Beowulf is an Old English epic poem in the tradition of Germanic heroic legend.
I. THE PASSING OF SCYLD.
: Hwæt! wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum
Lo! the Spear-Danes' glory through splendid achievements
þēod-cyninga þrym gefrūnon,
The folk-kings' former fame we have heard of,
hū þā æðelingas ellen fremedon.
How princes displayed then their prowess-in-battle.
Oft Scyld Scēfing sceaðena þrēatum,
Oft Scyld the Scefing from scathers in numbers
5: monegum mǣgðum meodo-setla oftēah.
From many a people their mead-benches tore.
Egsode eorl, syððan ǣrest wearð
Since first he found him friendless and wretched,
The earl had had terror: comfort he got for it,
wēox under wolcnum, weorð-myndum ðāh,
Waxed 'neath the welkin, world-honor gained,
oð þæt him ǣghwylc þāra ymb-sittendra
Till all his neighbors o'er sea were compelled to
Bow to his bidding and bring him their tribute:
An excellent atheling! After was borne him
A son and heir, young in his dwelling,
geong in geardum, þone god sende
Whom God-Father sent to solace the people.
folce tō frōfre; fyren-þearfe ongeat,
He had marked the misery malice had caused them,
15: þæt hīe ǣr drugon aldor-lēase
That reaved of their rulers they wretched had erstwhile
lange hwīle. Him þæs līf-frēa,
Long been afflicted. The Lord, in requital,
wuldres wealdend, worold-āre forgeaf;
Wielder of Glory, with world-honor blessed him.
Famed was Beowulf, far spread the glory
Scyldes eafera Scede-landum in.
Of Scyld's great son in the lands of the Danemen.
So the carle that is young, by kindnesses rendered
fromum feoh-giftum on fæder wine,
The friends of his father, with fees in abundance
Must be able to earn that when age approacheth
Eager companions aid him requitingly,
When war assaults him serve him as liegemen:
By praise-worthy actions must honor be got
Him þā Scyld gewāt tō gescæp-hwīle
'Mong all of the races. At the hour that was fated
Scyld then departed to the All-Father's keeping
hī hyne þā ætbǣron tō brimes faroðe.
Warlike to wend him; away then they bare him
swǣse gesīðas, swā hē selfa bæd,
To the flood of the current, his fond-loving comrades,
30: þenden wordum wēold wine Scyldinga,
As himself he had bidden, while the friend of the Scyldings
lēof land-fruma lange āhte.
Word-sway wielded, and the well-lovèd land-prince
Long did rule them. The ring-stemmèd vessel,
īsig and ūtfūs, æðelinges fær;
Bark of the atheling, lay there at anchor,
ā-lēdon þā lēofne þēoden,
Icy in glimmer and eager for sailing;
35: bēaga bryttan on bearm scipes,
The belovèd leader laid they down there,
mǣrne be mæste. Þǣr wæs mādma fela,
Giver of rings, on the breast of the vessel,
of feor-wegum frætwa gelǣded:
The famed by the mainmast. A many of jewels,
Of fretted embossings, from far-lands brought over,
hilde-wǣpnum and heaðo-wǣdum,
Was placed near at hand then; and heard I not ever
40: billum and byrnum; him on bearme læg
That a folk ever furnished a float more superbly
mādma mænigo, þā him mid scoldon
With weapons of warfare, weeds for the battle,
on flōdes ǣht feor gewītan.
Bills and burnies; on his bosom sparkled
Nalas hī hine lǣssan lācum tēodan,
Many a jewel that with him must travel
þēod-gestrēonum, þonne þā dydon,
On the flush of the flood afar on the current.
And favors no fewer they furnished him soothly,
ǣnne ofer ȳðe umbor wesende:
Excellent folk-gems, than others had given him
Who when first he was born outward did send him
Lone on the main, the merest of infants:
And a gold-fashioned standard they stretched under heaven
High o'er his head, let the holm-currents bear him,
secgan tō soðe sele-rǣdende,
Seaward consigned him: sad was their spirit,
hæleð under heofenum, hwā þǣm hlæste onfēng.
Their mood very mournful. Men are not able
II. THE HALL HEOROT.
: Þā wæs on burgum Bēowulf Scyldinga,
In the boroughs then Beowulf, bairn of the Scyldings,
lēof lēod-cyning, longe þrāge
Belovèd land-prince, for long-lasting season
55: folcum gefrǣge (fæder ellor hwearf,
Was famed mid the folk (his father departed,
aldor of earde), oð þæt him eft onwōc
The prince from his dwelling), till afterward sprang
Great-minded Healfdene; the Danes in his lifetime
gamol and gūð-rēow, glæde Scyldingas.
He graciously governed, grim-mooded, agèd.
Þǣm fēower bearn forð-gerīmed
Four bairns of his body born in succession
60: in worold wōcun, weoroda rǣswan,
Woke in the world, war-troopers' leader
Heorogār and Hrōðgār and Hālga til;
Heorogar, Hrothgar, and Halga the good;
Heard I that Elan was Ongentheow's consort,
The well-beloved bedmate of the War-Scylfing leader.
Þā wæs Hrōðgāre here-spēd gyfen,
Then glory in battle to Hrothgar was given,
65: wīges weorð-mynd, þæt him his wine-māgas
Waxing of war-fame, that willingly kinsmen
Obeyed his bidding, till the boys grew to manhood,
mago-driht micel. Him on mōd bearn,
A numerous band. It burned in his spirit
To urge his folk to found a great building,
medo-ærn micel men gewyrcean,
A mead-hall grander than men of the era
70: þone yldo bearn ǣfre gefrūnon,
Ever had heard of, and in it to share
and þǣr on innan eall gedǣlan
With young and old all of the blessings
geongum and ealdum, swylc him god sealde,
The Lord had allowed him, save life and retainers.
būton folc-scare and feorum gumena.
Then the work I find afar was assigned
To many races in middle-earth's regions,
75: manigre mǣgðe geond þisne middan-geard,
To adorn the great folk-hall. In due time it happened
folc-stede frætwan. Him on fyrste gelomp
Early 'mong men, that 'twas finished entirely,
ǣdre mid yldum, þæt hit wearð eal gearo,
The greatest of hall-buildings; Heorot he named it
heal-ærna mǣst; scōp him Heort naman,
Who wide-reaching word-sway wielded 'mong earlmen.
sē þe his wordes geweald wīde hæfde.
His promise he brake not, rings he lavished,
Treasure at banquet. Towered the hall up
High and horn-crested, huge between antlers:
hēah and horn-gēap: heaðo-wylma bād,
It battle-waves bided, the blasting fire-demon;
lāðan līges; ne wæs hit lenge þā gēn
Ere long then from hottest hatred must sword-wrath
þæt se ecg-hete āðum-swerian
Arise for a woman's husband and father.
Then the mighty war-spirit endured for a season,
Þā se ellen-gǣst earfoðlīce
Bore it bitterly, he who bided in darkness,
That light-hearted laughter loud in the building
þæt hē dōgora gehwām drēam gehȳrde
Greeted him daily; there was dulcet harp-music,
Clear song of the singer. He said that was able
To tell from of old earthmen's beginnings,
That Father Almighty earth had created,
The winsome wold that the water encircleth,
wlite-beorhtne wang, swā wæter bebūgeð,
Set exultingly the sun's and the moon's beams
gesette sige-hrēðig sunnan and mōnan
To lavish their lustre on land-folk and races,
95: lēoman tō lēohte land-būendum,
And earth He embellished in all her regions
and gefrætwade foldan scēatas
With limbs and leaves; life He bestowed too
leomum and lēafum; līf ēac gesceōp
On all the kindreds that live under heaven.
cynna gehwylcum, þāra þe cwice hwyrfað.
So blessed with abundance, brimming with joyance,
Swā þā driht-guman drēamum lifdon
The warriors abided, till a certain one gan to
100: ēadiglīce, oð þæt ān ongan
Dog them with deeds of direfullest malice,
fyrene fremman, fēond on helle:
A foe in the hall-building: this horrible stranger
Was Grendel entitled, the march-stepper famous
Who dwelt in the moor-fens, the marsh and the fastness;
fen and fæsten; fīfel-cynnes eard
The wan-mooded being abode for a season
105: won-sǣlig wer weardode hwīle,
In the land of the giants, when the Lord and Creator
siððan him scyppend forscrifen hæfde.
Had banned him and branded. For that bitter murder,
In Caines cynne þone cwealm gewræc,
The killing of Abel, all-ruling Father
ēce drihten, þæs þe hē Ābel slōg;
The kindred of Cain crushed with His vengeance;
In the feud He rejoiced not, but far away drove him
From kindred and kind, that crime to atone for,
Þanon untȳdras ealle onwōcon,
Meter of Justice. Thence ill-favored creatures,
eotenas and ylfe and orcnēas,
Elves and giants, monsters of ocean,
swylce gīgantas, þā wið gode wunnon
Came into being, and the giants that longtime
Grappled with God; He gave them requital.
III. GRENDEL'S VISITS.
When the sun was sunken, he set out to visit
hēan hūses, hū hit Hring-Dene
The lofty hall-building, how the Ring-Danes had used it
æfter bēor-þege gebūn hæfdon.
For beds and benches when the banquet was over.
Fand þā þǣr inne æðelinga gedriht
Then he found there reposing many a noble
swefan æfter symble; sorge ne cūðon,
Asleep after supper; sorrow the heroes,
120: won-sceaft wera. Wiht unhǣlo
Misery knew not. The monster of evil
grim and grǣdig gearo sōna wæs,
Greedy and cruel tarried but little,
rēoc and rēðe, and on ræste genam
Fell and frantic, and forced from their slumbers
Thirty of thanemen; thence he departed
hūðe hrēmig tō hām faran,
Leaping and laughing, his lair to return to,
125: mid þǣre wæl-fylle wīca nēosan.
With surfeit of slaughter sallying homeward.
Þā wæs on ūhtan mid ǣr-dæge
In the dusk of the dawning, as the day was just breaking,
Grendles gūð-cræft gumum undyrne:
Was Grendel's prowess revealed to the warriors:
þā wæs æfter wiste wōp up āhafen,
Then, his meal-taking finished, a moan was uplifted,
Morning-cry mighty. The man-ruler famous,
130: æðeling ǣr-gōd, unblīðe sæt,
The long-worthy atheling, sat very woful,
þolode þrȳð-swȳð, þegn-sorge drēah,
Suffered great sorrow, sighed for his liegemen,
syððan hīe þæs lāðan lāst scēawedon,
When they had seen the track of the hateful pursuer,
wergan gāstes; wæs þæt gewin tō strang,
The spirit accursèd: too crushing that sorrow,
lāð and longsum. Næs hit lengra fyrst,
Too loathsome and lasting. Not longer he tarried,
135: ac ymb āne niht eft gefremede
But one night after continued his slaughter
Shameless and shocking, shrinking but little
From malice and murder; they mastered him fully.
Þā wæs ēað-fynde, þē him elles hwǣr
He was easy to find then who otherwhere looked for
gerūmlīcor ræste sōhte,
A pleasanter place of repose in the lodges,
A bed in the bowers. Then was brought to his notice
gesægd sōðlīce sweotolan tācne
Told him truly by token apparent
The hall-thane's hatred: he held himself after
fyr and fæstor, sē þǣm fēonde ætwand.
Further and faster who the foeman did baffle.
Swā rīxode and wið rihte wan
So ruled he and strongly strove against justice
145: āna wið eallum, oð þæt īdel stōd
Lone against all men, till empty uptowered
The choicest of houses. Long was the season:
Twelve-winters' time torture suffered
wine Scyldinga, wēana gehwelcne,
The friend of the Scyldings, every affliction,
sīdra sorga; forþām syððan wearð
Endless agony; hence it after became
150: ylda bearnum undyrne cūð,
Certainly known to the children of men
gyddum geōmore, þætte Grendel wan,
Sadly in measures, that long against Hrothgar
hwīle wið Hrōðgār;-- hete-nīðas wæg,
Grendel struggled:--his grudges he cherished,
fyrene and fǣhðe fela missēra,
Murderous malice, many a winter,
singāle sæce, sibbe ne wolde
Strife unremitting, and peacefully wished he
155: wið manna hwone mægenes Deniga
Life-woe to lift from no liegeman at all of
The men of the Dane-folk, for money to settle,
No counsellor needed count for a moment
beorhtre bōte tō banan folmum;
On handsome amends at the hands of the murderer;
The monster of evil fiercely did harass,
160: deorc dēað-scūa duguðe and geogoðe
The ill-planning death-shade, both elder and younger,
seomade and syrede. Sin-nihte hēold
Trapping and tricking them. He trod every night then
mistige mōras; men ne cunnon,
The mist-covered moor-fens; men do not know where
hwyder hel-rūnan hwyrftum scrīðað.
Witches and wizards wander and ramble.
Swā fela fyrena fēond man-cynnes,
So the foe of mankind many of evils
165: atol ān-gengea, oft gefremede
Grievous injuries, often accomplished,
heardra hȳnða; Heorot eardode,
Horrible hermit; Heort he frequented,
sinc-fāge sel sweartum nihtum
Gem-bedecked palace, when night-shades had fallen
(Since God did oppose him, not the throne could he touch,
The light-flashing jewel, love of Him knew not).
'Twas a fearful affliction to the friend of the Scyldings
mōdes brecða. Monig-oft gesæt
Soul-crushing sorrow. Not seldom in private
rīce tō rūne; rǣd eahtedon,
Sat the king in his council; conference held they
hwæt swīð-ferhðum sēlest wǣre
What the braves should determine 'gainst terrors unlooked for.
wið fǣr-gryrum tō gefremmanne.
At the shrines of their idols often they promised
wīg-weorðunga, wordum bǣdon,
Gifts and offerings, earnestly prayed they
þæt him gāst-bona gēoce gefremede
The devil from hell would help them to lighten
wið þēod-þrēaum. Swylc wæs þēaw hyra,
Their people's oppression. Such practice they used then,
hǣðenra hyht; helle gemundon
Hope of the heathen; hell they remembered
180: in mōd-sefan, metod hīe ne cūðon,
In innermost spirit, God they knew not,
dǣda dēmend, ne wiston hīe drihten god,
Judge of their actions, All-wielding Ruler,
nē hīe hūru heofena helm herian ne cūðon,
No praise could they give the Guardian of Heaven,
wuldres waldend. Wā bið þǣm þe sceal
The Wielder of Glory. Woe will be his who
þurh slīðne nīð sāwle bescūfan
Through furious hatred his spirit shall drive to
185: in fȳres fæðm, frōfre ne wēnan,
The clutch of the fire, no comfort shall look for,
Wax no wiser; well for the man who,
æfter dēað-dæge drihten sēcean
Living his life-days, his Lord may face
and tō fæder fæðmum freoðo wilnian.
And find defence in his Father's embrace!
IV. HYGELAC'S THANE.
: Swā þā mǣl-ceare maga Healfdenes
So Healfdene's kinsman constantly mused on
190: singāla sēað; ne mihte snotor hæleð
His long-lasting sorrow; the battle-thane clever
Was not anywise able evils to 'scape from:
Too crushing the sorrow that came to the people,
nȳd-wracu nīð-grim, niht-bealwa mǣst.
Loathsome and lasting the life-grinding torture,
Þæt fram hām gefrægn Higelāces þegn,
Greatest of night-woes. So Higelac's liegeman,
195: gōd mid Gēatum, Grendles dǣda:
Good amid Geatmen, of Grendel's achievements
sē wæs mon-cynnes mægenes strengest
Heard in his home: of heroes then living
on þǣm dæge þysses līfes,
He was stoutest and strongest, sturdy and noble.
He bade them prepare him a bark that was trusty;
He said he the war-king would seek o'er the ocean,
200: ofer swan-rāde sēcean wolde,
The folk-leader noble, since he needed retainers.
For the perilous project prudent companions
Þone sīð-fæt him snotere ceorlas
Chided him little, though loving him dearly;
They egged the brave atheling, augured him glory.
The excellent knight from the folk of the Geatmen
205: Hæfde se gōda Gēata lēoda
Had liegemen selected, likest to prove them
cempan gecorone, þāra þe hē cēnoste
Trustworthy warriors; with fourteen companions
findan mihte; fīftȳna sum
The vessel he looked for; a liegeman then showed them,
sund-wudu sōhte; secg wīsade,
A sea-crafty man, the bounds of the country.
lagu-cræftig mon, land-gemyrcu.
Fast the days fleeted; the float was a-water,
The craft by the cliff. Clomb to the prow then
Well-equipped warriors: the wave-currents twisted
The sea on the sand; soldiers then carried
sund wið sande; secgas bǣron
On the breast of the vessel bright-shining jewels,
on bearm nacan beorhte frætwe,
Handsome war-armor; heroes outshoved then,
215: gūð-searo geatolīc; guman ūt scufon,
Warmen the wood-ship, on its wished-for adventure.
weras on wil-sīð wudu bundenne.
The foamy-necked floater fanned by the breeze,
Likest a bird, glided the waters,
flota fāmig-heals fugle gelīcost,
Till twenty and four hours thereafter
oð þæt ymb ān-tīd ōðres dōgores
The twist-stemmed vessel had traveled such distance
That the sailing-men saw the sloping embankments,
þæt þā līðende land gesāwon,
The sea cliffs gleaming, precipitous mountains,
brim-clifu blīcan, beorgas stēape,
Nesses enormous: they were nearing the limits
At the end of the ocean. Up thence quickly
eoletes æt ende. Þanon up hraðe
The men of the Weders clomb to the mainland,
Fastened their vessel (battle weeds rattled,
sǣ-wudu sǣldon (syrcan hrysedon,
War burnies clattered), the Wielder they thanked
gūð-gewǣdo); gode þancedon,
That the ways o'er the waters had waxen so gentle.
þæs þe him ȳð-lāde ēaðe wurdon.
Then well from the cliff edge the guard of the Scyldings
Who the sea-cliffs should see to, saw o'er the gangway
Brave ones bearing beauteous targets,
beran ofer bolcan beorhte randas,
Armor all ready, anxiously thought he,
fyrd-searu fūslīcu; hine fyrwyt bræc
Musing and wondering what men were approaching.
mōd-gehygdum, hwæt þā men wǣron.
High on his horse then Hrothgar's retainer
Turned him to coastward, mightily brandished
235: þegn Hrōðgāres, þrymmum cwehte
His lance in his hands, questioned with boldness.
mægen-wudu mundum, meðel-wordum frægn:
"Who are ye men here, mail-covered warriors
"Hwæt syndon gē searo-hæbbendra
Clad in your corslets, come thus a-driving
"byrnum werede, þē þus brontne cēol
A high riding ship o'er the shoals of the waters,
"ofer lagu-strǣte lǣdan cwōmon,
And hither 'neath helmets have hied o'er the ocean?
240: "hider ofer holmas helmas bǣron?
I have been strand-guard, standing as warden,
Lest enemies ever anywise ravage
"þæt on land Dena lāðra nǣnig
Danish dominions with army of war-ships.
"mid scip-herge sceððan ne meahte.
More boldly never have warriors ventured
Hither to come; of kinsmen's approval,
245: "lind-hæbbende; nē gē lēafnes-word
Word-leave of warriors, I ween that ye surely
"gūð-fremmendra gearwe ne wisson,
Nothing have known. Never a greater one
Of earls o'er the earth have _I_ had a sight of
"eorla ofer eorðan, þonne is ēower sum,
Than is one of your number, a hero in armor;
"secg on searwum; nis þæt seld-guma
No low-ranking fellow adorned with his weapons,
But launching them little, unless looks are deceiving,
"ǣnlīc an-sȳn. Nū ic ēower sceal
And striking appearance. Ere ye pass on your journey
"frum-cyn witan, ǣr gē fyr heonan
As treacherous spies to the land of the Scyldings
"lēase scēaweras on land Dena
And farther fare, I fully must know now
"furður fēran. Nū gē feor-būend,
What race ye belong to. Ye far-away dwellers,
255: "mere-līðende, mīnne gehȳrað
Sea-faring sailors, my simple opinion
Hear ye and hearken: haste is most fitting
"tō gecȳðanne, hwanan ēowre cyme syndon."
Plainly to tell me what place ye are come from."
V. THE ERRAND.
: Him se yldesta andswarode,
The chief of the strangers rendered him answer,
War-troopers' leader, and word-treasure opened:
260: "Wē synt gum-cynnes Gēata lēode
"We are sprung from the lineage of the people of Geatland,
"and Higelāces heorð-genēatas.
And Higelac's hearth-friends. To heroes unnumbered
"Wæs mīn fæder folcum gecȳðed,
My father was known, a noble head-warrior
"æðele ord-fruma Ecgþēow hāten;
Ecgtheow titled; many a winter
He lived with the people, ere he passed on his journey,
265: "gamol of geardum; hine gearwe geman
Old from his dwelling; each of the counsellors
"witena wēl-hwylc wīde geond eorðan.-
Widely mid world-folk well remembers him.
"Wē þurh holdne hige hlāford þinne,
We, kindly of spirit, the lord of thy people,
"sunu Healfdenes, sēcean cwōmon,
The son of King Healfdene, have come here to visit,
"lēod-gebyrgean: wes þū ūs lārena gōd!
Folk-troop's defender: be free in thy counsels!
270: "Habbað wē tō þǣm mǣran micel ǣrende
To the noble one bear we a weighty commission,
"Deniga frēan; ne sceal þǣr dyrne sum
The helm of the Danemen; we shall hide, I ween,
Naught of our message. Thou know'st if it happen,
As we soothly heard say, that some savage despoiler,
Some hidden pursuer, on nights that are murky
275: "dēogol dǣd-hata, deorcum nihtum
By deeds very direful 'mid the Danemen exhibits
"ēaweð þurh egsan uncūðne nīð,
Hatred unheard of, horrid destruction
"hȳnðu and hrā-fyl. Ic þæs Hrōðgār mæg
And the falling of dead. From feelings least selfish
"hū hē frōd and gōd fēond oferswȳðeð,
I am able to render counsel to Hrothgar,
280: "gyf him ed-wendan ǣfre scolde
How he, wise and worthy, may worst the destroyer,
"bealuwa bisigu, bōt eft cuman
If the anguish of sorrow should ever be lessened,
"and þā cear-wylmas cōlran wurðað;
Comfort come to him, and care-waves grow cooler,
"oððe ā syððan earfoð-þrāge,
Or ever hereafter he agony suffer
"þrēa-nȳd þolað, þenden þǣr wunað
And troublous distress, while towereth upward
285: "on hēah-stede hūsa sēlest."
The handsomest of houses high on the summit."
Weard maðelode, þǣr on wicge sæt
Bestriding his stallion, the strand-watchman answered,
ombeht unforht: "Ǣghwæðres sceal
The doughty retainer: "The difference surely
"scearp scyld-wiga gescād witan,
'Twixt words and works, the warlike shield-bearer
"worda and worca, sē þe wēl þenceð.
Who judgeth wisely well shall determine.
This band, I hear, beareth no malice
"frēan Scyldinga. Gewītað forð beran
To the prince of the Scyldings. Pass ye then onward
With weapons and armor. I shall lead you in person;
"swylce ic magu-þegnas mīne hāte
To my war-trusty vassals command I shall issue
"wið fēonda gehwone flotan ēowerne,
To keep from all injury your excellent vessel,
295: "nīw-tyrwedne nacan on sande
Your fresh-tarred craft, 'gainst every opposer
"ārum healdan, oð þæt eft byreð
Close by the sea-shore, till the curved-neckèd bark shall
"ofer lagu-strēamas lēofne mannan
Waft back again the well-beloved hero
"wudu wunden-hals tō Weder-mearce.
O'er the way of the water to Weder dominions.
"Gūð-fremmendra swylcum gifeðe bið,
To warrior so great 'twill be granted sure
300: "þæt þone hilde-rǣs hāl gedīgeð."
In the storm of strife to stand secure."
Onward they fared then (the vessel lay quiet,
seomode on sāle sīd-fæðmed scyp,
The broad-bosomed bark was bound by its cable,
on ancre fæst); eofor-līc scionon
Firmly at anchor); the boar-signs glistened
ofer hlēor-beran gehroden golde
Bright on the visors vivid with gilding,
305: fāh and fȳr-heard, ferh wearde hēold.
Blaze-hardened, brilliant; the boar acted warden.
The heroes hastened, hurried the liegemen,
Descended together, till they saw the great palace,
geatolīc and gold-fāh ongytan mihton;
The well-fashioned wassail-hall wondrous and gleaming:
þæt wæs fore-mǣrost fold-būendum
'Mid world-folk and kindreds that was widest reputed
310: receda under roderum, on þǣm se rīca bād;
Of halls under heaven which the hero abode in;
līxte se lēoma ofer landa fela.
Its lustre enlightened lands without number.
Him þā hilde-dēor hof mōdigra
Then the battle-brave hero showed them the glittering
torht getǣhte, þæt hīe him tō mihton
Court of the bold ones, that they easily thither
gegnum gangan; gūð-beorna sum
Might fare on their journey; the aforementioned warrior
Turning his courser, quoth as he left them:
"'Tis time I were faring; Father Almighty
"mid ār-stafum ēowic gehealde
Grant you His grace, and give you to journey
"sīða gesunde! ic tō sǣ wille,
Safe on your mission! To the sea I will get me
"wið wrāð werod wearde healdan."
'Gainst hostile warriors as warden to stand."
VI. BĒOWULF'S SPEECH.
The highway glistened with many-hued pebble,
gumum ætgædere. Gūð-byrne scān
A by-path led the liegemen together.
heard hond-locen, hring-īren scīr
Firm and hand-locked the war-burnie glistened,
song in searwum, þā hīe tō sele furðum
The ring-sword radiant rang 'mid the armor
in hyra gryre-geatwum gangan cwōmon.
As the party was approaching the palace together
325: Setton sǣ-mēðe sīde scyldas,
In warlike equipments. 'Gainst the wall of the building
rondas regn-hearde wið þæs recedes weal,
Their wide-fashioned war-shields they weary did set then,
Battle-shields sturdy; benchward they turned then;
gūð-searo gumena; gāras stōdon,
Their battle-sarks rattled, the gear of the heroes;
sǣ-manna searo, samod ætgædere,
The lances stood up then, all in a cluster,
330: æsc-holt ufan grǣg: wæs se īren-þrēat
The arms of the seamen, ashen-shafts mounted
wǣpnum gewurðad. Þā þǣr wlonc hæleð
With edges of iron: the armor-clad troopers
ōret-mecgas æfter æðelum frægn:
Were decked with weapons. Then a proud-mooded hero
"Hwanon ferigeað gē fǣtte scyldas,
Asked of the champions questions of lineage:
"grǣge syrcan and grīm-helmas,
"From what borders bear ye your battle-shields plated,
335: "here-sceafta hēap?-- Ic eom Hrōðgāres
Gilded and gleaming, your gray-colored burnies,
"ār and ombiht. Ne seah ic el-þēodige
Helmets with visors and heap of war-lances?--
"þus manige men mōdiglīcran.
To Hrothgar the king I am servant and liegeman.
'Mong folk from far-lands found I have never
Men so many of mien more courageous.
340: Him þā ellen-rōf andswarode,
I ween that from valor, nowise as outlaws,
But from greatness of soul ye sought for King Hrothgar."
heard under helme: "Wē synt Higelāces
Then the strength-famous earlman answer rendered,
"bēod-genēatas; Bēowulf is mīn nama.
The proud-mooded Wederchief replied to his question,
Hardy 'neath helmet: "Higelac's mates are we;
345: "mǣrum þēodne mīn ǣrende,
Beowulf hight I. To the bairn of Healfdene,
The famous folk-leader, I freely will tell
To thy prince my commission, if pleasantly hearing
He'll grant we may greet him so gracious to all men."
wæs his mōd-sefa manegum gecȳðed,
Wulfgar replied then (he was prince of the Wendels,
350: wīg and wīs-dōm): "ic þæs wine Deniga,
His boldness of spirit was known unto many,
His prowess and prudence): "The prince of the Scyldings,
The friend-lord of Danemen, I will ask of thy journey,
"þēoden mǣrne ymb þīnne sīð ;
The giver of rings, as thou urgest me do it,
"and þē þā andsware ǣdre gecȳðan,
The folk-chief famous, and inform thee early
355: "þē mē se gōda āgifan þenceð."
What answer the good one mindeth to render me."
He turned then hurriedly where Hrothgar was sitting,
eald and unhār mid his eorla gedriht;
Old and hoary, his earlmen attending him;
The strength-famous went till he stood at the shoulder
Deniga frēan, cūðe hē duguðe þēaw.
Of the lord of the Danemen, of courteous thanemen
360: Wulfgār maðelode tō his wine-drihtne:
The custom he minded. Wulfgar addressed then
His friendly liegelord: "Folk of the Geatmen
O'er the way of the waters are wafted hither,
"þone yldestan ōret-mecgas
Faring from far-lands: the foremost in rank
"Bēowulf nemnað. Hȳ bēnan synt,
The battle-champions Beowulf title.
They make this petition: with thee, O my chieftain,
To be granted a conference; O gracious King Hrothgar,
"þīnra gegn-cwida glædnian, Hrōðgār!
Friendly answer refuse not to give them!
"Hȳ on wīg-geatwum wyrðe þinceað
In war-trappings weeded worthy they seem
"eorla geæhtlan; hūru se aldor dēah,
Of earls to be honored; sure the atheling is doughty
370: "sē þǣm heaðo-rincum hider wīsade."
Who headed the heroes hitherward coming."
VII. HROTHGAR'S WELCOME.
: Hrōðgār maðelode, helm Scyldinga:
Hrothgar answered, helm of the Scyldings:
"Ic hine cūðe cniht-wesende.
"I remember this man as the merest of striplings.
His father long dead now was Ecgtheow titled,
"þǣm tō hām forgeaf Hrēðel Gēata
Him Hrethel the Geatman granted at home his
375: "āngan dōhtor; is his eafora nū
One only daughter; his battle-brave son
Is come but now, sought a trustworthy friend.
"þonne sægdon þæt sǣ-līðende,
Seafaring sailors asserted it then,
"þā þe gif-sceattas Gēata fyredon
Who valuable gift-gems of the Geatmen carried
"þyder tō þance, þæt hē þrīttiges
As peace-offering thither, that he thirty men's grapple
380: "manna mægen-cræft on his mund-grīpe
Has in his hand, the hero-in-battle.
"heaðo-rōf hæbbe. Hine hālig god
The holy Creator usward sent him,
To West-Dane warriors, I ween, for to render
"wið Grendles gryre: ic þǣm gōdan sceal
'Gainst Grendel's grimness gracious assistance:
I shall give to the good one gift-gems for courage.
Hasten to bid them hither to speed them,
"sēon sibbe-gedriht samod ætgædere;
To see assembled this circle of kinsmen;
"gesaga him ēac wordum, þæt hīe sint wil-cuman
Tell them expressly they're welcome in sooth to
"Deniga lēodum." Þā wið duru healle
The men of the Danes." To the door of the building
Wulfgar went then, this word-message shouted:
"My victorious liegelord bade me to tell you,
"aldor Ēast-Dena, þæt hē ēower æðelu can
The East-Danes' atheling, that your origin knows he,
"and gē him syndon ofer sǣ-wylmas,
And o'er wave-billows wafted ye welcome are hither,
"heard-hicgende, hider wil-cuman.
Valiant of spirit. Ye straightway may enter
Clad in corslets, cased in your helmets,
"under here-grīman, Hrōðgār gesēon;
To see King Hrothgar. Here let your battle-boards,
"lǣtað hilde-bord hēr onbidian,
"wudu wæl-sceaftas, worda geþinges."
Wood-spears and war-shafts, await your conferring."
Ārās þā se rīca, ymb hine rinc manig,
The mighty one rose then, with many a liegeman,
An excellent thane-group; some there did await them,
And as bid of the brave one the battle-gear guarded.
Snyredon ætsomne, þā secg wīsode
Together they hied them, while the hero did guide them,
under Heorotes hrōf; hyge-rōf ēode,
'Neath Heorot's roof; the high-minded went then
heard under helme, þæt hē on heoðe gestōd.
Sturdy 'neath helmet till he stood in the building.
405: Bēowulf maðelode (on him byrne scān,
Beowulf spake (his burnie did glisten,
searo-net sēowed smiðes or-þancum):
His armor seamed over by the art of the craftsman):
"Hail thou, Hrothgar! I am Higelac's kinsman
And vassal forsooth; many a wonder
I dared as a stripling. The doings of Grendel,
410: "on mīnre ēðel-tyrf undyrne cūð:
In far-off fatherland I fully did know of:
Sea-farers tell us, this hall-building standeth,
"reced sēlesta, rinca gehwylcum
Excellent edifice, empty and useless
"īdel and unnyt, siððan ǣfen-lēoht
To all the earlmen after evenlight's glimmer
"under heofenes hādor beholen weorðeð.
'Neath heaven's bright hues hath hidden its glory.
This my earls then urged me, the most excellent of them,
"þā sēlestan, snotere ceorlas,
Carles very clever, to come and assist thee,
Folk-leader Hrothgar; fully they knew of
"forþan hīe mægenes cræft mīnne cūðon:
The strength of my body. Themselves they beheld me
"selfe ofersāwon, þā ic of searwum cwōm,
When I came from the contest, when covered with gore
420: "fāh from fēondum, þǣr ic fīfe geband,
Foes I escaped from, where five I had bound,
"ȳðde eotena cyn, and on ȳðum slōg
The giant-race wasted, in the waters destroying
"niceras nihtes, nearo-þearfe drēah,
The nickers by night, bore numberless sorrows,
"wræc Wedera nīð (wēan āhsodon)
The Weders avenged (woes had they suffered)
"forgrand gramum; and nū wið Grendel sceal,
Enemies ravaged; alone now with Grendel
425: "wið þām āglǣcan, āna gehegan
I shall manage the matter, with the monster of evil,
"þing wið þyrse. Ic þē nū þā,
The giant, decide it. Thee I would therefore
Beg of thy bounty, Bright-Danish chieftain,
"eodor Scyldinga, ānre bēne;
Lord of the Scyldings, this single petition:
"þæt þū mē ne forwyrne, wīgendra hlēo,
Not to refuse me, defender of warriors,
Friend-lord of folks, so far have I sought thee,
"þæt ic mōte āna and mīnra eorla gedryht,
That _I_ may unaided, my earlmen assisting me,
This brave-mooded war-band, purify Heorot.
I have heard on inquiry, the horrible creature
From veriest rashness recks not for weapons;
435: "ic þæt þonne forhicge, swā mē Higelāc sīe,
I this do scorn then, so be Higelac gracious,
"mīn mon-drihten, mōdes blīðe,
My liegelord belovèd, lenient of spirit,
"þæt ic sweord bere oððe sīdne scyld
To bear a blade or a broad-fashioned target,
A shield to the onset; only with hand-grip
The foe I must grapple, fight for my life then,
Foeman with foeman; he fain must rely on
"dryhtnes dōme sē þe hine dēað nimeð.
The doom of the Lord whom death layeth hold of.
I ween he will wish, if he win in the struggle,
"in þǣm gūð-sele Gēatena lēode
To eat in the war-hall earls of the Geat-folk,
Boldly to swallow them, as of yore he did often
The best of the Hrethmen! Thou needest not trouble
A head-watch to give me; he will have me dripping
"drēore fāhne, gif mec dēað nimeð;
And dreary with gore, if death overtake me,
"byreð blōdig wæl, byrgean þenceð,
Will bear me off bleeding, biting and mouthing me,
"eteð ān-genga unmurnlīce,
The hermit will eat me, heedless of pity,
450: "mearcað mōr-hopu: nō þū ymb mīnes ne þearft
Marking the moor-fens; no more wilt thou need then
"līces feorme leng sorgian.
Find me my food. If I fall in the battle,
Send to Higelac the armor that serveth
"beadu-scrūda betst, þæt mīne brēost wereð,
To shield my bosom, the best of equipments,
"hrægla sēlest; þæt is Hrēðlan lāf,
Richest of ring-mails; 'tis the relic of Hrethla,
455: "Wēlandes geweorc. Gǣð ā Wyrd swā hīo scel!"
The work of Wayland. Goes Weird as she must go!"
VIII. HROTHGAR TELLS OF GRENDEL.
: Hrōðgār maðelode, helm Scyldinga:
Hrothgar discoursed, helm of the Scyldings:
"for were-fyhtum þū, wine mīn Bēowulf,
"To defend our folk and to furnish assistance,
Thou soughtest us hither, good friend Beowulf.
"Geslōh þin fæder fǣhðe mǣste,
The fiercest of feuds thy father engaged in,
460: "wearð hē Heaðolāfe tō hand-bonan
Heatholaf killed he in hand-to-hand conflict
"mid Wilfingum; þā hine Wedera cyn
'Mid Wilfingish warriors; then the Wederish people
For fear of a feud were forced to disown him.
"Þanon hē gesōhte Sūð-Dena folc
Thence flying he fled to the folk of the South-Danes,
"ofer ȳða gewealc, Ār-Scyldinga;
The race of the Scyldings, o'er the roll of the waters;
465: "þā ic furðum wēold folce Deninga,
I had lately begun then to govern the Danemen,
"and on geogoðe hēold gimme-rīce
The hoard-seat of heroes held in my youth,
"hord-burh hæleða: þā wæs Heregār dēad,
Rich in its jewels: dead was Heregar,
"mīn yldra mǣg unlifigende,
My kinsman and elder had earth-joys forsaken,
Healfdene his bairn. He was better than I am!
470: "Siððan þā fǣhðe fēo þingode;
That feud thereafter for a fee I compounded;
"sende ic Wylfingum ofer wæteres hrycg
O'er the weltering waters to the Wilfings I sent
"ealde mādmas: hē mē āðas swōr.
Ornaments old; oaths did he swear me.
"Sorh is mē tō secganne on sefan mīnum
It pains me in spirit to any to tell it,
"gumena ǣngum, hwæt mē Grendel hafað
What grief in Heorot Grendel hath caused me,
475: "hȳnðo on Heorote mid his hete-þancum,
What horror unlooked-for, by hatred unceasing.
Waned is my war-band, wasted my hall-troop;
Weird hath offcast them to the clutches of Grendel.
"on Grendles gryre. God ēaðe mæg
God can easily hinder the scather
"þone dol-scaðan dǣda getwǣfan!
480: "Ful oft gebēotedon bēore druncne
From deeds so direful. Oft drunken with beer
"ofer ealo-wǣge ōret-mecgas,
O'er the ale-vessel promised warriors in armor
They would willingly wait on the wassailing-benches
"Grendles gūðe mid gryrum ecga.
A grapple with Grendel, with grimmest of edges.
"Þonne wæs þēos medo-heal on morgen-tīd,
Then this mead-hall at morning with murder was reeking,
485: "driht-sele drēor-fāh, þonne dæg līxte,
The building was bloody at breaking of daylight,
"eal benc-þelu blōde bestȳmed,
The bench-deals all flooded, dripping and bloodied,
The folk-hall was gory: I had fewer retainers,
"dēorre duguðe, þē þā dēað fornam.
Dear-beloved warriors, whom death had laid hold of.
"Site nū tō symle and onsǣl meoto,
Sit at the feast now, thy intents unto heroes,
490: "sige-hrēð secgum, swā þīn sefa hwette!"
Thy victor-fame show, as thy spirit doth urge thee!"
Þā wæs Gēat-mæcgum geador ætsomne
For the men of the Geats then together assembled,
on bēor-sele benc gerȳmed;
In the beer-hall blithesome a bench was made ready;
There warlike in spirit they went to be seated,
þrȳðum dealle. Þegn nytte behēold,
Proud and exultant. A liegeman did service,
Who a beaker embellished bore with decorum,
And gleaming-drink poured. The gleeman sang whilom
hādor on Heorote; þǣr wæs hæleða drēam,
Hearty in Heorot; there was heroes' rejoicing,
duguð unlȳtel Dena and Wedera.
A numerous war-band of Weders and Danemen.
IX. HUNFERTH OBJECTS TO BĒOWULF.
: Unferð maðelode, Ecglāfes bearn,
Unferth spoke up, Ecglaf his son,
Who sat at the feet of the lord of the Scyldings,
Opened the jousting (the journey of Beowulf,
mōdges mere-faran, micel æf-þunca,
Sea-farer doughty, gave sorrow to Unferth
forþon þe hē ne ūðe, þæt ǣnig ōðer man
And greatest chagrin, too, for granted he never
ǣfre mǣrða þon mā middan-geardes
That any man else on earth should attain to,
505: gehēdde under heofenum þonne hē sylfa):
Gain under heaven, more glory than he):
"Art thou that Beowulf with Breca did struggle,
"on sīdne sǣ ymb sund flite,
On the wide sea-currents at swimming contended,
Where to humor your pride the ocean ye tried,
"and for dol-gilpe on dēop wæter
From vainest vaunting adventured your bodies
510: "aldrum nēðdon? Nē inc ǣnig mon,
In care of the waters? And no one was able
"nē lēof nē lāð, belēan mihte
Nor lief nor loth one, in the least to dissuade you
"sorh-fullne sīð; þā git on sund rēon,
Your difficult voyage; then ye ventured a-swimming,
"þǣr git ēagor-strēam earmum þehton,
Where your arms outstretching the streams ye did cover,
The mere-ways measured, mixing and stirring them,
515: "glidon ofer gār-secg; geofon ȳðum wēol,
Glided the ocean; angry the waves were,
"wintres wylme. Git on wæteres ǣht
With the weltering of winter. In the water's possession,
Ye toiled for a seven-night; he at swimming outdid thee,
In strength excelled thee. Then early at morning
"on Heaðo-rǣmas holm up ætbær,
On the Heathoremes' shore the holm-currents tossed him,
520: "þonon hē gesōhte swǣsne ēðel
Sought he thenceward the home of his fathers,
"lēof his lēodum lond Brondinga,
Beloved of his liegemen, the land of the Brondings,
"freoðo-burh fægere, þǣr hē folc āhte,
The peace-castle pleasant, where a people he wielded,
"burg and bēagas. Bēot eal wið þē
Had borough and jewels. The pledge that he made thee
"sunu Bēanstānes sōðe gelǣste.
The son of Beanstan hath soothly accomplished.
525: "Þonne wēne ic tō þē wyrsan geþinges,
Then I ween thou wilt find thee less fortunate issue,
Though ever triumphant in onset of battle,
"grimre gūðe, gif þū Grendles dearst
A grim grappling, if Grendel thou darest
"niht-longne fyrst nēan bīdan!"
For the space of a night near-by to wait for!"
Beowulf answered, offspring of Ecgtheow:
530: "Hwæt! þū worn fela, wine mīn Unferð,
"My good friend Unferth, sure freely and wildly,
Thou fuddled with beer of Breca hast spoken,
Hast told of his journey! A fact I allege it,
"þæt ic mere-strengo māran āhte,
That greater strength in the waters I had then,
"earfeðo on ȳðum, þonne ǣnig ōðer man.
Ills in the ocean, than any man else had.
535: "Wit þæt gecwǣdon cniht-wesende
We made agreement as the merest of striplings
"and gebēotedon (wǣron bēgen þā gīt
Promised each other (both of us then were
"on geogoð-feore) þæt wit on gār-secg ūt
Younkers in years) that we yet would adventure
"aldrum nēðdon; and þæt geæfndon swā.
Out on the ocean; it all we accomplished.
While swimming the sea-floods, sword-blade unscabbarded
540: "heard on handa, wit unc wið hron-fixas
Boldly we brandished, our bodies expected
To shield from the sharks. He sure was unable
To swim on the waters further than I could,
"hraðor on holme, nō ic fram him wolde.
More swift on the waves, nor _would_ I from him go.
"Þā wit ætsomne on sǣ wǣron
Then we two companions stayed in the ocean
545: "fīf nihta fyrst, oð þæt unc flōd tōdrāf,
Five nights together, till the currents did part us,
"wado weallende, wedera cealdost,
The weltering waters, weathers the bleakest,
And nethermost night, and the north-wind whistled
Fierce in our faces; fell were the billows.
The mere fishes' mood was mightily ruffled:
550: "þǣr mē wið lāðum līc-syrce mīn,
And there against foemen my firm-knotted corslet,
"heard hond-locen, helpe gefremede;
Hand-jointed, hardy, help did afford me;
"beado-hrægl brōden on brēostum læg,
My battle-sark braided, brilliantly gilded,
Lay on my bosom. To the bottom then dragged me,
A hateful fiend-scather, seized me and held me,
555: "grim on grāpe: hwæðre mē gyfeðe wearð,
Grim in his grapple: 'twas granted me, nathless,
"þæt ic āglǣcan orde gerǣhte,
To pierce the monster with the point of my weapon,
"hilde-bille; heaðo-rǣs fornam
My obedient blade; battle offcarried
"mihtig mere-dēor þurh mīne hand.
The mighty mere-creature by means of my hand-blow.
X. BĒOWULF'S CONTEST WITH BRECA.-THE FEAST.
: "Swā mec gelōme lāð-getēonan
"So ill-meaning enemies often did cause me
560: "þrēatedon þearle. Ic him þēnode
Sorrow the sorest. I served them, in quittance,
"dēoran sweorde, swā hit gedēfe wæs;
With my dear-lovèd sword, as in sooth it was fitting;
They missed the pleasure of feasting abundantly,
"mān-fordǣdlan, þæt hīe mē þēgon,
Ill-doers evil, of eating my body,
"symbel ymb-sǣton sǣ-grunde nēah,
Of surrounding the banquet deep in the ocean;
But wounded with edges early at morning
"be ȳð-lāfe uppe lǣgon,
They were stretched a-high on the strand of the ocean,
"sweordum āswefede, þæt syððan nā
Put to sleep with the sword, that sea-going travelers
"ymb brontne ford brim-līðende
No longer thereafter were hindered from sailing
The foam-dashing currents. Came a light from the east,
570: "beorht bēacen godes; brimu swaðredon,
God's beautiful beacon; the billows subsided,
"þæt ic sǣ-næssas gesēon mihte,
That well I could see the nesses projecting,
"windige weallas. Wyrd oft nereð
The blustering crags. Weird often saveth
"unfǣgne eorl, ðonne his ellen dēah!
The undoomed hero if doughty his valor!
"Hwæðere mē gesǣlde, þæt ic mid sweorde ofslōh
But me did it fortune to fell with my weapon
575: "niceras nigene. Nō ic on niht gefrægn
Nine of the nickers. Of night-struggle harder
"under heofones hwealf heardran feohtan,
'Neath dome of the heaven heard I but rarely,
"nē on ēg-strēamum earmran mannan;
Nor of wight more woful in the waves of the ocean;
Yet I 'scaped with my life the grip of the monsters,
"siðes wērig. Þā mec sǣ oðbær,
Weary from travel. Then the waters bare me
580: "flōd æfter faroðe, on Finna land,
To the land of the Finns, the flood with the current,
"wadu weallendu. Nō ic wiht fram þē
The weltering waves. Not a word hath been told me
Of deeds so daring done by thee, Unferth,
"billa brōgan: Breca nǣfre gīt
And of sword-terror none; never hath Breca
"æt heaðo-lāce, nē gehwæðer incer
At the play of the battle, nor either of you two,
585: "swā dēorlīce dǣd gefremede
Feat so fearless performèd with weapons
"fāgum sweordum . . . . . . .
Glinting and gleaming . . . . . . . . . . . .
". . . . . . . nō ic þæs gylpe;
. . . . . . . . . . . . I utter no boasting;
"þēah þū þīnum brōðrum tō banan wurde,
Though with cold-blooded cruelty thou killedst thy brothers,
"hēafod-mǣgum; þæs þū in helle scealt
Thy nearest of kin; thou needs must in hell get
Direful damnation, though doughty thy wisdom.
"Secge ic þē tō sōðe, sunu Ecglāfes,
I tell thee in earnest, offspring of Ecglaf,
"þæt nǣfre Grendel swā fela gryra gefremede,
Never had Grendel such numberless horrors,
"atol ǣglǣca ealdre þīnum,
The direful demon, done to thy liegelord,
"hȳnðo on Heorote, gif þīn hige wǣre,
Harrying in Heorot, if thy heart were as sturdy,
595: "sefa swā searo-grim, swā þū self talast.
Thy mood as ferocious as thou dost describe them.
He hath found out fully that the fierce-burning hatred,
"atole ecg-þræce ēower lēode
The edge-battle eager, of all of your kindred,
Of the Victory-Scyldings, need little dismay him:
"nymeð nȳd-bāde, nǣnegum ārað
Oaths he exacteth, not any he spares
Of the folk of the Danemen, but fighteth with pleasure,
"swefeð ond sendeð, secce ne wēneð
Killeth and feasteth, no contest expecteth
From Spear-Danish people. But the prowess and valor
"eafoð and ellen ungeāra nū
Of the earls of the Geatmen early shall venture
To give him a grapple. He shall go who is able
605: "tō medo mōdig, siððan morgen-lēoht
Bravely to banquet, when the bright-light of morning
"ofer ylda bearn ōðres dōgores,
Which the second day bringeth, the sun in its ether-robes,
"sunne swegl-wered sūðan scīneð!"
O'er children of men shines from the southward!"
Þā wæs on sālum sinces brytta
Then the gray-haired, war-famed giver of treasure
gamol-feax and gūð-rōf, gēoce gelȳfde
Was blithesome and joyous, the Bright-Danish ruler
610: brego Beorht-Dena; gehȳrde on Bēowulfe
Expected assistance; the people's protector
Heard from Beowulf his bold resolution.
Þǣr wæs hæleða hleahtor; hlyn swynsode,
There was laughter of heroes; loud was the clatter,
The words were winsome. Wealhtheow advanced then,
cwēn Hrōðgāres, cynna gemyndig,
Consort of Hrothgar, of courtesy mindful,
615: grētte gold-hroden guman on healle,
Gold-decked saluted the men in the building,
and þā frēolīc wīf ful gesealde
And the freeborn woman the beaker presented
ǣrest Ēast-Dena ēðel-wearde,
To the lord of the kingdom, first of the East-Danes,
Bade him be blithesome when beer was a-flowing,
lēodum lēofne; hē on lust geþeah
Lief to his liegemen; he lustily tasted
620: symbel and sele-ful, sige-rōf kyning.
Of banquet and beaker, battle-famed ruler.
Ymb-ēode þā ides Helminga
The Helmingish lady then graciously circled
duguðe and geogoðe dǣl ǣghwylcne;
'Mid all the liegemen lesser and greater:
Treasure-cups tendered, till time was afforded
þæt hīo Bēowulfe, bēag-hroden cwēn,
That the decorous-mooded, diademed folk-queen
625: mōde geþungen, medo-ful ætbær;
Might bear to Beowulf the bumper o'errunning;
She greeted the Geat-prince, God she did thank,
Most wise in her words, that her wish was accomplished,
þæt hēo on ǣnigne eorl gelȳfde
That in any of earlmen she ever should look for
fyrena frōfre. Hē þæt ful geþeah,
Solace in sorrow. He accepted the beaker,
630: wæl-rēow wiga æt Wealhþēon,
Battle-bold warrior, at Wealhtheow's giving,
and þā gyddode gūðe gefȳsed,
Then equipped for combat quoth he in measures,
Beowulf spake, offspring of Ecgtheow:
"Ic þæt hogode, þā ic on holm gestāh,
"I purposed in spirit when I mounted the ocean,
"sǣ-bāt gesæt mid mīnra secga gedriht,
When I boarded my boat with a band of my liegemen,
635: "þæt ic ānunga ēowra lēoda
I would work to the fullest the will of your people
Or in foe's-clutches fastened fall in the battle.
"eorlīc ellen, oððe ende-dæg
Deeds I shall do of daring and prowess,
"on þisse meodu-healle mīnne gebīdan."
Or the last of my life-days live in this mead-hall."
640: Þām wīfe þā word wēl līcodon,
These words to the lady were welcome and pleasing,
gilp-cwide Gēates; ēode gold-hroden
The boast of the Geatman; with gold trappings broidered
frēolīcu folc-cwēn tō hire frēan sittan.
Went the freeborn folk-queen her fond-lord to sit by.
Þā wæs eft swā ǣr inne on healle
Then again as of yore was heard in the building
Courtly discussion, conquerors' shouting,
645: sige-folca swēg, oð þæt semninga
Heroes were happy, till Healfdene's son would
sunu Healfdenes sēcean wolde
Go to his slumber to seek for refreshing;
ǣfen-ræste; wiste æt þǣm āhlǣcan
For the horrid hell-monster in the hall-building knew he
tō þǣm hēah-sele hilde geþinged,
A fight was determined, since the light of the sun they
No longer could see, and lowering darkness
650: oððe nīpende niht ofer ealle,
O'er all had descended, and dark under heaven
scadu-helma gesceapu scrīðan cwōman,
Shadowy shapes came shying around them.
wan under wolcnum. Werod eall ārās.
The liegemen all rose then. One saluted the other,
Grētte þā giddum guma ōðerne,
Hrothgar Beowulf, in rhythmical measures,
Wishing him well, and, the wassail-hall giving
655: wīn-ærnes geweald and þæt word ācwæð:
To his care and keeping, quoth he departing:
"Nǣfre ic ǣnegum men ǣr ālȳfde,
"Not to any one else have I ever entrusted,
"siððan ic hond and rond hebban mihte,
But thee and thee only, the hall of the Danemen,
"þrȳð-ærn Dena būton þē nū þā.
Since high I could heave my hand and my buckler.
Take thou in charge now the noblest of houses;
660: "gemyne mǣrðo, mægen-ellen cȳð,
Be mindful of honor, exhibiting prowess,
Watch 'gainst the foeman! Thou shalt want no enjoyments,
"gif þū þæt ellen-weorc aldre gedīgest."
Survive thou safely adventure so glorious!"
XI. THE WATCH FOR GRENDEL.
: Þā him Hrōðgār gewāt mid his hæleða gedryht,
Then Hrothgar departed, his earl-throng attending him,
eodur Scyldinga ūt of healle;
Folk-lord of Scyldings, forth from the building;
The war-chieftain wished then Wealhtheow to look for,
cwēn tō gebeddan Hæfde kyninga wuldor
The queen for a bedmate. To keep away Grendel
Grendle tō-gēanes, swā guman gefrungon,
The Glory of Kings had given a hall-watch,
As men heard recounted: for the king of the Danemen
ymb aldor Dena, eoton weard ābēad;
He did special service, gave the giant a watcher:
And the prince of the Geatmen implicitly trusted
mōdgan mægnes, metodes hyldo.
His warlike strength and the Wielder's protection.
Þā hē him of dyde īsern-byrnan,
His armor of iron off him he did then,
His helmet from his head, to his henchman committed
īrena cyst ombiht-þegne,
His chased-handled chain-sword, choicest of weapons,
And bade him bide with his battle-equipments.
Gespræc þā se gōda gylp-worda sum
The good one then uttered words of defiance,
Bēowulf Gēata, ǣr hē on bed stige:
Beowulf Geatman, ere his bed he upmounted:
"Nō ic mē an here-wǣsmum hnāgran talige
"I hold me no meaner in matters of prowess,
"gūð-geweorca, þonne Grendel hine;
In warlike achievements, than Grendel does himself;
680: "forþan ic hine sweorde swebban nelle,
Hence I seek not with sword-edge to sooth him to slumber,
Of life to bereave him, though well I am able.
No battle-skill has he, that blows he should strike me,
To shatter my shield, though sure he is mighty
In strife and destruction; but struggling by night we
Shall do without edges, dare he to look for
: "wīg ofer wǣpen, and siððan wītig god
The glory apportion, God ever-holy,
"on swā hwæðere hond hālig dryhten
On which hand soever to him seemeth proper."
Then the brave-mooded hero bent to his slumber,
Hylde hine þā heaðo-dēor, hlēor-bolster onfēng
The pillow received the cheek of the noble;
690: eorles andwlitan; and hine ymb monig
And many a martial mere-thane attending
snellīc sǣ-rinc sele-reste gebēah.
Sank to his slumber. Seemed it unlikely
That ever thereafter any should hope to
eft eard-lufan ǣfre gesēcean,
Be happy at home, hero-friends visit
folc oððe frēo-burh, þǣr hē āfēded wæs,
Or the lordly troop-castle where he lived from his childhood;
They had heard how slaughter had snatched from the wine-hall,
in þǣm wīn-sele wæl-dēað fornam,
Had recently ravished, of the race of the Scyldings
Too many by far. But the Lord to them granted
wīg-spēda gewiofu, Wedera lēodum
The weaving of war-speed, to Wederish heroes
frōfor and fultum, þæt hīe fēond heora
Aid and comfort, that every opponent
By one man's war-might they worsted and vanquished,
selfes mihtum: sōð is gecȳðed,
By the might of himself; the truth is established
þæt mihtig god manna cynnes
That God Almighty hath governed for ages
Kindreds and nations. A night very lurid
scrīðan sceadu-genga. Scēotend swǣfon,
The trav'ler-at-twilight came tramping and striding.
The warriors were sleeping who should watch the horned-building,
ealle būton ānum. Þæt wæs yldum cūð,
One only excepted. 'Mid earthmen 'twas 'stablished,
Th' implacable foeman was powerless to hurl them
se syn-scaða under sceadu bregdan;
To the land of shadows, if the Lord were unwilling;
But serving as warder, in terror to foemen,
710: bād bolgen-mōd beadwa geþinges.
He angrily bided the issue of battle.
XII. GRENDEL'S RAID.
: Þā cōm of mōre under mist-hleoðum
'Neath the cloudy cliffs came from the moor then
Grendel gongan, godes yrre bær.
Grendel going, God's anger bare he.
The monster intended some one of earthmen
In the hall-building grand to entrap and make way with:
715: wōd under wolcnum, tō þæs þe hē wīn-reced,
He went under welkin where well he knew of
gold-sele gumena, gearwost wisse
The wine-joyous building, brilliant with plating,
fǣttum fāhne. Ne wæs þæt forma sīð,
Gold-hall of earthmen. Not the earliest occasion
þæt hē Hrōðgāres hām gesōhte:
He the home and manor of Hrothgar had sought:
nǣfre hē on aldor-dagum ǣr nē siððan
Ne'er found he in life-days later nor earlier
Hardier hero, hall-thanes more sturdy!
Cōm þā tō recede rinc sīðian
Then came to the building the warrior marching,
Bereft of his joyance. The door quickly opened
On fire-hinges fastened, when his fingers had touched it;
onbræd þā bealo-hȳdig, þā hē ābolgen wæs,
The fell one had flung then--his fury so bitter--
725: recedes mūðan. Raðe æfter þon
Open the entrance. Early thereafter
on fāgne flōr fēond treddode,
The foeman trod the shining hall-pavement,
Strode he angrily; from the eyes of him glimmered
līge gelīcost lēoht unfǣger.
A lustre unlovely likest to fire.
He beheld in the hall the heroes in numbers,
730: swefan sibbe-gedriht samod ætgædere,
A circle of kinsmen sleeping together,
mago-rinca hēap: þā his mōd āhlōg,
A throng of thanemen: then his thoughts were exultant,
He minded to sunder from each of the thanemen
atol āglǣca, ānra gehwylces
The life from his body, horrible demon,
Ere morning came, since fate had allowed him
The prospect of plenty. Providence willed not
To permit him any more of men under heaven
þicgean ofer þā niht. Þrȳð-swȳð behēold
To eat in the night-time. Higelac's kinsman
mǣg Higelāces, hū se mān-scaða
Great sorrow endured how the dire-mooded creature
In unlooked-for assaults were likely to bear him.
No thought had the monster of deferring the matter,
But on earliest occasion he quickly laid hold of
slǣpendne rinc, slāt unwearnum,
A soldier asleep, suddenly tore him,
Bit his bone-prison, the blood drank in currents,
syn-snǣdum swealh: sōna hæfde
Swallowed in mouthfuls: he soon had the dead man's
745: unlyfigendes eal gefeormod
Feet and hands, too, eaten entirely.
fēt and folma. Forð nēar ætstōp,
Nearer he strode then, the stout-hearted warrior
nam þā mid handa hige-þīhtigne
Snatched as he slumbered, seizing with hand-grip,
rinc on ræste; rǣhte ongēan
Forward the foeman foined with his hand;
fēond mid folme, hē onfēng hraðe
Caught he quickly the cunning deviser,
750: inwit-þancum and wið earm gesæt.
On his elbow he rested. This early discovered
The master of malice, that in middle-earth's regions,
þæt hē ne mētte middan-geardes
'Neath the whole of the heavens, no hand-grapple greater
eorðan scēata on elran men
In any man else had he ever encountered:
mund-gripe māran: hē on mōde wearð
Fearful in spirit, faint-mooded waxed he,
Not off could betake him; death he was pondering,
Would fly to his covert, seek the devils' assembly:
His calling no more was the same he had followed
swylce hē on ealder-dagum ǣr gemētte.
Long in his lifetime. The liege-kinsman worthy
Of Higelac minded his speech of the evening,
760: ǣfen-sprǣce, up-lang āstōd
Stood he up straight and stoutly did seize him.
His fingers crackled; the giant was outward,
The earl stepped farther. The famous one minded
To flee away farther, if he found an occasion,
And off and away, avoiding delay,
765: flēon on fen-hopu; wiste his fingra geweald
To fly to the fen-moors; he fully was ware of
on grames grāpum. Þæt wæs gēocor sīð,
The strength of his grapple in the grip of the foeman.
þæt se hearm-scaða tō Heorute ātēah:
'Twas an ill-taken journey that the injury-bringing,
dryht-sele dynede, Denum eallum wearð,
Harrying harmer to Heorot wandered:
ceaster-būendum, cēnra gehwylcum,
The palace re-echoed; to all of the Danemen,
770: eorlum ealu-scerwen. Yrre wǣron bēgen,
Dwellers in castles, to each of the bold ones,
rēðe rēn-weardas. Reced hlynsode;
Earlmen, was terror. Angry they both were,
þā wæs wundor micel, þæt se wīn-sele
Archwarders raging. Rattled the building;
wiðhæfde heaðo-dēorum, þæt hē on hrūsan ne fēol,
'Twas a marvellous wonder that the wine-hall withstood then
The bold-in-battle, bent not to earthward,
775: innan and ūtan īren-bendum
Excellent earth-hall; but within and without it
searo-þoncum besmiðod. Þǣr fram sylle ābēag
Was fastened so firmly in fetters of iron,
medu-benc monig mīne gefrǣge,
By the art of the armorer. Off from the sill there
golde geregnad, þǣr þā graman wunnon;
Bent mead-benches many, as men have informed me,
Adorned with gold-work, where the grim ones did struggle.
The Scylding wise men weened ne'er before
That by might and main-strength a man under heaven
listum tōlūcan, nymðe līges fæðm
Might break it in pieces, bone-decked, resplendent,
Crush it by cunning, unless clutch of the fire
nīwe geneahhe; Norð-Denum stōd
In smoke should consume it. The sound mounted upward
785: atelīc egesa ānra gehwylcum
Novel enough; on the North Danes fastened
A terror of anguish, on all of the men there
gryre-lēoð galan godes andsacan,
Who heard from the wall the weeping and plaining,
sige-lēasne sang, sār wānigean
The song of defeat from the foeman of heaven,
Heard him hymns of horror howl, and his sorrow
Hell-bound bewailing. He held him too firmly
on þǣm dæge þysses līfes.
Who was strongest of main-strength of men of that era.
XIII. BĒOWULF TEARS OFF GRENDEL'S ARM.
For no cause whatever would the earlmen's defender
þone cwealm-cuman cwicne forlǣtan,
Leave in life-joys the loathsome newcomer,
nē his līf-dagas lēoda ǣnigum
He deemed his existence utterly useless
To men under heaven. Many a noble
eorl Bēowulfes ealde lāfe,
Of Beowulf brandished his battle-sword old,
Would guard the life of his lord and protector,
mǣres þēodnes, þǣr hīe meahton swā;
The far-famous chieftain, if able to do so;
hīe þæt ne wiston, þā hīe gewin drugon,
While waging the warfare, this wist they but little,
800: heard-hicgende hilde-mecgas,
Brave battle-thanes, while his body intending
To slit into slivers, and seeking his spirit:
sāwle sēcan, þæt þone syn-scaðan
That the relentless foeman nor finest of weapons
ǣnig ofer eorðan īrenna cyst,
Of all on the earth, nor any of war-bills
Was willing to injure; but weapons of victory
Swords and suchlike he had sworn to dispense with.
ecga gehwylcre. Scolde his aldor-gedāl
His death at that time must prove to be wretched,
on þǣm dæge þysses līfes
And the far-away spirit widely should journey
earmlīc wurðan and se ellor-gāst
Into enemies' power. This plainly he saw then
on fēonda geweald feor sīðian.
Who with mirth of mood malice no little
810: Þā þæt onfunde sē þe fela ǣror
Had wrought in the past on the race of the earthmen
mōdes myrðe manna cynne
fyrene gefremede (hē wæs fāg wið god)
(To God he was hostile), that his body would fail him,
But Higelac's hardy henchman and kinsman
Held him by the hand; hateful to other
Was each one if living. A body-wound suffered
lifigende lāð. Līc-sār gebād
The direful demon, damage incurable
atol ǣglǣca, him on eaxle wearð
Was seen on his shoulder, his sinews were shivered,
syn-dolh sweotol, seonowe onsprungon
burston bān-locan. Bēowulfe wearð
His body did burst. To Beowulf was given
820: gūð-hrēð gyfeðe; scolde Grendel þonan
Glory in battle; Grendel from thenceward
feorh-sēoc flēon under fen-hleoðu,
Must flee and hide him in the fen-cliffs and marshes,
sēcean wyn-lēas wīc; wiste þē geornor,
Sick unto death, his dwelling must look for
þæt his aldres wæs ende gegongen,
Unwinsome and woful; he wist the more fully
: dōgera dæg-rīm. Denum eallum wearð
His life-days' limits. At last for the Danemen,
When the slaughter was over, their wish was accomplished.
The comer-from-far-land had cleansed then of evil,
snotor and swȳð-ferhð sele Hrōðgāres,
Wise and valiant, the war-hall of Hrothgar,
genered wið nīðe. Niht-weorce gefeh,
Saved it from violence. He joyed in the night-work,
: ellen-mǣrðum; hæfde Ēast-Denum
For the East-Danish people his boast had accomplished,
Bettered their burdensome bale-sorrows fully,
swylce oncȳððe ealle gebētte,
The craft-begot evil they erstwhile had suffered
inwid-sorge, þē hīe ǣr drugon
And were forced to endure from crushing oppression,
Their manifold misery. 'Twas a manifest token,
835: syððan hilde-dēor hond ālegde,
When the hero-in-battle the hand suspended,
earm and eaxle (þǣr wæs eal geador
The arm and the shoulder (there was all of the claw
Grendles grāpe) under gēapne hrōf.
Of Grendel together) 'neath great-stretching hall-roof.
XIV. THE JOY AT HEOROT.
: Þā wæs on morgen mīne gefrǣge
In the mist of the morning many a warrior
ymb þā gif-healle gūð-rinc monig:
Stood round the gift-hall, as the story is told me:
Folk-princes fared then from far and from near
geond wīd-wegas wundor scēawian,
Through long-stretching journeys to look at the wonder,
lāðes lāstas. Nō his līf-gedāl
The footprints of the foeman. Few of the warriors
sārlīc þūhte secga ǣnegum,
Who gazed on the foot-tracks of the inglorious creature
þāra þe tīr-lēases trode scēawode,
His parting from life pained very deeply,
845: hū hē wērig-mōd on weg þanon,
How, weary in spirit, off from those regions
In combats conquered he carried his traces,
Fated and flying, to the flood of the nickers.
There in bloody billows bubbled the currents,
atol ȳða geswing eal gemenged
The angry eddy was everywhere mingled
850: hātan heolfre, heoro-drēore wēol;
And seething with gore, welling with sword-blood;
dēað-fǣge dēog, siððan drēama lēas
He death-doomed had hid him, when reaved of his joyance
in fen-freoðo feorh ālegde
He laid down his life in the lair he had fled to,
His heathenish spirit, where hell did receive him.
Þanon eft gewiton eald-gesīðas,
Thence the friends from of old backward turned them,
855: swylce geong manig of gomen-wāðe,
And many a younker from merry adventure,
Striding their stallions, stout from the seaward,
beornas on blancum. Þǣr wæs Bēowulfes
Heroes on horses. There were heard very often
mǣrðo mǣned; monig oft gecwæð,
Beowulf's praises; many often asserted
þætte sūð nē norð be sǣm tweonum
That neither south nor north, in the circuit of waters,
860: ofer eormen-grund ōðer nǣnig
O'er outstretching earth-plain, none other was better
under swegles begong sēlra nǣre
'Mid bearers of war-shields, more worthy to govern,
rond-hæbbendra, rīces wyrðra.
'Neath the arch of the ether. Not any, however,
Nē hīe hūru wine-drihten wiht ne lōgon,
'Gainst the friend-lord muttered, mocking-words uttered
Of Hrothgar the gracious (a good king he).
Oft the famed ones permitted their fallow-skinned horses
on geflīt faran fealwe mēaras,
To run in rivalry, racing and chasing,
þǣr him fold-wegas fægere þūhton,
Where the fieldways appeared to them fair and inviting,
cystum cūðe; hwīlum cyninges þegn,
Known for their excellence; oft a thane of the folk-lord,
guma gilp-hlæden gidda gemyndig,
A man of celebrity, mindful of rhythms,
870: sē þe eal-fela eald-gesegena
Who ancient traditions treasured in memory,
New word-groups found properly bound:
sōðe gebunden: secg eft ongan
The bard after 'gan then Beowulf's venture
sīð Bēowulfes snyttrum styrian
Wisely to tell of, and words that were clever
To utter skilfully, earnestly speaking,
875: wordum wrixlan, wēl-hwylc gecwæð,
Everything told he that he heard as to Sigmund's
Mighty achievements, many things hidden,
ellen-dǣdum, uncūðes fela,
The strife of the Wælsing, the wide-going ventures
Wælsinges gewin, wīde sīðas,
The children of men knew of but little,
þāra þe gumena bearn gearwe ne wiston,
The feud and the fury, but Fitela with him,
880: fǣhðe and fyrene, būton Fitela mid hine,
When suchlike matters he minded to speak of,
Uncle to nephew, as in every contention
ēam his nefan, swā hīe ā wǣron
Each to other was ever devoted:
æt nīða gehwām nȳd-gesteallan:
A numerous host of the race of the scathers
hæfdon eal-fela eotena cynnes
They had slain with the sword-edge. To Sigmund accrued then
885: sweordum gesǣged. Sigemunde gesprong
No little of glory, when his life-days were over,
æfter dēað-dæge dōm unlȳtel,
Since he sturdy in struggle had destroyed the great dragon,
syððan wīges heard wyrm ācwealde,
The hoard-treasure's keeper; 'neath the hoar-grayish stone he,
hordes hyrde; hē under hārne stān,
The son of the atheling, unaided adventured
æðelinges bearn, āna genēðde
The perilous project; not present was Fitela,
890: frēcne dǣde; ne wæs him Fitela mid.
Yet the fortune befell him of forcing his weapon
Through the marvellous dragon, that it stood in the wall,
Well-honored weapon; the worm was slaughtered.
dryhtlīc īren; draca morðre swealt.
The great one had gained then by his glorious achievement
Hæfde āglǣca elne gegongen,
To reap from the ring-hoard richest enjoyment,
As best it did please him: his vessel he loaded,
selfes dōme: sǣ-bāt gehlōd,
Shining ornaments on the ship's bosom carried,
bær on bearm scipes beorhte frætwa,
Kinsman of Wæls: the drake in heat melted.
Wælses eafera; wyrm hāt gemealt.
He was farthest famed of fugitive pilgrims,
Sē wæs wreccena wīde mǣrost
Mid wide-scattered world-folk, for works of great prowess,
900: ofer wer-þēode, wīgendra hlēo
War-troopers' shelter: hence waxed he in honor.
ellen-dǣdum: hē þæs āron þāh.
Afterward Heremod's hero-strength failed him,
Siððan Heremōdes hild sweðrode
His vigor and valor. 'Mid venomous haters
eafoð and ellen. Hē mid eotenum wearð
To the hands of foemen he was foully delivered,
on fēonda geweald forð forlācen,
Offdriven early. Agony-billows
905: snūde forsended. Hine sorh-wylmas
Oppressed him too long, to his people he became then,
lemede tō lange, hē his lēodum wearð,
To all the athelings, an ever-great burden;
eallum æðelingum tō aldor-ceare;
And the daring one's journey in days of yore
swylce oft bemearn ǣrran mǣlum
Many wise men were wont to deplore,
swīð-ferhðes sīð snotor ceorl monig,
Such as hoped he would bring them help in their sorrow,
910: sē þe him bealwa tō bōte gelȳfde,
That the son of their ruler should rise into power,
Holding the headship held by his fathers,
Should govern the people, the gold-hoard and borough,
hord and hlēo-burh, hæleða rīce,
The kingdom of heroes, the realm of the Scyldings.
ēðel Scyldinga. Hē þǣr eallum wearð,
He to all men became then far more beloved,
Higelac's kinsman, to kindreds and races,
frēondum gefægra; hine fyren onwōd.
To his friends much dearer; him malice assaulted.--
Hwīlum flītende fealwe strǣte
Oft running and racing on roadsters they measured
The dun-colored highways. Then the light of the morning
Was hurried and hastened. Went henchmen in numbers
920: swīð-hicgende tō sele þām hēan,
To the beautiful building, bold ones in spirit,
searo-wundor sēon, swylce self cyning,
To look at the wonder; the liegelord himself then
of brȳd-būre bēah-horda weard,
From his wife-bower wending, warden of treasures,
tryddode tīr-fæst getrume micle,
Glorious trod with troopers unnumbered,
cystum gecȳðed, and his cwēn mid him
Famed for his virtues, and with him the queen-wife
925: medo-stīg gemæt mægða hōse.
Measured the mead-ways, with maidens attending.
XV. HROTHGAR'S GRATULATION.
: Hrōðgār maðelode (hē tō healle gēong,
Hrothgar discoursed (to the hall-building went he,
He stood by the pillar, saw the steep-rising hall-roof
golde fāhne and Grendles hond):
Gleaming with gold-gems, and Grendel his hand there):
"þisse ansȳne al-wealdan þanc
"For the sight we behold now, thanks to the Wielder
Early be offered! Much evil I bided,
Snaring from Grendel: God can e'er 'complish
"wunder æfter wundre, wuldres hyrde!
Wonder on wonder, Wielder of Glory!
"Þæt wæs ungeāra, þæt ic ǣnigra mē
But lately I reckoned ne'er under heaven
"wēana ne wēnde tō wīdan feore
Comfort to gain me for any of sorrows,
935: "bōte gebīdan þonne blōde fāh
While the handsomest of houses horrid with bloodstain
Gory uptowered; grief had offfrightened
"wēa wīd-scofen witena gehwylcne
"þāra þe ne wēndon, þæt hīe wīde-ferhð
Each of the wise ones who weened not that ever
"lēoda land-geweorc lāðum beweredon
The folk-troop's defences 'gainst foes they should strengthen,
940: "scuccum and scinnum. Nū scealc hafað
'Gainst sprites and monsters. Through the might of the Wielder
"þurh drihtnes miht dǣd gefremede,
A doughty retainer hath a deed now accomplished
"þē wē ealle ǣr ne meahton
Which erstwhile we all with our excellent wisdom
Failed to perform. May affirm very truly
What woman soever in all of the nations
945: "æfter gum-cynnum, gyf hēo gȳt lyfað,
Gave birth to the child, if yet she surviveth,
That the long-ruling Lord was lavish to herward
"bearn-gebyrdo. Nū ic Bēowulf
In the birth of the bairn. Now, Beowulf dear,
"þec, secg betsta, mē for sunu wylle
Most excellent hero, I'll love thee in spirit
As bairn of my body; bear well henceforward
950: "nīwe sibbe. Ne bið þē nǣnigra gād
The relationship new. No lack shall befall thee
Of earth-joys any I ever can give thee.
Full often for lesser service I've given
"hord-weorðunge hnāhran rince,
Hero less hardy hoard-treasure precious,
"sǣmran æt sæcce. Þū þē self hafast
To a weaker in war-strife. By works of distinction
955: "dǣdum gefremed, þæt þīn dōm lyfað
Thou hast gained for thyself now that thy glory shall flourish
"āwa tō aldre. Alwalda þec
Forever and ever. The All-Ruler quite thee
"gōde forgylde, swā hē nū gȳt dyde!"
With good from His hand as He hitherto did thee!"
Beowulf answered, Ecgtheow's offspring:
"Wē þæt ellen-weorc ēstum miclum,
"That labor of glory most gladly achieved we,
The combat accomplished, unquailing we ventured
"eafoð uncūðes; ūðe ic swīðor,
The enemy's grapple; I would grant it much rather
Thou wert able to look at the creature in person,
"fēond on frætewum fyl-wērigne!
Faint unto falling, the foe in his trappings!
"Ic hine hrædlīce heardan clammum
On murder-bed quickly I minded to bind him,
965: "on wæl-bedde wrīðan þōhte,
With firm-holding fetters, that forced by my grapple
Low he should lie in life-and-death struggle
"licgean līf-bysig, būtan his līc swice;
'Less his body escape; I was wholly unable,
"ic hine ne mihte, þā metod nolde,
Since God did not will it, to keep him from going,
"ganges getwǣman, nō ic him þæs georne ætfealh,
Not held him that firmly, hated opposer;
970: "feorh-genīðlan; wæs tō fore-mihtig
Too swift was the foeman. Yet safety regarding
"fēond on fēðe. Hwæðere hē his folme forlēt
He suffered his hand behind him to linger,
"tō līf-wraðe lāst weardian,
His arm and shoulder, to act as watcher;
"earm and eaxle; nō þǣr ǣnige swā þēah
No shadow of solace the woe-begone creature
"fēa-sceaft guma frōfre gebohte:
Found him there nathless: the hated destroyer
975: "nō þȳ leng leofað lāð-getēona
Liveth no longer, lashed for his evils,
But sorrow hath seized him, in snare-meshes hath him
"in nȳd-gripe nearwe befongen,
Close in its clutches, keepeth him writhing
In baleful bonds: there banished for evil
"maga māne fāh miclan dōmes,
The man shall wait for the mighty tribunal,
How the God of glory shall give him his earnings."
Þā wæs swīgra secg, sunu Ecglāfes,
Then the soldier kept silent, son of old Ecglaf,
on gylp-sprǣce gūð-geweorca,
From boasting and bragging of battle-achievements,
siððan æðelingas eorles cræfte
Since the princes beheld there the hand that depended
ofer hēahne hrōf hand scēawedon,
'Neath the lofty hall-timbers by the might of the nobleman,
985: fēondes fingras, foran ǣghwylc;
Each one before him, the enemy's fingers;
Each finger-nail strong steel most resembled,
hǣðenes hand-sporu hilde-rinces
The heathen one's hand-spur, the hero-in-battle's
egle unhēoru; ǣg-hwylc gecwæð,
Claw most uncanny; quoth they agreeing,
That not any excellent edges of brave ones
990: īren ǣr-gōd, þæt þæs āhlǣcan
Was willing to touch him, the terrible creature's
blōdge beadu-folme onberan wolde.
Battle-hand bloody to bear away from him.
XVI. THE BANQUET AND THE GIFTS.
Then straight was ordered that Heorot inside
With hands be embellished: a host of them gathered,
wera and wīfa, þē þæt wīn-reced,
Of men and women, who the wassailing-building
The guest-hall begeared. Gold-flashing sparkled
web æfter wāgum, wundor-sīona fela
Webs on the walls then, of wonders a many
secga gehwylcum þāra þe on swylc starað
To each of the heroes that look on such objects.
The beautiful building was broken to pieces
eal inne-weard īren-bendum fæst,
Which all within with irons was fastened,
1000: heorras tōhlidene; hrōf āna genæs
Its hinges torn off: only the roof was
ealles ansund, þā se āglǣca
Whole and uninjured when the horrible creature
fyren-dǣdum fāg on flēam gewand,
Outlawed for evil off had betaken him,
aldres or-wēna. Nō þæt ȳðe byð
Hopeless of living. 'Tis hard to avoid it
(Whoever will do it!); but he doubtless must come to
The place awaiting, as Wyrd hath appointed,
nȳde genȳdde niðða bearna
Soul-bearers, earth-dwellers, earls under heaven,
grund-būendra gearwe stōwe,
þǣr his līc-homa leger-bedde fæst
Where bound on its bed his body shall slumber
When feasting is finished. Full was the time then
1010: þæt tō healle gang Healfdenes sunu;
That the son of Healfdene went to the building;
The excellent atheling would eat of the banquet.
Ne gefrægen ic þā mǣgðe māran weorode
Ne'er heard I that people with hero-band larger
ymb hyra sinc-gyfan sēl gebǣran.
Bare them better tow'rds their bracelet-bestower.
Bugon þā tō bence blǣd-āgende,
The laden-with-glory stooped to the bench then
(Their kinsmen-companions in plenty were joyful,
medo-ful manig māgas þāra
Many a cupful quaffing complaisantly),
swīð-hicgende on sele þām hēan,
Doughty of spirit in the high-tow'ring palace,
Hrōðgār and Hrōðulf. Heorot innan wæs
Hrothgar and Hrothulf. Heorot then inside
frēondum āfylled; nalles fācen-stafas
Was filled with friendly ones; falsehood and treachery
1020: Þēod-Scyldingas þenden fremedon.
The Folk-Scyldings now nowise did practise.
Then the offspring of Healfdene offered to Beowulf
segen gyldenne sigores tō lēane,
A golden standard, as reward for the victory,
hroden hilte-cumbor, helm and byrnan;
A banner embossed, burnie and helmet;
Many men saw then a song-famous weapon
Borne 'fore the hero. Beowulf drank of
ful on flette; nō hē þǣre feoh-gyfte
The cup in the building; that treasure-bestowing
He needed not blush for in battle-men's presence.
ne gefrægn ic frēondlīcor fēower mādmas
Ne'er heard I that many men on the ale-bench
golde gegyrede gum-manna fela
In friendlier fashion to their fellows presented
1030: in ealo-bence ōðrum gesellan.
Four bright jewels with gold-work embellished.
Ymb þæs helmes hrōf hēafod-beorge
'Round the roof of the helmet a head-guarder outside
Braided with wires, with bosses was furnished,
þæt him fēla lāfe frēcne ne meahton
That swords-for-the-battle fight-hardened might fail
scūr-heard sceððan, þonne scyld-freca
Boldly to harm him, when the hero proceeded
Forth against foemen. The defender of earls then
Heht þā eorla hlēo eahta mēaras,
Commanded that eight steeds with bridles
fǣted-hlēore, on flet tēon
Gold-plated, gleaming, be guided to hallward,
in under eoderas; þāra ānum stōd
Inside the building; on one of them stood then
sadol searwum fāh since gewurðad,
An art-broidered saddle embellished with jewels;
1040: þæt wæs hilde-setl hēah-cyninges,
þonne sweorda gelāc sunu Healfdenes
'Twas the sovereign's seat, when the son of King Healfdene
Was pleased to take part in the play of the edges;
The famous one's valor ne'er failed at the front when
And þā Bēowulfe bēga gehwæðres
Slain ones were bowing. And to Beowulf granted
1045: eodor Ingwina onweald getēah,
The prince of the Ingwins, power over both,
O'er war-steeds and weapons; bade him well to enjoy them.
In so manly a manner the mighty-famed chieftain,
hord-weard hæleða heaðo-rǣsas geald
Hoard-ward of heroes, with horses and jewels
mēarum and mādmum, swā hȳ nǣfre man lyhð,
War-storms requited, that none e'er condemneth
Who willeth to tell truth with full justice.
XVII. SONG OF HROTHGAR'S POET-THE LAY OF HNAEF AND HENGEST.
: Þā gȳt ǣghwylcum eorla drihten
And the atheling of earlmen to each of the heroes
þāra þe mid Bēowulfe brim-lāde tēah,
Who the ways of the waters went with Beowulf,
on þǣre medu-bence māððum gesealde,
A costly gift-token gave on the mead-bench,
yrfe-lāfe, and þone ǣnne heht
Offered an heirloom, and ordered that that man
1055: golde forgyldan, þone þe Grendel ǣr
With gold should be paid for, whom Grendel had erstwhile
māne ācwealde, swā hē hyra mā wolde,
Wickedly slaughtered, as he more of them had done
Had far-seeing God and the mood of the hero
and þæs mannes mōd: metod eallum wēold
The fate not averted: the Father then governed
gumena cynnes, swā hē nū gīt dēð;
All of the earth-dwellers, as He ever is doing;
1060: forþan bið andgit ǣghwǣr sēlest,
Hence insight for all men is everywhere fittest,
Forethought of spirit! much he shall suffer
lēofes and lāðes, sē þe longe hēr
Of lief and of loathsome who long in this present
on þyssum win-dagum worolde brūceð.
Useth the world in this woful existence.
There was music and merriment mingling together
1065: fore Healfdenes hilde-wīsan,
Touching Healfdene's leader; the joy-wood was fingered,
þonne heal-gamen Hrōðgāres scop
Measures recited, when the singer of Hrothgar
On mead-bench should mention the merry hall-joyance
Finnes eaferum, þā hīe se fǣr begeat:
Of the kinsmen of Finn, when onset surprised them:
1070: "Hæleð Healfdenes, Hnæf Scyldinga,
"The Half-Danish hero, Hnæf of the Scyldings,
On the field of the Frisians was fated to perish.
Sure Hildeburg needed not mention approving
"Eotena trēowe: unsynnum wearð
The faith of the Jutemen: though blameless entirely,
"beloren lēofum æt þām lind-plegan
When shields were shivered she was shorn of her darlings,
1075: "bearnum and brōðrum; hīe on gebyrd hruron
Of bairns and brothers: they bent to their fate
With war-spear wounded; woe was that woman.
"Nalles hōlinga Hōces dōhtor
Not causeless lamented the daughter of Hoce
The decree of the Wielder when morning-light came and
She was able 'neath heaven to behold the destruction
Of brothers and bairns, where the brightest of earth-joys
"worolde wynne: wīg ealle fornam
She had hitherto had: all the henchmen of Finn
"Finnes þegnas, nemne fēaum ānum,
War had offtaken, save a handful remaining,
"þæt hē ne mehte on þǣm meðel-stede
That he nowise was able to offer resistance
To the onset of Hengest in the parley of battle,
1085: "nē þā wēa-lāfe wīge forþringan
Nor the wretched remnant to rescue in war from
The earl of the atheling; but they offered conditions,
"þæt hīe him ōðer flet eal gerȳmdon,
Another great building to fully make ready,
"healle and hēah-setl, þæt hīe healfre geweald
A hall and a high-seat, that half they might rule with
1090: "and æt feoh-gyftum Folcwaldan sunu
The sons of the Jutemen, and that Folcwalda's son would
"dōgra gehwylce Dene weorðode,
Day after day the Danemen honor
"Hengestes hēap hringum wenede,
When gifts were giving, and grant of his ring-store
To Hengest's earl-troop ever so freely,
"fǣttan goldes, swā hē Frēsena cyn
Of his gold-plated jewels, as he encouraged the Frisians
On the bench of the beer-hall. On both sides they swore then
"Þā hīe getruwedon on twā healfa
"fæste frioðu-wǣre; Fin Hengeste
A fast-binding compact; Finn unto Hengest
"elne unflitme āðum benemde,
With no thought of revoking vowed then most solemnly
"þæt hē þā wēa-lāfe weotena dōme
The woe-begone remnant well to take charge of,
1100: "ārum heolde, þæt þǣr ǣnig mon
His Witan advising; the agreement should no one
By words or works weaken and shatter,
"nē þurh inwit-searo ǣfre gemǣnden,
By artifice ever injure its value,
"þēah hīe hira bēag-gyfan banan folgedon
Though reaved of their ruler their ring-giver's slayer
"þēoden-lēase, þā him swā geþearfod wæs:
They followed as vassals, Fate so requiring:
1105: "gyf þonne Frȳsna hwylc frēcnan sprǣce
Then if one of the Frisians the quarrel should speak of
"þæs morðor-hetes myndgiend wǣre,
In tones that were taunting, terrible edges
"þonne hit sweordes ecg syððan scolde.
Should cut in requital. Accomplished the oath was,
And treasure of gold from the hoard was uplifted.
"āhæfen of horde. Here-Scyldinga
The best of the Scylding braves was then fully
1110: "betst beado-rinca wæs on bǣl gearu;
Prepared for the pile; at the pyre was seen clearly
"swāt-fāh syrce, swȳn eal-gylden,
The blood-gory burnie, the boar with his gilding,
"eofer īren-heard, æðeling manig
The iron-hard swine, athelings many
"wundum āwyrded; sume on wæle crungon.
Fatally wounded; no few had been slaughtered.
Hildeburg bade then, at the burning of Hnæf,
"hire selfre sunu sweoloðe befæstan,
The bairn of her bosom to bear to the fire,
That his body be burned and borne to the pyre.
"Earme on eaxle ides gnornode,
The woe-stricken woman wept on his shoulder,
"geōmrode giddum; gūð-rinc āstāh.
In measures lamented; upmounted the hero.
1120: "Wand tō wolcnum wæl-fȳra mǣst,
The greatest of dead-fires curled to the welkin,
On the hill's-front crackled; heads were a-melting,
"ben-geato burston, þonne blōd ætspranc
Wound-doors bursting, while the blood was a-coursing
"lāð-bite līces. Līg ealle forswealg,
From body-bite fierce. The fire devoured them,
"gǣsta gīfrost, þāra þe þǣr gūð fornam
Greediest of spirits, whom war had offcarried
From both of the peoples; their bravest were fallen.
XVIII. THE GLEEMAN'S TALE IS ENDED.
"Then the warriors departed to go to their dwellings,
Reaved of their friends, Friesland to visit,
"hāmas and hēa-burh. Hengest þā gȳt
Their homes and high-city. Hengest continued
"wæl-fāgne winter wunode mid Finne
Biding with Finn the blood-tainted winter,
1130: "ealles unhlitme; eard gemunde,
Wholly unsundered; of fatherland thought he
Though unable to drive the ring-stemmèd vessel
"hringed-stefnan; holm storme wēol,
O'er the ways of the waters; the wave-deeps were tossing,
Fought with the wind; winter in ice-bonds
"īs-gebinde oð þæt ōðer cōm
Closed up the currents, till there came to the dwelling
1135: "geār in geardas, swā nū gȳt dēð,
A year in its course, as yet it revolveth,
"þā þe syngales sēle bewitiað,
If season propitious one alway regardeth,
World-cheering weathers. Then winter was gone,
"fæger foldan bearm; fundode wrecca,
Earth's bosom was lovely; the exile would get him,
"gist of geardum; hē tō gyrn-wræce
The guest from the palace; on grewsomest vengeance
1140: "swīðor þōhte, þonne tō sǣ-lāde,
He brooded more eager than on oversea journeys,
"gif hē torn-gemōt þurhtēon mihte,
Whe'r onset-of-anger he were able to 'complish,
The bairns of the Jutemen therein to remember.
"Swā hē ne forwyrnde worold-rǣdenne,
Nowise refused he the duties of liegeman
"þonne him Hūnlāfing hilde-lēoman,
When Hun of the Frisians the battle-sword Láfing,
1145: "billa sēlest, on bearm dyde:
Fairest of falchions, friendly did give him:
"þæs wǣron mid Eotenum ecge cūðe.
Its edges were famous in folk-talk of Jutland.
"Swylce ferhð-frecan Fin eft begeat
And savage sword-fury seized in its clutches
"sweord-bealo slīðen æt his selfes hām,
Bold-mooded Finn where he bode in his palace,
"siððan grimne gripe Gūðlaf ond Ōslāf
When the grewsome grapple Guthlaf and Oslaf
1150: "æfter sǣ-siðe sorge mǣndon,
Had mournfully mentioned, the mere-journey over,
For sorrows half-blamed him; the flickering spirit
Could not bide in his bosom. Then the building was covered
"fēonda fēorum, swilce Fin slægen,
With corpses of foemen, and Finn too was slaughtered,
The king with his comrades, and the queen made a prisoner.
1155: "Scēotend Scyldinga tō scypum feredon
The troops of the Scyldings bore to their vessels
"eal in-gesteald eorð-cyninges,
All that the land-king had in his palace,
Such trinkets and treasures they took as, on searching,
"sigla searo-gimma. Hīe on sǣ-lāde
At Finn's they could find. They ferried to Daneland
"drihtlīce wīf tō Denum feredon,
The excellent woman on oversea journey,
Led her to their land-folk." The lay was concluded,
glēo-mannes gyd. Gamen eft āstāh,
The gleeman's recital. Shouts again rose then,
Bench-glee resounded, bearers then offered
wīn of wunder-fatum. Þā cwōm Wealhþēo forð
Wine from wonder-vats. Wealhtheo advanced then
gān under gyldnum bēage, þǣr þā gōdan twēgen
Going 'neath gold-crown, where the good ones were seated
Uncle and nephew; their peace was yet mutual,
ǣghwylc ōðrum trȳwe. Swylce þǣr Unferð þyle
True each to the other. And Unferth the spokesman
Sat at the feet of the lord of the Scyldings:
Each trusted his spirit that his mood was courageous,
Though at fight he had failed in faith to his kinsmen.
1170: "Onfōh þissum fulle, frēo-drihten mīn,
Said the queen of the Scyldings: "My lord and protector,
"sinces brytta; þū on sǣlum wes,
Treasure-bestower, take thou this beaker;
"gold-wine gumena, and tō Gēatum sprec
Joyance attend thee, gold-friend of heroes,
And greet thou the Geatmen with gracious responses!
"Bēo wið Gēatas glæd, geofena gemyndig;
So ought one to do. Be kind to the Geatmen,
1175: "nēan and feorran þū nū friðu hafast.
In gifts not niggardly; anear and afar now
Peace thou enjoyest. Report hath informed me
Thou'lt have for a bairn the battle-brave hero.
Now is Heorot cleansèd, ring-palace gleaming;
"manigra mēda and þīnum māgum lǣf
Give while thou mayest many rewards,
1180: "folc and rīce, þonne þū forð scyle
And bequeath to thy kinsmen kingdom and people,
On wending thy way to the Wielder's splendor.
"glædne Hrōðulf, þæt hē þā geogoðe wile
I know good Hrothulf, that the noble young troopers
"ārum healdan, gyf þū ǣr þonne hē,
He'll care for and honor, lord of the Scyldings,
"wine Scildinga, worold oflǣtest;
If earth-joys thou endest earlier than he doth;
I reckon that recompense he'll render with kindness
"uncran eaferan, gif hē þæt eal gemon,
Our offspring and issue, if that all he remember,
"hwæt wit tō willan and tō worð-myndum
What favors of yore, when he yet was an infant,
"umbor wesendum ǣr ārna gefremedon."
We awarded to him for his worship and pleasure."
Then she turned by the bench where her sons were carousing,
1190: Hrēðrīc and Hrōðmund, and hæleða bearn,
Hrethric and Hrothmund, and the heroes' offspring,
giogoð ætgædere; þǣr se gōda sæt
The war-youth together; there the good one was sitting
Bēowulf Gēata be þǣm gebrōðrum twǣm.
'Twixt the brothers twain, Beowulf Geatman.
XIX. BĒOWULF'S JEWELLED COLLAR. THE HEROES REST.
A beaker was borne him, and bidding to quaff it
Graciously given, and gold that was twisted
1195: ēstum geēawed, earm-hrēade twā,
Pleasantly proffered, a pair of arm-jewels,
hrægl and hringas, heals-bēaga mǣst
Rings and corslet, of collars the greatest
þāra þe ic on foldan gefrægen hæbbe.
I've heard of 'neath heaven. Of heroes not any
Nǣnigne ic under swegle sēlran hȳrde
More splendid from jewels have I heard 'neath the welkin,
hord-māððum hæleða, syððan Hāma ætwæg
Since Hama off bore the Brosingmen's necklace,
1200: tō þǣre byrhtan byrig Brōsinga mene,
The bracteates and jewels, from the bright-shining city,
Eormenric's cunning craftiness fled from,
Chose gain everlasting. Geatish Higelac,
Grandson of Swerting, last had this jewel
nefa Swertinges, nȳhstan sīðe,
When tramping 'neath banner the treasure he guarded,
The field-spoil defended; Fate offcarried him
When for deeds of daring he endured tribulation,
syððan hē for wlenco wēan āhsode,
Hate from the Frisians; the ornaments bare he
fǣhðe tō Frȳsum; hē þā frætwe wæg,
O'er the cup of the currents, costly gem-treasures,
eorclan-stānas ofer ȳða ful,
Mighty folk-leader, he fell 'neath his target;
1210: rīce þēoden, hē under rande gecranc;
The corpse of the king then came into charge of
gehwearf þā in Francna fæðm feorh cyninges,
The race of the Frankmen, the mail-shirt and collar:
brēost-gewǣdu and se bēah somod:
Warmen less noble plundered the fallen,
wyrsan wīg-frecan wæl rēafedon
When the fight was finished; the folk of the Geatmen
æfter gūð-sceare, Gēata lēode
The field of the dead held in possession.
The choicest of mead-halls with cheering resounded.
Wealhtheo discoursed, the war-troop addressed she:
"This collar enjoy thou, Beowulf worthy,
Young man, in safety, and use thou this armor,
"þēod-gestrēona, and geþēoh tela,
Gems of the people, and prosper thou fully,
Show thyself sturdy and be to these liegemen
Mild with instruction! I'll mind thy requital.
"Hafast þū gefēred, þæt þē feor and nēah
Thou hast brought it to pass that far and near
"ealne wīde-ferhð weras ehtigað,
Forever and ever earthmen shall honor thee,
"efne swā sīde swā sǣ bebūgeð
Even so widely as ocean surroundeth
The blustering bluffs. Be, while thou livest,
"æðeling ēadig! ic þē an tela
A wealth-blessèd atheling. I wish thee most truly
"sinc-gestrēona. Bēo þū suna mīnum
Jewels and treasure. Be kind to my son, thou
"dǣdum gedēfe drēam healdende!
Living in joyance! Here each of the nobles
Is true unto other, gentle in spirit,
1230: "mōdes milde, man-drihtne hold,
Loyal to leader. The liegemen are peaceful,
"druncne dryht-guman, dōð swā ic bidde!"
The war-troops ready: well-drunken heroes,
Do as I bid ye." Then she went to the settle.
There was choicest of banquets, wine drank the heroes:
Weird they knew not, destiny cruel,
eorla manegum, syððan ǣfen cwōm
As to many an earlman early it happened,
When evening had come and Hrothgar had parted
rīce tō ræste. Reced weardode
Off to his manor, the mighty to slumber.
unrīm eorla, swā hīe oft ǣr dydon:
Warriors unnumbered warded the building
1240: benc-þelu beredon, hit geond-brǣded wearð
As erst they did often: the ale-settle bared they,
beddum and bolstrum. Bēor-scealca sum
'Twas covered all over with beds and pillows.
Doomed unto death, down to his slumber
Setton him tō hēafdum hilde-randas,
Bowed then a beer-thane. Their battle-shields placed they,
bord-wudu beorhtan; þǣr on bence wæs
Bright-shining targets, up by their heads then;
1245: ofer æðelinge ȳð-gesēne
O'er the atheling on ale-bench 'twas easy to see there
heaðo-stēapa helm, hringed byrne,
Battle-high helmet, burnie of ring-mail,
þrec-wudu þrymlīc. Wæs þēaw hyra,
And mighty war-spear. 'Twas the wont of that people
To constantly keep them equipped for the battle,
gē æt hām gē on herge, gē gehwæðer þāra
At home or marching--in either condition--
1250: efne swylce mǣla, swylce hira man-dryhtne
At seasons just such as necessity ordered
As best for their ruler; that people was worthy.
XX. GRENDEL'S MOTHER ATTACKS THE RING-DANES.
They sank then to slumber. With sorrow one paid for
ǣfen-ræste, swā him ful-oft gelamp,
His evening repose, as often betid them
siððan gold-sele Grendel warode,
While Grendel was holding the gold-bedecked palace,
1255: unriht æfnde, oð þæt ende becwōm,
Ill-deeds performing, till his end overtook him,
swylt æfter synnum. Þæt gesȳne wearð,
Death for his sins. 'Twas seen very clearly,
wīd-cūð werum, þætte wrecend þā gȳt
Known unto earth-folk, that still an avenger
lifde æfter lāðum, lange þrāge
Outlived the loathed one, long since the sorrow
æfter gūð-ceare; Grendles mōdor,
Caused by the struggle; the mother of Grendel,
1260: ides āglǣc-wīf yrmðe gemunde,
Devil-shaped woman, her woe ever minded,
Who was held to inhabit the horrible waters,
cealde strēamas, siððan Cain wearð
The cold-flowing currents, after Cain had become a
tō ecg-banan āngan brēðer,
Slayer-with-edges to his one only brother,
fæderen-mǣge; hē þā fāg gewāt,
The son of his sire; he set out then banished,
Marked as a murderer, man-joys avoiding,
Lived in the desert. Thence demons unnumbered
geōsceaft-gāsta; wæs þǣra Grendel sum,
Fate-sent awoke; one of them Grendel,
Sword-cursèd, hateful, who at Heorot met with
wæccendne wer wīges bīdan,
A man that was watching, waiting the struggle,
1270: þǣr him āglǣca æt-grǣpe wearð;
Where a horrid one held him with hand-grapple sturdy;
hwæðre hē gemunde mægenes strenge,
Nathless he minded the might of his body,
gim-fæste gife, þē him god sealde,
The glorious gift God had allowed him,
and him tō anwaldan āre gelȳfde,
And folk-ruling Father's favor relied on,
His help and His comfort: so he conquered the foeman,
1275: gehnǣgde helle gāst: þā hē hēan gewāt,
The hell-spirit humbled: he unhappy departed then,
Reaved of his joyance, journeying to death-haunts,
man-cynnes fēond. And his mōdor þā gȳt
Foeman of man. His mother moreover
Eager and gloomy was anxious to go on
sorh-fulne sīð, suna dēað wrecan.
Her mournful mission, mindful of vengeance
1280: Cōm þā tō Heorote, þǣr Hring-Dene
For the death of her son. She came then to Heorot
geond þæt sæld swǣfun. Þā þǣr sōna wearð
Where the Armor-Dane earlmen all through the building
ed-hwyrft eorlum, siððan inne fealh
Were lying in slumber. Soon there became then
Grendles mōdor; wæs se gryre lǣssa
Return to the nobles, when the mother of Grendel
Entered the folk-hall; the fear was less grievous
1285: wīg-gryre wīfes be wǣpned-men,
By even so much as the vigor of maidens,
þonne heoru bunden, hamere geþuren,
War-strength of women, by warrior is reckoned,
sweord swāte fāh swīn ofer helme,
When well-carved weapon, worked with the hammer,
ecgum dyhtig andweard scireð.
Blade very bloody, brave with its edges,
Strikes down the boar-sign that stands on the helmet.
1290: sweord ofer setlum, sīd-rand manig
Then the hard-edgèd weapon was heaved in the building,
The brand o'er the benches, broad-lindens many
byrnan sīde, þe hine se brōga angeat.
Hand-fast were lifted; for helmet he recked not,
For armor-net broad, whom terror laid hold of.
She went then hastily, outward would get her
1295: hraðe hēo æðelinga ānne hæfde
Her life for to save, when some one did spy her;
Soon she had grappled one of the athelings
sē wæs Hrōðgāre hæleða lēofost
Fast and firmly, when fenward she hied her;
on gesīðes hād be sǣm tweonum,
That one to Hrothgar was liefest of heroes
rīce rand-wiga, þone þe hēo on ræste ābrēat,
In rank of retainer where waters encircle,
A mighty shield-warrior, whom she murdered at slumber,
A broadly-famed battle-knight. Beowulf was absent,
æfter māððum-gife mǣrum Gēate.
But another apartment was erstwhile devoted
Hrēam wearð on Heorote. Hēo under heolfre genam
To the glory-decked Geatman when gold was distributed.
There was hubbub in Heorot. The hand that was famous
1305: geworden in wīcum: ne wæs þæt gewrixle til,
She grasped in its gore; grief was renewed then
þæt hīe on bā healfa bicgan scoldon
In homes and houses: 'twas no happy arrangement
frēonda fēorum. Þā wæs frōd cyning,
In both of the quarters to barter and purchase
hār hilde-rinc, on hrēon mōde,
With lives of their friends. Then the well-agèd ruler,
syððan hē aldor-þegn unlyfigendne,
The gray-headed war-thane, was woful in spirit,
1310: þone dēorestan dēadne wisse.
When his long-trusted liegeman lifeless he knew of,
His dearest one gone. Quick from a room was
sigor-ēadig secg. Samod ǣr-dæge
Beowulf brought, brave and triumphant.
ēode eorla sum, æðele cempa
As day was dawning in the dusk of the morning,
self mid gesīðum, þǣr se snottra bād,
Went then that earlman, champion noble,
1315: hwæðre him al-walda ǣfre wille
Came with comrades, where the clever one bided
æfter wēa-spelle wyrpe gefremman.
Whether God all gracious would grant him a respite
After the woe he had suffered. The war-worthy hero
mid his hand-scale (heal-wudu dynede)
With a troop of retainers trod then the pavement
þæt hē þone wīsan wordum hnǣgde
(The hall-building groaned), till he greeted the wise one,
The earl of the Ingwins; asked if the night had
æfter nēod-laðu niht getǣse.
Fully refreshed him, as fain he would have it.
XXI. SORROW AT HEOROT: AESCHERE'S DEATH
: Hrōðgār maðelode, helm Scildinga:
Hrothgar rejoined, helm of the Scyldings:
"Ask not of joyance! Grief is renewed to
"Denigea lēodum. Dēad is Æsc-here,
The folk of the Danemen. Dead is Æschere,
1325: "Yrmenlāfes yldra brōðor,
Yrmenlaf's brother, older than he,
"mīn rūn-wita and mīn rǣd-bora,
My true-hearted counsellor, trusty adviser,
"eaxl-gestealla, þonne wē on orlege
Shoulder-companion, when fighting in battle
Our heads we protected, when troopers were clashing,
And heroes were dashing; such an earl should be ever,
1330: "æðeling ǣr-gōd, swylc Æsc-here wæs.
An erst-worthy atheling, as Æschere proved him.
"Wearð him on Heorote tō hand-banan
The flickering death-spirit became in Heorot
"wæl-gǣst wǣfre; ic ne wāt hwæder
His hand-to-hand murderer; I can not tell whither
"atol ǣse wlanc eft-sīðas tēah,
The cruel one turned in the carcass exulting,
By cramming discovered. The quarrel she wreaked then,
1335: "þē þū gystran niht Grendel cwealdest
That last night igone Grendel thou killedst
"þurh hǣstne hād heardum clammum,
In grewsomest manner, with grim-holding clutches,
"forþan hē tō lange lēode mīne
Since too long he had lessened my liege-troop and wasted
My folk-men so foully. He fell in the battle
"ealdres scyldig, and nū ōðer cwōm
With forfeit of life, and another has followed,
A mighty crime-worker, her kinsman avenging,
"gē feor hafað fǣhðe gestǣled,
And henceforth hath 'stablished her hatred unyielding,
"þæs þe þincean mæg þegne monegum,
As it well may appear to many a liegeman,
"sē þe æfter sinc-gyfan on sefan grēoteð,
Who mourneth in spirit the treasure-bestower,
"hreðer-bealo hearde; nū sēo hand ligeð,
Her heavy heart-sorrow; the hand is now lifeless
Which availed you in every wish that you cherished.
"Ic þæt lond-būend lēode mīne
Land-people heard I, liegemen, this saying,
Dwellers in halls, they had seen very often
"þæt hīe gesāwon swylce twēgen
A pair of such mighty march-striding creatures,
"micle mearc-stapan mōras healdan,
Far-dwelling spirits, holding the moorlands:
1350: "ellor-gǣstas: þǣra ōðer wæs,
One of them wore, as well they might notice,
"idese onlīcnes, ōðer earm-sceapen
The image of woman, the other one wretched
"on weres wæstmum wræc-lāstas træd,
In guise of a man wandered in exile,
Except he was huger than any of earthmen;
1355: "þone on geār-dagum Grendel nemdon
Earth-dwelling people entitled him Grendel
"fold-būende: nō hīe fæder cunnon,
In days of yore: they know not their father,
Whe'r ill-going spirits any were borne him
"dyrnra gāsta. Hīe dȳgel lond
Ever before. They guard the wolf-coverts,
"warigeað, wulf-hleoðu, windige næssas,
Lands inaccessible, wind-beaten nesses,
1360: "frēcne fen-gelād, þǣr fyrgen-strēam
Fearfullest fen-deeps, where a flood from the mountains
"under næssa genipu niðer gewīteð,
'Neath mists of the nesses netherward rattles,
"flōd under foldan; nis þæt feor heonon
The stream under earth: not far is it henceward
"mīl-gemearces, þæt se mere standeð,
Measured by mile-lengths that the mere-water standeth,
"ofer þǣm hongiað hrīmge bearwas,
Which forests hang over, with frost-whiting covered,
1365: "wudu wyrtum fæst, wæter oferhelmað.
A firm-rooted forest, the floods overshadow.
There ever at night one an ill-meaning portent
"fȳr on flōde; nō þæs frōd leofað
A fire-flood may see; 'mong children of men
"gumena bearna, þæt þone grund wite;
None liveth so wise that wot of the bottom;
Though harassed by hounds the heath-stepper seek for,
1370: "heorot hornum trum holt-wudu sēce,
Fly to the forest, firm-antlered he-deer,
"feorran geflȳmed, ǣr hē feorh seleð,
Spurred from afar, his spirit he yieldeth,
"aldor on ōfre, ǣr hē in wille,
His life on the shore, ere in he will venture
To cover his head. Uncanny the place is:
"þonon ȳð-geblond up āstīgeð
Thence upward ascendeth the surging of waters,
1375: "won tō wolcnum, þonne wind styreð
Wan to the welkin, when the wind is stirring
"lāð gewidru, oð þæt lyft drysmað,
The weathers unpleasing, till the air groweth gloomy,
And the heavens lower. Now is help to be gotten
"eft æt þē ānum! Eard gīt ne const,
From thee and thee only! The abode thou know'st not,
"frēcne stōwe, þǣr þū findan miht
The dangerous place where thou'rt able to meet with
The sin-laden hero: seek if thou darest!
"Ic þē þā fǣhðe fēo lēanige,
For the feud I will fully fee thee with money,
"eald-gestrēonum, swā ic ǣr dyde,
With old-time treasure, as erstwhile I did thee,
With well-twisted jewels, if away thou shalt get thee."
XXII. BĒOWULF SEEKS THE MONSTER IN THE HAUNTS OF THE NIXIES.
Beowulf answered, Ecgtheow's son:
1385: "Ne sorga, snotor guma! sēlre bið ǣghwǣm,
"Grieve not, O wise one! for each it is better,
His friend to avenge than with vehemence wail him;
Each of us must the end-day abide of
His earthly existence; who is able accomplish
"dōmes ǣr dēaðe! þæt bið driht-guman
Glory ere death! To battle-thane noble
1390: "unlifgendum æfter sēlest.
Lifeless lying, 'tis at last most fitting.
Arise, O king, quick let us hasten
To look at the footprint of the kinsman of Grendel!
"Ic hit þē gehāte: nō hē on helm losað,
I promise thee this now: to his place he'll escape not,
"nē on foldan fæðm, nē on fyrgen-holt,
To embrace of the earth, nor to mountainous forest,
Nor to depths of the ocean, wherever he wanders.
"Þȳs dōgor þū geþyld hafa
Practice thou now patient endurance
"wēana gehwylces, swā ic þē wēne tō!"
Of each of thy sorrows, as I hope for thee soothly!"
Āhlēop þā se gomela, gode þancode,
Then up sprang the old one, the All-Wielder thanked he,
Ruler Almighty, that the man had outspoken.
1400: Þā wæs Hrōðgāre hors gebǣted,
Then for Hrothgar a war-horse was decked with a bridle,
wicg wunden-feax. Wīsa fengel
Curly-maned courser. The clever folk-leader
geatolīc gengde; gum-fēða stōp
Stately proceeded: stepped then an earl-troop
lind-hæbbendra. Lāstas wǣron
Of linden-wood bearers. Her footprints were seen then
æfter wald-swaðum wīde gesȳne,
Widely in wood-paths, her way o'er the bottoms,
ofer myrcan mōr, mago-þegna bær
Where she faraway fared o'er fen-country murky,
þone sēlestan sāwol-lēasne,
Bore away breathless the best of retainers
þāra þe mid Hrōðgāre hām eahtode.
Who pondered with Hrothgar the welfare of country.
Ofer-ēode þā æðelinga bearn
The son of the athelings then went o'er the stony,
1410: stēap stān-hliðo, stīge nearwe,
Declivitous cliffs, the close-covered passes,
enge ān-paðas, un-cūð gelād,
Narrow passages, paths unfrequented,
neowle næssas, nicor-hūsa fela;
Nesses abrupt, nicker-haunts many;
hē fēara sum beforan gengde
One of a few of wise-mooded heroes,
wīsra monna, wong scēawian,
He onward advanced to view the surroundings,
1415: oð þæt hē fǣringa fyrgen-bēamas
Till he found unawares woods of the mountain
O'er hoar-stones hanging, holt-wood unjoyful;
wyn-lēasne wudu; wæter under stōd
The water stood under, welling and gory.
'Twas irksome in spirit to all of the Danemen,
winum Scyldinga, weorce on mōde,
Friends of the Scyldings, to many a liegeman
1420: tō geþolianne þegne monegum,
Sad to be suffered, a sorrow unlittle
oncȳð eorla gehwǣm, syððan Æsc-heres
To each of the earlmen, when to Æschere's head they
on þām holm-clife hafelan mētton.
Came on the cliff. The current was seething
Flōd blōde wēol (folc tō sǣgon)
With blood and with gore (the troopers gazed on it).
hātan heolfre. Horn stundum song
The horn anon sang the battle-song ready.
1425: fūslīc fyrd-lēoð. Fēða eal gesæt;
The troop were all seated; they saw 'long the water then
gesāwon þā æfter wætere wyrm-cynnes fela,
Many a serpent, mere-dragons wondrous
sellīce sǣ-dracan sund cunnian,
Trying the waters, nickers a-lying
swylce on næs-hleoðum nicras licgean,
On the cliffs of the nesses, which at noonday full often
þā on undern-mǣl oft bewitigað
Go on the sea-deeps their sorrowful journey,
1430: sorh-fulne sīð on segl-rāde,
Wild-beasts and wormkind; away then they hastened
Hot-mooded, hateful, they heard the great clamor,
bitere and gebolgne, bearhtm ongeāton,
The war-trumpet winding. One did the Geat-prince
of flān-bogan fēores getwǣfde,
Sunder from earth-joys, with arrow from bowstring,
1435: ȳð-gewinnes, þæt him on aldre stōd
From his sea-struggle tore him, that the trusty war-missile
Pierced to his vitals; he proved in the currents
sundes þē sǣnra, þē hyne swylt fornam.
Less doughty at swimming whom death had offcarried.
Hræðe wearð on ȳðum mid eofer-sprēotum
Soon in the waters the wonderful swimmer
heoro-hōcyhtum hearde genearwod,
Was straitened most sorely with sword-pointed boar-spears,
Pressed in the battle and pulled to the cliff-edge;
wundorlīc wǣg-bora; weras scēawedon
The liegemen then looked on the loath-fashioned stranger.
gryrelīcne gist. Gyrede hine Bēowulf
Beowulf donned then his battle-equipments,
Cared little for life; inlaid and most ample,
scolde here-byrne hondum gebrōden,
The hand-woven corslet which could cover his body,
1445: sīd and searo-fāh, sund cunnian,
Must the wave-deeps explore, that war might be powerless
To harm the great hero, and the hating one's grasp might
þæt him hilde-grāp hreðre ne mihte,
Not peril his safety; his head was protected
eorres inwit-feng, aldre gesceððan;
By the light-flashing helmet that should mix with the bottoms,
Trying the eddies, treasure-emblazoned,
Encircled with jewels, as in seasons long past
befongen frēa-wrāsnum, swā hine fyrn-dagum
The weapon-smith worked it, wondrously made it,
besette swīn-līcum, þæt hine syððan nō
With swine-bodies fashioned it, that thenceforward no longer
Brand might bite it, and battle-sword hurt it.
Næs þæt þonne mǣtost mægen-fultuma,
And that was not least of helpers in prowess
þæt him on þearfe lāh þyle Hrōðgāres;
That Hrothgar's spokesman had lent him when straitened;
wæs þǣm hæft-mēce Hrunting nama,
And the hilted hand-sword was Hrunting entitled,
þæt wæs ān foran eald-gestrēona;
Old and most excellent 'mong all of the treasures;
1460: ecg wæs īren āter-tēarum fāh,
Its blade was of iron, blotted with poison,
Hardened with gore; it failed not in battle
Any hero under heaven in hand who it brandished,
Who ventured to take the terrible journeys,
folc-stede fāra; næs þæt forma sīð,
The battle-field sought; not the earliest occasion
That deeds of daring 'twas destined to 'complish.
Hūru ne gemunde mago Ecglāfes
Ecglaf's kinsman minded not soothly,
eafoðes cræftig, þæt hē ǣr gespræc
Exulting in strength, what erst he had spoken
wīne druncen, þā hē þæs wǣpnes onlāh
Drunken with wine, when the weapon he lent to
sēlran sweord-frecan: selfa ne dorste
A sword-hero bolder; himself did not venture
1470: under ȳða gewin aldre genēðan,
'Neath the strife of the currents his life to endanger,
To fame-deeds perform; there he forfeited glory,
ellen-mǣrðum. Ne wæs þǣm ōðrum swā,
Repute for his strength. Not so with the other
syððan hē hine tō gūðe gegyred hæfde.
When he clad in his corslet had equipped him for battle.
XXIII. THE BATTLE WITH THE WATER-DRAKE.
Beowulf spake, Ecgtheow's son:
"Recall now, oh, famous kinsman of Healfdene,
"snottra fengel, nū ic eom sīðes fūs,
Prince very prudent, now to part I am ready,
"gold-wine gumena, hwæt wit geō sprǣcon,
Gold-friend of earlmen, what erst we agreed on,
Should I lay down my life in lending thee assistance,
When my earth-joys were over, thou wouldst evermore serve me
1480: "forð-gewitenum on fæder stǣle;
In stead of a father; my faithful thanemen,
"wes þū mund-bora mīnum mago-þegnum,
My trusty retainers, protect thou and care for,
"hond-gesellum, gif mec hild nime:
"swylce þū þā mādmas, þē þū mē sealdest,
Fall I in battle: and, Hrothgar belovèd,
Send unto Higelac the high-valued jewels
1485: "Mæg þonne on þǣm golde ongitan Gēata dryhten,
Thou to me hast allotted. The lord of the Geatmen
May perceive from the gold, the Hrethling may see it
"þæt ic gum-cystum gōdne funde
When he looks on the jewels, that a gem-giver found I
Good over-measure, enjoyed him while able.
"And þū Unferð lǣt ealde lāfe,
And the ancient heirloom Unferth permit thou,
1490: "wrǣtlīc wǣg-sweord wīd-cūðne man
The famed one to have, the heavy-sword splendid
"heard-ecg habban; ic mē mid Hruntinge
The hard-edgèd weapon; with Hrunting to aid me,
"dōm gewyrce, oððe mec dēað nimeð."
I shall gain me glory, or grim-death shall take me."
Æfter þǣm wordum Weder-Gēata lēod
The atheling of Geatmen uttered these words and
efste mid elne, nalas andsware
Heroic did hasten, not any rejoinder
Was willing to wait for; the wave-current swallowed
hilde-rince. Þā wæs hwīl dæges,
The doughty-in-battle. Then a day's-length elapsed ere
ǣr hē þone grund-wong ongytan mehte.
He was able to see the sea at its bottom.
Sōna þæt onfunde, sē þe flōda begong
Early she found then who fifty of winters
heoro-gīfre behēold hund missēra,
The course of the currents kept in her fury,
1500: grim and grǣdig, þæt þǣr gumena sum
Grisly and greedy, that the grim one's dominion
æl-wihta eard ufan cunnode.
Some one of men from above was exploring.
Forth did she grab them, grappled the warrior
With horrible clutches; yet no sooner she injured
hālan līce: hring ūtan ymb-bearh,
His body unscathèd: the burnie out-guarded,
1505: þæt hēo þone fyrd-hom þurh-fōn ne mihte,
That she proved but powerless to pierce through the armor,
locene leoðo-syrcan lāðan fingrum.
The limb-mail locked, with loath-grabbing fingers.
The sea-wolf bare then, when bottomward came she,
hringa þengel tō hofe sīnum,
The ring-prince homeward, that he after was powerless
swā hē ne mihte nō (hē þæs mōdig wæs)
(He had daring to do it) to deal with his weapons,
But many a mere-beast tormented him swimming,
swencte on sunde, sǣ-dēor monig
Flood-beasts no few with fierce-biting tusks did
hilde-tūxum here-syrcan bræc,
Break through his burnie, the brave one pursued they.
The earl then discovered he was down in some cavern
þæt hē in nið-sele nāt-hwylcum wæs,
Where no water whatever anywise harmed him,
1515: þǣr him nǣnig wæter wihte ne sceðede,
And the clutch of the current could come not anear him,
Since the roofed-hall prevented; brightness a-gleaming
fǣr-gripe flōdes: fȳr-lēoht geseah,
Fire-light he saw, flashing resplendent.
blācne lēoman beorhte scīnan.
Ongeat þā se gōda grund-wyrgenne,
The good one saw then the sea-bottom's monster,
1520: mere-wīf mihtig; mægen-rǣs forgeaf
The mighty mere-woman; he made a great onset
hilde-bille, hond swenge ne oftēah,
With weapon-of-battle, his hand not desisted
þæt hire on hafelan hring-mǣl āgōl
From striking, that war-blade struck on her head then
grǣdig gūð-lēoð. Þā se gist onfand,
A battle-song greedy. The stranger perceived then
The sword would not bite, her life would not injure,
But the falchion failed the folk-prince when straitened:
Erst had it often onsets encountered,
hond-gemōta, helm oft gescær,
Oft cloven the helmet, the fated one's armor:
fǣges fyrd-hrægl: þæt wæs forma sīð
'Twas the first time that ever the excellent jewel
dēorum māðme, þæt his dōm ālæg.
Had failed of its fame. Firm-mooded after,
Not heedless of valor, but mindful of glory,
mǣrða gemyndig mǣg Hygelāces;
Was Higelac's kinsman; the hero-chief angry
Cast then his carved-sword covered with jewels
yrre ōretta, þæt hit on eorðan læg,
That it lay on the earth, hard and steel-pointed;
stīð and stȳl-ecg; strenge getruwode,
He hoped in his strength, his hand-grapple sturdy.
So any must act whenever he thinketh
To gain him in battle glory unending,
longsumne lof, nā ymb his līf cearað.
And is reckless of living. The lord of the War-Geats
(He shrank not from battle) seized by the shoulder
Gūð-Gēata lēod Grendles mōdor;
The mother of Grendel; then mighty in struggle
Swung he his enemy, since his anger was kindled,
feorh-genīðlan, þæt hēo on flet gebēah.
That she fell to the floor. With furious grapple
Hēo him eft hraðe and-lēan forgeald
She gave him requital early thereafter,
And stretched out to grab him; the strongest of warriors
oferwearp þā wērig-mōd wigena strengest,
Faint-mooded stumbled, till he fell in his traces,
1545: fēðe-cempa, þæt hē on fylle wearð.
Foot-going champion. Then she sat on the hall-guest
And wielded her war-knife wide-bladed, flashing,
For her son would take vengeance, her one only bairn.
āngan eaferan. Him on eaxle læg
His breast-armor woven bode on his shoulder;
brēost-net brōden; þæt gebearh fēore,
It guarded his life, the entrance defended
'Gainst sword-point and edges. Ecgtheow's son there
Hæfde þā forsīðod sunu Ecgþēowes
Had fatally journeyed, champion of Geatmen,
under gynne grund, Gēata cempa,
In the arms of the ocean, had the armor not given,
Close-woven corslet, comfort and succor,
here-net hearde, and hālig god
And had God most holy not awarded the victory,
1555: gewēold wīg-sigor, wītig drihten;
All-knowing Lord; easily did heaven's
rodera rǣdend hit on ryht gescēd,
Ruler most righteous arrange it with justice;
ȳðelīce syððan hē eft āstōd.
Uprose he erect ready for battle.
XXIV. BĒOWULF SLAYS THE SPRITE.
: Geseah þā on searwum sige-ēadig bil,
Then he saw mid the war-gems a weapon of victory,
eald sweord eotenisc ecgum þȳhtig,
An ancient giant-sword, of edges a-doughty,
Glory of warriors: of weapons 'twas choicest,
būton hit wæs māre þonne ǣnig mon ōðer
Only 'twas larger than any man else was
Able to bear to the battle-encounter,
gōd and geatolīc gīganta geweorc.
The good and splendid work of the giants.
Hē gefēng þā fetel-hilt, freca Scildinga,
He grasped then the sword-hilt, knight of the Scyldings,
1565: hrēoh and heoro-grim hring-mǣl gebrægd,
Bold and battle-grim, brandished his ring-sword,
aldres orwēna, yrringa slōh,
Hopeless of living, hotly he smote her,
þæt hire wið halse heard grāpode,
That the fiend-woman's neck firmly it grappled,
bān-hringas bræc, bil eal þurh-wōd
Broke through her bone-joints, the bill fully pierced her
fǣgne flǣsc-homan, hēo on flet gecrong;
Fate-cursèd body, she fell to the ground then:
1570: sweord wæs swātig, secg weorce gefeh.
The hand-sword was bloody, the hero exulted.
The brand was brilliant, brightly it glimmered,
efne swā of hefene hādre scīneð
Just as from heaven gemlike shineth
rodores candel. Hē æfter recede wlāt,
The torch of the firmament. He glanced 'long the building,
1575: heard be hiltum Higelāces þegn,
And turned by the wall then, Higelac's vassal
Raging and wrathful raised his battle-sword
Strong by the handle. The edge was not useless
Grendle forgyldan gūð-rǣsa fela
To the hero-in-battle, but he speedily wished to
þāra þe hē geworhte tō West-Denum
Give Grendel requital for the many assaults he
1580: oftor micle þonne on ǣnne sīð,
Had worked on the West-Danes not once, but often,
þonne hē Hrōðgāres heorð-genēatas
When he slew in slumber the subjects of Hrothgar,
Swallowed down fifteen sleeping retainers
folces Denigea fȳf-tȳne men
Of the folk of the Danemen, and fully as many
and ōðer swylc ūt of-ferede,
Carried away, a horrible prey.
He gave him requital, grim-raging champion,
rēðe cempa, tō þæs þe hē on ræste geseah
When he saw on his rest-place weary of conflict
gūð-wērigne Grendel licgan,
Grendel lying, of life-joys bereavèd,
aldor-lēasne, swā him ǣr gescōd
As the battle at Heorot erstwhile had scathed him;
hild æt Heorote; hrā wīde sprong,
His body far bounded, a blow when he suffered,
1590: syððan hē æfter dēaðe drepe þrowade,
Death having seized him, sword-smiting heavy,
heoro-sweng heardne, and hine þā hēafde becearf,
And he cut off his head then. Early this noticed
Sōna þæt gesāwon snottre ceorlas,
The clever carles who as comrades of Hrothgar
þā þe mid Hrōðgāre on holm wliton,
Gazed on the sea-deeps, that the surging wave-currents
Were mightily mingled, the mere-flood was gory:
1595: brim blōde fāh: blonden-feaxe
Of the good one the gray-haired together held converse,
gomele ymb gōdne ongeador sprǣcon,
The hoary of head, that they hoped not to see again
þæt hig þæs æðelinges eft ne wēndon,
The atheling ever, that exulting in victory
þæt hē sige-hrēðig sēcean cōme
He'd return there to visit the distinguished folk-ruler:
mǣrne þēoden; þā þæs monige gewearð,
Then many concluded the mere-wolf had killed him.
The ninth hour came then. From the ness-edge departed
The bold-mooded Scyldings; the gold-friend of heroes
hwate Scyldingas; gewāt him hām þonon
Homeward betook him. The strangers sat down then
gold-wine gumena. Gistas sētan,
Soul-sick, sorrowful, the sea-waves regarding:
mōdes sēoce, and on mere staredon,
They wished and yet weened not their well-loved friend-lord
1605: wiston and ne wēndon, þæt hīe heora wine-drihten
To see any more. The sword-blade began then,
selfne gesāwon. Þā þæt sweord ongan
The blood having touched it, contracting and shriveling
æfter heaðo-swāte hilde-gicelum
With battle-icicles; 'twas a wonderful marvel
That it melted entirely, likest to ice when
þæt hit eal gemealt īse gelīcost,
The Father unbindeth the bond of the frost and
1610: þonne forstes bend fæder onlǣteð,
Unwindeth the wave-bands, He who wieldeth dominion
onwindeð wæl-rāpas, sē þe geweald hafað
Of times and of tides: a truth-firm Creator.
sǣla and mǣla; þæt is sōð metod.
Nor took he of jewels more in the dwelling,
Lord of the Weders, though they lay all around him,
māðm-ǣhta mā, þēh hē þǣr monige geseah,
Than the head and the handle handsome with jewels;
1615: būton þone hafelan and þā hilt somod,
since fāge; sweord ǣr gemealt,
The brand early melted, burnt was the weapon:
So hot was the blood, the strange-spirit poisonous
ǣttren ellor-gǣst, sē þǣr inne swealt.
That in it did perish. He early swam off then
Who had bided in combat the carnage of haters,
1620: wīg-hryre wrāðra, wæter up þurh-dēaf;
Went up through the ocean; the eddies were cleansèd,
The spacious expanses, when the spirit from farland
ēacne eardas, þā se ellor-gāst
oflēt līf-dagas and þās lǣnan gesceaft.
His life put aside and this short-lived existence.
Cōm þā tō lande lid-manna helm
The seamen's defender came swimming to land then
1625: swīð-mōd swymman, sǣ-lāce gefeah,
Doughty of spirit, rejoiced in his sea-gift,
mægen-byrðenne þāra þe hē him mid hæfde.
The bulky burden which he bore in his keeping.
The excellent vassals advanced then to meet him,
þrȳðlīc þegna hēap, þēodnes gefēgon,
To God they were grateful, were glad in their chieftain,
That to see him safe and sound was granted them.
1630: Þā wæs of þǣm hrōran helm and byrne
From the high-minded hero, then, helmet and burnie
lungre ālȳsed: lagu drūsade,
Were speedily loosened: the ocean was putrid,
wæter under wolcnum, wæl-drēore fāg.
The water 'neath welkin weltered with gore.
Fērdon forð þonon fēðe-lāstum
Forth did they fare, then, their footsteps retracing,
ferhðum fægne, fold-weg mǣton,
Merry and mirthful, measured the earth-way,
1635: cūðe strǣte; cyning-balde men
The highway familiar: men very daring
from þǣm holm-clife hafelan bǣron
Bare then the head from the sea-cliff, burdening
earfoðlīce heora ǣghwæðrum
Each of the earlmen, excellent-valiant.
fela-mōdigra: fēower scoldon
on ðæm wæl-stenge weorcum geferian
Four of them had to carry with labor
1640: tō þǣm gold-sele Grendles hēafod,
The head of Grendel to the high towering gold-hall
Upstuck on the spear, till fourteen most-valiant
frome fyrd-hwate fēower-tȳne
And battle-brave Geatmen came there going
Gēata gongan; gum-dryhten mid
Straight to the palace: the prince of the people
mōdig on gemonge meodo-wongas træd.
Measured the mead-ways, their mood-brave companion.
The atheling of earlmen entered the building,
dǣd-cēne mon dōme gewurðad,
Deed-valiant man, adorned with distinction,
Doughty shield-warrior, to address King Hrothgar:
Then hung by the hair, the head of Grendel
Grendles hēafod, þǣr guman druncon,
Was borne to the building, where beer-thanes were drinking,
1650: egeslīc for eorlum and þǣre idese mid:
Loth before earlmen and eke 'fore the lady:
wlite-sēon wrǣtlīc weras onsāwon.
The warriors beheld then a wonderful sight.
XXV. HROTHGAR'S GRATITUDE: HE DISCOURSES.
Beowulf spake, offspring of Ecgtheow:
"Hwæt! wē þē þās sǣ-lāc, sunu Healfdenes,
"Lo! we blithely have brought thee, bairn of Healfdene,
Prince of the Scyldings, these presents from ocean
Which thine eye looketh on, for an emblem of glory.
"Ic þæt unsōfte ealdre gedīgde:
I came off alive from this, narrowly 'scaping:
"wigge under wætere weorc genēðde
In war 'neath the water the work with great pains I
"earfoðlīce, æt-rihte wæs
Performed, and the fight had been finished quite nearly,
"gūð getwǣfed, nymðe mec god scylde.
Had God not defended me. I failed in the battle
Aught to accomplish, aided by Hrunting,
Though that weapon was worthy, but the Wielder of earth-folk
"ac mē geūðe ylda waldend,
Gave me willingly to see on the wall a
Heavy old hand-sword hanging in splendor
(He guided most often the lorn and the friendless),
1665: "winigea lēasum) þæt ic þȳ wǣpne gebrǣ.
That I swung as a weapon. The wards of the house then
I killed in the conflict (when occasion was given me).
"hūses hyrdas. Þā þæt hilde-bil
Then the battle-sword burned, the brand that was lifted,
As the blood-current sprang, hottest of war-sweats;
"hātost heaðo-swāta: ic þæt hilt þanan
Seizing the hilt, from my foes I offbore it;
1670: "fēondum ætferede; fyren-dǣda wræc,
I avenged as I ought to their acts of malignity,
"dēað-cwealm Denigea, swā hit gedēfe wæs.
The murder of Danemen. I then make thee this promise,
Thou'lt be able in Heorot careless to slumber
"sorh-lēas swefan mid þīnra secga gedryht,
With thy throng of heroes and the thanes of thy people
"and þegna gehwylc þīnra lēoda,
Every and each, of greater and lesser,
And thou needest not fear for them from the selfsame direction
"þēoden Scyldinga, on þā healfe,
As thou formerly fearedst, oh, folk-lord of Scyldings,
"aldor-bealu eorlum, swā þū ǣr dydest."
End-day for earlmen." To the age-hoary man then,
The gray-haired chieftain, the gold-fashioned sword-hilt,
hārum hild-fruman, on hand gyfen,
Old-work of giants, was thereupon given;
1680: enta ǣr-geweorc, hit on ǣht gehwearf
Since the fall of the fiends, it fell to the keeping
æfter dēofla hryre Denigea frēan,
Of the wielder of Danemen, the wonder-smith's labor,
wundor-smiða geweorc, and þā þās worold ofgeaf
And the bad-mooded being abandoned this world then,
grom-heort guma, godes andsaca,
Opponent of God, victim of murder,
morðres scyldig, and his mōdor ēac;
And also his mother; it went to the keeping
1685: on geweald gehwearf worold-cyninga
Of the best of the world-kings, where waters encircle,
þǣm sēlestan be sǣm twēonum
Who the scot divided in Scylding dominion.
þāra þe on Sceden-igge sceattas dǣlde.
Hrothgar discoursed, the hilt he regarded,
Hrōðgār maðelode, hylt scēawode,
The ancient heirloom where an old-time contention's
Beginning was graven: the gurgling currents,
1690: fyrn-gewinnes: syððan flōd ofslōh,
The flood slew thereafter the race of the giants,
gifen gēotende, gīganta cyn,
They had proved themselves daring: that people was loth to
The Lord everlasting, through lash of the billows
ēcean dryhtne, him þæs ende-lēan
The Father gave them final requital.
þurh wæteres wylm waldend sealde.
So in letters of rune on the clasp of the handle
1695: Swā wæs on þǣm scennum scīran goldes
Gleaming and golden, 'twas graven exactly,
Set forth and said, whom that sword had been made for,
Finest of irons, who first it was wrought for,
Wreathed at its handle and gleaming with serpents.
The wise one then said (silent they all were)
1700: sunu Healfdenes (swīgedon ealle):
Son of old Healfdene: "He may say unrefuted
Who performs 'mid the folk-men fairness and truth
"fremeð on folce, (feor eal gemon
(The hoary old ruler remembers the past),
"eald ēðel-weard), þæt þes eorl wǣre
That better by birth is this bairn of the nobles!
Thy fame is extended through far-away countries,
1705: "geond wīd-wegas, wine mīn Bēowulf,
Good friend Beowulf, o'er all of the races,
"þīn ofer þēoda gehwylce. Eal þū hit geþyldum healdest,
Thou holdest all firmly, hero-like strength with
Prudence of spirit. I'll prove myself grateful
As before we agreed on; thou granted for long shalt
"eal lang-twidig lēodum þīnum,
Become a great comfort to kinsmen and comrades,
1710: "hæleðum tō helpe. Ne wearð Heremōd swā
A help unto heroes. Heremod became not
"eaforum Ecgwelan, Ār-Scyldingum;
Such to the Scyldings, successors of Ecgwela;
He grew not to please them, but grievous destruction,
"and tō dēað-cwalum Deniga lēodum;
And diresome death-woes to Danemen attracted;
"brēat bolgen-mōd bēod-genēatas,
He slew in anger his table-companions,
1715: "eaxl-gesteallan, oð þæt hē āna hwearf,
Trustworthy counsellors, till he turned off lonely
From world-joys away, wide-famous ruler:
"þēah þe hine mihtig god mægenes wynnum,
Though high-ruling heaven in hero-strength raised him,
"eafeðum stēpte, ofer ealle men
In might exalted him, o'er men of all nations
"forð gefremede, hwæðere him on ferhðe grēow
Made him supreme, yet a murderous spirit
1720: "brēost-hord blōd-rēow: nallas bēagas geaf
Grew in his bosom: he gave then no ring-gems
"Denum æfter dōme; drēam-lēas gebād,
To the Danes after custom; endured he unjoyful
"þæt hē þæs gewinnes weorc þrowade,
Standing the straits from strife that was raging,
"lēod-bealo longsum. Þū þē lǣr be þon,
Longsome folk-sorrow. Learn then from this,
"gum-cyste ongit! ic þis gid be þē
Lay hold of virtue! Though laden with winters,
I have sung thee these measures. 'Tis a marvel to tell it,
"hū mihtig god manna cynne
How all-ruling God from greatness of spirit
"þurh sīdne sefan snyttru bryttað,
Giveth wisdom to children of men,
"eard and eorl-scipe, hē āh ealra geweald.
Manor and earlship: all things He ruleth.
"Hwīlum hē on lufan lǣteð hworfan
He often permitteth the mood-thought of man of
1730: "monnes mōd-geþonc mǣran cynnes,
The illustrious lineage to lean to possessions,
"seleð him on ēðle eorðan wynne,
Allows him earthly delights at his manor,
"tō healdanne hlēo-burh wera,
A high-burg of heroes to hold in his keeping,
"gedēð him swā gewealdene worolde dǣlas,
Maketh portions of earth-folk hear him,
"sīde rīce, þæt hē his selfa ne mæg
And a wide-reaching kingdom so that, wisdom failing him,
1735: "for his un-snyttrum ende geþencean;
He himself is unable to reckon its boundaries;
"wunað hē on wiste, nō hine wiht dweleð,
He liveth in luxury, little debars him,
"ādl nē yldo, nē him inwit-sorh
Nor sickness nor age, no treachery-sorrow
"on sefan sweorceð, nē gesacu ōhwǣr,
Becloudeth his spirit, conflict nowhere,
"ecg-hete ēoweð, ac him eal worold
No sword-hate, appeareth, but all of the world doth
1740: "wendeð on willan; hē þæt wyrse ne con,
Wend as he wisheth; the worse he knoweth not,
"oð þæt him on innan ofer-hygda dǣl
Till arrant arrogance inward pervading,
"weaxeð and wridað, þonne se weard swefeð,
Waxeth and springeth, when the warder is sleeping,
The guard of the soul: with sorrows encompassed,
Too sound is his slumber, the slayer is near him,
1745: "sē þe of flān-bogan fyrenum scēoteð.
Who with bow and arrow aimeth in malice.
XXVI. THE DISCOURSE IS ENDED.-BĒOWULF PREPARES TO LEAVE.
: "Þonne bið on hreðre under helm drepen
"Then bruised in his bosom he with bitter-toothed missile
"biteran strǣle: him bebeorgan ne con
Is hurt 'neath his helmet: from harmful pollution
"wom wundor-bebodum wergan gāstes;
He is powerless to shield him by the wonderful mandates
"þinceð him tō lȳtel, þæt hē tō lange hēold,
Of the loath-cursèd spirit; what too long he hath holden
1750: "gȳtsað grom-hȳdig, nallas on gylp seleð
Him seemeth too small, savage he hoardeth,
"fǣtte bēagas and hē þā forð-gesceaft
Nor boastfully giveth gold-plated rings,
"forgyteð and forgȳmeð, þæs þe him ǣr god sealde
The fate of the future flouts and forgetteth
"wuldres waldend, weorð-mynda dǣl.
Since God had erst given him greatness no little,
"Hit on ende-stæf eft gelimpeð,
Wielder of Glory. His end-day anear,
1755: "þæt se līc-homa lǣne gedrēoseð,
It afterward happens that the bodily-dwelling
"fǣge gefealleð; fēhð ōðer tō,
Fleetingly fadeth, falls into ruins;
"sē þe unmurnlīce mādmas dǣleð,
Another lays hold who doleth the ornaments,
"eorles ǣr-gestrēon, egesan ne gȳmeð.
The nobleman's jewels, nothing lamenting,
"Bebeorh þē þone bealo-nīð, Bēowulf lēofa,
Heedeth no terror. Oh, Beowulf dear,
1760: "secg se betsta, and þē þæt sēlre gecēos,
Best of the heroes, from bale-strife defend thee,
"ēce rǣdas; oferhȳda ne gȳm,
And choose thee the better, counsels eternal;
Beware of arrogance, world-famous champion!
"āne hwīle; eft sōna bið,
But a little-while lasts thy life-vigor's fulness;
"þæt þec ādl oððe ecg eafoðes getwǣfeð,
'Twill after hap early, that illness or sword-edge
1765: "oððe fȳres feng oððe flōdes wylm,
Shall part thee from strength, or the grasp of the fire,
"oððe gripe mēces oððe gāres fliht,
Or the wave of the current, or clutch of the edges,
"oððe atol yldo, oððe ēagena bearhtm
Or flight of the war-spear, or age with its horrors,
"forsiteð and forsworceð; semninga bið,
Or thine eyes' bright flashing shall fade into darkness:
"þæt þec, dryht-guma, dēað oferswȳðeð.
'Twill happen full early, excellent hero,
1770: "Swā ic Hring-Dena hund missēra
That death shall subdue thee. So the Danes a half-century
I held under heaven, helped them in struggles
"manigum mǣgða geond þysne middan-geard,
'Gainst many a race in middle-earth's regions,
"æscum and ecgum, þæt ic mē ǣnigne
With ash-wood and edges, that enemies none
On earth molested me. Lo! offsetting change, now,
1775: "Hwæt! mē þæs on ēðle edwenden cwōm,
Came to my manor, grief after joyance,
"gyrn æfter gomene, seoððan Grendel wearð,
When Grendel became my constant visitor,
"eald-gewinna, in-genga mīn:
Inveterate hater: I from that malice
"ic þǣre sōcne singāles wæg
Continually travailed with trouble no little.
"mōd-ceare micle. Þæs sig metode þanc,
Thanks be to God that I gained in my lifetime,
1780: "ēcean drihtne, þæs þe ic on aldre gebād,
To the Lord everlasting, to look on the gory
"þæt ic on þone hafelan heoro-drēorigne
"ofer eald gewin ēagum starige!
Head with mine eyes, after long-lasting sorrow!
"Gā nū tō setle, symbel-wynne drēoh
Go to the bench now, battle-adornèd
"wīgge weorðad: unc sceal worn fela
Joy in the feasting: of jewels in common
1785: "māðma gemǣnra, siððan morgen bið."
We'll meet with many when morning appeareth."
The Geatman was gladsome, ganged he immediately
setles nēosan, swā se snottra heht.
To go to the bench, as the clever one bade him.
Þā wæs eft swā ǣr ellen-rōfum,
Then again as before were the famous-for-prowess,
flet-sittendum fægere gereorded
Hall-inhabiters, handsomely banqueted,
1790: nīowan stefne. Niht-helm geswearc
Feasted anew. The night-veil fell then
deorc ofer dryht-gumum. Duguð eal ārās;
Dark o'er the warriors. The courtiers rose then;
wolde blonden-feax beddes nēosan,
The gray-haired was anxious to go to his slumbers,
gamela Scylding. Gēat ungemetes wēl,
The hoary old Scylding. Hankered the Geatman,
rōfne rand-wigan restan lyste:
The champion doughty, greatly, to rest him:
1795: sōna him sele-þegn sīðes wērgum,
An earlman early outward did lead him,
feorran-cundum forð wīsade,
Fagged from his faring, from far-country springing,
se for andrysnum ealle beweotede
Who for etiquette's sake all of a liegeman's
þegnes þearfe, swylce þȳ dōgore
Needs regarded, such as seamen at that time
Were bounden to feel. The big-hearted rested;
1800: Reste hine þā rūm-heort; reced hlīfade
The building uptowered, spacious and gilded,
The guest within slumbered, till the sable-clad raven
oð þæt hrefn blaca heofones wynne
Blithely foreboded the beacon of heaven.
Then the bright-shining sun o'er the bottoms came going;
1805: wǣron æðelingas eft tō lēodum
The warriors hastened, the heads of the peoples
Were ready to go again to their peoples,
cuma collen-ferhð cēoles nēosan.
The high-mooded farer would faraway thenceward
Look for his vessel. The valiant one bade then,
sunu Ecglāfes, heht his sweord niman,
Offspring of Ecglaf, off to bear Hrunting,
1810: lēoflīc īren; sægde him þæs lēanes þanc,
To take his weapon, his well-beloved iron;
He him thanked for the gift, saying good he accounted
wīg-cræftigne, nales wordum lōg
The war-friend and mighty, nor chid he with words then
mēces ecge: þæt wæs mōdig secg.
The blade of the brand: 'twas a brave-mooded hero.
And þā sīð-frome searwum gearwe
When the warriors were ready, arrayed in their trappings,
The atheling dear to the Danemen advanced then
æðeling tō yppan, þǣr se ōðer wæs
On to the dais, where the other was sitting,
Grim-mooded hero, greeted King Hrothgar.
XXVII. THE PARTING WORDS.
Beowulf spake, Ecgtheow's offspring:
"Nū wē sǣ-līðend secgan wyllað
"We men of the water wish to declare now
1820: "feorran cumene, þæt wē fundiað
Fared from far-lands, we're firmly determined
To seek King Higelac. Here have we fitly
"willum bewenede; þū ūs wēl dohtest.
Been welcomed and feasted, as heart would desire it;
"Gif ic þonne on eorðan ōwihte mæg
Good was the greeting. If greater affection
"þīnre mōd-lufan māran tilian,
I am anywise able ever on earth to
1825: "gumena dryhten, þonne ic gȳt dyde,
Gain at thy hands, ruler of heroes,
"gūð-geweorca ic bēo gearo sōna.
Than yet I have done, I shall quickly be ready
"Gif ic þæt gefricge ofer flōda begang,
For combat and conflict. O'er the course of the waters
"þæt þec ymbe-sittend egesan þȳwað,
Learn I that neighbors alarm thee with terror,
"swā þec hetende hwīlum dydon,
As haters did whilom, I hither will bring thee
For help unto heroes henchmen by thousands.
I know as to Higelac, the lord of the Geatmen,
"Gēata dryhten, þēah þe hē geong sȳ,
Though young in years, he yet will permit me,
By words and by works, ward of the people,
"wordum and worcum, þæt ic þē wēl herige,
Fully to furnish thee forces and bear thee
1835: "and þē tō gēoce gār-holt bere
My lance to relieve thee, if liegemen shall fail thee,
And help of my hand-strength; if Hrethric be treating,
"gif him þonne Hrēðrīc tō hofum Gēata
Bairn of the king, at the court of the Geatmen,
He thereat may find him friends in abundance:
"frēonda findan: feor-cȳððe bēoð
Faraway countries he were better to seek for
1840: "sēlran gesōhte þǣm þe him selfa dēah."
Who trusts in himself." Hrothgar discoursed then,
Hrōðgār maðelode him on andsware:
Making rejoinder: "These words thou hast uttered
"Þē þā word-cwydas wittig drihten
All-knowing God hath given thy spirit!
Ne'er heard I an earlman thus early in life
"on swā geongum feore guman þingian:
More clever in speaking: thou'rt cautious of spirit,
1845: "þū eart mægenes strang and on mōde frōd,
Mighty of muscle, in mouth-answers prudent.
I count on the hope that, happen it ever
"gif þæt gegangeð, þæt þe gār nymeð,
That missile shall rob thee of Hrethel's descendant,
"hild heoru-grimme Hrēðles eaferan,
Edge-horrid battle, and illness or weapon
"ādl oððe īren ealdor þīnne,
Deprive thee of prince, of people's protector,
1850: "folces hyrde, and þū þīn feorh hafast,
And life thou yet holdest, the Sea-Geats will never
"þæt þe Sǣ-Gēatas sēlran næbben
Find a more fitting folk-lord to choose them,
"tō gecēosenne cyning ǣnigne,
Gem-ward of heroes, than _thou_ mightest prove thee,
"hord-weard hæleða, gif þū healdan wylt
If the kingdom of kinsmen thou carest to govern.
"māga rīce. Mē þīn mōd-sefa
Thy mood-spirit likes me the longer the better,
1855: "līcað leng swā wēl, lēofa Bēowulf:
Beowulf dear: thou hast brought it to pass that
To both these peoples peace shall be common,
"Gēata lēodum and Gār-Denum
To Geat-folk and Danemen, the strife be suspended,
"sib gemǣnum and sacu restan,
The secret assailings they suffered in yore-days;
"inwit-nīðas, þē hīe ǣr drugon;
And also that jewels be shared while I govern
The wide-stretching kingdom, and that many shall visit
"māðmas gemǣne, manig ōðerne
Others o'er the ocean with excellent gift-gems:
"gōdum gegrētan ofer ganotes bæð;
The ring-adorned bark shall bring o'er the currents
Presents and love-gifts. This people I know
Tow'rd foeman and friend firmly established,
"ǣghwæs untǣle ealde wīsan."
After ancient etiquette everywise blameless."
Þā gīt him eorla hlēo inne gesealde,
Then the warden of earlmen gave him still farther,
mago Healfdenes māðmas twelfe,
Kinsman of Healfdene, a dozen of jewels,
Bade him safely seek with the presents
1870: sēcean on gesyntum, snūde eft cuman.
His well-beloved people, early returning.
Gecyste þā cyning æðelum gōd,
Then the noble-born king kissed the distinguished,
Dear-lovèd liegeman, the Dane-prince saluted him,
and be healse genam; hruron him tēaras,
And claspèd his neck; tears from him fell,
From the gray-headed man: he two things expected,
1875: ealdum infrōdum, ōðres swīðor,
Agèd and reverend, but rather the second,
That bold in council they'd meet thereafter.
The man was so dear that he failed to suppress the
þæt hē þone brēost-wylm forberan ne mehte,
Emotions that moved him, but in mood-fetters fastened
The long-famous hero longeth in secret
1880: æfter dēorum men dyrne langað
Deep in his spirit for the dear-beloved man
beorn wið blōde. Him Bēowulf þanan,
Though not a blood-kinsman. Beowulf thenceward,
gūð-rinc gold-wlanc græs-moldan træd,
Gold-splendid warrior, walked o'er the meadows
Exulting in treasure: the sea-going vessel
āgend-frēan, sē þe on ancre rād.
Riding at anchor awaited its owner.
As they pressed on their way then, the present of Hrothgar
oft geæhted: þæt wæs ān cyning
Was frequently referred to: a folk-king indeed that
ǣghwæs orleahtre, oð þæt hine yldo benam
Everyway blameless, till age did debar him
mægenes wynnum, sē þe oft manegum scōd.
The joys of his might, which hath many oft injured.
XXVIII. BĒOWULF RETURNS TO GEATLAND.-THE QUEENS HYGD AND THRYTHO.
: Cwōm þā tō flōde fela-mōdigra
Then the band of very valiant retainers
1890: hæg-stealdra hēap; hring-net bǣron,
Came to the current; they were clad all in armor,
locene leoðo-syrcan. Land-weard onfand
In link-woven burnies. The land-warder noticed
eft-sīð eorla, swā hē ǣr dyde;
The return of the earlmen, as he erstwhile had seen them;
nō hē mid hearme of hlīðes nosan
Nowise with insult he greeted the strangers
From the naze of the cliff, but rode on to meet them;
1895: cwæð þæt wilcuman Wedera lēodum
Welcome to Weders. The wide-bosomed craft then
scawan scīr-hame tō scipe fōron.
Lay on the sand, laden with armor,
hladen here-wǣdum, hringed-stefna
mēarum and māðmum: mæst hlīfade
With horses and jewels, the ring-stemmèd sailer:
1900: ofer Hrōðgāres hord-gestrēonum.
The mast uptowered o'er the treasure of Hrothgar.
Hē þǣm bāt-wearde bunden golde
To the boat-ward a gold-bound brand he presented,
That he was afterwards honored on the ale-bench more highly
on meodu-bence māðme þȳ weorðra,
yrfe-lāfe. Gewāt him on ȳð-nacan,
As the heirloom's owner. Set he out on his vessel,
To drive on the deep, Dane-country left he.
Þā wæs be mæste mere-hrægla sum,
Along by the mast then a sea-garment fluttered,
segl sāle fæst. Sund-wudu þunede,
A rope-fastened sail. The sea-boat resounded,
nō þǣr wēg-flotan wind ofer ȳðum
The wind o'er the waters the wave-floater nowise
Kept from its journey; the sea-goer traveled,
1910: flēat fāmig-heals forð ofer ȳðe,
The foamy-necked floated forth o'er the currents,
bunden-stefna ofer brim-strēamas,
The well-fashioned vessel o'er the ways of the ocean,
þæt hīe Gēata clifu ongitan meahton,
Till they came within sight of the cliffs of the Geatmen,
cūðe næssas. Cēol up geþrang,
The well-known headlands. The wave-goer hastened
lyft-geswenced on lande stōd.
Driven by breezes, stood on the shore.
Prompt at the ocean, the port-ward was ready,
Who long in the past outlooked in the distance,
At water's-edge waiting well-lovèd heroes;
sǣlde tō sande sīd-fæðme scip
He bound to the bank then the broad-bosomed vessel
Fast in its fetters, lest the force of the waters
Should be able to injure the ocean-wood winsome.
Bade he up then take the treasure of princes,
frætwe and fǣt-gold; næs him feor þanon
Plate-gold and fretwork; not far was it thence
tō gesēcanne sinces bryttan:
To go off in search of the giver of jewels:
Higelāc Hrēðling þǣr æt hām wunað,
Hrethel's son Higelac at home there remaineth,
1925: selfa mid gesīðum sǣ-wealle nēah;
Himself with his comrades close to the sea-coast.
bold wæs betlīc, brego-rōf cyning,
The building was splendid, the king heroic,
hēa on healle, Hygd swīðe geong,
Great in his hall, Hygd very young was,
wīs, wēl-þungen, þēah þe wintra lȳt
Fine-mooded, clever, though few were the winters
That the daughter of Hæreth had dwelt in the borough;
But she nowise was cringing nor niggard of presents,
nē tō gnēað gifa Gēata lēodum,
Of ornaments rare, to the race of the Geatmen.
māðm-gestrēona. Mod Þrȳðo wæg,
Thrytho nursed anger, excellent folk-queen,
fremu folces cwēn, firen ondrysne:
Hot-burning hatred: no hero whatever
nǣnig þæt dorste dēor genēðan
'Mong household companions, her husband excepted
1935: swǣsra gesīða, nefne sin-frēa,
Dared to adventure to look at the woman
þæt hire an dæges ēagum starede;
With eyes in the daytime; but he knew that death-chains
Hand-wreathed were wrought him: early thereafter,
hand-gewriðene: hraðe seoððan wæs
When the hand-strife was over, edges were ready,
æfter mund-gripe mēce geþinged,
1940: þæt hit sceaðen-mǣl scȳran mōste,
That fierce-raging sword-point had to force a decision,
cwealm-bealu cȳðan. Ne bið swylc cwēnlīc þēaw
Murder-bale show. Such no womanly custom
idese tō efnanne, þēah þe hīo ǣnlīcu sȳ,
For a lady to practise, though lovely her person,
þætte freoðu-webbe fēores onsæce
That a weaver-of-peace, on pretence of anger
æfter līge-torne lēofne mannan.
A belovèd liegeman of life should deprive.
1945: Hūru þæt onhōhsnode Heminges mǣg;
Soothly this hindered Heming's kinsman;
ealo drincende ōðer sǣdan,
Other ale-drinking earlmen asserted
þæt hīo lēod-bealewa lǣs gefremede,
That fearful folk-sorrows fewer she wrought them,
inwit-nīða, syððan ǣrest wearð
Treacherous doings, since first she was given
gyfen gold-hroden geongum cempan,
Adorned with gold to the war-hero youthful,
1950: æðelum dīore, syððan hīo Offan flet
For her origin honored, when Offa's great palace
ofer fealone flōd be fæder lāre
O'er the fallow flood by her father's instructions
sīðe gesōhte, þǣr hīo syððan wēl
She sought on her journey, where she afterwards fully,
in gum-stōle, gōde mǣre,
Famed for her virtue, her fate on the king's-seat
līf-gesceafta lifigende brēac,
Enjoyed in her lifetime, love did she hold with
1955: hīold hēah-lufan wið hæleða brego,
ealles mon-cynnes mīne gefrǣge
The ruler of heroes, the best, it is told me,
þone sēlestan bī sǣm twēonum
Of all of the earthmen that oceans encompass,
eormen-cynnes; forþām Offa wæs
Of earl-kindreds endless; hence Offa was famous
geofum and gūðum gār-cēne man,
Far and widely, by gifts and by battles,
1960: wīde geweorðod; wīsdōme hēold
Spear-valiant hero; the home of his fathers
He governed with wisdom, whence Eomær did issue
For help unto heroes, Heming's kinsman,
nefa Gārmundes, nīða cræftig.
Grandson of Garmund, great in encounters.
XXIX. HIS ARRIVAL. HYGELAC'S RECEPTION.
Then the brave one departed, his band along with him,
1965: sylf æfter sande sǣ-wong tredan,
Seeking the sea-shore, the sea-marches treading,
wīde waroðas. Woruld-candel scān,
The wide-stretching shores. The world-candle glimmered,
sigel sūðan fūs: hī sīð drugon,
The sun from the southward; they proceeded then onward,
elne geēodon, tō þæs þe eorla hlēo,
Early arriving where they heard that the troop-lord,
bonan Ongenþēowes burgum on innan,
Ongentheow's slayer, excellent, youthful
1970: geongne gūð-cyning gōdne gefrūnon
Folk-prince and warrior was distributing jewels,
Close in his castle. The coming of Beowulf
sīð Bēowulfes snūde gecȳðed,
Was announced in a message quickly to Higelac,
þæt þǣr on worðig wīgendra hlēo,
That the folk-troop's defender forth to the palace
lind-gestealla lifigende cwōm,
The linden-companion alive was advancing,
1975: heaðo-lāces hāl tō hofe gongan.
Secure from the combat courtward a-going.
The building was early inward made ready
fēðe-gestum flet innan-weard.
For the foot-going guests as the good one had ordered.
He sat by the man then who had lived through the struggle,
Kinsman by kinsman, when the king of the people
1980: þurh hlēoðor-cwyde holdne gegrētte
Had in lordly language saluted the dear one,
mēaglum wordum. Meodu-scencum
In words that were formal. The daughter of Hæreth
hwearf geond þæt reced Hæreðes dōhtor:
Coursed through the building, carrying mead-cups:
She loved the retainers, tendered the beakers
hǣlum tō handa. Higelāc ongan
To the high-minded Geatmen. Higelac 'gan then
Pleasantly plying his companion with questions
fægre fricgean, hyne fyrwet bræc,
In the high-towering palace. A curious interest
hwylce Sǣ-Gēata sīðas wǣron:
Tormented his spirit, what meaning to see in
The Sea-Geats' adventures: "Beowulf worthy,
"þā þū fǣringa feorr gehogodest,
How throve your journeying, when thou thoughtest suddenly
1990: "sæcce sēcean ofer sealt wæter,
Far o'er the salt-streams to seek an encounter,
"hilde tō Hiorote? Ac þū Hrōðgāre
A battle at Heorot? Hast bettered for Hrothgar,
"wīd-cūðne wēan wihte gebēttest,
The famous folk-leader, his far-published sorrows
"mǣrum þēodne? Ic þæs mōd-ceare
Any at all? In agony-billows
"sorh-wylmum sēað, sīðe ne truwode
I mused upon torture, distrusted the journey
1995: "lēofes mannes; ic þē lange bæd,
Of the belovèd liegeman; I long time did pray thee
"þæt þū þone wæl-gǣst wihte ne grētte,
By no means to seek out the murderous spirit,
"lēte Sūð-Dene sylfe geweorðan
To suffer the South-Danes themselves to decide on
"gūðe wið Grendel. Gode ic þanc secge,
Grappling with Grendel. To God I am thankful
To be suffered to see thee safe from thy journey."
2000: Bīowulf maðelode, bearn Ecgþīowes:
Beowulf answered, bairn of old Ecgtheow:
"Þæt is undyrne, dryhten Higelāc,
"'Tis hidden by no means, Higelac chieftain,
"mǣre gemēting monegum fīra,
From many of men, the meeting so famous,
"hwylc orleg-hwīl uncer Grendles
What mournful moments of me and of Grendel
"wearð on þām wange, þǣr hē worna fela
Were passed in the place where he pressing affliction
2005: "Sige-Scildingum sorge gefremede,
On the Victory-Scyldings scathefully brought,
"yrmðe tō aldre; ic þæt eal gewræc,
Anguish forever; that all I avengèd,
So that any under heaven of the kinsmen of Grendel
"ǣnig ofer eorðan ūht-hlem þone,
Needeth not boast of that cry-in-the-morning,
"sē þe lengest leofað lāðan cynnes,
Who longest liveth of the loth-going kindred,
2010: "fenne bifongen. Ic þǣr furðum cwōm,
Encompassed by moorland. I came in my journey
"tō þām hring-sele Hrōðgār grētan:
To the royal ring-hall, Hrothgar to greet there:
"sōna mē se mǣra mago Healfdenes,
Soon did the famous scion of Healfdene,
"syððan hē mōd-sefan mīnne cūðe,
When he understood fully the spirit that led me,
"wið his sylfes sunu setl getǣhte.
Assign me a seat with the son of his bosom.
The troop was in joyance; mead-glee greater
"under heofenes hwealf heal-sittendra
'Neath arch of the ether not ever beheld I
"medu-drēam māran. Hwīlum mǣru cwēn,
'Mid hall-building holders. The highly-famed queen,
"friðu-sibb folca flet eall geond-hwearf,
Peace-tie of peoples, oft passed through the building,
"bǣdde byre geonge; oft hīo bēah-wriðan
Cheered the young troopers; she oft tendered a hero
A beautiful ring-band, ere she went to her sitting.
"Hwīlum for duguðe dōhtor Hrōðgāres
Oft the daughter of Hrothgar in view of the courtiers
"eorlum on ende ealu-wǣge bær,
To the earls at the end the ale-vessel carried,
"þā ic Frēaware flet-sittende
Whom Freaware I heard then hall-sitters title,
When nail-adorned jewels she gave to the heroes:
Gold-bedecked, youthful, to the glad son of Froda
"geong gold-hroden, gladum suna Frōdan;
Her faith has been plighted; the friend of the Scyldings,
"hafað þæs geworden wine Scyldinga
The guard of the kingdom, hath given his sanction,
And counts it a vantage, for a part of the quarrels,
A portion of hatred, to pay with the woman.
2030: "sæcca gesette. Oft nō seldan hwǣr
Somewhere not rarely, when the ruler has fallen,
"æfter lēod-hryre lȳtle hwīle
The life-taking lance relaxeth its fury
For a brief breathing-spell, though the bride be charming!
XXX. BĒOWULF'S STORY OF THE SLAYINGS.
"It well may discomfit the prince of the Heathobards
"and þegna gehwām þāra lēoda,
And each of the thanemen of earls that attend him,
2035: "þonne hē mid fǣmnan on flett gǣð,
When he goes to the building escorting the woman,
"dryht-bearn Dena duguða biwenede:
That a noble-born Daneman the knights should be feasting:
"on him gladiað gomelra lāfe
There gleam on his person the leavings of elders
"heard and hring-mǣl, Heaðobeardna gestrēon,
Hard and ring-bright, Heathobards' treasure,
While they wielded their arms, till they misled to the battle
2040: "oð þæt hīe forlǣddan tō þām lind-plegan
"swǣse gesīðas ond hyra sylfra feorh.
Their own dear lives and belovèd companions.
"Þonne cwið æt bēore, sē þe bēah gesyhð,
He saith at the banquet who the collar beholdeth,
"eald æsc-wiga, sē þe eall geman
An ancient ash-warrior who earlmen's destruction
"gār-cwealm gumena (him bið grim sefa),
Clearly recalleth (cruel his spirit),
2045: "onginneð geōmor-mōd geongne cempan
Sadly beginneth sounding the youthful
"þurh hreðra gehygd higes cunnian,
Thane-champion's spirit through the thoughts of his bosom,
"wīg-bealu weccean and þæt word ācwyð:
War-grief to waken, and this word-answer speaketh:
'Art thou able, my friend, to know when thou seest it
The brand which thy father bare to the conflict
2050: "'under here-grīman hindeman sīðe,
In his latest adventure, 'neath visor of helmet,
"'dȳre īren, þǣr hyne Dene slōgon,
The dearly-loved iron, where Danemen did slay him,
"'æfter hæleða hryre, hwate Scyldungas?
And brave-mooded Scyldings, on the fall of the heroes,
"'Nu hēr þāra banena byre nāt-hwylces,
(When vengeance was sleeping) the slaughter-place wielded?
2055: "'frætwum hrēmig on flet gǣð,
E'en now some man of the murderer's progeny
"'morðres gylpeð and þone māððum byreð,
Exulting in ornaments enters the building,
Boasts of his blood-shedding, offbeareth the jewel
"Manað swā and myndgað mǣla gehwylce
Which thou shouldst wholly hold in possession!'
"sārum wordum, oð þæt sǣl cymeð,
So he urgeth and mindeth on every occasion
2060: "þæt se fǣmnan þegn fore fæder dǣdum
With woe-bringing words, till waxeth the season
"æfter billes bite blōd-fāg swefeð,
When the woman's thane for the works of his father,
"ealdres scyldig; him se ōðer þonan
The bill having bitten, blood-gory sleepeth,
"losað lifigende, con him land geare.
Fated to perish; the other one thenceward
"Þonne bīoð brocene on bā healfe
'Scapeth alive, the land knoweth thoroughly.
2065: "āð-sweord eorla; syððan Ingelde
Then the oaths of the earlmen on each side are broken,
"weallað wæl-nīðas and him wīf-lufan
When rancors unresting are raging in Ingeld
"æfter cear-wælmum cōlran weorðað.
And his wife-love waxeth less warm after sorrow.
"Þȳ ic Heaðobeardna hyldo ne telge,
So the Heathobards' favor not faithful I reckon,
"dryht-sibbe dǣl Denum unfǣcne,
Their part in the treaty not true to the Danemen,
Their friendship not fast. I further shall tell thee
"gēn ymbe Grendel, þæt þū geare cunne,
More about Grendel, that thou fully mayst hear,
"sinces brytta, tō hwan syððan wearð
Ornament-giver, what afterward came from
"hond-rǣs hæleða. Syððan heofones gim
The hand-rush of heroes. When heaven's bright jewel
O'er earthfields had glided, the stranger came raging,
2075: "eatol ǣfen-grom, ūser nēosan,
The horrible night-fiend, us for to visit,
Where wholly unharmed the hall we were guarding.
"þǣr wæs Hondscīo hild onsǣge,
To Hondscio happened a hopeless contention,
"feorh-bealu fǣgum, hē fyrmest læg,
Death to the doomed one, dead he fell foremost,
"gyrded cempa; him Grendel wearð,
Girded war-champion; to him Grendel became then,
2080: "mǣrum magu-þegne tō mūð-bonan,
To the vassal distinguished, a tooth-weaponed murderer,
"lēofes mannes līc eall forswealg.
The well-beloved henchman's body all swallowed.
"Nō þȳ ǣr ūt þā gēn īdel-hende
Not the earlier off empty of hand did
"bona blōdig-tōð bealewa gemyndig,
The bloody-toothed murderer, mindful of evils,
"of þām gold-sele gongan wolde,
Wish to escape from the gold-giver's palace,
But sturdy of strength he strove to outdo me,
Hand-ready grappled. A glove was suspended
"sīd and syllīc searo-bendum fæst,
Spacious and wondrous, in art-fetters fastened,
Which was fashioned entirely by touch of the craftman
"dēofles cræftum and dracan fellum:
From the dragon's skin by the devil's devices:
2090: "hē mec þǣr on innan unsynnigne,
He down in its depths would do me unsadly
One among many, deed-doer raging,
"manigra sumne: hyt ne mihte swā,
Though sinless he saw me; not so could it happen
"syððan ic on yrre upp-riht āstōd.
When I in my anger upright did stand.
"Tō lang ys tō reccenne, hū ic þām lēod-sceaðan
'Tis too long to recount how requital I furnished
2095: "yfla gehwylces ond-lēan forgeald;
For every evil to the earlmen's destroyer;
'Twas there, my prince, that I proudly distinguished
"weorðode weorcum. Hē on weg losade,
Thy land with my labors. He left and retreated,
"lȳtle hwīle līf-wynna brēac;
He lived his life a little while longer:
"hwæðre him sīo swīðre swaðe weardade
Yet his right-hand guarded his footstep in Heorot,
2100: "hand on Hiorte and hē hēan þonan,
And sad-mooded thence to the sea-bottom fell he,
"mōdes geōmor mere-grund gefēoll.
Mournful in mind. For the might-rush of battle
"Mē þone wæl-rǣs wine Scildunga
The friend of the Scyldings, with gold that was plated,
"fǣttan golde fela lēanode,
With ornaments many, much requited me,
"manegum māðmum, syððan mergen cōm
When daylight had dawned, and down to the banquet
We had sat us together. There was chanting and joyance:
"Þǣr wæs gidd and glēo; gomela Scilding
The age-stricken Scylding asked many questions
And of old-times related; oft light-ringing harp-strings,
"hwīlum hilde-dēor hearpan wynne,
Joy-telling wood, were touched by the brave one;
Now he uttered measures, mourning and truthful,
2110: "sōð and sārlīc; hwīlum syllīc spell
Then the large-hearted land-king a legend of wonder
"rehte æfter rihte rūm-heort cyning.
Truthfully told us. Now troubled with years
"Hwīlum eft ongan eldo gebunden,
The age-hoary warrior afterward began to
"gomel gūð-wiga gioguðe cwīðan
Mourn for the might that marked him in youth-days;
"hilde-strengo; hreðer inne wēoll,
His breast within boiled, when burdened with winters
2115: "þonne hē wintrum frōd worn gemunde.
Much he remembered. From morning till night then
"Swā wē þǣr inne andlangne dæg
We joyed us therein as etiquette suffered,
"nīode nāman, oð þæt niht becwōm
Till the second night season came unto earth-folk.
"ōðer tō yldum. Þā wæs eft hraðe
Then early thereafter, the mother of Grendel
"gearo gyrn-wræce Grendeles mōdor,
Was ready for vengeance, wretched she journeyed;
2120: "sīðode sorh-full; sunu dēað fornam,
Her son had death ravished, the wrath of the Geatmen.
"wīg-hete Wedra. Wīf unhȳre
The horrible woman avengèd her offspring,
And with mighty mainstrength murdered a hero.
"ellenlīce; þǣr wæs Æsc-here,
There the spirit of Æschere, agèd adviser,
"frōdan fyrn-witan, feorh ūðgenge;
Was ready to vanish; nor when morn had lightened
2125: "nōðer hȳ hine ne mōston, syððan mergen cwōm,
Were they anywise suffered to consume him with fire,
"dēað-wērigne Denia lēode
Folk of the Danemen, the death-weakened hero,
"lēofne mannan: hīo þæt līc ætbær
Nor the belovèd liegeman to lay on the pyre;
"fēondes fæðmum under firgen-strēam.
She the corpse had offcarried in the clutch of the foeman
2130: "Þæt wæs Hrōðgāre hrēowa tornost
'Neath mountain-brook's flood. To Hrothgar 'twas saddest
"þāra þe lēod-fruman lange begeāte;
Of pains that ever had preyed on the chieftain;
"þā se þēoden mec þīne līfe
By the life of thee the land-prince then me
"healsode hrēoh-mōd, þæt ic on holma geþring
Besought very sadly, in sea-currents' eddies
"eorl-scipe efnde, ealdre genēðde,
To display my prowess, to peril my safety,
Might-deeds accomplish; much did he promise.
"Ic þā þæs wælmes, þē is wīde cūð,
I found then the famous flood-current's cruel,
"grimne gryrelīcne grund-hyrde fond.
Horrible depth-warder. A while unto us two
"Þǣr unc hwīle wæs hand gemǣne;
Hand was in common; the currents were seething
With gore that was clotted, and Grendel's fierce mother's
2140: "in þām grund-sele Grendeles mōdor
Head I offhacked in the hall at the bottom
"ēacnum ecgum, unsōfte þonan
With huge-reaching sword-edge, hardly I wrested
My life from her clutches; not doomed was I then,
But the warden of earlmen afterward gave me
"māðma menigeo, maga Healfdenes.
Jewels in quantity, kinsman of Healfdene.
XXXI. HE GIVES PRESENTS TO HYGELAC. HYGELAC REWARDS HIM. HYGELAC'S DEATH. BĒOWULF REIGNS.
2145: "Swā se þēod-kyning þēawum lyfde;
"So the belovèd land-prince lived in decorum;
I had missed no rewards, no meeds of my prowess,
But he gave me jewels, regarding my wishes,
"sunu Healfdenes, on sīnne sylfes dōm;
Healfdene his bairn; I'll bring them to thee, then,
"þā ic þē, beorn-cyning, bringan wylle,
Atheling of earlmen, offer them gladly.
And still unto thee is all my affection:
"lissa gelong: ic lȳt hafo
But few of my folk-kin find I surviving
"hēafod-māga, nefne Hygelāc þec!"
But thee, dear Higelac!" Bade he in then to carry
heaðo-stēapne helm, hāre byrnan,
The boar-image, banner, battle-high helmet,
2155: gūð-sweord geatolīc, gyd æfter wræc:
Iron-gray armor, the excellent weapon,
"Mē þis hilde-sceorp Hrōðgār sealde,
In song-measures said: "This suit-for-the-battle
"snotra fengel, sume worde hēt,
Hrothgar presented me, bade me expressly,
"þæt ic his ǣrest þē eft gesægde,
Wise-mooded atheling, thereafter to tell thee
The whole of its history, said King Heregar owned it,
2160: "lēod Scyldunga lange hwīle:
Dane-prince for long: yet he wished not to give then
The mail to his son, though dearly he loved him,
Hereward the hardy. Hold all in joyance!"
"brēost-gewǣdu. Brūc ealles well!"
I heard that there followed hard on the jewels
Hȳrde ic þæt þām frætwum fēower mēaras
Two braces of stallions of striking resemblance,
2165: lungre gelīce lāst weardode,
æppel-fealuwe; hē him ēst getēah
Dappled and yellow; he granted him usance
Of horses and treasures. So a kinsman should bear him,
nealles inwit-net ōðrum bregdan,
No web of treachery weave for another,
dyrnum cræfte dēað rēnian
Nor by cunning craftiness cause the destruction
2170: hond-gesteallan. Hygelāce wæs,
Of trusty companion. Most precious to Higelac,
nīða heardum, nefa swȳðe hold
The bold one in battle, was the bairn of his sister,
and gehwæðer ōðrum hrōðra gemyndig.
And each unto other mindful of favors.
I am told that to Hygd he proffered the necklace,
wrǣtlīcne wundur-māððum, þone þe him Wealhþēo geaf,
Wonder-gem rare that Wealhtheow gave him,
2175: þēodnes dōhtor, þrīo wicg somod
The troop-leader's daughter, a trio of horses
Slender and saddle-bright; soon did the jewel
æfter bēah-þege brēost geweorðod.
Embellish her bosom, when the beer-feast was over.
Swā bealdode bearn Ecgþēowes,
So Ecgtheow's bairn brave did prove him,
guma gūðum cūð, gōdum dǣdum,
War-famous man, by deeds that were valiant,
2180: drēah æfter dōme, nealles druncne slōg
He lived in honor, belovèd companions
heorð-genēatas; næs him hrēoh sefa,
Slew not carousing; his mood was not cruel,
But by hand-strength hugest of heroes then living
gin-fæstan gife, þē him god sealde,
The brave one retained the bountiful gift that
The Lord had allowed him. Long was he wretched,
So that sons of the Geatmen accounted him worthless,
nē hyne on medo-bence micles wyrðne
And the lord of the liegemen loth was to do him
Mickle of honor, when mead-cups were passing;
They fully believed him idle and sluggish,
æðeling unfrom: edwenden cwōm
An indolent atheling: to the honor-blest man there
2190: tīr-ēadigum menn torna gehwylces.
Came requital for the cuts he had suffered.
Hēt þā eorla hlēo in gefetian,
The folk-troop's defender bade fetch to the building
heaðo-rōf cyning, Hrēðles lāfe,
The heirloom of Hrethel, embellished with gold,
So the brave one enjoined it; there was jewel no richer
sinc-māððum sēlra on sweordes hād;
In the form of a weapon 'mong Geats of that era;
2195: þæt hē on Bīowulfes bearm ālegde,
In Beowulf's keeping he placed it and gave him
and him gesealde seofan þūsendo,
Seven of thousands, manor and lordship.
bold and brego-stōl. Him wæs bām samod
Common to both was land 'mong the people,
on þām lēod-scipe lond gecynde,
Estate and inherited rights and possessions,
eard ēðel-riht, ōðrum swīðor
To the second one specially spacious dominions,
2200: sīde rīce, þām þǣr sēlra wæs.
To the one who was better. It afterward happened
Eft þæt geīode ufaran dōgrum
In days that followed, befell the battle-thanes,
hilde-hlæmmum, syððan Hygelāc læg
After Higelac's death, and when Heardred was murdered
and Heardrēde hilde-mēceas
With weapons of warfare 'neath well-covered targets,
under bord-hrēoðan tō bonan wurdon,
When valiant battlemen in victor-band sought him,
2205: þā hyne gesōhtan on sige-þēode
hearde hilde-frecan, Heaðo-Scilfingas,
War-Scylfing heroes harassed the nephew
nīða genǣgdan nefan Hererīces.
Syððan Bēowulfe brāde rīce
Of Hereric in battle. To Beowulf's keeping
Turned there in time extensive dominions:
2210: fīftig wintru (wæs þā frōd cyning,
He fittingly ruled them a fifty of winters
eald ēðel-weard), oð þæt ān ongan
(He a man-ruler wise was, manor-ward old) till
deorcum nihtum draca rīcsian,
A certain one 'gan, on gloom-darkening nights, a
sē þe on hēare hǣðe hord beweotode,
Dragon, to govern, who guarded a treasure,
A high-rising stone-cliff, on heath that was grayish:
2215: eldum uncūð. Þǣr on innan gīong
A path 'neath it lay, unknown unto mortals.
niða nāt-hwylces nēode gefēng
Some one of earthmen entered the mountain,
hǣðnum horde hond . d . . geþ . . hwylc
The heathenish hoard laid hold of with ardor;
since fāhne, hē þæt syððan . . . . .
* * * * * * *
. . . þ . . . lð . þ . . l . g
* * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
. idh . folc-beorn, þæt hē gebolgen wæs.
* * * * * * *
XXXII. THE FIRE-DRAKE. THE HOARD.
: Nealles mid geweoldum wyrm-horda . . . cræft
* * * * * * *
He sought of himself who sorely did harm him,
But, for need very pressing, the servant of one of
hæleða bearna hete-swengeas flēah,
The sons of the heroes hate-blows evaded,
Seeking for shelter and the sin-driven warrior
secg syn-bysig. Sōna in þā tīde
Took refuge within there. He early looked in it,
þæt . . . . . þām gyste . . . . br . g . stōd,
* * * * * * *
2230: hwæðre earm-sceapen . . . . . . .
* * * * * * *
* * * * * * when the onset surprised him,
He a gem-vessel saw there: many of suchlike
in þām eorð-scræfe ǣr-gestrēona,
Ancient ornaments in the earth-cave were lying,
swā hȳ on geār-dagum gumena nāt-hwylc
As in days of yore some one of men of
2235: eormen-lāfe æðelan cynnes
Illustrious lineage, as a legacy monstrous,
þanc-hycgende þǣr gehȳdde,
There had secreted them, careful and thoughtful,
dēore māðmas. Ealle hīe dēað fornam
Dear-valued jewels. Death had offsnatched them,
ǣrran mǣlum, and se ān þā gēn
In the days of the past, and the one man moreover
lēoda duguðe, sē þǣr lengest hwearf,
Of the flower of the folk who fared there the longest,
2240: weard wine-geōmor wīscte þæs yldan,
Was fain to defer it, friend-mourning warder,
þæt hē lȳtel fæc long-gestrēona
A little longer to be left in enjoyment
Of long-lasting treasure. A barrow all-ready
wunode on wonge wæter-ȳðum nēah,
Stood on the plain the stream-currents nigh to,
nīwe be næsse nearo-cræftum fæst:
New by the ness-edge, unnethe of approaching:
2245: þǣr on innan bær eorl-gestrēona
The keeper of rings carried within a
Ponderous deal of the treasure of nobles,
fǣttan goldes, fēa worda cwæð:
Of gold that was beaten, briefly he spake then:
"Hold thou, O Earth, now heroes no more may,
"eorla ǣhte. Hwæt! hit ǣr on þē
The earnings of earlmen. Lo! erst in thy bosom
2250: "gōde begeāton; gūð-dēað fornam,
Worthy men won them; war-death hath ravished,
"feorh-bealo frēcne fȳra gehwylcne,
Perilous life-bale, all my warriors,
"lēoda mīnra, þāra þe þis līf ofgeaf,
Liegemen belovèd, who this life have forsaken,
Who hall-pleasures saw. No sword-bearer have I,
And no one to burnish the gold-plated vessel,
2255: "drync-fæt dēore: duguð ellor scōc.
The high-valued beaker: my heroes are vanished.
The hardy helmet behung with gilding
"fǣtum befeallen: feormiend swefað,
Shall be reaved of its riches: the ring-cleansers slumber
"þā þe beado-grīman bȳwan sceoldon,
Who were charged to have ready visors-for-battle,
And the burnie that bided in battle-encounter
O'er breaking of war-shields the bite of the edges
Moulds with the hero. The ring-twisted armor,
"æfter wīg-fruman wīde fēran
Its lord being lifeless, no longer may journey
"hæleðum be healfe; næs hearpan wyn,
Hanging by heroes; harp-joy is vanished,
"gomen glēo-bēames, nē gōd hafoc
The rapture of glee-wood, no excellent falcon
2265: "geond sæl swingeð, nē se swifta mearh
Swoops through the building, no swift-footed charger
"burh-stede bēateð. Bealo-cwealm hafað
Grindeth the gravel. A grievous destruction
No few of the world-folk widely hath scattered!"
Swā giōmor-mōd giohðo mǣnde,
So, woful of spirit one after all
ān æfter eallum unblīðe hwēop,
Lamented mournfully, moaning in sadness
2270: dæges and nihtes, oð þæt dēaðes wylm
By day and by night, till death with its billows
Dashed on his spirit. Then the ancient dusk-scather
eald ūht-sceaða opene standan,
Found the great treasure standing all open,
sē þe byrnende biorgas sēceð
He who flaming and fiery flies to the barrows,
nacod nīð-draca, nihtes flēogeð
Naked war-dragon, nightly escapeth
2275: fȳre befangen; hyne fold-būend
Encompassed with fire; men under heaven
Widely beheld him. 'Tis said that he looks for
hlāw under hrūsan, þǣr hē hǣðen gold
The hoard in the earth, where old he is guarding
warað wintrum frōd; ne byð him wihte þē sēl.
The heathenish treasure; he'll be nowise the better.
Swā se þēod-sceaða þrēo hund wintra
So three-hundred winters the waster of peoples
2280: hēold on hrūsan hord-ærna sum
Held upon earth that excellent hoard-hall,
ēacen-cræftig, oð þæt hyne ān ābealh
Till the forementioned earlman angered him bitterly:
mon on mōde: man-dryhtne bær
The beat-plated beaker he bare to his chieftain
And fullest remission for all his remissness
Begged of his liegelord. Then the hoard was discovered,
2285: onboren bēaga hord, bēne getīðad
The treasure was taken, his petition was granted
fēa-sceaftum men. Frēa scēawode
The lorn-mooded liegeman. His lord regarded
fīra fyrn-geweorc forman sīðe.
The old-work of earth-folk--'twas the earliest occasion.
When the dragon awoke, the strife was renewed there;
stonc þā æfter stāne, stearc-heort onfand
He snuffed 'long the stone then, stout-hearted found he
2290: fēondes fōt-lāst; hē tō forð gestōp,
The footprint of foeman; too far had he gone
dyrnan cræfte, dracan hēafde nēah.
With cunning craftiness close to the head of
The fire-spewing dragon. So undoomed he may 'scape from
wēan and wræc-sīð, sē þe waldendes
Anguish and exile with ease who possesseth
hyldo gehealdeð. Hord-weard sōhte
The favor of Heaven. The hoard-warden eagerly
Searched o'er the ground then, would meet with the person
þone þe him on sweofote sāre getēode:
That caused him sorrow while in slumber reclining:
Gleaming and wild he oft went round the cavern,
ealne ūtan-weardne; nē þǣr ǣnig mon
All of it outward; not any of earthmen
Was seen in that desert. Yet he joyed in the battle,
2300: beado-weorces: hwīlum on beorh æthwearf,
Rejoiced in the conflict: oft he turned to the barrow,
Sought for the gem-cup; this he soon perceived then
That some man or other had discovered the gold,
hēah-gestrēona. Hord-weard onbād
The famous folk-treasure. Not fain did the hoard-ward
earfoðlīce, oð þæt ǣfen cwōm;
Wait until evening; then the ward of the barrow
Was angry in spirit, the loathèd one wished to
Pay for the dear-valued drink-cup with fire.
drinc-fæt dȳre. Þā wæs dæg sceacen
Then the day was done as the dragon would have it,
He no longer would wait on the wall, but departed
Fire-impelled, flaming. Fearful the start was
lēodum on lande, swā hyt lungre wearð
To earls in the land, as it early thereafter
on hyra sinc-gifan sāre geendod.
To their giver-of-gold was grievously ended.
XXXIII. BEOWULF RESOLVES TO KILL THE FIRE-DRAKE.
The stranger began then to vomit forth fire,
To burn the great manor; the blaze then glimmered
2315: eldum on andan; nō þǣr āht cwices
For anguish to earlmen, not anything living
Was the hateful air-goer willing to leave there.
The war of the worm widely was noticed,
nearo-fāges nīð nēan and feorran,
The feud of the foeman afar and anear,
hū se gūð-sceaða Gēata lēode
How the enemy injured the earls of the Geatmen,
2320: hatode and hȳnde: hord eft gescēat,
Harried with hatred: back he hied to the treasure,
dryht-sele dyrnne ǣr dæges hwīle.
To the well-hidden cavern ere the coming of daylight.
He had circled with fire the folk of those regions,
bǣle and bronde; beorges getruwode,
With brand and burning; in the barrow he trusted,
In the wall and his war-might: the weening deceived him.
2325: Þā wæs Bīowulfe brōga gecȳðed
Then straight was the horror to Beowulf published,
snūde tō sōðe, þæt his sylfes him
Early forsooth, that his own native homestead,
bolda sēlest bryne-wylmum mealt,
The best of buildings, was burning and melting,
gif-stōl Gēata. Þæt þām gōdan wæs
Gift-seat of Geatmen. 'Twas a grief to the spirit
hrēow on hreðre, hyge-sorga mǣst:
Of the good-mooded hero, the greatest of sorrows:
The wise one weened then that wielding his kingdom
ofer ealde riht, ēcean dryhtne
'Gainst the ancient commandments, he had bitterly angered
bitre gebulge: brēost innan wēoll
The Lord everlasting: with lorn meditations
þēostrum geþoncum, swā him geþȳwe ne wæs.
His bosom welled inward, as was nowise his custom.
The fire-spewing dragon fully had wasted
2335: ēa-lond ūtan, eorð-weard þone
The fastness of warriors, the water-land outward,
glēdum forgrunden. Him þæs gūð-cyning,
The manor with fire. The folk-ruling hero,
Prince of the Weders, was planning to wreak him.
Heht him þā gewyrcean wīgendra hlēo
The warmen's defender bade them to make him,
eall-īrenne, eorla dryhten
Earlmen's atheling, an excellent war-shield
2340: wīg-bord wrǣtlīc; wisse hē gearwe,
Wholly of iron: fully he knew then
That wood from the forest was helpless to aid him,
lind wið līge. Sceolde lǣn-daga
Shield against fire. The long-worthy ruler
æðeling ǣr-gōd ende gebīdan
Must live the last of his limited earth-days,
worulde līfes and se wyrm somod;
Of life in the world and the worm along with him,
Though he long had been holding hoard-wealth in plenty.
Oferhogode þā hringa fengel,
Then the ring-prince disdained to seek with a war-band,
þæt hē þone wīd-flogan weorode gesōhte,
With army extensive, the air-going ranger;
sīdan herge; nō hē him þā sæcce ondrēd,
He felt no fear of the foeman's assaults and
He counted for little the might of the dragon,
2350: eafoð and ellen; forþon hē ǣr fela
His power and prowess: for previously dared he
nearo nēðende nīða gedīgde,
A heap of hostility, hazarded dangers,
hilde-hlemma, syððan hē Hrōðgāres,
War-thane, when Hrothgar's palace he cleansèd,
Conquering combatant, clutched in the battle
The kinsmen of Grendel, of kindred detested.
2355: lāðan cynnes. Nō þæt lǣsest wæs
hond-gemota, þǣr mon Hygelāc slōh,
'Twas of hand-fights not least where Higelac was slaughtered,
syððan Gēata cyning gūðe rǣsum,
When the king of the Geatmen with clashings of battle,
frēa-wine folces Frēslondum on,
Friend-lord of folks in Frisian dominions,
Hrēðles eafora hioro-dryncum swealt,
Offspring of Hrethrel perished through sword-drink,
With battle-swords beaten; thence Beowulf came then
sylfes cræfte, sund-nytte drēah;
On self-help relying, swam through the waters;
hæfde him on earme ... XXX
He bare on his arm, lone-going, thirty
hilde-geatwa, þā hē tō holme stāg.
Outfits of armor, when the ocean he mounted.
Nealles Hetware hrēmge þorfton
The Hetwars by no means had need to be boastful
2365: fēðe-wīges, þē him foran ongēan
Of their fighting afoot, who forward to meet him
linde bǣron: lȳt eft becwōm
Carried their war-shields: not many returned from
fram þām hild-frecan hāmes nīosan.
The brave-mooded battle-knight back to their homesteads.
Oferswam þā sioleða bigong sunu Ecgþēowes,
Ecgtheow's bairn o'er the bight-courses swam then,
earm ān-haga eft tō lēodum,
Lone-goer lorn to his land-folk returning,
2370: þǣr him Hygd gebēad hord and rīce,
Where Hygd to him tendered treasure and kingdom,
bēagas and brego-stōl: bearne ne truwode,
Rings and dominion: her son she not trusted,
þæt hē wið æl-fylcum ēðel-stōlas
To be able to keep the kingdom devised him
'Gainst alien races, on the death of King Higelac.
Yet the sad ones succeeded not in persuading the atheling
In any way ever, to act as a suzerain
þæt hē Heardrēde hlāford wǣre,
To Heardred, or promise to govern the kingdom;
oððe þone cyne-dōm cīosan wolde;
hwæðre hē him on folce frēond-lārum hēold,
Yet with friendly counsel in the folk he sustained him,
ēstum mid āre, oð þæt hē yldra wearð,
Gracious, with honor, till he grew to be older,
2380: Weder-Gēatum wēold. Hyne wræc-mæcgas
Wielded the Weders. Wide-fleeing outlaws,
ofer sǣ sōhtan, suna Ōhteres:
Ohthere's sons, sought him o'er the waters:
They had stirred a revolt 'gainst the helm of the Scylfings,
þone sēlestan sǣ-cyninga,
The best of the sea-kings, who in Swedish dominions
þāra þe in Swīo-rīce sinc brytnade,
Distributed treasure, distinguished folk-leader.
2385: mǣrne þēoden. Him þæt tō mearce wearð;
'Twas the end of his earth-days; injury fatal
hē þǣr orfeorme feorh-wunde hlēat
By swing of the sword he received as a greeting,
sweordes swengum, sunu Hygelāces;
Offspring of Higelac; Ongentheow's bairn
Later departed to visit his homestead,
hāmes nīosan, syððan Heardrēd læg;
When Heardred was dead; let Beowulf rule them,
Govern the Geatmen: good was that folk-king.
XXXIV. RETROSPECT OF BĒOWULF.--STRIFE BETWEEN SWEONAS AND GEATAS.
He planned requital for the folk-leader's ruin
uferan dōgrum, Ēadgilse wearð
In days thereafter, to Eadgils the wretched
fēa-sceaftum fēond. Folce gestepte
Becoming an enemy. Ohthere's son then
2395: ofer sǣ sīde sunu Ōhteres
Went with a war-troop o'er the wide-stretching currents
wigum and wǣpnum: hē gewræc syððan
With warriors and weapons: with woe-journeys cold he
cealdum cear-sīðum, cyning ealdre binēat.
After avenged him, the king's life he took.
So he came off uninjured from all of his battles,
slīðra geslyhta, sunu Ecgþīowes,
Perilous fights, offspring of Ecgtheow,
2400: ellen-weorca, oð þone ānne dæg,
From his deeds of daring, till that day most momentous
þē hē wið þām wyrme gewegan sceolde.
When he fate-driven fared to fight with the dragon.
Gewāt þā twelfa sum torne gebolgen
dryhten Gēata dracan scēawian;
With eleven companions the prince of the Geatmen
Went lowering with fury to look at the fire-drake:
2405: bealo-nīð biorna; him tō bearme cwōm
Inquiring he'd found how the feud had arisen,
māððum-fæt mǣre þurh þæs meldan hond,
Hate to his heroes; the highly-famed gem-vessel
Sē wæs on þām þrēate þreotteoða secg,
Was brought to his keeping through the hand of th' informer.
sē þæs orleges ōr onstealde,
That in the throng was thirteenth of heroes,
hæft hyge-giōmor, sceolde hēan þonon
That caused the beginning of conflict so bitter,
Captive and wretched, must sad-mooded thenceward
tō þæs þe hē eorð-sele ānne wisse,
Point out the place: he passed then unwillingly
hlǣw under hrūsan holm-wylme nēh,
To the spot where he knew of the notable cavern,
ȳð-gewinne, sē wæs innan full
The cave under earth, not far from the ocean,
wrǣtta and wīra: weard unhīore,
The anger of eddies, which inward was full of
2415: gearo gūð-freca, gold-māðmas hēold,
Jewels and wires: a warden uncanny,
eald under eorðan; næs þæt ȳðe cēap,
Warrior weaponed, wardered the treasure,
tō gegangenne gumena ǣnigum.
Old under earth; no easy possession
Gesæt þā on næsse nīð-heard cyning,
For any of earth-folk access to get to.
þenden hǣlo ābēad heorð-genēatum
Then the battle-brave atheling sat on the naze-edge,
2420: gold-wine Gēata: him wæs geōmor sefa,
While the gold-friend of Geatmen gracious saluted
wǣfre and wæl-fūs, Wyrd ungemete nēah,
His fireside-companions: woe was his spirit,
sē þone gomelan grētan sceolde,
Death-boding, wav'ring; Weird very near him,
sēcean sāwle hord, sundur gedǣlan
Who must seize the old hero, his soul-treasure look for,
līf wið līce: nō þon lange wæs
Dragging aloof his life from his body:
2425: feorh æðelinges flǣsce bewunden.
Not flesh-hidden long was the folk-leader's spirit.
Bīowulf maðelade, bearn Ecgþēowes:
Beowulf spake, Ecgtheow's son:
"Fela ic on giogoðe guð-rǣsa genæs,
"I survived in my youth-days many a conflict,
"orleg-hwīla: ic þæt eall gemon.
Hours of onset: that all I remember.
"Ic wæs syfan-wintre, þā mec sinca baldor,
I was seven-winters old when the jewel-prince took me,
2430: "frēa-wine folca æt mīnum fæder genam,
High-lord of heroes, at the hands of my father,
Hrethel the hero-king had me in keeping,
Gave me treasure and feasting, our kinship remembered;
"næs ic him tō līfe lāðra ōwihte
Not ever was I _any_ less dear to him
"beorn in burgum, þonne his bearna hwylc,
Knight in the boroughs, than the bairns of his household,
2435: "Herebeald and Hæðcyn, oððe Hygelāc mīn.
Herebald and Hæthcyn and Higelac mine.
"Wæs þām yldestan ungedēfelīce
To the eldest unjustly by acts of a kinsman
"mǣges dǣdum morðor-bed strēd,
"syððan hyne Hæðcyn of horn-bogan,
Was murder-bed strewn, since him Hæthcyn from horn-bow
"his frēa-wine flāne geswencte,
His sheltering chieftain shot with an arrow,
Erred in his aim and injured his kinsman,
"brōðor ōðerne, blōdigan gāre:
One brother the other, with blood-sprinkled spear:
'Twas a feeless fight, finished in malice,
"hreðre hyge-mēðe; sceolde hwæðre swā þēah
"æðeling unwrecen ealdres linnan.
Sad to his spirit; the folk-prince however
2445: "Swā bið geōmorlīc gomelum ceorle
Had to part from existence with vengeance untaken.
"tō gebīdanne, þæt his byre rīde
So to hoar-headed hero 'tis heavily crushing
"giong on galgan, þonne hē gyd wrece,
To live to see his son as he rideth
"sārigne sang, þonne his sunu hangað
Young on the gallows: then measures he chanteth,
A song of sorrow, when his son is hanging
2450: "eald and in-frōd, ǣnige gefremman.
For the raven's delight, and aged and hoary
"Symble bið gemyndgad morna gehwylce
He is unable to offer any assistance.
"eaforan ellor-sīð; ōðres ne gȳmeð
Every morning his offspring's departure
"tō gebīdanne burgum on innan
Is constant recalled: he cares not to wait for
"yrfe-weardes, þonne se ān hafað
The birth of an heir in his borough-enclosures,
2455: "þurh dēaðes nȳd dǣda gefondad.
Since that one through death-pain the deeds hath experienced.
"Gesyhð sorh-cearig on his suna būre
He heart-grieved beholds in the house of his son the
"wīn-sele wēstne, wind-gereste,
Wine-building wasted, the wind-lodging places
"rēote berofene; rīdend swefað
Reaved of their roaring; the riders are sleeping,
The knights in the grave; there's no sound of the harp-wood,
2460: "gomen in geardum, swylce þǣr iū wǣron.
Joy in the yards, as of yore were familiar.
XXXV. MEMORIES OF PAST TIME.-THE FEUD WITH THE FIRE-DRAKE.
: "Gewīteð þonne on sealman, sorh-lēoð gæleð
"He seeks then his chamber, singeth a woe-song
"ān æfter ānum: þūhte him eall tō rūm,
One for the other; all too extensive
"wongas and wīc-stede. Swā Wedra helm
Seemed homesteads and plains. So the helm of the Weders
"æfter Herebealde heortan sorge
Mindful of Herebald heart-sorrow carried,
Stirred with emotion, nowise was able
"on þām feorh-bonan fǣhðe gebētan:
To wreak his ruin on the ruthless destroyer:
He was unable to follow the warrior with hatred,
With deeds that were direful, though dear he not held him.
"Hē þā mid þǣre sorge, þē him sīo sār belamp,
Then pressed by the pang this pain occasioned him,
He gave up glee, God-light elected;
"eaferum lǣfde, swā dēð ēadig mon,
He left to his sons, as the man that is rich does,
"lond and lēod-byrig, þā hē of līfe gewāt.
His land and fortress, when from life he departed.
"Þā wæs synn and sacu Swēona and Gēata,
Then was crime and hostility 'twixt Swedes and Geatmen,
"ofer wīd wæter wrōht gemǣne,
O'er wide-stretching water warring was mutual,
Burdensome hatred, when Hrethel had perished,
"oððe him Ongenþēowes eaferan wǣran
And Ongentheow's offspring were active and valiant,
Wished not to hold to peace oversea, but
Round Hreosna-beorh often accomplished
"eatolne inwit-scear oft gefremedon.
Cruelest massacre. This my kinsman avengèd,
2480: "Þæt mǣg-wine mīne gewrǣcan,
The feud and fury, as 'tis found on inquiry,
"fǣhðe and fyrene, swā hyt gefrǣge wæs,
Though one of them paid it with forfeit of life-joys,
"þēah þe ōðer hit ealdre gebohte,
With price that was hard: the struggle became then
"heardan cēape: Hæðcynne wearð,
Fatal to Hæthcyn, lord of the Geatmen.
"Gēata dryhtne, gūð onsǣge.
Then I heard that at morning one brother the other
"billes ecgum on bonan stǣlan,
With edges of irons egged on to murder,
"þǣr Ongenþēow Eofores nīosade:
Where Ongentheow maketh onset on Eofor:
"gūð-helm tōglād, gomela Scylfing
The helmet crashed, the hoary-haired Scylfing
Sword-smitten fell, his hand then remembered
2490: "fǣhðo genōge, feorh-sweng ne oftēah.
Feud-hate sufficient, refused not the death-blow.
"Ic him þā māðmas, þē hē mē sealde,
The gems that he gave me, with jewel-bright sword I
'Quited in contest, as occasion was offered:
"lēohtan sweorde: hē mē lond forgeaf,
Land he allowed me, life-joy at homestead,
Manor to live on. Little he needed
2495: "þæt hē tō Gifðum oððe tō Gār-Denum
From Gepids or Danes or in Sweden to look for
"oððe in Swīo-rīce sēcean þurfe
"wyrsan wīg-frecan, weorðe gecȳpan;
Trooper less true, with treasure to buy him;
"symle ic him on fēðan beforan wolde,
'Mong foot-soldiers ever in front I would hie me,
"āna on orde, and swā tō aldre sceall
Alone in the vanguard, and evermore gladly
2500: "sæcce fremman, þenden þis sweord þolað,
Warfare shall wage, while this weapon endureth
"þæt mec ǣr and sīð oft gelǣste,
That late and early often did serve me
"syððan ic for dugeðum Dæghrefne wearð
When I proved before heroes the slayer of Dæghrefn,
"tō hand-bonan, Hūga cempan:
Knight of the Hugmen: he by no means was suffered
"nalles hē þā frætwe Frēs-cyninge,
To the king of the Frisians to carry the jewels,
The breast-decoration; but the banner-possessor
Bowed in the battle, brave-mooded atheling.
"æðeling on elne. Ne wæs ecg bona,
No weapon was slayer, but war-grapple broke then
"ac him hilde-grāp heortan wylmas,
The surge of his spirit, his body destroying.
"bān-hūs gebræc. Nū sceall billes ecg,
Now shall weapon's edge make war for the treasure,
2510: "hond and heard sweord ymb hord wīgan."
Bēowulf maðelode, bēot-wordum spræc
And hand and firm-sword." Beowulf spake then,
nīehstan sīðe: "Ic genēðde fela
Boast-words uttered--the latest occasion:
"gūða on geogoðe; gȳt ic wylle,
"I braved in my youth-days battles unnumbered;
"frōd folces weard, fǣhðe sēcan,
Still am I willing the struggle to look for,
2515: "mǣrðum fremman, gif mec se mān-sceaða
Fame-deeds perform, folk-warden prudent,
"of eorð-sele ūt gesēceð!"
If the hateful despoiler forth from his cavern
Gegrētte þā gumena gehwylcne,
Seeketh me out!" Each of the heroes,
hwate helm-berend hindeman sīðe,
Helm-bearers sturdy, he thereupon greeted
Belovèd co-liegemen--his last salutation:
2520: "wǣpen tō wyrme, gif ic wiste hū
"No brand would I bear, no blade for the dragon,
"wið þām āglǣcean elles meahte
Wist I a way my word-boast to 'complish
"gylpe wiðgrīpan, swā ic giō wið Grendle dyde;
Else with the monster, as with Grendel I did it;
But fire in the battle hot I expect there,
"rēðes and-hāttres: forþon ic mē on hafu
2525: "bord and byrnan. Nelle ic beorges weard
Furious flame-burning: so I fixed on my body
"oferflēon fōtes trem, fēond unhȳre,
Target and war-mail. The ward of the barrow
I'll not flee from a foot-length, the foeman uncanny.
At the wall 'twill befall us as Fate decreeth,
"þæt ic wið þone gūð-flogan gylp ofersitte.
Each one's Creator. I am eager in spirit,
With the wingèd war-hero to away with all boasting.
"secgas on searwum, hwæðer sēl mǣge
Bide on the barrow with burnies protected,
"æfter wæl-rǣse wunde gedȳgan
Earls in armor, which of _us_ two may better
"uncer twēga. Nis þæt ēower sīð,
Bear his disaster, when the battle is over.
"nē gemet mannes, nefne mīn ānes,
'Tis no matter of yours, and man cannot do it,
2535: "þæt hē wið āglǣcean eofoðo dǣle,
But me and me only, to measure his strength with
"eorl-scype efne. Ic mid elne sceall
The monster of malice, might-deeds to 'complish.
"gold gegangan oððe gūð nimeð,
I with prowess shall gain the gold, or the battle,
"feorh-bealu frēcne, frēan ēowerne!"
Direful death-woe will drag off your ruler!"
Ārās þā bī ronde rōf ōretta,
The mighty champion rose by his shield then,
2540: heard under helm, hioro-sercean bær
Brave under helmet, in battle-mail went he
under stān-cleofu, strengo getruwode
'Neath steep-rising stone-cliffs, the strength he relied on
ānes mannes: ne bið swylc earges sīð.
Of one man alone: no work for a coward.
Then he saw by the wall who a great many battles
gum-cystum gōd, gūða gedīgde,
Had lived through, most worthy, when foot-troops collided,
2545: hilde-hlemma, þonne hnitan fēðan,
Stone-arches standing, stout-hearted champion,
(stōd on stān-bogan) strēam ūt þonan
Saw a brook from the barrow bubbling out thenceward:
The flood of the fountain was fuming with war-flame:
Not nigh to the hoard, for season the briefest
unbyrnende ǣnige hwīle
Could he brave, without burning, the abyss that was yawning,
The drake was so fiery. The prince of the Weders
Caused then that words came from his bosom,
So fierce was his fury; the firm-hearted shouted:
His battle-clear voice came in resounding
heaðo-torht hlynnan under hārne stān.
'Neath the gray-colored stone. Stirred was his hatred,
The hoard-ward distinguished the speech of a man;
mannes reorde; næs þǣr māra fyrst,
Time was no longer to look out for friendship.
frēode tō friclan. From ǣrest cwōm
The breath of the monster issued forth first,
oruð āglǣcean ūt of stāne,
Vapory war-sweat, out of the stone-cave:
The earth re-echoed. The earl 'neath the barrow
2560: Biorn under beorge bord-rand onswāf
wið þām gryre-gieste, Gēata dryhten:
Lifted his shield, lord of the Geatmen,
Tow'rd the terrible stranger: the ring-twisted creature's
sæcce tō sēceanne. Sweord ǣr gebrǣ
Heart was then ready to seek for a struggle.
gōd gūð-cyning gomele lāfe,
The excellent battle-king first brandished his weapon,
2565: ecgum unglēaw, ǣghwæðrum wæs
The ancient heirloom, of edges unblunted,
bealo-hycgendra brōga fram ōðrum.
To the death-planners twain was terror from other.
Stīð-mōd gestōd wið stēapne rond
The lord of the troopers intrepidly stood then
winia bealdor, þā se wyrm gebēah
'Gainst his high-rising shield, when the dragon coiled him
snūde tōsomne: hē on searwum bād.
Quickly together: in corslet he bided.
He went then in blazes, bended and striding,
gescīfe scyndan. Scyld wēl gebearg
līfe and līce lǣssan hwīle
Hasting him forward. His life and body
The targe well protected, for time-period shorter
þǣr hē þȳ fyrste forman dōgore
Than wish demanded for the well-renowned leader,
Where he then for the first day was forced to be victor,
hrēð æt hilde. Hond up ābræd
Famous in battle, as Fate had not willed it.
Gēata dryhten, gryre-fāhne slōh
The lord of the Geatmen uplifted his hand then,
incge lāfe, þæt sīo ecg gewāc
Smiting the fire-drake with sword that was precious,
brūn on bāne, bāt unswīðor,
That bright on the bone the blade-edge did weaken,
2580: þonne his þīod-cyning þearfe hæfde,
Bit more feebly than his folk-leader needed,
Burdened with bale-griefs. Then the barrow-protector,
æfter heaðu-swenge on hrēoum mōde,
When the sword-blow had fallen, was fierce in his spirit,
Flinging his fires, flamings of battle
hilde-lēoman: hrēð-sigora ne gealp
2585: gold-wine Gēata, gūð-bill geswāc
Gleamed then afar: the gold-friend of Weders
Boasted no conquests, his battle-sword failed him
īren ǣr-gōd. Ne wæs þæt ēðe sīð,
Naked in conflict, as by no means it ought to,
þæt se mǣra maga Ecgþēowes
Long-trusty weapon. 'Twas no slight undertaking
grund-wong þone ofgyfan wolde;
That Ecgtheow's famous offspring would leave
The drake-cavern's bottom; he must live in some region
elles hwergen, swā sceal ǣghwylc mon
Other than this, by the will of the dragon,
ālǣtan lǣn-dagas. Næs þā long tō þon,
As each one of earthmen existence must forfeit.
þæt þā āglǣcean hȳ eft gemētton.
'Twas early thereafter the excellent warriors
Hyrte hyne hord-weard, hreðer ǣðme wēoll,
Met with each other. Anew and afresh
2595: nīwan stefne: nearo þrowode
The hoard-ward took heart (gasps heaved then his bosom):
fȳre befongen sē þe ǣr folce wēold.
Sorrow he suffered encircled with fire
Nealles him on hēape hand-gesteallan,
Who the people erst governed. His companions by no means
Were banded about him, bairns of the princes,
With valorous spirit, but they sped to the forest,
2600: ealdre burgan. Hiora in ānum wēoll
Seeking for safety. The soul-deeps of one were
sefa wið sorgum: sibb ǣfre ne mæg
Ruffled by care: kin-love can never
wiht onwendan, þām þe wēl þenceð.
Aught in him waver who well doth consider.
XXXVI. WIGLAF HELPS BĒOWULF IN THE FEUD
The son of Weohstan was Wiglaf entitled,
lēoflīc lind-wiga, lēod Scylfinga,
Shield-warrior precious, prince of the Scylfings,
Ælfhere's kinsman: he saw his dear liegelord
Enduring the heat 'neath helmet and visor.
Then he minded the holding that erst he had given him,
wīc-stede weligne Wǣgmundinga,
The Wægmunding warriors' wealth-blessèd homestead,
folc-rihta gehwylc, swā his fæder āhte;
Each of the folk-rights his father had wielded;
He was hot for the battle, his hand seized the target,
geolwe linde, gomel swyrd getēah,
The yellow-bark shield, he unsheathed his old weapon,
þæt wæs mid eldum Ēanmundes lāf,
Which was known among earthmen as the relic of Eanmund,
suna Ōhteres, þām æt sæcce wearð
Ohthere's offspring, whom, exiled and friendless,
wracu wine-lēasum Wēohstānes bana
Weohstan did slay with sword-edge in battle,
2615: mēces ecgum, and his māgum ætbær
And carried his kinsman the clear-shining helmet,
brūn-fāgne helm, hringde byrnan,
The ring-made burnie, the old giant-weapon
eald sweord eotonisc, þæt him Onela forgeaf,
That Onela gave him, his boon-fellow's armor,
his gædelinges gūð-gewǣdu,
Ready war-trappings: he the feud did not mention,
fyrd-searo fūslīc: nō ymbe þā fǣhðe spræc,
Though he'd fatally smitten the son of his brother.
Hē frætwe gehēold fela missēra,
Many a half-year held he the treasures,
bill and byrnan, oð þæt his byre mihte
The bill and the burnie, till his bairn became able,
eorl-scipe efnan, swā his ǣr-fæder;
Like his father before him, fame-deeds to 'complish;
geaf him þā mid Gēatum gūð-gewǣda
Then he gave him 'mong Geatmen a goodly array of
2625: ǣghwæs unrīm; þā hē of ealdre gewāt,
Weeds for his warfare; he went from life then
frōd on forð-weg. Þā wæs forma sīð
Old on his journey. 'Twas the earliest time then
geongan cempan, þæt hē gūðe rǣs
That the youthful champion might charge in the battle
mid his frēo-dryhtne fremman sceolde;
Aiding his liegelord; his spirit was dauntless.
ne gemealt him se mōd-sefa, nē his mǣges lāf
Nor did kinsman's bequest quail at the battle:
This the dragon discovered on their coming together.
Wīglāf maðelode word-rihta fela,
Wiglaf uttered many a right-saying,
Said to his fellows, sad was his spirit:
"I remember the time when, tasting the mead-cup,
2635: "þonne wē gehēton ūssum hlāforde
We promised in the hall the lord of us all
"in bīor-sele, þē ūs þās bēagas geaf,
Who gave us these ring-treasures, that this battle-equipment,
"helmas and heard sweord: þē hē ūsic on herge gecēas
Swords and helmets, we'd certainly quite him,
2640: "tō þyssum sīð-fate sylfes willum,
Should need of such aid ever befall him:
In the war-band he chose us for this journey spontaneously,
"þē hē ūsic gār-wīgend gōde tealde,
Stirred us to glory and gave me these jewels,
: "hwate helm-berend, þēah þe hlāford ūs
Hardy helm-bearers, though this hero-achievement
"þis ellen-weorc āna āþōhte
Our lord intended alone to accomplish,
2645: "tō gefremmanne, folces hyrde,
Ward of his people, for most of achievements,
"forþām hē manna mǣst mǣrða gefremede,
Doings audacious, he did among earth-folk.
The day is now come when the ruler of earthmen
"þæt ūre man-dryhten mægenes behōfað
Needeth the vigor of valiant heroes:
"gōdra gūð-rinca: wutun gangan tō,
Let us wend us towards him, the war-prince to succor,
2650: "helpan hild-fruman, þenden hyt sȳ,
While the heat yet rageth, horrible fire-fight.
"glēd-egesa grim! God wāt on mec,
God wot in me, 'tis mickle the liefer
"þæt mē is micle lēofre, þæt mīnne līc-haman
"mid mīnne gold-gyfan glēd fæðmie.
The blaze should embrace my body and eat it
"Ne þynceð mē gerysne, þæt wē rondas beren
With my treasure-bestower. Meseemeth not proper
To bear our battle-shields back to our country,
'Less first we are able to fell and destroy the
"Wedra þīodnes. Ic wāt geare,
Long-hating foeman, to defend the life of
The prince of the Weders. Well do I know 'tisn't
"Gēata duguðe gnorn þrowian,
Earned by his exploits, he only of Geatmen
Sorrow should suffer, sink in the battle:
"byrne and byrdu-scrūd bām gemǣne."
Brand and helmet to us both shall be common,
Shield-cover, burnie." Through the bale-smoke he stalked then,
Went under helmet to the help of his chieftain,
Briefly discoursing: "Beowulf dear,
2665: "swā þū on geoguð-fēore geāra gecwǣde,
Perform thou all fully, as thou formerly saidst,
"þæt þū ne ālǣte be þē lifigendum
In thy youthful years, that while yet thou livedst
"dōm gedrēosan: scealt nū dǣdum rōf,
Thou wouldst let thine honor not ever be lessened.
"æðeling ān-hȳdig, ealle mægene
Thy life thou shalt save, mighty in actions,
"feorh ealgian; ic þē fullǣstu!"
Atheling undaunted, with all of thy vigor;
2670: Æfter þām wordum wyrm yrre cwōm,
I'll give thee assistance." The dragon came raging,
atol inwit-gæst ōðre sīðe,
Wild-mooded stranger, when these words had been uttered
fȳr-wylmum fāh fīonda nīosan,
('Twas the second occasion), seeking his enemies,
lāðra manna; līg-ȳðum forborn
Men that were hated, with hot-gleaming fire-waves;
bord wið ronde: byrne ne meahte
With blaze-billows burned the board to its edges:
2675: geongum gār-wigan gēoce gefremman:
The fight-armor failed then to furnish assistance
To the youthful spear-hero: but the young-agèd stripling
Quickly advanced 'neath his kinsman's war-target,
glēdum forgrunden. Þā gēn gūð-cyning
Since his own had been ground in the grip of the fire.
mǣrða gemunde, mægen-strengo,
Then the warrior-king was careful of glory,
2680: slōh hilde-bille, þæt hyt on heafolan stōd
He soundly smote with sword-for-the-battle,
nīðe genȳded: Nægling forbærst,
That it stood in the head by hatred driven;
Nægling was shivered, the old and iron-made
gomol and grǣg-mǣl. Him þæt gifeðe ne wæs,
Brand of Beowulf in battle deceived him.
þæt him īrenna ecge mihton
'Twas denied him that edges of irons were able
To help in the battle; the hand was too mighty
sē þe mēca gehwane mīne gefrǣge
Which every weapon, as I heard on inquiry,
swenge ofersōhte, þonne hē tō sæcce bær
Outstruck in its stroke, when to struggle he carried
wǣpen wundrum heard, næs him wihte þē sēl.
The wonderful war-sword: it waxed him no better.
Þā wæs þēod-sceaða þriddan sīðe,
Then the people-despoiler--third of his onsets--
2690: frēcne fȳr-draca fǣhða gemyndig,
Fierce-raging fire-drake, of feud-hate was mindful,
rǣsde on þone rōfan, þā him rūm āgeald,
Charged on the strong one, when chance was afforded,
hāt and heaðo-grim, heals ealne ymbefēng
Heated and war-grim, seized on his neck
biteran bānum; hē geblōdegod wearð
With teeth that were bitter; he bloody did wax with
sāwul-drīore; swāt ȳðum wēoll.
Soul-gore seething; sword-blood in waves boiled.
XXXVII. BĒOWULF WOUNDED TO DEATH.
Then I heard that at need of the king of the people
and-longne eorl ellen cȳðan,
The upstanding earlman exhibited prowess,
Vigor and courage, as suited his nature;
He his head did not guard, but the high-minded liegeman's
mōdiges mannes, þǣr hē his mǣges healp,
Hand was consumed, when he succored his kinsman,
2700: þæt hē þone nīð-gæst nioðor hwēne slōh,
So he struck the strife-bringing strange-comer lower,
secg on searwum, þæt þæt sweord gedēaf
Earl-thane in armor, that _in_ went the weapon
fāh and fǣted, þæt þæt fȳr ongon
Gleaming and plated, that 'gan then the fire
sweðrian syððan. Þā gēn sylf cyning
Later to lessen. The liegelord himself then
gewēold his gewitte, wæll-seaxe gebrǣ,
Retained his consciousness, brandished his war-knife,
2705: biter and beadu-scearp, þæt hē on byrnan wæg:
Battle-sharp, bitter, that he bare on his armor:
forwrāt Wedra helm wyrm on middan.
The Weder-lord cut the worm in the middle.
Fēond gefyldan (ferh ellen wræc),
They had felled the enemy (life drove out then
and hī hyne þā bēgen ābroten hæfdon,
Puissant prowess), the pair had destroyed him,
sib-æðelingas: swylc sceolde secg wesan,
Land-chiefs related: so a liegeman should prove him,
A thaneman when needed. To the prince 'twas the last of
sīðast sīge-hwīle sylfes dǣdum,
His era of conquest by his own great achievements,
worlde geweorces. Þā sīo wund ongon,
The latest of world-deeds. The wound then began
þē him se eorð-draca ǣr geworhte,
Which the earth-dwelling dragon erstwhile had wrought him
To burn and to swell. He soon then discovered
2715: þæt him on brēostum bealo-nīð wēoll,
That bitterest bale-woe in his bosom was raging,
attor on innan. Þā se æðeling gīong,
Poison within. The atheling advanced then,
þæt hē bī wealle, wīs-hycgende,
That along by the wall, he prudent of spirit
Might sit on a settle; he saw the giant-work,
hū þā stān-bogan stapulum fæste
How arches of stone strengthened with pillars
2720: ēce eorð-reced innan hēoldon.
The earth-hall eternal inward supported.
Hyne þā mid handa heoro-drēorigne
Then the long-worthy liegeman laved with his hand the
þēoden mǣrne þegn ungemete till,
Far-famous chieftain, gory from sword-edge,
wine-dryhten his wætere gelafede,
Refreshing the face of his friend-lord and ruler,
hilde-sædne and his helm onspēon.
Sated with battle, unbinding his helmet.
2725: Bīowulf maðelode, hē ofer benne spræc,
Beowulf answered, of his injury spake he,
His wound that was fatal (he was fully aware
He had lived his allotted life-days enjoying
eorðan wynne; þā wæs eall sceacen
The pleasures of earth; then past was entirely
dōgor-gerīmes, dēað ungemete nēah):
His measure of days, death very near):
2730: "Nū ic suna mīnum syllan wolde
"My son I would give now my battle-equipments,
"gūð-gewǣdu, þǣr mē gifeðe swā
Had any of heirs been after me granted,
"ǣnig yrfe-weard æfter wurde,
Along of my body. This people I governed
"fīftig wintra: næs se folc-cyning
Fifty of winters: no king 'mong my neighbors
2735: "ymbe-sittendra ǣnig þāra,
Dared to encounter me with comrades-in-battle,
Try me with terror. The time to me ordered
I bided at home, mine own kept fitly,
"mǣl-gesceafta, hēold mīn tela,
Sought me no snares, swore me not many
2740: "āða on unriht. Ic þæs ealles mæg,
Oaths in injustice. Joy over all this
"feorh-bennum sēoc, gefēan habban:
I'm able to have, though ill with my death-wounds;
Hence the Ruler of Earthmen need not charge me
"morðor-bealo māga, þonne mīn sceaceð
With the killing of kinsmen, when cometh my life out
"līf of līce. Nū þū lungre
Forth from my body. Fare thou with haste now
2745: "geong, hord scēawian under hārne stān,
To behold the hoard 'neath the hoar-grayish stone,
"Wīglāf lēofa, nū se wyrm ligeð,
Well-lovèd Wiglaf, now the worm is a-lying,
Sore-wounded sleepeth, disseized of his treasure.
"Bīo nū on ofoste, þæt ic ǣr-welan,
Go thou in haste that treasures of old I,
"gold-ǣht ongite, gearo scēawige
Gold-wealth may gaze on, together see lying
The ether-bright jewels, be easier able,
"æfter māððum-welan mīn ālǣtan
Having the heap of hoard-gems, to yield my
"līf and lēod-scipe, þone ic longe hēold."
Life and the land-folk whom long I have governed."
XXXVIII. THE JEWEL-HOARD. THE PASSING OF BEOWULF.
: Þā ic snūde gefrægn sunu Wīhstānes
Then heard I that Wihstan's son very quickly,
æfter word-cwydum wundum dryhtne
These words being uttered, heeded his liegelord
Wounded and war-sick, went in his armor,
brogdne beadu-sercean under beorges hrōf.
His well-woven ring-mail, 'neath the roof of the barrow.
Geseah þā sige-hrēðig, þā hē bī sesse gēong,
Then the trusty retainer treasure-gems many
mago-þegn mōdig māððum-sigla fela,
Victorious saw, when the seat he came near to,
gold glitinian grunde getenge,
Gold-treasure sparkling spread on the bottom,
2760: wundur on wealle and þæs wyrmes denn,
Wonder on the wall, and the worm-creature's cavern,
ealdes ūht-flogan, orcas stondan,
The ancient dawn-flier's, vessels a-standing,
fyrn-manna fatu feormend-lēase,
Cups of the ancients of cleansers bereavèd,
hyrstum behrorene: þǣr wæs helm monig,
Robbed of their ornaments: there were helmets in numbers,
eald and ōmig, earm-bēaga fela,
Old and rust-eaten, arm-bracelets many,
Artfully woven. Wealth can easily,
gold on grunde, gumena cynnes
Gold on the sea-bottom, turn into vanity
gehwone ofer-hīgian, hȳde sē þe wylle!
Each one of earthmen, arm him who pleaseth!
Swylce hē siomian geseah segn eall-gylden
And he saw there lying an all-golden banner
hēah ofer horde, hond-wundra mǣst,
High o'er the hoard, of hand-wonders greatest,
Linkèd with lacets: a light from it sparkled,
þæt hē þone grund-wong ongitan meahte,
That the floor of the cavern he was able to look on,
wrǣte giond-wlītan. Næs þæs wyrmes þǣr
To examine the jewels. Sight of the dragon
onsȳn ǣnig, ac hyne ecg fornam.
Not any was offered, but edge offcarried him.
Then I heard that the hero the hoard-treasure plundered,
2775: eald enta geweorc ānne mannan,
The giant-work ancient reaved in the cavern,
him on bearm hladan bunan and discas
Bare on his bosom the beakers and platters,
As himself would fain have it, and took off the standard,
bēacna beorhtost; bill ǣr-gescōd
The brightest of beacons; the bill had erst injured
(ecg wæs īren) eald-hlāfordes
(Its edge was of iron), the old-ruler's weapon,
2780: þām þāra māðma mund-bora wæs
Him who long had watched as ward of the jewels,
longe hwīle, līg-egesan wæg
Who fire-terror carried hot for the treasure,
hātne for horde, hioro-weallende,
Rolling in battle, in middlemost darkness,
middel-nihtum, oð þæt hē morðre swealt.
Till murdered he perished. The messenger hastened,
Not loth to return, hurried by jewels:
2785: frætwum gefyrðred: hyne fyrwet bræc,
hwæðer collen-ferð cwicne gemētte
Curiosity urged him if, excellent-mooded,
in þām wong-stede Wedra þēoden,
Alive he should find the lord of the Weders
ellen-sīocne, þǣr hē hine ǣr forlēt.
Mortally wounded, at the place where he left him.
Hē þā mid þām māðmum mǣrne þīoden,
'Mid the jewels he found then the famous old chieftain,
His liegelord belovèd, at his life's-end gory:
ealdres æt ende: hē hine eft ongon
He thereupon 'gan to lave him with water,
wæteres weorpan, oð þæt wordes ord
Till the point of his word piercèd his breast-hoard.
brēost-hord þurhbræc. Bēowulf maðelode,
Beowulf spake (the gold-gems he noticed),
gomel on giohðe (gold scēawode):
The old one in sorrow: "For the jewels I look on
2795: "Ic þāra frætwa frēan ealles þanc
Thanks do I utter for all to the Ruler,
"wuldur-cyninge wordum secge,
Wielder of Worship, with words of devotion,
"ēcum dryhtne, þē ic hēr on starie,
The Lord everlasting, that He let me such treasures
"þæs þe ic mōste mīnum lēodum
Gain for my people ere death overtook me.
"ǣr swylt-dæge swylc gestrȳnan.
Since I've bartered the agèd life to me granted
2800: "Nū ic on māðma hord mīne bebohte
For treasure of jewels, attend ye henceforward
"frōde feorh-lege, fremmað gē nū
The wants of the war-thanes; I can wait here no longer.
"Hātað heaðo-mǣre hlǣw gewyrcean,
The battle-famed bid ye to build them a grave-hill,
"beorhtne æfter bǣle æt brimes nosan;
Bright when I'm burned, at the brim-current's limit;
2805: "se scel tō gemyndum mīnum lēodum
As a memory-mark to the men I have governed,
"hēah hlīfian on Hrones næsse,
Aloft it shall tower on Whale's-Ness uprising,
"þæt hit sǣ-līðend syððan hātan
That earls of the ocean hereafter may call it
"Bīowulfes biorh, þā þe brentingas
Beowulf's barrow, those who barks ever-dashing
"ofer flōda genipu feorran drīfað."
From a distance shall drive o'er the darkness of waters."
The bold-mooded troop-lord took from his neck then
þīoden þrīst-hȳdig, þegne gesealde,
The ring that was golden, gave to his liegeman,
geongum gār-wigan, gold-fāhne helm,
The youthful war-hero, his gold-flashing helmet,
His collar and war-mail, bade him well to enjoy them:
"Þū eart ende-lāf ūsses cynnes,
"Thou art latest left of the line of our kindred,
2815: "Wǣgmundinga; ealle Wyrd forswēof,
Of Wægmunding people: Weird hath offcarried
"mīne māgas tō metod-sceafte,
All of my kinsmen to the Creator's glory,
"eorlas on elne: ic him æfter sceal."
Earls in their vigor: I shall after them fare."
Þæt wæs þām gomelan gingeste word
'Twas the aged liegelord's last-spoken word in
brēost-gehygdum, ǣr hē bǣl cure,
His musings of spirit, ere he mounted the fire,
The battle-waves burning: from his bosom departed
sāwol sēcean sōð-fæstra dōm.
His soul to seek the sainted ones' glory.
XXXIX. THE COWARD-THANES.
: Þā wæs gegongen guman unfrōdum
It had wofully chanced then the youthful retainer
earfoðlīce, þæt hē on eorðan geseah
To behold on earth the most ardent-belovèd
þone lēofestan līfes æt ende
At his life-days' limit, lying there helpless.
2825: blēate gebǣran. Bona swylce læg,
The slayer too lay there, of life all bereavèd,
egeslīc eorð-draca, ealdre berēafod,
Horrible earth-drake, harassed with sorrow:
bealwe gebǣded: bēah-hordum leng
The round-twisted monster was permitted no longer
To govern the ring-hoards, but edges of war-swords
ac him īrenna ecga fornāmon,
Mightily seized him, battle-sharp, sturdy
2830: hearde heaðo-scearpe homera lāfe,
Leavings of hammers, that still from his wounds
þæt se wīd-floga wundum stille
The flier-from-farland fell to the earth
hrēas on hrūsan hord-ærne nēah,
Hard by his hoard-house, hopped he at midnight
Not e'er through the air, nor exulting in jewels
middel-nihtum, māðm-ǣhta wlonc
Suffered them to see him: but he sank then to earthward
for þæs hild-fruman hond-geweorce.
Through the hero-chief's handwork. I heard sure it throve then
But few in the land of liegemen of valor,
mægen-āgendra mīne gefrǣge,
Though of every achievement bold he had proved him,
To run 'gainst the breath of the venomous scather,
2840: þæt hē wið attor-sceaðan oreðe gerǣsde,
Or the hall of the treasure to trouble with hand-blows,
oððe hring-sele hondum styrede,
If he watching had found the ward of the hoard-hall
On the barrow abiding. Beowulf's part of
The treasure of jewels was paid for with death;
Each of the twain had attained to the end of
Life so unlasting. Not long was the time till
þæt þā hild-latan holt ofgēfan,
The tardy-at-battle returned from the thicket,
tȳdre trēow-logan tȳne ætsomne,
The timid truce-breakers ten all together,
Who durst not before play with the lances
2850: on hyra man-dryhtnes miclan þearfe;
In the prince of the people's pressing emergency;
But blushing with shame, with shields they betook them,
gūð-gewǣdu, þǣr se gomela læg:
With arms and armor where the old one was lying:
They gazed upon Wiglaf. He was sitting exhausted,
fēðe-cempa frēan eaxlum nēah,
Foot-going fighter, not far from the shoulders
2855: wehte hyne wætre; him wiht ne spēow;
Of the lord of the people, would rouse him with water;
No whit did it help him; though he hoped for it keenly,
on þām frum-gāre feorh gehealdan,
He was able on earth not at all in the leader
nē þæs wealdendes willan wiht oncirran;
Life to retain, and nowise to alter
The will of the Wielder; the World-Ruler's power
2860: gumena gehwylcum, swā hē nū gēn dēð.
Would govern the actions of each one of heroes,
As yet He is doing. From the young one forthwith then
ēð-begēte þām þe ǣr his elne forlēas.
Could grim-worded greeting be got for him quickly
Wīglāf maðelode, Wēohstānes sunu,
Whose courage had failed him. Wiglaf discoursed then,
secg sārig-ferð seah on unlēofe:
Weohstan his son, sad-mooded hero,
Looked on the hated: "He who soothness will utter
Can say that the liegelord who gave you the jewels,
"ēored-geatwe, þē gē þǣr on standað,
The ornament-armor wherein ye are standing,
"þonne hē on ealu-bence oft gesealde
When on ale-bench often he offered to hall-men
"heal-sittendum helm and byrnan,
Helmet and burnie, the prince to his liegemen,
2870: "þēoden his þegnum, swylce hē þrȳðlīcost
As best upon earth he was able to find him,--
That he wildly wasted his war-gear undoubtedly
"þæt hē gēnunga gūð-gewǣdu
When battle o'ertook him. The troop-king no need had
To glory in comrades; yet God permitted him,
"nealles folc-cyning fyrd-gesteallum
Victory-Wielder, with weapon unaided
2875: "gylpan þorfte; hwæðre him god ūðe,
Himself to avenge, when vigor was needed.
"Ic him līf-wraðe lȳtle meahte
I life-protection but little was able
To give him in battle, and I 'gan, notwithstanding,
Helping my kinsman (my strength overtaxing):
He waxed the weaker when with weapon I smote on
"ferhð-genīðlan, fȳr unswīðor
My mortal opponent, the fire less strongly
"wēoll of gewitte. Wergendra tō lȳt
Flamed from his bosom. Too few of protectors
"þrong ymbe þēoden, þā hyne sīo þrāg becwōm.
Came round the king at the critical moment.
2885: "Nū sceal sinc-þego and swyrd-gifu
Now must ornament-taking and weapon-bestowing,
"eall ēðel-wyn ēowrum cynne,
Home-joyance all, cease for your kindred,
"lufen ālicgean: lond-rihtes mōt
Food for the people; each of your warriors
"þǣre mǣg-burge monna ǣghwylc
Must needs be bereavèd of rights that he holdeth
"īdel hweorfan, syððan æðelingas
In landed possessions, when faraway nobles
2890: "feorran gefricgean flēam ēowerne,
Shall learn of your leaving your lord so basely,
"dōm-lēasan dǣd. Dēað bið sēlla
The dastardly deed. Death is more pleasant
"eorla gehwylcum þonne edwīt-līf!"
To every earlman than infamous life is!"
XL. THE SOLDIER'S DIRGE AND PROPHECY.
: Heht þā þæt heaðo-weorc tō hagan bīodan
Then he charged that the battle be announced at the hedge
up ofer ēg-clif, þǣr þæt eorl-weorod
Up o'er the cliff-edge, where the earl-troopers bided
2895: morgen-longne dæg mōd-giōmor sæt,
The whole of the morning, mood-wretched sat them,
bord-hæbbende, bēga on wēnum
Bearers of battle-shields, both things expecting,
ende-dōgores and eft-cymes
The end of his lifetime and the coming again of
lēofes monnes. Lȳt swīgode
The liegelord belovèd. Little reserved he
Of news that was known, who the ness-cliff did travel,
But he truly discoursed to all that could hear him:
"Nū is wil-geofa Wedra lēoda,
"Now the free-giving friend-lord of the folk of the Weders,
"dryhten Gēata dēað-bedde fæst,
The folk-prince of Geatmen, is fast in his death-bed,
"wunað wæl-reste wyrmes dǣdum;
By the deeds of the dragon in death-bed abideth;
"him on efn ligeð ealdor-gewinna,
Along with him lieth his life-taking foeman
2905: "siex-bennum sēoc: sweorde ne meahte
Slain with knife-wounds: he was wholly unable
"on þām āglǣcean ǣnige þinga
To injure at all the ill-planning monster
With bite of his sword-edge. Wiglaf is sitting,
"ofer Bīowulfe, byre Wīhstānes,
Offspring of Wihstan, up over Beowulf,
"eorl ofer ōðrum unlifigendum,
Earl o'er another whose end-day hath reached him,
2910: "healdeð hige-mēðum hēafod-wearde
Head-watch holdeth o'er heroes unliving,
"lēofes and lāðes. Nū ys lēodum wēn
For friend and for foeman. The folk now expecteth
"orleg-hwīle, syððan underne
A season of strife when the death of the folk-king
"Froncum and Frȳsum fyll cyninges
To Frankmen and Frisians in far-lands is published.
"wīde weorðeð. Wæs sīo wrōht scepen
The war-hatred waxed warm 'gainst the Hugmen,
2915: "heard wið Hūgas, syððan Higelāc cwōm
When Higelac came with an army of vessels
"faran flot-herge on Frēsna land,
Faring to Friesland, where the Frankmen in battle
"þǣr hyne Hetware hilde gehnǣgdon,
Humbled him and bravely with overmight 'complished
"elne geēodon mid ofer-mægene,
That the mail-clad warrior must sink in the battle,
"þæt se byrn-wiga būgan sceolde,
Fell 'mid his folk-troop: no fret-gems presented
The atheling to earlmen; aye was denied us
"ealdor dugoðe; ūs wæs ā syððan
"Merewīoinga milts ungyfeðe.
Merewing's mercy. The men of the Swedelands
"Nē ic tō Swēo-þēode sibbe oððe trēowe
For truce or for truth trust I but little;
2925: "þætte Ongenþīo ealdre besnyðede
But widely 'twas known that near Ravenswood Ongentheow
"Hæðcyn Hrēðling wið Hrefna-wudu,
Sundered Hæthcyn the Hrethling from life-joys,
When for pride overweening the War-Scylfings first did
"Gēata lēode Gūð-scilfingas.
Seek the Geatmen with savage intentions.
"Sōna him se frōda fæder Ōhtheres,
Early did Ohthere's age-laden father,
2930: "eald and eges-full ond-slyht āgeaf,
Old and terrible, give blow in requital,
"ābrēot brim-wīsan, brȳd āhēorde,
Killing the sea-king, the queen-mother rescued,
"gomela īo-meowlan golde berofene,
The old one his consort deprived of her gold,
"Onelan mōdor and Ōhtheres,
Onela's mother and Ohthere's also,
"and þā folgode feorh-genīðlan
And then followed the feud-nursing foemen till hardly,
2935: "oð þæt hī oðēodon earfoðlīce
"in Hrefnes-holt hlāford-lēase.
Reaved of their ruler, they Ravenswood entered.
"Besæt þā sin-herge sweorda lāfe
Then with vast-numbered forces he assaulted the remnant,
"wundum wērge, wēan oft gehēt
Weary with wounds, woe often promised
"earmre teohhe andlonge niht:
The livelong night to the sad-hearted war-troop:
2940: "cwæð hē on mergenne mēces ecgum
Said he at morning would kill them with edges of weapons,
"gētan wolde, sume on galg-trēowum
Some on the gallows for glee to the fowls.
"fuglum tō gamene. Frōfor eft gelamp
Aid came after to the anxious-in-spirit
"sārig-mōdum somod ǣr-dæge,
At dawn of the day, after Higelac's bugle
"syððan hīe Hygelāces horn and bȳman
And trumpet-sound heard they, when the good one proceeded
"lēoda dugoðe on lāst faran.
And faring followed the flower of the troopers.
XLI. HE TELLS OF THE SWEDES AND THE GEATAS
: "Wæs sīo swāt-swaðu Swēona and Gēata,
"The blood-stainèd trace of Swedes and Geatmen,
"wæl-rǣs wera wīde gesȳne,
The death-rush of warmen, widely was noticed,
"hū þā folc mid him fǣhðe tōwehton.
How the folks with each other feud did awaken.
2950: "Gewāt him þā se gōda mid his gædelingum,
The worthy one went then with well-beloved comrades,
"frōd fela geōmor fæsten sēcean,
Old and dejected to go to the fastness,
"eorl Ongenþīo ufor oncirde;
Ongentheo earl upward then turned him;
Of Higelac's battle he'd heard on inquiry,
"wlonces wīg-cræft, wiðres ne truwode,
The exultant one's prowess, despaired of resistance,
2955: "þæt hē sǣ-mannum onsacan mihte,
With earls of the ocean to be able to struggle,
"hēaðo-līðendum hord forstandan,
'Gainst sea-going sailors to save the hoard-treasure,
"bearn and brȳde; bēah eft þonan
His wife and his children; he fled after thenceward
Old 'neath the earth-wall. Then was offered pursuance
"Swēona lēodum, segn Higelāce.
To the braves of the Swedemen, the banner to Higelac.
2960: "Freoðo-wong þone forð oferēodon,
They fared then forth o'er the field-of-protection,
"syððan Hrēðlingas tō hagan þrungon.
When the Hrethling heroes hedgeward had thronged them.
"Þǣr wearð Ongenþīo ecgum sweorda,
Then with edges of irons was Ongentheow driven,
The gray-haired to tarry, that the troop-ruler had to
"þæt se þēod-cyning þafian sceolde
Suffer the power solely of Eofor:
2965: "Eofores ānne dōm: hyne yrringa
Wulf then wildly with weapon assaulted him,
"Wulf Wonrēding wǣpne gerǣhte,
Wonred his son, that for swinge of the edges
"þæt him for swenge swāt ǣdrum sprong
The blood from his body burst out in currents,
"forð under fexe. Næs hē forht swā þēh,
Forth 'neath his hair. He feared not however,
Gray-headed Scylfing, but speedily quited
2970: "wyrsan wrixle wæl-hlem þone,
The wasting wound-stroke with worse exchange,
"syððan þēod-cyning þyder oncirde:
When the king of the thane-troop thither did turn him:
"ne meahte se snella sunu Wonrēdes
The wise-mooded son of Wonred was powerless
"ealdum ceorle ond-slyht giofan,
To give a return-blow to the age-hoary man,
"ac hē him on hēafde helm ǣr gescer,
But his head-shielding helmet first hewed he to pieces,
2975: "þæt hē blōde fāh būgan sceolde,
That flecked with gore perforce he did totter,
Fell to the earth; not fey was he yet then,
But up did he spring though an edge-wound had reached him.
Then Higelac's vassal, valiant and dauntless,
"brādne mēce, þā his brōðor læg,
When his brother lay dead, made his broad-bladed weapon,
2980: "eald sweord eotonisc, entiscne helm,
Giant-sword ancient, defence of the giants,
"brecan ofer bord-weal: þā gebēah cyning,
Bound o'er the shield-wall; the folk-prince succumbed then,
Shepherd of people, was pierced to the vitals.
There were many attendants who bound up his kinsman,
Carried him quickly when occasion was granted
That the place of the slain they were suffered to manage.
"Þenden rēafode rinc ōðerne,
This pending, one hero plundered the other,
"nam on Ongenþīo īren-byrnan,
His armor of iron from Ongentheow ravished,
"heard swyrd hilted and his helm somod;
His hard-sword hilted and helmet together;
The old one's equipments he carried to Higelac.
He the jewels received, and rewards 'mid the troopers
Graciously promised, and so did accomplish:
"geald þone gūð-rǣs Gēata dryhten,
The king of the Weders requited the war-rush,
"Hrēðles eafora, þā hē tō hām becōm,
Hrethel's descendant, when home he repaired him,
"Jofore and Wulfe mid ofer-māðmum,
To Eofor and Wulf with wide-lavished treasures,
2995: "sealde hiora gehwæðrum hund þūsenda
To each of them granted a hundred of thousands
In land and rings wrought out of wire:
"mon on middan-gearde, syððan hīe þā mǣrða geslōgon;
None upon mid-earth needed to twit him
"and þā Jofore forgeaf āngan dōhtor,
With the gifts he gave them, when glory they conquered;
"hām-weorðunge, hyldo tō wedde.
And to Eofor then gave he his one only daughter,
3000: "Þæt ys sīo fǣhðo and se fēond-scipe,
The honor of home, as an earnest of favor.
"wæl-nīð wera, þæs þe ic wēn hafo,
That's the feud and hatred--as ween I 'twill happen--
"þē ūs sēceað tō Swēona lēode,
The anger of earthmen, that earls of the Swedemen
"syððan hīe gefricgeað frēan ūserne
Will visit on us, when they hear that our leader
"ealdor-lēasne, þone þe ǣr gehēold
Lifeless is lying, he who longtime protected
3005: "wið hettendum hord and rīce,
His hoard and kingdom 'gainst hating assailers,
"æfter hæleða hryre hwate Scylfingas,
Who on the fall of the heroes defended of yore
"folc-rǣd fremede oððe furður gēn
The deed-mighty Scyldings, did for the troopers
What best did avail them, and further moreover
"þæt wē þēod-cyning þǣr scēawian
Hero-deeds 'complished. Now is haste most fitting,
That the lord of liegemen we look upon yonder,
"on ād-fære. Ne scel ānes hwæt
And _that_ one carry on journey to death-pyre
Who ring-presents gave us. Not aught of it all
Shall melt with the brave one--there's a mass of bright jewels,
"and nū æt sīðestan sylfes fēore
Gold beyond measure, grewsomely purchased
And ending it all ornament-rings too
Bought with his life; these fire shall devour,
"māððum tō gemyndum, nē mægð scȳne
Flame shall cover, no earlman shall wear
"habban on healse hring-weorðunge,
A jewel-memento, nor beautiful virgin
Have on her neck rings to adorn her,
3020: "oft nalles ǣne el-land tredan,
But wretched in spirit bereavèd of gold-gems
"nū se here-wīsa hleahtor ālegde,
She shall oft with others be exiled and banished,
"gamen and glēo-drēam. Forþon sceall gār wesan
Since the leader of liegemen hath laughter forsaken,
"monig morgen-ceald mundum bewunden,
Mirth and merriment. Hence many a war-spear
Cold from the morning shall be clutched in the fingers,
3025: "wīgend weccean, ac se wonna hrefn
Heaved in the hand, no harp-music's sound shall
"fūs ofer fǣgum, fela reordian,
Waken the warriors, but the wan-coated raven
Fain over fey ones freely shall gabble,
"þenden hē wið wulf wæl rēafode."
Shall say to the eagle how he sped in the eating,
When, the wolf his companion, he plundered the slain."
So the high-minded hero was rehearsing these stories
wyrda nē worda. Weorod eall ārās,
Loathsome to hear; he lied as to few of
Weirds and of words. All the war-troop arose then,
wollen-tēare wundur scēawian.
'Neath the Eagle's Cape sadly betook them,
Fundon þā on sande sāwul-lēasne
Weeping and woful, the wonder to look at.
They saw on the sand then soulless a-lying,
ǣrran mǣlum: þā wæs ende-dæg
His slaughter-bed holding, him who rings had given them
gōdum gegongen, þæt se gūð-cyning,
In days that were done; then the death-bringing moment
Was come to the good one, that the king very warlike,
Ǣr hī gesēgan syllīcran wiht,
Wielder of Weders, with wonder-death perished.
3040: wyrm on wonge wiðer-ræhtes þǣr
First they beheld there a creature more wondrous,
lāðne licgean: wæs se lēg-draca,
The worm on the field, in front of them lying,
grimlīc gryre-gæst, glēdum beswǣled,
The foeman before them: the fire-spewing dragon,
sē wæs fīftiges fōt-gemearces.
Ghostly and grisly guest in his terrors,
lang on legere, lyft-wynne hēold
Was scorched in the fire; as he lay there he measured
3045: nihtes hwīlum, nyðer eft gewāt
Fifty of feet; came forth in the night-time
To rejoice in the air, thereafter departing
To visit his den; he in death was then fastened,
Him big stōdan bunan and orcas,
He would joy in no other earth-hollowed caverns.
discas lāgon and dȳre swyrd,
There stood round about him beakers and vessels,
3050: ōmige þurh-etone, swā hīe wið eorðan fæðm
Dishes were lying and dear-valued weapons,
þūsend wintra þǣr eardodon:
With iron-rust eaten, as in earth's mighty bosom
þonne wæs þæt yrfe ēacen-cræftig,
A thousand of winters there they had rested:
iū-monna gold galdre bewunden,
That mighty bequest then with magic was guarded,
Gold of the ancients, that earlman not any
3055: gumena ǣnig, nefne god sylfa,
The ring-hall could touch, save Ruling-God only,
Sooth-king of Vict'ries gave whom He wished to
(He is earth-folk's protector) to open the treasure,
E'en to such among mortals as seemed to Him proper.
XLII. WĪGLAF SPEAKS. THE BUILDING OF THE BALE-FIRE.
Then 'twas seen that the journey prospered him little
3060: þām þe unrihte inne gehȳdde
Who wrongly within had the ornaments hidden
wrǣte under wealle. Weard ǣr ofslōh
Down 'neath the wall. The warden erst slaughtered
fēara sumne; þā sīo fǣhð gewearð
Some few of the folk-troop: the feud then thereafter
gewrecen wrāðlīce. Wundur hwār, þonne
Was hotly avengèd. 'Tis a wonder where,
eorl ellen-rōf ende gefēre
When the strength-famous trooper has attained to the end of
3065: līf-gesceafta, þonne leng ne mæg
Life-days allotted, then no longer the man may
mon mid his māgum medu-seld būan.
Remain with his kinsmen where mead-cups are flowing.
Swā wæs Bīowulfe, þā hē biorges weard
So to Beowulf happened when the ward of the barrow,
sōhte, searo-nīðas: seolfa ne cūðe,
Assaults, he sought for: himself had no knowledge
þurh hwæt his worulde gedāl weorðan sceolde;
How his leaving this life was likely to happen.
3070: swā hit oð dōmes dæg dīope benemdon
So to doomsday, famous folk-leaders down did
Call it with curses--who 'complished it there--
þæt se secg wǣre synnum scildig,
That that man should be ever of ill-deeds convicted,
hergum geheaðerod, hell-bendum fæst,
Confined in foul-places, fastened in hell-bonds,
wommum gewītnad, sē þone wong strāde.
Punished with plagues, who this place should e'er ravage.
He cared not for gold: rather the Wielder's
āgendes ēst ǣr gescēawod.
Favor preferred he first to get sight of.
Wīglāf maðelode, Wīhstānes sunu:
Wiglaf discoursed then, Wihstan his son:
"Oft sceall eorl monig ānes willan
"Oft many an earlman on one man's account must
Sorrow endure, as to us it hath happened.
The liegelord belovèd we could little prevail on,
Kingdom's keeper, counsel to follow,
"þæt hē ne grētte gold-weard þone,
Not to go to the guardian of the gold-hoard, but let him
Lie where he long was, live in his dwelling
"wīcum wunian oð woruld-ende.
Till the end of the world. Met we a destiny
Hard to endure: the hoard has been looked at,
Been gained very grimly; too grievous the fate that
"þē þone þēoden þyder ontyhte.
The prince of the people pricked to come thither.
"Ic wæs þǣr inne and þæt eall geond-seh,
_I_ was therein and all of it looked at,
The building's equipments, since access was given me,
3090: "nealles swǣslīce sīð ālȳfed
Not kindly at all entrance permitted
"inn under eorð-weall. Ic on ofoste gefēng
Within under earth-wall. Hastily seized I
"micle mid mundum mægen-byrðenne
And held in my hands a huge-weighing burden
"hord-gestrēona, hider ūt ætbær
Of hoard-treasures costly, hither out bare them
"cyninge mīnum: cwico wæs þā gēna,
To my liegelord belovèd: life was yet in him,
3095: "wīs and gewittig; worn eall gespræc
And consciousness also; the old one discoursed then
Much and mournfully, commanded to greet you,
Bade that remembering the deeds of your friend-lord
"in bǣl-stede beorh þone hēan
Ye build on the fire-hill of corpses a lofty
Burial-barrow, broad and far-famous,
3100: "wīgend weorð-fullost wīde geond eorðan,
As 'mid world-dwelling warriors he was widely most honored
While he reveled in riches. Let us rouse us and hasten
"Uton nū efstan ōðre sīðe
"sēon and sēcean searo-geþræc,
Again to see and seek for the treasure,
The wonder 'neath wall. The way I will show you,
3105: "þæt gē genōge nēan scēawiað
That close ye may look at ring-gems sufficient
And gold in abundance. Let the bier with promptness
"ǣdre geæfned, þonne wē ūt cymen,
Fully be fashioned, when forth we shall come,
"and þonne geferian frēan ūserne,
And lift we our lord, then, where long he shall tarry,
"lēofne mannan, þǣr hē longe sceal
Well-beloved warrior, 'neath the Wielder's protection."
Then the son of Wihstan bade orders be given,
hæle hilde-dīor, hæleða monegum
Mood-valiant man, to many of heroes,
bold-āgendra, þæt hīe bǣl-wudu
Holders of homesteads, that they hither from far,
Leaders of liegemen, should look for the good one
With wood for his pyre: "The flame shall now swallow
"(weaxan wonna lēg) wigena strengel,
(The wan fire shall wax ) the warriors' leader
"þone þe oft gebād īsern-scūre,
Who the rain of the iron often abided,
"þonne strǣla storm, strengum gebǣded,
When, sturdily hurled, the storm of the arrows
Leapt o'er linden-wall, the lance rendered service,
3120: "feðer-gearwum fūs flāne full-ēode."
Furnished with feathers followed the arrow."
Hūru se snotra sunu Wīhstānes
Now the wise-mooded son of Wihstan did summon
ācīgde of corðre cyninges þegnas
The best of the braves from the band of the ruler
syfone tōsomne þā sēlestan,
Seven together; 'neath the enemy's roof he
3125: hilde-rinc sum on handa bær
Went with the seven; one of the heroes
ǣled-lēoman, sē þe on orde gēong.
Who fared at the front, a fire-blazing torch-light
Bare in his hand. No lot then decided
syððan or-wearde ǣnigne dǣl
Who that hoard should havoc, when hero-earls saw it
Lying in the cavern uncared-for entirely,
Rusting to ruin: they rued then but little
þæt hī ofostlice ūt geferedon
That they hastily hence hauled out the treasure,
dȳre māðmas; dracan ēc scufun,
The dear-valued jewels; the dragon eke pushed they,
The worm o'er the wall, let the wave-currents take him,
flōd fæðmian frætwa hyrde.
The waters enwind the ward of the treasures.
There wounden gold on a wain was uploaded,
ǣghwæs unrīm, æðeling boren,
A mass unmeasured, the men-leader off then,
hār hilde-rinc tō Hrones næsse.
The hero hoary, to Whale's-Ness was carried.
XLIII. BĒOWULF'S FUNERAL PYRE.
: Him þā gegiredan Gēata lēode
The folk of the Geatmen got him then ready
ād on eorðan un-wāclīcne,
A pile on the earth strong for the burning,
3140: helmum behongen, hilde-bordum,
Behung with helmets, hero-knights' targets,
beorhtum byrnum, swā hē bēna wæs;
And bright-shining burnies, as he begged they should have them;
Then wailing war-heroes their world-famous chieftain,
hæleð hīofende, hlāford lēofne.
Their liegelord beloved, laid in the middle.
Soldiers began then to make on the barrow
3145: wīgend weccan: wudu-rēc āstāh
The largest of dead-fires: dark o'er the vapor
sweart ofer swioðole, swōgende lēg,
The smoke-cloud ascended, the sad-roaring fire,
wōpe bewunden (wind-blond gelæg)
Mingled with weeping (the wind-roar subsided)
Till the building of bone it had broken to pieces,
hāt on hreðre. Higum unrōte
Hot in the heart. Heavy in spirit
3150: mōd-ceare mǣndon mon-dryhtnes cwealm;
They mood-sad lamented the men-leader's ruin;
swylce giōmor-gyd lat . con meowle
And mournful measures the much-grieving widow
. . . . . wunden heorde . . .
* * * * * * *
serg (?) cearig sǣlde geneahhe
* * * * * * *
þæt hīo hyre . . . . gas hearde
* * * * * * *
3155: . . . . . ede wælfylla wonn . .
* * * * * * *
hildes egesan hyðo
* * * * * * *
haf mid heofon rēce swealh (?)
* * * * * * *
The men of the Weders made accordingly
hlǣw on hlīðe, sē wæs hēah and brād,
A hill on the height, high and extensive,
3160: wǣg-līðendum wīde gesȳne,
Of sea-going sailors to be seen from a distance,
and betimbredon on tȳn dagum
And the brave one's beacon built where the fire was,
beadu-rōfes bēcn: bronda betost
In ten-days' space, with a wall surrounded it,
As wisest of world-folk could most worthily plan it.
fore-snotre men findan mihton.
They placed in the barrow rings and jewels,
eall swylce hyrsta, swylce on horde ǣr
All such ornaments as erst in the treasure
War-mooded men had won in possession:
The earnings of earlmen to earth they entrusted,
gold on grēote, þǣr hit nū gēn lifað
The gold to the dust, where yet it remaineth
3170: eldum swā unnyt, swā hit ǣror wæs.
As useless to mortals as in foregoing eras.
Þā ymbe hlǣw riodan hilde-dēore,
'Round the dead-mound rode then the doughty-in-battle,
æðelinga bearn ealra twelfa,
Bairns of all twelve of the chiefs of the people,
More would they mourn, lament for their ruler,
Speak in measure, mention him with pleasure,
3175: eahtodan eorl-scipe and his ellen-weorc
Weighed his worth, and his warlike achievements
duguðum dēmdon, swā hit ge-dēfe bið,
Mightily commended, as 'tis meet one praise his
þæt mon his wine-dryhten wordum herge,
ferhðum frēoge, þonne hē forð scile
Liegelord in words and love him in spirit,
of līc-haman lǣne weorðan.
When forth from his body he fares to destruction.
3180: Swā begnornodon Gēata lēode
So lamented mourning the men of the Geats,
hlāfordes hryre, heorð-genēatas,
Fond-loving vassals, the fall of their lord,
Said he was kindest of kings under heaven,
mannum mildust and mon-þwǣrust,
Gentlest of men, most winning of manner,
lēodum līðost and lof-geornost.
Friendliest to folk-troops and fondest of honor.