a l l y iconographic nature sets i t somewhat apart. Many instances of elegiac poetry occur i n the longer poems. The most c l e a r l y defined examples are Beowulf 22*1-7-66 and 2 k-44-62a (these passages w i l l henceforth be referred to respectively as The Lament of the Last Survivor and The Father's Lament), and Guthlac 13^8-79» a servant's report of the death of Guthlac (the poem appears to break o f f un-f i n i s h e d at l i n e 1379). A l l these poems and passages have ce r t a i n a f f i n i t i e s , but whether they should properly be c a l l e d elegies, or whether they should a l l be c a l l e d elegies has been a vexed question. The Husband's Message, f o r i n -stance, i s not even melancholy i n tone; on the contrary, i t i s quite opti m i s t i c . Yet i t has strong resemblances to the other poems which have the r e q u i s i t e melancholy cast, and there i s a widespread f e e l i n g among c r i t i c s that i t should i n some way be grouped with them. Some c r i t i c s prefer to use the term ' l y r i c * to cover more or le s s the same pieces that others designate 'elegy*. E l l i o t t e n t i t l e s an a r t i c l e *Form and Image i n the Old Eng-l i s h Lyrics,- 1 whereas Ir v i n g c a l l s an a r t i c l e of very iR.W.V. E l l i o t t , EI_, X I j 1 9 6 1 ) , 1-9. 7 s i m i l a r scope 'Image and Meaning i n the E l e g i e s ' . 2 There are disadvantages to ' l y r i c ' as a term as well as to 'elegy*. The former term implies a poem expressing the emotions of an i n d i v i d u a l , usually i n the f i r s t person. ' L y r i c ' n i c e l y covers The Husband's Message, but i t does not apply well to The Ruin, which i s a description composed i n the t h i r d person. The use of the terms 'elegy* and ' l y r i c * more or less synony-mously i s explained by the fac t that the l y r i c a l poetry of Anglo-Saxon times i s nearly a l l of a melancholy kind. Edith Wardale, who, i n her Chapters on Old English L i t e r a t u r e , i n -troduces the poems commonly c a l l e d elegies by means of the topic of l y r i c a l poetry, says 'almost a l l O.E. l y r i c a l poems are elegiac i n character*.3. C r i t i c s appear to be becoming more cautious of using the term 'elegy*. L e s l i e en t i t l e s , his 1961 e d i t i o n of *The Wife's Lament', 'The Husband's Message', and 'The Ruin* Three Old English Elegies; but i n his 1966 e d i t i o n of The Wanderer he prefers to use the ex-pression * elegiac l y r i c s ' (p. 3 ^ ) , when r e f e r r i n g to the group of poems to which The Wanderer belongs. Nevertheless, as anyone f a m i l i a r with Old English poetry would understand by the word 'elegy* a poem or passage, usually of a melan-choly kind, with conventional images of e x i l e , the lost-joys of the h a l l , etc., i t i s cle a r that the word has a meaning, 2E.B. Irving, J r . , in. Old English Poetry: F i f t e e n Essays, ed. R.P. Creed (Providence, 1 9 6 7 ) , 153-166. 3 L o n d o n , 1935. p. 2 9 . 8 even though i t s precise reference i s i n dispute. That mean-ing i s more encompassing and more exact i n drawing together poetry of a related kind than the meaning of the term ' l y r i c ' , which appears to exclude impersonal poetry, and which has no-thing to say about the t y p i c a l melancholy of the poems to which i t r e f e r s . The word 'elegy' i s derived from the Greek elegeia, meaning 'lament'. The elegy i n Greek appears to have been o r i g i n a l l y a lament f o r the dead, but i n c l a s s i c a l Greek •elegiac poetry* i s distinguished not by i t s subject but by i t s metre, that of the elegiac d i s t i c h , which consisted of a hexameter followed by a pentameter. 'Elegiac poetry' i n c l a s s i c a l Greece and Rome i s frequently love-poetry. There i s no c l a s s i c a l or any other s p e c i a l elegiac metre i n Old English, and the Anglo-Saxons had no thought of composing •elegies' i n any c l a s s i c a l sense. The term was simply be-stowed on some of t h e i r poems, not by them, but by l a t e r c r i t i c s . I t i s a p o s s i b i l i t y that the more educated Anglo-Saxons were aware of and even influenced by some of the L a t i n elegies. The major Roman el e g i s t s are Ovid, Propertius, and Ti b u l l u s . According to Ogilvy, Ovid was quite widely known, and Propertius was known at lea s t to Alc u i n . T i b u l l u s i s not one of the writers l i s t e d by Ogilvy as known to the Anglo-Saxons.^ Helga Reuschel thinks that The Wanderer and The  Seafarer may have been influenced by Ovid's T r i s t i a and ^J.D.A. Ogilvy, Books Known to the English, 597-1066 (Cambridge, Mass., 1 9 6 7 ) , pp. 2 1 0 - 2 1 3 , and 2 2 9 . Ex Ponto.5 These are not among the works of Ovid c i t e d by Ogilvy. I f such influence was a factor, i t i s not apparent i n any obvious way. The Old English elegies are very d i s -s i m i l a r to the l a t e r E nglish pastoral elegies l i k e Lycidas, Adonais, and Thyrsis, poems obviously reminiscent of c l a s s i -c a l models and c l o s e l y related to the eclogue and i d y l l . However, the term 'elegy' has never been used exclusively i n English to r e f e r to pastoral elegies of t h i s type. In the sixteenth century i t was used f o r poems on the c l a s s i c a l -elegiac model, whether or riot they were laments. Grey's Elegy i s not i n the pastoral elegiac s t y l e , and i t deals with general topics of transience and decay rather than with the death of a p a r t i c u l a r person. I t i s thus closer to the Old English poems. Tennyson's In Memoriam, which i s some-times spoken of as an elegy, i s d i f f e r e n t again: longer and more various. Since the word 'elegy' has always been used to cover a v a r i e t y of poems i n English, there seems to be no reason why i t should be inherently inappropriate to de-scribe the poetry of lament i n Old English. The f i r s t person to use the term 'elegy' i n connection with Old English i s unknown. By the second h a l f of the l a s t century 'elegy* was being used quite commonly to designate a c e r t a i n kind of Old English poem. The e a r l i e r c r i t i c s tend to use the term without defining i t s usage i n any very exact way. Ten Brink, i n 1877, makes a statement very s i m i l a r to 5*Ovid und die ags. Elegian', BGDSL, LXII (1938), 132-1*1-2. See C e c i l i a Hotchner, Wessex and Old English Poetry (Lancaster, Pa., 1939), PP. 78-80. ~~ 10 that made l a t e r by Miss Wardale. He says: 'The Old English l y r i c a l f e e l i n g knows i n r e a l i t y but one art-form, that of the elegy'.^ He gives no systematic d e f i n i t i o n s o f the term, but h i s succeeding sentences contain some expansion and ex-planation of i t . 'Painful longing f o r lost-happiness i s i t s keynote. I t seeks to voice t h i s mood i n r e f l e c t i v e and de-s c r i p t i v e language'. Ten Brink does not state explicitly which poems are to be regarded as elegies, but he gives con-sideration i n t h i s context to Deoj?, The Wanderer, The Ruin, The Lament of the Last Survivor, The Seafarer, The Wife's  Lament, and The Husband's Message (pp. 60-63). Stopford Brooke, i n his History of E a r l y English L i t e r a -ture of 1892, shows a consciousness of using the term 'elegy' i n rather a s p e c i a l sense, but he gives only a perfunctory ex-planation of t h i s usage. Referring to The Wanderer, The  Seafarer, The Husband's Message, and The Wife's Lament, the four poems which he distinguishes as elegies, he says: 'I may claim that term f o r them; at l e a s t i n i t s e a r l i e r sense among the Greeks. Three of them are laments, and one i s a longing cry of love*.''7 Brooke appears to be assuming that the 'elegy' i n Greek was o r i g i n a l l y a poem of lament, whatever i t s form. Among the more prominent German c r i t i c s of the early part of t h i s century, Brandl and Sieper both regard elegy as 6B. Ten Brink, E a r l y English Literature, trans. H.M. Kennedy (London, 1883), I» 61-62. (German ed i t i o n published i n 1877). ?The History of E a r l y English Literature (London and New York, 1892), I I , 166. 11 a d i s t i n c t type of poetry i n Old English, and Sieper devotes a book to i t . 8 Brandl, w r i t i n g i n Paul's Grundriss, which was completed i n 1909,^ speaks of the elegy as an actual genre i n Old E n g l i s h , 1 0 but places the elegiac poems i n a section headed 'Lyrik*. He treats mainly poems complete i n themselves: Deor, The Wife's Lament, Wulf and Eadwacer, The  Husband's Message, The Ruin, The Wanderer, and The Seafarer. Sieper, i n 1915* associates the Old English elegy with Ger-manic funeral r i t e s , d eriving i t from an ancient lament f o r the dead. Such an o r i g i n i s po s s i b l e ! i n the case of laments of the type of the Beowulf elegies. The elegies l i k e The  Wanderer, which embody a personal account, Sieper derives from a supposed custom of friends at the funeral showing sympathy by r e c i t i n g the hardships which they themselves had passed through. This view can be no more than an elaborate hypothesis. Neither Brandl nor Sieper appears to have made a s p e c i f i c attempt to explore the meaning of 'elegy' or the exact sense i n which the Old English poems are elegiac. One of the f i r s t c r i t i c s to examine the poems empiri-c a l l y instead of using the term 'elegy' or ' l y r i c ' and going on from there, i s Norah Kershaw. Miss Kershaw ( l a t e r Mrs. N.K. Chadwick) edited 'The Wanderer', 'The Seafarer', 'The 8E.Sieper, Die altenglische E l e g l e (Strassburg, 1915). See Wardale, p. 31, Also Herbert P i l c h , 'The Elegiac Genre i n Old English and E a r l y Welsh Poetry', ZCP, XXIX (1964), 2 0 9 . 9A, Brandl, 'Angelsachsische L i t e r a t u r ' , Grundriss der  germanischen P h i l o l o g i e , ed. H. Paul, 2nd ed, (Strassburg, 190V0R9), I I , 941-1134. 1 0He uses the words 'eine bluhende Gattung' (p. 975). 12 Wife's Lament', 'The Husband's Message', and 'The Ruin' (along with 'The Batt l e of Brunanburh*, which, of course, i s not an elegiac poem) i n her e d i t i o n of Anglo-Saxon and Norse Poems, published i n 1 9 2 2 . S h e i s unwilling to c a l l the poems either elegiac or l y r i c because they have no special metrical form (not a v a l i d reason i n the case of Old English poetry, since i f we are to subdivide the poems by metre we s h a l l have hardly any subdivisions at a l l ) . But when she seeks to define the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of these f i v e poems, she i s i n f a c t attempting to define a genre, and that genre i s elegy as i t appears i n Old English: I f we seek fo r a common d e f i n i t i o n applicable to these f i v e poems, we may perhaps describe them as (somewhat elaborate) studies of s i t u a -t i o n or emotion applied to imaginary and name-less persons who are detached from any d e f i n i t e associations of time and place. The same de-s c r i p t i o n holds good f o r the two passages i n Beowulf . . . (p. 62 The above d e f i n i t i o n i s an accurate description of the f i v e poems, but i t i s rather vague and awkward, and i t says nothing of the melancholy pervading four out of the f i v e . However, Miss Kershaw's d e f i n i t i o n has the merit of stressing the abstract character of the most t y p i c a l elegiac poetry i n Old English. The f i v e poems selected by her comprise the most t y p i c a l examples of elegies i n the form of complete poems. To these f i v e I would add Wulf and Eadwacer, also a poem of high q u a l i t y , and abstract i n character. The names Cambridge, 1922. 13 i n i t are probably f i c t i t i o u s , 1 2 and whether or not, the general impression i s e s s e n t i a l l y elegiac. A l l these poems describe i n t e r n a l states; events which give r i s e to them are played down; external i n d i v i d u a l i s i n g d e t a i l i s la r g e l y ab-sent; such externals as are mentioned are t y p i c a l , and mainly symbolic i n function. The abstract character of elegy as described by Miss Kershaw i s a highly important feature, and leads us to other features associated with i t which w i l l need to be discussed f a i r l y f u l l y . The d i s t i n c t i v e character of the best elegies, namely The Wanderer, The Seafarer, The Wife's Lament, and Wulf and  Eadwacer i s the product of the combination of thi s abstract character with personal emotion of the most intense kind. The poems are f u l l of moments of passionate f e e l i n g so strong that b e l i e f i n the speaker's r e a l i t y , and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with his/her p o s i t i o n , i s immediate and unquestioning. Such moments are the wanderer's Imagining i n his dream past he his mondryhten / clyppe ond cysse as he did long ago, the com-pulsion that sends the seafarer's s p i r i t out over the waves, a f t e r which i t comes back to him g l f r e ond grsedig, the wife's picture of herself s i t t i n g and weeping a l l the sumorlangne  daeg, the words of the abandoned mistress when she says that i t was the expectation of her lover and h i s seldcymas ( a v i v i d instance of Old English understatement)^ that made her 1 2See below, Chap. I I , p^63^^7>^ 13some scholars take t h i s l i t e r a l l y as 'rare comings', but i t . seems to me c l e a r l y intended as understatement. See below, Chap. I l l , p. 189 14 s i c k , not l a c k of food. The openings of The Seafarer and The Wife's Lament, s t y l i s e d yet i n t i m a t e , e s t a b l i s h r i g h t a t the beginning t h i s combinative e f f e c t of a b s t r a c t form and intense personal emo-t i o n ! Mae g Ste be me. sylfum so5gied wrecan, sTpas secgan, hu i c geswincdagum earfoShwIle o f t prowade. (Seafarer . 1-3) I c p i s giedd wrece b l me f u l geomorre, mlnre s y l f r e sl<5. I c past secgan maeg hwaet i c yrmpa gebad sippan i c up [ajweox, nlwes oppe ealdes, no ma bonne nu. (Wife's Lament, i n n The speaker i s unnamed and uncharacterised and the terms are general, but the emphasis i s on personal experience; the l i s t e n e r / r e a d e r accepts i t as such and promptly sympathi-ses. The persona created seems r e a l . L i n e s 8 f f . of The Wanderer, of t e n regarded as the opening of the wanderer's speech, are s i m i l a r i n s t y l e and e f f e c t s 'Oft i c sceolde ana Ghtna gehwylce_ mine ceare cwlpan; n i s nu cwicra nan be i c him modsefan mlnne durre sweotule aseegan. (Wanderer. 8 - l l a ) The reader i s moved to p i t y f o r a s t a t e that seems a c t u a l . And yet such a case i s t y p i c a l , and must have been e s p e c i a l l y f e l t to be so by the contemporary audience, f a m i l i a r w i t h many more poems of t h i s k i n d . The. opening of Wulf and EadwacerOiisV;/ d i f f e r e n t , but the personal element i s i n d i c a t e d by mlnum i n the f i r s t l i n e . Again, the speaker i s nameless. I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t some l i n e s are m i s s i n g at the b e g i n n i n g , 1 ^ and 'See below, Chap. I I , p. 151. 15 that the opening was i n f a c t more conventional. Thus, the abstract yet personal character of the poems i s Sometimes introduced by the formal s t r u c t u r a l device of a set o p e n i n g . I n a l l four poems the abstract/personal para-dox i s a s t r i k i n g feature. The narrator i s scarcely i n d i v i -dualised, and the •I* of each poem remains a shadowy figure. The appearance of the speakers i s a mystery. The events of t h e i r l i v e s are unclear, and scholars have reconstructed them with varying r e s u l t s . The wanderer's l o r d died, presumably i n b a t t l e , but d e t a i l s are absent. The wife i s separated from her husband and condemned to a cave i n the earth, we do not know why. The poet's aim must have been to create a s i t u a t i o n which his audience recognised as universal. I t i s the generally recognisable emotion on which he concentrates, omitting d e t a i l s which would l i m i t i t to one person, one occasion. His s k i l l i s to create a state of mind that i s i n -tense i n q u a l i t y , while remaining vague i n i t s s p e c i f i c asso-c i a t i o n s . I t i s a technique d i f f e r e n t from that of most modern l i t e r a t u r e , where situations are highly p a r t i c u l a r i s e d , and the aim i s to give, not abstracts of l i f e ' s essentials, but scenes which could have existed i n l i f e i t s e l f . The other two poems referred to by Miss Kershaw are somewhat d i f f e r e n t . The Husband's Message has less i n t e n s i t y . 15A s i m i l a r passage i s found i n Deor> haet i c b l me- sylfum  secgan w l l l e . . . . Here i t occurs at lirre 35 and not at the beginning of the poem, but i t does introduce the personal account of Deor's own misfortunes as opposed to the preceding references, to the misfortunes of others. In Resignation, 9 6 b -97a (Ic b l me tylgust / secge pis sarspel) the poet draws on the same type of formal expression, but i t has no introductory force. 16 I t i s more formal, the woman being addressed as sinchroden (13bne 14) and peodnes dohtor ( l i n e 48), and treated with a cert a i n ceremoniousness. But i t too has the personal yet abstract q u a l i t y introduced by the nameless Ic of the f i r s t l i n e , and an atmosphere of intimacy i s created by i t s being an actual address to a second person, ]3j3, made p r i v a t e l y (onsundran). The Ruin has no personal speaker, but i t gives a s t r i k i n g impression of the poet's a c t u a l l y being present at the scene described. The description i s v i v i d enough to have convinced many scholars that the poet must have had a p a r t i c u l a r s i t e i n mind. There i s a sense of immediacy. The word ' t h i s ' i s used several times ( l i n e s 1, 9, 29, 30, 37). The opening Wrastlic Is pes wealstan suggests the wonder and admiration of one standing and looking on. Norah Kershaw drew attention to the fact that the elegies were 'studies of s i t u a t i o n or emotion* (the a l t e r -native 'or* i s presumably to be taken i n a complementary rather than a n t i t h e t i c a l sense), and that they were not parti-c ularised i n t h e i r associations, but she f a i l e d to indicate the highly personal q u a l i t y of the best poems. I t might be objected that the abstract character she describes i s not applicable to some of the elegiac pieces, and that therefore her d e f i n i t i o n i s not r e a l l y a d e f i n i t i o n of elegy. I t i s true that some of the pieces which have been c a l l e d elegies have a more s p e c i f i c reference, Deor i s a poem of lament, but i t i s f u l l of a l l u s i o n s to p a r t i c u l a r figures of heroic legend. The speech at the end of Guthlac has a p a r t i c u l a r 17 a p p l i c a t i o n to Guthlac and his d i s c i p l e . These pieces should f o r thi s very reason be regarded as less t y p i c a l l y elegiac; they have other a f f i n i t i e s . Peor should be linked as much with Widsith as with the elegies. The Guthlac passage must be taken as a part of the poem to which i t be= longs. The same i s true of the Beowulf elegies, but less so, because neither d i r e c t l y involves any of the actors i n the epic. Thus, the Beowulf elegies are c i t e d by Miss Kershaw as poetry of the same type as that she i s defining. Nevertheless, even i n the more r e s t r i c t e d contexts, i n d i v i d u a l i s i n g d e t a i l i s lacking. Peor and the people he mentions, and Guthlac and h i s servant, are not distinguished from any other persons In s i m i l a r s i t u a t i o n s . Lack of i n -d i v i d u a l ! sation i s i n fac t a general c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a l l Old E nglish poetry, which, as Brodeur says, exhibits 'a desire to savor a l l , . . [the] t y p i c a l aspects' of a person or thing.16 Where d e t a i l s are given they tend to be standard ones. Guthlac's servant and Peor tend to express themselves i n broad statements. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that these broad statements frequently show a s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i t y to the ex-pressions of the more exclusively elegiac poems. Guthlac's servant speaks of himself i n the same third-person generali-sations as the wanderer, and the seafarer. When the servant says ( r e f e r r i n g to his previous dictum E l l e n blp selast . . .)« C,.. .._ -Y^-i-s - ^ ^ b B e t wstt se be sceal Sswaeman sarigfero, ~wat his sincgiefan 1 6A.G. Brodeur, The Art of Beowulf (Berkeley and Los Angeles), i 9 6 0 , p. 2 0 . 18 holdne biheledne. He sceal hean ponan feomor hweorfan. J)Sm bi$ gomenes wacaa e pa earfedg. of tost drSojge.^ on sargum sefan, (Guthlac, 13^8-56a) one Is reminded of Wat se pe cunna5 hu s l l p e n bio*' sorg to geferan bam pe him l y t hated l§ofra geholena (Wanderer, 29h-3YJ-and fyaet se beorn ne w5t seftSadig secg, -'gmaet pa sume drBoga? pe pa wraeciastas wldost lecgao*. (Seafarer, 55b-57T This i s not the place to discuss the formulaic content of the poems.1? The speech of Guthlac's servant i s i n f a c t f u l l of words and turns of phrase that crop up i n the elegies. Suf-f i c e i t to say that i n i t s choice of t y p i c a l , and at the same time highly emotive language, this speech c l o s e l y resembles the elegiac pieces 'detached from any d e f i n i t e associations of time or place', The absence of d i s t i n c t i v e d e t a i l has led to a good deal of c r i t i c a l speculation as to the exact meaning of the al l u s i o n s i n Deor. In t h i s poem the vagueness associated with the use of broad statements and t y p i c a l expressions mer-ges into another kind of vagueness c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Old !7See below Chap. I l l , pp.221-227. Some of the smaller verbal p a r a l l e l s w i l l be mentioned i n the present chapter i n order to show the rel a t i o n s h i p between poems and passages. 19 E n g l i s h p o e t r y , t h e v a g u e n e s s o f t h e a l l u s i v e m e t h o d , w h i c h assumes p r i o r k n o w l e d g e , a n d o f t e n l e a d s t o o b s c u r i t y a s f a r as t h e modern r e a d e r i s c o n c e r n e d . The m e a n i n g o f t h e o p e n -i n g l i n e W e l u n d h i m be wurman wraeces cunnade i s u n c l e a r . What a r e t h e wurman? A t r i b e ? S e r p e n t s ? Damascened s w o r d s ? What i s t h e s e n s e o f w r a e c e g ? No c l e a r p i c t u r e c a n be f o r m e d , a l t h o u g h t h e A n g l o - S a x o n s w o u l d h a v e known t h e e v e n t t o w h i c h t h i s l i n e r e f e r r e d . B u t haefde h i m t C g e s l b p e e s o r g e ond l o n g a p , w i n t e r c e a l d e wraece ( P e o r , 3-Jj-a) i s p o i g n a n t l y s u g g e s t i v e o f s u f f e r i n g a n d c a r e , a n d t h e image o f s o r r o w a s a c o m p a n i o n w i l l be s e e n t o be t h e same as t h a t e x p r e s s e d i n t h e l i n e s j u s t q u o t e d f r o m The W a n d e r e r . The c o n c e p t , e m b o d y i n g a c o n c e n t r a t e d b i t t e r n e s s a n d i r o n y i n i t s i m p l i c a t i o n o f t h e a b s e n c e o f o t h e r c o m p a n i o n s , must have b e e n a f a m i l i a r o n e . A g a i n , t h e e v o c a t i v e w i n t e r c e a l d e i s s i m i l a r t o w i n t e r c e a r i g i n l i n e 2k o f The W a n d e r e r . C o n n e c t i o n s w i t h a c t u a l e v e n t s , r e a l o r t r a d i t i o n a l , r e -move P e o r a n d t h e G u t h l a c p a s s a g e f r o m t h e ' m o o d - p o e t r y * p u r e a n d s i m p l e o f t h e m o s t t y p i c a l e l e g i e s , b u t t h e u s e i n t h e s e two p i e c e s o f what i s c l e a r l y a n e l e g i a c c o n v e n t i o n demands t h a t t h e y be c o n s i d e r e d i n a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h i t . A s a l r e a d y p o i n t e d o u t , t h e B e o w u l f p a s s a g e s h a v e more o f t h e a b s t r a c t q u a l i t y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f e l e g y t h a n P e o r a n d t h e s p e e c h f r o m G u t h l a c . I t i s n o t s t r i c t l y n e c e s s a r y t o i n t r o d u c e The Lament o f t h e L a s t S u r v i v o r i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e d r a g o n ' s h o a r d , 20 and The Father's Lament does not "bear d i r e c t l y on the s i t u a -tion with which i t i s linked. I t i s ins p i r e d by the p a i n f u l p o s i t i o n of Hrethel, who i s unable to exact vengeance for the death of his son because he has been accidently k i l l e d by another son, but the actual figure associated with the lament i s an unknown person, s i m i l a r l y helpless as he sees his son hanging on the gallows. Thus, to a cer t a i n extent both passages are divorced from t h e i r contexts. Each of the passages i s a set-piece, almost as detached from time and place as the most t y p i c a l elegiac poems. The theme of each of the Beowulf elegies i s the f a m i l i a r contrast between past a c t i v i t y and present silence and decay: Sceal se* hearda helm (hyr )stedgolde, fee turn befeallen; dPeormynd swefao% pS 5e beadogrrman bywan sceoldon. (Beowulf, 2255-57) nis jbser hearpan sweg gomen i n geardum, swylce 8eer i l l wseron. (Beowulf, 2458b-59) This contrast i s dwelt on at length i n The Ruin, and appears i n the famous passage from The Wanderer, l i n e s 92 f f . , which begins Hwasr cwom m earg? Hwaer cwom mago? Hwasr cwom mappumgyfa? The Beowulf elegies, however, are more muted i n tone. They do not reach the high p i t c h of emotion found i n the poems which I selected as the best examples of elegy. This d i f f e r -ence may be observed i n the passages quoted above. I t i s not necess a r i l y an adverse c r i t i c i s m of The Lament of the Last 21 Survivor and The Father's Lament; these pieces are part of a poem altogether more s t a t e l y , less spontaneous and intimate i n i t s method. In 1932, i n The Growth of Literature,18 the Chadwicks give a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the Old English e l e g i a c poems which seems to have grown out of Miss Kershaw's e a r l i e r d e f i n i t i o n . They do not use the term 'elegy' i n t h e i r c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . Of the pieces they discuss, the only one referred to as an •elegy' i s The Lament of the Last Survivor. Their use of the word i s s t r i c t l y l i m i t e d to i t s sense of 'lament f o r the dead'. They di s t i n g u i s h several types of heroic poetry, to one of which, Type B, 'poetry dealing with s i t u a t i o n or emo-tion, and consisting wholly or mainly of speeches', they assign the Old English poems usually c a l l e d elegies. The only Old English poem that they regard as an unqualified example of Type B i s Wulf and Eadwacer,which they believe re-fers to heroic story. They consider the absence of proper names i n the other poems something of a drawback i f they are to be assigned to a category of heroic verse. A l l the same, they c l a s s i f y the rest of the pieces as a sub-type of B, de-sc r i b i n g them as poems of a 'timeless nameless character' consisting mostly of speeches. The poetry so designated comprises The Lament of the Last Survivor, The Wanderer, The  Wife's Lament, and The Husband's Message.!9 18H.M. and N.K. Chadwick (Cambridge, 1932). ^The c l a s s i f i c a t i o n described i n t h i s paragraph can be found i n Vol. I, Chap. I l l , 'Heroic Poetry and Saga' (see es p e c i a l l y p. 28) and Chap. XIV, 'Poetry and. Saga Relating to Unspecified Individuals" (see p a r t i c u l a r l y p. 4 2 3 ) . 22 In 1936 C.W. Kennedy published a t r a n s l a t i o n of the Old English elegies containing 'The Wanderer*, *The Seafarer*, •The Ruin*, 'Deor', 'The Wife's Lament', 'The Husband's Mes-sage', and The Lament of the Last S u r v i v o r . 2 0 In the Intro-duction he defines t h e i r species as follows: . . . these Old English elegies d i f f e r markedly i n mood and pattern from the [ l a t e r ] personal elegy. They do not bewail the death, or eulogize the l i f e of an i n d i v i d u a l . They have l i t t l e i n common.with modern elegies of the type of Lycidas and Adonais. In d e t a i l and design they owe no debt to the pastoral i d y l l . Their range of i n t e r e s t i s universal, deriving from a moving sense of the tragedy of l i f e i t s e l f . , . (P. 2) This d e s c r i p t i o n i s p e r f e c t l y i n keeping with what we have found so f a r . I would merely q u a l i f y Kennedy's statement that the elegies do not bewail the death of an i n d i v i d u a l . I t i s true that none of them makes i t s subject a l a t e l y de-parted i n d i v i d u a l who i s c a r e f u l l y characterised and d i f f e r e n t from a l l other i n d i v i d u a l s . However, the death of a person may i n s p i r e an elegy, or i t may occur i n an elegy as the event which gives r i s e to a wretched s i t u a t i o n . The l a t t e r i s the case i n The Wanderer, and, much more i n c i d e n t a l l y , i n The  Seafarer ( l i n e s 92b-93»), The reference i s to the accompani-ments of old age, one of which i s that a man must mourn for his dead l o r d ) . Kennedy's description i s accurate on the whole, and more informative than Miss Kershaw's, which does not even mention the p r e v a i l i n g melancholy of the poems, and which concentrates on one, admittedly v i t a l , c h a r a c t e r i s t i c : Old English Elegies (Princeton, 1 9 3 6 ) . 23 the abstract nature of the elegies. But Kennedy also leaves a good deal to be said. In 19^2 appeared one of the few c r i t i c a l works dealing d i r e c t l y with the problem of defining and l i m i t i n g the genre •elegy* i n Old English s B.J. Ttaamer's article'The Elegiac 71 Mood i n Old English Poetry.' Timmer examined a l l the com-plete poems p r o v i s i o n a l l y designated as elegiac at the be-ginning of t h i s chapter. He ignored the passages from longer poems. He came to the conclusion that there were drily two elegies i n Old English! The Wife's Lament and Wulf and  Eadwacer. None of the other so-called elegies r e a l l y merited the name. The genre 'elegy' had, he decided, once existed, but was n e g l i g i b l e i n extant Old English. However, he agreed that the elegiac mood was widespread i n Old English poetry. Referring to the two poems he allows as elegies, he says: 'they contain the t y p i c a l l y elegiac features of banish-ment, separation from a beloved person, and even longing f o r l o v e ' . 2 2 (He says • everf because sexual love was rare i n Old English poetry. 2 3 But longing f o r love of a d i f f e r e n t kind i s c e r t a i n l y present i n The Wanderer, where the narrator i n d i -cates that he missed the a f f e c t i o n of l e o f r a geholena [ l i n e 3 l ] and t e l l s how he sought another l o r d who would show him love 2 1 E S , XXIV, 3 3 - ^ . 2 2Timmer, p. 4 0 . . 23For instance, words which r e f e r s p e c i f i c a l l y to conjugal a f f e c t i o n are very rare. The Wife's Lament uses terms which i n other contexts have a non-sexual a p p l i c a t i o n . See below Chap, I I , p. 1 2 2 , WTflufan, Beowulf, 2 0 6 5 , i s a s t r i k i n g and i s o l a t e d example of a term which s p e c i f i c a l l y denotes a f f e c t i o n of t h i s kind. 24 [lines 2 5 - 2 9 a ] ) . Timmer has quite rightly picked out the most significant themes of elegy, but he might have allowed elegiac quality to poems containing any one of them. In-stead, he disqualifies most of the elegies for one reason or another. A l l poems of religious content, i . e . , The Wan-derer, The Seafarer, The Rhyming Poem, and Resignation,are automatically excluded, and termed instead 'religious di-dactic lyr ics * . In this, Timmer is following Imelmann and Heusler.2^ It seems to me, however, that there is no neces-sary conflict between the terms 'religious didactic lyric* and * elegy'. Timmer excludes The Ruin on the grounds of its being impersonal. Presumably he believes that the word 'elegy' (like the word ' ly r i c ' ) suggests a personal utter-ance. This viewpoint is tenable, but not obligatory. Deor he considers too closely connected with heroic material; The Husband's Message ,,optimistic, and therefore not elegiac. The objections to the last three poems are by no means unreasonable, but nevertheless these poems a l l have strong thematic and verbal links with the elegiac convention. The theme of exile, the most common of a l l the elegiac themes, and fully developed in The Wanderer and The Wife's Lament is implied iri both Deor and The Husband's Message. In Deor the implication is carried by the words wraeces and wras ce ^Imelmann excluded Resignation and The Rhyming Poem because of their religious content. He also excluded The  Ruin by virtue of its being a topographical poem (Forschungen zur altenRlischen Poesie. [Berlin, 1920], p. 4 2 3 ) . Heusler takes the same view (Die altgermanische Dichtung [Berlin, 1923]. P. 1^0, n. 2 ) . See Timmer, pp. 37-38. 25 i n the f i r s t stanza. Wraace means either ' e x i l e ' or torment', the former being synonymous with the l a t t e r i n Anglo-Saxon eyes. 25 E x i l e may be referred to i n the fourth stanza (there i s dispute as to whether 2>eodric reigned f o r t h i r t y years or was ex i l e d f o r that period), and I t Is suggested by the fact that Heorrenda, who has taken over Deor's p o s i t i o n as scop, has driven out Deor from the court. Verbal resemblance be-tween Peor and The Wanderer has already been pointed out. In The Husband's Message, ex i l e because of feud i s stated: Hine faehpoaadcaff / of slgepgode ( l i n e s 1 9 b - 2 0 a ) . E x i l e because of b a t t l e ( i n which a l l his friends and ki n have been k i l l e d ) , i f not actual feud, i s the s i t u a t i o n of the speaker i n The Wanderer. He i s mindful of wrapra  waelsleahta, wlnemasga hryre ( l i n e 6 ) . I t i s because h i s friends have been k i l l e d that he i s now homeless and an outcast. Some kind of i n t e r - t r i b a l h o s t i l i t y , i n which her husband i s involved, seems to be the ultimate cause of the woman's e x i l e i n The Wife's Lament. She has to suffer the consequences of her husband's feud.(mines felalSofan  fashoSq, l i n e 2 6 ) . 2 < ^ Her husband too may be jmexile. The reference to hi s departure over the waves (gewSt . . . ofer ypa gelac, l i n e s 6-?a) and the description of his abode 2 5 B o s w o r t h-Toller ( J , Bosworth and T, Northcote T o l l e r , An Anglo-Saxon Pictionary, Oxford, 1898; T o l l e r ' s Supplement, 1921) give 'wrack, misery, suffer i n g ' as the primary meaning. From t h i s derives the meaning 'punishment*, and f i n a l l y ' e x i l e ' . 26some c r i t i c s translate 'the h o s t i l i t y of my very dear me', but 'feud''is the proper sense of faehdu. See below, Chap. I I , p. 128. 26 i n the wilderness at the end of the poem (l i n e s 47b-50a) have this, suggestion. E x i l e i s l a t e r linked with seafaring i n The Husband's Message.' This p a r t i c u l a r aspect of the theme i s b r i e f l y touched on i n l i n e s 6- la. of The Wife's  Lament and seen more c l e a r l y i n The Wanderer and The Sea-f a r e r . The f a m i l i a r image of the l o n e l y 2 ? figure s e t t i n g out aciDoss the sea i s expressed i n the following l i n e s from The Husband's. Message; nyde gebaeded, nacan ut abrong, ond on ypa gel(a)g[u anaj sceolde faran on flotweg, foriJsTpes georn mengan merestreamas, (Husband* s  Message. 4 l -46a) The same theme occurs i n the early l i n e s of The Wanderer,>/ which t e l l how the s o l i t a r y man must fo r a long time hrSran  mid hondum hrimcealde see, /wadan wraeclastas ( l i n e s 4-5a). I t i s found l a t e r when the wanderer t e l l s how ;^he wSd  wintereearlg ofer wapefm]a gebind ( l i n e 24). In The Sea-f a r e r the theme of seafaring i s developed throughout the f i r s t h a l f of the poem (up to l i n e 64a). I t i s seafaring rather than e x i l e which i s to the fore, but the f a c t that the two tend to be linked i s indicated by the l i n e s : hu i c earmcearig Tscealdne see winter wunade wraeccan lSstum. (Seafarer, 14-15) 27The word ana i s supplied by L e s l i e as m e t r i c a l l y and contextually suitable. The, exile-seafarer i s usually alone, and we may assume that the same applies here. 27 In The Husband's Message the hardships of e x i l e and the lonely sea-voyage have been overcome, but by r e f e r r i n g to them the poet undoubtedly meant to c a l l up associations i n the minds of his audience with a t r a d i t i o n a l poetic theme. A s i g n i f i c a n t d e t a i l i n the poem which might be overlooked i f not p a r a l l e l l e d elsewhere, i s the motif of the sad-voiced cuckoo ( l i n e 2 3 ) , found only here and i n The Sea-farer ( l i n e 5 3 ) i and, i t would seem, considered appropriate to a c e r t a i n type of poetic s i t u a t i o n . In both poems the image i s ambiguous, since the cry of the cuckoo i s the sum-mons to a wished-for voyage and i s lithe harbinger of spring, but at the same time the sadness of h i s note introduces a melancholy cast.28 As f o r The Ruin, its^) whole theme i s the f a m i l i a r contrast between past joys and present desolation. This theme might be regarded as part of a larger tendency to re-f l e c t i v e retrospection i n Old English poetry. There i s a p r e v a i l i n g sense that the world i s not what I t was, i n d i -cated by l i n e s l i k e .'- : ^ ..Swa.,-^es^mlddangeard ealra dogra gehwam T" drebseS ond f e a l l e p (Wanderer. 62b-63) and nearon nu cyningas ne caseras 28The sad c a l l of the cuckoo i s p a r a l l e l l e d i n C e l t i c poetry. See below, pp.32-33. For theories as to the s i g -n i f icance of the sad c a l l , see Chap. II,pp.8l-825 Chap. I l l , p. 219. 28 ne goldgiefan swylcte l u wseron. ^ (Seafarer, 82-83) The heroes of Old English poetry, when they are not saints or b i b l i c a l figures, are mostly set i n the Age of Migration (roughly 400-600 A.D.),^° to which the Anglo-Saxons seem to look back n o s t a l g i c a l l y as a 'golden .time*. Beowulf i s set at t h i s period. I t appears l i k e l y that Hrothgar and his family a c t u a l l y l i v e d around 500. The archaic language of the poetry i s also i n keeping with t h i s retrospective tend-ency. I n The Ruin, a f t e r describing the ruined c i t y i n i t s present state, the poet imagines i t as i t was: Beorht wseron burgraecedi burnsele monige, hSah horngestreon, hereswBg micel, meodoheall monig mondreamax'full. (Ruin, 21-23) He then moves back by stages to the present again: Brosnade burg s t e a l l ; betend crungon, hergas t5 hrusan. Forbon b5s hofu dreorgiaS ond paes teaforgSapa tigelum sceadeo". (Ruin. 28-30) These passages can be set beside those quoted from the Beowulf elegies and. the ubi-sunt passage (Hwasr cwom mearg? etc., l i n e s 92 f f . ) referred to i n The W a n d e r e r . M o r e s p e c i f i c a l l y , 29These passages have been connected by scholars with a homiletic t r a d i t i o n associated with the sixth and f i n a l age of the world. See below, Chap. I I , pp. 84-8£ and note (n.54), 3°There are some poems, f o r instance The B a t t l e of  Brunanburh • and The Battle of Maldon, xttich celebrate (^taipory events and heroesy but there i s no "contemporary fiction'". ^  " v '•' 3 1 S ee above, p. 20. 29 the contemplation of ruins i s an elegiac theme recurring i n l i n e s 73-87 of The Wanderer. The treatment i s more general--the wanderer i s thinking of any ruins, missenlice geond pisne middangeard ( l i n e 75)i rather than of a p a r t i c u l a r scene—, but i n the same way the picture of the crumbling e d i f i c e conjures up thoughts of the fate of those who inhabited i t : Woriadf ba wTnsalo, waldend l i c g a 5 dreame bidrorene. (Wanderer, 78-79a) Among verbal p a r a l l e l s might be mentioned the description of the ruins as enta geweorc i n both The Wanderer ( l i n e 87) and The Ruin ( l i n e 2 ) . M m as a motif chosen rather be-cause of the melancholy appearance of hoar-frost than f o r any appropriateness on a l i t e r a l l e v e l , occurs i n hrlm on  lime (Ruin, k), hrTme bihrorene (Wanderer, 77)i and, with-out reference to ruins but i n a s i m i l a r scene.of wintry de-solation, hrlm hrusan bond (Seafarer, 32).^2 Hoar-frost can also have s i n i s t e r associations. I t i s these which are c a l l e d upon i n the description of the hrinde bearwas ('groves covered with f r o s t ' ) around Grendel's mere (Beowulf, 1363). I t w i l l be seen from the preceding paragraphs that whether or not Peor, The Husband's Message, and The Ruin are elegies i n Timmer's sense, they can c e r t a i n l y be placed i n an elegiac group. Timmer's r i g i d d e limitation of the 3 2The recurrence of hoar-frost as a motif with melan-choly associations i s noted by E l l i o t t ('Form and Image i n the OE L y r i c s ' , p. 8 ) , who observes that i t i s chosen rather than snow because of i t s 'insinuating quality* and the more remarkable v i s u a l effects that i t can produce. He finds hoar-frost 'more e f f e c t i v e as a wasteland image than snow would be'. 3 0 genre i s not the r i g h t approach to i t s f l u i d nature. The more f r u i t f u l approach i s to define the common characteris-t i c s of elegy, so that we can be sensitive to the Old Eng-l i s h poet's use of the conventional themes and modes f o r the p a r t i c u l a r purpose he has i n mind. A number of scholars have pointed out the resemblance between the Old English elegies and early C e l t i c poetry. In 1 8 2 6 , W.D. Conybeare compared The Ruin to the Old Welsh poem ¥r Aelwyt Hon, Llywarch's Hen's lament f o r the deserted h a l l of Urien Rheged. Conybeare quotes the poem i n f u l l , but the f i r s t stanza w i l l be s u f f i c i e n t to show the s i m i l a r i t y with the Old English elegies» This hearth—deserted by the shout— More habitual on i t s f l o o r Was the mead, and the t a l k i n g of the mead-drinkers Here we have a favourite theme of Old English elegyi the con-t r a s t between applace i n i t s present desolation and i t s f o r -mer l i f e and vigour. F a i r l y recently, Mrs. Gordon, i n her edi t i o n of The Seafarer, devoted considerable time to C e l t i c analogues. Like Conybeare, she finds a resemblance to the C e l t i c elegies, e s p e c i a l l y the cycle associated with Llywarch Hen. She observes that there i s 'the same combination of per sonal lament, "nature" description, and sententious gnomic statement' (p. 1 6 ) . Mrs. Gordon does not give an i l l u s t r a t i o n 3 3 j . j . and W.D. Conybeare. I l l u s t r a t i o n s of Anglo-Saxon  Poetry (London, 1 8 2 6 ) , p. 2 5 0 . Conybeare does not date the poem, but the Chadwicks indicate that the Llywarch Hen poems date from approximately the eleventh century i n t h e i r present form but may be based on o r i g i n a l s dating from the s i x t h century (The Growth of L i t e r a t u r e , I, 3 6 ) . 31 which demonstrates th i s combination, but the following ex-ample w i l l serve to show the manner of the Welsh poems! Clear i s the sight of the watchman; idleness makes f o r arrogance; sore i s my heart, disease wastes me. The c a t t l e are i n the shed, the mead i n the vessel; the prosperous man does not desire discord; patience i s the outline of understanding. The c a t t l e are i n the shed, the beer i n the vessel; slippery are the paths, v i o l e n t i s the shower, and deep i s the ford. The heart concocts treason,3 Although i t i s true that the three elements mentioned by Mrs. Gordon are found i n both Welsh and Old English, the short, rather d i s j o i n t e d vignettes of the Welsh poetry are very d i f -ferent from the ef f e c t of the Olf English elegies, Mrs, Gor-don, unlike Conybeare, goes so f a r as to propose an actual C e l t i c influence behind the poems. In view of the moral con-tent of both the Old English and the Welsh elegies, she sug-gests a C h r i s t i a n background, and seems to favour f i f t h - a n d sixth-century Gaul (pp. 18-21) . I t seems to me unnecessary to assume such a background since, as we s h a l l see l a t e r , the •moral content' goes back to an ultimately pagan gnomic t r a d i -t i o n . Other scholars have related the Old English elegies to I r i s h poems. Mrs. Chadwick, i n The Heritage of E a r l y B r i t a i n , speaks of The Wanderer and The Seafarer as being 'probably of d i r e c t C e l t i c i n s p i r a t i o n , deriving from the hermit poetry of 3^Claf Abegeuawg ('The Leper of Abeicmwg'), stanzas 21-23. See K., Jackson, Studies In E a r l y C e l t i c Nature Poetry (Cam-bridge, 1935), p. 55. Jackson suggests a tenth- or eleventh-century dating (p. 7 6 ) . 32 the Culdees .35 P.L.Henry l i n k s the elegies with both the I r i s h hermit poetry and the Welsh poems.36 However, there are considerable differences between the hermit poetry and the Old English elegies, notably i n the treatment of natural scenes, which figure prominently i n the hermit poetry. A l -though the descriptions are not extended, they show a much more precise use of d e t a i l than the Old English poems: A nimble songster,' the combative brown wren from the hazel bough,. speckled hooded birds, woodpeckers i n a great multitude.37 Old English natural de s c r i p t i o n i s usually more impression-i s t i c . 3 8 A rather s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i t y with the C e l t i c poetry i s foundilrn the d e t a i l of the sad-voiced cuckoo, which appears i n The Seafarer and The Husband's Message. In C e l t i c poetry the cuckoo often has sad associations, khereas t h i s i s not found elsewhere i n Germanic poetry.39 The p a r a l l e l i s men-tioned by Mrs. Gordon (p. 1?). H e n r y , a n d Herbert P i l c h , ^ 1 35London, 1952, p. 125. 3 6The E a r l y English and C e l t i c L y r i c (London, 1966). 3?jacks'on, P. 8. From an I r i s h poem (King and. Hermit) dated by Jackson as tenth-century. 3 8See t > e i O W f chap. I l l , pp. 211-218. 39sut o.S. Anderson c i t e s a Swedish proverb in. which the cuckoo's c a l l i s an e v i l omen. See below, Chap. I I , p. 81. 40 . Henry, pp. 7^, and 82-83. . ^ 1'The Elegiac Genre i n Old English and E a r l y Welsh Poetry', ZCP, XXIX (1964), 217. 33 also draw attention to i t . Both compare the motif i n The Seafarer and The Husband's Message with Claf Abercuawg. In the Welsh poem the motif i s sustained through eight stanzas. Henry also mentions the Welsh Kintevln (•May*). I quote the relevant stanza: When cuckoos sing on the top of f i n e trees My sadness grows; Smoke stings, (my) g r i e f i s revealed, For my kinsmen have passed away.^2 But whereas the cuckoos i n the Welsh poems only increase the speaker's wretchedness, the significance of the b i r d i n the Old English poems i s ambiguous: i t s : c a l l i s encouraging and at the same time i t s sad tone i s disturbing. Altogether, i t i s rather d i f f i c u l t to assess the degree, i f any, of C e l t i c influence on the elegies. There are d e f i n i t e resemblances, but they may be no more than the r e s u l t of a uicommon stage of cul.tural development and a common Indo-European heritage, with possibly some o r a l communication. Pis.lch, i n 1964, formulates a d e f i n i t i o n of Old English elegy with s p e c i f i c reference to the C e l t i c p a r a l l e l s . He believes that * . . . the elegiac genre i n Old English was created i n imit a t i o n of a s i m i l a r Welsh genre as known to us through "Claf Abercuawg" (p. 221).' This conclusion i s rather an extreme one, since i t i s based on the s i m i l a r i t i e s with one poem only, and there i s no evidence for the existence of ^Henry, p. 6 7 . Dated i n the period 800-1100 (p. 6 7 , n. 1). Jackson suggests the twelfth century (p. 7 6 ) . 3k Welsh poems of t h i s type antedating the Old English elegies. However, i n picking out a l l the points of resemblance with the Welsh poems, P i l c h defines and describes the Old English elegy i n great d e t a i l . His description i s so s p e c i f i c that i t f a i l s to f i t any of the Old English elegies exactly, but i t has the merit of picking out the key c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the poems^much more f u l l y than any of the preceding d e f i n i -tions. I t w i l l therefore be quoted entire, although i t i s rather longs The Old English elegy i s a monologue spoken before sunrise by an unnamed narrator. I t contains no reference to a s p e c i f i c geographic l o c a l i t y or to any d e f i n i t e h i s t o r i c a l period. I t Is, i n the Chadwicks' words, poetry of the "timeless"—and we should add, of the •place-l e s s ' •—"variety.," The s e t t i n g includes the sea with c l i f f s , h a i l , snow, ra i n , and storms, plus the meadhall of heroic poetry with i t s lords, warriors, hawks, horses, and precious cups. In his.monologue the speaker f i r s t reviews . his own miserable l o t . He (or she) i s lonely, old, and careworn. He (or she) i s banished from society. He prays, without hope of re-, l i e f i n t h i s world. God's wrath i s upon him. The speaker suffers from the cold and the wind. The sea separates him from his family ( a l i v e or dead). There, beyond the sea, i s (or was) the happy l i f e of warriors i n the meadhall. For-merly i t was the speaker's l i f e . Now i t i s unattainable to him. His contact with i t has been l o s t f o r ever. The keynote i n the text i s struck by the words sorg and longap (and" t h e i r synonyms). The sorrow and longing re-l a t e not to the dead, but to the speaker's i membership of society. The Wanderer's di s t r e s s i s due to the f a c t that a f t e r the death of his former employer he cannot f i n d a new one. In the second part of the text, the musings turn on the transient character of human happi-ness and of the world i n general. I t f i n a l l y leads up to a gnome or prayer. The conclusion (and, i n "The Wanderer," also the exordium) i s sometimes assigned to a second speaker. (pp.211-12) 35 The above d e f i n i t i o n p i c k s out some of the most r e c u r r e n t f e a t u r e s o f e l e g y . I t s f a u l t i s t h a t i n s t e a d o f c i t i n g them as such i t d o g m a t i c a l l y p r e s e n t s them as e s s e n t i a l s . The f i r s t s e n t e n c e a l o n e c o n t a i n s t h r e e a s sumptions t h a t c o u l d g i v e r i s e t o much c r i t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n . Monologue i s the most common form blGethe O l d E n g l i s h e l e g i e s t h a t a r e p r e s e r v e d , b u t i t i s n o t t h e o n l y form. The ftuin i s not monologue, a l t h o u g h i t does p r e s e n t a u n i f i e d v i e w w i t h a narrow f o c u s , and The F a t h e r * s Lament i s n o t monologue, a l t h o u g h i t i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h an i n d i v i d u a l f i g u r e . Some c r i t i c s d e t e c t more t h a n one s p e a k e r i n The Wanderer and The S e a f a r e r ( a p a r t from any c o n s i d e r a t i o n of a n o t h e r v o i c e a t the b e g i n n i n g o r end). There i s s i m p l y no b a s i s f o r a b l a n k e t s t atement t h a t t h e e l e g y i s spoken b e f o r e s u n r i s e . We can, however, t u r n t h i s s t a t e m e n t round t o a s i g n i f i c a n t o b s e r v a t i o n , t h a t t h e t ime j u s t b e f o r e dawn, on Ohtan, i s a time when . l o n e l i n e s s and m i s e r y are. p a r t i c u l a r l y a c u t e . The wan-d e r e r speaks of t e l l i n g h i s t r o u b l e s (one must assume t h a t he v o i c e s h i s t h o u g h t s a l o u d ) u h t n a gehwylce ( l i n e 8), and the b a n i s h e d w i f e says t h a t a t t h i s time she paces a l o n e about h e r e a r t h - c a v e . Her m i s e r y i s a c c e n t u a t e d by h e r knowledge t h a t a t t h i s moment o t h e r more f o r t u n a t e ones a r e w i t h t h o s e t h e y l o v e : F r y n d s i n d on eorpan, l e o f e l i f g e n d e l e g e r weardiaS, ponne i c on t l h t a n ana gonge under a c t r e o geond pas e o r p s c r a f u . (Wife* s Lament, 33b-36) 36 The t i m e b e f o r e dawn i s t h e d r e a r i e s t t i m e o f d a y , and i t w o u l d be p a r t i c u l a r l y d r e a d f u l t o a p e r s o n a l o n e i n a w i l d p l a c e , h a v i n g s p e n t a t r o u b l e d o r s l e e p l e s s n i g h t . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o n o t e t h a t a r e c e n t d i s t i n c t l y g h o u l i s h f i l m , B e r g m a n ' s H o u r o f t h e W o l f , c e n t e r e d on t h e v e r y same t i m e . The f i l m was p r e f a c e d b y a b r i e f e x p l a n a t i o n : t h i s , i t s a i d , was t h e h o u r when t h e d e e p e s t s u b c o n s c i o u s f e a r s come t o t h e s u r f a c e , when p h y s i c a l p a i n i s most a c u t e , and when most p e o p l e d i e . A n e x a g g e r a t e d d e s c r i p t i o n p e r h a p s , b u t i t shows t h a t t h i s t i m e , t h e word f o r w h i c h , P h t e , we have s i n c e u n f o r t u n a t e l y l o s t , c o u l d be e q u a l l y d i s t u r b i n g t o t h e A n g l o - S a x o n and the modern m i n d . The f a c t t h a t a r e f e r e n c e t o t h i s t i m e o c c u r s i n two e l e g i a c poems makes i t l i k e l y t h a t i t was a t y p i c a l e l e g i a c m o t i f . However , t h a t does n o t make i t a p p l i c a b l e t o a l l e l e g i e s . P i l c h r e f e r s i n a f o o t -n o t e t o n e a r o n i h t w a c o i n The S e a f a r e r ( l i n e 7)» b u t t h e r e i s no r e a s o n t o assume t h a t t h i s r e p r e s e n t s t h e same t i m e . I n no e l e g y i s t h e r e any i n d i c a t i o n t h a t t h a t poem as s u c h p u r p o r t s t o be u t t e r e d on u h t a n . The q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r a n e l e g y i s spoken b y a name-l e s s n a r r a t o r has a l r e a d y been d i s c u s s e d . One o r two o t h e r p o i n t s t h a t P i l c h makes a r e d o u b t f u l . T h a t t h e s p e a k e r o f a n e l e g y i s n e c e s s a r i l y o l d i s one o f h i s a s s u m p t i o n s . C e r -t a i n l y , t h e n a r r a t o r a p p e a r s t o be o l d i n Tfee Wanderer and The S e a f a r e r , b u t i n W u l f and Eadwacer a young s p e a k e r , a t t h e v e r y l e a s t a woman young enough t o have a s m a l l c h i l d , i s c a l l e d f o r . T h a t ' G o d ' s w r a t h i s upon h i m ' i s a n o t h e r 37 dubious requirement. Only R e s i g n a t i o n p r e s e n t s such an i d e a d i r e c t l y : Ne maeg baes Snhoga, lBodwynna l*5as . l e n g d r o h t i a n winelSas wraecca, ( i s him wrao meotud). ( R e s i g n a t i o n , 8 9 b - 9 D The opening of The Wanderer, otherwise s i m i l a r to these l i n e s , s t a t e s t h a t the anhaga, though wretched, r e c e i v e s God's mercy. F i n a l l y , there i s no r e a l b a s i s f o r P i l c h ' s statement t h a t t h e c o n c l u s i o n of an elegy i s sometimes as-signed to another speaker. The o n l y elegy o f which t h i s i s t r u e i s The Wanderer, where the c o n c l u d i n g l i n e s may be u t t e r e d , n o t so much by another speaker, as by t h e poet. Some of the opening l i n e s a r e a l s o d e l i v e r e d by the poet. Yet, on t h e whole, P i l c h ' s o b s e r v a t i o n s a r e v e r y v a l u -a b l e . The m o t i f s of s e t t i n g which he p i c k s out a r e t y p i c a l : the b l e a k landscape or seascape on the one hand and the ab-sent joys of the h a l l on t h e o t h e r . The a n t i t h e s i s i s some-times brought out d i r e c t l y : ' .1-3 .'3-- . .3 Hwtlum y l f ete song dyde i c me to gomene, ganetes hlBopor ond h u i l p a n svreg f o r e h l e a h t o r wera maiw singende f o r e medodrince. ( S e a f a r e r , 19b-22) waracT h i n e wras c l a s t n a l e s wunden g o l d , f e r S l o c a f r e o r i g nSlaes f o l d a n biaSd, (Wanderer, 32-33) ^3see below, Chap. I I , p. - i l l . There i s no ge n e r a l agreement as to which l i n e s a re to be as s i g n e d to the wan-de r e r , and which to the poet. 38 Such a contrast i s related to the contrast between past and present i n The Ruin and the Beowulf.passages. Another very s i g n i f i c a n t point made by P i l c h i s that suffering i n the elegies i s caused more by the speaker's absence from society.than by h i s sorrow f o r the dead. However, P i l c h ' s reference to the wanderer's 'former employer' i s unfortun-ate, suggesting a somewhat mercenary rela t i o n s h i p rather than the intense bond of l o y a l t y which existed between a warrior and his l o r d . The wanderer's sorrow f o r the death of his l o r d i s very r e a l , but the very f a c t that the com-mon elegiac figure i s an anhaga, a wraecca, indicates the importance i*n Anglo-Saxon eyes of belonging to the group. The^outcast i s the very type of suf f e r i n g . The t h i r d paragraph of P i l c h ' s d e f i n i t i o n brings us to an important s t r u c t u r a l feature of elegy: i t s tendency to proceed from a lament f o r i n d i v i d u a l misfortune to ob-servations of a general kind. In both The Wanderer and The Seafarer there i s a s h i f t half-way through the poem. In the former poem, the wanderer i s moved by the thought of h i s own troubles to gloomy r e f l e c t i o n s on the l i f e of a l l men. His theme i s that a l l earthly things pass away. In The Seafarer the second h a l f of the poem i s more d i r e c t -l y C h r i s t i a n i n content, the sense being that since earthly pleasure and prosperity i s transient a man should s t r i v e to win eternal b l i s s i n heaven. In both poems the t r a n s i t i o n i s achieved by means of the loose connective forbon 39 (Wanderer, 58; Seafarer, 64b ) . ^ The movement towards generalisation i s associated with the gnomic or homiletic ending which P i l c h mentions asoan elegiac feature. The endings of both The Wanderer and The Seafarer are h o m i l e t i c . The d i d a c t i c close of The Wanderer ( l i n e s 111-115) i s sharply distinguished from the r e f l e c t i o n s which precede i t , by the use of expanded linest Swa. c w a e S . s n o t t o r on mSde; gesaet him sundor set rOne, T i l ^ 5 bib s5 be his trSowe gehealdep, ne sceal naafre his torn te= jpycene, beorn of his breostum acypan . . . (Wanderer, lll-113a) There i s no such cl e a r d i s t i n c t ! o n i i n The Seafarer, where the whole of the second h a l f i s d i d a c t i c , but l i n e s 3.03-124 (end) may be set apart as a homiletic ending.^ Expanded l i n e s are found i n t h i s passage but they are not used ex-c l u s i v e l y ; as at the end of The Wanderer. This section of The Seafarer begins: ^ I n her edition, Mrs. Gordon takes f o r bon (Seafarer, 64b) as c o r r e l a t i v e with For bon i n l i n e 58, and therefore part of the same sentence, but i t seems to me that the two f o r bon's are rather widely separated to be c o r r e l a t i v e (See bje_low, Chap. I l l , p. 200 ) Whatever the punctuation, the e s s e n t i a l t r a n s i t i o n occurs at l i n e 64b, with the words f o r  bon me hatran sind Dryhtnes drgamas bonne bis d§ade l i f . . . s l i e ' s e d i t i o n places a quotation mark before T i l . This i s omitted here since i t does not seem to me that the following words, are a part of the wanderer's speech. See -below, Chap. I I , p. 111. 46 From the corruption i n t h i s passage and the f a c t that i t begins a new f o l i o i n the manuscript, i t has sometimes besn considered not part of The Seafarer at a l l . I t i s best to assume the continuity of these l i n e s with the previous, but. there i s c e r t a i n l y a change of manner. See below, Chap. I I , pp. 63-64 and 65-66. 40 M i c e l bib sS Meotudes egsa, f o r pen ht SBO molde oneyrreo\ Certain l i n e s are reminiscent of those i n The Wanderer. DC1 bib SB be him his Dryhten ne ondrSSdepj cymed him sS d§a<5 unpinged (Seafarer, 1051 C l o s e l y resembles Wanderer, l i n e 112. These endings, and the expanded l i n e s that go with them are part of a gnomic t r a d i t i o n , and there are p a r a l l e l s with Maxims I and I I , which contain s i m i l a r pieces or proverbial wisdom, and a high proportion of expanded l i n e s . In her ed i t i o n of The S e a f a r e r , M r s . Gordon points out the close resemblance between Seafarer, 106 and Maxims I, l i n e 35s . DOl bib se pe his dryhten nat, t5 pass oft cymecf dBaff unbinged. . The other elegies do not show the well-marked balance between a personal and a general section found i n The Wan-derer and The Seafarer, but they do favour the i n c l u s i o n of general observations near the end. Frequently t h i s generali-sation may be termed gnomic or homiletic. Lines 42-45a i n The Wife's Lament are i n the gnomic s t y l e , with the charac-t e r i s t i c scyle "(line 42) and sceal ( l i n e 43 h ^ 8 The l a s t l i n e and a ha l f of the poem are also of the gnomic type: Wa" bio* pam pe sceal of langope ISofes abTdan. (Wife's Lament, . 52b- 53.) ^7The Seafarer, p. 46, note. . ^The a p p l i c a t i o n of these l i n e s i s disputed. See below, Chap. I I , pp.' 1 2 5 - 1 2 7 . Probably a more s p e c i f i c reference to the husband i s intended, with the generalising gnomic form. kl Line 52b shows a formula s i m i l a r to Wei bicV bam be , . . i n l i n e l l ^ b of The Wanderer, and, with a change of syntax, to the Pol bicf s5 be . . . formula. The ending of Resigna-t i o n also offers t r a d i t i o n a l advice: Giet bib bast sglast, bonne mon him s y l f ne masg wyrd onwendan, baet he bonne wel bolige. (Resignation, 117-118) The c l o s i n g l i n e s of Wulf and Eadwacer imply a generalisation: Daet mon Sabe tSslitecf fcaette nsefre gesomnad waes, "uncer giedd geador. (Wulf and  Eadwacer, 18-19) The l a s t l i n e s of The Rhyming Poem are homiletic, the uton . . . exhortation reminding us of Seafarer, 117—and of the homilies: lX...".V^ Vv7^ t:on\mja. Hal-gum gellce scyldum biscyrede scyndan generede, wommum biwerede, wuldre generede, j D a e r m o n c y n mot f o r meotude rot soSne god geseon, ond i n sibbe gefean. (Rhyming Poem, 82b-§7) The gnomic t r a d i t i o n l i e s behind a l l these endings. I t s proverbial wisdom was f e l t appropriate to the close of a poem. A personal statement, was thus rounded o f f with a general re-f l e c t i o n , sometimes hortatory, as at the end of Resignation, sometimes merely summarising and c r y s t a l l i s i n g , as i n the des-p a i r i n g end of The Wife's' Lament. The gnomic e a s i l y develops into the C h r i s t i a n homiletic, and the exhortation becomes one, not to the t r a d i t i o n a l stoicism, but to e f f o r t s towards gain-ing the heavenly reward; No sharp l i n e i s drawn between gnomic and homiletic. Resignation i s a poem of s p e c i f i c a l l y C h r i s t i a n sentiment, but a gnomic rather than an e x p l i c i t l y 42 C h r i s t i a n ending i s allowable f o r i t s close. Not a l l the elegies have the gnomic/homiletic ending.i, ; Wulf and Eadwacer i s r e a l l y a border-line case. Deor contains generalisation i n l i n e s 31-3^ (a r e f l e c t i o n on how God gives to some wislicne blaed, to others weana dgBl), but the poem then ends with Deor's personal experience. The Husband's Message has no generalisation at a l l , but ends with a reinforcement of the pledge mentioned e a r l i e r , and an emphatic r e p e t i t i o n of l i n e 16, r e f e r r i n g to the vows uttered: pe g i t on eerdagum oft gesprasconn. (Husband's  Message, 5*0 No generalisations, at the end of elsewhere, appear i n the Beowulf elegies. P i l c h ' s work i s more valuable than Timmer's i n defining elegy, simply because P i l c h extends farther the method used by Timmer, of s e l e c t i n g elegiac themes and motifs. Both of them f a l l into the trap of being p r e s c r i p t i v e rather than de-s c r i p t i v e , and P i l c h has a way of making statements as i f they were established f a c t s , when a c t u a l l y they are hypotheses . of the most dubious kind. P i l c h concludes his d e f i n i t i o n by set t i n g out the poems to be regarded as e l e g i e s . ^ He i n -cludes The Wanderer, The Seafarer, The W/ife's Lament, Wulf and  Eadwacer, and the two Beowulf passages. 'More or less mar-gin a l to the genre', he says, are Deor, The Husband's Message, Resignation, and The Rhyming Poem.' Like Timmer, he excludes The Ruin because i t i s not a personal poem. The Guthlac piece, ^ P i l c h , p. 213. 4 3 whish i s not considered by Timmer, or, f o r that matter, most c r i t i c s , he rejects because i t i s a messenger's report. This objection seems to me i r r e l e v a n t . There have been one or two c r i t i c s who have attempted, not so much to define an elegiac genre, as to establish an-other genre on the basis of i t . Howell Chickering, i n a 1965 d i s s e r t a t i o n on Old English elegiac poetry,^° comes to con-clusions s i m i l a r to Timmer's as f a r as the d e f i n i t i o n and l i m i t s of the genre 'elegy* are concerned. He decides that The Wanderer, The Rhyming Poem, The Seafarer, and Resignation are best c l a s s i f i e d as representing a d i d a c t i c C h r i s t i a n genre. I t i s t h i s d i d a c t i c genre which he investigates. Like Timmer, he only allows The Wife's Lament and Wulf and Eadwacer as elegies proper. He considers Peor a consolation, The Husband's  Message a l o v e - l e t t e r , and The Euln of indeterminate genre. One would not question the d i d a c t i c element i n the " f i r s t four poems. On the other hand, to regard them as primarily d i d a c t i c i s to ignore much'of the poetic e f f e c t of the better ones, i . e . , The Wanderer and The Seafarer, The descriptions of personal s u f f e r i n g i n the f i r s t parts of these two poems are too powerful to be merely a means to an end. The figures of the wanderer and the seafarer exist i n t h e i r own r i g h t , and i t i s because of his acute perception of the hardships of t h e i r existence that the poet i s led to soften t h i s i n t e n s i t y by 50'Thematic Structure and P i d a c t i c Purpose i n Old English Elegiac Poetryt A R e - C l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the Genre' (Univ. of Indiana). See PA, XXVII, 4217 A. i i4 generalisation, and f i n a l l y to C h r i s t i a n consolation. There can be no doubt about which i s the more strongly f e l t of the following passages; Calde gebrungen "waeronmlne f e t , /orste gebunden caldum clommum, b a e i r b a ceare seofedun h5t ymb he ortan; hungor innan s l a t merewerges mod. (Seafarer, 8b-12a) and Uton we hycgan hwa5r we ham agen ond bonne gebencan hu we bider cumen. (Seafarer, 117-118) Resignation i s i n the form of a prayer, and i s c e r t a i n l y d i -dactic by implication, but i t s method i s personal statement. The Rhyming Poem i s highly obscure, but i t s subject appears to be the speaker's decline from his former prosperous and happy state. Perhaps the l a t t e r two poems are more r e a d i l y f e l t to be mainly d i d a c t i c because they never r i s e to the same l e v e l of acutely f e l t personal poetry as The Wanderer and The Seafarer. Resignation i s low-key throughout, and the sense of The Rhyming Poem i s hidden behind the strained language demanded by the exigencies of rhyme. Though the Christian d i d a c t i c element i s important i n these poems, i t i s not the means by which they can best be grouped and c l a s -s i f i e d . As L e s l i e says, i n his Introduction to The Wanderer, •We should beware of placing too much emphasis on the didac-t i c aspects of the poem, for we would not only exclude some of i t s many dimensions, but would also f a i l to take account of the li n k s with a non-Christian past which enrich the 45 texture of the poem'„ (pp. 30-31) . Checkering's attempt to i d e n t i f y a di d a c t i c genre i n Old English elegiac poetry i s 'based on a misplaced emphasis. A more extreme example of the same c r i t i c a l mistake can be found i n the theory of P.L. Henry. In his book of 1966,^ Henry, l i k e P i l c h , defines a ce r t a i n type of Old English poetry by v i r t u e of i t s assumed connection with C e l t i c poems. Henry deals rather f u l l y with the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s common to the Old English elegies and C e l t i c poetry. He points out esp e c i a l l y the features rioted more b r i e f l y by Mrs. Gordon, describe s.how i n both Old English and C e l t i c , p a r t i c u l a r l y Old Welsh, 'naturedescription i s used to delineate a human condition' (p. 126) , and speaks, of 'the replacing of f o r t h -r i g h t personal communication and commitment by generalisa-t i o n (gnomic, r e f l e c t i v e , homiletic)' (p. 157). But, as we have seen, i n the Welsh poems nature description and generali-sation mingle with personal communication i n a rather more abrupt way than they do i n the Old English poems. Henry's book,is, i n e f f e c t , a study of 'outcast poetry'. He sees the Old English elegies as coming into t h i s category, and also places inftt the I r i s h hermit-poetry, although, un-l i k e Mrs. Chadwick, h;e regards the l a t t e r as somewhat d i f f e r e n t . He states that the r e s u l t of his investigations has been 'to establish an Old English genre of p e n i t e n t i a l poetry, with Seafarer and Penitent's Prayer [Resignation] as chief exponents, 5 1 S ee note 36 , above. 46 flanked by corresponding genres i n E a r l y I r i s h and Welsh*. He prefers to use the new term * p e n i t e n t i a l * rather than the old term *elegiac' f and the 'residual Old English l y r i c s [!] can be treated i n the l i g h t of t h e i r relationship to t h i s genre. '52 He regards the p e n i t e n t i a l genre as one sub-type of outcast poetry, and the hermit-nature poetry as another.53 Henry's view of Old English elegiac poetry i s consciously based on the interpretations of Miss Whitelock and Dr. Stanley with regard to The Seafarer, The Wanderer, and Resignation.5 ^ i f one does not accept that the figures i n these poems are peregrin!, which i s only a hypothesis and not a proven fact, there i s only one poem i n Henry's peni-t e n t i a l genres Resignation. This poem, which may well be influenced by the psalms, expresses the speaker's desire to turn to the Lord a f t e r his sins, and win grace. I t i_s the speech of a penitent. Whether the speaker's desire to pur-chase a boat i s to be taken as an i n d i c a t i o n of a projected pilgrimage abroad (t h i s being the means by which Stanley makes the l i n k with The Seafarer) i s much more doubtful, and equally doubtful i s the view that the seafarer has s i m i l a r intentions and a s i m i l a r l y p e n i t e n t i a l state of mind. The case as regards The Wanderer i s un l i k e l y , and no other poem offers any supporting evidence. The existence of a p e n i t e n t i a l 5 2Henry, pp. 20-21 . 5 3 i b i d ., pp. 157-160. 5^These interpretations w i l l be treated f u l l y i n Chap.II. See below, pp. 86-89. . • oP 4 b Air**""* genre i n Old I r i s h and Welsh i s not s u f f i c i e n t reason f o r creating an Old English genre of the same type.55 We have now covered representatives of the major views on the Old English elegy as a genre. Two f a i r l y "brief com-ments "by recent c r i t i c s might f i n a l l y "be mentioned. Stanley B. Greenfield, i n a very perceptive study of the elegies, published i n 1 9 6 6 , 5 6 puts forward a d e f i n i t i o n of the genre which i s rather weaker than h i s succeeding study of the poems themselvesj We may perhaps formulate a d e f i n i t i o n of the Old English elegy as a r e l a t i v e l y short r e f l e c -t i v e or dramatic poem embodying a contrasting pattern of loss and consolation, ostensibly based upon a s p e c i f i c personal experience or observation, and expressing an attitude towards that experience, (p. 1 4 3 ) Presumably i n the same attempt to avoid over^specific state-ments, Greenfield propounds a d e f i n i t i o n that, l i k e those of 55i quote a b r i e f I r i s h poem i n the p e n i t e n t i a l - p i 1 - .  grimage t r a d i t i o n and a section from a si m i l a r Welsh poem. The original-language versions (together with the translations given here) are included by Henry: A dear pure pilgrimage I . s h a l l dress myself becom-Subduing f a u l t s , a body chaste " ingly, A l i f e of poverty lowly and se- Bel i e v i n g no omen, f o r i t i s eluded not rig h t ; Occur often to my mind. The One who made me w i l l (p. 6 6 . Middle I r i s h . Henry strengthen me gives no date of MS source) My mind i s (bent) on a journey, Intending to go to sea; A b e n e f i c i a l d e s i g n ; — i t w i l l be a boon, (b. 86 Old Welsh. From The Black Book of Carmarthen. No date suggested). In neither The Seafarer nor Resignation i s there any such ex-p l i c i t i n d i c a t i o n of a pilgrimage of penitence. . 56irphe Old English Elegies" , i n Continuations and Beginn-ings: Studies i n Old English L i t e r a t u r e , ed. E.G. Stanley (London,. 1966), 142-175. 48 Miss Kershaw and the Chadwicks, i s rather general and awkward. I t i s , however, more des c r i p t i v e . I t stresses that an elegy-i s a f a i r l y short poem, which i s true, but f a i l s to point out that by a broader d e f i n i t i o n i t may also be a passage i n a longer poem. One would agree that an elegy deals with the theme of loss, but i t does not necessarily include consolation. The Wife's Lament and Wulf and Eadwacer are poems of unrelieved misery. The Ruin, because impersonal, i s less despairing i n tone, but i t presents no consolation, merely the picture of present decay a f t e r past splendour. The Wanderer, The Sea-farer, and The Rhyming Poem (this l a s t i s not one of the poems discussed by Greenfield) move from a depiction of suf f e r i n g i n th i s world to the idea of winning happiness i n the next. Thus, they do contain consolation, but i t i s the descriptions of pain and m o r t a l i t y which impress themselves upon the reader. Green-f i e l d ' s q u a l i f i c a t i o n that an elegy i s 'ostensibly based upon, a s p e c i f i c personal experience or observation' brings i n The  Ruin, but, as has previously been remarked, there i s some v a r i a t i o n i n the degree of personal involvement found i n the elegies, The Ruin, the Beowulf passages, and i n a d i f f e r e n t way, The Husband's Message, showing rather less of i t than the other pieces. Again, each poem or passage shows a d i f f e r e n t attitude towards the experience i t presents, and to state that an elegy expresses 'an attitude towards that experience' i s somewhat meaningless. The poems discussed by Greenfield are The Ruin, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, Peor, Wulf and Eadwacer, The Wife's 49 Lament, The Husband's Message.57 Dunning and B l i s s , i n the Introduction to t h e i r e d i t i o n of The Wanderer,58 which appeared i n 1969t c i t e Greenfield's d e f i n i t i o n of elegy with approval, saying ' i t would be d i f f i -c u l t to improve on Greenfield's suggestion'(p. 1 0 2 ) . A l l the same, they accept the term 'elegy' somewhat re l u c t a n t l y . They prefer to c a l l The Wanderer a 'divine* poem, since t h i s de-s c r i p t i o n indicates'the a f f i n i t y of The Wanderer i n s p i r i t and subject matter ( i f not always i n form) with most of the other short poems i n the Exeter Book' (p. 1 0 2 ) . E a r l i e r i n t h e i r Introduction (pp. 4 and 79) they l i n k The Wanderer with The G i f t s of Men and Precepts, the poems which follow i t i n the Exeter Book, and which separate i t from The Seafarer.. They regard The Seafarer as a poem on the same theme as Vainglory, which immediately succeeds i t i n the manuscript: the theme of pride versus humility, and t h e i r respective re-quitement i n the a f t e r - l i f e . Dunning and B l i s s make these connections because they believe there i s a significance i n the order of the poems i n the Exeter Book. There may be more signi f i c a n c e than some scholars are w i l l i n g to credit,5 9 but 5 7 G r e e n f i e l d does mention Resignation, The Rhyming Poemf and the Beowulf elegies, but leaves them out of h i s more de-t a i l e d consideration on the grounds that 'The l a t t e r passages are more properly a part of the study of the epic, . . . and the former are q u a l i t a t i v e l y i n f e r i o r poems' (p. 143). 58T.P. Dunning and A.J. B l i s s (London, 1969). 59A.A. Prins says of the second h a l f of the Exeter Book that i t s contents 'show neither rhyme nor reason' ('The Wan-derer and The Seafarer', Neophll, XLVII [ 1 9 6 4 ] , 238). 50 Dunning and B l i s s take up too extreme a po s i t i o n . The vividness of The Wanderer, i t s sense of urgency, i t s per-sonal quality,make i t a poem very d i f f e r e n t i n kind from The  G i f t s of Men and Precepts, which are more general and im-personal i n subject, the former being l a r g e l y descriptive, the l a t t e r m o r a l i s t i c . To be sure, the v i r t u e of patience (Gi f t s of Men, 7 0 - 7 1 ) , the choice of s p i r i t u a l rather than earthly comfort ( G i f t s of Men, 8 6 - 8 8 ) , and the value of pru-dence and moderation, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the respect of keeping one's thoughts to oneself (Precepts, 41-42; 5 2 - 5 8 ; 8 3 - 9 4 ) , 6 0 are themes foundiin The Wanderer too, but they are the com-monplaces of Anglo-Saxon wisdom, and t h e i r occurrence i n The'' Wanderer as well as i n the two other poems merely i l l u s t r a t e s the gnomic/homiletic aspect of i t . While th i s i s only one facet of The Wanderer, i t i s the pervading q u a l i t y of The  G i f t s of Men and Precepts. S i m i l a r l y , the pri&ej-versus-hu-m i l i t y theme i s treated d i r e c t l y i n The Seafarer only i n l i n e s 1 0 6 5 1 0 7 , while i t forms the whole subject of Vainglory. Thus, Dunning and B l i s s are g u i l t y of the same kind of misplaced emphasis as Chickering, i n the way i n which they group The  Wanderer and The Seafarer with other poems. They do, however, f i n d 'elegy' a convenient c l a s s i f i -cation: 'The poet's treatment of the theme of transience pro-bably j u s t i f i e s the conventional c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of The Wan-derer as an elegy'. They accept both Greenfield's d e f i n i t i o n 6°These i i n e references are given by Dunning and B l i s s (p. 7 9 ) f o r comparison with The Wanderer. 5 1 and the poems to which he makes i f re f e r . Their statement i n t h i s context i s an eminently sensible one: ' . . . the term "elegy" i s now so well established to describe a group of poems i n the Exeter Book that i t i s perhaps better to accept i t with-out argument as a somewhat a r b i t r a r y designation, and to seek a d e f i n i t i o n which w i l l indicate the s a l i e n t features of t h i s by no means homogeneous group* (the seven poems treated by Greenfield are then l i s t e d ) . ^ 1 This moderate viewpoint i s one which we can accept. Those who have a c t u a l l y formulated a d e f i n i t i o n of elegy have a l l . r u n into d i f f i c u l t i e s of one kind or another. Some c r i t i c s have been too vague, others too s p e c i f i c . Almost every scholar who has consciously l i m i t e d the term has applied i t to a d i f -ferent group of poems, some poems being more favoured than others. I t i s best to relate to the elegiac genre a l l poetry that employs as a major feature any of the themes, motifs, or st r u c t u r a l devices associated with the elegiac convention, without quibbling about whether each poem i s , regarded i n -d i v i d u a l l y , an elegy. For.the purposes of this i n v e s t i g a t i o n , The Wanderer, The Sestfarer, The Husband's Message, The Wlfe's  Lament, Wulf and Eadwacer^ and The Ruin w i l l be considered i n d e t a i l , since they are the better and more t y p i c a l examples of the genre, and a f f o r d useful interconnections with one another. Also, they are a l l separate poems, and therefore do not demand the rather specialconsideration necessary f o r pieces which are ^Dunning and B l i s s , p. 102. 52 parts of a larger whole. The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c features of elegy, by which i t can be recognised as such, should be summarised. The species i n -volves presentation from the viewpoint of an i n d i v i d u a l , usu-a l l y , but not always, through monologue. There appears to have been a f a i r l y standard opening, again, not always em-ployed, by which the speaker, usually nameless, and with l i t t l e i n the way of i n d i v i d u a l characterisation, introduced himself i n the f i r s t person. The best elegies combine a detachment from s p e c i f i c associations with an intense personal emotion which gives an e f f e c t quite d i f f e r e n t from the more formal speeches of the epics. I t i s common i n the elegies f o r there to be a movement from the p a r t i c u l a r to the general. Fre-quently the ending i s gnomic or homiletic. Certain favourite themes recur. The theme of separation, usually from a l o r d , but sometimes from a husband, wife, or lover, i s common. E x i l e and banishment are also f a m i l i a r themes, and may well blend with the previous, since the death or a l i e n a t i o n of one's pro-tector was l i k e l y to lead to homelessness. These themes are associated with equally recurrent natural motifs. The sea i s usually the physical means of separation, not just because i t might well have been so on a l i t e r a l l e v e l , but because, p a r t i -c u l a r l y i n i t s sterner aspects, i t i s i n i t s e l f conducive to melancholy thoughts on man's loneliness and helplessness be-side i t s i n f i n i t e expanse. Winter landscapes are s i m i l a r l y i n -troduced f o r t h e i r inherent melancholy associations. P i l c h picks out the f a m i l i a r d e t a i l s well i n his analysis of elegy. 53 More j o y f u l scenes may be introduced f o r the sake of con-t r a s t . Numerous smaller d e t a i l s , such as the time before dawn; the sad-voiced cuckoo, and the motif of hoar-frost, can be seen by t h e i r recurrence^ i n these poems to be among the concomitants of elegiac poetry. The above are what seem to me the more, prominent fea-tures of elegy. Their recurrence i n s i m i l a r form indicates that the poets who used, them were aware of a ce r t a i n type of poetry f o r which they were regarded as suitable. Esta-blished c r i t i c a l practice i n the use of the term 'elegy* with regard to Old.English, and a well-substantiated frame of reference f o r i t , are s u f f i c i e n t j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r i t s employment as the name of a genre. In view of the freedom with which types of poetry merge i n Old English, a d e f i n i t i o n of the genre should be based,on common, rather than on o b l i -gatory, features. CHAPTER II Interpretations of Six Elegies: The Seafarer, The Wanderer, The Ruin, The Wife's Lament, The Husband's Message, Wulf and Eadwacer I t w i l l be convenient to deal poem by poem with the interpretations of the six elegies selected. An attempt w i l l be made to relate the poems to changing trends i n c r i t i -cism, but a s t r i c t l y chronological approach would be inappro-p r i a t e , since there are c e r t a i n types of int e r p r e t a t i o n which can be traced over a long period and which exist concurrently with views of quite a d i f f e r e n t kind. The German c r i t i c s , and the e a r l i e s t English c r i t i c s , w i l l be dealt with, on the whole, f a i r l y b r i e f l y , but i t i s hoped to give an adequate representation of the various 'schools' of int e r p r e t a t i o n , and to cover quite f u l l y the major English interpretations since 1 9 0 0 . Theories concerning date and o r i g i n w i l l hot be treated, except incidentally,-^ and those studies which are exclusively textual, or which do not give an int e r p r e t a t i o n d i s t i n c t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t from those already presented, w i l l be omitted. C r i t i c a l discussions which are mainly s t y l i s t i c iThe actual manuscript, the Exeter Book, which contains, along with other material, the six poems to be discussed, Is dated i n the la t e tenth century (See Krapp-Dobbie, The Exeter  Book, pp7. x i i i - x i v ) , but the poems themselves are e a r l i e r , and var i o u s l y dated. I t was fo r a long time assumed that the ele-gies, along with the bulk of Old English poetry, were of early date and Northumbrian o r i g i n , but thi s i s now questioned. Kenneth Sisam i s of the opinion that much Old English poetry belongs..'to a general Old English Poetic d i a l e c t , a r t i f i c i a l , archaic, and perhaps mixed i n i t s vocabulary' (Studies i n the History of Old English Literature [Oxford, 1 9 5 3 J t P. 1 3 8 ) . 55 w i l l "be l e f t to the next chapter. The emphasis w i l l there-fore be on those studies which have attempted to shed l i g h t on the o v e r a l l meaning of these elegies. Interpretations w i l l be evaluated, with the aim of reaching a balanced view of each poem. Since The Seafarer and The Wanderer have often been linked i n c r i t i c a l works, they w i l l , to a c e r t a i n extent, be discussed together, but thi s i s not to be taken as an i n d i c a -tion of any necessary connection between the two. Some scho-l a r s have believed that the same author must have been res-ponsible, or p a r t l y responsible, f o r both of them. Thus, R.C. Boer supposed that the s i m i l a r expressions i n the two were evidence that they had been reworked by the same man.2 However, such s i m i l a r i t i e s may be accounted for by the i n -debtedness of both poems to the same elegiac t r a d i t i o n and the formulaic expressions associated with i t . 3 W.J. Sedge-f i e l d was convinced that the si m i l a r moods which he found i n the poems pointed to a common author. He says of The Sea-farer , 'We can hardly doubt that t h i s poem i s by the same author as the preceding one ["The Wanderer"]; there i s the same sadness, s e l f - p i t y , longing and weariness*.^ The poems do show s i m i l a r i t i e s of mood—both present personal su f f e r i n g . .. 2'wanderer and Seefahrer', ZDP, XXXV (1902), 1-28. See W.W. Lawrence, 'The Wanderer and the Seafarer', JEGP, IV (1902), 468-469. 3see below, Chap. I l l , pp~; 224-225. ^An Anglo-Saxon Verse-Book (Manchester, 1922), p.32. 56 with great poignancy—, although Sjedgefield's description of them needs some q u a l i f i c a t i o n . More recently, G.V. Smlthers, who believed that the two poems expressed the same' theme, suggested that the same author,1* * probably a c l e r i c , was responsible f o r both.-5 But T.P. Dunning and A.J. B l i s s point out metrical d i s s i m i l a r i t i e s between the two poems, which, they say, 'must cast some doubt on the conventional view that the two poems are c l o s e l y related i n genre, tone and s t y l e * . ^ In f a c t , the poems do show o v e r a l l s i m i l a r i t i e s , and Dunning and B l i s s go too f a r i n stressing the difference between them. Both poems show the same balance of a personal f i r s t - h a l f with a general second-half, and a s i m i l a r l y high degree of poetic a b i l i t y i n the creation of the persona i n each poem. In view of these f a c t s , i t i s natural to rel a t e the two poems to some extent. More than that we cannot say. The e a r l i e r c r i t i c s tended to regard The Wanderer and The Seafarer as depictions of a primitive culture arid i t s out-look on l i f e . This viewpoint i s i l l u s t r a t e d by the 1894 a r t i c l e of C.C. F e r r e l l , 'Old Germanic L i f e i n the Anglo-Saxon "Wanderer" and "Seafarer".*7 F e r r e l l sees the poems as f u l l of pagan references, f o r instance to "the Norn Wyrd* i n 5'The Meaning of The Seafarer and The Wanderer', MJ_, XXVI (1957)» 152-153. See below, pp. 82-86 for Smitriers' interpreta-t i o n of the poems. 6The Wanderer (London, 1969)t P. 77. See below, Chap.Ill, p..168 f o r a f u l l e r treatment of t h e i r views on these metrical differences. 7 M L N , IX, 402-407. 57 The Wanderer, 8 and to the custom of burning the dead i n The Seafarer ( l i n e s 113-115a, an obscure reference to burn-ing i n the f i r e , which, as Mrs. Gordon notes,9 may well be the f i r e of H e l l rather than the funeral pyre). He points to the strong impression made by nature, and e s p e c i a l l y the sea, on the Anglo-Saxon mind. While t h i s observation i s correct, i t should be noted that, as mentioned i n Chapter I, natural description i s very s t y l i s e d and serves a l a r g e l y symbolic function. More s i g n i f i c a n t are F e r r e l l ' s remarks on the s o c i a l background of the two poems. He draws atten-t i o n to the s o c i a l framework of the comitatus which l i e s be-hind the two poems, p a r t i c u l a r l y The Wanderer, stresses the closeness of the rel a t i o n s h i p between man and lord , and the pain of separation from the close-knit group formed by lord and fellow-warriors, and refers to the t r a d i t i o n a l fatalism and stoicism which pervade the poems. The Wanderer, of course, gains most of i t s force from the strength of the speaker's f e e l i n g f o r the l o r d and companions he has l o s t . The Seafarer deals less d i r e c t l y with t h i s topic, but, s t i l l , a contrast with the man who l i v e s happily i n burgum ( l i n e 28) i s used to point up the loneliness and hardships of the sea-farer's l i f e . 8 F o r a further discussion of wyrd i n The Wanderer see below pp. 112-113. The word occurs i n the singular i n l i n e s 5 and 15 of the poem, and i n the p l u r a l i n l i n e 107. ^The Seafarer, pp. 4-7-48, note. 58 The view of the poems as representative of the early-Germanic outlook on l i f e s t i l l holds good, to a c e r t a i n ex-tent, but l a t e r c r i t i c s have tended to q u a l i f y t h i s view by stressing the e s s e n t i a l C h r i s t i a n i t y of both poems. C r i t i c s of The Wanderer usually see i n the poem the i n s u f f i c i e n c y of the heroic ethic, and the need to turn to God. Thus, Dunn-ing and B l i s s , i n t h e i r recent edition, include a section on 'The Wanderer and Heroic T r a d i t i o n ' (pp. 9^-102), but they regard the poem as a c r i t i c i s m of the heroic ethic, which g l o r i f i e s boasting rather than Chr i s t i a n humility (the making of a beot i n the meadhall to perform brave deeds i n b a t t l e was one of the t r a d i t i o n s of heroic society, but The Wanderer advocates prudence i n boasting, l i n e s 6 9 - 7 2 ) , and which offers no solution to e v i l fortune but endurance, while C h r i s t i a n i t y holds but the heavenly reward. A common assumption which lay behind many of the c r i t i -c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the l a s t century ( i t i s r e f l e c t e d i n F e r r e l l j s a r t i c l e ) , and which continued well into the present, was that Old English poetry consisted of an early pagan, and l a t e r C h r i s t i a n stratum, which could be separated one from another. Some of the poetry was regarded as wholly pagan, some Chris t i a n , and some as a combination of both. Into t h i s l a s t category came Beowulf and c e r t a i n of the elegies, notably The Seafarer and The Wanderer. It" was believed that the C h r i s t i a n passages i n these poems were the work of l a t e r i n t e r -polators. This assumption was so much taken f o r granted that c r i t i c s could r e f e r to i t , without explanation, as something 59 •settled'. Thus, i n 1877, Ten Brink says of Peor; 'Excluding an i n t e r p o l a t i o n of some length, the poem i s run o f f i n six strophes of six l i n e s or l e s s . 10 jje does not even state the li n e s referred to; presumably he means 28-34» which describe the unfortunate man's r e f l e c t i o n on God's varying dispensa-tions of good and bad fortune. This passage contains the only piece of general r e f l e c t i o n and the only reference to the Peity i n the poem. In 1905 Edith Rickert mentions i n passing 'the o r i g i n a l l y pagan but much edited epic Beowulf.H The 'interpolations' approach has not, as f a r as I know, been applied to The Ruin, The Wife's Lament, The Husband's Message, and Wulf and Eadwacer, probably because these poems contain very l i t t l e that i s s p e c i f i c a l l y C h r i s t i a n and nothing that can be c a l l e d d i d a c t i c . ' However, The Seafarer and The Wan-derer contain prominent C h r i s t i a n elements. The whole of the l a t t e r h a l f of ''the Seafarer text i s Chr i s t i a n , and the end-ings of both poems are homiletic.-'- 2 Also, the reference to God's mercy i n the opening l i n e s of The Wanderer makes the introduction to thi s poem s p e c i f i c a l l y C h r i s t i a n . Ten Brink statesi The epic introduction to the Wanderer, as well as the close, may be additions of a l a t e r time; l°Ten Brink, E a r l y English Literature, trans. H.M.Kennedy (London, 1883), I, 61. (German edition published 1877).. 1 1'The Old English Of fa Saga', M_P, II (1904-05), 369. 1 2 ,See above, Chap. I, pp. 39-^2. 60 because i n them i s expressed a C h r i s t i a n sentiment and view of l i f e , with a d i s -tinctness quite absent from the body of the poem. ( P . 61) This statement i s i n fa c t more moderate than some. Ten Brink accepts the l a t t e r part of The Seafarer, regarding the contrast between earthly t r i b u l a t i o n and heavenly joys i n the second part as d e l i b e r a t e l y balanced against the varying attitudes of repulsion from and a t t r a c t i o n to the sea i n the f i r s t . ^ Stopford Brooke, i n 1 8 9 2 1 \ rejects the beginning and end of The Wanderer, since the body of the poem seems to be composed by someone 'who thought more of the goddess Wyrd than of God.* 1^ He also rejects the l a t t e r h a l f of The  Seafarer, although he i s not sure whether the poem i s to be stopped at l i n e 64 (64b i s generally regarded as the major t r a n s i t i o n ; f o r bon me hatran sind / D r y h t n e s dreamas  bonne bis d 5 a d e l t f ) ^ or l i n e 71 (Line 72 commences another s h i f t i n thought beginning with For bon; ForQbon bib eorla  gehwarn seftercwebendra / l o f llfgendra lastworda b e t s t ) . Of the second half of The Seafarer he says disparagingly, i t has neither i n t e l l i g e n c e , passion, nor imagination'. 1'' 7 !3Ten Brink, p. 63. l^The History of E a r l y English Literature (London and New York), Vol. I I . Brooke, p.. 171. ^See above, Chap. I, pp. 38-39i and note (n. 44). . . ^Brooke,, p.. 180, _ H- > , 61 F e r r e l l also regards the poems as pagan, with C h r i s t i a n additions: The 'Wanderer', with the exception of a h a l f -dozen verses at the beginning and as many at the close, i s heathen to the core and shows almost no trace of C h r i s t i a n influence, and the same may be said of the f i r s t h a l f of the 'Seafarer'. (p. 402) However, he somewhat contradicts himself by pointing to one or two supposed traces of paganism i n the second h a l f of The Seafarer, e.g., the mention of burning i n the f i r e . Also, i t i s noteworthy that he i s quite vague about the ex-tent of the additions to The Wanderer. I assume he means the f i r s t f i v e and l a s t f i v e l i n e s . These conjectures as to C h r i s t i a n interpolations per-s i s t , and appear l a t e r . In 1935» Miss Wardale,-1-^ whose view of the poems i s conservative says: I f the view i s accepted that the Prologue and Epilogue of the Wanderer are l a t e r additions and that the r e a l Seafarer consists of the f i r s t s ixty-four l i n e s only, i t i s c l e a r that the outlook on l i f e i n both i s purely pagan. Any C h r i s t i a n touches which appear i n either are quite out of character and must be looked upon as l a t e r i n s e r t i o n s , probably due to the scribe who added the continuation of the Sea-farer. ( P . 61) This view of the poems f a i l s to take into account a number of factors. For one thing, the general r e f l e c t i o n s i n the l a t t e r h a l f of The Seafarer have the same ef f e c t , - ^ E . Wardale, Chapters on Old English Literature (London, 1935). 62 s t r u c t u r a l l y , as the less e x p l i c i t l y C h r i s t i a n r e f l e c t i o n s i n the second half of The Wanderer. In both poems the f i r s t h a l f describes personal experience, while the second half meditates on l i f e i n general. Further, this tendency to generalisation i n the l a t e r part ( i f not throughout the second h a l f ) of an elegiac poem may also be shown i n poems l i k e The Wife's Lament, which c r i t i c s of this school would regard as e n t i r e l y pagan. The homiletic ending used i n The  Wanderer and The Seafarer i s c l o s e l y linked with the gnomic ending (seen, f o r instance, i n the l a s t l i n e and a ha l f of The Wife's Lament), and can be seen to be part of a t r a d i -t i o n . Most important of a l l , the 'interpolation' theory i s based on the erroneous assumption that we can separate out the o r i g i n a l 'poem'. Poetry i n the or a l t r a d i t i o n (and a l l Old English poetry i s heavily indebted to such a t r a d i -tion) necessarily incorporates material from e a r l i e r and l a t e r periods. But, as the formulaic studies of Old English poetry have shown, 2 0 o r a l poetry i s very f l u i d . In Magoun's words, 'an or a l poem, u n t i l written down, has not and cannot have a fix e d t e x t ' . 2 1 In assuming such a fix e d text, these c r i t i c s , who had not been influenced by the l a t e r formulaic analyses of the poetry, made t h e i r most serious mistake. 19The observations made thus f a r i n the paragraph are based on evidence presented and conclusions drawn i n Chap.I, pp. 39-^2. 2 0See below, Chap..Ill, pp^r 221^227. 2 1 F T E ^ Magoun, J r . , 'Oral-Formulaic Character of Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry', Speculum, XXVIII (1953), ^7. 63 The assumption of an o r i g i n a l section, beginning and ending at a c e r t a i n point, to which a l a t e r addition with equally-well defined l i m i t s i s tacked on, leads Miss Wardale into deep water when she i s discussing the introduction to The  Wanderer. Wyrd bi5 f u l arasd i n l i n e 5"b s t r i k e s her as d i s -t i n c t l y pagan, yet b<y her reasoning i t i s part of the Chris-t i a n introduction: The sentiment i s purely heathen and the scribe's object was to introduce some Chr i s t i a n element. The poem cannot, however, have begun i n the middle of a l i n e . The scribe may have worked over an e x i s t i n g passage, leaving, i n a surprising way, t h i s d e f i n i t e l y heathen h a l f - l i n e . (p. 59, note) In 1902 a blow was struck at the 'interpolation' theory pp by W. W. Lawrence. ^ He argued that, though the C h r i s t i a n passages i n The Wanderer and The Sea-farer might be regarded as a blemish, i t was just as l i k e l y that they were an i n t e g r a l part of the text as that they were l a t e r additions, and that I f such additions existed i t was impossible to decide with any certainty just what they were (pp. 478-80). I t should be noted, however, that Lawrence s t i l l rejected the whole second ha l f of The Seafarer as a 'homiletic addition' (see p. 462). The fact that he makes a d i s t i n c t i o n between l i n e s 64b-102 and l i n e s 103-124 (end) has led a number of c r i t i c s to believe that i t i s to the l a t t e r section only that he refers by the words 'homiletic addition' i n his summary of his own conclu-sions: 'there seems to be no reason to assume that the Wanderer 'The Wanderer and The Seafarer', JEGP, IV, 460-480. 64 and the Seafarer are not preserved i n e s s e n t i a l l y t h e i r o r i g i n a l form, with the exceptionCof the homiletic addition to the l a t t e r poem* (p. 4 8 0 ) . On page 471 he expresses the opinion that l i n e s 103-124 are part of a d i f f e r e n t piece from what precedes them. He sees a deterioration i n s t y l e i n t h i s f i n a l section, and points out that l i n e 103 begins a new l e a f i n the manuscript. He therefore thinks i t l i k e l y that l i n e s 103JJF... have no connection with what precedes them. Miss Kerhsaw 23 andKrapp-Dobbie 2^ believe that they are following Lawrence i n r e j e c t i n g l i n e s 103 f f . and ending the poem at l i n e 102. However, Lawrence c e r t a i n l y i n i t i a t e d a change of ap-proach to The Wanderer and The Seafarer, although he did not depart e n t i r e l y from the 'interpolations' theory. Scholars become more chary of writing o f f sections of the poems as additions. Miss Kershaw rejects the close of The Seafarer, and, more ten t a t i v e l y , that of The Wanderer, but she bases her decision on s t y l i s t i c considerations, rather than on the d i s t i n c t i o n between.Christian and pagan. Thus, she states that she sees 'a marked change i n the character of the poem' (The Seafarer)after l i n e 102, and continues, 'the passage i s verbose and lacking i n coherence, and the sentiments expressed have no obvious connection with the rest of the poem' (pp.18-19). 23N. Kershaw, Anglo-Saxon and Norse Poems (Cambridge, 19220, pp. 18-19. 2^The Exeter Book, pp. x x x v i i i - x x x i x . Further references to Krapp-Bobble are also to. t h e i r e d i t i o n of The Exeter Book, unless otherwise stated. 65 She mentions i n a footnote that t h i s remark also applies to the l a s t section of The Wanderer. Krapp and Dobbie say-prudently that i n the Wanderer and the Seafarer, i n spite of the minor inconsistencies and the abrupt t r a n s i -tions which we f i n d , s t r u c t u r a l d i s s e c t i o n must be accepted with caution as a formula f o r the establishment of the text. (p. xxxix) Few c r i t i c s would now make a sharp d i s t i n c t i o n between pagan and C h r i s t i a n material. However, one does occasionally f i n d r e f l e c t i o n s of the e a r l i e r a t t i t u d e . T.M. Davis, f o r instance, i n 1965, i n an a r t i c l e on The Wife's Lament. 25 re-fers to 'Christian additions' i n The Wanderer and The Seafarer (p. 3 0 0 ) . The school which advocated excising the beginning and end of The Wanderer and the second h a l f of The Seafarer as C h r i s t i a n additions began to go out of favour a f t e r the publi c a t i o n of Lawrence's a r t i c l e . Yet, as we have seen, i t was s t i l l common to rej e c t parts of the poems as d i f f e r e n t from or i n f e r i o r to the rest. Structural d i s s e c t i o n on sty-l i s t i c grounds makes a stronger case than r e j e c t i o n of material because of i t s C h r i s t i a n content. This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y true with regard to the f i n a l section of The Seafarer (from l i n e 1 0 3 ) , which does show corruption. Also, the f a c t that ithis section commences a new f o l i o makes i t easier to argue that the passage may not belong i n the poem, but even th i s .'does not amount to proof. I t i s true that the endingsQDf The Wanderer • 2 5 p a p e r s on English languagerahdx-Mterature, I, 291-305. 66 and The Seafarer are somewhat d i f f e r e n t from what precedes them and rather lessf/poetically inspired, but such endings appear to be t r a d i t i o n a l , and i n any case the s t y l i s t i c difference i s not a v a l i d reason f o r r e j e c t i n g them. Most poems are 'good i n parts*, and many poems end more weakly than they begin. The old theory that The Wanderer and The Seafarer consisted of o r i g i n a l material plus l a t e r additions was re-vived, i n a modified form, i n I 9 6 0 , by J . J . Campbell. 2^ He did not make a case f o r The Wanderer, but 'proved* s t a t i s -t i c a l l y that the second h a l f of The Seafarer was less formu-lai-cijand therefore l a t e r than the f i r s t . Campbell did not propose to s p l i t the poem i n two, since he regarded i t as well integrated by the l a t e r compiler, but he argued that the l a t e r section of the poem contained a comparatively high percentage of prosaic words, and belonged to a type of didac-t i c poetry f o r which the formulaic language of the o r a l t r a d i -t i o n was not suited. I t i s true that poetry of thi s type has a f f i n i t i e s with the prose of the homilies, but so does, f o r instance, the ubi sunt passage of The Wanderer (l i n e s 9 2 f f.)i 2? and the Ch r i s t i a n d i d a c t i c poetry merges into an older t r a d i t i o n of sententious poetry. Also as Wayne O'Neil pointed out i n his a r t i c l e c r i t i c i s i n g Campbell, 2 y s t a t i s t i c a l 2 6 ' 0 r a l Poetry i n The Seafarer'. Speculum, XXXV, 8 7 - 9 6 . 2?See below, pp. 105-107. 2^'Another Look at Oral Poetry i n "The Seafarer",' Speculum, XXXV ( i 9 6 0 ) , 5 9 6 - 6 0 0 . 67 judgements on formulas and poetic or non-poetic words are necessarily somewhat a r b i t r a r y , and depend upon an i n d i v i -dual decision as to whether a given expression i s , or i s not, a formula or poeticism. By discovering ten more formu-las i n the second h a l f of The Seafarer, and so reversing the decision arrived at by Campbell, O'Neil demonstrated the weakness of a statistically-abased argument. Str u c t u r a l d i s s e c t i o n of a d i f f e r e n t kind was. that of S i r William Craigie, who, i n 1923, proposed that the l o g i c a l breaks which he found a f t e r l i n e 57 i n The Wanderer and l i n e 64a i n The Seafarer were a t t r i b u t a b l e to the Exeter Book scribe's use of a defective o r i g i n a l . 2 9 Craigie regarded the f i r s t sections of The Wanderer and The Seafarer as re-presenting imcomplete poems, which the scribe f i l l e d out by i n s e r t i n g portions of another poem 6n the transience of things. He considered l i n e s 103-124 of' The Seafarer and l i n e s 111-115 of The Wanderer to-be d i f f e r e n t again. In his edition, Speci-mens of Anglo-Saxon Poetry, MHD,3° Craigie stops The Wanderer at l i n e 57 and The Seafarer at l i n e 64a. Lines 58-110 of The Wanderer and 64b-102 of The Seafarer are printed consecu-t i v e l y and e n t i t l e d The Vanity of Earthly Things. Lines 111-115 of The Wanderer and 103-124 of The Seafarer are given, but c i t e d as additions and not printed as part of the main poem 2 9 ' i n t e r p o l a t i o n s and Omissions i n Anglo-Saxon Poetic Texts', P h i l o l o g i c a , II ( 1923-4) , 14-16. 3 0 E d l n b u r g h t 1930, pp. 44-47 and 70-73. 68 The Vanity of Earthly Things. Graigie regards t h i s hypothe-t i c a l poem as consisting of the continuations of The Wanderer and The Seafarer with a short break between Wanderer, 1 1 0 and Seafarer, 64b. Craigie's rather elaborate reconstruction was based on a b e l i e f that damaged o r i g i n a l s were responsible f o r errors, not only i n the Exeter Book, but also i n the Junius and Beowulf manuscripts. He accepted a Northumbrian o r i g i n f o r the bulk of Old English poetry, which he regarded as dating from a period two to three centuries p r i o r to the date of the extant manuscripts, and hence from before or during the time of the Scandinavian invasions. He assumed that the books from which the above manuscripts were copied had been damaged i n rai d s . He found evidence f o r such damage i n missing por-tions of the text (sometimes f i l l e d up with wrongly inserted i n t e r p o l a t i o n s ) , indications of leaves l o s t , i n c o r r e c t l y i n -serted, or replaced back to front, etc. To argue the exis-tence of l o g i c a l breaks i n The Wanderer and The Seafarer i s not unreasonable, but i t w i l l be seen that t h i s argument i s backed up by a number of assumptions based on nothing more than guesswork. The dates of Old English poems are extremely d i f f i c u l t to determine, and the Northumbrian o r i g i n which Craigie takes f o r granted i s c e r t a i n l y questionable. 3 1 Also, the places Craigie regards as l o g i c a l breaks i n The Wanderer 31See above, p. 54 n. 1. 69 and The Seafarer are i n fact turning points. They introduce the more general sections of the poems, but they a r i s e natur-a l l y out of what precedes them. Thus, i n l i n e 58, a f t e r des-c r i b i n g his own troubles, the wanderer says that therefore (Forpon) he cannot think of any reason why his mind should not be saddened when he contemplates a l l the l i f e of men, and the seafarer says that he has no thought f o r the pleasures of l i f e on land and i s drawn to the sea, and accordingly (forpon, l i n e 64b) the joys of the l o r d are warmer .to him than t h i s dead l i f e . In 1964, A.A. P r i n s , 3 2 working along the same l i n e s as Craigie, suggested that *the second half of The E x i l e ['Resig-nation! as from l i n e 84 i s the sequel to The Wanderer l i n e 57' (p. 243), and that The Seafarer l i n e s 64b-124 should be re-jected as not part of the o r i g i n a l poem (p. 247). He did not suggest what the sequel, i f any, to the l a t t e r poem might be, but his very specific.suggestion as to the 'missing' section of The Wanderer can hardly be regarded as very l i k e l y . The way i n which he binds together The Wanderer and Resignation i s not quite s a t i s f a c t o r y : . & geniwad pSm be sendan scea'I swTfpe' geneahhe ofer wabema gebind werigne sefan ftls on ferpe, swa ms on frymSe gelomp (Prins, p. 243) The f i n a l l i n e i s from Resignation. One wonders why the speaker should be 'eager of heart' when he has just described his s p i r i t 32'The Wanderer and The Seafarer', Neophil, XLVII, 237-251. 70 as 'weary'. In the poem Resignation t h i s l i n e i s well integ-rated, and the sense i s that the speaker i s 'eager i n heart' to t e l l his troubles: forpon i c pas word spraece fus on ferpe, swa me on frym5e gelomp yrmpu ofer eorpan . . . (Resignation, 83b-85a) The hypothetical poem, constructed by Prlns might have been accepted i f i t had been found i n thi s state i n the manuscript, but a c t u a l l y i t does not hang together as well as either The Wanderer or Resignation i n t h e i r o r i g i n a l form. A l l those c r i t i c a l theories which r e j e c t some part of the extant text necessarily involve conjecture. They are based on subjective decisions of one kind or another, often on aesthetic considerations which vary from person to person and age to age. Every reader i s e n t i t l e d to regard a section of a poem as unsatisfactory. Unless^he has firm l i n g u i s t i c evidence based on d i s t i n c t i v e verbal and s y n t a c t i c a l usage, or external corroboration, f o r instance a personal statement by the poet, he i s not e n t i t l e d to dismiss i t as not part of the o r i g i n a l poem. I f he goes yet further, and proposes ac-t u a l l y to supply a missing part, he i s on very shaky ground indeed. Certain themes and expressions i n The Wanderer and The Seafarer must have existed i n Old English before others, but we can have no d e f i n i t e idea of the form i n which they existed. In f a c t , u n t i l they were written down they probably had no well-defined formr. A l l that is. c e r t a i n i s that at one time the poems were written out i n t h e i r present form. Minor 71 textual errors apart, most modern c r i t i c s now wisely accept the poems i n the form i n which they have been handed down to us. 33 As f o r the actual meaning of the two poems, the most d i s t i n c t i v e and widely d i f f e r i n g interpretations have been those of The Seafarer, which, by presenting a very large sec-t i o n of d i d a c t i c material ( l i n e s 64b-124), and also by des-c r i b i n g the sea at times with fear and at times with desire, offers considerable problems to those seeking thematic unity. None of the more d e f i n i t e interpretations can be accepted as unquestionably the right one. Each imposes too r i g i d a scheme, from which, on reading, the poem e l u s i v e l y s l i p s away. A favoured nineteenth-century interpretation was the dialogue theory, f i r s t put forward i n I869 by Rieger,3 ^ who suggested that the poem was a dialogue between an old man r e l a t i n g his sufferings at sea, and a young man eager to go voyaging. Rieger assigned l - 3 3 a , 39-4-7, 53-57, and 72-124 to the old s a i l o r . The f i r s t passage describes the hardships that the seafarer has endured at sea. The second expresses his anxiety about his voyage. I t could also be taken to show a preoccupation with the sea ( i f the word longunge i n 3 3 i use the word "modern* to cover, roughly, the period from 1940 on. By t h i s time s t r u c t u r a l dissection, even of the moderate kind allowed by Miss Kershaw and by Krapp and Dobbie, was not widely advocated. 3&M. Rieger, *Seefahrer'.als Dialog h e r g e s t e l l t * , ZDP, I, 334.339, see Krapp-Dobbie, p. x x x v i i . 72 l i n e 47 i s allowed to have the sense 'yearning'), i n which case i t s a s c r i p t i o n to a man with a negative attitude to-wards the sea isqinappropriate. Lines 53-57 contain the reference to the c a l l of the cuckoo, which bodes care, and another b r i e f mention of suf f e r i n g at sea. The f i n a l pas-sage i s homiletic, and rather d i f f e r e n t from the others. The intervening portions of the poem are assigned to the young man. Lines 33t>-38 and 48-52 express eagerness to go to sea. Lines 58-71 contain the same idea, but add to i t the morals Ic gelyfe no past him eoroSrelan ece stondao*. (Seafarer, 66b-67) I t w i l l be seen that Rieger's d i v i s i o n s bypass the central t r a n s i t i o n of the poem at l i n e 64b. Some of the homiletic material i s assigned to one speaker, some to the other. Also, although one would accept that d i f f e r e n t attitudes to the sea are expressed i n the poem, they cannot conven-i e n t l y be divided into two. Line 53* i n p a r t i c u l a r , i s a bad point at which to make a t r a n s i t i o n . The reference to the cuckoo belongs with the coming of spring described i n li n e s 48 f f . In short, the text shows no obvious dialogue d i v i s i o n s . Nevertheless, the theory that the poem was a dialogue came to be widely accepted. Ten Brink (1877) says that the poem 'seems to have been written i n the form of a dialogue' (p. 61), but does not specify where he would make the neces-sary d i v i s i o n s . Kluge, i n 1883, while accepting the dialogue 73 i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , proposed a simpler d i v i s i o n of the poem, assigning 1-33& to the old man, 33"b-64a to the young man, and r e j e c t i n g the rest. 3-5 A l l the same, l i n e s 33b-64a s t i l l contain a reference to the troubles of a seafaring l i f e (55o-57) and the i n a b i l i t y of the land-dweller to under-stand t h e m , a n d th i s reference p a r a l l e l s those of 12b f f . and 27 f f . , which Kluge assigns to the other speaker. Wulcker (1885) regards the poem as ending at l i n e 64a, but accepts Rieger's d i v i s i o n of the speeches.37 stopford Brooke (1892) allows that the poem may be dialogue, and F e r r e l l (1894), by his references to 'the old man' and 'the young man' (p. 405) makes i t clear that he accepts the di a -logue i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Neither states the points at which the poem should be divided. The" dialogue theory finds an explanation f o r the poem's c o n f l i c t i n g attitudes to the sea, although when c r i t i c s come a c t u a l l y to divide up the poem they f a i l to separate out these d i f f e r e n t attitudes with complete con-sistency. Also, the dialogue approach f a i l s to explain the juxtaposition of r e a l i s t i c description i n the f i r s t h a l f of the poem with d i d a c t i c material i n the second. In f a c t , most of the early c r i t i c s , with the notable exception of 35p.. Kluge, 'Zu altenglischen Dichtungen* , E. St., VI, 322-327. See Krapp-Dobbie, l o c . c i t . 36"see also pp. 92-93 below. 37R. Wulcicer, Grundriss zur Geschlchte der angelsach-sischen L i t t e r a t u r (Leipzig,; 1885), pp, 210-211. 7 4 Ten Brink, attempt no explanation of the second h a l f . Fre-quently they solve the problem by simply cutting o f f the poem at l i n e 64a. In 1902, R.C. Boer proposed rather a complicated ex-planation of The Wanderer and The Seafarer.38 He suggested that these poems represented the remains of an o r i g i n a l three, of which one was a dialogue. The Seafarer incorporated two of them, including the dialogue. Both poems contained addi-t i o n a l material. The very complexity of thi s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n makes i t suspect i f a simpler one can be found. I t was, i n fa c t , vigorously attacked i n Lawrence's a r t i c l e of the same year.39 Lawrence rejected the dialogue theory out of hand. He regarded The Seafarer as a monologue, arguing that i t s character as a l y r i c precluded i t from being dialogue (pp. 468-46'9). Whether " l y r i c * and 'dialogue* are mutually incompa-t i b l e forms i s perhaps debatable,,but c e r t a i n l y the term • l y r i c ' i s usually associated with a poem representing a single subjective viewpoint. Also, monologue i s a common form i n Old English elegiac p o e t r y . ^ Lawrence showed the dialogue i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to be a doubtful one, and i t subse-quently began to lose support. Miss Kershaw (p. 17) and Krapp and Dobbie (p. x x x v i i i ) both r e j e c t i t quite f i r m l y . Edith Wardale s t i l l allows i t as a p o s s i b i l i t y , although she 38'Wanderer und Seefahr.er', ZBP, XXXV, 1-28. 39 See note 22, above. ^°See above, Chap. I, pp. 14-16, and 35. 75 h e r s e l f does not favour i t (p. 4 5 ) . The dialogue theory has not received much support among recent scholars, but i n 1956 E.G. Stanley suggested that i t might perhaps 'be resurrected i n a modified form*. He continues} there are two speakers speaking i n the f i r s t person, the ethopoeic e x i l e ( l i n e s 1-33&), and the wise, pious man eager to go on pilgrimage (33b-end). . . . the speaker who says (33"b-35b) that he himself i s now eager to make t r i a l of seafaring cannot be the man who has just t o l d of the hardships he has experienced i n seafaring. ' ^ 1 Stanley, however, was more concerned with the use of etho-poeia i n The Seafarer and with i t s supposed p e n i t e n t i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e ^ 2 than with emphasising a dialogue interpreta-t i o n of the poem. Another modification of the dialogue theory, which has been much more i n f l u e n t i a l , i s that presented very f o r c e f u l l y i n a 1965 a r t i c l e by J.C. Pope.^3 Pope proposed a 'dramatic voices' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of The Wanderer and The  Seafarer. In each poem he detects two speakers i n addition to the poet. Thus, i n The Wanderer, he distinguishes the eardstapa ( l i n e s 1-5 and 8-57) and the snottor on mode ^ ' O l d English Poetic D i c t i o n and the Interpretation of "The Wanderer", "The Seafarer", and "The Penitent's Prayer",' Anglla, LXXIII, 454. 42 ••">. See below, pp. 88^89. I" '-^3»Dramatic Voices i n "The Wanderer" and "The Seafarer",' Magoun Studies, ed. J.B. Bessinger, J r . and R.P. Creed, (New York, 1965)» 164-193. 76 ( l i n e s 58-110), with the poet intervening at l i n e s 6-7 , 111, and 112-115. In The Seafarer, he assigns l - 3 3 a to the f i r s t speaker, 33"b-102 to the second speaker, and 103-124 to the p o e t . ^ Pope regards the poems not so much as dialogues as dramatic representations of d i f f e r e n t viewpoints, the second speech i n each case being a comment on the f i r s t . The eardstapa i n The Wanderer speaks from experience, the snottor from wisdom. The former represents the Old Germanic, the l a t t e r the superceding C h r i s t i a n point of view. In The Sea-fare r , Pope believes, the second speaker i s inspir e d by the account of the hardships of the f i r s t to give expression to the c o n f l i c t In his own mind between the r e l i g i o u s and the secular i d e a l . I t w i l l be seen from the rest of t h i s chap-ter that Pope's in t e r p r e t a t i o n of the poems, though d i f f e r e n t i n i t s s t r u c t u r a l d i v i s i o n s , has a f f i n i t i e s with the i n t e r -pretations of a number of present-century c r i t i c s . The major objection to the dialogue theory has always been that there i s no c l e a r i n d i c a t i o n i n the text of the necessary changes i n speaker. Pope, however, professes to f i n d such Indications. He argues that the words min i n l i n e 59 of The Wanderer and s y l f i n l i n e 35 of The Seafarer are emphatic and indicate that a new speaker has been introduced. Pope's case with regard to The Wanderer i s the weaker, since t h i s poem does not present such sharply d i f f e r i n g attitudes as The Seafarer, and the word min i n l i n e 59 °f the former ^ S e e Pope, pp. 166-167 and 180-181." 77 poem, though a l l i t e r a t e d , need not be es p e c i a l l y emphatic. I t i s natural to take l i n e s 58 f f . as the wanderer's own Reflec-t i o n , the conclusions drawn a f t e r he has r e l i v e d i n thought his own past troubles. I t i s h i s own suffering which makes him says Forbon i c gebencan ne maeg geond b5s woruld fo r hwan mSdsefa mTn ne gesweorce. (Wanderer, 58-59) S y l f i n The Seafarer i s c e r t a i n l y emphatic i n some way, and the words paet i c helan streamas, sealty^a gelac s y l f cunnige (Seafarer, 34b-35) could e a s i l y be taken out of context to imply that the speaker has never been to sea before (Pope argues that the words i n fac t "have th i s meaning). On the other hand, the t r a n s i t i o n a l For bon at l i n e 33"b i s one of many, and need not indicate a new speaker. I t i s more l i k e l y that l i n e s 33t>.ff. are a comment on the pre-ceding description o f hardship at sea i n h o s t i l e winter weather ( l i n e s 2 7 - 3 3 a ) . The seafarer's thoughts 'dash against his heart*, i . e . , are v i o l e n t l y disturbed (For bon c n y s s a 6 r n u / heortan gepohtas, l i n e s 33b-3^a) because of his intimate know-ledge of the sea, i t s hardships, which he has just related, and i t s compelling a t t r a c t i o n , which he i s about to relate ( l i n e s 3 6 - 3 8 ) . Accordingly, i t seems to me best to translate l i n e s 34b-35 as 'because I have personal experience of the high streams, the play of the s a l t waves',, rather than the usual 'that I per-sonally make t r i a l c o f the high streams . . .', with a sense of purpose. The general meaning would now be that the seafarer's 78 thoughts trouble him because he already knows the sea, with s y l f emphasising the immediacy of this knowledge. Lines 33b-35 look both backwards and forwards. They sexpress the tur-bulent emotion of a man who knows the misery of l i f e at sea but i s s t i l l i r r e s i s t i b l y drawn towards i t . A number of the twentieth-century c r i t i c s of The Seafarer have interpreted i t as allegory. This takes into account the serious tone of the poem and provides a s t r u c t u r a l l i n k be-tween the personal narrative i n the f i r s t h a l f , and the general, d i d a c t i c remarks i n the second. On the other hand, i t i s not necessary orddesirable to pin the poem down to a s p e c i f i c a l l e g o r i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n order to admit i t s symbolic overtones. An a l l e g o r i c a l reading was f i r s t suggested i n 1909 by G. Ehrismann, whose view of The Seafarer i s c l e a r l y i n -debted to that of Ten Brink.^5 I quote Kennedy's summary of Ehrismann*s interpretations Ehrismann regards The Seafarer as an a l l e g o r i c a l rendering of the transient joy and pain of the earth i n sea imagery, with t h i s presentment set i n contrast to the everlasting b l i s s of the heavenly kingdom. He sees the f i r s t part of the poem (up to l i n e 64a) as an a l l e g o r i c a l representation of the l i f e of man. The hardships endured at sea represent, he believes, the pains embraced by the a s c e t i c , i n contrast with the pleasures enjoyed by the worldly man (the land-dweller of the.poem). These pleasures ^5see above, p. 60. ^•Das Gedicht vora Seefahrer*, BGDSL, XXXV, 213-218. See C.W. Kennedy, The E a r l i e s t English Poetry (New York, 1943), P. H I . 79 are rejected by the pious a s c e t i c , who longs instead f o r the joys of heaven.^7 To see th i s symbolism i n the poem c e r t a i n l y gives a deeper significance to the f i r s t part of i t , but i t i s not necessary to regard t h i s section as actual allegory. Ehrismann's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was taken up and extended by L.L. Schucking |n 1917.^ 8 Schucking suggested that the saefore (sea voyage) of l i n e 42, about which a man cannot help but f e e l anxiety, not only represented the l i f e of the pious on earth,. but also the journey to eternity; i . e , , death. Schucking c i t e d as a p a r a l l e l the word nffdfaru i n Bede's Death Song. The poem, which expresses the need f o r a man to ponder how he w i l l be judged a f t e r death, contains sentiments which Schucking appears to f i n d i n li n e s 42-43 of The Seafarer (baet he a his ssBfgre sor.ge naebbe, / to hwon hine Dryhten gedPn w i l l e ) . The following i s the Northumbrian.', version of the Death S6ng» Fore tha"em neidfaerae na"5nig u u i u r t h i t thoncsnotturra, . than him tharf s i e to" ymbhycgganna.e a"er his hiniongae huaet h i s gestae godaes aeththa yflaes aefter dSothdaege dSemid uueorthae. However, as pointed out by O.S. Anderson, rather to the detr-ment of his own argument, since he follows Schucking, there i s no complete p a r a l l e l between saef ore and nSldfaer, since the former must have possessed i t s l i t e r a l meaning, at least when • > 7 The above account of Ehrismann's in t e r p r e t a t i o n i s sub-s t a n t i a l l y that given by O.S. Anderson, "'The Seafarer": An Interpretation,' KHWL, Arsberattelse i Lund, 1937-38, 9-10. ^8'Die altenglische E l e g i e ' . E. St., LI, 105-109 ( i n a review of E. Sieper, Die altenglische Elegie , Strassburg, 1915). See Anderson,'.pp. 11-12. 80 taken aloney, whereas nydfaru cannot mean anything else than ' f i n a l journey* ( l i t e r a l l y , 'necessary journey(s)•). In f a c t there i s no cle a r evidence that the l i t e r a l meaning of s ~ f a r e i s not a l l that was intended i n The Seafarer. In 1938, Anderson published an int e r p r e t a t i o n of The  Seafarer based on those of Ehrismann and Schucking.^ He viewed the poem as depicting two kinds of voyage, the e a r l i e r hazardous inshore voyage representing the troubles of l i f e , and the voyage which the seafarer i s eager to make over the deep ocean representing his wished-for departure to his hea-venly home. I t w i l l be seen that the two aspects of the poem more or less correspond to those picked out by the proponents of the dialogue theory. Like Shucking, Anderson c i t e s the rather doubtful p a r a l l e l between saefore in. The Seafarer and nydfaru i n Bede's Death Song. He attempts to meet the objec-t i o n that the concreteness and d e t a i l i n the descriptions of the sea are too v i v i d to have a merely a l l e g o r i c a l s i g n i f i -cance, by arguing that i t i s the sea-shore rather than the sea that the poet describes. This argument i s beside the point, since the v i v i d descriptions of both land and sea do make the reader f e e l that these things exist i n t h e i r own ri g h t , and not merely, as Anderson indicates, as symbols. There i s one place i n Old English poetry where the figure of l i f e as a sea-voyage i s d e f i n i t e l y used, but here i t takes the form of an extended simile and so i s rather KHVL Arsberattelse i Lund, pp. 1-50. 81 d i f f e r e n t from any such image i n The Seafarer, where i t would be a metaphor. The sea-voyage image occurs i n a pas-sage at the end of Cynewulf's Christ (Christ I I ) , where l i f e i s compared to the s a i l i n g of ships over the tossing sea un-t i l the heavenly haven i s eventually reached. But here the image i s made quite e x p l i c i t , being introduced by the words ge l i c o s t swS: Nu i s bon gelTcost sw§ we on laguflSde ofer cald waster ceolum ItcJan geond sTdne S&Q sundhengestum. ( C h r i s U L . , S50-85T) 0 There i s no such e x p l i c i t i n d i c a t i o n of a p a r a l l e l i n The  Seafarer. A d e t a i l which i s used by Anderson to support his argu-ment f o r a death-metaphor i n The Seafarer i s the cuckoo, which he believes i s intended-aas the presager of death: "The idea which sorge b i t t e r i n brSosthord [Seafarer. 5^b-55a] i s l o g i c a l l y taken to imply i n this connexion i s that of death* (pp. 25-26). This i s how Anderson explains the apparent con-t r a d i c t i o n between the fact that the cuckoo bodes care and that i t Is the summoner to a voyage which the seafarer inten-sely desires. Anderson's evidence here i s rather stronger than the supposed p a r a l l e l i n the word nydfaru,/ He mentions a Swedish proverb: ' i f the note of the cuckoo i s heard f o r the f i r s t time from the north i t means sorrow, i f from the south i t means death* (p. 23). He also notes that C e l t i c p a r a l l e l s have been pointed out, but, as we have seen, i n the Old Welsh poems the cuckoos increase the speaker's misery by contrast 82 with therr own joyfulness. Thus, the unhappy associations attached to the cuckoo's c a l l i n these poems are quite d i f -ferent i n kind from the ominous associations which Anderson detects i n The Seafarer. The evidence of the poem and the p a r a l l e l s c i t e d by Anderson are not s u f f i c i e n t to substantiate his argument f o r an a l l e g o r i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y not i n the rather s p e c i a l sense of a 'voyage of death*. G.V. Smithers, i n his a r t i c l e s of 1957 and 1959,5° also suggested an a l l e g o r i c a l reading of The Seafarer, and at the same time extended t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to The Wanderer. He bases his i n t e r p r e t a t i o n on the manuscript reading waelweg (Seafarer, 63), which he understands as the 'road taken by the dead'. The manuscript reading i s usually emended to hwaslweg to give the l i n e the proper a l l i t e r a t i o n : hwetecE on hwaslweg  hreber unwearnum. Hwaelweg i s not found elsewhere i n Old English, but i t does make excellent sense i n the context (describing the seafarer's eagerness to set out on his voyage), and i s w e l l supported by other compounds r e f e r r i n g to the sea as t h e abode of a s e a-creature. The word neosTdf 'death' (from Vainglory: s5 sceal hBan wesan / aef t e r neosibum,-(lines 54b-55a-) given by Smithers as a p a r a l l e l offers no support f o r the f i r s t h a l f of the compound waelweg. Also, wsel means not just t h e d e a d , b u t those s l a i n i n b a t t l e . Such a sense would i n -troduce an inappropriate element at t h i s point i n The Seafarer. Smithers relates the e x i l e and seafaring imagery i n both ' 5 0 . T h e MeaningjDf The Seafarer and The Wanderer,' MAS, XXVI, 13 7-53; XXVIIIV"1-22. 83 The Wanderer and The S e a f a r e r t o the p a t r i s t i c image o f man i n the w o r l d as an e x i l e from h i s h e a v e n l y p a t r i a , a c o n c e p t stemming from the e x p u l s i o n o f Adam from P a r a d i s e . I n i n t e r -p r e t i n g the poem i n t h i s way, S m i t h e r s i s usjng an segetical a pproach s i m i l a r t o , b u t l e s s extreme t h a n , t h a t employed by R o b e r t s o n . 5 1 The e x e g e t i c a l t e c h n i q u e o f f i n d i n g a s p e c i f i c C h r i s t i a n m o r a l s i g n i f i c a n c e b e h i n d n a r r a t i v e d e t a i l was, o f c o u r s e , t h e r e g u l a r approach o f m e d i a e v a l s c h o l a r s t o ^ t h e ^ O l d Testament. However, the f a c t t h a t the image o f man as a s p i r i t u a l e x i l e was a f a m i l i a r one does n o t n e c e s s a r i l y prove i t s p r e s e n c e i n The Wanderer and The S e a f a r e r . There i s no s u g g e s t i o n i n e i t h e r poem t h a t t h e s p e a k e r i s an e x i l e from a n y t h i n g more t h a n an e a r t h l y home and e a r t h l y f r i e n d s , a l -though c e r t a i n l y t h e concomitant o f t h i s e x i l e i s t h e f a c t t h a t a permanent s p i r i t u a l home w i l l be found a t l a s t i n heaven, hwaer w8 ham 5gen ( S e a f a r e r , 1 1 7 b ) and paer Hs e a l seo  faastnung stondecf (Wanderer, 1 1 5 b ) . S m i t h e r s dpes n o t c i t e any e v i d e n c e f o r t h i s p a r t i c u l a r use o f t h e e x i l e image i n o t h e r O l d E n g l i s h p o e t r y , a l t h o u g h he gLveS;pLenty o f examples from L a t i n p a t r i s t i c p r o s e , and one from an Anglo-EsTtrj^poem, A l c u i n ' s Lament f o r t h e sack o f L i n d i s f a r n e : De rerum humanarum  v i c i s s i t u d i n e e t c l a d e L i n d i s f a r n e n s i s m o n a s t e r i i . 5 2 j n s p i t e o f S m i t h e r s ^ e v i d e n c e from L a t i n , i t seems t h a t the p a t r i s t i c image was n o t c a r r i e d o v e r i n t o t h e v e r n a c u l a r p o e t r y , where 5 1 s e e pp.94-95,below. 52M_E, XXVI, p. 1 4 8 . o 84 e x i l e a l r e a d y had a w e l l - d e v e l o p e d frame o f r e f e r e n c e o f a d i f f e r e n t k i n d . The v i e w e x p r e s s e d b y S m i t h e r s t h a t t h e l a t t e r p a r t s o f The Wanderer and The S e a f a r e r r e f e r t o d e a t h and t h e Day o f Judgement i s more a c c e p t a b l e . I t seems r e a s o n a b l e t o t a k e W a n d e r e r , 73-74 i n t h i s senset O n g i e t a n s c e a l g leaw haelTe hu g s e s t l i c b i o * bonne e a l l p i s s e : w o r u l d e' ; we l a wSs te stonde<3>. S i m i l a r l y , l i n e s 100-101 o f The S e a f a r e r a r e n a t u r a l l y t a k e n as a r e f e r e n c e t o t h e awe i n s p i r e d by God on t h e Day o f Judgements ne maeg basfe s a w l e be b i b synna f u l g o l d to gSoce ( for-Godes e g s a n . The s e c o n d p a r t s o f b o t h poems a r e a v o w e d l y m o r a l i s t i c and we a r e n o t s u r p r i s e d t o f i n d i n them s e n t i m e n t s , s u c h as t h e s e , w h i c h a r e common i n t h e h o m i l i e s . S m i t h e r s i s p r o b a b l y r i ' g h t t o o i n s e e i n g i n The S e a f a r e r a r e f e r e n c e t o t h e b e l i e f ' t h a t t h e w o r l d was t o come t o a n end i n t h e s i x t h age o f i t s h i s -t o r y , andjtiatttafr age was a l r e a d y i n p r o g r e s s and i n d e e d f a r gone.'53 The pas sage i n The S e a f a r e r d e s c r i b i n g t h e d e c a y o f t h e w o r l d ( l i n e s 80b f f . ) seems t o have t h i s r e f e r e n c e . The d e s c r i p t i o n o f r u i n s i n The W a n d e r e r ( l i n e s 75-87) seems t o me t o r e f e r t o t h e p o e t ' s own t i m e ( n n m i s s e n l t c e geond b i s n e  m i d d a n g e a r d ) r a t h e r t h a n t h e end o f t h e w o r l d , b u t t h e m e n t i o n o f t h e w o r l d f a l l i n g and f a i l i n g i n l i n e s 62a-63 seems t o i m p l y t h e b e l i e f t h a t t h e w o r l d i s d r a w i n g t o i t s c l o s e . T h i s c o n -c e p t i s a f a m i l i a r one i n t h e h o m i l i e s . S m i t h e r s m e n t i o n s 5 3 i b i d , p . 144. 85 B l i c k l i n g Homily XI, and one might also c i t e the opening of Wulfstan's Sermo Lupi, which states that the world i s i n haste and approaching i t s e n d . ^ However, to show that the two poems contain references to r e l i g i o u s concepts and usages of material found i n the homilies, i s not to demonstrate that they are r e l i g i o u s a l l e g o r i e s . Smithers' observations i n th i s context reveal added, depths i n the poems but do not prove the existence of symbolism. Furthermore, i t i s u n l i k e l y that both The Wanderer and The Seafarer should contain exactly the same progression i n thought, as Smithers implies when he states that they both represent the four stages of man's s p i r i t u a l history. These stages, he says, are as follows» 1) man's exit from Paradise as an e x i l e , 2) his peregrinatio i n the world, 3) his death, the end of the world and Judgement Day, 4) his return to the heavenly home. The poems, though s i m i l a r , are not p a r a l l e l . The e x i l e theme i s developed (riot, of course, i n the p a t r i s t i c sense) much more f u l l y i n The Wanderer than The Seafarer. 5%.E. Cross ('Aspects of Microcosm and Macrocosm i n Old English L i t e r a t u r e , ' CL, XIV [1962], 1-22) points to the homiletic concept of the decay of each man showing i n minia-ture the decay of the world. He refers to The Seafarer, and also to The Rhyming Poem. In another a r t i c l e (*0n the A l l e -gory i n "The S e a f a r e r " — I l l u s t r a t i v e Notes," M_, XXVIII [1959], 104-106) he suggests that the d i f f i c u l t wordtlonette^ i n l i n e 49b/of The Seafarer i s a reference to the coming end of the world. The word l i t e r a l l y means 'makes haste', but here woruld onetteff i s usually translated as 'the world i s i n mo-ti o n ' , i . e . , f u l l of the burgeoning of spring. Cross suggests i t a c t u a l l y means 'the world hastens to i t s end', and that the description of the blooming of spring i n l i n e s 48-49 i s a c t u a l l y a reference to the fact that the world c r e s c i t ut cadat. 86 A l s o , t h e more c o n s i s t e n t l y C h r i s t i a n t o n e o f t h e s e c o n d h a l f o f t h e l a t t e r poem makes i t somewhat d i f f e r e n t f r o m The Wan-d e r e r a n d more s u s c e p t i b l e t o a n a l l e g o r i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . J . E . C r o s s , who a c c e p t s S m i t h e r s * i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f The S e a -f a r e r , r e j e c t s t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f i t t o The W a n d e r e r . C r o s s s t a t e s i ' . . . i f The W a n d e r e r i s t o be i n t e r p r e t e d a s a l l e g o r y , we m i g h t r e a s o n a b l y assume t h a t t h e dead l o r d was a t y p e * a n d a l s o t h e o t h e r l o r d *so d e s p e r a t e l y s o u g h t . * He p o i n t s o u t t h a t t h i s i s a b s u r d , ' f o r a C h r i s t i a n ' s l o r d i s C h r i s t whose d e a t h i s n o t t h e c a u s e o f a C h r i s t i a n ' s e x i l e i n t h e w o r l d , a n d what C h r i s t i a n w o u l d seek a n o t h e r l o r d i f h i s l o r d C h r i s t w e r e dead?*55 S m i t h e r s i n f a c t goes so f a r as t o s u g g e s t common a u t h o r s h i p f o r t h e poems,56 gu-j; a c t u a l l y t h e p a t t e r n he d e t e c t s b e h i n d b o t h poems f i t s n e i t h e r c o m p l e t e l y , a n d i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n a p p r o p r i a t e t o The W a n d e r e r . A n a p p r o a c h t o The S e a f a r e r w h i c h a l l o w s b o t h a l i t e r a l v a l i d i t y a n d a d e e p e r s i g n i f i c a n c e i n t h e f i r s t p a r t i s t h a t p u t f o r w a r d b y D o r o t h y W h i t e l o c k i n 1950.57 M i s s W h i t e l o c k s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e s e a f a r e r i s a v o l u n t a r y e x i l e , a p e r e g r i n u s , who c u t s h i m s e l f o f f f r o m t h e c o m f o r t s o f h i s n a t i v e l a n d f o r t h e s a k e o f h i s s p i r i t u a l w e l f a r e . She b e l i e v e s t h a t t h e v o y a g e i s a means n o t a n e n d : 55«on t h e Genre o f "The W a n d e r e r " , * N e o p h i l . . XLV (1961), 71-72. 5^see a b o v e , p. 56. 57«The I n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f "The S e a f a r e r " , ' i n The E a r l y  C u l t u r e s o f N o r t h w e s t E u r o p e , e d . C . F o x a n d B . D i c k e n s , C a m b r i d g e , 1950, 259-2?2. 87 He i s not going seafaring for i t s own sake, "but, as an islander, he cannot reach the land of foreigners except across the sea, and when we remembeo? the conditions of early voyaging we need not wonder that t h i s part of his journey should occupy so much of his thought. ( P . 267) She argues that voluntary e x i l e was a recognised {Jtype of pil?^jj grimage i n Anglo-Saxon times, and thinks that the words elpeodigra eard ( l i n e 38) have th i s s i g n i f i c a n c e , pointing to the use of on elbeodignesse l i f i a n to translate such ex-pressions as peregrinam ducere vitam i n the Old English ren-dering of Bede's E c c l e s i a s t i c a l H i s t o r y . 5 8 That such an ex-pression could be used to render the idea of voluntary exile f o r p e n i t e n t i a l reasons, may be true, but i t does not prove that the expression has that sense i n The Seafarer. Miss Whitelock gives ample evidence that the practice of peregrinatio i n thi s sense was a f a m i l i a r one, being espe-c i a l l y associated with the I r i s h monastic t r a d i t i o n (p. 271). Her choice of a middle road between a simply l i t e r a l and an a l l e g o r i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s a clever one. Nevertheless, her reading f a i l s to take account of the emphasis of the poem. I f the narrative section-has the deeper significance of s p i r i t u a l t r i a l , t h i s significance must be contained i n the powerful and extended descriptions of su f f e r i n g at sea and not i n any men-t i o n of voluntary e x i l e abroad, which, i f referred to at a l l , only occurs very b r i e f l y with the words elpgodigfa eard  gesgce i n l i n e 38. 5 8See Whitelock, pp. 267-268. 88 Miss Whitelock's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was extended by E.G. Stanley i n 1956 to The Wanderer and Resignation, which he renamed The Penitent's Prayer.59 Stanley regarded these three poems as consciously using the r h e t o r i c a l device of ethopoeia f o r di d a c t i c purposes. He linked t h i s usage with that of prosopopoeia i n The Dream of the Rood.60 He believed that The Wanderer, The Seafarer, and Resignation a l l used the idea of e x i l e i n a p e n i t e n t i a l sense. The l a s t poem he con-sidered e s p e c i a l l y valuable i n t h i s connection, since i t ex-p l i c i t l y took the form of a prayer, and linked the themes of confession and e x i l e . However, a d i s t i n c t i o n should be made between th i s poem and the other two. Neither the wanderer nor the.seaTarer makes any mention of sins committed, but the speaker i n Resignation emphasises his sins and his eagerness to a t t a i n a state of grace. There i s no i n d i c a t i o n that the other two poems are p e n i t e n t i a l i n t h i s way. Further, the image of e x i l e i n Resignation i s introduced as a conventional way of expressing the idea of wretchedness. There i s no i n d i -cation that the speaker's desire to purchase a boat implies a projected peregrinatio of the kind Miss Whitelock sees i n The  Seafarer. In The Wanderer the theme of e x i l e i s c e r t a i n l y prominent, but, as i t i s anything but voluntary, i t seems highly inappropriate to regard i t as a w i l l i n g l y undertaken 59'Old English Poetic D i c t i o n and the Interpretation of "The Wanderer", "The Seafarer", and "The Penitent's Prayer",' Anglia, LXXIII, 413-466. 6 0 S ee Margaret Schlauch, 'The "Dream of the Rood" as Prosopopoeia,' i n Essays and Studies i n Honor of Carleton  Brown (New York, 1 9 4 0 ) , 2 3 - 3 4 . 89 p i l g r i m a g e . There are numerous commentaries on i n d i v i d u a l words and passages i n The Wanderer and The S e a f a r e r . These can i n the main be passed over. However, the i960 a r t i c l e of V i v i a n Salmon 0^ i s worthy of mention.in t h a t i t d e a l s with the passage i n each poem-which has prob a b l y caused the most d i f f i c u l t y . Mrs.Salmon suggests t h a t each poem c o n t a i n s a r e f e r e n c e to the concept of the f r e e - r a n g i n g s o u l , which takes f l i g h t i n the form of a . b i r d . She f i n d s t h i s r e f e r e n c e i n The S e a f a r e r , l i n e s 58-63 ( e x p r e s s i n g the compulsive a t t r a c t i o n of the s e a f a r e r ' s s p i r i t to the sea) , and i n The  Wanderer, l i n e s 50-57 (a d i f f i c u l t passage d e s c r i b i n g - the misery of the wanderer when the image of h i s former compa-nions passes through h i s mind). Mrs. Salmon takes the word a n f l o g a ( S e a f a r e r , 62) as a r e f e r e n c e to the s e a f a r e r ' s s p i r i t , which has j u s t been des-c r i b e d as r a n g i n g over the ocean. She proposes t h a t a n f l o g a ( l i t e r a l l y , ' s o l i t a r y f l i e r ' ) means the s o u l i n b i r d - s h a p e . An immediate o b j e c t i o n to t h i s view i s the use of the verb g i e l l e f f , an u n d i g n i f i e d and i n a p p r o p r i a t e word to use i n con-j u n c t i o n w i t h 5 n f l o g a i f the l a t t e r means the s o u l . The sea-f a r e r ' s s o u l would not admonish him by screaming. The same o b j e c t i o n a p p l i e s to the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of S i e v e r s , f o l l o w e d 6l««The Wanderer" and "The S e a f a r e r " and the Old E n g l i s h Conception of the S o u l , ' MLR, LV, 1-10. 90 by Mrs. Gordon,"^2 which takes anfloga as the cuckoo mentioned in line 53. The cal l of the cuckoo cannot by any stretch of the imagination be conceived of as a scream. But giellecf is appropriate to the cry of a sea-bird, and, given the context, this is a more likely meaning for anfloga. Mrs. Salmon herself states that there is no evidence for the concept of the bird-soul in Old English, and that in the Latin writers of the time such an image is largely used in connection with a saint's journey to heaven. The expression secga geseldan, 'companions of men', in The Wanderer (line 53) is taken by Mrs. Salmon to have the same reference to the "bird-soul. In this passage, she believes i t is applied to the spirits of the wanderer's dead friends, who appear before him in the form of birds floating on the waves. She relates the phrase secga geseldan to the Old Icelandic fyljur manna, 'associates of men*, which refers to the hugr, the Scandinavian free-soul (in Old Norse the concept has a malevolent association). She does not say, however, that the hugr is ever mentioned as taking' the form of a bird. Secga  geseldan is certainly obscure in this passage, I would take i t as an ironic reference to the sea-birds of line 47,^3 but i t has been variously interpreted as referring to the image of his friends In the seafarer's mind (it would then be parallel with m5ga gemynd in line 5D» to seabirds, and to sailors in a 6 2The Seafarer, p. 9. ^This is Graham Midgely's interpretation. See '"The Wanderer", lines 49-55,' RES, X (1959), 53-54. 91 passing ship. The meaning of the passage i s further compli-cated by flgotendra ferS (line. 54). 'Host of f l o a t i n g ones', i . e . , s e a - b i r d s , s e e m s to me the best t r a n s l a t i o n , but t h i s i s not the usual meaning of fero*. The a l t e r n a t i v e i s 'the mind(s) of f l o a t i n g ones', with varying views as to whether the ' f l o a t i n g ones' are sea-birds, t r a v e l l e r s on the sea, or the v i s i o n of the wanderer's dead friends. Each passage, i n The Seafarer and i n The Wanderer, de-scribes a moment of emotional disturbance, and t h i s may well have something to do with the obscure language i n which i t i s couched. The urgency with which the seafarer i s drawn to the sea i s expressed i n language approaching violence (gTfre ond  grS dig and g i e l l e c F i n l i n e 62 ). The wanderer has awakened from a dream i n which the happiness of the past was revived f o r him, only to return to the r e a l i t y of d u l l waves and sea-bir d s , which i n t e n s i f y h i s misery by being the i r o n i c counter-part of h a l l and friends. Mrs. Salmon's suggestion offers an i n t e r e s t i n g background of primitive b e l i e f f o r two rather s t r i k i n g passages. There i s not, however, s u f f i c i e n t external evidence that such a b e l i e f was current among the Anglo-Saxons, for us to accept her theory. The i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of The Seafarer which Lawrence ad-vanced i n his 1902 a r t i c l e s t i l l has much to be said f o r i t . He saw three main ideas i n the poet's m i n d s the sea's fascina-t i o n , i t s hardships, and the i n a b i l i t y of land-dwellers to 6^Again, Midgely's reading. 92 appreciate these things. Lawrence statess 'It i s p r e c i s e l y the a n t i t h e s i s between the f i r s t and second of these ideas which gives the poem i t s greatest power' (p. 466). This view of the poem i s shared by Kennedy,^ who believes that the sea-farer's attitude towards the sea shows a 'fusion . . . of fear and fascination* (p. 13). But Kennedy ventures too f a r into the f i e l d of hypothesis when he says l a t e r that 'Conver-sion to the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h may well have separated adven-turous, sea-faring years from a l a t e r period of r e l i g i o u s de-votion' (p. 17). The seafarer speaks of the sea i n terms of intense emotion, and the l i n e s ' iZjZ Fot^jaqn^qxri^saS jiu heortan gepohtas^^ past"!Chilean streamas, sealtypa gelac s y l f cunnige (Seafarer, 33b-35) have already been mentioned as forming a bridge between the s u f f e r i n g described i n the preceding l i n e s and the compul-sive a t t r a c t i o n towards the sea. expressed i n the following. Unfortunately, Lawrence takes no account of the second ha l f of the poem. But there i s a l i n k between the narrative and d i d a c t i c sections and a deeper significance to be found i n the former, even i f we dd' not accept either the a l l e g o r i c a l or the peregrinus interpretations. I t i s because of the seafarer's t r i a l s at sea that he has gained the wisdom ex-pressed i n the second half of the poem. Three times i n the f i r s t h a l f he. exclaims that the land-dweller, whose l i f e i s 65oid English Elegies (Princeton, 1936). 9 3 easy, cannot understand the t r i b u l a t i o n s which he himself has gone through. I quote an examples For pon him g e l y f e 5 l y t se pe Sh l i f e s wyn gebiden i n burgum, bealoslpa hwon, i wlonc ond wingal, hu i c w5rig oft i n brimiade bidan sceolde. (Seafarer, 26 - 3 0 ) There follows a description of the h o s t i l e elements: darkness, 66 snow f r o s t , and h a i l . Each time the seafarer mentions the land-dweller's ignorance, t h i s statement i s made i n close association with the descriptions of his own suff e r i n g which precede and/or follow. Bearing t h i s i n mind, the l i n e s . 1 ' Ic gelyfe no pa^t him eorSwelah " e c e stondacf (Seafarer, 66b-67) are seen to express a knowledge based on experience. Because the seafarer knows what i t Is to be without earthly comfort, he r e a l i s e s that earthly prosperity i s a f l e e t i n g thing. Only by deprivation of i t has he arrived at thi s understanding. Thus he i s drawn to the sea although he regards i t as h o s t i l e and forbidding. He embraces i t s hardships with passionate eagerness because they have made the comfort and security of l i f e on land seem puny and contemptibles *C ',l^PJt:-PPn_mX.hat^n sind Dryhtnes drSamas ponne pis deade,„llf ia?ne on londe. ' (Seafarer, 64b-66a) 66 The description i s of winter on land, but undoubtedly the a p p l i c a t i o n i s to the seafarer. I t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Old English poetry to employ suggestive description which i s inappropriate on a l i t e r a l l e v e l . See below Chap. I l l , pp. 215-216 and 227-228. 94 On londe has the double meaning of 'on land* (as opposed to 'at sea') and ' i n the world' i n a general sense. The interpretations which regard the poem as an allegory, and those which take the seafarer to be a r e a l peregrinus, have the value of taking into account both parts of the poem, but they read too much into i t , and impose too r i g i d an ex-planation of i t s meaning. Stanley, though wrong i n his over-a l l argument, was closer to the truth when he stated that the poem was 'neither realism nor allegory' (p. 4 5 3 ) . Mrs. Gor-don, i n her edi t i o n of the poem, favours an approach which accepts the seafaring theme on the l i t e r a l l e v e l but allows for a deeper significance i n i t i . . . the sea-journey becomes not only the per-sonal act of one who prefers the d i f f i c u l t i e s and dangers of the sea to the comforts and pleasures of l i f e on land, but also an act sym-b o l i c of the renunciation of worldly l i f e gener-a l l y and the ready acceptance of the struggles and sufferings involved i n the quest f o r eternal b l i s s . (PP. 6-7) This approach i s , I think, the ri g h t one. On the whole, the interpretations of The Wanderer have been less controversial than those of The Seafarer. Most c r i t i c s have not favoured an a l l e g o r i c a l reading, although Smithers, as we have seen, linked The Wanderer with The Sea-farer i n an in t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h i s kind. There has been one a l l e g o r i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of The Wanderer rather d i f f e r e n t from that of Smithers. In 1951» D.W.. Robertson, J r . , using the exegetical method of int e r p r e t a t i o n , offered a reading of the poem which explained every facet of i t by means of 95 allegory.67 Like Smithers, Robertson regards The Wanderer as representing man's ex i l e i n the world. He describes the poem as 'the advice of . . . [a] wise contemplative to h i s wayfaring and warfaring fellow Christians* (p.19). The re-ferences to b a t t l e represent, he believes, the concept of the C h r i s t i a n s o l d i e r . The l o r d who died at the beginning / T O of the poem i s Christ . The theme of the poem i s that which Robertson finds behind a l l serious mediaeval worksj c a r i t a s versus cupiditas (See pp. 4-7). *The poet has commended the proper love, the love of the gold-friend, Christ, and con-demned as f o o l i s h the improper love of the world* (p. 22). Some of these statements are true: the poem i_s the advice of a wise contemplative (but this i s not a l l i t i s ) , and i t does condemn the love of the world, although the implied equation of 'improper love* with cupiditas does not necessarily apply. Nonetheless, there i s no p o s i t i v e evidence that the poem i s allegory, p a r t i c u l a r l y allegory of the very detailed kind that Robertson finds. When he states that the dawn i n which the wanderer laments represents the l i g h t of God*s grace, and that the b u r i a l of his l o r d refers to the r i t e of baptism, 'a p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the b u r i a l of Chr i s t * , one can only say that such equations are not even remotely suggested by the poem i t s e l f . ^ • H i s t o r i c a l C r i t i c i s m , ' English I n s t i t u t e Essays, 1 9 5 0 ( 1 9 5 D , 3 - 3 L Only pages 18-22 are d i r e c t l y concerned with The Wanderer. ^ 8Cross disposes of t h i s equation i n a reductio ad  absurdum. See p.-86, above. 96 C r i t i c a l discussion of The Wanderer has la r g e l y cen-tered on the number of speakers and the points at which t h e i r apeeches begin and end. Since 1940 or so l i t t l e has been heard of the •interpolation* approach,^9 and i t has been f a i r l y generally accepted that the poem consists of t r a d i t i o n a l wisdom with a s p e c i f i c a l l y C h r i s t i a n opening and close. There has been a tendency, however, to make some formal d i s t i n c t i o n between the beginning and end of the poem on one hand,and the body of i t on the other. In 19^3, Bernard Huppe;?0 set the tone of modern c r i t i c i s m when he stated his b e l i e f that The Wanderer was .'an o r i g i n a l Old English poem, r e f l e c t i v e i n tone, C h r i s t i a n i n purpose, and complete i n the form i n which we now have i t * (p. 5 1 6 ) . Most c r i t i c s would accept t h i s . However, Huppe's more detailed i n t e r p r e t a t i o n has not achieved general acceptance. He states that the poem consists of 'two contrasting and com-plementary pagan monologues, framed and bound together by a Chr i s t i a n introduction, conclusion, and "bridge passage" [ 6 2 b - 87]' (pp. 5 2 9 - 5 3 0 ) . The introduction and conclusion are the f i v e l i n e s at the beginning and end of the poem. The •bridge passage* contains a section of advice as to appropriate conduct, i . e . , moderation and prudence, and the meditation on ruins which follows t h i s section. The objections to -Huppe's view of the poem's structure are several. In the iffirst place, although the words Swa cwaeo*' 69See above, pp.70-7LareBnote ' (n.33) . 7 0 . T h e -Wanderer": Theme and Structure,' JEGP, XLII, 516-38. 97 ( l i n e 6) suggest either that someone i s about to speak or has commenced to speak, there i s no i n d i c a t i o n of t h i s person ceasing to speak u n t i l l i n e 111, where another SwS cwasdT may-be taKen either as the poet's i n t e r p o l a t i o n of a l i n e or as marking the end of a speech, at l i n e 110. The only formal i n -d i c a t i o n of another speaker appears with ond pas word acwifl i n l i n e 9 1 . ^ Since the previous speech seems to be s t i l l i n progress, t h i s must introduce a speech within a speech. Fur-ther, the supposed 'bridge passage' cannot well be detached from the sections before and a f t e r i t . As L e s l i e says, The p a r t i c u l a r r e f l e c t i o n i n l i n e s 6 l - 6 2 a prompts the general one i n l i n e s 62b-63; the connection of ideas i s indicated by swa,for as individuals perish, so does the world.72 In the same way, the idea of the ruins gives r i s e to the con-cept of an imaginary figure who has contemplated them. The figure (S5 pe . . ... bisne wealsteal. . . . ( geondbenceo*') i s introduced i n line. 8 8 and begins to speak i n l i n e 92 . Huppe's designation of the 'bridge passage' as 'Christian' i n contra-d i s t i n c t i o n to the 'pagan' monologues i s inappropriate. The •bridge passage', with i t s rather gloomy r e f l e c t i o n s on l i f e , i s of the same tenor as the whole l a t t e r h a l f of the poem.v up to l i n e 110. The only d i s t i n c t i v e l y C h r i s t i a n reference i s 71AS pointed out previously (p. \?6}), the main objection to a l l the two-speaker theories is the lack of formal indications i n the text. The disagreement among the advocates of such theories as to where The Seafarer or The Wanderer i s to be sub-divided does not strengthen.<the case of any of them. 7 2The Wanderer, p. 12. 98 se>lda Scypp.end i n l i n e 85, but, as Greenfield points out, •the power of God mentioned . . . [here] i s a destructive power, and as such i s synonymous with Fate.'-^ Line 85 i s very l i k e l i n e 107, where the destructive force i s wyrda  gesceaft. Huppe's d i v i s i o n of the poem• *#into two monologues and a 'bridge passage' cannot, therefore, be accepted. His sub-divisions are, indeed, less convincing than those of Pope, who at least takes a point of t r a n s i t i o n ( l i n e 58) f o r the introduction of his second speaker. Huppe was attacked i n an a r t i c l e published i n 1951 "by Greenfield, 7 ^ whose i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the poem represents the view most widely accepted at present, and that which i s , on the whole, the most s a t i s f a c t o r y . Greenfield considers the poem to consist l a r g e l y of a monologue, extending from l i n e 8 to l i n e 110. We can accept that monologue i s the form of the poem, but the exact length of the monologue i s hard to determine, since i t i s not clear whether Swa cwaeof i n l i n e s 6 and 111 i s to be taken to r e f e r to the sections before (1-5) and a f t e r (112-115) these l i n e s , as well as to the material i n between them (8-110. Line 7 i s c l e a r l y to be taken with l i n e 6 as the words of the poet). Greenfield's decision on t h i s point i s open to question. However, his view of the meaning of the poem i s a perceptive) one, and s a t i s f i e s the demands of the poem's structure, with i t s 73s.B. Greenfield, '"The .Wanderer" i A Reconsideration of Theme and Structure,' JEGP.L (1951), 4 5 1 - 6 5 / ^ See pv $54*. -"^See previous note. 99 introduction and conclusion, and i t s t r a n s i t i o n at l i n e 58 from personal lament to general r e f l e c t i o n . Greenfield sees the poem as the speech of 'an eardstapa who has with the passage of time become a snottor,' (p. 464), these being the epithets applied to the wanderer before and a f t e r his speech, as punctuated by Greenfield. He regards the speaker as a man who has gradually learned wisdom, managed to r i s e above his troubles, and has learned the lesson that his only sustenance i s to be found i n God. Lines 92 f f . are con-sidered the speech of a f i c t i t i o u s character created by the wanderer. This view f i t s the evidence of the poem. Green-f i e l d i s probably wrong, however, i n regarding l i n e s 29 f f . (Wat se be cunnao*// htl sltben bi<5 sorg to geferan / etc.) as r e f e r r i n g to a s i m i l a r l y f i c t i t i o u s character. The l a t e r passage can be assigned to another figure since t h i s figure i s v i s u a l i s e d with s u f f i c i e n t concreteness as a c t u a l l y to speak. In l i n e s 29-57 the wanderer seems to be r e f e r r i n g to himself i n the t h i r d person. The s i t u a t i o n of lonely e x i l e i s h i s own, and the dream of the l o s t l o r d also applies to him-s e l f . I t i s worth noting that Greenfield's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the thought-progression i n the poem i s quite s i m i l a r to Hupp^'s. Greenfield sees i n the poem an introduction i n which there i s the suggestion that God i s superior to wyrd, a middle section i n which the theme i s the relentlessness of fate and the utmost man can do unaided, and a conclusion i n which the advice i s to do one's human best but also to seek God's mercy. 100 His disagreement with Huppe* i s c h i e f l y with regard to struc-ture, not theme. On the theme of the poem c r i t i c s show sur-p r i s i n g unanimity. I t i s not, therefore, necessary to deal f u l l y with the other modern interpretations of the poem, but some i n d i -cation w i l l be given of the points i n which other c r i t i c s have something to add to the common view as presented by Greenfield. In 1950, Lumiansky, l i k e Greenfield a year l a t e r , published an a r t i c l e o f f e r i n g an al t e r n a t i v e to Hupp^'s ex-planation- of- TJie_Wandjerer. 75 Lumiansky*s in t e r p r e t a t i o n of the poem resembles Greenfield's i n the main, but, unlike Greenfield, he gives only l i n e s 6-7 and 111 to the poet, assigning a l l . t h e rest to the wanderer. Lumiansky also makes one or two s p e c i f i c suggestions which are of i n t e r e s t . In the f i r s t place, he reads l i n e s 58-59 as meaning that the wanderer, i n spite of what one would expect, i s not saddened when he r e f l e c t s on the l i f e of men. His argument i s that the wanderer i s not saddened because he has gained wisdom. But i t i s much more natural to take these l i n e s For bon ic^gebencan ne maeg geond pas woruld fo r hwan modsefa min ne gesweorce as meaning that the speaker's mind does grow dark.76 Taking 75R.M. Lumiansky, 'The Dramatic Structure of the Old English Wanderer,' NeophiL, XXXIV, 1 0 4 - 1 2 . 76M rs . Gordon ('Traditional Themes i n "The Wanderer" and "The Seafarer".' RES, n.s., v [195*01 6^ ) and Cross (Neophll., XLV, 6 7 ) interpret the l i n e s i n th i s way. L e s l i e (The Wanderer, pp. 7 9 - 8 0 ) i s undecided. Bruce M i t c h e l l ('More Musings on 0 E Syntax,' NM, LXIX, [ 1 9 6 8 ] , 5 6 - 5 9 ) , followed by Dunning and B l i s s (The Wanderer, p. 1 1 6 , note) argues that the wanderer's mind does not grow dark. 101 the l i n e s i n thi s way i s much more i n keeping with the account of suffering that precedes them and the gloomy re-f l e c t i o n s which follow. Lumiansky also offers an explana-t i o n f or the fac t that, i n utter i n g his monologue, the wan-derer i s breaking the pr e s c r i p t i o n of st o i c silence which he gives i n l i n e s 9-21 . He argues that the l a t e r l i n e s , 112b-113 (ne sceal neefre his torn to rycene, / "beorn of his  breostum acyban nempe he asr'Jfrg bSte cunne) indicate that a man may break silence and t e l l h is troubles i f he knows the remedy, and that the wanderer does now know the remedy, which i s to seek comfort from God. This i s a thoughtful suggestion, which gives an added depth to the poem. But i t i s not es s e n t i a l to accept i t . The fact that the wanderer i s acting i n opposition to his own advice of li n e s 9-21 , i n de l i v e r i n g his monologue, can simply be taken as an example of the same kind of l i t e r a r y contradiction by which Coleridge i n Dejection and Musset i n La Nult de Mal compose fin e poems expressing t h e i r i n a b i l i t y to compose. In those cases, as i n the present, the very existence of the poem depends on a contradiction. In Section II of his a r t i c l e (pp. 109-111), Lumiansky suggests that The Wanderer was inspired by the Consolation of  Philosophy of Boethius, which ( l i k e The Wanderer) expresses the idea that happiness i n worldly things i s fa l s e f e l i c i t y , and finds true f e l i c i t y i n p r a c t i s i n g goodness and v i r t u e . Lumiansky ..believes that wyrd i n the poem represents the Boethian Portuna. This l a s t suggestion was also made, appa-r e n t l y independently, by Robertson, who states that wyrd i s 102 Fortuna, 'The Boethlan p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n of the inexorable i n s t a b i l i t y of the world' (p. 19). The idea of a connection between The Wanderer and The Consolation of Philosophy was developed more f u l l y by Erzgraber i n 1961.77 There i s cer-t a i n l y a s i m i l a r i t y i n theme between the two works. The Consolation i s not s p e c i f i c a l l y Christian, but i t would be natural f o r an Old English poet to make i t so, as A l f r e d did when he translated i t into Old English prose. Undoubtedly, there i s a p o s s i b i l i t y of influence, but i f such an i n f l u -ence exists i t i s of a very general kind. The idea of wyrd existed among the Anglo-Saxons before they knew about Fortuna, and Fortuna appears i n many other places than Boethius* Consolation. Also, the moral of both works i s quite broad enough to have occurred independently. In 1958 Ralph E l l i o t t 7 8 offered the suggestion that the personal narrative i n The Wanderer was to be taken on a l i t e r a l l e v e l , representing the s i t u a t i o n of a g u i l t - r i d d e n man who i s now an outcast because he has f a i l e d to make good the t r a d i t i o n a l vow to fight- to the death f o r . h i s lord. The wanderer then turns to C h r i s t i a n i t y f o r comfort because i t shows that the heroic road to fame i s not the only one. Thus, now that he has f a i l e d to l i v e up to the heroic i d e a l , i n his disgrace he seeks a code that values humility. E l l i o t t regards hi s warning against making the t r a d i t i o n a l boasts K l i n e s 77w, Erzgraber, '"Der Wanderer"» Eine Interpretation von Aufbau und Geha-lt,' F e s t s c h r i f t zum 75. Geburtstag von  Theodor Spira, ed. Viebrock and Erzgraber, 57-85. See L e s l i e , The Wanderer, p. 5. 7 8 t T h e w a nderer»s Conscience,' ES, XXXIX, 193-200. 103 69-72) as a reflection<^of his emphasis on humility and of his awareness that he f a i l e d to put his own boast into e f f e c t . This i s an i n t e r e s t i n g reading of the poem, but to regard the wanderer's s i t u a t i o n as one of g u i l t i s not s t r i c t l y necessary. When he speaks of having l o s t his friends i n b a t t l e and of having buried his lord, there i s no i n d i c a t i o n that he was blameworthy i n this connection. The words h r 5 o ( l i n e 16) and torn ( l i n e 112) do suggest turbulent emotion, as E l l i o t t points out, but not necessarily emotion springing from g u i l t . I t i s s u f f i c i e n t to believe that the wanderer seeks comfort from h i s r e l i g i o n because he has learned that a l l earthly comfort i s transient. In the same year that E l l i o t t suggested the existence i n The Wanderer of a sequence of events to be taken on a l i t e r a l l e v e l , T.C. Rumble took up the opposite p o s i t i o n and put forward an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n which the events were re-garded as purely imaginary. As i s indicated by the t i t l e of his a r t i c l e , "Prom "Eardstapa" to "Snottor on Mode": The Structural P r i n c i p l e of "The Wanderer"'',^ Rumble's view of the poem i s very s i m i l a r to Greenfield's. The difference i s , that instead of assuming that the wanderer has learned wisdom by experience, Rumble believes that t h i s wisdom i s attained i n a single act of meditation: By means of the introspective experience of which the central part of the poem consists, the speaker has progressed from warrior to p h i l o -sopher—has been able . . . to reach a conclu-sive solution to the problem with which he began: 79MLQ, XIX ( 1958) , 225-230. 104 how to achieve an understanding of metudes miltse—God*s way to man. (p. 230) Although Rumble's modification of the common int e r p r e t a t i o n i s not a very great one, i t s t i l l seems best to accept the narrative section of the poem on a l i t e r a l l e v e l . I t i s true that t h i s part of the poem i s expressed i n 'dreamlike fragments*,80 D u t t h i s i s due to the Old English elegiac technique of i n d i r e c t a l l u s i o n to events and concentration on emotional s i t u a t i o n rather than narrative.81 The poem i s more convincing i f we believe the speaker to have r e a l l y suffered bereavement.and loneliness, and to have learned wisdom over the years,82 rather than having achieved i t at one s i t t i n g , so to speak. In 1961, J.E. Cross proposed that The Wanderer be-longed to the genre of consolatlo.83 n e does not l i n k the poem with Boethius, but rather with a more general t r a d i t i o n of consolation dating from the time of c l a s s i c a l L a t i n . Cross states: To my mind the progress of the poem i s best explained i n terms of a consolatlo where topics of the genre are used f i r s t to i n t e n s i f y the lament; then to attempt some measure of consolation by generalisa-t i o n which i s yet unsatifactory, i n order 8 oRumble, p. 2 3 0 . 8 l c f . p. 134, below.-? 2Lines 64-65a, Forbon ne maegwearban wts wer ser he  age / wintra dael i n woruldrice, suggest that experience i s the q u a l i f i c a t i o n f o r wisdom, and imply that the speaker has gained i t by the necessary wintra dasl i n woruidrtce. 8 3 N e o p h i L , XLV, 63-75. See note 55. 105 to emphasise the supreme consolation of security i n the next l i f e . (P. 7D Cross's analysis of the thought-sequence i n the poem i s sound, but there i s no need to assume that the author was d e l i b e r a t e l y composing on a c l a s s i c a l model. The suggestion that the poem i s a consolation fra also made by Dunning and B l i s s who r e f e r i n a footnote to Cross's a r t i c l e , i n t h e i r e d i t i o n of the poem: We believe that the poem i s an example, rather general i n character, of the genre consolatio, and that the wisdom achieved by the anhoga, s t r i k i n g l y expressed i n the f i n a l l i n e s , 8 4 i s the consolation the poem provides, (p. 80) Cross and those who share his views are correct i n so f a r as that the ultimate message of the poem, conveyed i n i t s end-ing, i s one of consolation. However, the general tone of the poem i s too dark f o r one to regard i t , taken entire, as a consolatory work. Two more a r t i c l e s published by Cross should be men-tioned i n connection with The.Wanderer.V». In his '"Ubi Sunt" Passages i n Old English—Sources and Relationships' (1956),y5 he makes a study of those formal passages on the theme of transience which resemble s i m i l a r passages i n L a t i n and which are part of a homiletic t r a d i t i o n . Ubi sunt begins the question Ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt?, which, with °^Dunning and B l i s s assign the l a s t four l i n e s of the poem to the wanderer, not the poet. 85v etenskaps-Societeten i Lund, A r s b o k , 23-44. 106 v a r i a t i o n s , i s the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c expression of such passages. I t appears l a t e r as the t i t l e of the Middle English poem on the same theme, which begins 'Were b i t h they biforen us wereri', Lines 92 f f . i n The Wanderer contain what i s probably the most famous expression of this.theme i n Old English: Hwaer cw5m mearg? Hweer cwom mago?. Hwaer cwom mappumgyfa? Hwasr cwom symbla gesetu? Hweer sindon seledrsamas? Eala beorht bune! Eala byrnwigal Eala bSodnes brym*. HH seo b r 5 g gewat, genap under nihthelm swa heo nO wsere (Wanderer, 92-96) Cross c i t e s Isidore of S e v i l l e ' s Synonyma de lamentatione  ani'mae 'fc'ggeatoris as the favourite i n d i v i d u a l source f o r such passages!in Old English prose and poetry. He quotes the r e l e -vant section fr.om Isodore, notably Pic ubi sunt reges? Ubi  principes. Ubi imperatores? . . . quasi umbra transieruntj velut somnium evanuerunt. The s i m i l a r i t y to the li n e s quoted from The Wanderer i s immediately apparent, although the ob-jects/persons chosen as symbols of vanished glory are d i f -ferent. Cross does not, therefore, derive the Wanderer passage d i r e c t l y from Isidore, or, for that matter, from any p a r t i c u l a r source, but he does associate i t with the La t i n t r a d i t i o n . Miss Kershaw had questioned whether t h i s passage a c t u a l l y was of Lat i n derivation, since hwser cwom does not d i r e c t l y . t r a n s l a t e ubi sunt, 8^ but Cross points out that i n the Pseudo-Augustinian Sermo LVII ad Fratres i n Eremo, translated i n B l i i c k l i n g Homily. VIII, ubi sunt i s varied by ubi abierunt, rendered i n the Old English by hwyder gewiton. He suggests S^Kershaw, P. 166. 107 that cuman i n the Wanderer passage might s i m i l a r l y be the equivalent of abire. Cross points to a s i m i l a r passage i n The Seafarers nearon nu cyningas ne cSseras ne goldgiefan swylce i u wSron (Seafarer, 82-83) which he regards a& markedly Isodorean. These li n e s do not contain the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c question form, but the cyningas, caseras, and goldgiefan correspond f a i r l y c l o s e l y to the reges, principes, and imperatores quoted above, so Cross i s probably r i g h t i n deriving the passage from Isidore. He allows that there may be an intermediary between the two. He notes that swylce i n waBron probably corresponds to qui ante nos  fuerunt i n the f a m i l i a r question ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt? Thus, Cross argues that not only the passages i n the Old Eng-l i s h homilies which show close correspondencies to p a t r i s t i c writings, but also homiletic passages i n the l y r i c a l poems, can be seen to be derived from Latin. Another passage i n The Wanderer which Cross associates 87 with a L a t i n t r a d i t i o n ' i s the sum-series found i n l i n e s 80-84: Sume wig fornOm, ferede i n forSweges sumne fugel obbaer ofer heanne holm: sumne se hara wulf dsaSe gedaBlde: sumne dreorighlsor i n eoroscraefe e o r l gehydde. Cross rejects the association of t h i s passage with the 'beasts of battle* theme,88 anc\ connects i t instead with the C h r i s t i a n 87«on "The Wanderer" l i n e s 80^84: A,Study of a Figure and a Theme,' Vetenskaps-Societeten i'Lund, Arsbok (1958-9), 75-110. 8 8See below Chap. I l l , p. 226. 1 0 8 dogma of the resurrection of the body, though fragmented: 'We may suspect that such a l i s t i s an almost i n s t i n c t i v e reaction to the idea of resurrection and judgement i n the minds of Christians* (p. 8 7 ) . He believes that the ultimate source of such l i s t s i s si the Apocalypse of John, XX, 1 3 . He does not quote, but the relevant passage i s , i n the Autho-r i s e d Version: And the sea gave up the dead which were i n i t ; and death and h e l l delivered up the dead which were i n them; and they were judged every man according to t h e i r works. There i s l i t t l e apparent r e l a t i o n to the above passage from The Wanderer. Cross gives numerous p a r a l l e l s of l i s t s of the ways of destruction from L a t i n and Old English homiletic works. One can accept that these, or some of them, have the ultimate derivation which he postulates. However, there i s not the s l i g h t e s t reference to the resurrection i n the Wan-derer passage. The emphasis i s on death. Moreover, the sum-series i s found elsewhere i n Old English poetry, e s p e c i a l l y i n The Fortunes of Men and The G i f t s of Men. The former, to be sure, deals with the ways of death, but, again, there i s no mention of resurrection, and the l a t t e r i s not concerned with death at a l l , but with the d i f f e r e n t talents bestowed on d i f f e r e n t persons. The sum-series does appear to be a con-scious r h e t o r i c a l device of r e p e t i t i o n , but i t need not be Latin-based, and there i s no evidence f o r the s p e c i f i c L a t i n C h r i s t i a n derivation proposed f o r i t i n The Wanderer passage, by Cross. 109 The work of Cross as a whole 8 9 represents a tendency, increasingly strong i n recent years, to l i n k Old English poetry with "Latin models, c l a s s i c a l and p a t r i s t i c . He shows a fondness f o r L a t i n r h e t o r i c a l terms, designating the sum-series r e p e t i t i o , and the ubi sunt passages i n t e r r o g a t i o n 0 Such terms are convenient, i n that they imply a conscious use of r h e t o r i c a l techniques, but, i n also implying a conscious reference to L a t i n models, they beg the question of L a t i n i n -fluence, which, as we have seen, i s not indubitably esta-blished i n a l l cases. The trend towards L a t i n terms i s taken further by Dunning and B l i s s , who, i n t h e i r e d i t i o n of The  Wanderer, f e e l free (since ' r h e t o r i c a l figures i n the poem are now so well recognized', p. 81, n.l) to speak of the poem's structure as its d i s p o s i t i o , the introduction of i t s theme as the propositio, and the q u a l i f i c a t i o n of i t as the contraposition. This i s unnecessary, since p e r f e c t l y good English terms are a v a i l a b l e , and there i s no proof that the poet was d e l i b e r a t e l y using these p a r t i c u l a r r h e t o r i c a l forms. The c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of The Wanderer as consolatio, proposed by Cross and accepted by Dunning and B l i s s , has been mentioned above. The i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of The Wanderer put f o r -ward by Robertson can also be seen as part of the trend to s.tress the L a t i n C h r i s t i a n background of the poem, rather 8 9 i r e f e r i n p a r t i c u l a r to the a r t i c l e s by Cross mentioned i n the preceding pages,104-108 and also to his a r t i c l e , 'Micro-cosm and Macrocosm', mentioned i n note 5^. 9See *0n "The Wanderer" l i n e s 80-84,' pp. 81-2; 'On the Genre of "The Wanderer",* p. 6 3 . 110 than, as the e a r l i e r c r i t i c s tended to do, the Germanic background. Also, Smithers* i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of The Wanderer and The Seafarer relates the poems to L a t i n p a t r i s t i c w rit-ings, Theearlier tendency, which preferred to ignore a l l i n the poems that was not pagan, c e r t a i n l y needed to be re-dressed, but i t seems to me that these c r i t i c s have gone too f a r i n the other d i r e c t i o n . Mention has already been made i n various contexts gf-> the work of the most recent "editors of The Wanderer: L e s l i e (1966), and Dunning and B l i s s (1969). Neither edition offers any revolutionary i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , but the sub-divisions of the poem proposed by each are worthy of comment. Both editions present the poem as monologue, and both suggest that the wan-derer's speech begins at l i n e 1, instead of l i n e 8, which i s where Greenfield places i t s opening. Lines 6-7 only are assigned to the poet at this point. L e s l i e sees only one further i n t e r p o l a t i o n by the poet: at l i n e 111.91 He cuts o f f the speech beginning at l i n e 92 (which, i n common with Greenfield, he assigns to an imaginary figure introduced by the wanderer) at l i n e 96, instead of continuing i t to l i n e 110, l i k e Greenfield (who thus ends i t at the same point as the enclosing monologue of the wanderer), L e s l i e reasons, convincingly, that l i n e s 95b and 96 of The Wanderer resemble the conclusion of Isidore's prototype (quasi umbra transierunt, velut somnium evanuerunt; quaeruntur et non sunt)and are 91 Le s l i e assigns the same l i n e s to the poet as Lumiansky does. See above, p. 100. ' I l l therefore probably intended as a rounding off (pp. 19-20). Dunning and B l i s s assign l i n e s 88-91 to the poet, and regard l i n e s 92-110 as spoken d i r e c t l y by the wanderer. Like L e s l i e , they assign l i n e 111 to the poet, and the ending to the wan-derer again. U n t i l L e s l i e ' s e d i t i o n i t was common to regard the whole section 111-115 as the poet's epilogue (as Green-f i e l d does). There can be no f i n a l decision as to xvhich l i n e s i n the poem are spoken by the poet and which by the persona he introduces. I t seems l i k e l y that the Old English poet him--s e l f made no firm decision. I would assign l i n e s 6-7 and 111-115 to the poet, and the rest to the wanderer, with l i n e s 92-76 spoken by an imaginary f i g u r e . But i t i s impossible to be dogmatic. Speaker and poet merge, and points of view s h i f t . The sentiments at the end of the poem express a wisdom such as that gained by the wanderer. I t seems to me that they should be assigned to the poet because t h e i r completely gen-e r a l a p p l i c a t i o n and consolatory tone make them somewhat d i f -ferent from the rest of the poem, and, perhaps more Importantly, because, along with l i n e 111 (Swa cwas<3 snottor on mSde; gesaet him sundor aet rune) which must c l e a r l y "be given to the poet, they form a hypermetric group. The opening section, which i s also often given.to the poet, refers s p e c i f i c a l l y to a s i t u a t i o n which i s that of the wanderer himself: the lone-l i n e s s , a l b e i t relieved by the grace of God, of an anhaga. Here, i t seems to me, the wanderer i s speaking of himself i n the t h i r d person, as he does l a t e r , i n l i n e s 29b f f . I t i s 112 p a r t i c u l a r l y d i f f i c u l t to decide where the speech of l i n e s 92 f f . ends. L e s l i e ' s argument seems the best one, but, as a person who contemplates ruins and thinks of those who once inhabited them the imaginary frod i n fercfe i s i n exactly the same p o s i t i o n as the wanderer himself,„and l i n e s 97 f f . (Stondeo^ nu on lSste l e o f r e dugu.be / weal wundrum heah, etc) could express the sentiments of either or both of them. I t i s l i k e l y that the poet himself drew no sharp d i s t i n c t i o n be-tween the two. The figure who utters the ubi sunt lament fades out and blends into the wanderer himself. The e a r l i e r c r i t i c s regarded The Wanderer as a l a r g e l y non$Christian poem, and some l a t e r c r i t i c s , srchas-Hjppe, have made a d i s t i n c t i o n between a pagan viewpoint presented i n the body of the poem, and a C h r i s t i a n one i n the introduction and conclusion. Actually, there i s no c o n f l i c t between the middle of the poem and i t s opening and close. The moral attitude of the former, though i t shows the gloomy fatalism dating from pagan times, i s secular rather than pagan, and the C h r i s t i a n teaching i s of a pretty general kind. Therefore, the view of the poem as a pagan monologue or monologues i n a Chr i s t i a n frame rather' misses the point. Mrs. Gordon was r i g h t i n re-garding the references to wyrd as no proof of paganism: Wyrd was not a sort of pagan god; i t was a poetic term, often personified, f o r what i s a timeless concept, pagan only i n i t s associations, the con-cept of inescapable event.92 Susie Tucker says that Fate and Providence probably meant much 9 2 1 t r a d i t i o n a l Themes i n "The Wanderer" and "The Seafarer",' RES, n.s., v (195*0, 5 . 113 the same thing to the Anglo-Saxon minds 'Wyrda gesceaft , fWanderer,. 107] i s the equivalent of Godes gesceaft i n un-doubtedly Ch r i s t i a n poems.'93 I t would probably be a l i t t l e more accurate to say that wyrd was f e l t to be a destructive force, but subject to, and not at variance with, God's pro-vidence. Few would now accept the view, advanced by Edith Wardale that the p l u r a l wyrda must be a reference to the Norhs and i s therefore proof that this section of the poem i s pagan,9^ F e r r e l l , i t w i l l be remembered, regarded wyrd i n the singular as a Norn.9-5 Miss Wardale does not go as f a r as t h i s , but the p l u r a l usage tended to be seen by c r i t i c s ' as. evidence of p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n . Probably there i s no more significance i n i t than i n the poetic p l u r a l brBostum i n l i n e 113. The body of the poem i s c e r t a i n l y less d i r e c t l y C h r i s t i a n than i t s opening and p a r t i c u l a r l y i t s close, but, as L e s l i e points out, references throughout the poem to t h i s world imply the existence of the next, 96 There i s a blending of, not a c o n f l i c t between, the old and the new outlook on moral and s p i r i t u a l matters. Like The Seafarer, The Wanderer should be read so as to allow f o r deeper meanings and a broader frame of reference without discounting the l i t e r a l l e v e l . The Wanderer has a 93'Return to "The Wanderer",' ETC, V;III, 230. Wardale, p. 59. 95see p.56 .above. 9^The Wanderer, p. 4. 114 significance greater than i t s s p e c i f i c reference to a heroic society s t i l l found i n Anglo-Saxon England. In t h i s poem, as i n The Seafarer, there i s the theme of wisdom gained through the experience and contemplation of s u f f e r i n g and l o s s . Wordsworth expressed a s i m i l a r idea i n rather t r i t e r fashion when he spoke of finding strength In the soothing thoughts that spring Out of human suffering, In the f a i t h that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind. The difference between the two Old English poems i s that i n The Wanderer pain i s more s e v e r e — i t s cause i s actual bereave-ment, not just loneliness and h a r d s h i p — , and i t i s unwill-i n g l y accepted rather than a c t i v e l y sought. In The Wanderer, as i n the Immortality Ode, the sense of what i s l o s t i s conveyed with greater poetic power than the consolation f o r i t . Scholarly i n v e s t i g a t i o n of The Ruin can be dealt with much more summarily, than that of the preceding poems, since i t has been mainly confined to a discussion of the location of the ruins described. The references to hot springs and baths ( l i n e s J8 f f . ) have led to the suggestion of Bath as the l i k e l y l ocation. This idea was arrived at independently by Leo i n 1865^ and Earle a few years l a t e r . 9 8 Most c r i t i c s take i t that the ruins referred to are Roman: the impressive Leo, Carmen Anglo-Saxonicum i n Codice Exoniense  Servatum quod vulgo i n s c r i b i t u r 'Ruinae' (Halle, 1865). See Krapp-Dobbie, p. xiv. 98Jt_ Ear l e , Proceedings of the Bath Natural History and  Antiquarian F i e l d Club, I I , (1870-73), 259 f f . ; Academy, XXVI (1884), 29. See~Krapp-Dobbie, l o c . c i t . 115 architecture described makes thi s l i k e l y . The ruins are of stone (wealstan, l i n e 1 ) , and there i s mention of towers (torras, l i n e 3 ) , 'of a wall which i s stgap ond geap ( l i n e 11), and of an arch with t i l e s (pass teaforggapa tigelum sceadefr, l i n e 30)..99 And, of course, the hot baths are t y p i c a l l y Roman. The expression enta geweorc $line 2) also appears to be applied :bo Roman ruins i n The Wanderer ( l i n e 87), and i n Maxims II ( l i n e 2). However, the a s c r i p t i o n to Bath has been challenged. Stephen Herben^^ 0 believes that a more substan-t i a l and m i l i t a r y s e t t i n g i s indicated by the description i n the poem. Nevertheless, the description of the s i t e as a fo r t r e s s need not argue against Bath as the location,. since the Anglo-Saxons are l i k e l y to attach heroic and m i l i t a r y associations to any ruins. Herben proposes, instead of Bath, the complex along Hadrian's Wall, and maintains that the baths need not have been heated by hot springs. But the Anglo-Saxons probably would not have recognised the hypo-caust system of heating, whereas hot springs are unmistak'^\ able. Also, the wording of the poem suggests water welling U P ' stream h5te wearp / widan wylme (li n e s 38b-39a). DunleavylOl favours Chester, and thinks that the poem may 99jt i s not clear whether tEaforgSapa i s an adjective or a noun.. L e s l i e takes i t to be the former (See Three O.E. El e g i e s , pp. 73-74).• The f i r s t element of the compound refers to red colouring, and the second to a curved structure. 100'The Ruin,' MLN, LIV (1939), 37-39; 'The Ruin Again,' MLN, LIX (1944), 72^7^. 101G.W. Dunleavy., 'A "De Excidio" T r a d i t i o n i n the Old Engl i s h "Ruin"?' PQ, XXXVIII (1959), 112-118. 116 have been inspired by the massacre of monks from the nearby monastery of Bangor-on-Dee, which took place i n 613. There i s no i n d i c a t i o n of any such association i n the poem. Hugh Keenan, 1 0 2 approaching the poem somewhat d i f f e r e n t l y , regards i t as an account of the wicked c i t y , Babylon. Krapp-and Dobbie think i t l i k e l y that the poet has no p a r t i c u l a r s i t e i n mind, but that he may have •introduced the mention of hot baths from his own knowledge, or from hearsay, to give more con-• *." creteness to his picture* (p. lxv). In 1939 C e c i l i a Hotchner made a strong case for Bath as the s i t e of the ruins i n the poem. 1 0^ Using archaeologi-c a l and geographical evidence, she shows that the description of the ruins i s applicable to those excavated at Bath, and ex-cludes a l l other B r i t i s h locations possessing thermal springs on the grounds that the temperature of the water i n them i s not hot enough to be described at h5t (pp. 9 - 5 9 ) . She also proposes a West Saxon composition, f o r The Ruin and the other elegies, rather than the t r a d i t i o n a l l y favoured Northumbrian o r i g i n . Only i n the case of The Ruin i s her argument based on l i n g u i s t i c evidence. She states that there are approxi-mately three non-West-Saxon chara c t e r i s t i c s i n the poem, and that 'These are probably Kentish, or less plausibly, Mercian* (p. 8 6 ) . The examples she gives are aeldo ( l i n e 6 ) , with ae ± u^*The Ruin as Babylon,' TSL, II ( 1 9 6 6 ) , 109-11?. 103wes sex and Old English Poetry, with Special Considera-tioncof 'The Ruin' (Lancaster, Pa. 1939). 117 instead of West Saxon ie_; undereotone ( l i n e 6) and forweorone ( l i n e 7 ) » with back mutation of _e to eso; and hwestred ( l i n e 19), with 5 instead of as (pp. 8 4 - 8 5 ) . In fact, the d i a l e c t o r i g i n of variant forms i s highly debatable. 1 0^ Miss Hotchner takes up the suggestion made by A l o i s B r a n d l 1 0 ^ that the description of ruins i n thi s poem and The  Wanderer i s inspired by the De Excidio Thoringiae of Venantius Fortunatus. The early l i n e s of the De Excidio do show simi-l a r i t i e s with The Ruin; The royal dwelling which flourished formerly '• - with a regal splendor : Is no longer.covered with a roof but instead with gloomy ashes. The l o f t y , gleaming roofs, which shone adorned with golden metal . Have been overwhelmed by the pale ashes.-*-0" But Fortunatus' poem i s a lament of a personal kind, composed fo r Queen Radegunde, who had l o s t a l l her kinsmen i n b a t t l e , except the cousin to whom the poem was addressed. The sense of personal loss i s quite absent from The Ruin, and i n The Wanderer i s i s only i n d i r e c t l y associated with the passage ( l i n e s 7 5 - 8 7 ) describing ruins. Malone also thinks that the poem i s i n a c l a s s i c a l 1 0 ^ C f . Dr. Sisam's statement, p.54, n . l , above, L e s l i e , i n his edition, points out quite a few more non-West-Saxon forms than Miss Hotchner, among them a instead ea before Id (walendwyrhtan, l i n e 7); cnea instead of ejiSowa -Tline 8 ) ; and tigelum. with retention of in t e r v o c a l i c g. ( l i n e 30). L e s l i e concludes that the poem shows d e f i n i t e Anglianncharac-t e r i s t i c s , but Mercian rather than Northumbrian (Three Old English E l e g i e s, pp. 31-34). 1 0 ' 5 •venantius Fortunatus und die ags. Elegien Wanderer •und ..Ruine,1 Archiv. , GXXXIX (1919), 8 4 . See L e s l i e , The  Wanderer, p. 34. l o 6Hotchner, p. 123. 118 de excidio urbis t r a d i t i o n , and mentions the resemblance to Fortunatus, but does not expand on the i d e a . D u n l e a v y sees the same connection, as the t i t l e of his a r t i c l e , ' A "De Excidio" T r a d i t i o n i n the Old English "Ruin".?' indicates. He relates the poem to the De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae 6"f Gildas, and to Alcuin's Lament f o r the sack of Lindisfarne, Dunleavy suggests that The Ruin may have been inspired by an act of violence s i m i l a r to that which inspired Alcuin. But the only reference to violence i n The Ruin i s contained i n the word walo ( l i n e 2 5 ) . Woldagas i n the same l i n e suggests that the inhabitants of the c i t y may just as well have died of disease; Crungon walo wide, ewoman woldagas; swylt e a l l fornom secgrSf[ra] wera. (Ruin, 25-26) Further, the works of Gildas and A l c u i n mentioned by Dunleavy stress that the devastation they describe i s God's punishment f o r s i n . No such idea appears i n The Ruin. Because The Ruin offers no great challenge as f a r as theme and structure are concerned, there has been l i t t l e further i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of i t on a l i t e r a r y l e v e l . The poem i s damaged, and i t s ending i s incomplete, but i t seems un-l i k e l y that i t could have been more than an impersonal des-c r i p t i o n . There i s no i n d i c a t i o n that the scene would have 1 0 7 K . Malone, 'The Old English Period (to 1100),' i n A L i t e r a r y History of England, ed. A.C. Baugh, (New York, 119 been related to a p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l , or that a moral would have been drawn. Nevertheless, the description i n the poem i s highly evocative, and more important as f a r as the poem's q u a l i t y i s concerned than the question of the s i t e to which i t r e f e r s . The Roman remains and the hot springs make i t very l i k e l y that the poem was inspired by the ruins of Bath, but thi s i s not of great importance, since, as i n The Wanderer and The Seafarer, i t i s the fact of human impermanence that intrigues the poet, and when he v i s u a l i s e s the scene i n i t s heyday, he imagines i t as the t y p i c a l Germanic h a l l . The Wife's Lament i s a poem that has caused considerable d i f f i c u l t i e s of int e r p r e t a t i o n . I t has sometimes been linked with external material, i . e . , with The Husband's Message and' with heroic cycles. Theories which make connections of thi s kind w i l l be dealt with a f t e r the discussion of The Husband's  Message. The e a r l i e s t editors of The Wife's Lament. J . J . Conybeare ( 1 9 2 6 ) 1 0 8 and Thorpe (1842) 1 09 assumed the poem to be the utterance of a man. Ettmuller (1850)^® was the f i r s t to r e a l i s e that the feminine i n f l e x i o n s of the f i r s t two l i n e s point unmistakably ; to a woman. These forms are geomorre ( l i n e 1) and mlnre s y l f r e ( l i n e 2). Both forms must r e f e r to ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ « l o 8 J . J . , a n d W.D. Conybeare, I l l u s t r a t i o n s of Anglo-Saxon  Poetry (London, 1826). 1 0 9 B . Thorpe, Codex Excaiensis (London, 1842). n n 0 ' — - L- L UL. Ettmuller, Engla and Seaxna Scopas and Boceras (Quedlinburg and Leipzig, 1850), p. 214 f f . See Kershaw, Anglo-Saxon and Norse Poems, p. 28. 120 the speaker. The l a t t e r q u a l i f i e s the word s±5 i n l i n e twoiji but takes i t s feminine agreement, not from a masculine noun, but from the feminine possessor. The view that the narrator i s a man has been returned to from time to time. Schucking, i n 1906, proposed to r e j e c t the f i r s t two l i n e s as a l a t e r addition. The poem could then be taken as the speech of a man, the geong mon of l i n e 42.m Schucking retracted t h i s opinion l a t e r . H-2 Bambas, i n 1963, also argued f o r a male narrator, on the grounds that a poem about sexualllove, with a female speaker, would be an anach-ronism i n Anglo-Saxon E n g l a n d . H e argues that the passion-ate words of the poem 'su i t the f i e r c e l o y a l t y that existed between a chief and his follower,* and that they would not be an i n d i c a t i o n of a sexual r e l a t i o n s h i p u n t i l the time of courtly love: 'for a wife i n the Teutonic culture of the eighth century to boast of her intended f i d e l i t y would be gratuitous' (p. 3'©5). Bambas suggests that the feminine forms of the opening l i n e s are either an addition or due to s c r i b a l error. In 1968, Martin Stevens attempted to explain l l l L . L . Schucking, •Das, angelsachsiscte; Gedicht von der Klage der Fran,' ZDA, XLVIII, 436-49. See Krapp-Dobbie, p. l v i i i . (The dating of SchUcking's a r t i c l e by Krapp-Dobbie on this page i s i n c o r r e c t ) . H^Kleines angelsachsisch.es Dichterbuch, Co*then, 1919. See Krapp-Dobbie, l o c . c i t . 113.R..C....Bambas, 'Another View of the Old English "Wife's Lament",' JEGP, LXII,.303-9. 121 away the the c r u c i a l feminine forms as not r e a l l y feminine at a l l . 1 1 ^ He proposed to emend slS to sTr5e and take i t as a feminine noun, which would then explain the feminine agree-ment of mtnre s y l f r e , and to read geSmorre as an adverb formed by adding e to the adjective geSmor, the extra r being a variant s p e l l i n g . These arguments are forced, to say the lea s t . Neither Bambas nor Stevens considers the evidence of Wulf and Eadwacer, which, by also being a love-poem spoken by a woman, makes The Wife's Lament, though s t i l l unusual i n re-presenting t h i s type of poetry i n Anglo-Saxon times, not unique. Bambas dismisses Wulf and Eadwacer i n a footnote as 'crypt i c ' (p. 308). Stevens b r i e f l y describes i t as 'reputedly also spoken by a woman* (p. 81). Schucking, Bambas, and Stevens a l l base t h e i r opinion that The Wife's Lament i s the speech of a man on a p r i o r i assumptions, and are obliged to manipulate the text of the poem to f i t them. As pointed out by Jane C u r r y , 1 1 ^ a n d "by Angela Lucas i n her refutation of Stevens' a r t i c l e , t n e poem contains e v i -dence of a woman speaker other than that provided by the feminine i n f l e x i o n s . Miss Curry draws attention (p. 189) to li n e s 33b f f . , where the reference to 'friends* keeping t h e i r beds together i n contrast with the speaker's {Loneliness, 114, T h e Narrator of "The Wife's Lament",*'NM, LXIX, 72-90. 'Approaches to a Translation of the Anglo-Saxon The  Wife's Lament,' MJE, LXX (1966) , 187-98. I l 6 t lpj i e Narrator of "The Wife's Lament" Reconsidered,' NM, LXX (1969) , 282-292. 122 suggests envy of a s p e c i f i c a l l y sexual kind. Angela Lucas picks out the same passage. She adds that,, although the wife uses terms which a retainer might use to refer to his lord (hlaford, lines 6 and 15; ISodfruma, l i n e 8; frSan, l i n e 33) these terms 'only convey the notion of an intensely personal relationship based on love and respect /1:L7 She points out that there i s no mention of the s o c i a l r e l a t i o n -ship between retainer and lord, no words l i k e beahgifa i n The B a t t l e of Maldon and goldwine i n The Wanderer [ l i n e s 22 and 3 5 ] , which contain the idea of the lord as the giver of 11 Pi treasure. ± 0 This observation provides an answer to Bambas* remark about the f i e r c e l o y a l t y between chief and follower. That such a l o y a l t y could be expressed i n passionate language i s shown by The Wanderer, but The Wanderer does not contain sexual implications, and i t does stress the s o c i a l r e l a t i o n . Most c r i t i c s agree that the speaker i n The Wife's Lament i s female, but there are s t i l l many area of disagreement. One thing i s clears the woman speaker i s separated from her hus-band and forced to l i v e alone i n an 'earth-cave^ i n the wilder-ness. In the poem she expresses her misery and 'longing'. l l ? T o l l e r ' s "Supplement (J . Bosworth and T. Northcote T o l l e r , An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary [Oxford, I 8 9 8 ] ; Supplement, 1921) gives as one d e f i n i t i o n of hlaford 'the master of a wife, a wife's l o r d and master, the husband^' and c i t e s several i n -stances. In the same way, the words f r 5 a (lord) and 1 gjodfruma (prince() could be used by a wife i n that she regarded herself as her husband's subject. The use of the words f r 5 o n d ( l i n e 47) and frgondscipe ( l i n e 25) i n a sexual sense i s p a r a l l e l l e d i n The Husband's Message, where we f i n d frsondscype ( l i n e 19) with the same meaning. Lucas, p. 292. 123 There i s no concensus of opinion astto the number of persons referred to i n the poem. The p r e v a i l i n g view i s that there are two: the speaker and her husband. But G r e i n , 1 1 ^ whose suggestion was more f u l l y developed by Roeder, 1 2 0 a n d also adopted by B r a n d l 1 2 1 and S i e p e r , 1 2 2 considered that the geong mon of l i n e 42 was a t h i r d party, a man responsible f o r the husband's a l i e n a t i o n from his wife and cursed by her i n l i n e s 42 f f . Among recent c r i t i c s , Ward 1 2 3 has followed t h i s opinion. But there i s no indubitable i n d i c a t i o n of such a t h i r d party. Geong mon could as well be a reference to the husband, or mean 'young person' i n a general sense. To assume the existence of such a t h i r d person unnecessarily compli-cates the poem, introducing another facet to i t without suf-f i c i e n t evidence. Two modifications of the 'three-person' theory should be 1 1 9 B l b l l o t h e k , 1 1 , 3 6 3 f f . See T.N. Davis, 'Another View of "The Wife's Lament",• Papers on English Language and L i t e r a -ture, I (1965), 291-292. 1 2 GF.. Roeder, 'Die Famille bel den Angelsachsen, . Halle. ( 1899), 113 f f . See Davies, pp. 292-293. 1 2 1*Angelsachsische L i t e r a t u r , * i n Grundriss der germanis-chen IhUologie, ed. H. Paul, 2nd ed. (Strassburg, I9O.Q-09), I I , 977. 1 2 2 E . Sieper, Die altehglische Elegie (Strassburg, 1915), p. 223. See Krapp-Dobbie, p. l v i l i . 1 2 3 j.A. Ward, '"The Wife's Lament": An Interpretation,' JEGP, LIX ( I 9 6 0 ) , 26-33 . 124 mentioned. G r e e n f i e l d 1 2 ^ takes l i n e s 42 f f . as a curse, but applies them to the husband, thus cutting out the 'young man'. Bouman12-5 proposes that the speaker has had two husbands, the f i r s t one, whom she loved, and who died (he takes the depar-ture over the waves, referred to i n l i n e s 6-7, as symbolising death), and a second husband, s o c i a l l y e q u a l — f u l gemaecne ( l i n e 18), but c r u e l . I t i s the second husband who banishes her to the cave. To regard the f i r s t husband as dead involves read-ing too much into the poem to be an acceptable Interpretation. Those who believe i n the separate existence of the 'young man* usually consider that the husband i s referred to i n l i n e s 19-21a and the 'young man' i n l i n e s 42-45a. But the two sets of l i n e s , both of which describe a troubled state of mind con-cealed under a b l i t h e demeanour, are very similars heardsaeligne, hygegeOmorne, mod mlbendne, morbor hycgend[n_]e, b l l b e gebaero. (Wife's Lament, " 19-2la) A" scyle geong mon wesan geomormod, heard heortan. gebOht: swylce habban sceal b l l b e gebaero, eac pon breostceare, sinsorgna gedreag (Wife's Lament, 42-45a) The i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of these passages has\ depended on the view the c r i t i c takes of the poem i n general. Setting aside, f o r 124 '"The Wife's .Lament"", Ee.cbnsidered,' PMLA, LXVIII, (1953), 907-908. Greenfield's int e r p r e t a t i o n w i l l be discussed i n more d e t a i l l a t e r . 1 2 5 A . C . Bouman, Patterns i n Old English and Old Icelandic  L i t e r a t u r e , Leiden, 1962, Chap. I l l , pp. 43-60. 125 the present, the exact meaning of these l i n e s , we may note that the p a r a l l e l i s m i n them i s a strong argument f o r taking them to r e f e r to the same person. Norah Kershawr 1 2^ and Jane C u r r y 1 2 ? have both drawn attention to t h i s , and suggested that both sets of l i n e s r e f e r to the husband. This seems sensible, and i s a further argument for the exclusion of a t h i r d person. Not a l l scholars have preserved t h i s p a r a l l e l -ism. Krapp and Dobbie break i t by placing a period before bl l b e gebsgro i n l i n e 2 1 , so that these words are taken with what follows, instead of what precedes them. 1 2 8 Greenfield accepts t h i s punctuation, 1 2^ and so does Bouman.1^0 But i t i s better to punctuate so as to bring out a p a r a l l e l i s m that must have been intended. L e s l i e places the period a f t e r bltbe gebSBro,,but does notocite the analogy with the l a t e r passage as a reason f o r doing so.131 The c r i t i c s who take l i n e s 42 f f . as a curse argue that three, of the verbs i n l i n e s 42-46 (scyle, l i n e 42; S_£, l i n e 45; sj£, l i n e 46) are optative. The t r a n s l a t i o n of the pas-sage i n accordance with an interpretationoof this kind would 1 2 6 K e r s n a w > p p < 3 0 and 1 7 3 , note to l i n e 2 1 . 1 2 ? C u r r y , p. 1 9 4 . 1 2 8Krapp-Dobbie, p. 2 1 0 . 1 2 9'WL Reconsidered,• pp. 9 0 9 - 9 1 0 . 130Bouman, p. 51. 1 3 l T h r e e p. E. E l e g i e s , pp. 4 7 and 55, note to l i n e 2 1 . 1 2 6 be as follows (I quote from Greenfield)5 Ever may a young man . . . be sad of mind; just as he has a pleasing appearance, l e t him also have breast-care . . . ; may his joy i n the world, be dependent on himself alone\ . . . 1 3 2 [ i . e . , l e t him have no f r i e n d s ] At t h i s point Greenfield indicates that he applies the curse to the husbandj "may i t be that banished f a r from his native land . . . my f r i e n d s h a l l s i t . ' Otherwise, the reading would bet 'may he [the t h i r d person] be banished f a r from his native land, because my f r i e n d [ i . e . , her husband] i s s i t t i n g under a rocky c l i f f , frosted with the storm . . .' Many scholars do not i n t e r p r e t l i n e s 42 f f . as a curse, but consider that the words A scyle introduce a pronouncement 133 of the gnomic type. This i s the view taken by Lawrence. v I t i s followed by, among others, K e n n e d y , L e s l i e , i n his e d i t i o n of the p o e m , 5 and Bouman.136 Though a l l agree that l i n e s 42 f f . express gnomic wisdom, there i s disagreement as to whether the a p p l i c a t i o n i s completely general (Bouman's vie w — t a k i n g geong mon as 'young person', male or female), refers more p a r t i c u l a r l y to the husband (Kennedy), or has an especial reference to the wife ( L e s l i e ) . Norah Kershaw and Jane Curry, who1-both see a reference to the husband here, do 1 3 2»WL Reconsidered,' pp. 9 1 1 - 1 2 . 133'The Banished Wife's Lament,' MP, V ( 1 9 0 7 - 8 ) , 3 8 7 - 4 0 5 . 13^The E a r l i e s t English Poetry, p. 1 1 9 . 1 3 5 T h r e e 0. E.Elegies, p. 8 . 1 3 6 B ouman, p. 5 6 . 1 2 7 not expressly designate the l i n e s as gnomic. The l i n k with the gnomic t r a d i t i o n i s convincingly demonstrated by L e s l i e (pp. 8 and 57), who c i t e s as a comparison Maxims I, 177-178; A" scyle pa rincas gerasdan laBdan ond him a^tsomne swefan. He takes the S_ . . . s_ . . . clauses of l i n e s 45b-47a as alternatives rather than optatives. This i s i n keeping with the view that the preceding l i n e s are a gnomic statement, not a curse, A t r a n s l a t i o n of l i n e s 45b f f . i n accordance with L e s l i e ' s syntax would be: Whether a l l h i s joy i n the world be at his own disposal,, or whether i t be banished f u l l f a r from his distant homeland that my fri e n d i s s i t t i n g under a rocky c l i f f . . . , my f r i e n d endures great care of spirit.*137 ( l i n e s 45b-51a) The following appears to be the sense of the whole passage from l i n e 42: the wife expresses the opinion that a young person (she i s thinking of her husband especially) i s obliged to be gloomy-minded, etc; she then states that whether her husband's s i t u a t i o n i s fortunate or unfortunate (she expands the l a t t e r hypothesis), he i s bound to be unhappy; she ends the poem by exclaiming (once more i n gnomic s t y l e ) : 'Woe to him who must with longing wait f o r his dear one.' Cle a r l y , the l a s t l i n e applies to herself as well as her husband. Some c r i t i c s , following Lawrence, have taken a lenient view of the husband as pictured i n li n e s 19-2la. At the other 137This i s my own t r a n s l a t i o n , based on the poem as given i n L e s l i e ' s e d i t i o n . 128 extreme, Greenfield finds him depicted i n a decidedly un-pleasant l i g h t . L a w r e n c e translates morpor hycgend[~n~]e ( l i n e 20) as 'mindful of death'. On the other hand, Green-f i e l d believes that the husband i s f u l l of enmity towards h i s wife, and translates morbor hycgendfnle as 'p l o t t i n g a crime', i . e . , the wife's imprisonment. Greenfield also takes fseh;5u ( l i n e 26) to re f e r to the husband's h o s t i l i t y towards h i s wife, but, as L e s l i e points.out (pp. 6 - 7 ) , the word means •feud', and i s better taken i n thi s context as a feud i n which the husband i s involved. He departed overseas ( l i n e s 5 - 6 ) , probably because he was forced into e x i l e by his kins-men. This i s L e s l i e ' s suggestion (p. 5 ) . I t would be i n keeping with the p l o t t i n g of the monnes magas ( l i n e 11) , and the rather e x i l i c description i n l i n e s 46b-50a. Therefore, when the wife saysj s[c3eal i c feor ge neah mines felalSofan faeho^u dreogan, (Wife's Lament, 25b-26) she means that she must suffer the consequences of her husband's feud. Greenfield's unfavourable view of the husband i s further shown by his explanation of l i n e 15» HSt mec hlaf ord min her eard niman, ^^Greenfleld. l a t e r departed from the rather extreme, po s i t i o n taken up i n his 1953 a r t i c l e . In his 1966 chapter on •The Old English El e g i e s ' i n Continuations and Beginnings, (ed. E.G. Stanley, London) although he s t i l l assumes an estrangement between the husband and wife he does not paint the l a t t e r as a cru e l person. Also, l i n e s 42 f f . are no longer taken as a curse (See .'The. 0. E. E l e g i e s , • pp. 165-169 f o r the section on The Wife's Lament). 129 which he takes as meaning that the husband c r u e l l y ordered his wife to be seized.^39 i t seems best to take the lenient view, and to regard l i n e s 19-21a as describing an unhappy, but not a v i n d i c t i v e , state of mind. Por one thing, the wife shows a longing and a f f e c t i o n f o r her husband throughout the poem, reaching a climax i n the l a s t one and a half l i n e s . Also, she hers e l f places the blame f o r her unfortunate po s i -t i o n on the kinsmen, who plotted to separate her and her hus-band ( l i n e s l l - 1 2 a ) . I t i s not clea r whether or not her hus-band ordered her into e x i l e 1 ^ 0 to protect her from his kins-men (Ward's view). Such an order may have been given at t h e i r i n s t i g a t i o n . However, i t appears that they, rather than he, are ultimately responsible. I t i s impossible to reconstruct with any certainty the events behind the poem, and almost every c r i t i c offers d i f -ferent suggestions. Two controversial d e t a i l s w i l l be given as examples. The word folgad* ( l i n e 9) has been picked out by those c r i t i c s who think the narrator a man, as a reference to the p o s i t i o n of a retainer. Among those who are not of thi s opinion, Malone^^ has taken l i n e 9 (fts i c m5 feran gewat  folgao*- secan) to mean that the wife entered the household of reads her heard niman ( l i n e 15) . See pp. 130-1, below. 1 4 0 T n i s l s t n e sense i n which I take l i n e 15. See p . .131 below. 1^1'Two English Frauenlieder,' CL, XIV ( I 9 6 2 ) , 113. 130 a protector, Bouman has interpreted, this l i n e as a reference 1 42 to her- second. marrM-ge, and. L e s l i e and. Jane Curry believe i t indicates that she followed her husband when he went abroad. A l l that we can say with certainty, i s that she f e l t - the need of security, and of someone to attach herself to. Her words i n l i n e s 9-10: Da Lis) me fSran gewat folgaS sScan, • wineleas wraecca fo r mtnre wSapearfe are highly reminiscent of l i n e s 25-29a i n The Wanderer, i n which the anhaga, describes how, having l o s t his l o r d , he t r i e d to f i n d another treasure-giver, who would 'show me love*. Again, l i n e s 15-16 are variously interpreted. I quote the text as printed by L e s l i e : Het mec hlaford min her eard niman: a".hte i c ISofra l y t on bissum londstede. Grein took the manuscript reading her heard as a compound word, which he interpreted as 'grove-dwelling*, a place with pagan a s s o c i a t i o n s . 1 ^ By t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n these l i n e s would re f e r to the cave beneath the oak-tree. Kemp Malone and Bouman 1^ follow this i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Norah Kershaw reads h5r heard, with the adjective r e f e r r i n g to h l a f o r d , t h u s giving l i + 2Bouman, p. 49. l ^ L e s l i e , Three 0. E. E l e g i e s , p. 7; Curry, p. 191. 1 4 4 » Z u r T e x t k r i t i k der angelsachsischen Dichter,' Germania X"(1865), 421-422; Bibliothek, I I , p. 414. ' See Krapp-Dobbie, p. 352; L e s l i e , Three O.E. E l e g i e s , pp. 53-^. note :to l i n e 15. ^•^Bouman, pp. 52-53? Malone, 'Frauenlieder, ' p . 114. l 4 6 K e r s h a w > P t 1 7 3 # 131 the sense, 'My husband i n his cruelty ordered to me take up my dwelling here;' Greenfield follows t h i s reading. He re-gards hSr as r e f e r r i n g to the country to which the wife v o l u n t a r i l y exiled herself, where, at the husband's orders, she i s taken (niman) and consigned to the c a v e . L e s l i e takes these l i n e s as a reference to the husband's own country, to which h i s wife came when she married him. 1^ 8 But the wife's emphasis on her own solitude and helplessness i s cl e a r enough, and, as i n the previous example, represents a common elegiac theme. Once again, one i s reminded of The Wandereri p5m pe him 1ft hafao*' lS o f r a geholena ( l i n e 31). The p a r a l l e l suggests a reference to e x i l e . Thus, L e s l i e , at l e a s t , i s probably wrong. We cannot, with any safety, attach a more s p e c i f i c meaning to the l i n e s . Her eard seems a better read-ing than either herheard or her heard, since herheard i s an unsubstantiated word and her heard involves an unnatural separation of adjective from noun. One or two of the more d i s t i n c t i v e interpretations of the poem should be treated here, Thomas D a v i s 1 ^ suggests that the husband was banished f o r murder i n 'the deadly vendetta waged i n Anglo-Saxon t r i b e s ' (p. 301). He regards morpor  hycgendfnle as r e f e r r i n g to contemplated violence,rmot towards 1^ 7'WL Reconsidered,• pp. 908-909. 148'Three ti. E. E l e g i e s , pp. 5-6 l i +9'Another View of the "Wife's Lament",' Papers on  English Language and Literature," (1965), '291-305. 132 the wife but the t r i b e of the s l a i n man. The monnes magas are, he believes, not the r e l a t i v e s of the husband, but of the person who has been k i l l e d . The objections to this i n -terpretation are the same as those to the three-person theory: namely that the existence of another person i s unsubstantiated and adds unnecessary complications. Dunleavy proposes that the poem may have been inspire d by I r i s h monastic poems on the test of female consort.^-$9 As there i s no i n d i c a t i o n of monas-ticism i n the poem, t h i s view i s rather improbable. In his section of Baugh's L i t e r a r y History of England, Malone says of th i s poem and Wulf and Eadwacer that 'one i s tempted to look to c l a s s i c a l a n t i q u i t y f o r models . ' - ^ l He suggests a comparison with the story of Dido i n the Aelneld, and with Ovid, although he does not believe that these are sources i n a s t r i c t sense. In his 1962 a r t i c l e , n e proposes that the poems are both Frauenlieder: love-poems put i n the mouths of women, and of popular rather than a r i s t o c r a t i c o r i g i n . This i s a valuable suggestion, I t acknowledges the difference between these poems and most of the rest of Old English poetry, and does not attempt to explain away t h i s difference, as do those scholars who argue f o r a male narrator i n The Wife's Lament. However, Malone overstresses the resemblance between the two 1 5 0 i p o s s i b i e I r i s h Analogues f o r "The Wife's Lament",' PJJ, XXXV (1956), 208-213. v ' " ' ; • 151'The Old English Period,' pp. 9 0 - 9 1 . 152'Frauenlieder,' pp. 106-107. 133 poems.153 A.N. Doane advances the suggestion that i n The  Wife's Lament we have the curse of a female heathen s p i r i t on her p r i e s t who has turned to the new r e l i g i o n ( C h r i s t i a n i t y ) . 1-5^  This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s an extreme one. There i s no i n d i c a t i o n i n the text that the persons referred to are anything other than woman and man i n a normal, human r e l a t i o n . There may be pagan associations i n the cave beneath the oak, "but there i s no reason why the cave-dweller should be anything other than a human e x i l e . Moreover, Doane regards only the 'curse' as the c r u c i a l part of the poem, and t h i s involves writing off the greater part of i t as mere prelude. To sum up, i t seems best to treat the poem as concerned with two main figures only. The speaker expresses bitterness at her s i t u a t i o n , but her a f f e c t i o n and longing f o r her hus-band are deeply f e l t . They f i n d expression i n f u l gemaecne  monnan.(line 18), mines fel a l g o f a n ( l i n e 24), min freond ( l i n e 47), and min wine ( l i n e 5 0 ) , as well as i n l i n e s 33b-35» where they are implied by the wife's envy of those who have the com-panionship she lacks. In view of her continuing love f o r her husband, i t i s inappropriate to take any part of the poem as portraying him i n an ugly l i g h t , or expressing animosity to-wards him. I t seems l i k e l y that the husband i s i n e x i l e too. In l i n e s 42-45a the wife i s expressing gnomic r e f l e c t i o n s , but she i s thinking p a r t i c u l a r l y of her husband. There i s also a 153see below, Chap. I l l , pp.. 172-173. 1-54• Heathen Form and C h r i s t i a n Function i n "The Wife's Lament",' MS, XXVIII (1966), 77-91. 134 connectlon with herself, because a l l of the f i n a l section of the poem (from l i n e 42 on) i s inspired by the woman's own si t u a t i o n . She ascribes to her husband her own misery and an abode as dreary as her own. The l a s t l i n e and a ha l f i s a c l i -mactic generalisation, but i t applies e s p e c i a l l y to him—and to herself. Miss Kershaw points to the most important factor i n understanding the poem, when she offers an explanation of i t s problerasj 'an ambitious attempt to portray excited f e e l -ings . . . causes the d i f f i c u l t y . . .' (p. 3 1 ) . J.A, Ward, 1^ A.C. Bouman,1-^ and Jane Curry 1^? a l l stress the fact that the poem i s narrated from the point of view of a person who i s concerned more with her own emotions than with the events which gave r i s e to them. The Husband's Message i s a less complex poem than The  Wlfe's Lament. I t represents the message of a husband to his wife, asking her to j o i n him now. that he i s comfortably s e t t l e d i n a new land overseas. He appears to be a king or prince, and to have been driven out of his own country. The poem does pre-sent two d i f f i c u l t i e s : there i s a disagreement among scholars as to where i t begins, and, also, the crypti c runes at the end of i t have given r i s e to a v a r i e t y of interpretations. When Thorpe published his edi t i o n of the Exeter Book i n 1842, he 1 5 5 w a r d , p. 27. 156B ouman, p. 44. 1 5 7 C u r r y , p. 193. 135 assumed four separate pieces between Homiletic Fragment II, and The R u i n . 1 ^ 8 There are i n fa c t f i v e sectional d i v i s i o n s i n the manuscript here, each beginning with a large c a p i t a l . Grein-*--59 was the f i r s t to r e a l i s e that Thorpe's l a t t e r two pieces (corresponding to the l a s t three manuscript sections) formed one poem., which he c a l l e d ^Botschaft des Gemahls an Seine Frau'. He also r e a l i s e d that the f i r s t of these pieces was a variant of a r i d d l e which occurs e a r l i e r i n the Exeter Book; t h i s i s Riddle 30 i n Krapp and Dobbie's edition. Since then, a number of scholars have seen a connection between the second piece and The Husband's Message. Strob.l,,. i n 1887, was the f i r s t to suggest such a connection. He proposed that the second piece, beginning Ic waes be sonde, was a r i d d l e , and The Husband's Message an answer to i t . 1 6 0 In 1901, F.A. Blackburn argued that Ic wass be sonde was a c t u a l l y a part of The Husband's Message, being, l i k e the rest of that poem, the speech of a piece of wood with a message engraved upon i t i n runes;. 1 6 1 Blackburn has been followed by Sedgefield ( 1 9 2 2 ) , 1 6 2 Kennedy (1936)^ 3Malone ( 1 9 4 8 ) , 1 6 ^ E l l i o t t ( 1 9 5 5 ) . 1 6 5 and Kaske ( 1 9 6 7 ) 1 6 6, who a l l take Ic waes be sonde as the opening of 1 5 8These are Krapp-Dobbie's t i t l e s , and not Thorpe's. 1 5 9 B i b l i o t h e k I, 246 f f , 3 6 3 f. See Kershaw, p. 37. l 6 o J . Str'obl, *Zur Spruchdichtung dei den Angelsachsen, * ZDA, XXXI, 5 ^ - 5 6 . See Kershaw, pp. 37-38. l 6 l»»The Husband's Message" and the Accompanying Riddles of the Exeter Book,' JEGP, I I I , 1-13. '.l62W.J. Sedgefield, An Anglo-Saxon Verse-Book.-~,( Manchester, 1922), p. 37. l 6 3 p i d English Elegies, pp. 3 2 - 3 4 l 6 4 t T n e o l d English Period,' p. 91. l 6 5'The Runes i n "The Husband's Message",* JEGP,LIV, 1-8. 166:R,E. Kaske, 'A Poem of the Cross i n The Exeter Book:Riddl 6 0 " and'"'The Husband's Message",' T r a d i t i o , XXIII, 41-71. 136 The Husband's M e s s a g e, a l t h o u g h t h e y do n o t a l l i n t e r p r e t t h e poem(is) i n t h e same way. I n s u p p o r t o f t h i s v i e w , t h e a r g u m e n t s have b e e n a d v a n c e d t h a t I c waes be s o n d e i s n o t e n i g m a t i c , 1 ^ 7 a n d t h a t l i n e s l 4 - l 6 a (bast i c w i b b g s c e o l d e / f o r unc anum tw3m serendsprasce•• / • a b e o d a n b e a l d l t c e . . .) s u g g e s t a p r i v a t e message and a c o n -n e c t i o n w i t h t h e o p e n i n g l i n e o f The Husband's Message a s c o n -v e n t i o n a l l y p r i n t e d (Nu. i c o n s u n d r a n b B s e c g a n wi l i e ) . 1^8 The f i r s t o f t h e s e a r g u m e n t s does n o t a b s o l u t e l y p r e c l u d e I c wass be sonde f r o m b e i n g a r i d d l e . The S t o r m R i d d l e s a r e n o t e n i g m a t i c e i t h e r . The poem does have t h e c h a r a c t e r o f t h e O l d E n g l i s h R i d d l e s : t h a t i s , t o d e s c r i b e a n o b j e c t i n d i r e c t l y , b y means o f i t s a t t r i b u t e s . The s e c o n d argument i s a s t r o n g e r one. I t i s t r u e t h a t I c waes be sonde has a p e r s o n a l q u a l i t y and r e s e m b l e s t h e o p e n i n g o f t h e f o l l o w i n g p i e c e . However, t h e r e i s one f a c t o r w h i c h makes i t u n l i k e l y t h a t I c waes be sonde i s a p a r t o f t h e f o l l o w i n g poem: i t shows e v i d e n c e o f b e i n g b a s e d on t h e L a t i n r i d d l e "Reed' o f S y m p h o s i u s , T h i s r e s e m b l a n c e was p o i n t e d o u t b y T u p p e r - ^ 9 who, i n h i s e d i t i o n o f t h e R i d d l e s , p r i n t e d I c wees be sonde a s one. The r e s e m b l a n c e o f t h e O l d E n g l i s h r i d d l e , i n i t s d o u b l e s o l u t i o n o f ' f l u t e ' and 'pen', t o i t s L a t i n o r i g i n a l i s shown b y F.A. Whit.manv. -^O The ! 6 ? B l a c k b u r n , P . 2; E l l i o t t , 'The Runes i n H M , ' p. 1. l 6 8 E l l i o t t , 'The Runes i n H M , ' pp. . 1 - 2 . 1 6 9 P > T u p p e r , J r . , The R i d d l e s o f t h e E x e t e r Book, B o s t o n , 1910, pp. 198-201. ^ U n p u b l i s h e d a r t i c l e (FQ, 1971). 137 correspondence strongly m i l i t a t e s against the i n c l u s i o n of the piece as part of The Husband's Message. Further, the solution of the r i d d l e as 're&d' f i t s well the features of the object as described i n the poem. I t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are that i t was once lapped by the sea and can now communi-cate words. These q u a l i t i e s apply better to a reed (-pen/ -flute) than to a rune-stave, which f u l f i l s the l a t t e r re-q u i s i t e , but i s u n l i k e l y i n i t s tree-state to have been ac-t u a l l y embraced by water ( l i n e 7 ) . What appears to have happened i s that the compiler of the Exeter Book anthology grouped together a l l the pieces between Homiletic Fragment II and The Ruin because he thought t h e i r subjects were related. This suggestion i s made by Miss Kershaw (p. 40). As Blackburn points out, the subject of Riddle 30 appears to be b§am i n a l l i t s Old English senses (p. 4). Riddle 60 ( i . e . , Ic waes be sonde as i n Krapp and Dobbie's edition) refers to a reed, and The Husband's Message has to do with a rune-stave cut from a tree. The compiler appears to have thought that he was dealing with a series of tree-or plant-poems. The Exeter Book scribe (and possibly the o r i g i n a l compiler) does not seem to be clear as to t h e i r exact nature. His f i v e d i v i s i o n s do not correspond to the number of poems seen here by any nineteenth-or twentieth-century editor.1 7 1 c t i o n a l d i v i s i o n s i n the manuscript of the Exeter Book do not always indicate breaks between separate poems. The longer poems are divided into sections by the scribe, but as most of the shorter poems ( i . e . of less than 150 l i n e s or so) are not so divided, with the exception of Peor, where sectional d i v i s i o n shows the strophic structure, and Judgement Pay I, i t seems l i k e l y that breaks among short pieces are intended to distinguish com-plete poems. 138 Not a l l c r i t i c s believe that The Husband's Message i s i n fact the speech of a rune-stave on which the poem purports to be inscribed. E l l i o t t suggests that only the f i v e runes at the end, and not the whole poem, are inscribed on the rune-stave (p. 113). Sieper prefers to regard the speaker as a messenger, 1? 2 and, among others, L e s l i e 1 ? ^ a n £ G r e e n f i e l d 1 ? ^ are of this opinion. In view of the damaged opening of the poem, i t i s impossible to say with certainty, but l i n e s 1 and 2 appear to suggest that the speaker i s about to r e l a t e i t s hi s t o r y as a treei NH i c onsundran be" secgan w i l l e . . . (n) treocyn. Ic ttldre Sweox. Such a reading would give us an opening s i m i l a r to the be-ginning of the Cross's speech i n The Dream of the Rood. The runes of The Husband'!'s Message have provided a f i e l d -day f o r scholarly igenuity. The passage which contains them runs as follows: gehyre 1?^ i c aetsomne .S.R, geador ,EA. W. ond ;M. ape benemnan bset he b5 wsere ond ba winetrSowe, be him lifgendum lse"stan wolde, be g i t on aerdagum oft gespraeconn. (Husband's  Message. 50-53) 1 7 2 D i e altenglische E l e g i e , p. 211. See Kershaw, p. 39 . 173Three 0. E.Elegies, pp. 13-14. l?4»i>he 0. E.Elegies,' Continuations and Beginnings, 169-170. 17-5This word i s unclear. I t has also been taken as gecyre (from geoeosan) and genyre (from genyrwan). 139 Whatever the runes may stand f o r , i t i s obvious that they are intended to reinforce the husband's pledge to his wife. The l a s t rune i s uncertain. I t i s sometimes taken to be D, but, as L e s l i e points out,^^ 6 i t i s more l i k e l y to be M, since i t c l o s e l y resembles the rune i n l i n e 23 of The Ruin, which i s undoubtedly M. In 1889, Hicketier suggested reading the runes i n re-verse order to obtain the proper name Dwears. -*-77 r^ he n a m e i s a strange one, not found i n Old English, and this solu-t i o n has nothing to recommend i t . Trautmann, i n 1894, made a more plausible suggestion. He proposed that the runes represented the i n i t i a l l e t t e r s of the names of the persons c a l l e d upon as oath-guarantors. 1 78 This i s the interpreta-t i o n followed by Miss Kershaw,^79 and by Kennedy. 1 8 0 Other interpretations often involve considerable manipulation of the runes. Imelmann suggests that they s p e l l ^Eadwacer', the name of the husband, with the vowels given only once and the S and C c o n f u s e d . 1 8 1 Bradley also thinks they s p e l l the 176rphree 0. E. Elegies, p. 15.-177p. Hicketier, 'Klage der Frau, Botschaft des Gemahls und Ruine,' Anglia, XI, 365-66. See L e s l i e , l oc. c i t . . 1 7 % . Trautmann, 'Zur Botschaft des Gemahls,' Anglia, XVI, 219-22. 179Kershaw, p. 42, n. 2. 1 8 0 0 . E. Elegies, p. 35 . l 8 lR. Imelmann, Die altenglische Odoaker-Dichtung, B e r l i n , 1907. See Wardale, p. 55. 140 name of the husband, but he reads them as *3igeweard\ with the S standing f o r the whole of S i g e . 1 8 2 Bouman also takes the runes i n this way.1^3 Sieper proposes 'Sigerun* and i •Eadwine', reading to Sigerun pledges himself Eadwine (as husband).' 1^ Sedgefield believes that the runes re f e r to the sword on which the oath was sworn, or possibly to the act of swearing. He rearranges them to form sweard t a variant of sweord. l 85 The most convincing interpretations are those which follow, K o c k . H e proposes to read the runes thus: S.R., sigel r a d 'the sun's road' (heaven); EA.W., earwynn 'the lovely earth'; M. mann. These things, he suggests, represent the primitive oath-guarantors condemned i n Matthew, V. L e s l i e accepts Kock's int e r p r e t a t i o n , r e l a t i n g i t to the oaths sworn by pagan I r i s h kings v 1 8 ? I t is also followed by Greenfie M 1 8 8 and by Henry who further explains the primitive concept of the 1 8 2MLR, II (1907), 365 (Review of Imelmann, Die altenglische  Odoaker-Dichtung). ouman, pp. 71-2. l 8 2 4 ,Die altenglische Elegie, p. 214. See Wardale, p. 55. l 85sedgefield, p. 159. E.A. Kock, 'Interpretations, and Emendations of E a r l y English Texts,' Anglia, XLIV (1921), 122-123. -^Three 0. E. Elegies, pp. 16-17. 1 8 8 ' T h e 0. E. E l e g i e s , ' p. 171. 141 elemental guarantors. E l l i o t t 1 ^ takes the EA rune as earffln the sense of 'sea', reading the W (wynn) rune as separate from i t . He favours D (daeg), rather than M (mann), as the l a s t rune. Taking S.R. together to make sigelrSd, i n the same way as Kock, he reads: •Follow the sun's path across the ocean and ours w i l l be joy and the happiness and prosperity of the bright day,' or, i f the f i n a l rune i s M: 'Follow the sun's path across the sea to f i n d joy with the man who i s waiting for you.' This solution i s less s a t i s f a c t o r y than the simpler one of Kock, which has the added support of primitive b e l i e f . Kaske follows Kock, but ingeniously uses Kock*s solution to support his own argu-ment that The Husband?s Message i s a 'poem of the Cross', He translates 'I constrain ['reading genyre, l i n e 50] into unity heaven, and earth made d e l i g h t f u l , and the Man himself [ C h r i s t ] . . . '(p. 5 0 ) . Such are the interpretations of the runes. Not many attempts have been made to interpret or reinterpret the poem as a whole, since i t seems f a i r l y straightforward. But i n re-cent years there have been one or two analyses which f i n d a r e l i g i o u s significance i n i t . Kaske views The Husband's Message as 'a poem i n which Christ's love f o r the Church or the human soul i s r e f l e c t e d by the l i t e r a l l y developed message of a l 8 9 p # x, # Henry, The E a r l y English and C e l t i c L y r i c (London, 1966), pp. 192-194. 190»The Runes inHM,' pp. 3-7 . 142 lover to his lady . . . and i n which th i s message . . . i s delivered by the Cross 1 (pp. 51-52). M.J. Swanton 1?! l i n k s the poem with The Wife's Lament. He regards both as studies of the relationship between Christ (the husband i n the sense •of the Heavenly Bridegroom) and His Church (the wife). I t w i l l be seen that both of these interpretations depend on the t r a d i t i o n a l exegetical i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the Song of Songs. Kaske, i n p a r t i c u l a r , attempts to explain exegetically the d e t a i l s of the poem i n much the same way as Robertson attempts to explain the d e t a i l s i n The Wanderer. Swanton does not speci-f i c a l l y mention the Song of Songs, but Kaske suggests that the cuckoo i n The Husband?s Message may be associated with the turtle-dove there. However, not many scholars have suggested exegetical interpretations of The Husband's Message and The  Wife's Lament. The complete absence of e x p l i c i t didacticism i n these poems makes a r e l i g i o u s intention i n them u n l i k e l y . The d e t a i l of the cuckoo i n The Husband's Message i s paral-l e l l e d i n The Seafarer, and has not, to my knowledge, been re-lated to the B i b l i c a l turtle-dove i n the case of the l a t t e r poem. The fa c t that The Wife's Lament and The Husband's Message both r e f e r to the rela t i o n s h i p between a man and a woman has led a number of scholars to believe that there must be a con-nection between them. Swanton, as we have seen, i s of th i s " 'The Wife's Lament and The Husband's Messages A Recon-sider a t i o n , ' Anglia, LXXXII (1964), 269-290. 143 opinion. The suggestion was f i r s t made by Grein, who thought that the two pieces might possibly be fragments of a single poem,192 Tfautmann also argued for a connection between the two,193 and so did Brandl.19^ But the poems themselves do not seem to me to give the impression of being related. They are quite d i f f e r e n t i n tonet The Wife's Lament i s the unburdening of a troubled s p i r i t ; The Husband's Message i s formal i n sty l e and i t s note i s optim i s t i c . In addition, the poems are separ-ated i n the manuscript, which implies that the compiler saw no connection between them. Most of those who believe i n a connection between the two poems regard them as part of a heroic cycle. This was a view that was at i t s most popular i n the l a t e r nineteenth, and the e a r l i e r years of the present century. As f a r as I am aware, only Bouman among recent scholars has formally presented a c y c l i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of these two poems. Trautmann be-lieve d that a c y c l i c a l background lay behind these poems, but he did not suggest any p a r t i c u l a r cycle to which they might belong. The most elaborate of the ' c y c l i c a l ' theories was that advanced by Imelmann, who regarded The Husband's Message and The Wife's Lament, together with The Wanderer, The Seafarer, 1 9 2Kurzgefasste angelsa'chsische Grammatik (Kassel, 1880), p. 10. See Kennedy, 0. E. E l e g i e s , p. 28, note; L e s l i e , Three  0. E. E l e g i e s, p. 18, n. 1. 1 93«zur Botschaft des Gemahls' p. 222 f f . See Wardale, p. 55; Krapp-Dobbie, p. l v i i i . ^ ^ A l t e n g l i s c h e L i t era tur,' Grundiss, I I . 977. 144 Wulf and Eadwacer, and The Ruin, as part of a l o s t saga i n prose and verse about the Saxon king Odoacer, who invaded France i n 4 6 3 . Imelmann b u i l t up his theory by stages u n t i l i t embraced a l l the s ix elegiac poems mentioned above.-^95 j quote Miss Wardale's summary of his hypothesis: Dr. Imelmann has brought them [the six poems] a l l together as follows: the speaker i n Wulf and Eadwacer i s the same as i n the Wife's Lament; the Seafarer describes the sufferings endured by the Husband i n hi s e x i l e ; the Wanderer i s a f a i t h f u l follower who has f l e d with his lord and who i n the Message of the Husband returns to summon the Wife to j o i n him, while the Ruin describes the forsaken home.196 This synthesis i s remarkably ingenious, but i t bears l i t t l e r e l a t i o n to the evidence provided by the poems. There are no names i n any of them except Wulf and Eadwacer. The iden-t i f i c a t i o n of Eadwacer with Odoacer i s not implausible, but i t i s highly unreasonable to b u i l d up so elaborate a theory on the. basis of one name. Also, even i f EadwacersOdoacer, we are l e f t with the question of which Odoacer. Other scholars favour a much better known Odoacer: the enemy of Theodoric the Goth. And i t i s p e r f e c t l y possible that no h i s t o r i c a l re-ference i s intended at a l l . Furthermore, the six poems are very d i f f e r e n t . The Wanderer and The Seafarer contain a r e l i g i o u s element which sets them apart from the rest. The 1 9 5 p (^ o a] : C e r_Di C} 1tung, 1 9 0 7 (see note 181); Wanderer und  Seefahrer im Rahm der altenglischen Odoaker-Dichtung ( B e r l i n , 1 9 Q 8 ) ; Forschungen zur altenglischen Poesie ( B e r l i n l . 1 9 2 0 ) , pp. 73 ff". See Wardale, pp. 4 9 and 5 0 ; Krapp-Dobbie, pp. ,lvi and l v i i . 1 9 6 w a r d a l e , p. 4 9 . 145 d i f f e r e n c e "between The H u s b a n d ' s Message and The W i f e ' s Lament has a l r e a d y b e e n p o i n t e d o u t , W u l f and E a d w a c e r , w i t h i t s s u g g e s t i o n s o f s t r o p h i c s t r u c t u r e and i t s v e r y f r e e m e t r e , 1 ? ? i s d i f f e r e n t a g a i n . The R u i n i s i m p e r s o n a l , and i t s p e n c h a n t f o r rhyme makes i t q u i t e u n l i k e t h e o t h e r poems i n s t y l e . F a i r l y r e c e n t l y , Bouman s u g g e s t e d t h a t The W i f e ' s Lament and The H u s b a n d ' s Message were c o n n e c t e d w i t h a n e a r l y v e r s i o n o f t h e S i g u r d l e g e n d , t h e w i f e b e i n g GuSrun and t h e husband S i g u r d , 1 ? 8 He p r o f e s s e d t o f i n d t h e l a t t e r name, i n i t s O l d E n g l i s h form o f S i g e w e a r d , i n the runes a t t h e end o f The  H u s b a n d ' s M e s s a g e . Bouman does n o t e s t a b l i s h t h a t S i g u r d , as d i s t i n c t f rom S i g m u n d , was known i n A n g l o - S a x o n E n g l a n d : S i g m u n d , t o g e t h e r w i t h h i s son/nephew F i t e l a , c o r r e s p o n d i n g w i t h the N o r s e S i n f j ^ t l i , i s m e n t i o n e d i n B e o w u l f . One o f t h e p a n e l s on t h e Franks ' C a s k e t c o n t a i n s a scene w h i c h may d e p i c t S i g u r d . I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t he was known b y t h e A n g l o - S a x o n s , b u t b y no means c e r t a i n . A n o t h e r , s t r o n g e r , o b j e c t i o n t o Bouman's t h e o r y i s t h a t i t i n v o l v e s a h i g h l y u n o r t h o d o x r e a d -i n g o f b o t h poems, t h e most n o t e w o r t h y p o i n t b e i n g t h a t t h e h u s b a n d , i n each poem, i s r e g a r d e d as dead ( i n t h e N o r s e l e g e n d S i g u r d i s m u r d e r e d b y G u J r u n ' s b r o t h e r s ) . 1 9 9 " 197See b e l o w , Chap . I l l , p p . 169-171. 19 8 Boumah, C h a p t e r I I I , p p . 4-3-91. 199see Bouman, Chap I I I , S e c t i o n s A , B , and C , f o r Bouman's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e poems p e r s e . See Bouman, Chap . I l l , S e c t i o n D, f o r h i s r e l a t i n g "of them t o N o r s e l e g e n d . He s e t s o u t t h e supposed p o i n t s o f r e s e m b l a n c e t o t h e S i g u r d s t o r y on P . 8 2 . . . . 146 The two poems have also been linked separately with heroic cycles. The favourite type of story as f a r as The Wife* s  Lament i s concerned i s that of the wrongly punished wife. Grein, i n his co l l e c t e d e d i t i o n of Old English poetry, suggested that The Wife's Lament was connected with the Genoveva legend. 2^0 He l a t e r abandoned th i s theory i n favour of a connection be-tween The Wife's Lament and The Husband's Message. 2 0 1 i n the Genoveva t a l e (found i n L'Innocence Reconnue, ou Vie de Sainte  GenevieVe de Brabant, c. 1638, by Rene de Ce'risier), the heroine, wife of Siegfried of Treves, i s f a l s e l y accused by an enemy, of i n f i d e l i t y to her husband. She i s sentenced to death, but spared by the executioner, and l i v e s f o r six years i n a cave i n the Ardennes with her son, u n t i l she i s discovered by her husband and reinstated. Apart from the p o s s i b i l i t y of the same reason for the heroine's banishment ( i n f i d e l i t y ) , the main resemblance to The Wife's Lament l i e s i n the cave-dwell-ing. But the Genoveva story may have a h i s t o r i c a l o r i g i n i n the Marie de Brabant who was unjustly beheaded for i n f i d e l i t y i n 1256. Also, the very l a t e date of the works which narrate this' t ale argue against i t s connection with the Old English poem, Wulcker thought that The Wifefs Lament might be connected with the Offa s a g a . 2 0 2 H i s suggestion was taken up and 2 0 0 B i b l i o t h e k , I, 363. See Kennedy, 0. B.Elegies, p. 28, note. 2 0 1 S e e note 192, above. 2 o 2 G r u n d r i s s zur Geschichte der angelsachs. L i t . , p. 226^ . ^  147 developed much more f u l l y "by Edith Ricker;t , 2 0 3 who related the poem to a legend found i n the Vitae Duo'rum Off arum, a work written by a monk of St. Albans c i r c a 1200. The legend i s attached to Offa I, a figure who ultimately represents Offa the king of the Continental Angles i n the f i f t h century. Offa of ',Ongle'204 was undoubtedly known to the Anglo-Saxons, because he i s mentioned i n Widsith and Beowulf. The Vitae t e l l s how, by t r i c k e r y , the wife of Offawas caused to be accused of witchcraft, and banished to the woods with her children. She was f i n a l l y discovered by her husband, and a l l ended well. The story of Constance i s s i m i l a r , and Miss Rickert mentions i t as belonging to the same class of f o l k -tale (pp. 360-361), Although Offa was f a m i l i a r to the Anglo-Saxons, we cannot assume that the 'injured wife' story attached to him i n the Vitae was necessarily associated with him i n the Old English period. The presence of children i n the Genoveva tale and the Offa/Constance t a l e , whereas there i s no mention of children i n The Wife's Lament, leads Stefanovic to put forward another legend as the basis f o r the Old English poem. 2 0^ jje favours the Crescentia story. In t h i s t a l e a queen i s desired by her husband's brother. When she repulses him, he accuses her to her. husband, of unfaithfulness. This results i n her banishment 2°3'The Old English Offa Saga,' MP, II (1904-05), 29-76; 321-376. 2 0/ J'Angel, the Continental home of the Angles. See Widsi th, l i n e 8. (The reference to Offa occurs l a t e r , i n l i n e s 35-44).. 205s. Stefanovic, 'Das angelsachsische Gedicht Die Klage  der Frau,' Anglia, XXXII (19°9), 398-433. See Wardale, p. 54; L e s l i e , Three 0. E.Elegies, pp. 9-10. 148 and subsequent murder. However, there i s no evidence that Crescentia, or a corresponding figure, was known to the Anglo-Saxons . In f a c t , there i s nothing to suggest that any of the above tales would have been known to the composer of The  Wife's Lament. I t i s true that i n t h e i r most elemental form they probably represent world-wide fo l k themes (the Crescentia t a l e , f or instance, i s reminiscent of Joseph and Potiphar's wife, with the male and female roles reversed), but that fcs not a reason f o r attaching ahfy; of them, i n a p a r t i c u l a r i s e d form found i n l a t e r times, to thi s poem. Further, the narra-t i v e background of The Wife's Lament i s l e f t vague. I t i s not clear that she has been formally accused at a l l , of i n -f i d e l i t y , witchcraft, or anything else. A c y c l i c a l background f o r The Husband's Message was pro-posed be Schofield, who related the poem to the Tr i s t a n legend. He suggested that The Husband's Message represented an early form of the tale t o l d by Marie de France i n Chevrefoil. In the French lay T r i s t a n carves a message on a piece of wood and leaves i t i n the road along which I s o l t w i l l pass. The same general objections apply to a l l the ' c y c l i c a l ' i n terpretations. The most formidable i s the absence of names i n the Old English poems. A further objection i s that .there i s no&evidence that the legends with which The Husband's Message .. 2 0%.H. Schofield, English Literature from the Norman  Conquest to Chaucer (London, 1906)., pp. 201-202. See Wardale, p. 55; L e s l i e , Three 0. E.Elegies, p. 20. 149 and The W i f e ' s Lament have been l i n k e d were c u r r e n t a t the t i m e . F i n a l l y , t h e r e i s no need t o r e l a t e t h e s e poems t o h e r o i c o r f o l k l o r e . T h e i r aim i s t o p r e s e n t a p e r s o n a l s i t u a t i o n , n o t t o t e l l a t a l e . They make r e f e r e n c e t o ev e n t s o n l y o b l i q u e l y , and any sequence o f events w h i c h we r e c o n -s t r u c t f o r them i s bound t o be a r b i t r a r y . Wulf and Eadwacer i s one o f the most obscure poems i n Ol d E n g l i s h . The e a r l i e r s c h o l a r s m i s u n d e r s t o o d i t e n t i r e l y , assuming t h a t i t was a r i d d l e . T h i s was a n a t u r a l m i s t a k e . The language o f the poem i s v e r y d i f f i c u l t and mig h t l e a d the r e a d e r t o assume a d e l i b e r a t e enigma. A l s o , Wulf and  Eadwacer, l i k e t he R i d d l e s , i s a s h o r t poem, and i t i m m e d i a t e l y precedes the f i r s t group of them i n the E x e t e r Book, w h i l e i t s i n i t i a l c a p i t a l i s a t i o n and end p u n c t u a t i o n a r e s i m i l a r t o those used i n t h e R i d d l e s , i . e . , i n i t i a l c a p i t a l s and f i n a l p u n c t u a -t i o n marks a r e more s p a r i n g t h a n those used by t h e s c r i b e t o i n d i c a t e m a j o r d i v i s i o n s i n the m a n u s c r i p t . I n 1842, Thorpe p r i n t e d t h e poem as a r i d d l e , b u t o f f e r e d no s o l u t i o n . 2 0 ' ' 7 I n 1857, Leo, by m a n i p u l a t i n g the t e x t v e r y f r e e l y , managed t o f i n d the name ' C y n e w u l f h i d d e n i n i t , and c o n c l u d e d t h a t t h i s was the s o l u t i o n o f the supposed r i d d l e . 2 0 8 Cynewulf was a c c o r d i n g l y r e g a r d e d as the a u t h o r o f i t . I n deed, a f t e r 2°7codex E x o n i e n s i s , p. 380. See Krapp-Dobbie, p. I v . 2 0 8 H . Leo, Quae de se i p s o C y n e v u l f u s . . . t r a d i d e r i t ( H a l l e , 1857). See~Krapp-Dobbie, l o c . c i t . 150 D i e t r i c h proposed that the soluti o n of Riddle 95 was 'wan-dering minstrel''(1859)» and that the lupus of the L a t i n Riddle was also Cynewulf ( 1 8 6 5 ) , 2 ° 9 Cynewulf came to be generally accepted as the author of a l l the Riddles. In 1883, Trautmann attacked Leo's solution, but s t i l l accepted that Wulf and Eadwacer was a charade, and solved i s as 'riddle'. 2- 1- 0 Henry Morley, i n 1888, offered the solution 'the C h r i s t i a n p r e a c h e r , 2 H Wulf being the Dev i l , and the 'charade* representing the triumph of the former over the l a t t e r . The poem i s i n fac t the passionate lament of a woman separated from her lover. I t has strong a f f i n i t i e s with The Wife's Lament. The f i r s t c r i t i c to propose the i n t e r -pretation now most widely adopted was Henry Bradley, who, i n 1888, i n a review of Morley's book, put forward the view that 'the so-called r i d d l e i s not a.riddle at a l l but a fragment of a dramatic s o l i l o q u y . 2 1 3 j j e added:'The speaker i s shown by the grammar to be a woman. . . . Wulf i s her 2 0 ? F . D i e t r i c h , 'Die Rathsel des Exeterbuchs. Wiirdigung, Losung, und Herstellung,* ZDA, XI ( 1859) , 448-490; 'Die Rathsel des Exeterbuchs.., Verfasser. Weitere Lo'sungen,' ZDA, XII ;. (1865) , 232-252. See Krapp-Dobbie, l o c . c i t . 2 1 0'Cynewulf und die Ratsel,' Anglia, VI, I 5 8 - I 6 9 . See Krapp-Dobbie, l o c . c i t . (the date i s i n c o r r e c t l y given by Krapp-Dobbie at this point)as 1884); A.J. Wyatt, Old English  Riddles (Boston and London, 1912), pp. x x i i i - x x i v . 2 l l B n g l i s h Writers, II (London, 1888), 217-226. See Wyatt, P. xxiv. 2 l 2 S e e previous note. 2 1 3Academy, XXXIII, 197-8. 151 lover and an outlaw 21* 1 , and Eadwacer i s her tyrant husband* (p. 198) . Bradley's explanation of the poem i s the most sa t i s f a c t o r y , except that Wulf and Eadwacer cannot be said with any certainty to be a fragment. The poem's close has a sense of completion, but i t s opening: Leodum i s mtnum swylce him mon lac g i f e ; w i l l a 5 hy hine apecgan, . g i f he on preat cymeo^ i s so obscure as to make i t not improbable that something has been l o s t here. Lawrence suggested a lacuna between the f i r s t and second l i n e s . 2 1 5 others, including Ruth Lehmann, 2 1^ think i t l i k e l y that two l i n e s have been l o s t before the open-ing. However, i n the absence of unmistakable evidence to the contrary, i t i s better to take the poem as complete. Some scholars continued to regard Wulf and Eadwacer as a r i d d l e , although the view became less popular. The s p e c i f i c a s c r i p t i o n to Cynewulf was now very much questioned. Leo's solution of the ' F i r s t Riddle' as 'Cynewulf* was heavily attacked by Sievers i n I 8 9 I , and shown to have no sound l i n -g u i s t i c basis. Sievers also argued that the Riddles as a whole probably antedated, Cynewulf. 2 1? Nevertheless, the old view was once more put forward by Tupper. Although Tupper, P . 2l4The name 'Wulf may well suggest an outlaw, since the term 'wolfshead* was used.!in connection with outlaws i n Anglo-Saxon law. 215»The F i r s t Riddle of Cynewulf,' PMLA, XVII (1902), 251. 2 1 6 , T h e Metrics and Structure of "Wulf and Eadwacer",* PQ, XLVIII (1969) , 164-165. 2 1?E. Sievers, *Zu Cynewulf,' Anglia, XIII, 1-25. See Wyatt, p. XXV. 152 f o l l o w i n g B r a d l e y , had s t a t e d the poem to be a l y r i c a l monologue when he p r i n t e d i t i n h i s e d i t i o n of the Riddles,2 l £ i n an a r t i c l e published s l i g h t l y l a t e r he returned to the o l d e r o p i n i o n , that i t was a r i d d l e by Cynewulf. He added t h a t , as such, i t supported the a s c r i p t i o n of a t l e a s t the m a j o r i t y of the Exeter Book Ri d d l e s to Cynewulf .219 The 1923 i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of P a t z i g s t i l l t r e a t s the poem as a r i d d l e , and solves i t as "millstone•.2 2 0 g u t the theory that Wulf and Eadwacer was a r i d d l e , whether of Cynewulfian authorship or not, g r a d u a l l y l o s t support, and has not, as f a r as I am aware, been put forward r e c e n t l y . The very v a r i e t y of s o l u t i o n s was an argument agai n s t i t . Even among those c r i t i c s who f o l l o w Bradley's i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n i n the main, there have s t i l l been s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s of opi n i o n . The poem presents considerable l i n g u i s t i c problems. I t i s not proposed to undertake a t e x t u a l a n a l y s i s here, but one or two of the major cruxes might be mentioned. Line 2, repeated i n l i n e 7, i s e s p e c i a l l y d i f f i c u l t : w i l l a o * hy hine apecgan, g i f he on breat cymeo^. 2 l 8 T h e Riddles of the Exeter Book, p. l i v . 219*The Cynewulfian Runes of the F i r s t R i d d l e , ' MLN, XXV (1910), 235-241. Tupper discovered i n the poem a h i g h l y ob-scure r u n i c s i g n a t u r e , not i n the form of runes (there are none i n the poem), bubjcsynonyms f o r the names of runes. 22°H. P a t z i g , 'Zum e r s t e n R a t s e l des Exeterbuchs,' A r c h i v . , CXLV, 204-207. See Krapp-Dobbie, p. Iv. 153 Sbecgan i s an unknown word. I t may be connected with b i cgan, meaning 'to take i n " , often used of food. The l i k e l i h o o d of such a connection has given r i s e to widely d i f f e r i n g t r ansla-tions of abecgan; " k i l l " (devour), "welcome* (take i n ) , and "give food to* (causative of picgan. jfrgat may mean either •troop* or 'dire s t r a i t s * . And i t i s not clear whether the l i n e expresses a question or a statement. Thus, at one ex-treme we can translate, *Will they feed him i f he should come ' to want?* following B r a d l e y , 2 2 ! or, at the other, 'They w i l l k i l l him i f he comes into t h e i r company,* which i s Whitbread's t r a n s l a t i o n . 2 2 2 I t i s generally agreed that the hine of this l i n e i s Wulf, but there Is t o t a l disagreement as to whether he i s expected to prosper or perish. However, the poem does o f f e r clues. The tone of t h i s l i n e seems to be one of anxiety, and since there i s a reference to waelreowe weras i n l i n e 6 , i t seems that the woman i s f e a r f u l of violence towards Wulf. Therefore, 'Will they k i l l him?* i s probably the better read-l n S « Dogode ( l i n e 9) and earne ( l i n e 16) are problematic words. There i s no verb dogian i n extant Old English. The general sense of the l i n e (Wulfes i c mines widlastum wjgnum dogode) i s that the speaker followed i n thought the f a r wan-derings of her lover. Dogode i s therefore sometimes emended to hogode (thought about), but one would not expect the use of 2 2lAcademy, XXXIII, 1 9 8 . 2 2 2 L . Whithread, *A Note on "Wulf and Eariwacer" , * M AE, X ( 1 9 6 1 ) , 1 5 0 - 1 5 4 . - - • 154 h o g i a n w i t h t h e g e n i t i v e . The p o e t ' s e x a c t , i n t e n t i o n r e -m a i n s u n c e r t a i n . E a r n e has b e e n d e r i v e d f r o m e a r h ( c o w a r d l y ) , a n d f rom e a r o ( s w i f t ) , o r has b e e n emended t o earmrie ( w r e t -c h e d ) . The f i r s t a n d t h i r d a l t e r n a t i v e s a r e more l i k e l y , s i n c e a c h i l d r e f e r r e d t o as a h w e l p ( t h e c o n t e x t i s U n c e r n e  e a r n e h w e l p ) i s p r o b a b l y b e i n g t h o u g h t o f w i t h e i t h e r c o n t e m p t o r p i t y . The above examples w i l l s e r v e t o show t h a t o n a l i n -g u i s t i c l e v e l a l o n e t h e poem i s h i g h l y d i f f i c u l t . I n a d d i -t i o n , i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o s a y w i t h c e r t a i n t y what i s t h e e x -a c t s i t u a t i o n b e h i n d t h e poem. B r a d l e y ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n seems t o e s t a b l i s h t h e m a i n f a c t s , b u t t h e r e have b e e n one o r two s c h o l a r s who, w h i l e a c c e p t i n g t h a t W u l f a n d E a d w a c e r i s a l o v e - p o e m , n o t a r i d d l e , have d i v e r g e d c o n s i d e r a b l y f rom B r a d l e y . I n 1931, S e d g e f i e l d , i n a n a r t i c l e t h a t was s u r e l y n o t meant t o be t a k e n s e r i o u s l y , s u g g e s t e d t h a t t h e poem was s p o k e n b y *a f e m a l e d o g o f a r o m a n t i c temperament , . . d r e a m -i n g , . . o f a w o l f w i t h whom she has . . . h a d . . . a l o v e -a f f a i r . ' 2 2 ^ J . F . Adams a g r e e s w i t h t h e p r e v a i l i n g v i e w t h a t t h e poem i s a b o u t a woman a n d h e r ' l o v e r , b u t does n o t b e l i e v e t h a t t h e r e i s a t h i r d p e r s o n i n i t . 2 2 ^ He a r g u e s t h a t E a d w a c e r i s n o t a p r o p e r noun b u t a n i r o n i c e p i t h e t ' p r o p e r t y -w a t c h e r ' a p p l i e d t o W u l f . He s t a t e s : ' t h e s p e a k e r i s 2 2 3 ' W u l f a n d E a d w a c e r , ' M L R , X X V I , ?4-75. 2 2 4 , „ W u l f a n d E a d w a c e r " : A n I n t e r p r e t a t i o n , ' M L N , L X X I I I (1958), 1-5. 155 ironically bestowing on the man a character which the context implies most emphatically he lacks, that of being a protec-tor and guardian of his home' (p. 2 ) . He regards the poem as •an appeal for Wulf to settle down' (p. 4 ) . But i t is better ,to take Eadwacer as the person, probably the husband, who comes between the speaker and Wulf. This is more in keeping with the sense she gives of being irrevocably separated from her lover. Another point in Adams* reading of the poem which might be noted is that he makes a bow to the old theory that Wulf and Eadwacer was a riddle. He translates giedd in the final line (uncer giedd geador, line 19) as 'riddle*, and thinks i t possible that the composer deliberately used the riddle form. But i t seems more likely that, as in the case of The Wife's Lament, the poem's enigmatic nature arises from its attempt to present emotions which are both subtle and intense,, rather than to outline events and personages. The interpretations of Sedgefield and Adams differ rather markedly from the others. Most recent critics differ from one another in detail, rather than in overall view. There is no general agreement as to whether the beaducafa of line 11 is.Eadwacer or Wulf. The woman speaks of his em-bracing her (mee . . . bSgum bilegde),225 and says that this gave her both joy and pain (waes mg wyn to bon, waes m5 2 2 5 w . S . Mackie, The Exeter Book, Part II (London S ,3 ~T\s 1934)1 translates line 11 as 'when the man brave in battle gave me shelter,' presumably taking mec . . . bSgum bilegde as ' la id boughs about me* rather than ' la id his arms about me* (p. 8 7 ) . This weakens the meaning, and gives a much poorer reason for the woman's wyn and. 156*. 156 hwaepre eac laS, l i n e 12). Malone believes that Eadwacer i s referred to h e r e , 2 2 ^ but Whitbread and Miss Lehmann favour Wulf. 2 2? The former view i s preferable because of the speaker's mixed feelings about the beaducafa's embraces. Also, l i n e s 10 and 11 can well be taken as dependent on l i n e 9 , which implies the absence of Wulf. The question of whether the hwelp i n l i n e 16 i s the c h i l d of Eadwacer of Wulf i s s i m i l a r l y undecided. Whitbread and Miss Lehmann are pro-bably r i g h t i n regarding the c h i l d as Wulf's because of the pun hwelp. This would support the emendation cf earne to earmne, giving the meaning 'our wretched cub* f o r Uncerne  earfm~]ne hwelp. Lines l6b-17 could then be translated: 'Wulf [rather than a wolf] i s carrying our wretched cub to the f o r e s t . ' 2 2 8 This i s how Whitbread takes these l i n e s . 2 2 ? Ruth Lehmann translates i n the same way but allows the p o s s i b i l i t y of the other a l t e r n a t i v e , 2 3 ° Malone also thinks that Wulf i n Iine3l6 i s the man, not an animal, but i s undecided as to whether the c h i l d i s the son of the speaker's lover or her husband. 231 226'Frauenlieder,' pp. 108-110. 2 2?Whitbread, p. 152-3; Lehmann, p. l 6 l . 2 2 8Krapp-Dobbie (pp. 179-180) c a p i t a l i s e Wulf elsewhere, but not at th i s point, thus i n d i c a t i n g a common noun, not a proper noun. 229Whltbread, p. 153. 230Lehmann, ptrl64i;(,tfans?ba:ti:bn ofntne poem). See also pp. 162-163. 231'Frauenlieder,' p. 108, 157 T h e r e h a v e b e e n a number o f a t t e m p t s t o r e l a t e t h e poem t o h e r o i c m a t e r i a l . T h e e a r l i e s t s u g g e s t i o n , t h a t W u l f a n d E a d w a c e r was c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e s t o r y o f S i g m u n d a n d S i g n y , was made a f t e r L a w r e n c e h a d p r o p o s e d t h a t t h e poem was a t r a n s l a t i o n f r o m O l d N o r s e . I n 1 9 0 2 , L a w r e n c e p u t f o r -w a r d t h e t h e o r y t h a t t h e poem h a d m a r k e d l y S c a n d i n a v i a n c h a c -t e r i s t i c s . 2 3 2 one o f t h e s e was i t s s t r o p h i c f o r m , w i t h t h e r e f r a i n w i l l a $ h y h i n e a b e c g a n , g i f he on J5r*5at cymeS. U n g e l t c i s u s o c u r r i n g i n l i n e s 2 - 3 a n d a g a i n i n l i n e s 7 - 8 . L a w r e n c e p o i n t s o u t t h a t P e o r , t h e o n l y O l d E n g l i s h poem w i t h t r u e r e f r a i n , ' s t a n d s i n c l o s e r e l a t i o n t o s a g a s w i t h w h i c h we a r e f a m i l i a r t h r o u g h S c a n d i n a v i a n s o u r c e s ' ( p . 255). He a l s o s u g g e s t s , somewhat t e n t a t i v e l y , t h a t t h e r e may be s i g n i f i c a n c e i n t h e j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f P e o r and t h e ' F i r s t R i d d l e ' i n t h e E x e t e r B o o k . L a w r e n c e draws a t t e n t i o n t o c e r t a i n l i n g u i s t i c f e a t u r e s w h i c h a r e s u g g e s t i v e o f O l d N o r s e , n o t a b l y t h e u s e o f o n b r e a t  cuman i n t h e s e n s e o f ' come i n t o h e a v y s t r a i t s ' . T h e e x p r e s -s i o n i s n o t f o u n d e l s e w h e r e i n O l d E n g l i s h , b u t i s common i n O l d N o r s e ,233 L a w r e n c e c o n c l u d e d t h a t t h e poem m u s t be a n a c t u a l t r a n s l a t i o n f r o m a n O l d N o r s e o r i g i n a l . T h e e v i d e n c e i s n o t s t r o n g e n o u g h t o w a r r a n t s u c h a c o n c l u s i o n , b u t i t may be t h a t t h e p o e t h a d some c o n n e c t i o n w i t h S c a n d i n a v i a , a n d came u n d e r t h e i n f l u e n c e o f O l d N o r s e i d i o m , 2 3 2 t T h e F l r s t R i d d l e o f C y n e w u l f , ' P M L A , X V I I , 2 4 7 - 2 6 1 . 233if L a w r e n c e i s r i g h t i n s e e i n g O l d N o r s e i n f l u e n c e , t h i s i s a n a r g u m e n t f o r t r a n s l a t i n g t h e p h r a s e i n t h i s w a y . S e e a b o v e , p . 1 5 3 . 158 I n a companion a r t i c l e to t h a t of Lawrence, W.H. S c h o f i e l d took up h i s s u g g e s t i o n , and went on to l i n k Wulf and Eadwacer wi t h the Sigmund l e g e n d . H e regards the poem as a s o l i l o q u y u t t e r e d j u s t a f t e r - Signy l e a r n s t h a t S i n f j g t l i , h a v i ng ' v a l i a n t l y submitted to the v a r i o u s t e s t s of h i s worth by her and her b r o t h e r , i s b e i n g taken to the woods f o r the t r a i n i n g t h a t Sigmund thought the b o y needed b e f o r e he c o u l d undertake the Vplsungs * revenge, (p. 270) S c h o f i e l d a c c o r d i n g l y proposed to rename the poem *Signy's Lament'.. The weakest p o i n t i n h i s argument i s t h a t the names 'Wulf and "Eadwacer' do not correspond to any names i n the Sigmund t a l e . H i s s u g g e s t i o n t h a t Sigmund i s c a l l e d Wulf because he was head of the race of the Wolfings i s r a t h e r s t r a i n e d , and h i s f u r t h e r p o i n t t h a t Sigmund i s an outlaw, though t r u e , i s not e s p e c i a l l y u s e f u l , s i n c e the same c o u l d a p p l y to an i n -f i n i t e number of persons. Moreover, h i s r e a d i n g of Eadwacer as 'very v i g i l a n t one*, based on a . h y p o t h e t i c a l Old Norse au5vakr i s even more s t r a i n e d . Apart from the l a c k of c o r r e s -pondence i n the names, the p a s s i o n a t e tone of the poem i s out of keeping w i t h an i n c e s t u o u s r e l a t i o n s h i p entered i n t o out of a sense of duty. T h i s i s p o i n t e d out by Miss Lehmann ( P . 154) . S c h o f i e l d ' s h y p o t h e s i s f a i l e d to a chieve a n y t h i n g l i k e g e n e r a l acceptance. More popular, was the view t h a t Eadwacer must be the Old E n g l i s h e q u i v a l e n t of Odoacer . 2 3 5 T h i s was 2 3 ^ ' S i g n y ' s Lament,' PMLA, XVII, 262-295. 2 - ^ C f . Imelmann's theory. See above, p , 144. 1 5 9 proposed, apparently independently, by IFs-raeU Gollancz 2 3 6 and Henry Bradley, 2 3 7 ±n a r t i c l e s c r i t i c i s i n g Schofield. Both suggested that the Eadwacer of the poem was Odoacer, the enemy of Theodoric the Goth (c.4 5 4 -£26 ), the D i e t r i c h von Bern of German legend. Gollancz believes that Wulf i s Theo-doric, and that the name "Wulf* i s applied to him because of his exiles " i n the "Hildebrandslied" . . . D i e t r i c h f l e d into exile owing to Odoacer's enmity/(p. 5 5 2 ) . Bradley does not venture to i d e n t i f y Wulf with Theodric, and allows for the p o s s i b i l i t y that the poem may r§fer to another enemy of .Odoacer. Brahdl also equates Eadwacer with Odoacer. 2 38 H e suggests a possible connection with the Wolfdietrich story (presumably by confusion of Wolfdietrich with D i e t r i c h von Bern), but thinks i t equally possible that the poem i s based on a quite d i f f e r e n t 'outlaw t a l e ' . Schucking, too, favours a connection with Wolfdietrich. 2 3 9 The Wolfdietrich of Middle High German legend seems to represent a fusion of the h i s t o r i c a l Theodoric the Frank (Hugdietrich) and his son Theodebert ;(Wolfdietrich), who died i n 548. The legendary Wolfdietrich was driven out of his inheritance by his brothers, but a f t e r a long e x i l e re-turned and regained his kingdom. In connection with the name 2 3 6 ,The Sigurd Cycle and B r i t a i n , ' Athenaeum, 1 9 0 2 , 5 5 1 - 5 5 2 . 237'The Sigurd Cycle and B r i t a i n , ' Athenaeum, 1 9 0 2 , 7 5 8 . 2 38«Aitenglische L i t e r a t u r , • Grundriss, I I , 9 7 6 . 2 3 9 p j c h t e r b u c h , pp. 16 f. See Krapp-Dobbie, pp. l v i - l v i i . 1 6 0 'Wolfdletrich', Miss Lehmann notes that i t 'seems an epithet fo r an e x i l e * , although i n the legend i t i s explained by the hero having been car r i e d away by wolves when an infant (p .156) . I t i s th i s epithet which provides the basis f o r the proposed connection with Wulf, who may well be an outlaw, i n the poem. The story of Wolfdietrich shows s i m i l a r i t y with that of Di e t r i c h von Bern, who was also forced into e x i l e . Imelmann, as we have seen, related the poem to another Odoacer. Bouman thinks that Eadwacer/Odoacer i s a stock charac-ter who always takes the role of v i l l a i n . He associates him with Deor by v i r t u e of his connection with Theodoric ( D e o d r i c ) and Ermanaric (Eormanric), who are mentioned i n that poem. Having somewhat dubiously linked Eadwacer with Deor, he pro-ceeds to point out the connection of that poem, and hence of Wulf and Eadwacer, with the persons i n the VQlundarkvitfe., and concludes that the speaker i s B e a d u h i l d . T h e poem could, he thinks, be e n t i t l e d 'Beadohild's Complaint*. Bouman makes Eadwacer, as v i l l a i n , the person who carr i e s o f f the c h i l d (Wulf being Vglundr), and places a period a f t e r bjg. i n l i n e 16, t r a n s l a t i n g : 'Do you hear me? Eadwacer carries our poor whelp as an outcast to the woods' (pp. 104-105). Such a read-ing puts a heavy s t r a i n on the syntax of l i n e s 16-17. 240Miss Lehmann herself suggests a connection with the Wolfdietrich story. Seepp.l62- lb3," below. ( t ^^Bouman's argument i s decidedly tortuous. See Patterns  i n 0. E. and 0.1. L i t . , Chap. IV, pp. 95-106. 161 In 1962, Frankis suggested that Wulf and Eadwacer should be taken with Deor, since i t immediately follows the l a t t e r poem i n the manuscript and also employs strophes and a refrain.2 ^ 2 jje believes that both poems re f e r to some version of the HiId story, and that the hero of both, Wulf (Deor =. 'an animal') loves the daughter of the king of the Heodenings and conceives a c h i l d by her, whereupon he i s forced to f l e e . ' Heorrenda then takes over his p o s i t i o n as court scop. The H i l d story i s found i n Old Norse., There are also other ver-sions of i t , p a r t i c u l a r l y that i n the Middle High German Kudrun, In the Norse, H i l d r i s the daughter of Hogni. She i s loved by HeSinn, King of the Hj.aoningar and son of Hjarrandi. He<$inn steals away H i l d r , and i n the r e s u l t i n g b a t t l e between the armies of He<5inn and Hogni, H i l d r heals the s l a i n each night, so that the f i g h t w i l l go on u n t i l the end of the world. In Kudrun, Horant (Heorrenda) i s a marvellously talented minstrel who a s s i s t s Hed.en i n wooing H i l d . In Deor, as i n the Norse, the hero i s associated with the Heodenings (HjaSningar), but the relationship, between Deor and Heorrenda i s quite d i f f e r e n t from the relationships between t h e i r equiva-lents i n both versions of the H i l d story. There i s no hint i n Deor of the love-theme and the ensuing b a t t l e . I t seems l i k e l y that the Deor poet was merely attempting to give his 2 ^ 2 p t j t Frankis, '"Deor" and "Wulf and Eadwacer": Some Conjectures',* M M, XXXI, 161-175. In suggesting a connection between Wulf and Eadwacer and Deor, and between these poems and Old Norse legend, Frankis shows si m i l a r reasoning to Lawrence. See above, p. 157. 162 hero status by associating him with well-known legendary figures, and with Heorrenda., e s p e c i a l l y because he was famous i n tradiltion as a singer. Wulf and Eadwacer shows no corres-pondence with the H i l d story, except i n so f a r as the poem refers to the love between a woman and a man who i s , apparently, the enemy of her t r i b e . Prankis r e l i e s on Peor to make a con-nection between Wulf and Eadwacer and the H i l d legend, but there i s no e x p l i c i t i n d i c a t i o n i n either Peor or Wulf and  Eadwacer that the poems are to be taken together, although the compiler of the Exeter Book may have placed them next to one another because of t h e i r s i m i l a r structure. The l a s t c y c l i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to be treated here i s that of Miss Lehmann.^3 She advances a hypothesis whose very complexity i s an argument against i t . Miss Lehmann proposes that the two Theodorics (the Goth and the Frank) have been confused, and a story from the Frankish P i e t r i c h legend f i t t e d into that of the enmity between Theodoric the Goth and Odoacer. She suggests that Wulf's 'rare v i s i t s ' (seldcymas, l i n e 1 4 ) 2 ^ re f e r to the v i s i t s of Hugdietrich (father of Wolfdietrich) to H i l d , 2 ^ the bride of Siggeir. This i s weak, since one would expect Wulf to correspond with 2 i +3Lehmann, pp. 154-157. 244j would take this as an example of understatement, meaning that Wulf does not come at a l l . See below, Chap.III P. 189. the same as the H i l d of Frankis' theory. 163 Wolfdietrich. Apparently Miss Lehmann sees a further con-fusion here. As i n the case of The Husband's Message and The Wife's Lament, we f i n d a v a r i e t y of c y c l i c a l interpretations, none of which i s lent much support by the textoof the poem. The existence of names i n Wulf and Eadwacer makes the argument f o r i t s connection with a heroic cycle stronger than the case for such a connection with respect to the other two poems. I f an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with r e a l or legendary persons i s to be made, Odoacer seems a l i k e l y candidate as the equivalent of Eadwacer. But here the same objection applies as that made to Imelmann's theory, namely that we have no means of knowing which Odoacer i s referred to, or whether a s p e c i f i c person i s intended at a l l . *Wulf seems more l i k e an epithet than a r e a l name. The associa-t i o n with outlawry suggests such an epithet. Also, on an analogy with other Old English names we should expect'Wulf'to form one element of a double-barrelled compound (as i n 'Cynewulf and 'Wulfstan'). F i n a l l y , the technique of the poem does not give the impression of deliberate 'name-dropping*, as i n Deor. The use of names i n Wulf and Eadwacer i s more casual. I t seems best to take the view stated by P i l c h , that the names are f i c t i t i o u s . 2 ^ Wulf and Eadwacer i s , admittedly, a d i f f i c u l t poem, but i t i s not made simpler or more ef f e c t i v e bybeing related to a heroic cycle, or by being f i t t e d to a well-worked-out scheme of events.. Even i f the reader f a i l s to understand the poem 246 H > puch, 'The Elegiac Genre i n Old English and E a r l y Welsh Poetry,' ZCP, XXIX (1964), 213-214. 164 completely, the force of i t s concentrated emotion i s im-pressive. There has been an increasing tendency i n recent years to avoid dogmatic assertions about i t s contents. A l a i n Renoir, i n a very sensitive study which he s i g n i f i c a n t l y e n t i t l e s "a non-interpretation",^7 examines the poem as the ex-pression of 'suffering through separation' (p. 153)» and Ruth Lehmann concludes her a r t i c l e with the statement that the importance of the poem i s not determined 'by a legend we can only guess at, but rather by i t s effectiveness as the cry of a woman f o r her wandering lover' (p. 165). This brings us to an end of the c r i t i c a l interpretations of the six elegies, to date. The o v e r a l l changes i n c r i t i c a l trends have been l a r g e l y associated with an increasing emphasis on the sophistication,rather than the primitivism of the poetry. Also, i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the poems has become more de-t a i l e d . At the present time, there seem to be two major trends i n in t e r p r e t a t i o n of the elegies: one which seeks to re-la t e them to L a t i n influence, and another which examines the poems, often as psychological studies, without regard to sources and analogues. The work of J.E. Cross i s p a r t i c u l a r l y representative of the f i r s t school. Recent a r t i c l e s have pressed further the trend to re l a t e the poems to L a t i n , and have sometimes.pointed out resemblances i n quite small 247,„ W u lf and Eadwacer": A Non-Interpretation,• Magoun  Studies ed. J.B. Bessinger, J r . , and R.P. Creed (New York, 1965), 147-163. 165 p a r t i c u l a r s . Thus, Peter Clemoes suggests that the con-cept of the mind's a b i l i t y to think of absent things i n Sea-farer 58-64a and Wanderer 29b-57 i s derived from a passage i n the Hexaemeron of A m b r o s e . i j h e other c r i t i c a l approach i s seen i n E l l i o t t ' s a r t i c l e on The Wanderer2**'? and Renoir's on Wulf and Eadwacer. On the whole, the increasingly closer i n -vest i g a t i o n of the poems, even when one would not agree with i t s conclusions, has* shed valuable l i g h t on them. However, the danger i n these more detailed interpretations i s a ten-dency to f i n d what i s not there. The f a c t that Clemoes de-tects the same theme i n The Wanderer and The Seafarer as i n Ambrose's Hexaemeron does not necessarily prove that the l a t t e r i s a source, e s p e c i a l l y when, as i n this case, the theme i s a f a i r l y obvious one. S i m i l a r l y , E l l i o t t may be reading too much into the poem when he decides that the wan-derer has a g u i l t y conscience. The 'psychological' approach can also lead, i n a c e r t a i n kind of c r i t i c i s m , to a confusing, i f not meaningless, use of jargon. This is seen i n J.L. Rosier's a r t i c l e on The Wanderer, i n which he speaks of the wanderer's thought-processes i n terms of a 'conical s p i r a l ' (p. 366). A l l these a r t i c l e s contrast sharply with, for absentia cogitans i n The Seafarer and The  Wanderer,' Garmonsway Studies, ed. D.A. PearsaHand R.A. Waldron (London,,. 1969) 62-77. Cf. Mrs. Salmon's a r t i c l e . See above, pp.•, .89-91 . 2^?See above, p p v 102-103. 166 instance, the a r t i c l e of F e r r e l l i n 1894, which speaks of The Wanderer and The Seafarer i n very general terms. By and large, one might say that c r i t i c a l interpretations have come to give more c r e d i t to the Anglo-Saxon poet as a person of i n t e l l i g e n c e and education, but they are now subject to the accusation of. f i n d i n g too much sophis t i c a t i o n i n the poems, rather than too l i t t l e . CHAPTER III S t y l i s t i c Comment on the Elegies In i t s more formal aspects, the style of Old English poetry i s more or less.a unity throughout the various types and genres of poetic composition. Thus, there has been very l i t t l e commentary on the s t y l e of the elegies, or of any other s p e c i f i c branch of Old English poetry as such. This chapter w i l l therefore treat c r i t i c a l comments on the formal aspects of Old English s t y l e and prosody as a whole as well as p a r t i c u l a r comments on the elegies. The i l l u s t r a t i o n s given by c r i t i c s from the elegiac poems w i l l be given where these exist, and supplied where they are lacking. In less formal matters, such as the structure and imagery ef i n d i -v i d u a l poems, more has been said that pertains to the elegies i n p a r t i c u l a r . However, almost the only area i n which s t y l i s -t i c study has been devoted to elegiac poetry as a type i s that of formulaic d i c t i o n . This, then, i s probably the f i e l d i n which s t y l i s t i c appraisal has shed most l i g h t on the elegiac, genre. C r i t i c a l comment on the metrelof the elegies has tended to concentrate on those points i n which they diverge from the norm. For the purposes of t h i s study, the v a l i d i t y of Sievers* f i v e types w i l l be assumed as a b a s i s , 2 since, i n spite of the ^I include a l l i t e r a t i o n under the heading of 'metre* a l -though i n i t s s t r i c t usage the l a t t e r term refers only to stress. 2 E . Sievers, Altgermanische Metrik (Halle, 1893). For a convenient .summary of the p r i n c i p l e s of Sievers, see J.C.Pope, Seven Old English Poems (Indianapolis and New York, i 9 6 0 ) , pp. 105-116. 168 d i s a g r e e m e n t among s c h o l a r s a s t o t h e p r i n c i p l e s o f O l d E n g l i s h v e r s i f i c a t i o n , h i s f i v e - f o l d c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s gen-e r a l l y a c c e p t e d a n d r e f e r r e d t o . 3 As f a r a s I am aware, t h e r e h a s b e e n no stu d y s p e c i f i c a l l y d i r e c t e d t o t h e m e t r e o f e l e g i a c p o e t r y . M e t r i c a l comment has b e e n i n c i d e n t a l t o s t u d i e s o f theme o r s o u r c e . Some o f t h e s i x e l e g i e s u n d e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n do n o t d i f f e r m a r k e d l y f r o m t h e " c l a s s i c a l * m e t r e a s s e e n i n B e o w u l f . The Wanderer, The S e a f a r e r , a n d The Husband's Message a r e a l l m e t r i c a l l y u n r e m a r k a b l e , a l -t h o u g h D u n n i n g and B l i s s p o i n t o u t two m i n o r f e a t u r e s i n w h i c h The Wan d e r e r d i f f e r s f r o m B e o w u l f . T h e s e f e a t u r e s a r e t h e u s e o f a s i n g l e compound t o f o r m a c o m p l e t e v e r s e , a n d t h e u s e o f t y p e D i n t h e b - v e r s e . D u n n i n g a n d B l i s s p o i n t o u t t h a t i n s t a n c e s o f t h i s u s a g e a r e f o u n d i n The  S e a f a r e r . T h ey do n o t q u o t e e x a m p l e s , b u t earfo5hwile f r o m l i n e 3 m i g h t be c i t e d a s i l l u s t r a t i n g t h e f i r s t u s a g e , and haegl scTlrum f l e a g ( l i n e 17) t h e s e c o n d . T h e r e a r e some de-f e c t i v e l i n e s i n The S e a f a r e r : l i n e 16, where t h e b - v e r s e i s m i s s i n g ( t h i s may be d e l i b e r a t e ) ; a n d l i n e s 112-115a: w i b l e o f n e ond wio* l&bne * * * b e a l o . ,|>eah behe ne w i l l e f y r e s f u l n e obbe on baele f o r b a e r n e d n e h i s g e worhtne w i n e . T h i s l a t t e r c a s e , where t h e m e a n i n g i s a l s o o b s c u r e , f a i r l y c l e a r l y shows c o r r u p t i o n i n t r a n s m i s s i o n . * ^ O t h e r w i s e , t h e 3Among t h o s e who d i s a g r e e w i t h S i e v e r s , one o f t h e most i n -f l u e n t i a l h a s b e e n Pope, who a d v o c a t e s a s y s t e m o f s c a n s i o n u s -i n g i s o n o c h r o u s m e a s u r e s I n s t e a d o f S i e v e r s * f e e t . See The  Rhythm o f B e o w u l f (New Haven, 1942). *^The c o r r u p t i o n i n t h e l a s t s e c t i o n o f The S e a f a r e r ( l i n e s 103-124) h a s b e e n one o f t h e a r g u m e n t s f o r r e j e c t i n g t h i s p a r t o f t h e poem. See Chap. I I , pp. 63-64. 169 poem i s m e t r i c a l l y regular. The same i s true of The Hus-band's Message, although the damage to the manuscript here makes the evidence incomplete. The p e c u l i a r i t i e s noted i n The Wanderer are idiosyncracies .rather than i r r e g u l a r i t i e s , and may well be coincidental. The most noteworthy of the elegies as f a r as metre i s concerned^ i s Wulf and Eadwacer. The metrical i r r e g u l a r i t y of t h i s poem has been commented on t e r s e l y by Kemp Malone, 6 andrather more f u l l y by Ruth Lehmann.7 Malone notes i r r e g u l a r a l l i t e r a t i o n i n l i n e 4 (Wulf i s on iege, i c on oberre) and 18 (fraet mon 5abe t5slTte6 r baette nasfre gesomnad waes). In both of these l i n e s , contrary to standard metrical practice, the second main stress of the b-verse i s a l l i t e r a t e d . Miss Lehmann speaks of an absence of a l l i t e r a t i o n i n l i n e 18, but c l e a r l y the js's of the second and fourth main stresses ( i n toslIte5 and gesomnad) are intended to a l l i t e r a t e . The posi-tions of. the two c r i t i c s are reversed with regard to l i n e 12, where Miss Lehmann speaks of i r r e g u l a r a l l i t e r a t i o n and Malone finds none at all} waes m5 wyn to bon, waes m5 hwaebre 5ac lao r. Again, the w - hw a l l i t e r a t i o n seems to be intended, but i t i s not an a l l i t e r a t i o n allowable i n c l a s s i c a l verse. Malone states further 'Three of the on-verses ( l i n e s 9 , 13, 14) go - 5 j . . e . , the most noteworthy of the. t y p i c a l s i x . The Rhy-ming Poem i s , of course, remarkable. 6'Two English Frauenlieder,* CL, XIV (1962), 110. 7'The Metrics and Structure of "Wulf and Eadwacer",* PQ, XLVIII ( 1969) , 152-154. v •"•"•"^•^ " ~ 170 against c l a s s i c a l metrics, each i n i t s own way.' Line 9 (Wulfes i c mines wldlastum wenum dogode) shows, a break between verses which does not, i f we take wTdlSstum as an adjective q u a l i f y i n g wenum, correspond with the s y n t a c t i c a l break, as i s usually the case. 8 The s t r i k i n g Wulf, min Wulf i n l i n e 13a i s also pointed out by Miss Lehmann. The verse has only three s y l l a b l e s instead of the usual minimum of four. Editors do not usually emend this verse because, as she says •the emotional impact i s greatest i n i t simplest form* (p. 1 5 3 ) . Line 14, also c i t e d as i r r e g u l a r by Malone, seems to be unobjectionable. Miss Lehmann notes the frequency of un-usually long l i n e s (though not expanded i n the sense of hav-ing an extra s t r e s s ) , pointing out that .seven are of more than twelve s y l l a b l e s . She observes that 'The four h a l f -l i n e s with double a l l i t e r a t i o n [2, 8, 17, 19] that take the place of f u l l l i n e s are i n each instance preceded by one of these longer l i n e s * (p. 1J>2). From a l l these observations i t i s clea r that the poem makes no attempt to adhere to a r i g i d pattern. Miss Lehmann describes i t as 'metrically unique' (p. 1 5 2 ) , which i s probably not an overstatement. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that some of the most i r r e g u l a r l i n e s are also the most poignant. This i s true of l i n e 12, and es-p e c i a l l y l i n e 1 3 , where the emphatic cry breaks the bounds 8Pope (Seven 0.E.Poems, p. 9 9 , n. 6) points out that Wanderer, 64b breaks t h i s r u l e . In the present case, wldlastum would f i t into the s y n t a c t i c a l group of the a-verse i f taken as a noun 'wide wanderings' as i s done by some scho-l a r s . S t i l l , the a-verse, l i k e some of the other verses of the poem, has an unusually large number of weak s y l l a b l e s . 171 of metrical r e s t r a i n t . The short l i n e s also have a s p e c i a l q u a l i t y of t h e i r own. ..Each has the e f f e c t of completing the previous l i n e , to which i t adds a surcharge of f e e l i n g . Both Kemp Malone and Ruth Lehmann r i g h t l y regard the poem very highly. I t s metrical freedom i s a strength, not a weakness. Malone may well "be r i g h t i n b e l i e v i n g that the poem's i r r e g u l a r i t y points to a popular, rather than an a r i s t o c r a t i c o r i g i n . Certainly, Wulf and Eadwacer has l i t t l e i n common with Beowulf, or even with the m e t r i c a l l y looser Battle of  Maldon. I t i s a private poem, whereas they are public poems, and also i t has no d i r e c t connection with a heroic society. Some of the elegies, The Wanderer, f o r instance, indubitably have. 9 The end-stopped l i n e s , 1 0 the f l u c t u a t i o n i n l i n e -length, and the general i r r e g u l a r i t y of Wulf and Eadwacer are reminiscent of popular poetry as seen i n the Charms, a l -though the l a t t e r show d i s t i n c t l y less poetic a b i l i t y . Malone believes that The Wife's Lament, l i k e Wulf and  Eadwacer, stands outside the c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n of. poetry and shows a s i m i l a r freedom i n i t s metre, 1 1 although he ad-mits that the former poem i s more indebted to that t r a d i t i o n . The Wife's Lament i s i n f a c t much less free m e t r i c a l l y than .Wulf and Eadwacer. Malone picks out.three examples of 9See Chap. I I , pp.- 57-58. 1 0The run-on s t y l e , with thought-breaks between the verses rather than at the end of l i n e s i s a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of c l a s s i -c a l poetry, as seen i n Beowulf, although i t i s not a metrical requirement. 1 1 'Frauenlieder,' pp. 116-117. 172 i r r e g u l a r a l l i t e r a t i o n , acknowledging that two of these can be corrected by emendation: hwaet i c yrmba gebad sibban i c up [axTwSox (Wife's Lament, and . i s nu [fornumenj swa h i t no wire, (Wife's Lament, W) Line 4 i s d e f i n i t e l y i r r e g u l a r (having double a l l i t e r a t i o n i n the b-verse): ntwes obbe ealdes,. n5 mS bonne nu. The emendation i n l i n e 3 i s a very simple one and should, I> think, be accepted, since there appears to be no good reason f o r i r r e g u l a r i t y . Line 24 i s a rather more d i f f i c u l t case. Editors usually.assume that something i s missing i n the a-verse. Miss Lehmann, however, suggests that we may have here something l i k e the short l i n e s i n Wulf and Eadwacer. The l i n e makes sense and i s e f f e c t i v e as i t stands. But swa h i t no  was re i s a conventional verse. Wanderer, 96b (swa h§o no  waere) i s almost i d e n t i c a l , and l i n e 96 has a f u l l a-verse of normal type. The case must remain undecided. There i s , then, a l i t t l e i r r e g u l a r i t y i n the a l l i t e r a t i o n of The Wife's Lament, the exact extent being uncertain, but there i s not enough to separate the poem from the c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n . There are no further conspicuous i r r e g u l a r i t i e s i n the matters of stress and l i n e length to support Malone's case. I t i s , of course, true, that i n subject-matter and q u a l i t y of f e e l i n g the poem 17 Emendations by L e s l i e . Y 173 i s l i k e Wulf and Eadwacer and unlike most of the rest of Old English verse. The other formal features i n which the elegies show themselves to be d i f f e r e n t from most Old English poetry are l a r g e l y s t r u c t u r a l and syntactic rather than metrical, a l -though these categories overlap. I t has already been re-marked that Wulf and Eadwacer shows traces of stanzaic struc-. ture, and the use of a r e f r a i n consisting of a f u l l l i n e f o l -lowed by a short l i n e caused Lawrence to l i n k i t with Old N o r s e . S o m e c r i t i c s have even detected something akin to stanzaic structure i n The Wife's Lament. T.If. Davis-1-"^ finds the units into which th i s poem breaks down s u f f i c i e n t l y marked to be referred to as stanzas. He regards l i n e s 1-5 as a Prologue (pp. 296-297) , a f t e r which the f i r s t 'stanza* begins j In the f i r s t stanza (11. 6-10) her l o r d leaves and the wife i s forced to seek protection; i n the second stanza (11. 11-26) the kinsmen plot against her and she i s forced to endure fseShSu . . . ; i n the t h i r d stanza (11. 27-41) someone commands her to l i v e i n the oak-grove and she i s nil the l o n e l i e s t of human beings. Each unit begins with a statement of the source of her g r i e f , and each unit ends with a f i r s t - p e r s o n expression of her sorrow. (pp. 299-300) W^.W. Lawrence, 'The F i r s t Riddle of Cynewulf,* PMLA, XVII (1902), 251-255. See above Chap. I I , p.-157. -^'Another View of the "Wife's Lament",* Papers on English Language and Literature, I (1965), 291-305. 174 He presumably sees l i n e s 42- end as a fourth 'stanza*. Herbert P i l c h , who believes the Old English elegies to be modelled on Welsh.poems of a s i m i l a r type, suggests that *the traces of refiain , v /found s p e c i f i c a l l y i n the Old English elegy* (presumably he i s thinking of Deor and Wulf and  Eadwacer) and the use of rhyme i n The Rhyming Poem represent an attempt to recreate i n Old English the close-knit struc-ture of the Welsh englyn. 1^ The connection with Old Welsh proposed by P i l c h need not necessarily be accepted, but cer-t a i n l y the consistent use of r e f r a i n or rhyme i s not found outside the elegiac poems, Deor i s highly unusual i n having d i s t i n c t stanzas, of uneven length, to be sure. 1? In i t s use of a r e f r a i n to mark the end of every stanza i t i s unique, 1 8 Rhyme i s the s a l i e n t device of The Rhyming Poem and makes i t also, i n i t s d i f f e r e n t way, unique, although intermittent rhyme.appears elsewhere i n Old English verse. In. the Old •L^This description of the 'stanzas* i n the poem resembles the s t r u c t u r a l analyses to be discussed later.. See pp, 203-206, below. -1-6• The Elegiac Genre i n Old English and E a r l y Welsh Poetry,* ZCP, XIX1 (1964), 221. See also Chap. I, pp.33-34, above, Englyn i s the term f o r a type of s t r i c t form i n Welsh poetry, involving i n t e r n a l rhyme and l i n k s between the stanzas. '•^ Some editors, including Kemp Malone (Deor, 2nd ed., London, 1949), p r i n t the poem with a break a f t e r l i n e 3^» thus giving one stanza, l i n e s 28-34,. without a r e f r a i n , -^The only other Old English poem with a f u l l y developed stanzaic structure i s 'The Seasons fo r Fasting' (The Anglo-Saxon Minor Poems, ed. E.V.K, Dobbie, New York, 1942, pp. 98-104). Here the stanzas are of f a i r l y uniform length, but there i s no r e f r a i n . 175 English period rhyme i s an ornament added to, rather than taking the place of, a l l i t e r a t i o n , even i n The Rhyming Poem. None of the six elegies that we are p a r t i c u l a r l y considering employs a s t r u c t u r a l device at once so unusual and so regular as that of r e f r a i n i n Peor and rhyme i n The Rhyming Poem. The only one of the six to use rhyme i s The Ruin. I t maybe seen i n the following placesj hrtm on ltme 1^ ( l i n e 4 ) , scorene. gedrorene ( l i n e 5), forweorone geleorene ( l i n e 7), stSap geap ( l i n e 11), wong gecrong ( l i n e 31). Miss Hotchner suggested that rhyme might show L a t i n influence behind The R u i n . 2 0 But what we have here i s not end-rhyme as seen i n the L a t i n hymns, and also occasionally i n Old English poems, l i n k i n g the a- and b-verse, as i n The Rhyming Poem. The Ruin poet l i k e s to rhyme adjacent, or near-adjacent, words i n a way that i s p a r t l y decorative, p a r t l y emphatic. The tech-nique i s s i m i l a r i n e f f e c t to his use of a l l i t e r a t i o n plus assonance, as i n HroTas sind gehrorene ( l i n e 3 ) , ofstonden  under stormum ( l i n e 11), Mod mofnade] ( l i n e 18). One thing that emerges from a l l these comments i s the very v a r i e t y of the elegiac poems. We have seen that some of them correspond f a i r l y c l o s e l y to ' c l a s s i c a l * , practice i n matters of prosody. On the other hand, Wulf and Eadwacer d i f f e r s considerably from the c l a s s i c a l model, and The Ruin, too, has i t s p e c u l i a r i t i e s . As f o r other poems i n the 1 0 /Not a f u l l rhyme, but c l e a r l y the e f f e c t i s intended. 2 0 C . Hotchner, Wessex and Old English Poetry, with Special  Consideration of The Ruin (Lancaster, Pa., 1939), pp. 113-H4. 176 elegiac group, The Rhyming Poem i s i n the nature of a metri-c a l experiment, and Peor i s remarkable i n i t s use of strophes and a r e f r a i n . I t seems that, perhaps because i t adopted the personal rather than the formal and public manner, the elegy was a type of poetry i n which the Anglo-Saxon poets f e l t free to use a c e r t a i n amount of licence i f they so wished. There are cert a i n formal features of Old English poetic d i c t i o n which apply to the whole of the poetry. One of the most noteworthy i s the frequent use of compound words. The nature of the compounds and t h e i r usage are well described by Brodeur. His remarks are prefatory to a study of the d i c t i o n of Beowulf, but are also generally applicable: The r i c h e s t and most meaningful content-words i n the poetic vocabulary are the substantival and a d j e c t i v a l compounds; they not only ex-press concepts, of-ten very f o r c e f u l l y or ima-ginatively; they often contain or imply p a r t i a l description of concepts as well.21 Later, he states: The f i r s t or l i m i t i n g element infscompounds usually a f f e c t s more or less m a t e r i a l l y the sense of the compound. Therefore we can f i n d , among compounds made with the same base-word, a wide range of meanings on d i f f e r e n t poetic l e v e l s . ( p . I D An example from The Wanderer i s earmcearig ( l i n e 20), con-t r a s t i n g with wintercearig ( l i n e 24). The former, •wretched-sad', i n t e n s i f i e s the word within the same dimension of mean-ing, so to speak; the l a t t e r , 'winter-sad*, suggests a whole 2lA.G. Brodeur, The Art of Beowulf (Berkeley and Los Angeles, i960), p. 8. 177 range of comparisons with the coldness and forlormess• of winter. Although compounds are formed i n t r a d i t i o n a l ways, as, f o r instance, here on the base -cearig, many of the poetic ones are found i n only a few places, some only once. This f a c t i s also commented upon by Brodeur, who suggests that 'in d i v i d u a l poets allowed themselves much freedom i n the forma-t i o n of new compounds', and that, by substitution of synonyms, new compounds could be formed on the patterns of those already-known (p. 270). Wintercearig i s a hapax legomenon. I t might, of course, be p a r a l l e l l e d elsewhere i f more of the poetry were s t i l l extant. But i t s use i n l i n e 24 of The Wanderer, although based on t r a d i t i o n a l patterns, and embodying t r a d i t i o n a l asso-c i a t i o n s , 22 s t i l l i s highly imaginative, i n that i t imparts a vast desolation to the image of the lordless man: w5d wintercearig ofer wape[m]a gebind. The suggestion of winter l i n k s up with the picture of the watery expanse, also empty and s t e r i l e , and the two expressions, linked by a l l i t e r a t i o n , reinforce each other. Earmcearig i s found elsewhere only i n The Seafarer. Whether the compound was coined independently i n each case or whether i t was ready-formed, we cannot say, but i n each poem the word contributes to making i t s context deeply pathetic: oft earmcearig, edle bidseled, f reomaegum f ebr (Wanderer, 20-21a) 22A s i m i l a r compound wintercealde, used metaphorically, i s found i n Deor, l i n e 4, to describe a s i t u a t i o n with conno tations of exile and elegy. See above, Chap. I, p.19. 178 and hu i c earmcearig Iscealdne sae winter wunade wraeccan lasturn. (Seafarer, 14-15) Not a l l the compounds contain this emotional charge. Eardstapa i n l i n e 6 of The Wanderer, though e f f e c t i v e i n describing the subject of the poem as a 'land-stepper* ( i n the same way as the hart i n Beowulf, l i n e 1368 i s described as a hasp'stapa 'heath-stepper'), i s not on the same poetic l e v e l . But Brodeur i s r i g h t i n regarding the compounds as the most s i g n i f i c a n t 'content-words'. Examples of emotive compounds could be. found i n almost every other l i n e of the elegies. Sumorlangne i n The Wife's Lament i s a notable instance. I t suggests the end-lessness of each day f o r the banished wife: under Sctreo geond pas eorpscrafu, pa*r i c s i t t a [ n ] mSt sumorlangne dseg, (Wife's Lament, 36-37) " We f i n d a compound of the same kind i n Genesis B, used with even greater poignancy, when Satan c r i e s : Wa l a , ante i c mlnra handa geweald and moste ane t l d nte weoroan, • wesan ane winterstunde. (Genesis, 368b-370a) He desires to be free f o r one b r i e f e s t hour, a 'winter-hour', as the wife must s i t an endless day, a 'summer-long day'. I t might be noted that Wulf and Eadwacer contains fewer poetic compounds than the rest of the elegies, and, indeed, than most of Old English poetry. Ralph E l l i o t t observes that ' . . . the very absence i n t h i s poem of poetic compounds or phrases' 179 whose recurrence may make them suspect i n other Old English poems i s a sign of a developed, i n d i v i d u a l poetic s t y l e . * 2 3 The only noteworthy compounds are waslreowe ( l i n e 6 ) , wfdlastum ( l i n e 9 ) » beaducSfa ( l i n e 1 1 ) , and seld^paas ( l i n e 1 4 ) . These are 'content-words' of the kind described above, but they are less p l e n t i f u l than usual. MetelTste ( l i n e 15) i s a compound, but not an e s p e c i a l l y poetic, one., This poem r e l i e s much less on compounds feo gain i t s emotive ef f e c t , and i s thus, as i n i t s metre, rather d i f f e r e n t from, the other elegies. However, the use of such compounds i n other poems c e r t a i n l y need not be re-garded as a weakness, as E l l i o t t implies. As we have seen, a l -though . t r a d i t i o n a l i n pattern, they can be quite i n d i v i d u a l . In association with the compound should be mentioned the kenning, although t h i s can be a phrase as well as a compound. Again, we s h a l l f i n d that c r i t i c a l commentary has been directed to the whole f i e l d of Old English poetry, or to Beowulf, rather than to the elegies. Although c r i t i c s are agreed upon the im-portance of the kenning and i t s general character as some kind of poetic periphrasis, they,disagree as to whether i t should be defined as a metaphor or a more general type of poetic circum-locution. Here, Brodeur's d i s t i n c t i o n between a kenning and a kent h e i t i ('characterised simplex*O^iwi 1 1 be followed, 23 •Form and Image i n the Old English L y r i c s , ' EIC, XI ( 1 9 6 1 ) , 4 . 2 i +Both the terms 'kenning' and ' h e i t i ' originate from Snorri Sturluson's c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of terms used by the Icelandic skalds. They are used by scholars with reference to both Old English and Old Norse poetry. 1 8 0 although I t i s a d i s t i n c t i o n not always made.25 He defines the kenning as a metaphor which 'contains an incongruity be-tween the referent and the meaning of the base-word*, adding: .'in the kenning the l i m i t i n g word i s es s e n t i a l to the figure because without i t the incongruity would make any i d e n t i f i c a -t i o n impossible ' (pp. 250-251 ) . There are no very s t r i k i n g examples i n the elegies under consideration of kennings i n the s t r i c t sense. Two instances might be c i t e d from The Sea-farers cearselda ( l i n e 5) 'abodes of care', i . e . , 'sufferings', and sumeres weard ( l i n e 54) 'guardian of summer*,' i . e . , the cuckoo which has just been referred to. These are kennings because sufferings are not abodes and the cuckoo i s not a guardian. In each case the f i r s t element i n the periphrasis i s necessary to make i t cle a r what the significance of the kenning i s , Brodeur's i l l u s t r a t i o n s of kenning are rather clearer examples: banhfls (bonehouse) f o r 'body', and beadoleoma (battle-light.) f o r • sword*. (p. 250). The expressions which Brodeur- c a l l s kend h e i t i are 'Those periphrases which are not kennings, but which possess the same structure as the kenning, and which i d e n t i f y the referent as something which i t i s ' (p. 2 5 1 ) . Kend h e i t i are rather more common i n the elegies. The previously mentioned,.compound eardstapa (Wanderer, l i n e 6) i s i n fact a kent h e i t i . So-is sinces bryttan ('breaker ( i . e . d i s t r i b u t o r ) of treasure' (Wanderer, l i n e 2 5 ) . 2 5 K l a e b e r gives a d e f i n i t i o n of kennings which also em-braces the kend h e i t i . He describes them as 'picturesque c i r -cumlocutory words and phrases,' Beowulf, 3rd ed. (Bps-ton, 1 9 5 0 ) , p. l x i i i . ; i 8 i Many of the kend h e i t i i n the six elegies are p e r i -phrases f o r the seas wapema gebind 'binding ( i . e . , 'con-glomeration') of the waves' (Wanderer, 24 and 5 7 ) } 2 ^ .yba  gelac 'tumult of the waves* (Wife's lament, 7 ) ; sealtypa gelac 'tumult of the s a l t waves' '(^Seafarer, 35); msewes "Bbel •homeland of the g u l l ' (Husband I s Message, 26); hwaerleTsJ efrel 'homelandoof the whale' (Seafarer, 60); hwaelwe'g 'the whale's way* (Seafarer, 63 ) . 2 7 Since seafaring i s a f a m i l i a r theme of elegiac poetry, i t i s not su r p r i s i n g to f i n d a l l these expressions. What we do not f i n d are the elaborate b a t t l e -kennings and kend h e i t i of the heroic poetry. The Battle of  Brunanburh, f o r examplewhich i s one of the most formal and ornate poems i n Old Einglish and rather i n the nature of a set-piece, i s f u l l of them.i Also, i t uses these devices i n a much more conscious way than_the elegies, with which i t pro-vide's a useful contrast. In Brunanburh we see true kennings the sun i s described as godes condel ( l i n e 1 5 ) . Hamora lafan 'leavings of hammers', i . e . , 'swords' ( l i n e 6) Is on the bor-derline between kenning and| kent h e i t i . Other circumlocutions, kend h e i t i rather than kennings, are bilgeslehtes 'clashing of swords' ( l i n e 4 5 ) , cumbolgehnastes ' c o l l i s i o n of standards' ( l i n e 4 9 ) , and wae'pengewrixles 'exchange of weapons* ( l i n e 5 1 ) — • a l l terms f o r b a t t l e . Beside these elaborate compounds, the ^°The f i r s t of these ins.tances i s thought by some scholars to r e f e r to the'binding'of i c e . 27MS waelweg. Almost always emended, but Smithers favours the uneraended version. See,above, Chap. I I , p. 82. 182 I circumlocutions of the elegies seem quite p l a i n . There has been wide divergence of c r i t i c a l opinion as to the effectiveness of the kennihgs and kend h e i t i i n general and the circumlocutions f o r the sea i n particular. Three kend  h e i t i of the '-way* and'-abode* type were c i t e d above. Robert Kissack finds i n such expressions f o r the sea 'a highly en-t h u s i a s t i c and poetic f e e l i n g of p l e a s u r e . ' 2 8 Helen Buckhurst states: 'In t h i s type of compound and phrase the Old English poets show l i t t l e imagination, and the terms are generally used quite conventionally. .29 Anne Treneer believes that many of these expressions 'are almost playful.'3° Henry C e c i l Wyld makes a d i s t i n c t i o n between expressions of this type, which he regards as t r i t e , and others, among which he includes sealtffba  gelac i n The Seafarer and wabema gebind i n The Wanderer, which he finds e f f e c t i v e . 3 1 A l l the above comments, none of which3C^©£) than 1929, belong to a school of c r i t i c i s m , less fashionable nowadays, whose approach to Old English poetic d i c t i o n was to pick out the gems i n i t . A l l these c r i t i c s give l i s t s of the expressions of which they approve, and sometimes of those which they regard with disfavour. The f a u l t of t h i s kind of c r i t i c i s m i s that i t . 2 8 , T h e Sea i n Anglo-Saxon and Middle English Poetry,* Washington Univ. Studs., Humanistic Series, XIII (1926) , 373. 2?'Terms and Phrases f o r the Sea i n Old English Poetry,' Klaeber Studies, ed. K. Malone and M.B. Ruud (Minneapolis, 1929), 114-115. " . 3°The Sea i n English Literature from Beowulf to Donne (Lon-don and Liverpool, 1926), p. 37. 3 1'Diction and Imagery i n Anglo-Saxon Poetry,' E & S, XI (1925) , 58. 183 f a i l s to take account of the larger poetic context. Wyld was righ t i n picking out sealtyba gelac and wabema gebind as par-t i c u l a r l y e f f e c t i v e , but t h e i r effectiveness cannot be seen i n i s o l a t i o n . The former expression occurs i n a context of great emotional excitement: Here, the restlessness of the waves seems to correspond to the restlessness i n the seafarer's own s p i r i t . The effectiveness of wabema gebind i n l i n e 24 of The Wanderer has already been mentioned. Line 57 i s less s t r i k i n g , but here, as i n l i n e 24, there i s the suggestion of a great waste of water, u t t e r l y disheartening, e s p e c i a l l y at thi s moment, when the wanderer has just achieved a b r i e f , i l l u s o r y escape from i t i n dreams: As f o r the kend h e i t i of a type v a r i o u s l y praised and condemned, they too need to be considered as a part of the poems to which they belong. The instances c i t e d from The Sea farer and The Husband's Message a l l occur at points where the verse i s rapid and impetuous: For bon cnyssao^ nu heortan gepOhtas past i c h5an strSamas, sealtypa gelSc s y l f cunnige . 32 (Seafarer, 33b-35) bam be sendan sceal ofer wabema gebind Cearo bicf gentwad swlbe geneahhe werigne sefan. (Wanderer, 55^-57) For bon nu mTn hyge hweorfe5 .ofer hreberlocan, min modsefa mid mereflode, ofer hwasles epel hweorfe6 r wide. 32This passage i s discussed above. See Chap. I I , pp. 7 7 - 7 8 . 184 ' i hweteo" on hwaelweg hreper unwear^num ofer holma gelagu, f o r pon me. hatran slnd :Dryhthes dreamas . . . (Seafarer, 63-65a) Ongln mere', secan, maewes epel: onslte sasnacan. (Husband 1s  Message, 26-27a7 In the Seafarer passages, e s p e c i a l l y the second (the two are, of course, very close together), i t i s the sense of urgency that impresses i t s e l f upon the reader rather than any d e l i b -erate poetic!sm. This urgency i s l a r g e l y conveyed by the as-pir a t e a l l i t e r a t i o n , i n which hwaeles epel and hwaelweg partake. The e f f e c t i s p a r t i c u l a r l y noticeable i n the second passage, where the a l l i t e r a t i o n i s car r i e d over two consecutive l i n e s . In the passage from The.Husband's Message one i s more con-scious of a deliberate poetic heightening, but s t i l l there i s an eager, impulsive q u a l i t y i n the l i n e s . These kend h e i t i are used i n a much less formal fashion than words l i k e hronrad and swanrSd i n Beowulf, a difference which i s i n keeping with the more personal and spontaneous character of the elegies. The poetic compounds and circumlocutions of Old English are related to the larger poetic technique of v a r i a t i o n , which cu l t i v a t e s t h e i r usage. Once again, the d e f i n i t i o n given by Brodeur i s h e l p f u l : V a r i a t i o n involves the repeated expression of'the same concept or idea, not i n i d e n t i c a l terms, but i n terms'which, while they restate e s s e n t i a l l y the same concept or proposition, do so i n a manner that emphasizes a somewhat d i f f e r e n t aspect of i t . ( P . 272) Examples of v a r i a t i o n may be seen i n the passages just quoted 185 from The Seafarer and The Husband's Message. Modsefa (Sea-fa r e r . 59) varies hyge ( l i n e 58), and hwseles epel ( l i n e 60) varies mereflode ( l i n e 59). S i m i l a r l y , ofer holma gelagu ( l i n e 64) varies on hwaelweg ( l i n e 63). In The Husband's Message, mSSwes gpel ( l i n e 26) varies mere i n the same l i n e . Whole clauses can be varied: b i t r e brgostceare gebiden haebbe, gecunnad i n ceole cearselda f e l a . (Seafarer, 4-5) V a r i a t i o n merges into the related devices of enumeration and progression. In the opening of The Seafarer: Maeg i c be me sylfum so^gied wrecan, sibas secgan what we have i s enumeration, since sibas i s not equivalent to soflgied. Lines 26-27 of The Husband's Message show progres-sion, i . e . , Ongin mere sScan, and then onsite saenacan. Bro-deur makes a d i s t i n c t i o n between the three devices, but ad-mits that i t may be ' d i f f i c u l t to distinguish between true v a r i a t i o n and other collocations the i n d i v i d u a l members of which show closeness of sense-relation' (See pp. 274-275). As i n the case of the other formal devices of Old Eng-l i s h verse, few c r i t i c s have made a s p e c i f i c study of the use of v a r i a t i o n i n the elegies. By and large the usage corres-ponds with that throughout the poetry. As one would expect, i t i s less conscious and elaborate than i n some of the more public poems. Once again, Brunanburh serves to provide an extreme example of very deliberate formality. The poem opens: 1 8 6 HSr iEpelstan cyning, eorla dryhten, ' beorna bBahigifa, and hi s broboireac, Eadmund aejieling . . . (Brunanburh, l - 3 a ) AEfrelstan i s varied twice, and his brobor once. The examples of variation,, and i t s related devices, which were pointed out i n The Seafarer and The Husband's Message were much less prominent. Malone comments on the use of v a r i a t i o n i n Wulf and Eadwacer and The Wife's Lament. With regard to the former, he st a t e s i 'Repetition rather than v a r i a t i o n i s a d i s t i n c t i v e feature of the poem.'33 The r e f r a i n , of course, i s repeated, so i s the word Wulf; and the idea of l i n e 9 (Wulfes i c mines wTdlastum w.Bnum dogode) occurs again i n l i n e s 1 3 - l 4 a (Wulf, min Wulf, wena me bine / sBoce gedydon). There i s not one single example of r e a l v a r i a t i o n ; The closest we come to i t i s the enumeration of l i n e s 13b - 15* wena m3 bine sBoce gedydon, bine seldcymas, mujjrnende mod, nale's me t e l l s te. Malone's remarks OK. The Wife's Lament are f u l l e r . He picks out the most straightforward examples of v a r i a t i o n , t-erffiing_ them 'rather simpler than usual' (p. 11?)/ The instances given by him are as followsi l e o f r a (16) and holdra freonda ( 17) ; frynd (33) and lBofe ( 3 4 ) ; wrascslbas (38) and earfoba f e l a ( 3 9 ) ; brSostceare (44) and sinsorgna gedreag ( 4 5 ) ; frgond (47) and wine ( 4 9 ) . Malone then c i t e s examples " c l a s s i f i a b l e as v a r i a -tions .. . . of a much less rigorous kind' (p. 117): me (1) and 3 3'Frauenlieder,' p. 110. 187 f u l geomorre (1): hiionan (6), of lgodum, and ofer ypa ge!5c ( 7): i c (9) and wineleas wrascca (10); gewtdost i n woruldrice (13) and i a 5 l i c o s t (14). Most of these are not variations i n the s t r i c t sense. However, they do show that tendency to p i l e up grammatically p a r a l l e l expressions which i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Old English poetry, and of which v a r i a t i o n i s one aspect. In f a c t , the varia t i o n s i n the poem are s t i l l f a i r l y p l e n t i f u l , and although Malone considers them * simple' they are merely the standard type of substantival v a r i a t i o n seen i n the ex-amples from The Seafarer, The Husband's Message, and Brunanburh. One would not expect them to be as conspicuous as i n the l a s t poem. The Wife's Lament i s no more remarkable i n i t s formal handling of d i c t i o n than i t was i n i t s use of metre. Malone appears to be s t r a i n i n g the evidence f o r the sake of grouping the poem with Wulf and Eadwacer as popular Frauenlieder. 34 Another general feature of Old Englishppoetic d i c t i o n i s i t s use of understatement. This i s described i n an a r t i c l e by Frederick BracVrsr, i n 1937.35 Brach.er points out that understatement i s usually achieved i n Old English verse, not by the use of a weaker term, but 'by the use of a negation* the denial of the opposite (p. 915)» i . e . , by the figure of l i t o t e s , although Brachjer does not use t h i s term. An instance from the elegies would be no baer f e l a bringecf / cu5;rat^ 34see above, Chap, I I , p.-132. 35'Understatement i n Old English Poetry,' PMLA, I I I , 915-934. 188 cwidegiedda i n Wanderer, l i n e s 54b - 55a. When the poet says that not many f a m i l i a r spoken tales were brought, he means i n fa c t that there were none at a l l . Brac'hjer also distinguishes •incomplete negation' with the use of words l i k e l y t and ff_a. One example of this type of understatement i s seen i n 5 h t e i c  l e o f r a l y t i n l i n e 16 of The Wife's Lament, where "the wife means that she has no friends, not that she only has a few. Bradh;er gives a table l i s t i n g the frequency of understatement i n the Old English poems (pp. 920-921) . He l i s t s four i n -stances f o r The Wanderer, one f o r The Husband's Message, one f o r The Wife's Lament, and one f o r The Seafarer. He does not c i t e the other elegies, nor does he give^quotations. He d i s -tinguishes four uses of understatements h o s t i l e intent, humour, emphasis, and moderation. The l a s t feature i s not well sub-stantiated by Bracjier, and can be l e f t out of a consideration of the elegies. In addition to the two examples already men-tioned, the instances Brach;er seems to have i n mind.ares p£tm be him l y t hafa£ l e o f r a geholena (Wanderer, 3 D . . . nSles wunden gold, . . . nalaes f oldan blsed (Wanderer, 32 & 337" nis him wilna gad (Husband's  Message, 4 5 ) For pbn him gelffeS l y t , se" be ah l l f e s wyn • t • (Seafarer. 27) I assume that the second and t h i r d examples from The Wanderer are those which would be picked out by Braciher, but they are 189 not very good examples, since they form part of an a n t i t h e s i s , and t h e i r e f f e c t i s not quite the same as that of simple under-statement, Bruce M i t c h e l l sees further understatement i n The  Wanderer i n l i n e s 65b - 69: Wita sceal gepyldig; ne sceal no t o hatheort ne to hraedwyrde, ne to wac) wiga ne to wanhydig, ne to forht, n p t o faegen, ne t5 feohgtfre, ne. naif re gielpes t o georn air he geare cunne. M i t c h e l l argues that these l i n e s show understatement i n the form of meiosis, since a man i s not recommendgFtS be 'not too wrathful nor too h-astyv of speech 1, etc . ^ s b u t not to be. these things at a l l . - * 0 " M i t c h e l l ' s point i s a v a l i d one, but there i s some d i f f i c u l t y with faegen, which means ' j o y f u l ' and i s not usually a pejorative word. Presumably here i t has the sense of 'overconfident', and we can therefore accept that a man should not be overconfident at a l l , rather than not too overconfident. To the examples of understatement c i t e d by Brachjer I would add seldcymas i n l i n e 14 of Wulf and Eadwacer. This i s sometimes taken l i t e r a l l y as 'rare-comings', but i t seems to me f a r more e f f e c t i v e i f . taken as'a euphemism f o r the fa c t that Wulf did not come at a l l . This would be e n t i r e l y i n the Old English manner,.and i n keeping with the theme of the poem, the woman's misery at being separated from her lover. He gengh hafa5 / fsedan goldRSs~|, Husband's Message, 35b - 36a a l s o appears to be an example of understatement. I can f i n d r m o 3 6 i S o m e S y n t a c t i c a l Problems i n The Wanderer,' NM, LXIX (1968), 191. 190 examples i n The Ruin. I t w i l l be seen that i n most of the instances quoted, not, including the rather d i f f e r e n t usage pointed out by M i t c h e l l , the e f f e c t i s one of greater poig-nancy. The only cases where this i s not so are those i n The  Husband's Message, which would come into Brachjer's category of emphasis. Doubtless, the fact' that this poem i s more optimis-t i c than the others i s s i g n i f i c a n t here. In the elegies i t i s the pathetic use of understatement which i s the most s t r i k i n g , Bracfier might perhaps consider the n^les examples as humorous, but i f there i s any humour i t i s of a b i t t e r kind. Rather than accepting Brachjer's four uses of understatement, we might say that, as f a r as the elegies are concerned, i t i s used f o r em-phasis, usually of a pathetic kind, and often with a flavour of irony. The association of irony with understatement leads us to consider the subject of irony i n I t s e l f . B.J. Timmer connects irony with both humour and understatement (which he refers to as- l i t o t e s ) . 3 7 Timmer takes issue with Schucking, who finds • i r o n i c battle-humour' 'a t y p i c a l feature of the Germanic heroic, style*.3 8 Schucking i s r i g h t as f a r as the epics and battle-poems are concerned. The use of understatement with thi s e f f e c t i s observable i n The Bat t l e of Maldon, when 37'irony i n Old English Poetry,* E S , XXIV (1942), 171-175. 3 8L.L. Schucking, Heldenstolz und Wurde im Angelsachsischen, Abh. der sachs. Akad. der Wiss. P h i l . - h i s t . Kl?. XLII, no. 5 ~ (Leipzig, 1933), P. 9 and notes 3 and 4 ;'Heroische Ironie im ags. "Seefahrer",* F e s t s c h r i f t f u r M. Deutschbein (Leipzig, 1936), 72-74. See Timmer, p. 171. 191 Byrhtno5' retort s to the Danish spokesman that, instead of the heriot demanded, the Danes w i l l get'a he r i o t which they w i l l not likes Settrynne ord and ealde swurd, pa heregeatu pe low aethilde ne deah. (Maldon, 47 -4S) This type of usage i s c l a s s i f i e d by Bracfier as h o s t i l e rather than humorous, but there i s humour of a grim kind i n i t . Timmer himself allows a 'grim irony* here (p. 174) . However, •i r o n i c battle-humour' i s not foundiin the elegies, Timmer points out that i n regarding Seafarer, 20-23 as humorous, Schucking has misread the poems the c r i e a of the seabirds are not supposed to be likened to the laughter of men. There i s s t i l l an irony, though, because the one takes the place of the others HwTlum y l f e t e song dyde i c me tC gomene, ganetes hlSopor . ohd huilpan sweg fore medodrince. Stormas beer s t S n c l i f u beotan, . beer him stearn oncwae 3 39 (Seafarer, 19b-23) Another example of irony found by Schucking and rejected by Timmer i s b i t r e burgtunas i n l i n e 31 of The Wife's Lament. • I believe there i s an irony here, since burgtunas implies an inhabited place of some kind, and the whole cause of the wife's misery i s her solitude. Timmer concludes, I think wrongly, •there i s hardly any place f o r irony i n t h i s or any of the other 39The punctuation of Mrs. Gordon's edition, which l i n k s l i n e 20a with l i n e 19b rather than l i n e 20b, does not corres-pond with that implied by Timmer, but t h i s does not a f f e c t the argument. 192 l y r i c a l poems' (p. 174). His general conclusion i s a l i t t l e more moderate: 'The style figure of l i t o t e s may sometimes s t r i k e us asscomical, but i t i s very doubtful indeed i f i t had t h i s e f f e c t on the Anglo-Saxons. . . , there are some ex-amples of irony, but the irony i s of a grim nature.' Timmer i s r i g h t i n so f a r as there i s no r e a l comedy i n Old English poetry, but there i s quite a good deal of irony, and i n the heroic poetry, although not i n the elegiacf,) t h i s irony can con' t a i n a grim humour. One of the major changes i n c r i t i c a l approaches to the style of Old English poetry has been an increasing awareness of the degree of a r t i s t r y i n i t . A step i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n was made by Adeline Courtney B a r t l e t t , i n her book The Larger  Rhetorical Patterns of Anglo-Saxon Poetry, of 1935.^° Miss B a r t l e t t was concerned c h i e f l y with the narrative poetry, "but her observations also apply to the shorter poems, including the elegies, and some of her i l l u s t r a t i o n s are taken from the l a t t e r . She aimed to show the existence of formal r h e t o r i c a l patterns i n the 'verse paragraphs', rather than, as had tended to be done previously, concentrating on the smaller devices, such as a l l i t e r a t i o n and kenning. She states that her pur-pose i s 'to emphasize the dominance of the r h e t o r i c a l unit over the metrical unit' (p. 6 ) . The types of pattern which she detects are as follows: Envelope Pattern, i n which the same words or idea are repeated at the beginning and end of a .logical group; P a r a l l e l Pattern, i . e . , a group of two or ^New York, 1935. 193 more parts showing p a r a l l e l structure f o r the sake of com-parison or contrast: Incremental Pattern, i . e . , r e p e t i t i o n of a s i m i l a r idea at Intervals with cumulative, e f f e c t ; Rhythmical Pattern, which involves the use of expanded l i n e s f o r climax; Decorative Inset, i n which we have the i n s e r t i o n of a set-piece e s s e n t i a l l y separate from the surrounding material; Conventional Device, such- as introductory or concluding formula; Miss B a r t l e t t does not c i t e examples of Envelope Pattern i n the elegies, but the r e p e t i t i o n of are i n the introduction and conclusion of The Wanderer, ( l i n e s 1 and 114) i s something l i k e i t . She picks out Seafarer, 117-120 as an example of P a r a l l e l Pattern: three exhortations, each with a subordinate clause (p. 39): Uton we hycgan hwaer we ham 5gen, ond bonne gebencan hU we bider cumen; ond we bonne Sac t i l i e n bast we to moten • • • She finds Incremental Pattern to be rarer than the previous one. She gives no examples from the elegies, and I can f i n d none i n the six under discussion. She does, however, take a very cl e a r example from Brunanburh (pp. 53-54), which w i l l once again show that the use of formal devices i n the elegies, as exemplified here i n the example of P a r a l l e l Pattern i n The Sea-fare r , tends to be much less conspicuous; hreman ne porfte miSca gemSnan; . . . • Gelpan ne porfte beorn blandenfeax bilgeslehtes, hlehhan ne borftun baet hSo beaduweorca beteran wurdun. (Brunanburh, 39b-48) 194 In the above passage, the discomfiture of Constantinus i s emphasised by the treble r e p e t i t i o n of the fact that he (and i n the t h i r d case he and his a l l y Anlaf) did not need .to re-j o i c e ( s p e c i f i c a l l y , 'exult*, 'boast*, laugh*) i n the re-sults of the b a t t l e . ^ 1 Miss B a r t l e t t mentions Seafarer, 106-109 and Wanderer, 111-115 as examples of Rhythmical Pattern i n t h e i r use of expanded l i n e s f o r climax (p. 6 9 ) . Some of her examples of Decorative Inset seem to me too small to be 42 given that name. Wife's Lament, 52b-53» which she charac-t e r i s e s as inset of the gnomic type, and Wanderer, 114-115,^3 distinguished as homiletic inset (both these examples conclude the poems) are simply b r i e f , r e f l e c t i v e comments.^ On the other hand, she i s r i g h t to pick out the two Beowulf elegies as examples of Decorative Inset of the elegiac type (p. 7 9 ) . She notes the openings of The Wanderer (e s p e c i a l l y l i n e s 6 - 7 ) , The Seafarer, and The Wife's Lament as examples of Conventional Device i n the shape of introductory formula, and Wanderer, 111-115 and Seafarer, 103-124 as examples of concluding formula.^5 4lThls passage also shows the. 'battle-irony' mentioned e a r l i e r . ^ B a r t l e t t , p. 74. ^ i b i d . , p. 76. -^ F o r a discussion of the Structural use of gnomic and homiletic passages i n ele"gy, see Chap. I, bp.3.9-^2 above. ^ 5 g e e above, Chap. I, pp. 14-15and39-42 for a discussion of these introductions and conclusions. 195 In her desire to prove a point, Miss B a r t l e t t has tended to stress patterns where they do not e x i s t , or where t h e i r existence i s not very noticeable. Her example of P a r a l l e l Pattern i n The Seafarer i s not e s p e c i a l l y s t r i k i n g , and what she distinguishes as 'concluding formula' i n t h i s poem and The  Wanderer i s not so sharply defined as the 'introductory formula' i n these poems. Nevertheless, she has shown unmistakably that the Old English poets were aware of larger s t r u c t u r a l patterns as well as smaller devices of d i c t i o n . An important landmark i n the criticism, of Old English s t y l e , i n prose as'iwell as poetry, was the publication of S.O. Andrew's book Syntax and Style i n Old E n g l i s h / i n 1940.^ Andrew described his study as 'an attempt to drive a few main lin e s through the almost unexplored tr a c t of Old English syn-tax. '^7 The e a r l i e r c r i t i c s assumed considerable naivete i n the matter of Old English syntax, e s p e c i a l l y i n verse. A.H. Tolman, i n 188?, quotes the French c r i t i c , Taine, as stating: ' A r t i c l e s , p a r t i c l e s , everything capable of i l l u m i n a t i n g thought, of making the connection of terms, of producing r e g u l a r i t y of ideas, a l l r a t i o n a l and l o g i c a l a r t i f i c e s are neglected. Passion bellows forth l i k e a great shapeless beast; and that i s a l l . ' 4 8 ^Cambridge, 1940. 47Andrew, Preface "(page not numbered). 48'The Style of Anglo-Saxon Poetry,* PMLA. I l l , 34. Tolman gives no reference for his quotation from H.A. Taine, but I assume he refers to H i s t o i r e dg l a L i t t e r a t u r e anglaise (Paris, 1863); trans. H. Van Laun, History of English L i t e r a t u r e , 3 v o l s . (New York, 18?6). 196 T o l m a n goes on t o i n d i c a t e t h a t he, b e i n g G e r m a n i c , f i n d s t h e p r i m i t i v i s m o f O l d E n g l i s h a p p e a l i n g , b u t he s t i l l r e g a r d s i t s s t y l e a s d i s c o n n e c t e d . S i m i l a r l y , E l i z a b e t h Hanscom, i n 1905/ s a y s : The s h o r t p h r a s i n g o f t h e v e r s e , t h e r e s u l t o f t h e a n a l y t i c a l method o f t h e m i n d b y w h i c h i d e a i s a d d e d t o i d e a u n t i l t h e whole t h o u g h t s i s a t t a i n e d , l e n d s i t s e l f e a s i l y t o t h e s e q u e n c e o f noun and e p i t h e t , compound,noun|D>and a d j e c -t i v e s , and b r i e f p h r a s e s , t o t h e e x c l u s i o n o f p r o l o n g e d a n d c o n n e c t e d d e s c r i p t i o n s . ^ 9 M i s s Hanscom's o b s e r v a t i o n s do d e s c r i b e t h e t e c h n i q u e t h a t , a s we h a v e s e e n , i s f o u n d i n v a r i a t i o n and i t s r e l a t e d d e v i c e s , b u t h e r s t a t e m e n t i s a n o v e r s i m p l i f i c a t i o n . I t was t a k e n f o r g r a n t e d t h a t t h e s y n t a x o f O l d E n g l i s h v e r s e was p a r a t a c t i c . T o lman s t a t e s V ' . . . t h e A.-S. p o e t r y e x p r e s s e s p a r a t a c t i -c a l l y , i n i n d e p e n d e n t c l a u s e s , t h o s e i d e a s o f t i m e , c a u s e , manner, an d accompaniment w h i c h we a r e a c c u s t o m e d t o e x p r e s s s y n t a c t i c a l l y , i n s u b o r d i n a t e c l a u s e s ' ( p . 3.6). Tolman b e -l i e v e s t h a t s u c h p a r a t a x i s e x p l a i n s t h e a p p a r e n t a b r u p t n e s s o f A n g l o - S a x o n p o e t r y , a n d what he d e s c r i b e s a s i t s t e c h n i q u e o f ' r e t u r n t o a d r o p p e d t h o u g h t * (See pp. 3 5 - 3 6 ) . I t i s t h e s e a s s u m p t i o n s t h a t Andrew i s c o n c e r n e d t o d i s -p r o v e . He i s o f t h e o p i n i o n t h a t ' t h e s u p p o s e d " p a r a t a c t i c " s t r u c t u r e o f O l d E n g l i s h , w h e t h e r i n p r o s e o r v e r s e , i s a n illusr:b(n%'-5° t h a t O l d E n g l i s h s y n t a x i s much more t h o r o u g h l y i n t e g r a t e d t h a n was s u p p o s e d , a n d t h a t t h e r e i s a good d e a l ^ 9 *The F e e l i n g f o r Nature: i n O l d E n g l i s h P o e t r y , ' . JEGP, V, 462. 5°Andrew, P r e f a c e (page n o t numbered). 197 more subordination than the punctuation of editors indicated. Andrew distinguishes three kinds of word order i n Old English, and believes that the use of a p a r t i c u l a r order has a bearing on whether a clause i s subordinate or not. His three kinds of order are t common order (subject, "orerb, object), conjunctive order (with the verb at the end), and demonstrative order (verb precedes subject). The l a s t i s found a f t e r b_a, bonne, basr, and occasionally a f t e r other i n i t i a l adverbs. Common order i s regular i n p r i n c i p a l clauses, but can occur i n sub-ordinate clauses. Conjunctive order marks a clause as sub-ordinate or co-ordinate.-51 Demonstrative order can occur i n either p r i n c i p a l , co-ordinate, or subordinate clauses.-52 j n p r i n c i p a l clauses, i n poetry, the demonstrative adverb usually comes second, and we have the form Com b5 . . , , or H§ b5 . . . . When the verb comes f i r s t i n such a construction, the subject, i f a pronoun, i s unexpressed.53 other cases i n poetry where the subject i s omitted are not, Andrew believes, true p r i n c i p a l clauses, but examples of asyndetic co-ordination.5 4 The above p r i n c i p l e s have been very i n f l u e n t i a l . The fact that there i s more order than was thought i n Old English syntax needed to be pointed out, and Andrew's broad d i s t i n c t i o n 53-The preceding general observations are set forth i n Andrew, Chap. !,§§ 1-3. 52see e s p e c i a l l y Andrew, Chap. I I , §§ 6-19. 53see § 15. 54see § 91. 198 of• three kinds of clause-structure forms a useful guide to analysis. However, he does not prove that they are used with ' absolute consistency i n Old English verse. As i s noted by Dunning and B l i s s , who by and large accept the p r i n c i p l e s of Andrew, he i s f a r too ready to sweep away a l l c o n f l i c t i n g evidence by emendation.55 M i t c h e l l states: 'It . . . seems clea r to me that word-order i s not conclusive i n the poetry, that i t cannot be used to prove that a cert a i n clause must be subordinate and another p r i n c i p a l . This observation i s made i n connection with l i n e s 37-57 of The Wanderer, which are variously punctuated by editors. M i t c h e l l does i n fact favour a punctuation which happens to be i n accordance with Andrew's p r i n c i p l e s . He finds that the best punctuation ' i s based on the proposition that the bonne clauses with S, . . . V. l i n e s 39 and 51 are subordinate, and those with V. S, i n l i n e s 4-5 and 49 are p r i n c i p a l ' 5 7 (ithis i s the punctuation, i n L e s l i e ' s e d i t i o n ) . The syntax of t h i s entire passage, describing the wanderer's dream and awakening, i s notoriously d i f f i c u l t , and i t may well be that general agreement w i l l never be reached. Apart from his designation of three types of word-order, Andrew's main contention i s that there i s a greater degree of sub'ordination and co-ordination i n Old English syntax than was thought. : This i s probably true, but Andrew overstates his 5 5 T . P . Dunning and A . J . B l i s s , The Wanderer (London, 1969), pp. 14-15. 56,some Synta c t i c a l Problems i n The Wanderer, p. 190. 57Mitchell, p. 191. 1 9 9 case, e s p e c i a l l y i n the matter of asyndeton. His d i s t i n c t i o n of asyndetic co-ordination where what might appear to be a p r i n c i p a l clause i s a c t u a l l y co-ordinate to another dependent clause, seems to me worth making. The following i s an example (not given by Andrew, who takes most of his i l l u s t r a t i o n s from Beowulf) from The Ruins' .... bser iu. beorn monig, . . . wTghyrs^um scan; seah on sin5eV on s y l f o r , . (Ruin, 32b-35a) Although L e s l i e inserts a semi-colon a f t e r scan, the sense i s surely " . . . where formerly many a man . . . shone with war-trappings, and looked on treasure, on s i l v e r ' etc. However, when Andrew makes a point of the unexpressed l i n k between a p r i n c i p a l clause and another that i s co-ordinate to i t , he i s making a d i s t i n c t i o n that does not exist. An example can be taken from The Wife's Laments A" scyle geong mon wesan geSmormod, heard heortan geboht; swylce habban sceal b l l b e gebJfero, eac bon breostceare, • t • (Wife's Lament, • 42-44) Here presumably Andrew would f i n d that the lack of an expressed subject i n the second clause precluded i t from being a p r i n c i p a l clause and proved i t to be i n asyndetic co-ordination with the f i r s t . However we take i t , the second clause i s , p a r a l l e l to the f i r s t , and assuming co-ordination does not, as i n the previous example, change i t s function. Such a d i s t i n c t i o n be-tween a p r i n c i p a l and a co-ordinate clause i s meaningless. Two other points'made by'Andrew should be mentioned. In' the f i r s t place, he adds a q u a l i f i c a t i o n to his rule of con-200 junctive order i n subordinate clauses. Inrpoetry he finds i t allowable a f t e r c e r t a i n i n i t i a l adverbs (not including ba, bonne, baer) No examples are given from the elegies, but the f i r s t l i n e of The Wanderer may serve as an instances Oft him anhaga. are gebTde5. The other point which should be noted i s Andrew's emphasis on the importance of c o r r e l a t i o n i n i n d i c a t i n g the presence of a subordinate clause. This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant to The Sea-farer, where Andrew argues that i n l i n e s 58-64b the use of c o r r e l a t i o n proves the second forpon to be a conjunctions For bon nu mtn hyge hweorfecf ofer hreberlocan, . . . f o r bon me hatran sind • • • Andrew statess 'This should be punctuated as one sentences the poet i s explaining why his r e s t l e s s heart i s always urging him to adventure and says that i t i s "because the Lord's joys warm my breast more than t h i s mortal l i f e . " The f i r s t "forSon" i s an adverb, and the second a conjunction . . . ' ( 37). Mrs, Gordon gives the same punctuation and offers the same argument, although she does not mention Andrew, I t seems to me that the two for bon's are rather widely separated to be c o r r e l a t i v e , but this punctuation has the merit of showing that there need not be a break i n sense at l i n e 64b, as has so often been thought. Andrew's punctuation of this passage: i n The Sea-farer i s a s i g n i f i c a n t example of the way i n which the more recent approach to syntax makes fo r a readier acceptance of the unity of the poems, 5 8See Andrew, Chap. IX, $§ 92-95. 201 I t i s not necessary to accept Andrew's views entire i n order to admit the importance of his work. The style and syn-tax of OHlEnglish poetry i s now generally agreed to be much more sophisticated than used to be allowed. Miss Hanscom's remark that the verse style did not lend i t s e l f to 'prolonged and connected descriptions' can be seen to be inaccurate. The sentence referred to i n The Ruin i s long and periodic, and em-bodies an extended descriptions Hryre wong gecrong, gebrocen to beorgum, . . blSr i u beorn monig, glaedmSd ond goldbeorht, gleoma <gefrastwe[d], wlonc ond wTngal, wlghyrstum scan: seah on sine, on s y l f o r , on searogimmas, . on Sad, on asht, on eorcanstan, on bas beorhtan burg. bradan r i c e s . (Ruin, 3 1 b - 3 7 ) Here we begin simply enough, but against the .terse reference to the building's f a l l i s p i l e d up a most elaborate picture of the place as i t was. The syntactic structure of the sentence, with i t s two long dependent clauses introduced by baer i s cer-t a i n l y not the most simple, and.the v a r i a t i o n i n rhythm as the poet builds up to a climax- i s impressive. The sweeping move-ment of th i s sentence, and i t s emotive force, contrast with the much simpler and more objective character of the next, as the poet turns to a less high-flown admiration of the Roman plumbings Stanhofu stodan: stream hate wearp wtdan wylmes weal e a l l befeng beorhtan bosme; . . . (Ruin, 38-40a) This sentence has the structure described by Miss Hanscom, but, as we have seen, this kind of s i m p l i c i t y i s by no means a l l that the poet was capable of. 202 In 1959i R.P. L e s l i e published a study which aimed to i l l u s t r a t e the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p between st y l e and structure i n Old English poetry.59 He c r i t i c i s e d the concentration on the formal features of the verse, and 'the widespread b e l i e f that i t contains ornate and r i g i d s t y l i s t i c elements, into which have been f i t t e d . . . a l l sorts of poetic material' (p. 255). L e s l i e remarked that although Miss B a r t l e t t had attempted to move away from the study of the minutiafe^of s t y l e , ' i n her work also, there remained the b e l i e f that the poet was . , . "more interested i n the elaborate d e t a i l than the composition of the whole". '6° L e s l i e pointed out the impor-tance of Andrew's work on syntax, which, he stated, showed that Old English verse had a closer and more u n i f i e d texture than was supposed. L e s l i e believes that the i n t e r r e l a t i o n of the whole and the part i s seen i n the way i n which larger s t r u c t u r a l features echo the s t y l i s t i c devices used i n minor contexts. °^ One i l l u s t r a t i o n he gives of t h i s i s the treble use of. a n t i t h e s i s i n The Seafarer, where the sufferings of the 59'Analysis of S t y l i s t i c Devices and E f f e c t s i n Anglo-Saxon, xLiterature, * S t i l - und Formprobleme i n der L i t e r a t u r (Heidalberg, 1959), 129-136. Reprinted i n E s s e n t i a l A r t i c l e s  f o r the Study of Old English Poetry, ed. J.B. Bessinger, J r . , and S.J. Kahrl (Hamden, Conn., 1968), 255-263. 6 0 ' s t y l i s t i c Devices and E f f e c t s , * E s s e n t i a l A r t i c l e s , 255. Quoting from B a r t l e t t , p. 7. 6lcf. J.R.R, Tolkien's description of Beowulf i n ' h i s Pre-face to Clark Hall's t r a n s l a t i o n : * . . . Beowulf i t s e l f i s l i k e a ' l i n e of i t s own verse writ large, a balance of two great blocks, A + B: or l i k e two of i t s p a r a l l e l sentences with a single subject but no expressed conjunction. Youth + Age: he r o s e — f e l l . ' Beowulf and the Finnsburg Fragment, trans. J.R. ClarkH H a l l (London, 1950), p. - x l i i i . 203 man at sea are contrasted with the comfort of the land-dwelleir's l i f e ( l i n e s 12b-15, 27-30, 55o-57).« He notes that although these instances occur i n somewhat d i f f e r e n t contexts, they are linked by p a r a l l e l i s m of expression. Thus, the con-t r a s t between the seafarer and the land-dweller becomes 'a major s t r u c t u r a l element i n the poem'- (p. 2 6 0 ) , 6 2 The feature which. L e s l i e points o u t i i n The.Seafarer might be designated 's t r u c t u r a l r e p e t i t i o n ' . There are a number of c r i t i c s who draw attention to i t s use i n the elegies. E l l i o t t points out the s t r u c t u r a l e f f e c t of repeated words, or phrases. He notes the obvious use of r e p e t i t i o n i n the re-f r a i n of Peor, and finds a more unobtrusive r e p e t i t i o n i n the other poems. He draws attention to the double occurrence of are i n The Wanderer, stat i n g that the poem i s 'a progress from the seemingly helpless "biding" f o r cer t a i n things and values at the beginning to a more active seeking f o r these things at the end. '63 He also c i t e s the r e p e t i t i o n of the l i n e be g i t  on agrdagum o f t gespraecon(ni) ( l i n e s 16 and 54) as a deliberate emphasis of the f a i t h the husband and wife vowed to each other before t h e i r separation, the second instance forming the f i n a l l i n e and culmination of the poem. E l l i o t t comments at rather more, lsngth on Wulf and Eadwacer, i n which he sees a deliberate use, not just of the r e f r a i n , but of key words. He notes that Wulf i s emphasised *by i t s prominent position at the beginning 6 2 S e e also, Chap. I I , pp. 92-93. 6 3 E l l i d t t , p. 6. 204 of the l i n e (4, 9, 13), the d i s t r i b u t i o n i t s e l f d i v i d i n g the poem into even portions, 1 and by i t s a l l i t e r a t i o n (p. 4 ) . Miss Lehmann makes sim i l a r o b s e r v a t i o n s . ^ E l l i o t t also points to the r e p e t i t i o n of gege Sglond, tge, l i n k i n g l i n e s 4, 5t and 6 into a powerful image of loneliness, and to the r e p e t i t i o n of wgn ( i n l i n e s 9 and 13) coupled with the name 'Wulf, which 'allows the poet , . . to combine the nostalgic thought of past happiness with present sorrow i n a moment of great l y r i c a l i n t e n s i t y . ' E l l i o t t ' s comments on the poems are very perceptive and valuable, e s p e c i a l l y i n the case of Wulf and Eadwacer. I t w i l l be seen that, unlike Miss B a r t l e t t , and, to a ce r t a i n extent, L e s l i e , he i s concerned less with formal techniques than with the s t r u c t u r a l effects of p a r t i c u l a r poems. Other c r i t i c s have investigated the elegies i n the same way, but have sometimes taken t h e i r search f o r s t r u c t u r a l patterns too f a r . Thus, Jane Curry, influenced by Miss B a r t l e t t , detects some rather elaborate patterns i n The Wife's Lament. She states that the theme of the poem, the wife's misery, ' i s defined and elaborated upon by a r i c h use i n small compass of r h e t o r i c a l pattern and device' with the same ef f e c t noted by Miss B a r t l e t t i n longer poemss 'a de-emphasis of narrative f e e l i n g . ' ^ 5 One would accept that the poem, and the elegies as a whole, show a de-emphasis of narrative f e e l i n g , but whether the ef f e c t i s ^Lehmann, p. 163. ^'Approaches to a Translation of the Anglo-Saxon The Wife's Lament / S L i , XXXV (1966), 19^. 205 achieved by such formal techniques as Miss Curry-professes to f i n d i s questionable. She fe e l s that 'two.basic motifs are used four times i n an enclosing pattern which would set o f f four major d i v i s i o n s of the poem i f i t were not f o r the over-lapping of the two middle patterns . . . * (p. 194). These •enclosing* patterns she c a l l s 'envelopes*, although they do not r e a l l y correspond to Miss B a r t l e t t ' s Envelope Pattern since they begin with one idea and end with another. The envelopes are li n e s 6-14, 15-29, 27-41, and 42-53, each be-ginning with a l i n e containing the word hlaford or mon and ending with a l i n e containing a word (verb, p a r t i c i p l e , or noun) f o r 'longing'. I t i s true that the idea of longing i s one of the key themes i n the poem, and that words expressing i t occur i n strategic positions, each coming at the end of a thought-sequence, which i t ends with a re i t e r a t e d mournful note. Line 29 i s p a r t i c u l a r l y s t r i k i n g (eald i s pes eoro'sele, eal i c eom oflongad). Every word except one begins with a vowel, and the eff e c t i s that of a series of sighs, dragging out the l i n e with weariness. However, Miss Curry's detection of four neat envelopes, beginning, and ending with a theme-word, i s over-sophisticated, e s p e c i a l l y since, as she admits, the two middle ones s p o i l the pattern by overlapping. Similar comments have been made on the poem by Robert Stevick,66 who states; 'The extent of r e p e t i t i o n . . .suggests formal poetic organization of some importance* (p. 21). Again, the extent of this formal organisation i s overstressed. Stevick 6 6 t F o r m a i Aspects of "The Wife's Lament',' JEGP, LIX (I960), 21-25. 206 states that the r e p e t i t i o n ofgej5mor (once more, admittedly, a key word), 'provides an i t e r a t i o n of the dominant mood of . sadness,' and that the placing of i t 'at the outset of the f i r s t and f i n a l sections of the poem [presumably, i n linej.i„ and i n l i n e 42 in.the compound geomormod]—first i n the per-sonal statement and f i n a l l y i n the generalized statement— i s noteworthy.' One'would point out that the word or ele-ment occurs i n other places, i . e . , i n l i n e 17 (hyge geomor) and l i n e 19•(hygegeomorne). In connection with the wife's . f e e l i n g of longing, Stevick says, 'Three of the four major di v i s i o n s of the poem express t h i s i n the f o r c e f u l p o s i t i o n of the f i n a l l i n e ' (pp. 21-22). He does not state which i s the exception, or why the word should occur i n only.three of the d i v i s i o n s instead of a l l four. He continues: 'The ele-ment of aloneness and exile . . . appears to assume s p e c i f i c and intense form i n the r e p e t i t i o n of the dawn notion . . . : i t does not seem far-fetched to read these passages as ex-pressions of un g r a t i f i e d sexual passion' (p. 22). That the wife f e e l s 'ungratified sexual passion*, i s apparent, e s p e c i a l l y i n l i n e s 33b f f . (Frynd sin® on (earpan , e t c . ) , but there i s no need to regard the dawn-mbtif as e s p e c i a l l y associated with i t . Rather, the dawn image $rx£jicq^g^ '. Stanley B. Greenfield finds evidence f o r his interpreta-t i o n of The Seafarer i n i t s r e p e t i t i o n of c e r t a i n words and ideas, associated on one l e v e l with earthly, and on another See above, Chap. I, pp-. 35-36. 207 with heavenly, glory.. 6 8 He regards the speaker as s t i l l un-c e r t a i n about his peregrination, 6^ and casting 'envious or w i s t f u l glances at the fortunate on earth' ( i . e . , i n his r e f e r -ences to the land-dweller), which are reinforced by his l a t e r lament f o r vanished earthly magnificence. He states: 'So s t r i k i n g are these "backward glances" i n both halves of the poem, that they become a s i g n i f i c a n t unifying feature of The  Seafarer' (p. 17). Later, he demonstrates how 'The poet puns . . . so as to emphasize the s i m i l a r yet d i f f e r e n t values i n the heavenly and earthly worlds between which his peregrinus must choose* (pp. 18-19), and points out the double-entendre i n the use of the words dream, blaM, duguff, which have the sense of heavenly joys i n l i n e s 64b-80a, and of departed s o c i a l joys i n l i n e s 80b-88a. Greenfield's e a r l i e r observa-tions are less apt than his l a t e r . The land-dweller i s referred to almost with contempt, while the r e f l e c t i o n s on the vanished ki*ngs and emperors are nostalgic, so i t i s not r e a l l y v a l i d to regard the two as p a r a l l e l . But he i s correct i n noting a punning e f f e c t i n the use of the same words with d i f f e r e n t meanings i n two juxtaposed passages, although 'word--play, ' might be a better description of t h i s technique than 'pun'. I t seems to me, however, that t h i s juxtaposition has the .purpose, not of bringing out an ambivalence i n the seafarer* 6 8 A t t i t u d e s and Values i n "The Seafarer",' SP, LI (1954), 15-20. 69Greenfield accepts Miss Whitelock's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n the main. See above, Chap. I I , pp.v 86-87. 208 a t t i t u d e , but of giving rather a hollow r i n g to the words dream, bleed, and dugu3, as a better •joy', * glory*, and 'com-pany* (of warriors) have just been described. The change of c r i t i c a l approach i n the matters of syn-tax and structure can also be seen i n another feature of Old English poetic s t y l e : the use of f i g u r a t i v e language. Tolman, i n 1887, states c a t e g o r i c a l l y : '. . . simile and allegory are too conscious and elaborate f o r the Anglo-Saxon mind* (p. 28). He observes that the Anglo-Saxons are fond of metaphors and sim i l a r figures, and that they use them unconsciously. He adds that they favour '. . . those figures which can be completed i n a single word.* There i s some truth.In t h i s . Old English d i c t i o n does, as we have seen, r e l y heavily on the poetic compound. Many of the kenn&ngs and kend h e i t i are compounds, and, i f not compounds, they tend to be b r i e f phrases which come very close to being compounds. As.for whether the Old English metaphors are unconscious, sometimes, as i n the kenning c i t e d from Brunanburh i n which the. sun i s c a l l e d 'God's candle', they are c l e a r l y very conscious indeed. Wyld, i n 1925, also finds metaphor' to be more natural than simile to the Anglo-Saxon mind, although he expresses the reasons f o r this rather differently': 'Simile . . . i s a very rare ornament of our old poetry. The-poet does not merely f e e l that things are l i k e something else, his mind bridges the gulf, and he sees the two things as i d e n t i c a l * (p. 8 3 ) . In fa c t , there are no similes i n the six elegies under consideration, unless the mysterious Leodum i s mtnum swylce him mon lag g i f e ('It i s to my people as i f one gave them, a g i f t * ) , the f i r s t l i n e of Wulf and 209 Eadwacer, i s to be regarded as a simile. Wyld's comment on the Anglo-Saxon tendency to see things as i d e n t i c a l rather than l i k e i s apt, and highly important. I t may be i l l u s t r a t e d by the image of binding one's thoughts with f e t t e r s i n The Wanderer, '''lines 19-21, and of sorrow as a companion, i n l i n e 30 of the same poem. There are not, i n fa c t , many metaphors i n the elegies, and where they occur i t sometimes seems, as i n these 'cases, that the Anglo-Saxon poet i s not so much making an i m p l i c i t comparison as viewing an abstract thing i n a much more concrete way than a modern person would. This type of metaphor may well be used unconsciously. Whereas Wyld regards the simile as foreign to the Anglo-Saxon mentality, E.G. Stanley, i n 1956, i s of the opinion that the Anglo-Saxons were f u l l y conversant with simile and a l l e -gory, and used them quite consciously.? 0 He does, however, admit that some of the expressions which s t r i k e us as f i g u r a -t i v e might not have seemed so to the Old English poets.71 Stanley's view represents the opposite extreme from Tolman*s, and d i f f e r s considerably from Wyld's, He says, 'The extensive use of simile shows the Anglo-Saxons to have been accustomed to f i g u r a t i v e thought . . . • (p. 415). I t i s not true that 7°*01d English Poetic D i c t i o n and the Interpretation o f ' The Wanderer, The Seafarer, and The Penitent's Prayer,* Anglia, LXXIII, 413-466. Stanley's aim i s to establish the p o s s i b i l i t y f o r the use of imaginary speakers i n these poems by the conscious device of ethopoeia. His in t e r p r e t a t i o n of the poems i s based on his preliminary argument f o r a f a m i l i a r i t y with the use of f i g u r a t i v e d i c t i o n . See above, Chap. I I , p.88. ? l S e e Stanley, pp. 418-423. 210 the Anglo-Saxons used simile extensively, "but the occasions on which i t occurs are often memorable. Stanley points out various extended similes, f o r instance that i n Daniel ( l i n e s 273-277, and 34-5-351) where the f i e r y furnace which f a i l e d to injure Ananias, Azarias, and Misael i s compared to soft spring weather, and the simile i n Christ II ( l i n e s 850-866) i n which l i f e i s compared to a voyage i n a ship (pp. 415-416). In neither case does the poet appear to have taken his simile from a source. Such similes seem to be 'special-occasion* devices. Shorter similes occur more frequently, but s t i l l not very often. Examples are the picture of the boat skim-ming over the waves l i k e a b i r d , i n Beowulf, 218 ( f l o t a  famlheals fugle geltcost) and the description of ice shining ' l i k e gems' i n l i n e 30 of The Rune Poem (glisnab  glseshluttur, gimmum g e l t c o s t ) . Clearly, the Anglo-Saxons knew how to handle simile. Stanley also argues that they understood the use of allegory. He admits that i t was 'probably not indigenous' with them (p. 417)., but believes that t h e i r handling of i t , i n The Phoenix, fo r instance, shows a mastery of i t s technique. Again, one can accept that the Anglo-Saxon poets understood allegory, but i t i s even less common than simile i n Old Eng-l i s h . The Phoenix i s based on a L a t i n poem. Stanley rather weakens his own argument f o r a conscious understanding, of allegory among the Anglo-Saxons by pointing out, with ack-nowledgement to Wyld, the union of fact, and figure i n Old English. Thus, he refers to 'the intermingling of the symbol and the thing symbolized, which, as Wyld says, i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c 211 of 0. E. poetry" (p. 414), and l a t e r states s "They [the Anglo-Saxons] treated allegory In a manner revealing a r e l a t i o n s h i p of f a c t to figure so close that the figure was only an aspect of the f a c t , and not separable from i t * (p. 452). Stanley finds t h i s type of f i g u r a t i v e language i n the image of the d e v i l shooting arrows of s i n into the soul, seen i n Beowulf, l i n e s I 7 4 0 - I 7 4 7 , among other, places. As Stanley points out, t h i s may well not be thought as a figure, but be associated with the primitive b e l i e f that e v i l s , both moral and physical, were 'sho*' into the body by malevolent spirits.?2 This kind of figure seems to stem from the same kind of concrete view of the abstract as the 'metaphors* previously c i t e d from The  Wanderer. Stanley mentions the figure of the 'fetters* of r coldiji found i n l i n e s 8b - 1 0 a of The Seafarer as an image of the same type. This union of f a c t and figure i n Old English poetry i s an important feature, "and i t occurs i n the elegies, but i t has r e a l l y nothing i n common with the much rarer device of a l l e -gory, with which Stanley confuses i t . The comments of Wyld and Stanley on the intermingling of fact and figure bring us to a feature of the Old English poetic technique which has a strong bearing on the elegies. This i s the useodf description, e s p e c i a l l y natural description, with a l a r g e l y symbolic function. Wyld noted this feature, but did not develop i t . A number of the early c r i t i c s make comments which can be related to i t , although they were not so related by t h e i r authors. Thus, Miss Hanscom, i n 1905, i n her ?2see Stanley, pp. 421-422. This idea i s seen i n the charm, Wi6r Faerstice. 212 a r t i c l e o n - n a t u r e i n O l d E n g l i s h p o e t r y , goes s y s t e m a t i c a l l y t h r o u g h t t h e v a r i o u s a s p e c t s o f l a n d s c a p e and w e a t h e r t o see how f u l l y t h e y a r e t r e a t e d by t h e O l d E n g l i s h p o e t s . I t i s t h e s e t h i n g s i n t h e a b s t r a c t , r a t h e r t h a n t h e i r f u n c t i o n i n i n d i v i d u a l poems, t h a t she i n v e s t i g a t e s . She o b s e r v e s , q u i t e a c c u r a t e l y , t h a t t h e s t e r n e r a s p e c t s o f n a t u r e a r e more p r o m i n e n t , a n o b s e r v a t i o n whftch&she makes i n r a t h e r f l o r i d t e r m s : J; The f a c t seems t o be t h a t t h e y were i m p r e s s e d o n l y b y s t e r n and r o u g h m a n i f e s t a t i o n s ; when the g r e a t h a r p "of n a t u r e was s t r u c k , w i t h s u f f i c i e n t s t r e n g t h , when t h e i c y hand o f w i n t e r smote the c l a n g i n g s t r i n g s , t h e n t h e y l i f t e d up t h e i r v o i c e s and sang w i t h g l e e o f w a i l i n g w i n d and s u r g i n g o c e a n . (P. 446) M i s s Hanscom sees a r o m a n t i c e x u l t a t i o n i n t h e w i l d e r a s p e c t s o f n a t u r e . What i n f a c t we have i s a c o n c e n t r a t i o n onathe h o s t i l e and d o u r i n n a t u r a l s cenes i n k e e p i n g w i t h t h e t e n d i e n c y o f O l d E n g l i s h l y r i c a l p o e t r y t o d e p i c t m e l a n c h o l y and p a i n f u l e m o t i o n s . A t y p i c a l f e a t u r e o f e l e g i a c p o e t r y i s t h a t i t abounds i n d e s c r i p t i o n s o f w i n t e r and s t o r m .73 Commenting on s u c h a d e s c r i p t i o n , M i s s Hanscom r e m a r k s : ' I t i s such pas sages as t h e s e , v i v i d i n s u g g e s t i o n , b a r r e n o f d e t a i l , t h a t c o n v i n c e us t h a t t h e e a r l y E n g l i s h saw f a r more f u l l y and a c c u r a t e l y t h a n t h e y e x p r e s s e d ' ( p p . 450-451). B u t t h e p o e t s do n o t a im t o e x p r e s s t h e d e t a i l s o f t h e n a t u r a l s cene f u l l y and a c c u r a t e l y . W i t h r e f e r e n c e t o t h e pas sage i n The S e a f a r e r d e s c r i b i n g t h e s e a b i r d s , she s a y s , . ?3see a b o v e , Chap . I , e s p e c i a l l y P i l c h ' s c a t a l o g u e o f e l e g i a c m o t i f s , p,<3^. 213 •Surely the man who made these l i n e s had the seeing eye and the hearing ear' (p. 447). In 'contrast, she finds the des-c r i p t i o n s of milder scenes i n s i p i d , and refers to pictures, ;of spring and summer, including that i n l i n e s 48 - 5 5 a of The  Seafarer as ' s l i g h t and unsatisfactory' (p. 4 4 0 ) . But the description contained i n these l i n e s i s i n f a c t no less and no more r e a l i s t i c than that of the seabirds. The blossom-ing and brightening of the landscape i s described i n general, but e f f e c t i v e l y suggestive terms: Bearwas blistmum nimao", byrig. f a e g r i a 5 , wongas w l i t i g a 6 r . . . (Seafarer, 48-49a) In Seafarer 1 9 b - 2 5 a , the birds are chosen for t h e i r harsh c r i e s and lonely associations: the swan, the gannet, the g u l l , the te;rn, the eagle. They are not formed into a c l e a r p i c -ture, and the epithets applied to them, tsigfebera and T*trigfebra, suggest cold and gloomy connotations?^" rather.than the actual appearance of the b i r d s . In the one description the poet i s "5evokThgVx the s t i r r i n g of the seafarer's heart with eagerness to go to sea, i n the other his lonely ordeal on the wintry ocean. He i s not attempting to paint landscapes or seascapes, r s . Gordon and other editors think that Tlri gf ebra ( l i n e 25) may be a corruption, since the word i s so s i m i l a r to Isigfebera i n the preceding l i n e and there i s no a l l i t e r a t i o n i n l i n e 25. I f the word i s corrupt, probably the poet intended something l i k e i t , and meant to suggest the s i n i s t e r q u a l i t y of the eagle as the b i r d of b a t t l e (see p. 2JT6) below). TJrigfe6*era i s applied to the eagle i n battle-descriptions i n Judith, 210, and i n Elene, 2 9 , and possibly 111 (here i t may be applied to the raven, dependingCjon the punctuation). 214 and thus Miss Hanscom's conclusion that she finds 'at least the germs of nature-observation and f e e l i n g ' present i n Old English poetry (p. 462) i s inept. In 1899» ;W..E. Mead had made observations on the use of colour-words i n Old English poetry which can also be seen to have a bearing on the n o n - r e a l i s t i c character of description.7 5 Mead comments on the indefiniteness and paucity of colour-words i n Old English verse 1 . The remarkable f a c t about a great number of the Old English words that possibly are to be taken as color-words, i s that they are so i n d e f i n i t e i n t h e i r a p p l i c a t i o n as scarcely to permit us to decide whether a c o l o r - e f f e c t i s intended or not. (p. 170) and: One of the f i r s t things that s t r i k e the reader of old English poetry i s the comparatively small number of genuine color-words that i t contains. ( P . 1 7 D Thus, the expression fealwe we-gas i n l i n e 46 of The Wanderer t e l l s us precious l i t t l e about the colour of the waves. Fealu i s conventionally applied to the sea, and i t s meaning i s much disputed. Mead expresses uncertainty about i t (p. 198). The word probably means 'yellowish*, here a d u l l brown. I t i s the depressing quality of the scene rather than i t s colours that the Wanderer poet i s intent upon at this moment. This kind of description i s very d i f f e r e n t , both i n i t s aim and i t s ef f e c t , from the minute observation of d e t a i l that we sometimes f i n d i n l a t e r poetry, as, f o r instance i n Thomson's reference 7 5 'Color i n Old English Poetry,' PMLA, XIV, 169-206. 215 t o 'the y e l l o w w a l l f l o w e r s t a i n e d w i t h i r o n brown' i n The  Seasons, where he s k i l f u l l y c a p t u r e s the e x a c t c o l o u r - q u a l i t y o f a p a r t i c u l a r f l o w e r . The- vagueness o f most c o l o u r - w o r d s i n O l d E n g l i s h makes the d e s c r i p t i o n o f the w a l l i n l i n e 10 o f The R u i n as raeghar ond r g a d f 5 h (''grey w i t h l i c h e n and s t a i n e d w i t h r e d * ) r a t h e r u n u s u a l , and l e n d s some s u p p o r t t o the be-l i e f t h a t the p oet had an a c t u a l scene i n mind. Mead n o t e s t h a t , i n c o n t r a s t w i t h t h e s m a l l number o f words f o r c o l o u r , t h e r e a r e a g r e a t many terms f o r l i g h t and d a r k i n O l d E n g l i s h and t h e s e a r e o f t e n used s y m b o l i c a l l y (p. 174). T h i s i s h i g h l y i m p o r t a n t , and i s r e l a t e d t o the more g e n e r a l use o f words f o r e m o t i v e , r a t h e r t h a n v i s u a l o r a u r a l , e f f e c t . G r e e n f i e l d p o i n t s out t h a t i n the second h a l f o f The  R u i n 'The f o r m e r s p l e n d o u r \, . .. a c c u m u l a t e s i n t h e vague b u t • c o n n o t a t i v e l y r i c h b e o r h t ( l i n e s 21a, 33a, 37, 40a).••76 Here we have the•same s y m b o l i c usage t h a t Mead commented on. When the poet says B e o r h t w*?ron burgrasced ( l i n e 2 1 ) , he conveys the, i d e a t h a t the h a l l s were j o y f u l and r i c h l y adorned r a t h e r t h a n t h a t t h e y were w e l l - l i t . P i c t o r i a l and emotive d e s c r i p t i o n m i n g l e i n the same way as Wyld and S t a n l e y s t a t e t h a t f a c t a n d f i g u r e m i n g l e . Thus, the p oet can d e s c r i b e a w a r r i o r - as glaedmgd ond g o l d b e o r h t ( R u i n , .33) as i f the p s y c h o l o g i c a l and t h e p h y s i c a l terms were e q u i v a l e n t , the l a t t e r h a v i n g as much e m o t i o n a l r e f e r e n c e as the f o r m e r . T h i s use o f d e s c r i p t i o n w i t h an emotive r a t h e r t h a n p i c t o r i a l e f f e c t can be seen i n the f a c t t h a t t h e elements o f 761The O l d E n g l i s h E l e g i e s , ' i n C o n t i n u a t i o n s and Be-' g i n n i n g s , S t u d i e s i n O l d E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , B d . E.G. S t a n l e y , (London, 1966), ,145. : : 7~- : ' ' ' ' 216 a scene are sometimes incongruous or puzzling i f taken on a l i t e r a l l e v e l . Thus, i n l i n e 48 of The Wanderer the poet con-centrates three aspects of inclement weather: hreosan hrTm ond snaw hagle gemenged. His aim i s to convey the wanderer's sense of desolation through the bleakness and relentlessness of his environment. On a l i t e r a l l e v e l , hoar-frost does hot ' f a l l ' , and neither do h a i l and snow at the same time. The scene described i n l i n e s 48-50a of The Wife's Lament, the dreorsele i n which she imagines her husband s i t t i n g , cannot be resolved p i c t o r i a l l y : under stanhlipe, storme behrimed, wine werigmSd wae tre bef 15wen on dreorsele. Here we have a complex of e x i l i c elements, which i n d i v i d u a l l y resemble those found i n s i m i l a r l y dismal descriptions else-where: the 'rime' and the water remind one of the wanderer awakening by the sea with 'rime' and snow f a l l i n g mingled with h a i l ; the rocky c l i f f i s l i k e the storm-swept c l i f f s / s l o p e s of Wanderer, 101 and Seafarer, 23; and the dreorsele i s l i k e the eorJsele which the wife herself inhabits ( l i n e 29). The effect of the description i s to attach a l l kinds of associations of solitude and exile to the figure of the husband, not to pre-sent an actual place. Stanley observes exactly the same technique i n the description of the mere i n Beowulf: Factually the scenery could hardly exist. The combination of fenland and mountains, of wind-swept headlands and woods overhanging the pool i s not possible: i t i s a gallimaufry of devices, each of which i s h o r r i f i c i n i t s associations. (p. 441) 217 Stanley i n fac t c r i t i c i s e s Wyld f o r implying that natural descriptions give r i s e to moods, and stresses, r i g h t l y , that i t i s the other way round. He speaks of generalizations such as that of H.C. Wyld's The old poets are fond of using the processes of nature as sym-bols of mood; i t might indeed a l -most be said that f o r them . . . the meanest flower that blows can give Thoughts that do often l i e too deep f o r tears. Few w i l l deny that with the old poets the pro-cesses of nature may be symbols o f ' t h e i r moodss but i t i s not the flower that gives the thought; with the 0. E.poets i t i s the thought that gives the flower. And the flower that i s born of the mood may take on s u f f i c i e n t concreteness to appear capable of existence within and outside the mood. (P. 427) This symbolism i s rather d i f f e r e n t from what may seem to be very s i m i l a r usages i n modern poetry, i n that, i n Old Eng-l i s h , although as Stanley-says i t i s the mood that gives r i s e to the scene, the l a t t e r does have an existence of i t s own on a concrete l e v e l . I t i s not, as i n l a t e r poetry, consciously subordinated to i t s symbolic function. Thus, i n Wulf arid  Eadwacer the islands on which the lovers f i n d themselves are symbols of t h e i r irrevocable separation i n much the same way as the islands i n Arnold's 'To Marguerite' are symbols of the i s o l a t i o n of one human being from another s77 Wulf i s on lege, i c on operre. Feest i s baet Sglond, fenne biworpen. (Wulf and  Eadwacer. 4 - 5 ) 7?Greenfield notes th i s resemblance ('The Old English E l e g i e s , • p. 1 6 4 ) . 218 and: Yes* in the sea of l i fe enisled, With echoing. . straits between us thrown, Dotting the shoreless watery wild, We mortal millions live alone. ('To Marguerite.• 1-4) In Arnold the use of the image is very deliberate, but the Old English poet seems to have arrived at his image instinc-tively, and presents i t as a fact. Once again, we have a blending of symbol and thing symbolised. The same kind of comparison can be made between line 10 of Wulf and Eadwacer and the opening of a poem by Verlaine: bonne hit waes rSnig weder ond ic reotugu sast and II pleure dans mon coeur Comme i l pleut sur la v i l l e . The modern poet uses a deliberate transference when he says •It is weeping1 just as 'It is raining*. The rather exclama-tory style of the Arnold passage makes i t the more self-con-scious of the two modern pieces, but both contrast sharply with the lines in Wulf and Eadwacer. In both cases, the Old English poem is the more satisfying, because internal and ex-ternal are at once more simply and more subtly fused. Some critics have been led to dubiously based interpre-tations of elements in the poems because of a mistaken assump-tion that the descriptions in them were to be taken on a realistic level. Thus, Kennedy states: *01d English poets usually employed adjectives of form, color and sound with a realistic accuracy which reflected careful observation. • 78 ?8C.W. Kennedy, Old English Elegies,(Princeton, 1936), p.37. 219 T h i s i s simply not t r u e , and the statement g i v e s a f a l s e b a s i s to the c o n t e n t i o n which Kennedy makes i n con n e c t i o n with i t , t h a t 'the a p p l i c a t i o n . . . [ i n The S e a f a r e r and The Husband's Message] of the a d j e c t i v e mournful to the cuckoo's song had r e f e r e n c e to . . . [ i t s ] u n p l e a s i n g change of note i n l a t e May and e a r l y June, and th a t the r e f e r e n c e was i n t e n t i o n a l l y em-ploy e d to suggest a s a i l i n g date, not i n e a r l y s p r i n g when seas might s t i l l be rough, "out i n June when the ocean would nor m a l l y be safe and calm f o r p l e a s a n t voyaging.* A l l t h i s i s v e r y p l a u s i b l e , but i t would be h i g h l y u n l i k e the Old E n g l i s h poets to be so p r e c i s e i n t h i s r e gard. Alsoiy. the a d j e c t i v e used i s 'mournful* (geomor), not 'harsh', and appears to be d e l i b e r a t e l y chosen i n both cases to c o n t r a s t with the f a i r l y c h e e r f u l tone of the con t e x t . A s i m i l a r attempt to i n t e r p r e t the d e t a i l s of a poem r e a l i s t i c a l l y when they are intended s y m b o l i c a l l y i s made by M i s s Kershaw and Roy L e s l i e , when they make suggestions as to the exact nature of the d r e o r s e l e d e s c r i b e d towards the end of The Wife's.Lament. M i s s Kershaw suggests t h a t the scene may be *a f l o o d e d r u i n or . . . a cave on the coas t to which access can be obtained o n l y by water.'79 She o b v i o u s l y f i n d s d i f f i c u l t y i n i n c o r p o r a t i n g the v a r i o u s elements of the d e s c r i p t i o n . L e s l i e s s o l v i n g the problem by i g n o r i n g some of them, proposes more simply t h a t the p l a c e i s an i s l a n d . 8 0 But, as we have seen, the d e s c r i p t i o n i s not capable of b e i n g r e s o l v e d on a l i t e r a l l e v e l , • 79Kershaw, Anglo Saxon and Norse Poems (Cambridge, 1922), P. 176. 8 o L e s l i e , Three Old E n g l i s h E l e g i e s (Manchester, 1961), P. 58. 220 The imagery of the elegies has sometimes been i n t e r -preted with a more s p e c i f i c thematic relevance. Two percep-ti v e contributions are those of I r v i n g 8 1 and G r e e n f i e l d . 8 2 Commenting on The Ruin and The Wanderer, Irvin g picks out the image of the crumbling wall i n each (e.g. WrsBtlic Is bes  weal stan in-line. 1 of The Ruin, and Stondejf nu on laste  i e o f r e dugube / wealwundrum h§ah wyrmlicum fah i n l i n e s 97-98 of The Wanderer). He notes: 'The w a l l — a n d whatever i t may suggest about man's heroic and doomed e f f o r t to hold things together, to r e s i s t change and d e a t h — i s crumbling and battered by storm, but i t endures, somewhat i n the way the hero's fame endures* (p. 156). A further extension of t h i s theme applies to The Wanderer: 'In the world of epic t h i s [ i . e . , courage and fame] i s a man's ultimate greatness and a l l that can survive of him, even though i t w i l l not l a s t f o r -ever. In the C h r i s t i a n world we can turn to that wall that cannot f a l l into ruin, the faestnung "firmness, s t a b i l i t y ; f o r t r e s s [ ? ] " ^ o f God the Father.' Greenfield too makes a comment on the 'wall' image of The Wanderer. His interpreta-t i o n i s of a d i f f e r e n t kind, but also has l i g h t to throw on the theme of transience i n the poem. He states*:', 'there i s . . . a s h i f t between parts one and two of the monologue from re-ferences to " h a l l " to references to "wall".' The references 8 lE.B. Irving, J r . , 'Image and Meaning i n the E l e g i e s , ' i n Old English Poetry: F i f t e e n Essays, ed. R.P. Creed (Providence, 1967), 153-166. 82»The 0. E.Elegies,• Continuations and Beginnings, 142-175. 83i rving's square brackets. 221 i n the former section 'imply warmth and hope for the exile who sees only his narrow predicament as one capable of remedy i n another place, another time. But the wise man who sees the f u t i l i t y of a l l earthly joys focuses on the gxternal and more forbidding "wall".* Having f i n a l l y shown ' a l l t h i s earthly gesteal ( l i n e 110a . . . ) . . . emptied of human l i f e and values,* the poet can, i n his conclusion, 'state the source of true fees t manga' (p. 150). F i n a l l y , we come to the formulaic studies of Old English poetry. The seminal work i n t h i s f i e l d was.the a r t i c l e pub-lis h e d by Francis P. Magoun, Jr ;., i n 1953.^ Magoun applied the findings of Milman Parry and Albert Bates Lord, i n connec-t i o n with Homeric and modern o r a l Yugoslavian poetry, to_..0ld English verse. He believed that the bulk of Old English poetry was composed o r a l l y , i n a formulaic t r a d i t i o n . Magoun., states, rather sweepingly: 'Oral poetry, i t may be safely said, i s composed e n t i r e l y of formulas, large and small, while l e t t e r e d poetry i s never formulaic* (p. 4 4 7 ) . He argues that poets composing o r a l l y did not memorise their.material, but worked extempore by piecing together inherited formulas and shaping expressions on the basis of t r a d i t i o n a l formulaic systems. Magoun accepts Parry's d e f i n i t i o n of a formula as' •a group of words which i s r e g u l a r l y employed under the same metrical conditions to express a given e s s e n t i a l idea,• and defines a formulaic system as a group of formulas of the same Oral-Formulaic Character of Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry,* Speculum, XXVIII, 4 4 6 - 4 6 7 . 222 type ( i . e . , the underlying pattern behind phrases of the same kind-) 8 -5 Magoun states that an o r a l singer's 'apprenticeship involves the learning of thematic material, p l o t s , proper names, and.formulas with which he w i l l gradually become able to compose . . . ' (p. 4 4 7 ) . Further, he believes that the existence of formulas provides the touchstone as to whether a given poem i s o r a l or l e t t e r e d (p. 4 4 9 ) . 8 6 Magoun's po s i t i o n i s an extreme one, and would not be accepted i n i t s e n t i r e t y by most scholars, although some have followed him i n stressing the view of most Old English poetry as composed extemp^e^on t r a d i t i o n a l formulaic patterns. Thus, Robert Creed 'remakes' aspassage from Beowulf to show how the poet would have composed extempore i n the f i r s t p l a c e . 8 ? The f a c t that his version i s decidedly f l a t t e r than the o r i g i n a l rather suggests that the poet exercised more time and care than Creed i s w i l l i n g to allow. Greenfield makes the point that Old English poetry need not be composed with careless r a p i d i t y , and s p e c i f i c a l l y attacks Creed's a r t i c l e . 8 8 Brodeur c r i t i c i s e s Magoun f o r implying a lack of o r i g i n a l i t y i n the poetry, and stresses that the d i c t i o n of Beowulf,, at l e a s t , 8^See Magoun, pp. 4 4 9 - 4 5 0 . 8 6 c a m p b e l l uses a 'test* s i m i l a r to t h i s when he attempts to distinguish the older from the newer material i n The Seafarer. See above, Chap.II, pp.: 6 6 - 6 7 . 8 7'The Making of an Anglo-Saxon Poem,* ELH,XXVI ( 1 9 5 9 ) , 4 4 5 . 4 5 4 . 8 8'The Canons of.Old English C r i t i c i s m , ' ELH, XXXIV ( 1 9 6 7 ) , 141-155. 223 •goes f a r beyond the inherited stock of words and formulas.* 8 9 Others have accepted Magoun's theory i n the main, but added q u a l i f i c a t i o n s to i t . Thus, Campbell, with p a r t i c u l a r r e f e r -ence to The Seafarer, expresses the opinion that educated poets could have written t h e i r poems i n formulaic style rather than dictated them to themselves, as Magoun assumes, and he also considers that memorisation had a part to play i n the transmission of songs,? 0 These are reasonable q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . S i m i l a r l y , O'Neil, i n his response to Campbell's a r t i c l e , and also with reference to The Seafarer, states» There are now fewwho would not subscribe to and extend to Anglo-Saxon poetry i n general Mr. Diamond's statement,91 about Cynewulfs poetry, that i n Anglo-Saxon England . . . there i s the p o s s i b i l i t y , of three kinds of poetry: (1) poetry composed o r a l l y and written down by a scribe: (2) poetry composed pen i n hand i n the modern way; (3) poetry composed by a learned poet making use of the t r a d i t i o n a l poetic formulas . , 92 Again, one would accept that written poetry on the formulaic pattern cannot be distinguished from o r a l poetry written down by a scribe. In f a c t , Magoun's work has been valuable i n drawing attention to the t r a d i t i o n a l and conventional basis of Old English poetry, but he goes too f a r i n regarding the poetry as e n t i r e l y formulaic and i n making so sharp a d i s t i n c t i o n C:~Y'i-8 9 s e e Brodeur, pp. 5 - 6 . 9°J.J. Campbell, 'Oral Poetry i n The Seafarer,' Speculum, XXXV (I960), 88. 9lReferring to R.E. Diamond. 'The D i c t i o n of the Signed Poems of Cynewulf,' PQ, XXXVIII ( 1 9 5 9 ) . 228-241. 92W.A.. O'Neil, 'Another Look at' Oral Poetry i n "The Sea-fa r e r " , ' Speculum, XXXV ( i 9 6 0 ) , 596. 2 2 4 between o r a l and l e t t e r e d poetry. The most important formulaic study as f a r as the elegies are concerned i s that.of Greenfields 'The Formulaic Expression of the Theme of " E x i l e " i n Anglo-Saxon Poetry . ' 9 3 In his analysis, Greenfield divides the formulas associated with ex i l e into four categories: (1) status, the key phrases being winelBas wraecca, an A-verse, and earm anhaga, a D-verse; (2) deprivation, with past p a r t i c i p l e s l i k e bereafod and beda*led; (3) state of mind, with adjectives such as hSan, earm, geSmor, and compounds i n -cearig; and (4) movement i n or into e x i l e , e.g., wadan wrasclastas, a D-verse. Examples of these formulas and formulaic systems i n the elegies can be m u l t i p l i e d . Wineleas wraecca occurs i n l i n e 10 of The Wife's Lament. The si m i l a r , but less t y p i c a l , wineleas guma i s found, i n l i n e 45 of The Wanderer. And the formula occurs i n the other elegies as well as the t y p i c a l s i x . Thus, we f i n d i t i n - l i n e 91 of -,' Resignation, not s u r p r i s i n g l y , i n close proximity .to anhoga, which appears i n l i n e 8 9 . The formula i s also found!in : poems which are not elegies but which contain e x i l i c . situati.ons. . Thus, i n Genesis, l i n e 1051, C a i n l i s described as a wineleas wrecca. In the same way, wadan wraeclSstas occurs i n l i n e 5 of The Wanderer, and Satan, i n Christ and Satan, l i n e 12 0 says that he must wadan wraecIS s t a s .9 ^ He has just referred to '. himself as h§an and earm, and goes on to describe himself as 9 3 s p e c u l u m , XXX. (1955), 2 0 0 - 2 0 6 . 94A statement not l o g i c a l l y appropriate to a prisoner. See p. 228 below. • 225 dugu<5um b e d g l e d . A s G r e e n f i e l d p o i n t s o u t , ' T h e i m p o r t a n c e o f a s c e r t a i n -i n g c o n v e n t i o n a l p a t t e r n s i n O l d E n g l i s h p o e t r y l i e s . , . i n t h e b a s i s s u c h p a t t e r n s e s t a b l i s h f o r t h e f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a -t i o n o f t h e a e s t h e t i c v a l u e s o f i n d i v i d u a l poems' ( p . 2 0 5 ) . A n a w a r e n e s s o f t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l b a c k g r o u n d e n a b l e s t h e r e a d e r t o r e c o g n i s e t h a t t h e p o e t i s c a l l i n g u p o n t r a d i t i o n a l l a n -guage and t r a d i t i o n a l c o n n o t a t i o n s , and a l s o t o a s s e s s h h i s h a n d l i n g o f them i n a p a r t i c u l a r poem—as t h e A n g l o - S a x o n a u d i e n c e w o u l d have .done. G r e e n f i e l d o b s e r v e s e l s e w h e r e : • o r i g i n a l t i y i n .the u s e o f f o r m u l a s a n d theme's depended on t h e d e g r e e o f t e n s i o n c r e a t e d b e t w e e n t h e t r a d i t i o n a l a s s o c i a t i o n s e v o k e d b y t h e s e s t y l i z a t i o n s a n d t h e u n i q u e a p p l i c a b i l i t y t h e y h a d i n t h e i r s p e c i f i c c o n t e x t s , '95 He i l l u s t r a t e s w i t h p a r t i c u l a r r e f e r e n c e t o The W a n d e r e r how t h e good p o e t c a n c r e a t e t h i s ' t e n s i o n ' , p o i n t i n g o u t t h a t ' t h e o p e n i n g l i n e t e m p o r a r i l y s u s p e n d s t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l a s s o -c i a t i o n s o f " w r e t c h e d n e s s " ' t o be d e v e l o p e d l a t e r , and t h a t anhaga i s l i n k e d w i t h 5 r e , G o d ' s m e r c y , ' a k e y i d e a , i n t h e poem t h a t i s b r o u g h t t o a r e s o l u t i o n i n i t s c o n c l u s i o n . I n h i s s t u d y o f t h e f o r m u l a s G r e e n f i e l d a n a l y s e s t h e e a r l y p a r t o f The W a n d e r e r q u i t e c l o s e l y . He n o t e s t h a t the p o e t b e g i n s w i t h a g e n e r a l p i c t u r e o f a n a n h a g a , a n d goes on t o a more s p e c i f i c d e p i c t i o n . o f t h e s p e a k e r ' s p e r s o n a l p o s i t i o n : O f t e a r m c e a r i g , S5le b i d s e l e d , freomeegum f e o r . . . 9$A C r i t i c a l H i s t o r y o f O l d E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e (New Y o r k , 1965), P . 75. : " ' ' ! 9 6 i b i d , p . 76. 226 . . ., ond I c hsan ponan w5d wintercearig o.fer wape[m]a gebind, sShte seledrSorig sinces bryttan. (Wanderer, 20-25) Greenfield comments es p e c i a l l y on the -cearig compounds (noted above as p a r t i c u l a r l y e f f e c t i v e ) , and finds a deliberate se-quence i n the series modcearig ( l i n e 2), earmcearig, wintercearig. Of. wintercearig, he says: 'It i s perhaps no accident of textual transmission that the l a s t of these words i s a hapax legomenon. I t catches up both the ideas of "state of mind" and the hrimcealde sae f l i n e 4 ] , ' 9 7 Thus, as Greenfield demonstrates, the s k i l f u l poet need not be l i m i t e d by the t r a d i t i o n a l mould i n which he works, but can use the conventional patterns to create something unique. Other formulaic studies have a bearing on elegiac poetry, though less d i r e c t l y on the six elegies with which we are dealing. Magoun, i n 'The Theme of the Beasts of B a t t l e i n Anglo-Saxon Poetry, *-9 8 shows how the picture of the wolf, eagle, and raven as attendant on b a t t l e i s a set-piece i n Old English poetry, and finds i t s expression i n t r a d i t i o n a l formulas and formulaic systems. He considers l i n e s 81b-83a of The  Wanderer to be a treatment of t h i s theme. Here we have a sum-series s e t t i n g out the various deaths of men i n battle.9 9 9?• The Formulaic Expression of . . . " E x i l e " pp. 2 0 5 - 2 0 6 . . 98NM, LVI (1955)» 81-90. 99see above, Chap. I I , pp. 107-108. 227 The wolf and a fugel, which may be the eagle, are mentioned. Diamond, i n 'Theme as Ornament i n Anglo-Saxon P o e t r y , ' 1 0 0 also discusses the theme as a set-piece, concentrating c h i e f l y on the b a t t l e theme, but also mentioning the sea-voyage, com-i t a t e s , and cold-weather themes. The l a s t three, e s p e c i a l l y the theme of cold-weather, are drawnoon i n elegiac poetry. Leonard Frey discusses those places i n the C h r i s t i a n epic poems 101 which have assocatiions with exile and elegy. The examples he c i t e s are as followsj the conversation between Andrew and God i n the guise of a mariner, where Andrew i s presented as a destitute e x i l e (Andreas, l i n e s 290-314); Andrew's ordeal i n prison, where there i s an extended description of wintry weather (Andreas, 1253-65); the messenger's report from G u t h l a c ; 1 0 2 c e r t a i n passages from Christ and Satan i n which Satan appears as an e x i l i c figure (lines 81-95, 119-124, and 163-17D. .. Frey notes that many of these passages are inappropriate i f one attempts to f i t them l i t e r a l l y into the narrative con-text. This observation w i l l be seen to. be related to the point made e a r l i e r , that external description often serves a sym-b o l i c function. Thus, Frey remarks that the description of the wintry weather during Andreas* night i n prison i s , i n a way, absurd, since t h i s i s taking place i n Mermedohia, an 1 0 0PMLA, LXXVI (1961), 461-468. 1 0 1 * E x i l e and Elegy i n Anglo-Saxon Ch r i s t i a n Epic Poetry,' JEGP, LXII (1963), 293-302. 1 0 2 D i scussed above i n Chap. I as an example of elegy. 228 imaginary country somewhere i n the region of Ethiopia, cer-t a i n l y i n a hot climate. Frey states: 'The poet i s not con-cerned with what applies to Mermedionia, only with the effec-t i v e presentation of a d i f f i c u l t and h o s t i l e environment . . . (p. 297). We saw that the description of wintry weather i n The Wanderer, l i n e 48, though less conspicuously inappropriate was not. to be taken l i t e r a l l y , Frey points to other examples of incongruity, including Satan's lament (Christ and Satan, 119-124) that he must .'tread the tracks of e x i l e ' . Frey com-ments: *A strange claim, c e r t a i n l y , i f taken l i t e r a l l y , that Satan must wander widely and walk the exile's path." He adds that the poet i s intent on 'the symbolic sense of destitute wandering' (p. 30.0). Many c r i t i c s have pointed out the incongruous use of a conventional image, es p e c i a l l y with regard to the description of winter i n Andreas. This has been noted by Stanley,103 Diamond,104 a n d Bessai (who terms th i s type of usage 'an exile-trope'), 105 among others. BessiaTlD also points out as • an'exile-trope* used • inappropriately *Cj The Father's lament i n Beowulf, where the desolate h a l l described has no l o g i c a l connection with the death of Hrethel's son. Stanley makes i t clea r that he does not f i n d such usages i n a r t i s t i c , Bessai •'. 103'0. EjPoetic Diction,' p. 440. 104,Theme as Ornament,' p. 468. 1°5F. Bessai, 'Comitatus and E x i l e i n Old English Poetry,' Culture, XXV (1964), 139-144. 229 seems to consider them f a u l t y . Those c r i t i c s who look f o r realism are c e r t a i n l y l i a b l e to f i n d them so. Kennedy objects to The Father's Lament because i t lacks a r e a l i s t i c basis: To a degree not found elsewhere, these l i n e s suggest how r e a d i l y the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c images of elegiac invention hardened into a.conven-t i o n a l pattern. The evidence i s found i n the fa c t that i<rp t h i s passage c e r t a i n of these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c elegiac images are employed i n circumstances i n which there i s no grounding i n realism to suggest them..!0" Kennedy i s wrong i n thinking that there is^'a~gp<^ffl5n^nXirealism to suggest these images elsewhere. As we have seen, they are expressions of mood so concrete that they take on an existence of t h e i r own. Summarising the d i s t i n c t i v e features of style i n the elegies, as noted by c r i t i c s , we can say that although they contain formal features, which pervade the whole of Old English poetry, there are c e r t a i n differences i n t h e i r use of them. The prosody of the elegies i s sometimes unusual. They are not conspicuous i n t h e i r use of formal devices: simile and allegory are absent; true kenning i s rare; metaphor often seems to be used unconsciously. They are imaginative i n t h e i r use of com-pounds, without seeming to s t r i v e f o r an e f f e c t . Altogether, the elegies are more informal and spontaneous, than most Old English poetry. The above q u a l i t i e s have not been systemati-c a l l y categorised by c r i t i c s , and t h e i r observations have tended to be scattered and i n passing, but they do point i n the d i r e c t i o n indicated. The E a r l i e s t English Poetry (London, 19^3), PP. 128-129. 2 3 0 As we have seen i n other areas, scholars have come to cre d i t the Old English poets with a greater degree of sophis-t i c a t i o n i n the matter of s t y l e . They have also come more to study the structure of poems and the r e l a t i o n of s t y l e to content, rather than giving l i s t s of s t r i k i n g phrases and purple passages. There have been a number of perceptive studies of the s t r u c t u r a l and thematic use of d i c t i o n and imagery i n i n d i v i d u a l elegies. C r i t i c s have become more aware of the symbolic function of description, something which i s p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant to the elegies, where much of the evocation of mood i s achieved by i t . The formulaic analyses of d i c t i o n have enabled c r i t i c s to distinguish quite sharply . those words and- word-patterns associated with c e r t a i n elegiac s i t u a t i o n s . The more recent studies of structure, imagery, and formula have shown that, although the elegies are f u l l of conventional elements, the t r a d i t i o n a l patterns and the t r a d i -t i o n a l elegiac words and phrases can be handled with s t r i k i n g freshness and power. 231 CONCLUSION Thus, the survey undertaken i n the preceding chapters has evaluated c r i t i c i s m pertaining to the elegies from the three standpoints of d e f i n i t i o n , interpretation of meaning, and s t y l i s t i c analysis. I t has been found that although the use of the term 'elegy' has been variously applied, and re-jected by some, i t i s a convenient and v a l i d term to cover a body of Old English poetry linked by certa i n t y p i c a l themes and forms. No simple generalisations can be made as to the meanings of the six elegies discussed. The meaning of each poem i s d i f f e r e n t . However, ce r t a i n comments may be made which apply to a l l . The old view of the poems as pagan i s inappropriate. I t i s better to regard those poems and passages which are not s p e c i f i c a l l y C h r i s t i a n as secular, at the same time ack-nowledging t h e i r indebtedness to an outlook on l i f e which goes back to pagan times. Also, the poems should be taken as they stand, without attempting to cut out l a t e r 'interpolations'. A l l the same, the Chri s t i a n - d i d a c t i c aspect of the poems has been overstressed by some c r i t i c s , e s p e c i a l l y those who i n t e r -pret the poems a l l e g o r i c a l l y . There i s , to my mind, no e v i -dence f o r a l l e g o r i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . In the wholly secular poems such as The Husband's Message and The Wife's Lament an a l l e g o r i c a l reading i s thoroughly out of place. The Wanderer and The Seafarer, which contain e x p l i c i t l y d i d a c t i c material, admit of symbolic overtones on a moral l e v e l , but thi s i s not to say that they are a l l e g o r i e s . I t has been convincingly 232 shown that The Wanderer and The Seafarer reveal an awareness of Latin p a t r i s t i c influence, at least v i a the t r a d i t i o n of the Old English homilies. There may also be non-ecclesiastical L a t i n influence behind these and other elegies, but t h i s i s more d i f f i c u l t to prove. There i s i n s u f f i c i e n t evidence to' assign any of the poems to a heroic cycle, and the abstract nature of the elegies makes such a connection unnecessary and inappropriate on a l i t e r a r y l e v e l . The elegiac poems are not homogeneous i n t h e i r subjects. The Wanderer and The Seafarer are s i m i l a r i n that both contain moralising imspired by the idea of earthly transience. The Ruin also embodies the theme of transience, but without the moral complement. The Wife's • Lament and Wulf and Eadwacer are both love-laments, while The  Husband * s Message i s a love-poem more optimistic i n subject and more formal i n kind. S t y l i s t i c analysis of the elegies has been of two types. The f i r s t , containing by f a r the larger number of c r i t i c a l works, has been concerned with the style of Old English poetry as a whole, and has merely taken examples from the elegies. The second has examined the elegies f o r t h e i r own sake. This l a t t e r type of c r i t i c i s m has been concerned c h i e f l y with what I designated 'structural r e p e t i t i o n ' and with the r e l a t i o n of imagery to the o v e r a l l meaning and e f f e c t of the poems. I t has tended to make remarks about i n d i v i d u a l poems rather than r e l a t i n g them to recurrent elegiac patterns. Just as the 233 elegies d i f f e r e d i n subject, so they were found to d i f f e r s t y l i s t i c a l l y , The Wanderer and The Seafarer are probably the most a l i k e , but even they show metrical differences. The  Ruin i s quite unusual i n i t s formal s t y l i s t i c features, and'' Wulf and Eadwacer i s very d i f f e r e n t both m e t r i c a l l y and sty-l i s t i c a l l y from a l l the other elegiac poems. The term 'elegy' w i l l therefore remainaa loose c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i n this connection. I t appears to me that there are two main areas i n which further study of the elegiac poems would be f r u i t f u l . On the one hand, the formal s t y l i s t i c features of the poems could be evaluated with s p e c i f i c regard to the elegies, as Brodeur has done with Beowulf.^ The metrical and rhythmic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the poems could be investigated i n p a r t i c u l a r , since they are quite varied, and have not, as f a r as I am aware, been studied with regard to elegiac poetry as a type. On the other hand, i t would be p r o f i t a b l e to study the interconnections among the elegiac poems with respect to the looser features of theme and imagery, i n miiich the same way as Greenfield has p studied the formulaic features. Much has been said as re-gards the content of the poems. I t i s along the li n e s of formal style and less formal elegiac pattern that most re-mains to be done. lA.G. Brodeur. The Ait of Beowulf (Berkeley and Los Angeles, i 9 6 0 ) . 2S.B. 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