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An Old English poem of about 120 lines in the Exeter Book, one of the group known as ‘elegies’. The opening section of the poem ostensibly discusses the miseries and attractions of life at sea, before moving by an abrupt transition to moral reflections on the transience of life and ending in an explicitly Christian part (the text of which is uncertain), concluding with a prayer. Pound made a loose but highly evocative translation of the first half of the poem.

Subjects: Literature.

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