Reference > Cambridge History > From the Beginnings to the Cycles of Romance > Early National Poetry > The Wife’s Complaint
  The Seafarer The Husband’s Message  

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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume I. From the Beginnings to the Cycles of Romance.

III. Early National Poetry.

§ 10. The Wife’s Complaint.


The Wife’s Complaint is another poem which presents seriousdifficulties owing to obscurity in the train of thought. Indeed, in at least one passage the obscurity is so great that one can hardly believe the text as it stands to be correct. The speaker is a woman who bewails the ever increasing troubles with which she is beset. First her husband departed from her over the sea. Then, apparently at the instigation of his relatives, she is imprisoned in an old dwelling dug out of the earth under an oak, where she sits in solitude bewailing her troubles the whole day long. She has no friends at hand, and all the vows of lasting love which she and her husband had exchanged in time past have come to nothing.   39

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  The Seafarer The Husband’s Message  
 
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