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last updated on 12-June-2005

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Him wæs ful boren      ond fréondlaþu


The full cup was brought to him,      and a friendly invitation
wordum bewægned      ond wundengold


proffered in words,      and twisted gold
éstum geéawed:      earmréade twá


kindly offered:      two arm-ornaments,
hrægl ond hringas,      healsbéaga maést


robe and rings,      the largest necklace
þára þe ic on foldan      gefrægen hæbbe·


of those which I on earth      have heard of;
naénigne ic under swegle      sélran hýrde


none under the sky I      have heard of better
hordmádmum hæleþa      syþðan Háma ætwæg


from hoard-treasures of heroes,      since Hama carried off
tó herebyrhtan byrig      Brósinga mene


to the battle-bright stronghold      the Brosings' necklet,
sigle ond sincfæt·      searoníðas fealh


jewel and precious setting;      he fled the cunning enmity
Eormenríces·      gecéas écne raéd·


of Eormenric,      chose eternal benefit;
þone hring hæfde      Higelác Géata


That ring had      Hygelac of the Geats,
nefa Swertinges      nýhstan síðe


grandson of Swerting,      on his last adventure,
siðþan hé under segne      sinc ealgode·


when under the banner he      defended riches,
wælréaf werede·      hyne wyrd fornam


warded slaughter-spoils;      him Fate took away,
syþðan hé for wlenco      wéan áhsode


after he from pride      sought misery,
faéhðe tó Frýsum·      hé þá frætwe wæg


feud with the Frisians;      he then wore the ornament,
eorclanstánas      ofer ýða ful


the mysterious stone      over the waves' cup,
ríce þéoden·      hé under rande gecranc.


the mighty prince;      he fell under the rimmed-shield.
Gehwearf þá in Francna fæþm      feorh cyninges


Passed then into the Franks' grasp      the body of the king,
bréostgewaédu      ond se béah somod·


mail-coat      and the ring together;
wyrsan wígfrecan      wæl réafeden


lesser warrior      rifled the corpses
æfter gúðsceare·      Géata léode


after the slaughter of battle;      the people of the Geats
hréawíc héoldon.      Heal swége onféng·


filled the field of corpses.      The hall resounded with noise;
Wealhðéo maþelode·      héo fore þaém werede spræc:


Wealhtheow spoke;      she spoke before the retinue:
'Brúc ðisses béages,      Béowulf léofa


'Make use of this ring,      belovèd Beowulf,
hyse, mid haéle      ond þisses hrægles néot


young man, with good fortune,      and take benefit from this corslet,
þéod gestreona      ond geþéoh tela·


the wealth of a nation,      and prosper well,
cen þec mid cræfte      ond þyssum cnyhtum wes


prove yourself with strength,      and to these lads be
lára líðe·      ic þé þæs léan geman·


gentle in teaching;      I shall remember you for this requital;
hafast þú geféred      þæt ðé feor ond néah


you have brought it about      that you far and near
ealne wídeferhþ      weras ehtigað


always and forever      men will praise,
efne swá síde      swá saé bebúgeð,


even as widely      as the sea surrounds
windgeard, weallas·      wes þenden þú lifige,


the home of the wind, walls;      be while you live,
æþeling, éadig·      ic þé an tela


prince, happy;      I wish thee well,
sincgestréona·      béo þú suna mínum


and rich in treasure;      be you to my sons
daédum gedéfe,      dréamhealdende·


indulgent in deeds,      possessing joy;
hér is aéghwylc eorl      óþrum getrýwe


here is each of the men      true to the others
módes milde      mandrihtne hléo·


generous in mind,      in the protetion of their liege-lord;
þegnas syndon geþwaére      þéod ealgearo


the thanes are united,      the people alert,
druncne dryhtguman      dóð swá ic bidde.'


the warrior-retinue cheered by drink      do as I bid.'
Éode þá tó setle·      þaér wæs symbla cyst·


She went then to her seat;      there was the finest feast,
druncon wín weras·      wyrd ne cúþon


the men drank wine;      they did not know their fate,
geósceaft grimme      swá hit ágangen wearð


horrific destiny,      as it had happened
eorla manegum      syþðan aéfen cwóm


to many heroes,      after evening came,
ond him Hróþgár gewát      tó hofe sínum


and Hrothgar went      to his quarters,
ríce tó ræste      reced weardode


the ruler to rest,      the hall guarded
unrím eorla      swá híe oft aér dydon


countless earls,      as they often had done before,
bencþelu beredon·      hit geondbraéded wearð


they cleared away the benches from the floor;      over it was spread
beddum ond bolstrum·      béorscealca sum


bedding and bolsters;      one of the beer-drinkers,
fús ond faége      fletræste gebéag·


eager and doomed,      lay down in his hall-couch;
setton him tó héafdon      hilderandas


they set at their heads      battle-bossed shields,
bordwudu beorhtan·      þaér on bence wæs


bright linden-wood;      there on the bench was
ofer æþelinge      ýþgeséne


over each nobleman      easily seen
heaþostéapa helm      hringed byrne


a battle-steep helm,      ringed byrnie,
þrecwudu þrymlíc·      wæs þéaw hyra


(and) glorious mighty shaft;      their custom was
þæt híe oft waéron      an wíg gearwe


that they were often      ready for a battle
gé æt hám gé on herge      gé gehwæþer þára


both at home and out harrying,      and either of these,
efne swylce maéla      swylce hira mandryhtne


for just such times      as for their liege-lord
þearf gesaélde·      wæs séo þéod tilu.


the need arose;      they were a good platoon.