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last updated on 16-July-2005

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Ðá ic snúde gefrægn    sunu Wíhstánes


Then I heard swiftly    the son of Weohstan,
æfter wordcwydum    wundum dryhtne


after the word-speech    the wounded lord,
hýran heaðosíocum,    hringnet beran


listened to the battle-sick one,    bore a net of rings,
brogdne beadusercean    under beorges hróf.


woven battle-shirt    under the barrow's roof.
Geseah ðá sigehréðig    þá hé bí sesse géong


He saw then victorious,    when he went by the seat,
magoþegnmódig    máððumsigla fealo,


the spirited young thane,    many precious jewels,
gold glitinian    grunde getenge


glittering gold    close to the ground,
wundur on wealle    ond þæs wyrmes denn


wonders on the wall,    and the wyrm's den,
ealdes úhtflogan,    orcas stondan


the old twilight-flier,    beakers standing,
fyrnmanna fatu    feormendléase


the vessels of men of old    lacking a burnisher,
hyrstum behrorene·    þaér wæs helm monig


stripped of adornments;    there was a multitude of helms
eald ond ómig,    earmbéaga fela


old and rusty,    many arm-rings
searwum gesaéled    --sinc éaðe mæg


cleverly fastened    --treasure easily may,
gold on grunde    gumcynnes gehwone


gold in the ground,    any one of mankind
oferhígian    hýde sé ðe wylle--


overpower,     hide he who will--
swylce hé siomian geseah    segn eallgylden


also he saw hanging    a standard all-golden
héah ofer horde,    hondwundra maést


high over the hoard,    the greatest of hand-wrought wonders,
gelocen leoðocræftum·    of ðám léoman stód


linked with skill of hands;    from it light issued,
þæt hé þone grundwong    ongitan meahte,


so that he on the ground    could perceive,
wraéte giondwlítan·    næs ðæs wyrmes þaér


look over the ornament;    there was not of the wyrm
onsýn aénig    ac hyne ecg fornam.


any appearance,    for him the blade-edge took.
Ðá ic on hlaéwe gefrægn     hord réafian


Then I heard in the mound    the hoard plundered,
eald enta geweorc    ánne mannan,


old work of giants,    one man,
him on bearm hlódon    bunan ond discas


him on his bosom loaded    goblets and plates
sylfes dóme    segn éac genóm


of his own judgement    he also took the banner,
béacna beorhtost·    bill aér gescód


the brightest beacon;  the bill     had already wounded
--ecg wæs íren--    ealdhláfordes


--the edge was iron--    of that old lord
þám ðára máðma     mundbora wæs


him who the treasures'    protector was
longe hwíle·    lígegesan wæg


for a long while;    the fire-terror had endured
hátne for horde    hioroweallende


hot for sake of the hoard,    fiercely welling up
middelnihtum    oð þæt hé morðre swealt.


in the middle of nights    until he died in violence.
Ár wæs on ofoste     eftsíðes georn


The messenger was in haste,    eager for return,
frætwum gefyrðred·    hyne fyrwet bræc


urged on by treasures;    curiosity burst in him,
hwæðer collenferð    cwicne gemétte


whether bold-hearted    he would meet alive
in ðám wongstede    Wedra þéoden


in that place,    the chief of the Wederas
ellensíocne     þaér hé hine aér forlét·


ill in strength,    where he had left him earlier;
hé ðá mid þám máðmum     maérne þíoden


he then with that treasures    to the glorious chieftain,
dryhten sínne    dríorigne fand


his lord,    found bleeding,
ealdres æt ende·    hé hine eft ongon


of life at an end;    he again began on him
wæteres weorpan    oð þæt wordes ord


to sprinkle water,    until the word's point
bréosthord þurhbræc


broke through the breast-hoard,
gomel on giogoðe    gold scéawode:


the old one on the youth    saw gold:
'Ic ðára frætwa    fréan ealles ðanc


'I, for these riches,    to the Lord of All, thanks
wuldurcyninge    wordum secge


to the Glory-King    say by words,
écum dryhtne    þé ic hér on starie


to the eternal Lord,    which I look on here,
þæs ðe ic móste    mínum léodum


that I was able    for my people
aér swyltdæge    swylc gestrýnan


before my death-day    to gain such riches,
nú ic on máðma hord    minne bebohte


now I for the hoard of treasures    have paid with my
fróde feorhlege    fremmað géna


old span of life.    Tend still
léoda þearfe·    ne mæg ic hér leng wesan·


the need of the nation.    I cannot be here longer;
hátað heaðomaére    hlaéw gewyrcean


order war-famed men    to construct a mound
beorhtne æfter baéle    æt brimes nósan·


bright after the fire,    at the ocean's cape;
sé scel tó gemyndum    mínum léodum


it shall to remind    my people
héah hlífian    on hrones næsse


tower high    on headland of whales,
þæt hit saélíðend     syððan hátan


so that it sea-farers    then will name
Bíowulfes Biorh    ðá ðe brentingas


Beowulf's Barrow,    those who ships
ofer flóda genipu    feorran drífað.'


over the seas' mists    drive from afar.'
Dyde him of healse    hring gyldenne


Took him from his neck    the golden ring,
þíoden þrísthýdig·     þegne gesealde


the valiant chief,    to the thane gave,
geongum gárwigan    goldfáhne helm


to the young spear-warrior,    gold-adorned helm,
béah ond byrnan·    hét hyne brúcan well:


ring and byrnie,    told him to use them well:
'Þú eart endeláf     ússes cynnes


'You are the last remainder    of our race,
Waégmundinga·    ealle wyrd forswéop


of the Waegmundings;    Fate has swept off all
míne mágas    tó metodsceafte


of my kinsmen    into destined death,
eorlas on elne·    ic him æfter sceal.'


earls in their strength;    I must go after them.'
Þæt wæs þám gomelan    gingæste word


That was for the old man    the final word
bréostgehygdum     aér hé baél cure


of the thoughts of his breast,    ere he chose funeral fire,
háte heaðowylmas·    him of hwæðre gewát


hot furious seething;    yet from him went
sáwol sécean    sóðfæstra dóm.


his soul to seek     truth-fast judgement.