- Wel ic wræca gewitan hæbbe
- fela on foldan ond on flodlastum,
- geond eorðricum. Ic mæg rihte secgan,
- þæt selran gebide be sæstreame
- frofre to ferhðe þonne feorrum selum,
- siþþan ic mine holdne hrusan gesylde.
- Swa cwæð eardstapa on eorðan mearce,
- bitere brimclife, borda gewearde:
- Wat se þe in worulde wine forlyst
- hu lyt wynne wuniað in wera hleahtre;
- brycð gliewes ma se gnorncearig
- in hleoþre huilpan, holmswegum,
- under rodres recede reorde gose,
- nales on wræcchealle heorpeslege.
- Forþon elþeodigan on yþum sceal ic,
- fus to faranne, fremda hlystan
- tungum ylda, to þæm til weorþeð
- utancumene uncuð dynian.
- Se þe on holmlastas hryre gemett,
- ðæs is se ferðloca flode befealden,
- myrten is modhus, ne myndgiað cwicu
- hwær lieð lichoma; nænig lac genimð,
- goldgearwe, in græfhus mid him,
- butan seo frætweþ fægre þone flæschaman,
- breostweorðung wundensciene.
- Þæm ðe woruldes wyne wuniað on foldan
- giedda lænst þenceð him, lastworda illst,
- to gefonne to fusleoþe fugla hleoðor.
- Ac na ma frefreð him frætwa hordede
- þonne efthweorfað umbor hrusan
- gold mid guman in grundscræf an,
- ðe in sele gesyldene to sincweorðungum
- on foldan fremode firan lifgiendne.
- Begeotað gicelas þære gifhealle
- hrof mid hrimserce hringloca cealdosta.
- Frynd beoð aflymde, folgað todæled,
- wepeþ and waniaþ winemaga nænig
- ne græf geneosiaþ, butan neofuglas,
- glida ond gripe, gyrmenda langstan.
- Nat cwicra nan ðær him nearwaþ seo eorðe,
- buton ana, se anliepig: wat ic sylf sundor. 
- Forþon siþgeomorne yfer saelade
- langoð laecþ mec mine lisse to secanne.
- ðær digolnes nah gedæles myne;
- ðær uhtsorge slæp forlæteþ.
- Þær buton abreoðan bregdað eallas,
- brecað waþmas wið weallas londes,
- ece afyllede beoð flodwylmas.
- Forþon ic on woruldes tir getreowian ne maeg,
- ne on maega gemynd ne on maðumgiefa
- ne on ofste eos ne on æsca þryþe
- ne on holde freode freawines,
- ne þisse læne life on lyt elles,
- nimþe þa twegen: tiedernes wercynes,
- ond fastung Fæderes. Forþon befeole ic mec
- Dryhtnes dome, þæt ic dreoge heanan
- wateras wealc, under waega gelac
- ahwæþer to dreosanne, oþþe in dreame heofones
- aer to wunianne, swa min wyrd geteoð.
 mine holdne hrusan gesylde: Stroop reads myne for mine and translates this line as “I forsook pleasant thought upon earth”; likewise Naaktgeboren’s holden Gedanken/ unter Himmel verließ. Atlason’s “I abandoned my corpse on earth” and construal of the entirety of the poem as the speaker’s journey through purgatory is unsupported. Higgins-Pickering also takes hold as corpse, though not the speaker’s, but as this word is elsewhere neuter the reading is stretched.
 holmswegum: Dimwiddie emends to holmes wegum, construed with huilpan and forming a chiasmus with the following line.
 sceal ic…hlystan: Naaktgeboren construes hlystan with fus, but the lack of inflection makes it more likely another complement of sceal, with fus to faranne a parenthesis describing the speaker. Higgins-Pickering construes fus with sceal as well: Therefore must I be / Eager to travel, / To rove over sea.
 wundensciene. This can be read as a simple description of the breostweorðung; Atlason interprets this phrase as a reference to tattooing.
 sundor: The word may be read adjectivally: “I, being apart”; Stroop argues for a contrastive or partitive sense, with cwicra: “I, set apart from the living [in this].” The alliteration of ic with ana and anliepig suggests that the word may be taken in both senses.
 siþgeomorne: MS: siþgeonarne. Dimwiddie emends to siþgeornendne, 'yearning for a journey'. Higgins-Pickering reads siþgeorn earne, alliterating earne with yfer and glossing the line as 'Therefore, weary of travel, I earn passage across the sea.'
 slæp forlæteþ: Naaktgeboren emends to slæpe, and reads as 'dawn-sorrow departs with sleep'. Given the negative associations of sleep in WAN, it seems likelier that this line mirrors the preceding one, in expressing the separation of a greater ill from a lesser.
Well have I known many of miseries, on land and on the flood-paths, throughout the kingdoms of the earth. I can truly say, that I experienced better comfort for my soul upon the sea-water than in distant halls, since I gave my faithful one to the earth. So said the earth-stepper, at the earth’s border, the bitter sea-cliff, the protector of ships:
The man knows, who has lost a friend on earth, how little joy remains in the laughter of men; the man careworn by mourning experiences more of pleasure in the the cry of the curlew, the melodies of the waves, the voice of the goose under the sky’s roof, not in harp-playing in an exile-hall. Therefor I am eager to make a pilgrimage on the binding of the waves, to travel, to hear the tongues of foreign men, in whom it is seemly to sound unfamiliar to the stranger.
He who finds his death on the wave-paths, his soul-prison is covered by the flood, his mind-house is carrion, nor do the living remember where his carcase lies; he takes no treasure, no gold ornament, with him into the grave-house, except what fairly adorns his body, the breast-decoration wounden-beautiful.
To the man who is accustomed to the world's bliss on earth, it seems the most fleeting of songs, the poorest of epitaphs, to take as a dirge the clamor of birds. But hoarded treasure comforts that man no more when the children of the earth, the gold with the man, repair to a single grave, than, given in the hall as costly gifts, it availed the living man on earth. Icicles cover the roof of the gift-hall with a rime-coat, the coldest of ring-mail. Friends are scattered, the retinue is divided, and no dear kinsmen weep and lament nor visit his tomb, except the carrion-birds, the kite and vulture, the most persistent of mourners. None of the living know where the earth confines him, save one man, he only: I myself alone know.
Therefore longing seizes me, journey-weary, to seek my rest across the sea-course. There solitude is not bound to the memory of parting; there sleep abandons dawn-sorrow. There all changes without ruin, waves break against the walls of the land, the sources of the flood are eternally replenished. Therefore I am not able to trust in worldly glory, nor in the memories of kinsmen, nor in gifts of treasure, nor in the warhorse's speed nor the ash-spear's strength, nor in the faithful love of a dear lord-friend, nor in little else of this fleeting life, except these two things: the frailty of mankind, and the permanence of our Father. Therefore I consign myself to the Lord's judgment, that I hence endure the rolling of the waters, either to perish under the billows' tumult, or in heaven's bliss forever to dwell, as my fate decrees.