BEOWULF

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XLI

 

Wæs sío swátswaðu    Swóna ond Géata

 

The bloody swathe     of the Swedes and Geats,
wælraés weora    wíde gesýne·

 

the slaughter-rush of men    was widely seen;
hú ðá folc mid him    faéhðe tówehton·

 

how the folk between them     awoke a feud;
gewát him ðá se góda    mid his gædelingum

  2949

then the good man went    with his fellow kinsmen,
fród felageómor    fæsten sécean·

 

old and wise, greated saddened,    to seek a citadel;
eorl Ongenþío    ufor oncirde·

 

the warrior Ongentheow    retreated higher up,
hæfde Higeláces    hilde gefrúnen

 

he had of Hygelac's    battle-skill heard,
wlonces wígcræft·    wiðres ne trúwode·

 

the proud man's war-craft;    he did not trust his resistance,
þæt hé saémannum    onsacan mihte,

  2954

that he the sea-men    could oppose,
heaðolíðendum     hord forstandan

 

against battle travellers    defend the hoard,
bearn ond brýde·    béah eft þonan

 

children and women;    he fell back thence
eald under eorðweall·    þá wæs aéht boden

 

old behind the earth-wall;    then pursuit was offered
Swéona léodum·    segn Higeláces

 

to the Swedish nation,    the standards of Hygelac
freoðowong þone    forð oferéodon

  2959

that place of refuge     forth overran,
syððan Hréðlingas    tó hagan þrungon.

 

when the Hrethelings    pressed forward into that entrenchment.
Þaér wearð Ongenðíow    ecgum sweordan

 

There was Ongentheow    by edges of swords,
blondenfexa    on bid wrecen

 

the grizzle-haired    was compelled to pause,
þæt se þéodcyning    ðafian sceolde

 

so that the tribe-king    had to submit
Eafores ánne dóm·    hyne yrringa

  2964

to the sole judgement of Eofor;    him wrathfully
Wulf Wonréðing    waépne geraéhte

 

Wulf, Wonred's son,    reached with his weapon,
þæt him for swenge    swát aédrum sprong

 

so that from him by the blow    blood in streams sprang
forð under fexe·    næs hé forht swá ðéh

 

forth beneath his hair;    he was not frightened though,
gomela Scilfing    ac forgeald hraðe

 

the aged Scilfing,    but quickly repaid
wyrsan wrixle     wælhlem þone

  2969

with a more terrible response    for that slaughter-stroke,
syððan ðéodcyning    þyder oncirde·

 

when the tribe-king    turned thither;
ne meahte se snella    sunu Wonrédes

 

he could not, the brave     son of Wonred,
ealdum ceorle    hondslyht giofan

 

to the old fellow    offer onslaught by hand,
ac hé him on héafde    helm aér gescer

 

rather he him on his head    had sheared his helm,
þæt he blode fah    bugan sceolde·

  2974

so that he, blood-stained,    had to bow down;
féoll on foldan·    næs hé faége þá gít

 

he fell on the field;    he was not doomed yet,
ac hé hyne gewyrpte    þéah ðe him wund hrine·

 

but he recovered himself,    though the wound touched him;
lét se hearda    Higeláces þegn

 

Let he, the hard    thane of Hygelac,
bráde méce    þá his bróðor læg

 

broad maiche,    when his brother lay dead,
ealdsweord eotonisc    entiscne helm

  2979

the old ogrish sword,    the giantish helm
brecan ofer bordweal·    ðá gebéah cyning

 

break over the shield-wall;    then the king bowed down,
folces hyrde·    wæs in feorh dropen.

 

the shepherd of the folk,    was struck to his life.
Ðá waéron monige     þé his maég wriðon·

 

Then there were many,    who bandaged his kinsman,
ricone áraérdon    ðá him gerýmed wearð

 

they quickly raised him up,    when room was made for them,
þæt híe wælstówe    wealdan móston·

  2984

so that they the place of slaughter    were able to control;
þenden réafode    rinc óðerne·

 

then plunder    the one man the other,
nam on Ongenðío    írenbyrnan

 

he took from Ongentheow    his iron byrnie,
heard swyrd hilted    ond his helm somod·

 

his hard hilted sword,    and his helmet too;
háres hyrste    Higeláce bær·

 

the hoary one's armour    he bore to Hygelac;
hé ðám frætwum féng    ond him fægre gehét

  2989

he took the treasures    and fairly pledged to him
léana mid léodum    ond gelaéste swá·

 

rewards among the people,    and did so;
geald þone gúðraés    Géata dryhten

 

he paid for the war-onslaught,    the lord of the Geats,
Hréðles eafora    þá hé tó hám becóm

 

Hrethel's heir,    when he returned home,
Iofore ond Wulfe    mid ofermáðmum·

 

to Eofor and Wulf    with an abundance of treasure;
sealde hiora gehwæðrum    hund þúsenda

  2994

he gave them both    a hundred thousand worth of
landes ond locenra baga    --ne orfte him lan owtan

 

land and interlocked rings    --he needed not the gifts scorn,
mon on middangearde      syan he mara geslgon--

 

(any) man on middle-earth,      since they gained those glories in fighting--
ond ðá Iofore forgeaf    ángan dohtor

 

and then to Eofor he gave    his only daughter,
hámweorðunge    hyldo tó wedde.

  2998

a honour to the home,    as pledge of friendship.
Þæt ys sío faéhðo     ond se féondscipe

 

That is the feud     and the enmity,
wælníð wera    ðæs ðe ic wéan hafo

 

the slaughterous hate of men,    for which I have woe,
þé ús séceað tó     Swéona léoda

 

they shall attack us,    the Swedish nation,
syððan híe gefricgeað    fréan úserne

 

when they learn    our lord
ealdorléasne     þone ðe aér gehéold

  3003

is lifeless,     he who formerly preserved
wið hettendum    hord ond ríce

 

against despisers    our hoard and kingdom,
æfter hæleða hryre,    hwate Scildingas·

 

after fall of heroes,    bold Scyldings,
folcréd fremede    oððe furður gén

 

supported the welfare of the folk,    or moreover
eorlscipe efnde.    Mé is ofost betost

 

accomplished noble deeds.    For me haste is best,
þæt wé þéodcyning     þaér scéawian

  3008

that we the people-king    look upon there,
ond þone gebringan    þé ús béagas geaf

 

and that one bring,    he who gave us rings,
on ádfære·    ne scel ánes hwæt

 

on a journey to the pyre;    nor must a part only
meltan mid þám módigan    ac þaér is máðma hord

 

melt with that great-spirited one,    but there is the treasure's hoard,
gold unríme    grimme gecéapod

 

gold uncounted,    bitterly purchased,
ond nú æt síðestan    sylfes féore

  3013

and now at last    with his own life
béagas gebohte:    þá sceall brond fretan,

 

bought the rings:    then the blaze must devour,
aéled þeccean,    nalles eorl wegan

 

the fire cover,    no man shall wear
máððum tó gemyndum    né mægð scýne

 

these treasures in remembrance,    no pretty girl
habban on healse    hringweorðunge

 

shall have on her neck    ring-adornment,
ac sceal geómormód    golde beréafod

  3018

but must, sad-hearted,    bereft of gold,
oft nalles aéne    elland tredan

 

often, not once,    tread in alien land,
nú se herewísa    hleahtor álegde

 

now the cohort-leader    has laid aside laughter
gamen ond gléodréam.    Forðon sceall gár wesan

 

pleasure and merriment.    Therefore must be spears
monig morgenceald    mundum bewunden,

 

many, morning-cold,    grasped in palms,
hæfen on handa,    nalles hearpan swég

  3023

raised in hands,    not at all the sound of harp
wígend weccean    ac se wonna hrefn

 

to wake the warrior,    but the black raven,
fús ofer faégum    fela reordian,

 

eager over the doomed,    speaking many things,
earne secgan    hú him æt aéte spéow

 

telling the eagle,    how he succeeded in eating,
þenden hé wið wulf    wæl réafode.'

 

when he with the wolf    despoiled the slain.'
Swá se secg hwata    secggende wæs

  3028

So the bold men    was teller
láðra spella·    hé ne léag fela

 

of hateful tidings;    he did not lie much
wyrda né worda.    Weorod eall árás·

 

in deeds or in words.    The troop all arose;
éodon unblíðe    under earna næs

 

they went unhappily     under the eagle's headland,
wollentéare    wundur scéawian·

 

with welling tears,    to gaze upon the wondor;
fundon ðá on sande    sáwulléasne

  3033

they found then on the sand,     soulless,
hlimbed healdan    þone þe him hringas geaf

 

ruling over his bed of rest,    the who gave them rings
aérran maélum·    þá wæs endedæg

 

in earlier times;    then it was the end-day
gódum gegongen    þæt se gúðcyning

 

come for good men,    that the war-king,
Wedra þéoden    wundordéaðe swealt.

 

the Wederas' chieftain,    died a wondrous death.
AÉr hí þaér geségan    syllícran wiht

  3038

First they saw there    a rarer creature,
wyrm on wonge    wiðerræhtes þaér

 

the wyrm on the ground    just opposite there,
láðne licgean:    wæs se légdraca

 

the loathsome one lying dead:    the fire-drake was
grimlíc gryregiest    glédum beswaéled·

 

a grim gruesome guest    burnt by flames;
sé wæs fíftiges    fótgemearces

 

it was fifty    foot-measures
lang on legere·    lyftwynne héold

  3043

long as it lay;    in air-joy it had ruled
nihtes hwílum·    nyðer eft gewát

 

the times of the night,    down again had gone
dennes níosian·    wæs ðá déaðe fæst·

 

to seek its den;    it was then still in death,
hæfde eorðscrafa    ende genyttod.

 

it had of earth-caverns    enjoyed its end.
Him big stódan    bunan ond orcas·

 

They stood by him     goblets and beakers,
discas lágon    ond dýre swyrd

  3048

lay plates    and precious swords,
ómige þurhetone    swá híe wið eorðan fæðm

 

eaten through by rust,    as if they had in the embrace of the earth
þúsend wintra    þaér eardodon·

 

a thousand winters    remained there;
þonne wæs þæt yrfe     éacencræftig,

 

then was that legacy     of exceedingly powerful,
iúmonna gold    galdre bewunden

 

gold of men of yore,    encompassed by an incantation,
þæt ðám hringsele    hrínan ne móste

  3053

that the ring-hall    could not touch
gumena aénig    nefne god sylfa

 

any man,    unless God himself,
sigora sóðcyning    sealde þám ðe hé wolde

 

victories' Truth-king    allowed he who He wished
--hé is manna gehyld--     hord openian·

 

--He is man's protector--    to open the hoard,
efne swá hwylcum manna    swá him gemet ðúhte.

 

even so to every man    as it seemed fitting to Him.