At times, when men do not expect it,
I go beneath the press of the waves
to seek the earth, the ocean floor.
The sea is stirred up, the foam tossed, and
the whales’-flood roars and rages loudly,
while surges beat against the coast lines,
fiercely casting stones and sand,
sea-weed and water, on the high slopes,
when, struggling, and hidden under the force
of the waves, I shake the earth, the vast
sea-bottom. Until the One Who is
my Leader on every journey allows me,
I cannot escape the covering waters.
Wise One, say Who draws me from
the embraces of the sea-flood, when once
again the surges grow still, the billows
peaceful, which before had covered me.
Albert W. Haley, Jr.’s translations of Anglo-Saxon poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Osiris, Wind and Phoebe. He tells us that he is neither a teacher nor a scholar, and supports himself by doing factory and warehouse work. The Agni Review applauds him. (Spring 1975)