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last updated on 12-June-2005

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Heht ðá þæt heaðoweorc    tó hagan bíodan


Then he commanded battle-result    to be announced at the stronghold,
úp ofer ecgclif    þaér þæt eorlweorod


up over the cliff-edge,    where that warrior-band
morgenlongne dæg    módgiómor sæt


the morning-long day    sat sad in spirit,
bordhæbbende     béga on wénum:


shield-bearers,    in expectation of two things:
endedógores    ond eftcymes


the end of his days    or the return
léofes monnes.    Lýt swígode


of the dear man.    On little was he silent
níwra spella    sé ðe næs gerád


of the new tidings,    he who rode the headland,
ac hé sóðlíce    sægde ofer ealle:


but he truly    said over all:
'Nú is wilgeofa    Wedra léoda


'Now is the wish-giver    of the Wederas' nation,
dryhten Géata    déaðbedde fæst


the lord of the Geats    unmoving on his death-bed,
wunað wælreste    wyrmes daédum·


remaining in the repose of slaughter    by the wyrm's deeds;
him on efn ligeð    ealdorgewinna


beside him lies     his life-contender
siexbennum séoc:    sweorde ne meahte


sick with seax-wounds:    he could not with his sword
on ðám áglaécean    aénige þinga


on that fearsome being    in any way
wunde gewyrcean·    Wígláf siteð


inflict wounds;    Wiglaf sits
ofer Bíowulfe    byre Wíhstánes


over Beowulf,    the son of Weohstan,
eorl ofer óðrum    unlifigendum·


one earl over another    unliving,
healdeð higemaéðum    héafodwearde


he holds, weary in his mind,    head-watch
léofes ond láðes.    Nú ys léodum wén


over beloved and loathed.    Now for the nation one expects
orleghwíle     syððan undyrne


time of warfare    when unsecret
Froncum ond Frýsum    fyll cyninges


to the Franks and Frisians,    the fall of the king,
wíde weorðeð·    wæs sío wróht scepen


widely becomes;    the quarrel was shaped
heard wið Húgas    syððan Higelác cwóm


fierce against the Hugas,    when Hygelac came
faran flotherge    on Frésna land


faring with a fleet    onto the Frisians' land
þaér hyne Hetware    hilde gehnaégdon·


where him the Hetware    attacked in battle,
elne geéodon    mid ofermægene


it happened in courage    with over-strength,
þæt se byrnwiga    búgan sceolde·


that the mailed-warrior    had to bow down;
féoll on féðan·    nalles frætwe geaf


he fell among the foot-troop;    not at all ornaments gave
ealdor dugoðe·    ús wæs á syððan


the lord to his retinue;    for us was ever after
Merewíoingas    milts ungyfeðe.


the Merovingian (king's)    kindness withheld.
Né ic te Swéoðéode     sibbe oððe tréowe


I do not from the Swedes    peace or truce
wihte ne wéne    ac wæs wíde cúð


expect a bit,    but it was widely known
þætte Ongenðío    ealdre besnyðede


that Ongentheow    of life deprived
Hæðcen Hréþling    wið Hrefnawudu


Haethcyn Hrethel's son    at Raven's Wood,
þá for onmédlan    aérest gesóhton


when for arrogance     first sought out
Géata léode    Gúð-Scilfingas


the Geatish people    the War-Scilfings
sóna him se fróda    fæder Óhtheres


at once him the wise, old    father of Ohthere,
eald ond egesfull    hondslyht ágeaf·


ancient and terrible,    returned onslaught by hand;
ábréot brimwísan·    brýda herode·


he destroyed the sea-wise man,    he honoured his wife,
gomela ióméowlan    golde berofene


the old, wisened woman    bereft of her gold,
Onelan módor    ond Óhtheres


Onela's mother    and Ohthere's
ond ðá folgode    feorhgeníðlan


and then he followed    those life-enemies,
oð ðæt hí oðéodon     earfoðlíce


until they escaped    with difficulty,
in Hrefnesholt    hláfordléase·


into Raven's Wood,    without a lord;
besæt ðá sinherge    sweorda láfe


then he besieged the huge (sacred) grove,    the survivors of swords
wundum wérge·    wéan oft gehét


weary with wounds;    he often threatened woes
earmre teohhe    ondlonge niht·


to the wretched company    in the length of the night;
cwæð: hé on mergenne    méces ecgum


said: he in the morning    by the edges of a maiche  
gétan wolde,    sum on galgtréowum


he would sacrifice     one of them on the gallow-tree
fuglum tó gamene·    frófor eft gelamp


as game for the birds;    relief came back
sárigmódum    somod aérdæge


to the sorrow-spirited ones     together with early day,
syððan híe Hygeláces    horn ond býman


when they Hygelac's    horn and trumpet,
gealdor ongéaton      þá se góda cóm,


and his battle-yell recognised,    then the good man came,
léoda dugoðe    on lást faran.


with the tribe's veteran warriors     travelling on the path.