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last updated on 15-June-2005

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Þá wæs gesýne    þæt se síð ne ðáh


Then it was seen     that the venture did not benefit
þám ðe unrihte     inne gehýdde


who he unrightly    had hidden inside,
wræce under wealle·    weard aér ofslóh


vengeance under the walls;    this warden earlier slew
féara sumne·    þá sío faéhð gewearð


one man of a few;    then was the feud
gewrecen wráðlíce.    Wundur hwár þonne


wrathfully avenged.    It is a wondor where then
eorl ellenróf    ende gefére


a man famed for courage     should meet end
lífgesceafta     þonne leng ne mæg


of his fated life,    when he can no longer
mon mid his maégum    meduseld búan·


one among his kinsmen,     inhabit a mead-hall;
swá wæs Bíowulfe,    þá hé biorges weard


thus it was for Beowulf,     when he the barrow's ward
sóhte searoníðas:    seolfa ne cúðe


sought treacherous quarrels:    he himself did not know
þurh hwæt his worulde gedál    weorðan sceolde.


through what his parting from this world    must bring about.
Swá hit oð dómes dæg    díope benemdon


Thus until judgement's day    deeply declared
þéodnas maére    þá ðæt þaér dydon·


the great princes,    who put it there,
þæt se secg waére    synnum scildig


that the man would be     guilty of crimes,
hergum geheaðerod    hellbendum fæst


banned from sacred places,    in hell-bonds fast,
wommum gewítnad    sé ðone wong strude·


reproached for his transgressions,    he who plundered that place;
næs hé goldhwæte    gearwor hæfde


he was not liberal with gold    (nor) had he readily
ágendes ést    aér gescéawod.


the kindness of a lord     ever shown.
Wígláf maðelode     Wíhstánes sunu:


Wiglaf spoke,    the son of Weohstan,
'Oft sceall eorl monig    ánes willan


'Often must many men,    for the will of one,
wraéc ádréogan    swá ús geworden is·


endure exile,    as it has happened to us;
ne meahton wé gelaéran    léofne þéoden


we could not convince     the beloved prince,
ríces hyrde    raéd aénigne·


the keeper of the kingdom,    by any counsel,
þæt hé ne grétte    goldweard þone·


that he not greet    the gold-ward,
léte hyne licgean    þaér hé longe wæs,


let him lie,    where he long had been,
wícum wunian    oð woruldende·


inhabiting his abodes     until the world's end;
heoldon héahgesceap·    hord ys gescéawod,


he held to his noble destiny;    the hoard is exposed,
grimme gegongen·    þæt gifeðe wæs


grimly gained;    that was granted
tó swíð þé ðone    þyder ontyhte.


too harshly which him     impelled thither.
Ic wæs þaér inne    ond þæt eall geondseh


I was there inside    and looked over all of it,
recedes geatwa    þá mé gerýmed wæs,


the trappings of the hall,    when the way was cleared for me,
nealles swaéslíce    síð álýfed


not at all sweetly    was the errand allowed
inn under eorðweall·    ic on ofoste geféng


inside the earthwall;    I seized in haste
micle mid mundum    mægenbyrðenne


much with my hands,    a mighty burden
hordgestréona·    hider út ætbær


of hoard-treasures,    bore it out hither
cyninge mínum·    cwico wæs þá géna


to my king;    he was still alive then,
wís ond gewittig·    worn eall gespræc


wise and knowing;    he spoke much on many things,
gomol on gehðo    ond éowic grétan hét·


old in his grief,    and commanded me greet you all,
bæd þæt gé geworhton    æfter wines daédum


bid that you build    in accord of your friend's deeds
in baélstede    beorh þone héän


in the cremation place    a high barrow,
micelne ond maérne    swá hé manna wæs


large and splendid,    as he was of men
wígend weorðfullost    wíde geond eorðan


a warrior most honoured     thought this wide earth,
þenden hé burhwelan    brúcan móste.


while he the prosperity of a city    could enjoy.
Uton nú efstan    óðre síðe


Let us now hasten    another time
séon ond sécean    on searogeþræc


to see and to seek    in that heap of cunningly wrought things,
wundur under wealle·    ic éow wísige


a wonder under the walls;    I shall guide you,
þæt gé genóge    néon scéawiað


so that you sufficient    close-up will see
béagas ond brád gold·    síe sío baér gearo


rings and broad gold;     let the bier be ready,
aédre geæfned    þonne wé út cymen


quickly prepared,    when we come out,
ond þonne geferian    fréan úserne


and then carry    our lord,
léofne mannan    þaér hé longe sceal


beloved man,    where he must long
on ðæs waldendes    waére geþolian.'


in the Ruler's     protection endure.'
Hét ðá gebéodan    byre Wíhstánes


He then commanded to direct,    the son of Weohstan,
hæle hildedíor    hæleða monegum


the battle-brave hero,     many warriors,
boldágendra     þæt híe baélwudu


house-holders,    that they the pyre-wood
feorran feredon    folcágende


to fetch from afar,     folk-chieftains,
gódum tógénes:    'Nú sceal gléd fretan,


to the good man:    'Now must the fire devour,
weaxan wonna lég    wigena strengel


the dim flame grow,    the ruler of warriors,
þone ðe oft gebád    ísernscúre


he who often endured     shower of iron,
þonne straéla storm    strengum gebaéded


when the storm of arrows,    impelled by bow-strings,
scóc ofer scildweall·    sceft nytte héold


shot over the shield-wall;    shaft held true to task,
fæðergearwum fús·    fláne fulléode.'


its feather-trappings eager,    arrow-head followed.'
Húru se snotra    sunu Wíhstánes


Indeed the wise    son of Weohstan
ácígde of corðre    cyniges þegnas


summoned from the troop     of king's thanes,
syfone tósomne    þá sélestan·


seven altogether,    the best;
éode eahta sum    under inwithróf


he went, one of eight,     under the evil roof
hilderinc·sum    on handa bær


one battle-man    bore in his hands
aéledléoman     sé ðe on orde géong.


a fire-brand,    he who went in the fore-front.
Næs ðá on hlytme    hwá þæt hord strude


It was not in a casting of lots,    who would plunder that hoard,
syððan orwearde    aénigne daél


when unprotected    any part
secgas geségon    on sele wunian


the men saw    remaining in the hall,
laéne licgan·    lýt aénig mearn


lying frail;    little did anyone mourn
þæt hí ofostlíce     út geferedon


that they quickly     carried out
dýre máðmas·    dracan éc scufun


precious treasures;    the dragon too they shoved,
wyrm ofer weallclif·    léton wég niman,


the wyrm over the cliff-wall,    they let the waves take,
flód fæðmian    frætwa hyrde·


the flood enfold,    that keeper of baubles;
þæt wæs wundengold    on waén hladen


that was braided gold     loaded on the waggon,
aéghwæs unrím,    æþelinge boren


of each kind countless,     to the prince bore,
hárum hilde    tó hrones næsse.


hoary grey from battle,     to the whale's headland.