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Swá ðá maélceare      maga Healfdenes


So then over the sorrow of the time      the son of Half-Dane
singála séað·      ne mihte snotor hæleð


continually brooded;      the wise hero could not
wéan onwendan·      wæs þæt gewin tó swýð


turn away woe;      that strife was too strong,
láþ ond longsum      þe on ðá léode becóm,


hateful and enduring,      that on the people came
nýdwracu níþgrim      nihtbealwa maést.


fearfully cruel, violent trouble,      the greatest night-evil.

  Þæt fram hám gefrægn      Higeláces þegn


That from home heard      Hygelac's thane,
gód mid Géatum,      Grendles daéda·


a good man of the Geats,      of Grendel's deeds;
sé wæs moncynnes      mægenes strengest


he was of mankind      of the greatest strength,
on þaém dæge      þysses lífes


on that day      in this life,
æþele ond éacen·      hét him ýðlidan


noble and mighty;      he ordered them a wave-crosser
gódne gegyrwan·      cwæð: hé gúðcyning


--a good one-- prepare;      he said: the war-king
ofer swanráde      sécean wolde


over swan-road      he wished to seek,
maérne þéoden      þá him wæs manna þearf·


that mighty clan-chief,      since he was in need of men;
ðone síðfæt him      snotere ceorlas


that adventure him,      the clear-headed chaps,
lýt hwón lógon      þéah hé him léof waére


very little begrudged      though he was dear to them,
hwetton higerófne·      haél scéawedon.


they urged on the valiant-hearted one,      and observed the omens.
Hæfde se góda      Géata léoda


The worthy one had,      from the Geatish peoples,
cempan gecorone      þára þe hé cénoste


chosen champions,      those who were the boldest he
findan mihte·      fíftýna sum


could find;      fifteen together,
sundwudu sóhte·      secg wísade


they sought the sea-wood,      he led the warriors,
lagucræftig mon      landgemyrcu.


that sea-skilled man,      to the boundary of the shore.
Fyrst forð gewát·      flota wæs on ýðum


Time passed by;      the ship was on the waves,
bát under beorge·      beornas gearwe


the boat under the cliffs;      the ready warriors
on stefn stigon      --stréamas wundon,


stepped up into the prow      --the currents curled round,
sund wið sande--      secgas baéron


sea against sand--      the men bore
on bearm nacan      beorhte frætwe


into the bosom of boat      bright arms and armour,
gúðsearo geatolíc·      guman út scufon


noble war-gear;      the fellows shoved off,
weras on wilsíð      wudu bundenne.


men on a welcome voyage,      in a well-braced ship.
Gewát þá ofer waégholm      winde gefýsed


Then they went over the water-waves      urged by the wind,
flota fámíheals      fugle gelícost


the foamy-necked floater,      remarkably bird-like
oð þæt ymb ántid      óþres dógores


until in due time,      on the second day,
wundenstefna      gewaden hæfde


the curved-prow      had made the journey,
þæt ða líðende      land gesáwon,


so that the sailors      sighted land,

brimclifu blícan,      beorgas stéape


bright sea-cliffs,      towering shores,
side saénæssas·      þá wæs sund liden


wide headlands;      then was the sea traversed,
éoletes æt ende.      Þanon up hraðe


their sea-voyage at an end.      Thence up quickly
Wedera léode      on wang stigon·


the Wederas-warriors      stepped onto land;
saéwudu saéldon·      syrcan hrysedon


moored their vessel;      their mail-shirts clanked
gúðgewaédo·      gode þancedon


those war-garments;      they thanked God
þæs þe him ýþláde      éaðe wurdon.


that for them the wave-paths      had been smooth.
Þá of wealle geseah      weard Scildinga


Then from the wall saw      the ward of the Scyldings,
sé þe holmclifu      healdan scolde·


he who the sea-cliffs      had the duty to guard,
beran ofer bolcan      beorhte randas


borne over the gang-plank,      bright bossed-shields,
fyrdsearu fúslicu·      hine fyrwyt bræc


eager war-devices;      in him curiosity broke
módgehygdum      hwæt þá men waéron·


the thoughts of his heart:      what these men were;
gewát him þá tó waroðe      wicge rídan


then he went to the shore      riding his horse,
þegn Hróðgáres·      þrymmum cwehte


the thane of Hrothgar;      he forcefully shook
mægenwudu mundum·      meþelwordum frægn:


his mighty wooden shaft,      and with formal words asked:
'Hwæt syndon gé      searohæbbendra


'What are you      armour-wearers
byrnum werede      þe þus brontne céol


bound in byrnies,      who thus your tall keel
ofer lagustraéte      laédan cwómon


over the sea-street      leading came,
hider ofer holmas?'  


hither over the waters?'
Hé wæs endesaéta·      aégwearde héold


He was the coast-guardian,      he held the sea-watch,
þé on land Dena      láðra naénig


so that on Danish land      no enemies at all
mid scipherge      sceðþan ne meahte·


with a navy      would not be able to ravage.
'Nó hér cúðlícor      cuman ongunnon


'Not here more openly      began to come
lindhæbbende      né gé léafnesword


lindenwood shield-bearers,      nor you the leave-word
gúðfremmendra      gearwe ne wisson


of our war-makers      certainly don't know
mága gemédu·      naéfne ic máran geseah


our kinsmen's consent;      never have I seen greater
eorla ofer eorþan      ðonne is éower sum,


noble on earth      than the one that you are,
secg on searwum·      nis þæt seldguma


warrior in armour;      this is no a mere retainer
waépnum geweorðad·      næfre him his wlite léoge,


made worthy by weapons;      unless he is belied by his looks,
aénlic ansýn!      Nú ic éower sceal


a unique appearance!      Now I must your
frumcyn witan      aér gé fyr heonan


lineage learn,      ere you far hence,
léasscéaweras      on land Dena


deceiving spies      in the land of the Danes
furþur féran·      Nú gé feorbúend


further fare;      now you far-dwellers
merelíðende      mínne gehýrað


you sea-sailors,      hear my
ánfealdne geþóht:      ofost is sélest


one-fold thought:      speed is best
tó gecýðanne      hwanan éowre cyme syndon.'  


for reporting,      whence your comings are.'