BEOWULF

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VIII

Hunferð maþelode      Ecgláfes bearn
Unferth spoke,      the son of Edgelaf,
þe æt fótum sæt      fréan Scyldinga· who sat at the feet      of the lord of the Scyldings;
onband beadurúne      --wæs him Béowulfes síð

  501

he unbound battle-runes      --for him was the venture of Beowulf,
módges merefaran      micel æfþunca

 

brave seafarer's,      a source of great displeasure,
forþon þe hé ne úþe      þæt aénig óðer man

 

because he did not grant      that any other man
aéfre maérða þon má      middangeardes

 

ever glorious deeds the more      on middle-earth
gehédde under heofenum      þonne hé sylfa--:

 

heeded under the heavens      than he himself--:
'Eart þú sé Béowulf      sé þe wið Brecan wunne

  506

'Are you the Beowulf,      who contested against Breca          
on sídne saé      ymb sund flite?

 

on the broad sea,      contended around the ocean-sound?
Ðaér git for wlence      wada cunnedon

 

Where you for bravado      tempted the waters
ond for dolgilpe      on déop wæter

 

and for a foolish boast      in deep sea
aldrum néþdon      né inc aénig mon

 

risked your lives,      you no man
né léof né láð      beléan mihte

  511

--neither friend nor foe--      could dissuade
sorhfullne síð      þa git on sund réön·

 

from that sorrowful jaunt,      when you rowed into the strait;
þaér git éagorstréam      earmum þehton·

 

there you sea-currents      in your arms embraced,
maéton merestraéta      mundum brugdon·

 

traversed the ocean-roads,      with hands wove,
glidon ofer gársecg·      geofon ýþum

 

gliding over the sea;      the ocean in waves
wéol wintrys wylm·      git on wæteres aéht

  516

welled, in winter's swells;      you in the water's grasp
seofon niht swuncon·      hé þé æt sunde oferflát·

 

toiled for seven nights;      he got the better of you on the sea,
hæfde máre mægen.      Þá hine on morgentíd

 

he had more might.      Then he in the morning
on Heaþo-Raémes      holm up ætbær·

 

on Heatho-Reams' shore      was cast up by the sea;
ðonon hé gesóhte      swaésne éðel,

 

thence he sought      his own homeland,
léof his léodum,      lond Brondinga

  521

dear to his people,      the land of the Brondings,
freoðoburh fægere      þaér hé folc áhte

 

the fair citadel,      he had folk there,
burh ond béagas·      béot eal wið þé

 

boroughs and rings;      the entire boast with you
sunu Béanstánes      sóðe gelaéste.

 

the son of Beanstan      truly fulfilled.
Ðonne wéne ic tó þé      wyrsan geþingea

 

I expect then for you      worse results,
ðéah þú heaðoraésa      gehwaér dohte

  526

though you in war-assaults      everywhere prevailed,
grimre gúðe      gif þú Grendles dearst

 

grim combat,      if you for Grendel dare
nihtlongne fyrst      néän bídan.'

 

the space of a night      nearby wait.'
Béowulf maþelode      bearn Ecgþéowes:

 

Beowulf spoke,      the son of Edgetheow:
'Hwæt, þú worn fela,      wine mín Hunferð,

 

'Listen, you a great deal      --Unferth, my friend,
béore druncen      ymb Brecan spraéce·

  531

drunk on beer--      have spoken about Breca,
sægdest from his síðe.      Sóð ic talige

 

told of his journey.      Truth I claim
þæt ic merestrengo      máran áhte

 

that I sea-strength      greater had,
earfeþo on ýþum      ðonne aénig óþer man·

 

hardship on the waves,      than any other man;
wit þæt gecwaédon      cnihtwesende

 

we had it agreed,      being lads,
ond gebéotedon      --waéron bégen þá git

  536

and vowed      --being both then still
on geogoðféore--      þæt wit on gársecg út

 

in the years of youth--      that we out on the ocean
aldrum néðdon      ond þæt geæfndon swá.

 

our lives would risk,      and thus that we did.
Hæfdon swurd nacod      þá wit on sund réön

 

We had naked swords      when we rowed on the ocean-sound,
heard on handa:      wit unc wið hronfixas

 

hard in our hands:      we ourselves against whales
werian þóhton·      nó hé wiht fram mé

  541

planned to defend;      not a whit from me was he
flódýþum feor      fléotan meahte

 

on the sea-waves far      able to float,
hraþor on holme·      nó ic fram him wolde·

 

swifter on water,      nor did I wish to part from him;
ðá wit ætsomne      on saé waéron

 

then we together      were on the sea,
fíf nihta fyrst      oþ þæt unc flód tódráf

 

for the space of five nights,      until the sea-waves drove us apart,
wado weallende      wedera cealdost

  546

the water welling,      the coldest of weathers,
nípende niht      ond norþanwind

 

the darkening night      and the north wind
heaðogrim ondhwearf·      hréo waéron ýþa·

 

fierce turned against us;      wild were the waves;
wæs merefixa      mód onhréred·

 

then was the sea-fishes'      wrath roused;
þaér mé wið láðum      lícsyrce mín

 

there me against foes      my body-shirt
heard hondlocen      helpe gefremede·

  551

strong and hand-linked,      did me help,
beadohrægl bróden      on bréostum læg

 

my battle-garment braided      lay on my breast,
golde gegyrwed·      mé tó grunde téah

 

adorned with gold;      to the bottom of the sea I was drawn
fáh féondscaða·      fæste hæfde

 

by the hostile foe-scather,      it held me fast,
grim on grápe·      hwæþre mé gyfeþe wearð

 

cruel in grip;      however, to it was granted
þæt ic áglaécan      orde geraéhte

  556

that I the monster      reached with my point,
hildebille·      heaþoraés fornam

 

with battle-bill;      in the battle-rush I destroyed
mihtig meredéor      þurh míne hand.

 

the mighty sea-beast      with my hand.