BEOWULF

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XXXV

 

Gewíteð þonne on sealman·    sorhléoð gæleð

 

He goes then to his bed,    sings a song of sorrow,
án æfter ánum·    þúhte him eall tó rúm

 

one man on account of one man;    it seemed to him all too roomy,
wongas ond wícstede.    Swá Wedra helm

 

the fields and the dwelling-place.    Thus the Helm of the Wederas
æfter Herebealde    heortan sorge

 

on account of Herebeald    heart's sorrow,
weallinde, wæg:    wihte ne meahte

  2464

welling, endured:    not a whit could he
on ðám feorhbonan    faéghðe gebétan·

 

on that life-slayer    settle a feud;
nó ðý aér hé þone heaðorinc     hatian ne meahte

 

nor the more for that warrior    could he show hatred
láðum daédum    þéah him léof ne wæs·

 

with hostile acts,    though he by him was not loved;
hé ðá mid þaére sorhge    þé him sío sár belamp

 

he then with that sorrow,    which on him that sorely befell,
gumdréam ofgeaf·    godes léoht gecéas·

  2469

he gave over human joys,    choose God's light;
eaferum laéfde    swá déð éadig mon

 

to his heirs he left,    as does a fortunate man,
lond ond léodbyrig    þá hé of lífe gewát.

 

the land and the folk-citadel,    when he departed from life.
Þá wæs synn ond sacu     Swéona ond Géata

 

Then was injury and strife    of the Swedes and the Geats
ofer wíd wæter    wróht gemaéne

 

over the wide water    a quarrel shared,
hereníð hearda    syððan Hréðel swealt

  2474

hard military-spite,    after Hrethel died,
oððe him Ongenðéowes    eaferan waéran

 

and to him Ongentheow's    heirs were
frome fyrdhwate·    fréode ne woldon

 

vigorous and martial;    they did not wish friendship
ofer heafo healdan    ac ymb Hréosnabeorh

 

to hold across the ocean,    but around Hreosnabeorh
eatolne inwitscear    oft gefremedon

 

horrible, malicious raiding    often committed
þæt maégwine    míne gewraécan,

  2479

that kin-friends    of mine avenged,
faéhðe ond fyrene    swá hyt gefraége wæs

 

feud and crime,    as it was famous,
þéah ðe óðer his    ealdre gebohte

 

though one of the two with his    life paid,
heardan céape·    hæðcynne wearð

 

a hard bargain;    for Hathcyn was,
Géata dryhtne    gúð onsaége.

 

the Geats' lord,    war impending.
Þá ic on morgne gefrægn    maég óðerne

  2484

Then I heard in the morning    that one kinsman the other
billes ecgum    on bonan staélan

 

with bill's edges    took vengeance on the slayer,
þaér Ongenþéow    Eofores níosað·

 

there Ongentheow    is attacked by Eofor;
gúðhelm tóglád·    gomela Scylfing

 

the war-helm slipped asunder,    the agèd Scylfing
hréas heaþoblác·    hond gemunde

 

fell battle-pale.     The hand remembered
faéhðo genóge·    feorhsweng ne oftéah.

  2489

feuds a-plenty,    did not withhold life-blow.
Ic him þá máðmas     þé hé mé sealde

 

I to him the treasures,    which he had given me,
geald æt gúðe    swá mé gifeðe wæs

 

repaid in war,    as was granted to me,
léohtan sweorde·    hé mé lond forgeaf

 

with flashing sword;    he gave me land,
eard éðelwyn·    næs him aénig þearf

 

earth, the joy of homeland;    there was not for him any need,
þæt hé tó Gifðum     oððe tó Gár-Denum

  2494

that he among the Gifthas    or the Spear-Danes
oððe in Swíoríce    sécean þurfe

 

or in the Swedish Kingdom    needed to seek
wyrsan wígfrecan,    weorðe gecýpan:

 

a worse war-eager fighter,     to buy with wealth:
symle ic him on féðan    beforan wolde

 

always, in the foot-troop, I him    wished to go before,
ána on orde    ond swá tó aldre sceall

 

alone in the vanguard,    and thus must I always
sæcce fremman    þenden þis sweord þolað

  2499

act in battle,    while this sword endures
þæt mec aér ond síð    oft gelaéste

 

that which me, early and later,    has often served,
syððan ic for dugeðum    Dæghrefne wearð

 

since I, in front of the legions,    of Daeghrefn was
tó handbonan,    Húga cempan·

 

his slayer by hand,    the champion of the Hugas;
nalles hé ðá frætwe     Fréscyninge

 

in no way the precious ornaments    to the Frisian king,
bréostweorðunge     bringan móste

  2504

breast-adorning,     was he able to bring,
ac in cempan gecrong    cumbles hyrde

 

but rather with his contingent fell    the banner's keeper,
æþeling on elne·    ne wæs ecg bona

 

the noble in courage;    blade's edge was not the killer
ac him hildegráp    heortan wylmas

 

but my battle-grip on him    his heart's beats,
bánhús gebræc.    Nú sceall billes ecg

 

his bone-house, broke.     Now I must with bill's edge,
hond ond heard sweord    ymb hord wígan.'

  2509

hand and hard sword    fight for the hoard.'
Béowulf maðelode    béotwordum spræc

 

Beowulf declared,     spoke vow-words
níehstan síðe:    'Ic genéðde fela

 

for the last time:    'I have risked many
gúða on geogoðe·    gýt ic wylle

 

wars in my youth;    yet I wish,
fród folces weard    faéhðe sécan,

 

old, wise warden of the folk,    to seek vendetta,
maérðum fremman    gif mec se mánsceaða

  2514

to earn renown,    if me that wreaker of evil
of eorðsele    út geséceð.'

 

from his earth-hall    ventures out to greet.' 
Gegrétte ðá    gumena gehwylcne

 

He then saluted    each of the men,
hwate helmberend    hindeman síðe

 

bold helm-bearers     for the final time,
swaése gesíðas:    'Nolde ic sweord beran

 

dear companions:    'I would not bear a sword,
waépen tó wyrme    gif ic wiste hú

  2519

a weapon against the wyrm,    if I knew how
wið ðám áglaécean    elles meahte

 

against the monster    else I might
gylpe wiðgrípan    swá ic gió wið Grendle dyde

 

grapple for glory,    as I did before with Grendel
ac ic ðaér heaðufýres    hátes wéne

 

but I there furious fire's    heat expect,
réðes ond hattres·    forðon ic mé on hafu

 

fierce and poisonous;    therefore I have on me
bord ond byrnan·    nelle ic beorges weard

  2524

shield-board and byrnie;    nor will I from the barrow's guard
oferfléön fótes trem    ac unc sceal

 

flee a foot    but for us it must
weorðan æt wealle    swá unc wyrd getéoð

 

happen at the wall    as Fate allots us,
metod manna gehwæs·    ic eom on móde from

 

the Creator of all men;    I am bold in spirit
þæt ic wið þone gúðflogan     gylp ofersitte.

 

that I against the war-flier    forbear from boast.
Gebíde gé on beorge    byrnum werede

  2529

You, await here on the barrow,    clad in byrnies,
secgas on searwum    hwæðer sél mæge

 

warriors in war-gear,    which better can
æfter wælraése    wunde gedýgan

 

during the slaughter-clash    survive wound
uncer twéga·    nis þæt éower síð

 

of the two of us;    it is not your adventure,
né gemet mannes    nefne mín ánes·

 

nor in the power of men,    save mine alone.'
Wát he wíð áglaécean    eofoðo daéle·

  2534

He knew that against the beast    he would deal out his strength,
eorlscype efne·    'Ic mid elne sceall

 

achieve noble rank;    'I must with courage
gold gegangan    oððe gúð nimeð

 

gain the gold,    or war takes,
feorhbealu frécne    fréan éowerne.'

 

terrible deadly wound,    your lord.'
Árás ðá bí ronde     róf óretta

 

Then he arose by means of his shield,    the bold warrior,
heard under helme·    hiorosercean bær

  2539

severe under his helm,    he wore sword-shirt
under stáncleofu    strengo getrúwode

 

under stone cliffs,    trusted in the strength
ánes mannes·    ne bið swylc earges síð.

 

of a single man;    such is not the coward's way.
Geseah ðá be wealle    sé ðe worna fela

 

He saw then by the wall,    he who a great number,
gumcystum gód    gúða gedígde

 

nobly good,    wars survived,
hildehlemma    þonne hnitan féðan·

  2544

battle-clashes,    when armies collided;
stódan stánbogan,     stréam út þonan

 

it stood by the stone-arch,     a stream out from there
brecan of beorge·    wæs þaére burnan wælm

 

breaking out of the barrow;    there was the brook's surge
heaðofýrum hát·    ne meahte horde néah

 

hot with deadly fire,    he could not near the hoard
unbyrnende    aénige hwíle

 

without burning    for any space of time
déop gedýgan    for dracan lége.

  2549

endure the depths    on account of the dragon's fire.
Lét ðá of bréostum     ðá hé gebolgen wæs

 

Then he let from his breast,    when he was angered,
Weder-Géata léod    word út faran·

 

the Weder-Geat's leader,    a word burst out,
stearcheort styrmde·    stefn in becóm

 

the staunch-hearted one roared;    his voice came in,
heaðotorht hlynnan    under hárne stán·

 

ringing battle-clear    beneath the hoary grey stone;
hete wæs onhréred·    hordweard oncníow

  2554

hate was aroused,    the hoard-guard knew
mannes reorde·    næs ðaér mára fyrst

 

man's voice;    there was not more time
fréode tó friclan·    from aérest cwóm

 

to ask for peace;    first came forth
oruð áglaécean    út of stáne

 

the monster's breath    out of the stone,
hát hildeswát·    hrúse dynede·

 

hot battle-vapour;    the earth thundered;
biorn under beorge    bordrand onswáf

  2559

the warrior below the barrow    swung his shield-boss
wið ðám gryregieste    Géata dryhten·

 

against the terror-guest,    the Geats' lord;
ðá wæs hringbogan    heorte gefýsed

 

then was the ring-coiled one's    heart incited
sæcce tó séceanne·    sweord aér gebraéd

 

to seek strife;    his sword before drew
gód gúðcyning    gomele láfe

 

the good war-king,    ancient heirloom,
ecgum ungléaw·    aéghwæðrum wæs

  2564

imprudent with sword-edges;    was in each
bealohycgendra    bróga fram óðrum·

 

of the harm-intending ones    terror of the other;
stíðmód gestód    wið stéapne rond

 

firm-spirited stood    with his steep bossed-shield
winia bealdor    ðá se wyrm gebéah

 

the brave leader of the friends,    while the serpent coiled
snúde tósomne    hé on searwum bád·

 

together swiftly;    He in war-gear waited;
gewát ðá byrnende    gebogen scríðan,

  2569

went then burning     gliding coiled,
tó gescipe scyndan·    scyld wél gebearg

 

hastening to his destiny;    the shield defended well
lífe ond líce    laéssan hwíle

 

life and body    for a lesser time
maérum þéodne    þonne his myne sóhte·

 

the famed chieftain,    then his mind desired,
ðaér hé þý fyrste    forman dógore

 

where he that time    for the first day
wealdan móste    swá him wyrd ne gescráf

  2574

had to wield it,    as Fate had not decreed for him
hréð æt hilde:    hond úp ábraéd

 

glory in battle:    he raised up his hand,
Géata dryhten·    gryrefáhne slóh

 

the Geatish lord;    the ghastly-hued one he struck
incgeláfe     þæt sío ecg gewác

 

with his ancestoral sword,    so that the edge weakened
brún on báne·    bát unswíðor

 

bright on bone,    bit less fiercely
þonne his ðíodcyning    þearfe hæfde

  2579

than its tribe-king    had need
bysigum gebaéded.    Þá wæs beorges weard

 

driven in distress.    Then the barrow's ward was
æfter heaðuswenge    on hréoum móde·

 

after the war-blow    in a fierce spirit;
wearp wælfýre·    wíde sprungon

 

he spewed slaughter-fire;    widely spread
hildeléoman.     Hréðsigora ne gealp

 

battle-light.    Of war-victory did not boast
goldwine Géata·    gúðbill geswác

  2584

the gold-friend of the Geats;    his war-bill failed,
nacod æt níðe    swá hyt nó sceolde

 

naked in the violence,    as it should not have,
íren aérgód·    ne wæs þæt éðe síð

 

the excellent old iron;    that was not an easy accomplishment,
þæt se maéra    maga Ecgðéowes

 

that the famed    son of Edgetheow
grundwong þone    ofgyfan wolde·

 

this earth    should be willing to give up;
sceolde willan    wíc eardian

  2589

he was obliged to be about to    inhabit a dwelling
elles hwergen·    swá sceal aéghwylc mon

 

elsewhere,    as must every man
álaétan laéndagas.    Næs ðá long tó ðon

 

abandon loaned-days.    It was not long to when
þæt ðá áglaécean     hý eft gemétton:

 

that the fierce enemies    again met each other:
hyrte hyne hordweard·    hreðer aéðme wéoll

 

the hoard-guardian heartened himself,     his breast swelled with breath,
níwan stefne·    nearo ðrówode

  2594

another time;    cruelly suffered,
fýre befongen    sé ðe aér folce wéold.

 

encircled in fire,    he who had once ruled a nation.
Nealles him on héape     handgesteallan

 

Not at all him in a troop     the hand-companions,
æðelinga bearn    ymbe gestódon

 

nobles' sons,    around him stood
hildecystum    ac hý on holt bugon·

 

with valour in battle,    but they sunk to the forest,
ealdre burgan·    hiora in ánum wéoll

  2599

to protect life;    in one of them surged
sefa wið sorgum·    sibb' aéfre ne mæg

 

his heart with sorrows;    kinship can never
wiht onwendan    þám ðe wél þenceð.

 

aught be altered,    in him who thinks properly.