BEOWULF

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XIII

 

Ðá wæs on morgen      míne gefraége

 

Then was in the morning,      as I heard tell,
ymb þá gifhealle      gúðrinc monig

 

about the gift-hall      many warriors,
férdon folctogan      feorran ond néän

 

folk-chiefs arrived      from far and near
geond wídwegas      wundor scéawian

 

across wide regions      to behold the wonder,
láþes lástas·      nó his lífgedál

  841

the foe's foot-prints;      his parting from life did not
sárlíc þúhte      secga aénegum

 

seem mournful      to any man
þára þe tírléases      trode scéawode·

 

of those who the gloryless foe's      track observed,
hú hé wérigmód      on weg þanon

 

how he weary      away thence,
níða ofercumen      on nicera mere

 

vanquished by violence,      to the nicors' mere
faége ond geflýmed      feorhlástas bær.

  846

doomed and driven back      left behind life-trails.
Ðaér wæs on blóde      brim weallende,

 

There with blood was      the water seething,
atol ýða geswing      eal gemenged

 

terrible swirling of swells      all mingled
háton heolfre      heorodréore wéol·

 

with boiling gore,      with sword-blood it welled,
déaðfaége déog      siððan dréama léas

 

doomed to die he hid himself,      then, bereft of pleasure,
in fenfreoðo      feorh álegde

  851

in his fen-refuge      he laid down his life,
haéþene sáwle·      þaér him hel onféng. his heathen soul;      there Hel embraced him.
Þanon eft gewiton      ealdgesíðas

 

Thence returned      old companions,
swylce geong manig      of gomenwáþe

 

also many young,      from the sport-chase,
fram mere módge      méarum rídan

 

from the mere full-spirited,      riding horses,
beornas on blancum·      ðaér wæs Béowulfes

  856

warriors on fair steeds,      there was Beowulf's
maérðo maéned·      monig oft gecwæð

 

glory proclaimed;      many often said
þætte súð né norð      be saém twéonum

 

that neither south nor north      between the seas
ofer eormengrund      óþer naénig

 

over the whole vast earth,      no other
under swegles begong      sélra naére

 

under the sky's expanse      was ne're better
rondhæbbendra,      ríces wyrðra·

  861

shield-bearer,      of a worthier kingdom;
né híe húru winedrihten      wiht ne lógon

 

nor, however, the friend and lord,      did they blame at all,
glædne Hróðgár      ac þæt wæs gód cyning.

 

gracious Hrothgar,      for he was a good king.
Hwílum heaþorófe      hléapan léton

 

At times the brave warriors      let leap,
on geflit faran      fealwe méaras

 

in a contest raced      fallow horses,
ðaér him foldwegas      fægere þúhton

  866

where to them the earth-roads      seemed suitable,
cystum cúðe.      Hwílum cyninges þegn

 

and known to be the best.      At times the king's thane,
guma gilphlæden      gidda gemyndig

 

a man laden with fine speech,      remembering songs,
sé ðe ealfela      ealdgesegena

 

he who very many      of ancient traditions
worn gemunde      word óþer fand

 

recalled scores,      found new words
sóðe gebunden·      secg eft ongan

  871

bound in truth;      the man then began
síð Béowulfes      snyttrum styrian

 

Beowulf's exploit      skilfully to recite,
ond on spéd wrecan      spel geráde,

 

and artfully utter      an adept tale,
wordum wrixlan·      wélhwylc gecwæð

 

varying his words;      he spoke of almost everything
þæt hé fram Sigemunde      secgan hyrde

 

that he of Sigmund      had heard said,
ellendaédum:      uncúþes fela

  876

of his deeds of glory:      many uncanny things,
Wælsinges gewin      wíde síðas

 

the striving of Wael's son,      his great journeys;
þára þe gumena bearn      gearwe ne wiston

 

those things of which the childen of men      by no means knew,
faéhðe ond fyrena      búton Fitela mid hine,

 

feuds and feats of arms,      only Fitela with him,
þonne hé swulces hwæt      secgan wolde

 

then he of such matters      was wont to speak of,
éäm his nefan      swá híe á waéron

  881

uncle to his nephew,      as they always were
æt níða gehwám      nýdgesteallan·

 

in every conflict      comrades in need;
hæfdon ealfela      eotena cynnes

 

they had a great many      of the giantkind
sweordum gesaéged·      Sigemunde gesprong

 

laid low with swords;      for Sigmund arose,
æfter déaðdæge      dóm unlýtel

 

after the day of his death,      no little fame,
syþðan wíges heard      wyrm ácwealde

  886

since the fierce warrior      had quelled the great serpent,
hordes hyrde·      hé under hárne stán

 

the keeper of a hoard;      beneath the hoary grey stone he,
æþelinges bearn      ána genéðde

 

the prince's son,      alone ventured
frécne daéde      ne waés him Fitela mid·

 

a dangerous deed,      Fitela was not with him;
hwæþre him gesaélde      ðæt þæt swurd þurhwód

 

however it was granted him      that the sword pierced
wraétlícne wyrm      þæt hit on wealle ætstód

  891

the wondrous wyrm,      so that it stood fixed in the wall,
dryhtlíc íren·      draca morðre swealt·

 

the noble iron;      the dragon perished in the slaughter;
hæfde áglaéca      elne gegongen

 

the fearsome one had      ensured by courage
þæt hé béahhordes      brúcan móste

 

that he the ring-hoard      might possess
selfes dóme·      saébát gehléod·

 

at his own chosing;      he loaded the sea-boat,
bær on bearm scipes      beorhte frætwa

  896

bore in the bosom of his ship      the gleaming treasures,
Wælses eafera      --wyrm hát gemealt--

 

Wael's son      --the wyrm in its heat melted--
sé wæs wreccena      wíde maérost

 

he was of adventurers      the most widely famed
ofer werþéode      wígendra hléo

 

among nations,      the warriors' protector,
ellendaédum      --hé þæs aér onðáh--

 

for deeds of valour      --he had prospered by this--
siððan Heremódes      hild sweðrode,

  901

since Heremod's      skirmishing had abated,
earfoð ond ellen·      he mid eotenum wearð

 

affliction and spirit;      he among the Etins was
on féonda geweald      forð forlácen

 

into enemy hands      given up,
snúde forsended·      hine sorhwylmas

 

quickly despatched;      the surgings of sorrow him
lemede tó lange·      hé his léodum wearð

 

hindered too long;      he to his people became,
eallum æþellingum      tó aldorceare·

  906

to all of the nobels,      a great mortal sorrow;
swylce oft bemearn      aérran maélum

 

moreover they often mourned,      for in earlier times,
swíðferhþes síð      snotor ceorl monig

 

the departure of the stouted-hearted king,      many learnèd sages
sé þe him bealwa      tó bóte gelýfde

 

who to him for miseries'      remedy had trusted and believed
þæt þæt ðéodnes bearn      geþéon scolde,

 

that that prince's son      must prosper,
fæderæþelum onfón,      folc gehealdan

  911

take up his father's rank,      rule the folk,
hord ond hléoburh      hæleþa ríce

 

their treasury and citadel,      the heroes' kingdom,
éðel Scyldinga·      hé þaér eallum wearð

 

homeland of the Scyldings;      he by all became,
maég Higeláces      manna cynne

 

the kinsman of Hygelac,      by mankind,
fréondum gefægra·      hine fyren onwód.

 

more esteemed;      wickedness undid him.
Hwílum flítende      fealwe straéte

  916

Now and then racing,      dusky streets
méarum maéton.      Ðá waés morgenléoht

 

on their mounts they traversed.      Then was the morning light
scofen ond scynded·      éode scealc monig

 

hurried and hastened;      many retainers went
swíðhicgende      tó sele þám héan

 

determined      to the high hall
searowundor séon·      swylce self cyning

 

to see the strange wonder;      the king himself too
of brýdbúre      béahhorda weard

  921

from his wife's bower,      the ward of the ring-hoard,
tryddode tírfæst      getrume micle

 

stepped out splendid      with his great troop,
cystum gecýþed      ond his cwén mid him

 

famed for his excellence,      and his queen with him,
medostigge mæt      mægþa hóse.

 

passed down the meadhall-path,      accompanied by maidens.