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The Exeter Book was a manuscript written by an individual known only as the Wanderer, at some point in the tenth century.


So spoke the Wanderer, mindful of hardships and of cruel slaughters:

Each dawn, I rise alone, mired in ancient sorrows. Wretched and deprived of my native land, I have had my mind bound with fetter. For many years, I lay hidden in the concealment of the earth, buried deep in stone. From there, I went, abject and winter—grieving, over the surface of the waves. I sought the prison of my noble kinsman. Sorrow is a cruel contemplation to one who can afford few friends, and the path of exile attends this morning spirit.

And so this world, every day, is crumbling and falling. The rulers lie dead, deprived of revelry, bands of warriors lie fallen proud by the wall. War destroyed some, carried them away; a sorrowful man hid one deep within a grave. Thus the creator of men lay waste this dwelling-place, until the old works of giants stood vacant, without the noise of their inhabitants.

So said the Wanderer, set apart in secret meditations.

The kingdom of the earth is full of miseries, and the decree of the fats shall change the course of the heavens.[1]