BEOWULF

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last updated on 15-June-2005


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[XXX]

 

Oð ðæt híe forlaéddan    tó ðám lindplegan

 

Until they had led to disaster    in the shield-play
swaése gesíðas    ond hyra sylfra feorh.

 

their dear companions    and their own lives.
Þonne cwið æt béore     sé ðe béahgesyhð

 

Then speaks at the beer-drinking,    he who sees a ring-precious object,
eald æscwiga    sé ðe eall geman

  2042

the old ash-warrior,    he who remembers all
gárcwealm gumena    --him bið grim sefa--

 

the spear-death of men    --in him is a fierce heart--
onginneð géomormód    geongum cempan

 

he begins sad-spirited    in a young champion,
þurh hreðra gehygd    higes cunnian,

 

by the musing of his heart,    to tempt his mind,
wígbealu weccean    ond þæt word ácwyð:

 

to awaken war-horror,    and speaks these words:
"Meaht ðú, mín wine,     méce gecnáwan

  2047

"Can you, my friend,     recognise that maiche,
þone þín fæder    tó gefeohte bær

 

which your father    bore into the fight,
under heregríman    hindeman síðe,

 

under his army-mask    on the last campaign,
dýre íren,    þaér hyne Dene slógon·

 

precious iron,    there the Danes slew him,
wéoldon wælstówe    syððan wiðergyld læg

 

controlled the slaying-field,    when retribution failed,
æfter hæleþa hryre    hwate Scyldungas?

  2052

after the heroes' fall,    the fierce Scyldings?
Nú hér þára banena    byre náthwylces

 

Now here of those slayers    the son of one or other of them,
frætwum hrémig    on flet gaëð·

 

exultant in trappings,    goes across the floor,
morðres gylpeð    ond þone máðþum byreð

 

boasts of murder,    and wears the treasure
þone þe ðú mid rihte    raédan sceoldest."

 

which you by right    ought to possess."
Manað swá ond myndgað     maéla gehwylce

  2057

Thus he incites and reminds     every time
sárum wordum    oð ðæt saél cymeð

 

with grievous words,    until that time comes
þæt se faémnan þegn    fore fæder daédum

 

that the woman's thane    for his father's deeds
æfter billes bite    blódfág swefeð

 

from the bite of a bill-blade    sleeps, stained in blood,
ealdres scyldig·    him se óðer þonan

 

having forfeited life;    him the other thence
losað lifigende·    con him land geare.

  2062

escapes alive,    the land is readily known to him.
Þonne bíoð brocene    on bá healfe

 

Then are broken    on both sides
áðsweorð eorla·    syððan Ingelde

 

the sworn oaths of earls;    then in Ingeld
weallað wælníðas    ond him wíflufan

 

murderous hate will well up     and in him the love of woman
æfter cearwælmum    cólran weorðað·

 

surges of grief    will become cooler;
þý ic Heaðo-Beardna    hyldo ne telge

  2067

Therefore I the Heathobards'    loyalty do not consider,
dryhtsibbe daél    Denum unfaécne,

 

the alliance's portion,    for the Danes untreacherous,
fréondscipe fæstne.    Ic sceal forð sprecan

 

enduring friendship.    I ought speak further
gén ymbe Grendel    þæt ðú geare cunne,

 

again about Grendel,    that you may readily know,
sinces brytta,    tó hwan syððan wearð

 

giver of treasure,    what then happened,
hondraés hæleða    syððan heofones gim

  2072

the hand-fight of heroes    when heaven's gem
glád ofer grundas    gaést yrre cwóm

 

had glided over the earth,    the ireful guest came,
eatol aéfengrom    úser néosan

 

terrible, fierce in the evening    to visit us,
ðaér wé gesunde    sæl weardodon

 

where we, unharmed,    warded the hall,
þaér wæs Hondsciö    hilde onsaége

 

where was for Hondscio    a sinking battle
feorhbealu faégum·    hé fyrmest læg

  2077

deadly evil for the doomed man;    he fell first,
gyrded cempa·    him Grendel wearð

 

the girded champion;    for him Grendel was,
maérum maguþegne    tó múðbonan·

 

the famed thane of distinction,    a slayer by mouth,
léofes mannes    líc eall forswealg·

 

the belovèd man's     body swallowed up completely;
nó ðý aér út ðá gén    ídelhende

 

not the sooner out yet    empty-handed,
bona blódigtóð    bealewa gemyndig

  2082

the slayer bloody-toothed,    wickedness in mind,
of ðám goldsele    gongan wolde

 

from the gold-hall    did he wish to go
ac hé mægnes róf    mín costode·

 

but he, famed for his strength,    tested me,
grápode gearofolm·     glóf hangode

 

gripped with an eager hand;    a pouch hung down
síd ond syllíc    searobendum fæst

 

spacious and strange,    with cleverly-wrought clasps held fast,
sío wæs orðoncum    eall gegyrwed

  2087

it was cunningly    all devised
déofles cræftum    ond dracan fellum·

 

with devil's crafts    and dragon's skins;
hé mec þaér on innan    unsynnigne

 

he me there inside,    guiltless,
díor daédfruma    gedón wolde

 

the daring instigator    wished to stuff,
manigra sumne·    hyt ne mihte swá

 

as one of many;    he could not do so,
syððan ic on yrre    upprihte ástód.

  2092

since I in anger    stood erect.
Tó lang ys tó reccenne    hú ic ðám léodsceaðan

 

It is too long to recount    how I the scourge of the people
yfla gehwylces    hondléan forgeald

 

for each of his evils    paid in hand-requital
þaér ic, þéoden mín,     þíne léode

 

where I, my lord,    your people
weorðode weorcum·    he on weg losade

 

honoured by acts;    he escaped away
lýtle hwíle    lífwynna bréac·

  2097

for a little while,    enjoyed the joy of life;
hwæþre him sío swíðre     swaðe weardade

 

yet from him the right,    a vestige, remainded behind
hand on Hiorte    ond hé héan ðonan

 

hand in Heorot,    and he wretched thence,
módes geómor    meregrund geféoll.

 

gloomy in his heart,    sank into the depths of the mere.
Mé þone wælraés    wine Scildunga

 

To me for the bloody battle     the Friend of the Scyldings
faéttan golde    fela léanode

  2102

with objects of plated gold    in plenty rewarded,
manegum máðmum    syððan mergen cóm

 

many treasures,    when morning came,
ond wé tó symble    geseten hæfdon

 

and we to the feast    had sat down
þaér wæs gidd ond gléo:    gomela Scilding

 

where was song and glee:    old Scylding
felafricgende    feorran rehte·

 

who has heard tell of many things,    from long ago narrated;
hwílum hildedéor    hearpan wynne

  2107

at times this battle-daring one    the harp for pleasure
gomelwudu grétte·    hwílum gyd áwræc

 

the old-wood played;    sometimes recited a song,
sóð ond sárlíc·    hwílum syllíc spell

 

true and tragic;     sometimes strange tales
rehte æfter rihte    rúmheort cyning·

 

he related rightly,    the open-hearted king;
hwílum eft ongan    eldo gebunden

 

at times he began again,    bound in his age,
gomel gúðwiga    gioguðe cwíðan

  2112

the ancient war-soldier,    to mourn for his youth,
hildestrengo·    hreðer inne wéoll

 

his battle-strength;    his heart welled inside,
þonne hé wintrum fród,    worn gemunde.

 

when he, wise in winter,     recalled many things.
Swá wé þaér inne     andlangne dæg

 

So we there inside     a whole long day
níode náman    oð ðæt niht becwóm

 

took pleasure,    until came night
óðer tó yldum·    Þá wæs eft hraðe

  2117

another to men;    then was again swiftly
gearo gyrnwræce    Grendeles módor

 

ready for grief-revenge     Grendel's mother,
síðode sorhfull·    sunu déað fornam,

 

she journeyed full of sorrow;    Death had taken her son,
wíghete Wedra·    wíf unhýre

 

the war-hate of the Wederas;    the horrible woman
hyre bearn gewræc·    beorn ácwealde

 

avenged her child,    killed a warrior
ellenlíce·     þaér wæs Æschere

  2122

savagely;     there was from Æschere,
fródan fyrnwitan    feorh úðgenge.

 

the old, wise lore-counsellor,    life departed.
Nóðer hý hine ne móston     syððan mergen cwóm

 

Nor could they him,    when morning came,
déaðwérigne     Denia léode

 

weary of death    the Danish people
bronde forbærnan    né on baél hladan

 

cremate in fire,    nor lay on the funeral bale,
léofne mannan·    hío þæt líc ætbær

  2127

the beloved man;    she had carried off the corpse
féondes fæðme    under firgenstréam·

 

in fiend's embrace    beneath the mountain stream;
þæt wæs Hróðgáre     hréowa tornost

 

that was for Hrothgar    the most bitter grief
þára þe léodfruman    lange begéate.

 

which the ruler of the people    long had received.
Þá se ðéoden mec     ðíne lífe

 

Then me the chieftain,    by your life,
healsode hréohmód    þæt ic on holma geþring

  2132

implored with troubled mind,    that I in the waters' tumult
eorlscipe efnde·    ealdre genéðde·

 

perform a noble act,    risk life,
maérðo fremede·    hé mé méde gehét.

 

accomplish glory;    he promised me rewards.
Ic ðá ðæs wælmes    þé is wíde cúð

 

Then I the welling waters',    as is widely known,
grimme gryrelícne    grundhyrde fond·

 

wrathful ghastly    guard of the deep found;
þaér unc hwíle wæs    hand gemaéne·

  2137

there a while we were    sharing a hand;
holm heolfre wéoll    ond ic héafde becearf

 

the water welled with gore,    and I cut off the head
in ðám grundsele    Grendeles módor

 

in that deep-hall    of Grendel's mother
éacnum ecgum·    unsófte þonan

 

with mighty edges,    not easily thence
feorh oðferede·    næs ic faége þá gýt

 

I carried off my life;    I was not doomed yet
ac mé eorla hléo    eft gesealde

  2142

but to me the protector of heroes    again gave
máðma menigeo    maga Healfdenes.'

 

many treasures,    the kinsman of Half-Dane.'