BEOWULF

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XXV

 

Béowulf maþelode    bearn Ecgþéowes:

 

Beowulf spoke,    the son of Edgetheow:
'Hwæt, wé þé þás saélác,    sunu Healfdenes

 

'Listen, we you these sea-spoils,    son of Half-Dane,
léod Scyldinga,    lustum bróhton

  1653

lord of the Scyldings,    gladly brought
tíres tó tácne    þé þú hér tó lócast.

 

as token of glory,    which you look at here.
Ic þæt unsófte    ealdre gedígde

 

I it not easily    survived with my life,
wigge under wætere·    weorc genéþde

 

war under water,    work risked
earfoðlíce·     ætrihte wæs

 

with trouble;    at once was
gúð getwaéfed    nymðe mec god scylde·

  1658

the warfare at an end,    unless God shielded me;
ne meahte ic æt hilde    mid Hruntinge

 

I could not in the battle    with Hrunting
wiht gewyrcan    þéah þæt waépen duge

 

bring about anything,    though that weapon is excellent
ac mé geúðe    ylda waldend

 

but to me granted    men's Ruler
þæt ic on wáge geseah    wlitig hangian

 

that I saw on the wall    hanging fair
ealdsweord éacen    --oftost wísode

  1663

a mighty ancient sword    --most often He has guided
winigea léasum--    þæt ic ðý waépne gebraéd·

 

the one deprived of friend--    that I the weapon drew,
ofslóh ðá æt þaére sæcce     þá mé saél ageald

 

slew then in the strife,    when an opportunity was yielded to me,
húses hyrdas·    þá þæt hildebil

 

the house's guardians;    then that battle-bill
forbarn brogdenmaél    swá þæt blód gesprang

 

burned up, wavy-patterned,     as the blood leapt out,
hátost heaþoswáta·    ic þæt hilt þanan

  1668

the hottest sweat of war;    I that hilt thence
féondum ætferede·    fyrendaéda wræc

 

carried back from the fiends,    foul-deeds avenged,
déaðcwealm Denigea    swá hit gedéfe wæs.

 

deadly slaughter of Danes,    as it was fitting.
Ic hit þé þonne geháte    þæt þú on Heorote móst

 

I promise it to you then,    that you in Heorot may
sorhléas swefan    mid þínra secga gedryht

 

sleep without sorrow    with your company of soldiers,
ond þegna gehwylc    þínra léoda

  1673

and each thane    of your nation,
duguðe ond iogoþe·      þæt þú him ondraédan ne þearft,

 

veterans and youths,    that you for them need not dread,
þéoden Scyldinga,    on þá healfe

 

chieftain of the Scyldings,    on that side,
aldorbealu eorlum    swá þú aér dydest.'

 

life-bale for earls,    as you did before.'
Ðá wæs gyldenhilt    gamelum rince

 

Then was the golden hilt    to the old king
hárum hildfruman    on hand gyfen

  1678

to the grey battle-leader,    given into his hand,
enta aérgeweorc·    hit on aéht gehwearf

 

the ancient work of giants;    it had passed into the possession
æfter déofla hryre    Denigea fréän

 

after the devils' fall    of the lord of the Danes,
wundorsmiþa geweorc    ond þá þás worold ofgeaf

 

the work of wondersmiths,    and then this world gave up
gromheort guma    godes andsaca

 

the angry-hearted creature,    God's adversary
morðres scyldig    ond his módor éac

  1683

guilty of murder,    and his mother also;
on geweald gehwearf    woroldcyninga

 

it passed into the power    of the earthly kings
ðaém sélestan     be saém twéonum

 

the finest ones    between the two seas,
ðára þe on Scedenigge    sceattas daélde.

 

of those who in Scandinavia     dealt out riches.
Hróðgár maðelode·    hylt scéawode

 

Hrothgor spoke;    he examined the hilt,
ealde lafe·    on ðaém wæs ór writen

  1688

the old heirloom,    on which was engraved the origin
fyrngewinnes    syðþan flód ofslóh

 

of ancient strife,    when the flood slew
gifen géotende    gíganta cyn--

 

the pouring ocean,    the race of giants--
frécne geférdon·    þæt wæs fremde þéod

 

they fared terribly;    that was a tribe foreign
écean dryhtne·    him þæs endeléan

 

to the eternal Lord;    them the end-reward
þurh wæteres wylm    waldend sealde--

  1693

through the surging of waters    the Ruler granted--
swá wæs on ðaém scennum    scíran goldes

 

also was on the sword-hilt    of shining gold
þurh rúnstafas    rihte gemearcod

 

in rune-staves    rightly marked,
geseted ond gesaéd    hwám þæt sweord geworht

 

it was set down and said,    for whom the sword wrought,
írena cyst    aérest waére

 

--choicest of irons--     had been first,
wreoþenhilt ond wyrmfáh·    ðá se wísa spræc

  1698

with a twisted-hilt and serpent-patterned;    then the wise man spoke,
sunu Healfdenes     swígedon ealle:

 

the son of Half-Dane     all fell silent:
'Þæt, lá, mæg secgan     sé þe sóð ond riht

 

'That, indeed, may say    he who truth and right
fremeð on folce·    feor eal gemon,

 

performs among the folk,    remembers all from far-back,
eald éðel weard·    þæt ðes eorl waére

 

old warden of the homeland;    that this hero was
geboren betera·    blaéd is áraéred

  1703

born a greater man;    the fame is established
geond wídwegas,    wine mín Béowulf,

 

throughout the distant regions,    Beowulf my friend,
n ofer oda gehwylce    eal hit geyldum healdest,

 

over each of the nations, of you;    all you it with patience hold,
mgen mid mdes snyttrum      ic sceal mne gelastan

 

strength with the wisdom of the heart;    to you I shall continue to give my
froe sw wit furum spracon     scealt t frfre weoran

  1707

protection, as we spoke of before;    you must be as a comfort
eal langtwídig    léodum þínum

 

all long-lasting    to your people,
hæleðum tó helpe.    Ne wearð Heremód swá

 

to heroes a support.    Heremod was not so
eaforum Ecgwelan    Ár-Scyldingum·

 

to the sons of Edgewela,    to the Honour-Scyldings;
ne gewéox hé him tó willan    ac tó wælfealle

 

he grew not to their pleasure,    but for slaughter
ond tó déaðcwalum    Deniga léodum·

  1712

and for annihilation    of the people of the Danes;
bréat bolgenmód    béodgenéatas

 

he felled in a furious spirit    his companions at table,
eaxlgesteallan    oþ þæt hé ána hwearf

 

shoulder-comrades,    until he alone passed,
maére þéoden    mondréamum from

 

famous king,    from the joys of man
ðéah þe hine mihtig god    mægenes wynnum

 

though him mighty God    with joys of strength
eafeþum stépte    ofer ealle men

  1717

powerfully exalted    over all men,
forð gefremede    hwæþere him on ferhþe gréow

 

further advanced    yet in his heart grew to him
bréosthord blódréow·    nallas béagas geaf

 

the treasure of the breast eager for blood;     not at all did he give rings
Denum æfter dóme·    dréamléas gebád

 

to Danes for glory;    he lived joylessly,
þæt hé þæs gewinnes    wærc þrówade

 

so that he the strife's    pain suffered,
léodbealo longsum.    Ðú þé laér be þon·

  1722

a great evil to the people for a long time.    You learn by this,
gumcyste ongit·    ic þis gid be þé

 

understand human virtue;    I this tale for you
áwræc wintrum fród.    Wundor is tó secganne

 

recited, old and wise in winters.    Wonder is to say
hú mihtig god    manna cynne

 

how mighty God    to mankind
þurh sídne sefan    snyttru bryttað

 

according to deep understanding     dispenses wisdom,
eard ond eorlscipe·    hé áh ealra geweald·   1727 land and noble qualities;    he has control of all;
hwílum hé on lufan    laéteð hworfan

 

at times He in delight    lets go
monnes módgeþonc    maéran cynnes

 

the heart's thought of some man    of glorious kin
seleð him on éþle    eorþan wynne

 

gives to him in his own homeland    earthly bliss
tó healdanne    hléoburh wera·

 

to command    a stronghold of men,
gedéð him swá gewealdene     worolde daélas

  1732

makes subject to him    from the world's portions,
síde ríce    þæt hé his selfa ne mæg

 

a wide kingdom,    that he himself can not
for his unsnyttrum    ende geþencean·

 

in his ignorance    conceive the end (of his rule);
wunað hé on wiste·    nó hine wiht dweleð

 

he lives on in abundance;    they hinder him not a bit,
ádl né yldo    né him inwitsorh

 

sickness nor age,    nor him evil sorrow
on sefan sweorceð    né gesacu óhwaér

  1737

darkens in his soul,    nor strife anywhere
ecghete éoweð    ac him eal worold

 

sharp-hate appears,    but to him all the world
wendeð on willan·    hé þæt wyrse ne con.

 

turns on his pleasure;    he does not know it worse.