A translation of the first chapter of Alan Paton's
"Cry, The Beloved Country"

Leoflic is se weg þe ligþ fram lxopo on þa beorgas. Ðās beorgas sind beweaxene mid gærse and hyllic; and swa leoflíc sind hie þæt mon ne mæg tó mycel heora faegere singan. Se weg astigeþ seofon mila in hie; to Wihtgaresyrig, and þanane, gif nænig mist is, niþer þu behieldeeþ ana þara fægerust denes Affrican. Gærs and fearn sind abuton þe and wenunga hierest þu orwenene cirm þæs Titihoya an þara fugla þara feldes. Under þu ligþ þa dene þæs Umzimkulu, swa hit fram Drakensberg to sæm iernþ; and begeondan and behindan ðære ea, micel dun æfter micelen dune; and begeondan and behindan hire, þa muntes þæs Ingeli and þæs East-Gricwaland. THERE is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills.
These hills are grass-covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.

The road climbs seven miles into them, to Carisbrooke; and from there, if there is no mist, you look down on one of the fairest valleys of Africa.

About you there is grass and bracken and you may hear the forlorn crying of the titihoya, one of the birds of the veld.

Below you is the valley of the Umzimkulu, on its journey from the Drakensberg to the sea; and beyond and behind the river, great hill after great hill; and beyond and behind them, the mountains of Ingeli and East Griqualand.
Ðæt gærs is genihtsum and þicce, mon ne maeg þa moldan siehþ. Hit hieldeþ regn and mist fæste, and hie ofgieteþ on þone grund and fedaþ þa streamas on ælcum crundle. Hit is welheold, and to fela ceap ne fedaþ uppan hit; to fela fyr ne bærnaþ hit and þa moldan baraþ. Uppan hine stende unscogede, for þone grund is halig, swa swa fram þæm Scippende hine com. Hielde hine, beware hine, and gieme hine, for hine hieldeþ and bewaraþ menn and giemaþ híe. Awestaþ hine, and mennisc bið abræcon.

The grass is rich and matted, you cannot see the soil. It holds the rain and mist, and they seep into the ground, feeding the streams in every kloof. It is well-tended, and not too many cattle feed upon it; not too many fires burn it, laying bare the soil. Stand unshod upon it, for the ground is holy, being even as it came from the Creator. Keep it, guard it, care for it, for it keeps men, guards men, cares for men. Destroy it and man is destroyed.

Ðær þær þu stendeest is þæt gærs genihtsume and þicce, mon ne maeg þá moldan siehþ Ac þas genihtsuman grenean beorgas brosnaþ. Hie feallan to þa dene niþer, and swa hie feallan hiera cynd oncierraþ. Hie wieraþ reode and bære; hie ne mæg regn and mist fæste hieldaþ, and þa streamas sind þyrre on þa crundlas. To fela ceap fedaþ on þa garsu, and to fela fyr habbaþ hit bærnedon. Uppan hit stende scode, for þone grund is rúhe and scearpe, and þa stanas gymmaþ underneoþan þa fét. Hine nis heold oððe bewarede oððe gíemede, hine leng ne hieldeaþ menn, bewaraþ menn and giemeþ menn. Se Titithoya ne cirmaþ her ma.

Where you stand the grass is rich and matted, you cannot see the soil. But the rich green hills break down. They fall to valley below, and falling, change their nature. For they grow red and bare; they cannot hold the rain and the mist, and the streams are dry in the kloofs. Too many cattle feed upon on the grass, and too many fires have burned it. Stand shod upon it, for it is coarse and sharp, and the stones cut under the feet. It is not kept, or guarded, or cared for, it no longer keeps men, guards men, cares for men. The titihoya does not cry here any more.

Weste stendeaþ þa micelan reodan beorgas, and seo eorðe is gelic flæsc onweg tæron. Ða ligetunga fyrclaþ ofer him, þa wolcen regnaþ adun on him, þa streamas acwicaþ and sind fulle þæs reodan blodes þære eorðan. Neoþan on þa dena scrapaþ wifan on seo oferlæfedon molde, and þa corn ræcaþ erforlice weres lengu. Ðas sind þa dena ealdra wera and ealdra wifena, modru and bearna. Se weras eart onweg, þa geongan eart onweg and þas mægden eart onweg. Seo molde ne mæg hie ma hieldeaþ. The great red hills stand desolate, and the earth has torn away like flesh. The lightning flashes over them, the clouds pour down on them, the dead streams come to life, full of the red blood of the earth. Down in the valleys women scratch the soil that is left, and the maize hardly reaches the height of a man. They are valleys of old men and old women, of mothers and children. The men are away, the young men and the girls are away. The soil cannot keep them anymore.