Speak like an Anglo-Saxon: Bees!

This is mostly thanks to wikipedia....

I know it's completely the wrong time of year for this, but as I was looking for something for World Soil Day, I came across this lovely charm for bees.

Never mind planting bee-friendly flowers, pollinator strips, wildflower meadows and the like, back in Anglo-Saxon times all you need to do* is say this simple poem and the little buzzers will swarm to you.

Sitte ge, sīgewīf,
sīgað tō eorðan,
næfre ge wilde
tō wuda fleogan,
beō ge swā gemindige,
mīnes gōdes,
swā bið manna gehwilc,
metes and ēðeles.

(translation by Greenfield, 1996)

Settle down, victory-women (i.e. bees),
never be wild and fly to the woods.
Be/bees -  as mindful of my welfare,
as is each man of border and of home.[4]

[Sit-uh yay, see-yuh-weef,
see-yath toe ay-orth-an,
nay-fre yay wild-uh
toe wood-a flay-o-gan,
bay-o yay swaa yu-min-dee-yu,
meen-us goad-es,
swaa bith man-a ye-hwiltch,
may-tes and eth-el-es]

You might as well chant "Esiotrot, esiotrot..." while you're at it...

*unverified claim alert


Unknown said…
Hey there,

Thanks a LOT for the pronunciation on this. I've searched for pointers on pronunciation for this text for a long time, and this is the first and only time I've found anything.

Would you by chance have something on the rest of this text, as well?
By which I mean this:

Wið ymbe nim eorþan, oferweorp mid þinre swiþran
handa under þinum swiþran fet, and cwet:
Fo ic under fot, funde ic hit.
Hwæt, eorðe mæg wið ealra wihta gehwilce
and wið andan and wið æminde
and wið þa micelan mannes tungan.
And wiððon forweorp ofer greot, þonne hi swirman, and cweð:

I'd greatly appreciate any help you can offer me here.