I can make a true song, begins this poem, one of the oldest we have in English.
And what could there be more precious than that?
Þæt se beorn ne wat,
sefteadig secg, hwæt þa sume dreogað
þe þa wræclastas widost lecgað.
Blithe heart cannot know,
Through its happiness, what hardships they suffer
Who drive the foam-furrow furthest from land.
The seafarer looks back over a life of hardship - and of delight, too - and shares the wisdom he has gained.
The thing has a surging pace to make your heart sing: and then, like a man's strength, it falters.
|there are not now kings,|
|nor givers of gold|
|as once there were,|
|when they, the greatest, among themselves|
|performed valorous deeds,|
|and with a most lordly|
Being a true song, then the seafarer, near the end of his life, goes on to look steadily at his future.
The whole text, with a translation, can be found HERE.
Word To Use Today: fare. This word comes from the Old English faran, and it's related to the Old Norse fara, to travel, and the Greek poros, which means ford.