and Eadwacer :
For Whom, For What?
1 Leodum is mínum swylce him mon lác gife
dat. pl. of / is/ (lit) dat. pl. conj.: / them / man /used as sacrifice here/gift
"leod" men/ /used as gen (my). as if (a gift-sacrifice or a gift-offering)
people(men) is my as if them man sacrifice gift
It is to my people(men) as if one(man) (gave) them a gift.
2 willað hý hine aþecgan gif he on þreat cymeð
pl. of "willan" /3rd person/ masc. /vt)to take food if / he / into/ n) used as troop here/ 3rd pr, sg of "cuman"
plural(they)/accu.(him)/consume accusative form/come, go, get to.
will they him consume if he on troop comes
They intend to kill him if he comes into their troop.
3 ungelic is ús.
unlike, unequal, different
different is us
It is different with us.
4 wulf is on iege ic on oþerre
dat. of "ieg"; dat. of "oþer" other (island)
wulf is on island I on other
Wulf is on one island I on another.
5 fæst is þæt eglond fenne biworpen
adj)secure, inaccessible/ieg+lond dat. of / from "biweorpan" surrounded
fortified "fenn" (fen)
secure is that island fen surrounded
That island is secure("inaccessible" or "fortified"), surrounded by fen.
6 sindon wælreowe weras þær on ige
pl. of "beon"/adj) cruel, savage pl. nom of /adv) there
are cruel men there on island
Savage men are there on the island.
7 willað hy hine aþecgan gif he on þreat cymeð
refrain of line 2
will they him kill if he on troop comes
They intend to kill him if he comes into their troop.
8 ungelice is ús.
a variant of "ungelic" in line 3 (maybe, a scribal error)
different is us
It is different with us.
9 wulfes ic mines widlastum wenum dogode
of wulf / I /gen. of I (my)/3rd pr, pl. of wid (wide,far,/dat. pl. of
legomenon/"hycgean"-hogode or long)+last (journeys, wanderings)/expectation; think,
consider; dative form followed.
wulf I my long journey hopes thought
I thought with hopes of my wulf's long journey (wandering).
10 þonne hit wæs renig weder ond ic reotugu sæt·
when / adj) rainy/n) weather a hapax legomenon,
nom. feminine/pret. 1st pr, sg
adj) reotig, translated "weeping," related to "reotan" (bewail, lament).
when it was rainy weather and I weeping sat
When it was rainy weather and I sat weeping.
11 þonne mec se beaducafa bogum bilegde
when/acc. of "I"/def. article for male (the) / dat. pl of
surrounded, laid (me);beadu ("battle")+caf ("brave"); bows, arms or boughs/weak verb
when me the battle-brave (man) boughs (arms) laid
When the brave-warrior laid boughs ("arms") about me,
12 wæs mé wyn to þon wæs mé hwære eac lað
n) pleasure,/to the extent adj) however/prep.) in addition,/n) harm, injury,
delight, joy. also, too. unpleasure
was me joy to the extent was me however too unpleasure
It was to me joy to a degree, it was, however, unpleasure too.
13 wulf mín wulf wena mé þíne
my nom. pl. of "wen";/(lit) dat. of "I"/(lit.) gen. of "you"
hope, expectation/used here as my/used here as dat.(you)
wulf my wulf hope(expectation) me you
Wulf, my Wulf, my anxious awaiting of you.
14 seoce gedydon þíne seldcymas
pl of "gedon"make / your/"seld"(seldom,
absences); 1st pr, pl. troubled (with pl. suffix)
troubled made your seldom-coming
Thy never-coming ("thy constant absence") brought (me) troubled.
15 murnende mód nales meteliste
present participle/mind, spirit nealles;/dat. sg of "metelist" lack of food or starvation
of "murnan" mourning (ne+ealles); not at all
mourning mind not at all lack of food(starvation)
A mourning mind is not because of lack of food at all
16 gehyrest þú eadwacer uncerne earne hwelp
dual form of "we"(acc. sg);/a variant
2nd pr, sg "earmne"/cub (lit. the young of our two, two of
us/wretched (acc. sg)/the animal, but here as a
Listen you eadwacer our two wretched whelp
Listen, Eadwacer, the wolf bears our wretched whelp
17 bireð wulf to wúda
from "beran,"3rd pr, sg. /dat. of "wúd" forest, wood;
carry or bear
carries (bears) wulf to forest
to the forest
18 þæt mon eaþe tosliteð þætte næfre gesomnad wæs
adj.;/man /used here as adv.;/pret. 3rd pr, of "toslitan"/relative
"gesamnian" /was that easily, soon, readily/wound, break, destroy/that which /assembled,
that one (man)easily rend asunder that which never joined was
One (man) may easily rend asunder that which was never joined
19 uncer giedd geador·:
dual gen../our two,/n) here used as/adv) unitedly, together
two of us /song, tale, poem
our two story (song) together
the (love) song of us two together:
*My text of Wulf and Eadwacer is from the facsimile, The Exter Book of Old English Poetry, with introductory chapters by R. W. Chambers, et al., London, 1933.
Probably, no poem in the Anglo-Saxon corpus has occasioned as much scholarly disagreement and curiosity as Wulf and Eadwacer. The poem has been variously regarded as a riddle, a charm, a Franuenlied, a funeral lament, a canine or lupine story.1) However, nothing encourages us to regard the poem as merely one of these literary genres. Lacking sufficient plot, any doctrinal framework, conventional theme, or obviously formulaic passages, the poem defies interpretation, as labeled in the title of Alain Renoir's article (147-63). Though everything in Wulf and Eadwacer is so cryptic and ambiguous that we are invited to fill the missing links in the adequately filled-out story, one thing must be clear that this is a lament by a female speaker addressed to an absent wulf, as indicated by the nominative feminine reotugu, "weeping," in line 10 and seoce, "troubled or sick" in line 14.2) >From now on, I want to show the tracks I followed to solve this elaborate cross-word puzzle like poem with my imagination and old English dictionaries. I hope that my simple way of translating the poem line by line will answer some intriguing questions thrown by the poem in the end―what is the situation with this female speaker? Who is Wulf, who is Eadwacer? Are they one and the same? Or different men? What is their relationship to the speaker? And what kind of imagery or metaphors are employed to disclose their 'drastic' situation?
The enigmatic nature of line 1 and 2 leads me to wonder if some previous lines are lost. Furthermore, the use of words with the various meanings―lác, aþecgan, þreat―and the syntactically incomplete sentence hinder precise translation. In addition to the usual meaning of "gift," "battle" and "game" are glossed only for the prefixed form, gelac. In connection with the meaning of the verb aþecgan, however, lác here has the central meaning of "sacrifice" or "offering"rather than "battle," "game" or "message." In this case, lác gife can be translated as a kind of compound word―"a gift-sacrifice" or "a gift-offering." Also, him is most naturally translated "to them." In the second line, willað carries a sense of intention as well as that of futurity. Above all, what is most bothering is to select the appropriate meaning of the verb aþecgan, among its several contradictory meanings, "to take," "consume," "feed," and "give hospitality to." aþecgan is obviously etymologically related to þicgan, which means "to take" food. Bosworth-Toller records this word as "to take, consume" something to eat. On the contrary, Campbell Addenda gives both meanings, "consume" and "receive," but favors the latter.3) Considering the relationship of line 1 and 2, especially, of the meaning of lác gife, "to take" or "consume" as the meaning of aþecgan is fit for the smooth translation. And I think that there is no reason to avoid the regular OE meaning of þreat, "troop" or "throng." Now, the puzzle of the first two lines can be solved. Just as, in a ritual ceremony, an animal is offered as a sacrifice, hine (though we do not know yet whom hine indicates here) seems to be "consumed" or "killed" by the speaker's people.
Let's examine the relationship of line 3 to 6 together. The third line is simply translated into "it is different (or unlike) with us." Then, whom does "us" indicates in this line? Considering the following lines, "us" here certainly includes the female speaker and her people who are on "another island." In particular, we can guess that though we do not know the relationship between the female speaker and wulf specifically, they are separated from each other. It seems that the possibility of both being united together is thin, as implied in the line 5; "that island is inaccessible, surrounded by fen." And I think that the island where wulf stays is not necessarily a literal island, but a figurative one, representing a deserted place where man rarely lives. Moreover, if hine in the second line indicates wulf in the fourth line, he must be in danger of being used as some kind of offering. What is worse, the people who live on the same island that the female speaker occupies are described as cruel and bloodthirsty. What could be concluded here in these lines are two things. One is that, "it is different with us" tells the difference between wulf and the narrator's people, including her, not only in wulf's living area but also in the bad circumstances he is faced with. The other is that, through both the literal meaning of wulf which OE dictionary records and the situation the lines say implicitly, we can conjecture that wulf is possibly a fugitive like a beast who is in a hostile relation to the speaker's people.4) The bestiality which the name of wulf connotes might help to understand why the speaker in the first and second line compares wulf to an object (an animal) killed for the ritual ceremony and how the speaker's people treats him, though we do not know why exactly. Anyway, in such a terrible situation, as the repetition of lines 2 and 3 in lines 7 and 8 implies, she shows her concern about wulf's safety and her longing for him.
Lines 9-12 can be drawn together in the dimension of syntactical structure.5) If the clause of line 10, to which the first "when" leads, is a subordinate one, line 9 is the principal clause; "when it was rainy weather and I sat weeping, I thought with hope of my wulf's long journey (or wandering)." What can be inferred from these lines is that the female speaker looked back on the past memory of her concern about and hope for wulf's safety. Wulf is here certainly a wanderer or a bestial fugitive, as the word, widlastum, indicates (line 9). Especially, the natural phenomenon here―"raining"―is well juxtaposed with the speaker's inner feeling―"mourning." Marijane Osborn says, "in this line the balance of inner and outer weather reflects that of inner and outer experience throughout the poem" (176). In addition, the image of the woman speaker sitting and weeping may be seen as a fulcrum around which the poem a whole is balanced. And the next "when" clause of line 11 is connected to the line 12; "when the brave-warrior laid arms about me, it was to me joy to a degree, it was, however, unpleasure too." The most difficult problems in these four lines are to sort out the suitable meaning of dogode, wenum, and bogum respectively, and to identify who se beaducafa is.
Widlastum can be treated as an adjective, "wide-ranging" or "far-wandering," applied to wenum, or as a noun, "far journeys," or "wide tracks." Bosworth-Toller cites this usage in Wulf and Eadwacer as adjective. Nonetheless, to see widlastum as a noun makes the translation more smooth. Wenum as the dative plural of the strong feminine noun wen can be without difficulty translated as "thought," "hope," or "expectation," etc. In case of the verb, dogode, in line 9, though we follow the scholars' emendation to hogode ("think of" or "consider"), it does not make a difference in the meaning which the line conveys. However, if dogode is derived from dogian, the verb embodies the notions of the dog, meaning "pursued like a dog" and this resonates with the vividly animalistic images surrounding wulf. That is, in connection with the earlier lines, the verb, dogode embodies the notions of the dog as a hunting animal and as a base creature, and implicitly points to the relationship of wulf who will be hunted down and killed by the hunting dogs, the narrator's people.
Above all, one of the most puzzling points in the poem is se beaducafa. The problem lies not in its meaning (beadu, "battle" + caf, "brave"), but in the identification of the person it describes. This word allows us to associate him with the þreat and the wælreowe werasof earlier lines. It must be clear that this "battle-brave" man is not wulf who she is longing for, since wulf is absent. In addition, this "battle-brave"man provides food and shelter, as implied in line 15: "a mourning mind is not because of lack of food at all." But it is impossible to identify specifically who he is and what relationship was involved between him and the female speaker. The only thing we can infer in lines 11 and 12 about the "battle-brave" man is that there was a certain relationship between the female speaker and the man, though not specifically described, and the speaker had a mixed feeling toward the relationship. When the man takes a certain action toward the female speaker, she recollects his action as both pleasant and painful. The only key with which to identify the "battle-brave" man's action is the word, bogum, in line 11. Bog can be understood as "branch," or "bough."In this case, it might be used as synedoche through which the poet conveys to us the meaning of shelter or house in conjunction with food (line 15) provided to the female speaker by the "battle-brave" man. On the other hand, if bog is translated as "shoulder of an animal" (also spelled bogh, boh, boog), the line 11 takes a reference to a physical relationship between the speaker and the man. This fact makes it more clear that wulf and se beaducaf is not the same person. Moreover, the speaker's ambivalent feeling toward this "battle-brave" man also says that he is not the man that she is earnestly pining for. It is likely that the female speaker feels joy under the "battle-brave" man's physical protection. But her recollection of wulf 's safety might lead her to feel a sense of guilt or of displeasure. In a word, the speaker's mixed feeling reflects the conflict between her inner mind and outer condition.
As the poem proceeds, the speaker's emotion becomes more excited. In line 13, the speaker's emotion welling up with her mind bursts out; wulf mín wulf wena mé þíne. Lines 14 and 15 say that her suffering is not physical lack of sustenance, but emotional absence of her lover;6) seoce gedydon þíne seldcymas . murnende mód nales meteliste. We can conjecture here that the female speaker and her people are in the different living condition from wulf, as mentioned repeatedly in the earlier lines―ungelice is ús (line 3 and 8).
The speaker's agony and frustration culminate in the concluding lines (from the line 16 to 19) which require solely our imagination and conjecture for their interpretation. She is even bitter towards wulf, and the situation is even more drastic:
gehyrest þú eadwacer uncerne earne hwelp
bireð wulf to wúda (16-17)
Listen, Eadwacer, the wolf bears our wretched
whelp to the forest.
I have taken eadwacer as a proper noun, as suggested by the direct address gehyrest þu, and analyzed this noun into the component parts: ead, "wealth" or "happiness" + wacer, "watcher." Thus, Eadwacer's name here suggests a kind of guardian. It is not impossible to presume that a patriarchal system in conjunction with a military one, as suggested in the words earlier―þreat, wælreowe, and se beaudcafa, was prevalent at that time. In this male centered society in which physical power was highly valued, the class of the powerless such as women and children would be chattel at the mercy of men. In this sense, the female speaker seems to regard Wulf as her eadwacer ("property-watcher"),7) though it is not possible to figure out if she married wulf in this poem. Assuming my conjecture to be correct, a question can be raised―why has the speaker called his man as wulf with a disparaging connotation instead of using the legitimate name, "property-watcher." I think that the speaker's sudden use of eadwacer for wulf is full of significance in relation to hwelp, and wulf in the next line. The speaker's purpose lies in making difference between her wulf in the earlier lines and wulf here, whom I conjecture as her savage people who are eagerly looking forward to killing her wulf.
Assuming these conjectures to be true, the word, hwelp, cannot be taken literally as "young animal," but should be understood figuratively as the speaker's wulf who is vulnerable to her people like a wolf's cub, or metaphorically as the word referring to the relationship between the narrator and her lover, wulf. Considering the situation of gehyrest þú eadwacer that the speaker calls her wulf in order to arouse her pain and despair in his mind, it is more appropriate to take the meaning of hwelp metaphorically. That is, hwelp can be said as an offspring begotten by the female speaker and wulf, though it is not a son. In particular, the comparison of the fate of whelp here with that of giedd (I have interpreted the word as " (love) song") in the concluding line supports my argument more convincingly, since not only are both words qualified by the dual form of "our two" which refer to wulf and the narrator, but also the verb, tosliteð ("break," "tear asunder") with animal connotation suggests an unhappy fate of the two lovers. In this sense, earne, the adjective applied to hwelp should be interpreted not as "swift' (earone) or "coward" (eargne) but as "wretched" (earmne).
However, the most thorny problems are the last two lines; þæt mon eaþe tosliteð þætte næfre gesomnad wæs (line 18) uncer giedd geador (line 19). The tone of these lines associates the relationship of the female speaker with the unidentified "battle-brave" warrior in line 11 during wulf's absence. Assuming that mon here refers to wulf as well as the narrator's own people, it is likely that she here divorces herself from any dependence on him. Although, earlier in her monologue, she would sit tearful, longing for wulf's coming, now she comes to give herself up to despair and to accept the reality out of despair. Only with these two lines, we cannot guess if she implicitly states the possibility of being separated from wulf everlastingly and of being another man's woman. Nonetheless, these lines are heard rather threateningly and desperately, as if she were saying that what might ensue is not from her faithlessness, but from her miserable and helpless situation. I had a hunch that she has narrated the song pathetically so far in order to justify her change of mind, and her faithful love toward wulf might end from the moment when her song ceases. Or she will still concern about wulf's fate in the future as a chaste woman, I doubt.
To conclude, a female speaker addresses her pain and suffering to her absent lover, possibly husband (based on the meaning of eadwacer in terms of male-gendered patriarchal society). Her lover, wulf, is seen as a fugitive who lives like a wolf in the forest, as revealed in Maxims II, ll. 18b-19a―wulf seal on bearowe/earm anhaga ("The wolf shall be in the wood, the miserable solitary one"), though it is impossible to conjecture why he came to be hostile to her people in this poem. The poem does not specify that wulf is actually an outlaw, but his name in conjunction with his situation carries that implication. He is clearly in peril of his life and is also regarded as an object to be consumed for a ritual ceremony. In addition, the female speaker is watched over by an unidentified se beaducafa ("the battle-brave"man), who not only provides food and shelter for her, but also has some physical relationship with her. The speaker's relationship with wulf, as suggested in uncerne earne hwelp bireð wulf to wúda and uncer giedd, could never have ended in happy union. Especially, the word play on wulf, hwelp, and the words connected with animals―lác, aþecgan, wulf, hwelp, and tosliteð―poignantly heighten the desperate situation of the speaker. In particular, the speaker's helpless situation which results from the absence of her own guardian, the "property-watcher" (associating the speaker with Criseyde in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and with women who do not have proper guardians in the Bible) might drive her to justify the possibility of being another man's woman, probably se beaducaf's, regardless of her own will. I think that that possibility has already implied in her narration: þonne mec se beaducafa bogum bilegde (line 11). Though the word, bogum, might be translated not as "shoulders" with physical connotations, but literally as "boughs," I do not think that there is difference in what the speaker tries to convey through the line. That is, the fact that the female speaker was simply provided food and shelter by the "battle-brave"man during her proper keeper, Eadwacer, indirectly says a certain illicit relationship with him. In particular, her ambivalent emotion toward se beaducafa ("the battle-brave"man) seems to reflect such quandary which she is put in. To conclude, I do not think that my reading of the poem is an accurate one. Much ambiguity still remains. As Baker says, however, this ambiguity might be more artistic than puzzling, and "the reputation of Wulf and Eadwacer as a little masterpiece of Old English literature" (51). Besides, in spite of its ambiguity and difficulty for the interpretation, the clear one is that the poem is an intense evocation of longing and despair, a passionate outburst that is nevertheless controlled by an enigmatic reticence.
◈ Works Cited
Baker, Peter S. "The Ambiguity of Wulf and Eadwacer." Eight Anglo-Saxon Studies. Ed. Joseph S. Wittig. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1981.
Bosworth and Toller, ed. An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon P. 1964.
Campbell, Alistair. Enlarged Addenda and Corrigenda. Oxford UP, 1972.
Davidson, Arnold E. "Interpreting Wulf and Eadwacer." Annuale Mediaevale 16 (1975): 14-32.
Eliason, Norman E. "On Wulf and Eadwacer." Old English Studies in Honour of John C. Pope. Ed. Robert B. Burlin and Edward B. Irving, Jr. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1974.
Fry, Donald K. "Wulf and Eadwacer: A Wen Charm." Chaucer Review 5 (1971).
Giles, Richard F. "'Wulf and Eadwacer': A New Reading." Neophilologus 65 (1981): 468-72.
Jamison, Carol Parrish. "Wulf and Eadwacer: A Mother's Lament for Her Son." Publications of the Mississippi Philological Assn. 1987: 88-95.
Jensen, Emily. "Narrative Voice in the Old English Wulf." Chaucer Review 13 (1979), 373-83.
Kerling, Johan. "Another Solution to the Critics' Riddle: Wulf and Eadwacer Revisited." Neophilologus 64 (1980): 140-43.
Luecke, Janemarie. "Wulf and Eadwacer: Hints for Reading from Beowulf and Anthropology." The Old English Elegies: New Essays in Criticism and Research. Ed. Martin Green. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1983.
Osborn, Marijane. "The Text and Context of Wulf and Eadwacer." The Old English Elegies: New Essays in Criticism and Research. Ed. Martin Green. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1983.
Renoir, Alain. "Wulf and Eadwacer: a Non-interpretation." Franciplegius: Medieval and Linguistic Studies in Honour of Francis Peabody Magoun, Jr. Ed. Jess B. Bessinger, Jr. and Robert P. Creed. New York: New York UP, 1965.
A Reinterpretation and Some Conjectures." Neuphilologische
88 (1987): 175-85.
and Eadwacer :
For Whom, For What?
Probably, no poem in the Anglo-Saxon corpus has occasioned as much scholarly disagreement and curiosity as Wulf and Eadwacer. The poem has been variously regarded as a riddle, a charm, a Franuenlied, a funeral lament, a canine or lupine story. However, nothing encourages us to regard the poem as merely one of these literary genres. Lacking sufficient plot, any doctrinal framework, conventional theme, or obviously formulaic passages, the poem defies interpretation. Though everything in Wulf and Eadwacer is so cryptic and ambiguous that we are invited to fill the missing links in the adequately filled-out story, one thing must be clear that this is a lament by a female speaker addressed to an absent wulf, as indicated by the nominative feminine reotugu, "weeping," in line 10 and seoce, "troubled or sick" in line 14.
A female speaker addresses her pain and suffering to her absent lover, possibly husband (based on the meaning of eadwacer in terms of male-gendered patriarchal society). Her lover, wulf, is seen as a fugitive who lives like a wolf in the forest, as revealed in Maxims II, ll. 18b-19a―wulf seal on bearowe/earm anhaga ("The wolf shall be in the wood, the miserable solitary one"), though it is impossible to conjecture why he came to be hostile to her people in this poem. The poem does not specify that wulf is actually an outlaw, but his name in conjunction with his situation carries that implication. He is clearly in peril of his life and is also regarded as an object to be consumed for a ritual ceremony. In addition, the female speaker is watched over by an unidentified se beaducafa ("the battle-brave" man), who not only provides food and shelter for her, but also has some physical relationship with her. The speaker's relationship with wulf, as suggested in uncerne earne hwelp bireð wulf to wúda and uncer giedd, could never have ended in happy union.
Key Words: Old English Poetry, Wulf and Eadwacer, enigmatic nature, patriarchal society, female speaker
1) The critics that have published articles concerning the poem are as follows: Adams (1958), Frankis (1962), Malone (1963), Renoir (1965), Lehmann (1969), Eliason (1974), Davidson (1975), Mattox (1975), Fanagan (1976), Keough (1976), Kavros (1977), Spamer (1978), Jensen (1979), Kerling (1980), Baker (1981), Giles (1981), Luecke (1983), Osborn (1983), etc.
2) A notable exception is Norman E. Eliason's "On Wulf and Eadwacer," in Old English Studies in Honour of John C. Pope, ed., R. B. Burlin and E. B. Irving, Jr. (Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1974), 225-34. He argues that the poem is not a dramatic monologue spoken by a woman but "is a private communication addressed to a colleague, ruefully but playfully protesting about the mishandling of their poetry, which . . . has been separated, some of it being copied in one place of a manuscript and the rest in another, less favorable place."
3) My interpretation on the poem is basically based on two representative dictionaries on Anglo-Saxon words and idioms; Bosworth and Toller, ed., An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon P, 1964); Alistair Campbell, Enlarged Addenda and Corrigenda, Oxford, 1972.
4) Pointed out most recently by Johan Kerling, "Another Solution to the Critics' Riddle: Wulf and Eadwacer Revisited," Neophilologus 64 (1980), 142.
5) Renoir points out with great sensitivity that with line 9, Wulf and Eadwacer begins to build towards its emotional and rhetorical climax (155-9). Likewise, Baker also tells that "The tone of lines 1-8 was tensely controlled and the verses end-stopped. But now the lines become longer and more rapid, the syntax more fluid. . . . The ambiguous syntax, together with the rapid movement of the lines, expresses very well the speaker's excited state." Peter S. Baker, "The Ambiguity of 'Wulf and Eadwacer'," Studies in Philology 78 (1981), 46.
6) Contrary to many commentators who see the particular situation as a sexual triangle, with Wulf the woman's lover and Eadwacer her husband, some regard the speaker as the mother of the person she addresses as Wulf as well as of whelp of line 16: Osborn, Suzuki, Luecke, and Jamison.
7) My argument that Eadwacer is the woman speaker's legal husband is almost similar to Jensen's view. However, the difference lies in the fact that Jensen says, the woman speaker "calls him Eadwacer and Wulf at once is brilliantly ironic. The subtle but slashing jibes at Wulf convey a deep sense of bitterness for the man who has truly "made her sick." Emily Jensen, "Narrative Voice in the Old English Wulf," Chaucer Review 13 (1979), 380. In addition, contrary to the general view that Eadwacer in this poem is a common noun which means "property-watcher," Fry takes Eadwacer to be a proper noun, as suggested by the direct address, gehyrest þú. Donald K. Fry, "Wulf & Eadwacer: A Wen Charm," Chaucer Review 5 (1971), 260.