poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

Eadwacer

Anonymous
To my people it's as though he gave them a sacrifice:
They will destroy him if he comes among them.
   It is otherwise with us.

Wulf is on one island, I on another.
A fastness is that island, rung round with fens.
Fierce men are there on the island.
They will destroy him if he comes among them.
   It is otherwise with us.

I thought of my Wulf's far wanderings
when it was rainy weather and I sat weeping
when the war-chief caught me in his arms—
it was joy then, yet it was also hateful.

Wulf, my Wulf! Waiting for you
has made me ill, your seldom coming,
this sorrowing mood—not lack of meat.

Do you hear, Eadwacer? Our poor whelp
a wolf bears off to the wood.

How easy for man to break what never was bound—
   our song together.

from The Women Poets in English, edited by Ann Stanford

from The Women Poets in English, edited by Ann Stanford

Anonymous

by this poet

poem
There was a lady loved a swine,
     "Honey!" quoth she;
"Pig-hog, wilt thou be mine?"
     "Hoogh!" quoth he.

"I'll build thee a silver sty,
     Honey!" quoth she;
"And in it thou shalt lie!"
     "Hoogh!" quoth he.

"Pinned with a silver pin,
     Honey!" quoth she;
"That thou mayest go out and in,"
     "
poem
The man cut his throat and left his head there.
The others went to get it.
When they got there they put the head in a sack.
Farther on the head fell out onto the ground.
They put the head back in the sack.
Farther on the head fell out again.
Around the first sack they put a second one that 
   was thicker.
But
poem
My dress is silent when I tread the ground 
Or stay at home or stir upon the waters.
Sometimes my trappings and the lofty air
Raise me above the dwelling-place of men,
And then the power of clouds carries me far
Above the people; and my ornaments
Loudly resound, send forth a melody
And clearly sing, when I am