What conflicting emotions does the seafarer feel when he sets off on a sea voyage?

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"The Seafarer" is an Anglo-Saxon poem in the elegiac tradition, and its titular character, the Seafarer himself, is living a life from which most of the joys have vanished. He describes himself as "earmcearig," an incredible Anglo-Saxon word which means "wretched and sorrowful." He is an exile "bereft of kinsmen," and he is forced to find what little pleasure he can in the cries of the seabirds.

Still, the idea of the sea journey continues to toy with the emotions of the Seafarer. The "lust" and desire of his heart urges him to set out continually in search of "a foreign people" and in search of the joys he once knew. As an experienced seafarer, however, he knows that this sort of journey can be difficult and dangerous. He states that a man would have to be extremely "modwlonc," or proud-spirited, not to consider what God might do to him when he embarks upon a sea voyage. Overcoming these fears are the thoughts of what could remain to be discovered in unseen places: to an adventurer, "woruld onetteð"—"the world seems new." The Seafarer is always driven on by his hopes of finding a new land where he might rediscover the joys of his youth, and he notes that a man who has never been forced to "tread the paths of exile" or venture out onto the waterways can never know how difficult a life it is.

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The first part of the poem discusses the danger and harshness of being out at sea. It's not until we get to

The time for journeys would come and my soul
Called me eagerly out, sent me over the horizon,
seeking foreigner's homes...

that we start to explore the seafarer's emotions as he sets off.

From the quote above, we can already see that the seafarer is eager and excited to leave the land. The next few lines provide the conflicting emotion:

But there isn't a man on earth so proud, 
So born to greatness....
That he feels no fear as the sails unfurl,

So while the seafarer is excited for the new voyage, he is also afraid of the dangers it may bring. These dangers are even more worrying for the seafarer, because they may be completely out of his control (Fate/God, etc.).

Another set of conflicting emotions are loneliness and freedom:

no passion for women, no worldly pleasures
My soul roams with the sea, the whales'
Home, wandering to the widest corners
Of the world...

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The Anglo-Saxon poem The Seafarer was translated into modern English by S.A.J. Bradley in his book Anglo-Saxon Poetry. The book was published in 1998. The quotes used in this answer will refer to his translation of the poem into modern English. In lines 19-26 of the translation, 

Sometimes I would take the song of the swan as my entertainment, the cry of the gannet and the call of the curlew in place of human laughter, the sea-mew's singing in place of the mead-drinking. There storms would pound the rocky cliffs whilst the tern, icy-winged, answered them; very often the sea-eagle would screech, wings dappled with spray. No protective kinsman could comfort the inadequate soul.

the persona of the poem decries his loneliness. In place of human laughter, all he has to accompany him are the peals of birds. In place of warmth, the seafarer has to deal with the harsh waters. When he is at sea, the seafarer is at a place of discomfort. 

However, in spite of all his discomfort, the persona of the poem remains drawn toward the sea:

Now, therefore, the thoughts of my heart are in conflict as to whether I for my part should explore the deep currents and the surging of the salty waves—my mind's desire time and time again urges the soul to set out.... (lines 33-36)

In spite of the sea's many threats and dangers, no amount of boons could confine the seafarer to land:

...he will have no thought for the harp, nor for the ring-receiving ceremonial, nor for the pleasure of a woman nor for trust in that which is of the world, nor for anything else, but only for the surging of the waves—and yet he who aspires to the ocean always has the yearning. (lines 43-47)

The seafarer is conflicted because he knows of the sacrifice one has to endure when one is at sea but is nevertheless drawn toward it. He is, at the same time, comfortable and uncomfortable at sea: while he understands the comfort of being on land, he always yearns and aspires for the ocean. He is lonely at sea but also lonely without it. 

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