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epic simile, Germanic literature, topos


Swa bi∂ geomorlic gomelum ceorle

to gebidanne, þæt his byre ride

giong on galgan; þonne he gyd wrece....

Gesyh∂ sorhcearig on his suna bure

winsele westne, windge reste

reote berofene,– ridend swefa∂,

hæ le∂ in ho man; nis r hearpan sweg,

gomen in geardum, swylce ∂ær iu wæ ron.

Gewite∂ þonne on sealman, sorhleo∂ gæ le∂

an æfter anum; uhte him eall to rum,

wongas ond wicstede. (2444-46, 2455-62)

[So it is sad for an old man to experience his young son's riding on the gallows; let him then recite a song.... Sorrowing, he sees in his son's chamber a deserted winehall, a windy resting-place deprived of joy – riders sleep, warriors in the grave; there is no sound of the harp, no mirth in the dwelling, as there was of old. He departs then to the bedstead, sings a sorrow-song, the one for the other; all seemed to him too roomy, the fields and the dwelling place.]