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last updated on 15-June-2005

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Him ðá gegiredan    Géata léode


Then for him prepared     the people of the Geats
ád on eorðan    unwáclícne


a pyre on the earth,     not trifling,
helmum behongen    hildebordum


hung with helmets,    with battle-shields,
beorhtum byrnum    swá hé béna wæs·


with bright byrnies,    as he had requested;
álegdon ðá tómiddes     maérne þéoden


they laid then in the midst    the famed chieftain,
hæleð híofende    hláford léofne·


the lamenting heroes,     their belovèd lord;
ongunnon þá on beorge    baélfýra maést


then began on the barrow     the greatest bale-fire,
wígend weccan·    wuduréc ástáh


the warriors to kindle;    wood-smoke arose,
sweart ofer swioðole    swógende lég


swarthy over the heat,     the roaring flame
wópe bewunden    --windblond gelæg--


woven with weeping    --the tumult of winds lay still--
oð þæt hé ðá bánhús     gebrocen hæfde


until it the bone-house    had broken
hát on hreðre·    higum unróte


hot at heart;     despairing in their hearts
módceare maéndon    mondryhtnes cwealm·


they bemoaned their grief,    their liege-lord's death;
swylce giómorgyd    Géatisc ánméowle


so too a death-dirge     a solitary Geatish woman
Bíowulfe brægd    bundenheorde


wove for Beowulf,     cruelly bound,
sang sorgcearig·    saélðe geneahhe


she sang sorrowful,     earnestly of fortune
þæt hío hyre hearmdagas    hearde ondréde


that she for herself days of harm    fiercely dreaded,
wælfylla worn    werudes egesan


of multitude of slaughter-feasts,    terror of troops,
hýðo ond hæftnýd.    Heofon réce swealg·


rapine and bondage.     Heaven swallowed the smoke;
geworhton ðá    Wedra léode


then wrought    the Wederas' people
hlaéo on hóe    sé wæs héah ond brád


a barrow on the hill,    it was high and broad,
waéglíðendum    wíde gesýne


for wave-farers     widely visible,
ond betimbredon    on týn dagum


and they constructed    in ten days
beadurófes bécn·    bronda láfe


the war-chief's beacon,     the leavings of the fire,
wealle beworhton    swá hyt weorðlícost


with a wall they encircled,    as it most worthily
foresnotre men    findan mihton·


the very wisest men     could devise;
hí on beorg dydon    bég ond siglu


they placed in the barrow    rings and brooches,
eall swylce hyrsta    swylce on horde aér


all such trappings,    as before from the hoard
níðhédige men    genumen hæfdon·


hostile men    had taken away;
forléton eorla gestréon     eorðan healdan


the treasure of heroes they let    the earth hold,
gold on gréote    þaér hit nú gén lifað


gold in the gritty soil,     where it now still lives,
eldum swá unnyt    swá hyt aérer wæs.


as useless to men    as it was before.
Þá ymbe hlaéw riodan,     hildedéore


Then around the mound rode    the battle-brave
æþelinga bearn    ealra twelfa·


sons of nobles,    twelve in all,
woldon cearge cwíðan    kyning maénan,


they wished to bewail their sorrow,    to mourn their king,
wordgyd wrecan    ond ymb wer sprecan·


to pronounce elegy,    and speak about the man;
eahtodan eorlscipe    ond his ellenweorc


they praised his heroic deeds    and his works of courage,
duguðum démdon.    Swá hit gedéfe bið


exalted his majesty.     As it is fitting,
þæt mon his winedryhten    wordum herge·


that one his friend and lord    honours in words,
ferhðum fréoge    þonne hé forð scile


cherish in one's spirit,     when he must forth
of líchaman     laéded weorðan·


from his body    be led;
swá begnornodon    Géata léode


thus bemourned    the people of the Geats
hláfordes hryre,     heorðgenéatas:


their lord's fall,    his hearth-companions:
cwaédon þæt hé waére     wyruldcyning


they said that he was,      of all kings of the world,
manna mildust    monðwaérust


the most generous of men,    the most gracious,
léodum líðost    ond lofgeornost.


the most protective of his people,    and the most eager for honour.