BEOWULF

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VI

 

Hróðgár maþelode      helm Scyldinga:

 

Hrothgar spoke,      --the Helm of the Scyldings--:
'Ic hine cúðe      cnihtwesende·

 

'I knew him      when he was a youth;

wæs his ealdfæder      Ecgþéo háten

 

his old father was      called Ecgtheow,
ðaém tó hám forgeaf      Hréþel Géata

 

to whom gave into his home      Hrethel of the Geats
ángan dohtor·      is his eaforan nú

 375

his only daughter;      now his heir is
heard hér cumen·      sóhte holdne wine.

 

come here bravely,      seeking a steadfast friend.
Ðonne sægdon þæt      saélíþende

 

Further, it has been said by      sea-farers,
þá ðe gifsceattas      Géata fyredon

 

they who our gifts of coins      ferried for the Geats
þyder tó þance·      þæt hé þrítiges

 

thither in thanks,      that he thirty   
manna mægencræft      on his mundgripe

  380

men's strength      in the grip of his hand,
heaþoróf hæbbe·      hine hálig god

 

renowned in war, has;      him holy God,
for árstafum      ús onsende

 

in benevolence,      has sent to us,
tó West-Denum·      þæs ic wén hæbbe·

 

to the West-Danes,      of this I have hope,
wið Grendles gryre·      ic þaém gódan sceal

 

against Grendel's terror;      I the good man must
for his módþræce      mádmas béodan.

  385

for his great daring      offer precious treasures.
Béo ðú on ofeste·      hát in gáän

 

Be you in haste,      order to come in
séon sibbegedriht      samod ætgædere·

 

to see me the noble band of kinsmen      all together;
gesaga him éac wordum      þæt híe sint wilcuman

 

Say to them also in words,      that they are welcome

 

Deniga léodum.'     

 

to the Danish land.'     
                             Word inne ábéad:

 

                             A word from within announced:
'Éow hét secgan      sigedrihten mín

  391

'To you I am commanded to say      by my valorous lord,
aldor Éast-Dena      þæt hé éower æþelu can

 

the leader of the East Danes,      that he knows your noble history,
ond gé him syndon      ofer saéwylmas

 

and you are to him,      over sea-swells,
heardhicgende      hider wilcuman·

 

--bold in thought--      welcome hither;
nú gé móton gangan      in éowrum gúðgeatáwum

 

now you may enter      in your war-gear,
under heregríman      Hróðgár geseon·

  396

under visored-helmets,      to see Hrothgar;
laétað hildebord      hér onbidan,

 

let battle-boards      here await,
wuduwælsceaftas,      worda geþinges.'

 

and wooden slaughter-shafts,      the result of words.'
Árás þá se ríca,      ymb hine rinc manig

 

Then the mighty one arose,      about him many warriors,
þrýðlíc þegna héap·      sume þaér bidon·

 

the glorious troop of thanes;      some waited there,
heaðoréaf héoldon      swá him se hearda bebéad·

  401

guarding the gear of war      as the hardy leader bade;
snyredon ætsomne·      þá secg wísode

 

they hurried together;      the hero led the way for them
under Heorotes hróf·

 

under Heorot's roof,
heard under helme      þæt hé on héoðe gestód.

 

severe under his helmet,      until he stood in the hall.
Béowulf maðelode      --on him byrne scán

 

Beowulf spoke      --on him a mail-coat gleamed,
searonet seowed      smiþes orþancum--:

  406

a net of armour woven      by smith's skilful art--:
'Wæs þú, Hróðgár, hál.      Ic eom Higeláces

 

'Be you, Hrothgar, whole.       I am Hygelace's
maég ond magoðegn·      hæbbe ic maérða fela

 

kinsman and retainer;      I have many great labours
ongunnen on geogoþe·      mé wearð Grendles þing

 

undertaken in my youth;      Grendel's enterprises have to me become,
on mínre éþeltyrf      undyrne cúð:

 

on my native soil,      clearly known:
secgað saélíðend      þæt þæs sele stande

  411

it is said by sea-farers      that in this hall stands,
reced sélesta      rinca gehwylcum

 

--the best of buildings--      for each and every man,
ídel ond unnyt      siððan aéfenléoht

 

idle and useless,      after evening-light
under heofenes hádor      beholen weorþeð.

 

under the firmament of heaven      goes to hide.
Þá mé þæt gelaérdon      léode míne

 

Then I was advised that,      by my people,
þá sélestan      snotere ceorlas,

  416

the best ones,      the clever chaps,
þéoden Hróðgár,      þæt ic þé sóhte

 

sovereign Hrothgar,      that it were thee I should seek,
for þan híe mægenes cræft      míne cúþon·

 

for that they the force of the strength      of mine knew;
selfe ofersáwon      ðá ic of searwum cwóm

 

themselves had looked on,      when I returned from battle,
fáh from féondum      þaér ic fífe geband·

 

stained with the blood of foes,      where I bound five,
ýðde eotena cyn      ond on ýðum slóg

  421

destroyed ogrish kin,      and amid the waves slew
niceras nihtes·      nearoþearfe dréah·

 

nicors by night;      I weathered distress in many a tight corner,
wræc Wedera níð      --wéan áhsodon--

 

avenged injury done the Wederas      --they sought woe--
forgrand gramum      ond nú wið Grendel sceal

 

the foes I crushed,      and now against Grendel I am bound,
wið þám áglaécan      ána gehégan

 

with that terrible creature,      alone,   to settle
ðing wið þyrse.      Ic þé nú ðá,

  426

the affair with the troll.      I now then you,
brego Beorht-Dena,      biddan wille,

 

prince of the Bright-Danes,      want to request,
eodor Scyldinga,      ánre béne:

 

O protector of the Scyldings,      one boon:
þæt ðú mé ne forwyrne,      wígendra hléo

 

that you not refuse me,      O shield of warriors,
fréowine folca,      nú ic þus feorran cóm·

 

liege and comrade of the folk,      now that I have come thus far;
þæt ic móte ána,      mínra eorla gedryht

  431

that I might alone,      with my company of nobles
ond þes hearda héap,      Heorot faélsian·

 

and this hardy horde of warriors,      clense Heorot;
hæbbe ic éac ge-áhsod      þæt sé aéglaéca

 

I have also heard      that the evil creature
for his wonhýdum      waépna ne recceð·

 

in his recklessness      heeds not weapons;
ic þæt þonne forhicge      --swá mé Higelác síe

 

then I it scorn      --so that for me Hygelac may be
mín mondrihten      módes blíðe--

  436

my liege-lord      blithe in his heart--
þæt ic sweord bere      oþðe sídne scyld

 

that I bear a sword      or broad shield,
geolorand tó gúþe      ac ic mid grápe sceal

 

yellow-rim to war,      but I with my grip shall
fón wið féonde      ond ymb feorh sacan,

 

fight with this fiend      and over life strive,
láð wið láþum·      ðaér gelýfan sceal

 

enemy against enemy;      there must trust in
dryhtnes dóme      sé þe hine déað nimeð·

  441

the judgement of the Lord,      whichever one that Death takes;
wén' ic þæt hé wille      gif hé wealdan mót

 

I expect that he will wish,      if he can compass it,
in þaém gúðsele      Géotena léode

 

in the war-hall,      the Geatish people
etan unforhte      swá hé oft dyde,

 

to devour fearlessly,      as he often did,
mægenhréð manna.      Ná þú mínne þearft

 

the force of glorious warriors.      You will have no need for my
hafalan hýdan      ac hé mé habban wile

  446

head to shroud,      but rather he will have me
déore fahne      gif mec déað nimeð

 

fiercely stained with gore,      if me Death takes,
byreð blódig wæl·      byrgean þenceð·

 

he will bear my bloody corpse;      he aims to bite,
eteð ángenga      unmurnlíce·

 

the lone prowler eats      unmournfully,
mearcað mórhopu·      nó ðú ymb mínes ne þearft

 

marking the limits of his moor enclosures;      nor will you for the needs of my
líces feorme      leng sorgian.

  451

body's funeral-provisions      have any further concern.
Onsend Higeláce      gif mec hild nime

 

Send to Hygelac,      if I am taken by battle,
beaduscrúda betst      þæt míne bréost wereð,

 

the best of battle-shrouds,      the one that protects my breast,
hrægla sélest·      þæt is Hraédlan láf

 

choicest of garments;      that is Hrethel's relic,
Wélandes geweorc.      Gaéð á wyrd swá hío scel.'

 

Wayland's work.        Fate goes always as She must.'