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Monað módes lust
Old English – Tolkien

    
Monað módes lust mid mereflóde
The desire of my spirit urges me to journey
   ⸱    
forð tó féran, þæt ic feor heonan
forth over the flowing sea, that far hence
   ⸱   
ofer héan holmas, ofer hwæles éðel
across the hills of water and the whale’s country
   :
elþéodigra eard geséce.
I may seek the land of strangers.
       
Nis me tó hearpan hyge ne tó hringþege
No mind have I for harp, nor gift of ring,
       
ne tó wífe wyn ne tó worulde hyht
nor delight in women, nor joy in the world,
        :
ne ymb ówiht elles nefne ymb ýða gewealc.
nor concern with aught else save the rolling of the waves.

J. R. R. Tolkien puts these words in the mouth of the minstrel Ælfwine in the drafts for his planned novel The Lost Road, and then reused them with slight modifications in The Notion Club Papers. They are based on an arrangement of lines of the Anglo-Saxon poem The Seafarer, preserved in the Book of Exeter.

The text given here with its modern translation is found in The Lost Road, p. 84. To it we added acute accents to mark long vowels.

The text is transcribed in tengwar or “letters of Fëanor”. Tolkien created two different adaptations of the general use of the Third Age to Old English, presented in Sauron Defeated p. 318-327. We especially attempted here to emulate the mode of the so-called “Text II”. We made use of Måns Björkman Berg’s typeface Tengwar Eldamar.  Open this mode in Glaemscribe

Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel. The Lost Road and other writings: Language and Legend before The Lord of the Rings. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. London: HarperCollins, 1993. 455 p. (The History of Middle-earth; V). ISBN 0-261-10225-7.

The works of John Ronald Reuel and Christopher Tolkien are under the copyright of their authors and/or rights holders, including their publishers and the Tolkien Estate.
Quotations from other authors, editors and translators mentioned in the bibliography are under the copyright of their publishers, except for those whose copyright term has ended.
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