(This page last updated 20/2/07.)
Sea 8 he: "it"—the antecedent is "naca" (l. 7).
Sea 12 merewerges: translate as a noun ("of the sea-weary one").
Sea 13 þe him on foldan fægrost limpeð: "to whom it happens most beautifully on earth", i.e. who is most fortunate in the world.
Sea 16 winemægum bidroren: This is either an intentional solitary half-line or a half-line has accidentally been omitted in the manuscript at this point without affecting the coherence of the sense.
Sea 20 dyde ic me to gomene: "I put to use as entertainment, substituted for entertainment".
Sea 23 him: them (antecedent "stormas").
Sea 25 ne ænig Grein: MS reads "nænig", leaving the line without alliteration.
Sea 26 frefran Grein (Germania 10 : 422): MS reads "feran".
Sea 27 forþon: This word, which normally means "because, therefore", cannot really have such a meaning here and in several other places in this poem. Perhaps it has the weakened use in those places that causes it to be used to translate or gloss Latin "vero" and "autem": "in fact, indeed; moreover, and; however, but" (DOE s.v. sense D).
Sea 27 him: a dative of judgement: "he little believes for himself, as far as he is concerned".
Sea 36 mæla gehwylce: "on each of times" i.e. every time, all the time.
Sea 39 þæs modwlonc, etc.: "so proud-minded", etc.
Sea 40 to þæs hwæt, etc.: "so very vigorous", etc.
Sea 45 Ne biþ him to hearpan hyge . . . ne to wife wyn . . . ": "He does not have a mind for the harp, nor for receipt of treasure, nor delight in a woman . . . "
Sea 48 Bearwas blostmum nimað: "Groves come into flower."
Sea 49 wlitigað MS: Krapp corrects to "wlitigiað", but this reflects a more scrupulous view of orthography than the standard that governs scribal activity in the Exeter Book.
Sea 51 þam þe: "for the one who".
Sea 52 gewitan suggested by Thorpe: MS reads "gewitað".
Sea 54 sumeres weard: probably a kenning for the cuckoo, which can be called "lord of summer" because its annual return from Africa signals to northern Europeans the beginnning of spring (and to the speaker of this poem, the beginning of the season when the North Atlantic, Irish Sea, and Channel are navigable).
Sea 56 sefteadig Grein: MS reads "efteadig", which does not seem sensible in context. Thorpe suggested "esteadig" ("happy in luxuries") and was followed by many editors, including Krapp.
Sea 56 þa sume: "those ones"; "those few".
Sea 63 hwælweg suggested by Thorpe: MS reads "wæl weg".
Sea 67 stondað Ettmüller: MS reads "stondeð".
Sea 68 þreora sum þinga gehwylce: "one of three (things) in each circumstance".
Sea 69 to tweon weorþeð: "becomes (a cause of) uncertainty".
Sea 72 is Grein: not in MS.
Sea 72-73 þæt is . . . lastworda betst: "it is for each man the best of subsequent reputations, the praise of the living, those living afterwards . . ."
Sea 75 fremum Sisam (Englische Studien 46 [1912—13]: 336): MS reads "fremman".
Sea 79 blæd Thorpe: MS reads "blæð".
Sea 82 nearon Grein: MS reads "næron", which Krapp retains, understanding it either as a form of the present or as perfect in sense: "there have not been (since that change)".
Sea 88 brucað þurh bisgo: "enjoy it through busy-ness" (i.e. instead of natural entitlement and true nobility).
Sea 97—101 Þeah þe . . for godes egesan: a famously difficult passage, probably best understood along these lines: "Even if a brother wants to strew his brother's grave with gold, with various treasures that he wants with him, to bury them with the dead, the gold can not be a help for the soul that is full of sin, in the presence of the terror of the Lord."
Sea 112 lisse: not in MS, which thus does not present a metrical line. Holthausen emends to "wið leofne lufan ond with laðne bealo" ("love towards the dear one and evil for the enemy"), which Mitchell and Robinson follow (but transpose "lufan" to the beginning of the line).
Sea 113 fyres wille hine fulne: MS reads "hine wille fyres fulne," which results in a line containing only (specious or misplaced) double alliteration in the second half-line.
Sea 114 geseoð: not in MS.
Sea 113—115 þeah þe . . . his geworhtne wine: A speculative reconstruction of these lines, which are evidently corrupted: "even if he wants the enemy full of fire (i.e., in hell), or sees the lord who has made himself his friend (i.e. by feasting, gifts of property, etc.) burned in a fire.")
Sea 115b swiþre Grein: MS reads "swire".
Sea 117 second we Thorpe: MS reads "se".