BEOWULF

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XXI

 

Béowulf maþelode      bearn Ecgþéowes:

  1383

Beowulf spoke,      the son of Edgetheow:
'Ne sorga, snotor guma·      sélre bið aéghwaém

 

'Do not sorrow, wise man·      it is better for everyone
þæt hé his fréond wrece      þonne hé fela murne·

 

that he his friend avenge,      than he mourn over-much;
úre aéghwylc sceal      ende gebídan

 

each of us must      await the end
worolde lífes:      wyrce sé þe móte

 

in the world of life:      gain he who may
dómes aér déaþe·      þæt bið drihtguman,

  1388

glory before death;      that is for the warrior,
unlifgendum      æfter sélest.

 

unliving,      afterwards the best.
Árís, ríces weard,      uton hraþe féran

 

Arise, O guardian of the kingdom,      let us go quickly,
Grendles mágan      gang scéawigan·

 

Grendel's kin's      trail survey;
ic hit þé geháte:      nó hé on helm losaþ

 

I swear it to thee:      she will not be lost in the cover,
né on foldan fæþm      né on fyrgenholt

  1393

nor in the embrace of the earth,      nor in the mountain wood,
né on gyfenes grund·      gá þaér hé wille·

 

nor in the ocean's depth,      go where she will;
ðýs dógor þú      geþyld hafa

 

this day you      must have patience
wéana gehwylces      swá ic þé wéne tó.'

 

in each of the woes,      as I expect you to.'
Áhléop ðá se gomela,      gode þancode

 

The agèd one leapt up,      thanked God,
mihtigan drihtne      þæs se man gespræc·

  1398

mighty Lord,      for what the man spoke;
þá wæs Hróðgáre      hors gebaéted

 

then was for Hrothgar      a horse was bridled,
wicg wundenfeax·      wísa fengel

 

a mount with braided mane;      the wise ruler
geatolíc gende·      gumféþa stóp

 

rode well-equipped;      the foot-soldiers marched
lindhæbbendra·      lástas waéron

 

linden-wood bearers;      tracks were
æfter waldswaþum      wíde gesýne,

  1403

along the forest-track      widely seen,
gang ofer grundas      gegnum for

 

the trail over the grounds,      went straight-forward
ofer myrcan mór      magoþegna bær

 

over the murky moor,      she carried of the kin-thanes
þone sélestan      sáwolléasne

 

the finest      --without his soul--
þára þe mid Hróðgáre        hám eahtode.

 

of those who with Hrothgar      had defended their home.
Oferéode þá      æþelinga bearn

  1408

Traversed then      the nobles' son
stéap stánhliðo      stíge nearwe

 

the steep stone slopes,      the narrow ways,
enge ánpaðas      uncúð gelád

 

the tight single-file paths,      the unknown, uncertain water-crossings,
neowle næssas      nicorhúsa fela·

 

the precipitous headlands,      the many homes of nicors;
hé féara sum      beforan gengde

 

he with a few      went ahead
wísra monna      wong scéawian

  1413

wise men      surveying the field,
oþ þæt hé faéringa      fyrgenbéamas

 

until he by chance      mountain-trees
ofer hárne stán      hleonian funde

 

over a silvery-grey stone      found hanging,
wynléasne wudu·      wæter under stód

 

the joyless forest;      water stood below,
dréorig ond gedréfed·      Denum eallum wæs

 

bloody and stirred-up;      for all of the Danes was,
winum Scyldinga      wærce on móde

  1418

for the friends of the Scyldings,     suffering in the heart
tó geþolianne,      ðegne monegum

 

to endure,      for many thanes,
oncýð eorla gehwaém      syðþan Æscheres

 

awakening grief in each of the nobles,      when Æschere's
on þám holmclife      hafelan métton.

 

--on the sea-cliff--      head encountered.
Flód blóde wéol      --folc tó saégon--

 

The flood welled bloody      --the folk stared at it--
hátan heolfre·      horn stundum song

  1423

with flaming gore;      rapidly the horn sang,
fúslíc forðléoð·      féþa eal gesæt·

 

urgent song of departure;      the troop all sat down;
gesáwon ðá æfter wætere      wyrmcynnes fela

 

they saw then through the water      many of the race of serpents,
sellice saédracan      sund cunnian,

 

strange sea-dragon      exploring the lake,
swylce on næshleoðum      nicras licgean

 

also on the cape-slopes      were lounging nicors,
ðá on undernmaél      oft bewitigað

  1428

they in mid-morning      often carry out
sorhfulne síð      on seglráde,

 

grievous sorties      on the sail-road,
wyrmas ond wildéor·      híe on weg hruron

 

serpents and wild beasts;      they rushed away
bitere ond gebolgne·      bearhtm ongéaton

 

bitter and swollen with rage;      they perceived the clear note,
gúðhorn galan·      sumne Géata léod

 

war-horn wailing;      one of the Geats' men
of flánbogan      féores getwaéfde

  1433

with a shaft and bow      separated it from life,
ýðgewinnes      þæt him on aldre stód

 

of wave-struggle      that in its heart stood,
herestraél hearda·      hé on holme wæs

 

a strong war-arrow;      it in the water was
sundes þé saénra      ðé hyne swylt fornam·

 

swimming the slower,      when Death seized it;
hræþe wearð on ýðum      mid eoferspréotum

 

fast it was in the waves      against boar-pikes
heorohócyhtum      hearde genearwod,

  1438

savagely-hooked      hard pressed,
níða genaéged      ond on næs togen

 

viciously attacked,      and from the cape dragged out,
wundorlíc waégbora·      weras scéawedon

 

wondrous spawn of the waves;      men stared at
gryrelícne gist.      Gyrede hine Béowulf

 

the gruesome guest.      Beowulf armed himself
eorlgewaédum·      nalles for ealdre mearn·

 

in noble garments,      feared not at all for his life;
scolde herebyrne      hondum gebróden

  1443

it was necessary that his army-byrnie,      braided by hands,
síd ond searofáh      sund cunnian

 

broad and cunningly adorned,      explore the lake,
séo ðe báncofan      beorgan cúþe

 

it the bone-chamber      could protect,
þæt him hildegráp      hreþre ne mihte

 

that him the battle-grip      could not his heart,     
eorres inwitfeng      aldre gesceþðan

 

nor angry grasp of malice      his life scathe,
ac se hwíta helm      hafelan werede

  1448

moreover the shining helm      warded his head,
sé þe meregrundas      mengan scolde,

 

that which the mere-depths      must stir up,
sécan sundgebland      since geweorðad

 

seek the mingling of waters      adorned with riches,
befongen fréawrásnum      swá hine fyrndagum

 

encircled with lordly-bands      as in far-days it
worhte waépna smið      wundrum téode·

 

was wrought by weapons' smith,      wonderfully lengthened,
besette swínlícum      þæt hine syðþan nó

  1453

beset with swine-forms,      so that it then no
brond né beadomécas      bítan ne meahton.

 

brond-blade nor battle-maiches      to bite were not able.
Næs þæt þonne maétost      mægenfultuma

 

Not the least then of      his mighty supports,
þæt him on ðearfe láh      ðyle Hróðgáres

 

that him in need lent      Hrothgar's þyle
--wæs þaém hæftméce      Hrunting nama--

 

--was the long-hilted maiche-sword's      name Hrunting--
þæt wæs án foran      ealdgestréona·

  1458

it was one above      of ancient treasures;
ecg wæs íren      átertánum fáh

 

edge was iron,      with poison-twigs patterned,
áhyrded heaþoswáte·      naéfre hit æt hilde ne swác

 

hardened with battle-blood;      never had it in a fight failed
manna aéngum      þára þe hit mid mundum bewand

 

any man,      who it in hands brandished,
sé ðe gryresíðas      gegán dorste

 

he who terrifying journeys      dared to enter upon,
folcstede fára·      næs þæt forma síð

  1463

the domain of foes;      it was not the first time
þæt hit ellenweorc      æfnan scolde.

 

that it courage-work      had been obliged to perform.
Húru ne gemunde      mago Ecgláfes

 

Indeed he could not have recalled,      the kin of Ecgelaf,
eafoþes cræftig      þæt hé aér gespræc

 

mighty in strength,      that which he had said before,
wíne druncen      þá hé þæs waépnes onláh

 

drunk on wine,      when he lent that the weapon
sélran sweordfrecan      selfa ne dorste

  1468

to a better swordsman,      he himself did not dare
under ýða gewin      aldre genéþan,

 

under the waves' turmoil      to risk his life,
drihtscype dréogan·      þaér hé dóme forléas

 

to carry out bravery;      there he forfeited glory,
ellenmaérðum·      ne wæs þaém óðrum swá     

 

fame from valour;      it was not so for the other,
syðþan hé hine tó gúðe      gegyred hæfde.

 

when he himself for war      had equipped.