BEOWULF

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XXVII

 

Béowulf maþelode    bearn Ecgþéowes:

  1817

Beowulf spoke,    the son of Edgetheow:
'Nú wé saélíðend       secgan wyllað

 

'Now we sea-farers     wish to say
feorran cumene    þæt wé fundiaþ

 

having come from afar,    that we are anxious
Higelác sécan·    waéron hér tela

 

to seek Hygelac;    we here were well
willum bewenede·    þú ús wél dohtest.

 

entertained in our desires;    you have treated us well.
Gif ic þonne on eorþan    ówihte mæg

  1822

If then on earth I    can (do) anything
þínre módlufan    máran tilian,

 

of your affections    earn more,
gumena dryhten,    ðonne ic gýt dyde,

 

lord of men,    than I have done yet,
gúðgeweorca    ic béo gearo sóna

 

with feats of arms,    I am ready at once,
gif ic þæt gefricge    ofer flóda begang

 

if I find it out    over the flood's expanse,
þæt þec ymbsittend    egesan þýwað

  1827

that you neighbouring-tribes    oppress with terror,
swá þec hetende    hwílum dydon

 

as enemies to you    sometimes did,
ic ðé þúsenda    þegna bringe

 

I to you a thousand    thanes will bring,
hæleþa tó helpe.    Ic on Higeláce wát,

 

heroes as help.    I know of Hygelac,
Géata dryhten    þéah ðe hé geong syÿ

 

the lord of the Geats,    though he is young,
folces hyrde·    þæt hé mec fremman wile

  1832

the keeper of the folk,    that he would support me
weordum ond worcum    þæt ic þé wél herige

 

with words and with deeds,    so that I might honour you rightly
ond þé tó géoce    gárholt bere

 

and to you in aid     bring a forest of spears,
mægenes fultum    þaér ðé bið manna þearf.

 

the support of strength,    where you be needful of men.
Gif him þonne Hréþrínc    tó hofum Géata

 

If him, on the other hand, Hrethric    to the Geatish court
geþingeð þéodnes bearn    hé mæg þaér fela

  1837

decides (to go), chieftain's son,    he shall there be able many
fréonda findan·    feorcýþðe béoð

 

friends to find;    distant lands are
sélran gesóhte    þaém þe him selfa déah.'

 

better sought    by one who is powerful himself.'
Hróðgár maþelode    him on andsware:

 

Hrothgar spoke     to him in reply:
'Þé þá wordcwydas     wigtig drihten

 

'To you these sayings of words    the wise Lord
on sefan sende·    ne hýrde ic snotorlícor

  1842

has sent into mind;    I have not heard more intelligently
on swá geongum feore    guman þingian·

 

at such young age    man make a speech;
þú eart mægenes strang    ond on móde fród

 

you are strong in power    and wise in your heart,
wís wordcwida·    wén ic talige

 

judicious word-speaker;    I consider it likely
gif þæt gegangeð    þæt ðe gár nymeð

 

if it happens,    that from you the spear takes,
hild heorugrimme    Hréþles eaferan,

  1847

a horrendous battle    Hrethel's heir,
ádl oþðe íren    ealdor ðínne

 

sickness or iron    your ruler,
folces hyrde    ond þú þín feorh hafast

 

the guardian of the folk,    and you have your life,
þæt þe Saé-Géatas     sélran næbben

 

that the Sea-Geats    could not have better
tó gecéosenne    cyning aénigne

 

by choosing    any other king,
hordweard hæleþa    gyf þú healdan wylt

  1852

hoard-ward of heroes,    if you wish to rule
mága ríce·    mé þín módsefa

 

your kinsman's kingdom.    Your spirit and heart me
lícað leng swá wél,     léofa Béowulf·

 

pleases so well the longer (I know them),    dear Beowulf;
hafast þú geféred     þæt þám folcum sceal

 

you have achieved     that for the folk shall
Géata léodum    ond Gár-Denum

 

the people of the Geats    and the Spear-Danes
sib gemaénum    ond sacu restan,

  1857

in mutual peace,    and strife subside,
inwitníþas,     þé híe aér drugon,

 

hostilities,     which they endured before;
wesan þenden ic wealde    wídan ríces

 

shall be, while I rule    the wide kingdom,
máþmas gemaéne,    manig óþerne

 

wealth in common,    many an other
gódum gegréttan    ofer ganotes bæð·

 

with good things will greet    over the gannet's bath;
sceal hringnaca    ofer heáþu bringan

  1862

the ring-prowed ship shall    bring over the high seas
lác ond luftácen·    ic þá léode wát

 

offerings and tokens of friendship;    I know these nations
gé wið féond gé wið fréond     fæste geworhte

 

both towards foe and towards friend    firmly disposed,
aéghwæs untaéle    ealde wísan.'

 

blameless in everything,    in the ancient manner.'
Ðá gít him eorla hléo     hine gesealde

 

Then again to him the protector of earls    gave to him,
mago Healfdenes    máþmas twelf·

  1867

the son of Half-Dane,    twelve treasures;
hét inne mid þaém lácum    léode swaése

 

he commanded him with these gifts    his own dear nation
sécean on gesyntum,    snúde eft cuman·

 

to seek in safety,    to return quickly;
gecyste þá    cyning æþelum gód,

 

kissed then,    the king the upright noble,
þéoden Scyldinga    ðegn betostan

 

the chieftain of the Scyldings,    the best thane
ond be healse genam·    hruron him téaras

  1872

and took him by the neck;    tears fell from him,
blondenfeaxum·    him wæs béga wén

 

from the silver and gold whiskers;    in him were both thoughts
      **1873-80**
ealdum infródum,    óþres swíðor·

 

old and deeply wise,    the second stronger,
þæt híe seoððan     geséon móston

 

that they afterwards    might meet,
módige on meþle·    wæs him se man tó þon léof

 

brave in a formal summit;    the man was so dear to him
þæt hé þone bréostwylm     forberan ne mehte

  1877

that he the welling of his breast    could not hold back
ac him on hreþre    hygebendum fæst

 

but him in his heart    in firm bounds of thought
æfter déorum men    dyrne langað

 

for the dear man    a remote longing
beorn wið blóde.    Him Béowulf þanan

 

burned in his blood.    Him Beowulf thence,
gúðrinc goldwlanc    græsmoldan træd

 

warrior proud with gold,    trod the grass-mound,
since hrémig·    saégenga bád

  1882

triumphing in treasure.    The sea-goer awaited
ágedfréän     sé þe on ancre rád·

 

its lord and owner,    which rode at its anchor;
þá wæs on gange     gifu Hróðgáres

 

later on the journey was    the gift of Hrothgar
oft geæhted·    þæt wæs án cyning,

 

often praised;    that was one king,
aéghwæs orleahtre    oþ þæt hine yldo benam

 

in everything blameless,    until age deprived him
mægenes wynnum    sé þe oft manegum scód.

  1887

of strength's delights,    a thing which continually harms many.