Old English text from:  http://ebeowulf.uky.edu/ebeo4.0/CD/main.html


With the Seamus Heaney translation, slightly altered

— Chapters —
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43

Note:  the symbol “7,” like our “&,” stands for Anglo-Saxon ond (“and”).

{ 1 }
So. The Spear-Danes in days gone by
þrym gefrunon.
And the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness.
Hu ða æþelingas
ellen fremedon!
We have heard of those princes’ heroic campaigns.
Oft Scyld Scefing
sceaþena þreatum
There was Shield Sheafson, scourge of many tribes,
5 monegum mægþum
meodosetla ofteah,
A wrecker of mead-benches, rampaging among foes.
egsode eorl,
syððan ærest wearð
This terror of the hall-troops had come far.
feasceaft funden.
He þæs frofre gebad,
A foundling to start with, he would flourish later on
weox under wolcnum,
weorðmyndum þah,
As his powers waxed and his worth was proved.
oð þæt him æghwylc
þara ymbsittendra
In the end each clan on the outlying coasts
10 ofer hronrade
hyran scolde,
Beyond the whale-road had to yield to him
gomban gyldan.
Þæt wæs god cyning.
And begin to pay tribute.  That was one good king.
Đæm eafera wæs
æfter cenned,
Afterwards a boy-child was born to Shield,
geong in geardum,
þone God sende
A cub in the yard, a comfort sent
folce to frofre.
Fyrenðearfe ongeat.
By God to that nation. He knew what they had suffered,
15 Þæt hie ær drugon
The long times and troubles they’d come through
lange hwile.
Him þæs Liffrea,
Without a leader; so the Lord of Life,
wuldres wealdend,
woroldare forgeaf.
The glorious Almighty, made this man renowned.
Beowulf wæs breme,
blæd wide sprang,
Shield had fathered a famous son:
Scyldes eafera
Scedelandum in.
Beow’s name was known through the north
20 Swa sceal geong guma
gode gewyrcean,
and a young prince must be prudent like that,
129v fromum feohgiftum
on fæder | bearme,
Giving freely while his father lives
þæt hine on ylde
eft gewunigen
so that afterwards in age when fighting starts
þonne wig cume,
steadfast companions will stand by him
leode gelæsten.
Lofdædum sceal
and hold the line.  Behaviour that’s admired
25 in mægþa gehwære
man geþeon.
is the path to power among people everywhere.
Him ða Scyld gewat
to gescæphwile
Shield was still thriving when his time came
felahror feran
on Frean wære.
and crossed over into the Lord’s Keeping.
Hi hyne þa ætbæron
to brimes faroðe,
His warrior band did what he bade them
swæse gesiþas.
Swa he selfa bæd
when he laid down the law among the Danes:
30 þenden wordum weold
wine Scyldinga.
they shouldered him out to the sea’s flood,
Leof landfruma
lange ahte.
the chief they revered who had long ruled them.
Þær æt hyðe stod
A ring-whorled prow rode in the harbor,
isig 7 utfus,
æþelinges fær.
Ice –clad, outbound, a craft for a prince.
Aledon þa
leofne þeoden,
They stretched their beloved lord in his boat,
35 beaga bryttan
on bearm scipes,
Laid out by the mast, amidships,
mærne be mæste.
Þær wæs madma fela
the great ring-giver. Far-fetched treasures
of feorwegum
frætwa gelæded.
were piled upon him, and precious gear.
Ne hyrde ic cymlicor
ceol gegyrwan
I never heard before of a ship so well furbished
7 heaðowædum,
With battle tackle, bladed weapons
40 billum 7 byrnum.
Him on bearme læg
And coats of mail.  The massed treasure
madma mænigo;
þa him mid scoldon
was loaded on top of him:  it would travel far
on flodes æht
feor gewitan.
on out into the ocean’s sway.
Nalæs hi hine læssan
lacum teodan,
They decked his body no less bountifully
þonne þa dydon,
With offerings than those first ones did
45 þe hine æt frumsceafte
forð onsendon
Who cast him away when he was a child
130r ænne ofer yðe
And launched him alone out over the waves.
Þa gyt hie him asetton
segen gyldenne
And they set a gold standard up
heah ofer heafod,
leton holm beran
High above his head and let him drift
geafon on garsecg.
Him wæs geomor sefa,
To wind and tide, bewailing him
50 murnende mod.
Men ne cunnon
And mourning their loss.  No man can tell,
secgan to soðe
No wise man in hall or weathered veteran
hæleð under heofenum,
hwa þæm hlæste onfeng.
Knows for certain who salvaged that load.
{ 2 }
ĐA wæs on burgum
Beowulf Scyldinga
Then it fell to Beow to keep the forts.
leof leodcyning
longe þrage,
He was well regarded and ruled the Danes
55 folcum gefræge.
Fæder ellor hwearf,
For a long time after his father took leave
aldor of earde.
Oþ þæt him eft onwoc
Of his life on earth.  And then his heir,
heah Healfdene,
heold þenden lifde,
The great Halfdane, held sway
gamol 7 guðreouw,
glæde Scyldingas.
For as long as he lived, their elder and warlord.
Đæm feower bearn
He was four times a father, this fighter prince:
60 in worold wocun:
weoroda ræswa,
One by one they entered the world,
Heorogar, 7 Hroðgar,
7 Halga til.
Heorogar, Hrothgar, the good Halga,
Hyrde ic þæt ides
wæs æþelan cwen,
And a daughter, I have heard, who was Onela’s queen,
A balm in bed to the battle-scarred Swede.
Þa wæs Hroðgare
heresped gyfen,
The fortunes of war favored Hrothgar.
65 wiges weorðmynd,
þæt him his winemagas
Friends and kinsmen flocked to his ranks,
georne hyrdon,
oðð þæt seo geogoð geweox
Young followers, a force that grew
magodriht micel.
Him on mod bearn
To be a mighty army.  So his mind turned
þæt healreced
hatan wolde,
To hall-building:  he handed down orders
130v | medoærn micel
men gewyrcean,
For men to work on a great mead-hall
70 þone yldo bearn
æfre gefrunon,
Meant to be a wonder of the world forever;
7 þær on innan
eall gedælan
It would be his throne-room and there he would dispense
geongum 7 ealdum,
swylc him God sealde,
His God-given goods to young and old —
buton folcscare
7 feorum gumena.
But not the common land or people’s lives.
Đa ic wide gefrægn
weorc gebannan
Far and wide through the world, I have heard,
75 manigre mægþe
geond þisne middangeard,
Orders for the work to adorn that wallstead
folcstede frætwan.
Him on fyrste gelomp,
Were sent to many peoples. And soon it stood there,
ædre mid yldum,
þæt hit wearð ealgearo,
Finished and ready, in full view,
healærna mæst.
Scop him Heort naman,
The hall of halls.  Heorot was the name
se þe his wordes geweald
wide hæfde.
He settled on it, whose utterance was law.
80 He beot ne aleh,
beagas dælde,
Nor did he renege, but doled out rings
sinc æt symle.
Sele hlifade,
And torques at the table.  The hall towered,
heah 7 horngeap.
Heaðowylma bad,
Its gables wide and high and awaiting
laðan liges.
Ne wæs hit lenge þa gen
A barbarous burning.  That doom abided,
þæt se secghete
aþum swerian,
But in time it would come: the killer instinct
85 æfter wælniðe
wæcnan scolde.
Unleashed among in-laws, the blood-lust rampant.
Đa se ellengæst
Then a powerful demon, a prowler through the dark,
þrage geþolode,
se þe in þystrum bad,
Nursed a hard grievance.  It harrowed him
þæt he dogora gehwam
dream gehyrde
To hear the din of the loud banquet
hludne in healle.
Þær wæs hearpan sweg,
Every day in the hall, the harp being struck
90 swutol sang scopes.
Sægde, se þe cuþe,
And the clear song of a skilled poet
frumsceaft fira
feorran reccan,
Telling with mastery of man’s beginnings,
132r | cwæð þæt se Ælmihtiga
eorðan worhte,
How the Almighty had made the earth
wlitebeorhtne wang,
swa wæter bebugeð,
A gleaming plain girdled with waters;
gesette sigehreþig
sunnan 7 monan,
In His splendor He set the sun and the moon
95 leoman to leohte
To be earth’s lamplight, lanterns for men,
7 gefrætwade
foldan sceatas,
And filled the broad lap of the world
leomum 7 leafum,
lif eac gesceop
With branches and leaves;  and quickened life
cynna gehwylcum
þara ðe cwice hwyrfaþ.
In every other thing that moved.
Swa ða drihtguman
dreamum lifdon
So times were pleasant for the people there
100 eadiglice,
oð ðæt an ongan
Until finally one, a fiend out of hell,
fyrene fremman,
feond on helle.
Began to work his evil in the world.
Wæs se grimma gæst
Grendel haten,
Grendel was the name of this grim demon
mære mearcstapa,
se þe moras heold,
Haunting the marches, marauding round the heath
fen 7 fæsten.
Fifelcynnes eard
And the desolate fens;  he had dwelt for a time
105 wonsæli wer
weardode hwile,
In misery among the banished monsters,
siþðan him Scyppend
forscrifen hæfde
Cain’s clan, whom the Creator had outlawed
in Caines cynne.
Þone cwealm gewræc,
And condemned as outcasts.  For the killing of Abel
ece Drihten,
þæs þe he Abel slog.
The Eternal Lord had exacted a price:
Ne gefeah he þære fæhðe,
ac He hine feor forwræc,
Cain got no good from committing that murder
110 Metod for þy mane
mancynne fram.
Because the Almighty made him anathema
Þanon untydras
ealle onwocon,
And out of the curse of this exile there sprang
eotenas 7 ylfe
7 orcneas,
Ogres and elves and evil phantoms
132v swylce gi|gantas,
þa wið Gode wunnon
And the giants too who strove with God
lange þrage.
He him ðæs lean forgeald!
Time and gain until He gave them their reward.
{ 3 }
115 Gewat ða neosian,
syþðan niht becom,
So, after nightfall, Grendel set out
hean huses,
hu hit Hring-Dene
For the lofty house, to see how the Ring-Danes
æfter beorþege
gebun hæfdon.
Were settling into it after their drink,
Fand þa ðær inne
æþelinga gedriht
And there he came upon them, a company of the best,
swefan æfter symble.
Sorge ne cuðon,
Asleep from their feasting, insensible to pain
120 wonsceaft wera.
Wiht unhælo,
And human sorrow.  Suddenly then
grim 7 grædig,
gearo sona wæs,
The God-cursed brute was creating havoc:
reoc 7 reþe,
7 on ræste genam
Greedy and grim, he grabbed thirty men
þritig þegna.
Þanon eft gewat
From their resting places and rushed to his lair,
huðe hremig
to ham faran,
Flushed up and inflamed from the raid,
125 mid þære wælfylle
wica neosan.
Blundering back with the butchered corpses.
Đa wæs on uhtan
mid ærdæge
Then as dawn brightened and the day broke
Grendles guðcræft
gumum undyrne.
Grendel’s powers of destruction were plain:
Þa wæs æfter wiste
wop up ahafen,
Their wassail was over, they wept to heaven
micel morgensweg.
Mære þeoden
And mourned under morning.  Their mighty prince,
130 æþeling ærgod,
unbliðe sæt,
The storied leader, sat stricken and helpless,
þolode ðryðswyð,
þegnsorge dreah,
Humiliated by the loss of his guard,
syðþan hie þæs laðan
last sceawedon,
Bewildered and stunned, staring aghast
wergan gastes.
Wæs þæt gewin to strang,
At the demon’s trail, in deep distress.
133r lað 7 longsum.
Næs hit lengra | fyrst,
He was numb with grief, but got no respite
135 ac ymb ane niht
eft gefremede
For one night later merciless Grendel
morðbeala mare,
7 no mearn fore
Struck again with more gruesome murders.
fæhðe 7 fyrene.
Wæs to fæst on þam.
Malignant by nature, he never showed remorse.
Þa wæs eaðfynde
þe him elles hwær
It was easy then to meet with a man
ræste sohte,
Shifting himself to a safer distance
140 bed æfter burum,
ða him gebeacnod wæs,
To bed in the huts, for who could be blind
gesægd soðlice
sweotolan tacne
To the evidence of his eyes, the obviousness
healðegnes hete.
Heold hyne syðþan
Of that hall-watcher’s hate?  Whoever escaped
fyr 7 fæstor,
se þæm feonde ætwand.
Kept a weather-eye open and moved away.
Swa rixode
7 wið rihte wan,
So Grendel ruled in defiance of right,
145 ana wið eallum,
oð þæt idel stod
One against all, until the greatest house
husa selest.
Wæs seo hwil micel,
In the world stood empty, a deserted wallstead.
twelf wintra tid,
torn geþolode,
For twelve winters, seasons of woe,
wine, scyldenda,
weana gehwelcne,
The lord of the Shildings suffered under
sidra sorga.
Forðam sona wearð
His load of sorrow; and so, before long,
150 ylda bearnum
undyrne, cuð,
The news was known over the whole world.
gyddum geomore,
þætte Grendel wan
Sad epic songs were sung about the beset king,
hwile wið Hroþgar,
heteniðas wæg,
The vicious raids and ravages of Grendel,
fyrene 7 fæhðe
fela missera,
His long and unrelenting feud,
singale sæce.
Sibbe ne wolde
Nothing but war;  how he would never
155 wið manna hwone
mægenes Deniga
Parley or make peace with any Dane
feorhbealo feorran,
fea þingian.
Nor stop his death-dealing nor pay the death-price.
Ne þær nænig witena
wenan þorfte
No counselor could ever expect
beorhtre bote
to banan folmum.
Fair reparation from those rabid hands.
133v | Atol æglæca
ehtende wæs,
All were endangered;  young and old
160 deorc deaþscua,
duguþe 7 geogoþe,
Were hunted down by that dark death-shadow
seomade 7 syrede.
sinnihte heold
Who lurked and swooped in the long nights
mistige moras.
Men ne cunnon
On the misty moors;  nobody knows
hwyder helrunan
hwyrftum scriþað.
Where these raiders from hell roam on their errands.
Swa fela fyrena
feond mancynnes,
So Grendel waged his lonely war,
165 atol angengea,
oft gefremede,
Inflicting constant cruelties on the people,
heardra hynða.
Heorot eardode,
Atrocious hurt.  He took over Heorot,
sincfage sel
sweartum nihtum.
Haunted the glittering hall after dark,
No he þone gifstol
gretan moste
But the throne itself, the treasure-seat,
maþðum for Metode,
ne his myne wisse.
He was kept from approaching;  he was the Lord’s outcast.
170 Þæt wæs wræc micel
wine Scyldinga,
These were hard times, heart-breaking
modes brecða.
Monig oft gesæt
For the prince of the Shieldings;  powerful counselors,
rice to rune;
ræd eahtedon,
The highest in the land, would lend advice,
hwæt swiðferhðum
selest wære
Plotting how best the bold defenders
wið færgryrum
to gefremmanne.
Might resist and beat off sudden attacks.
175 Hwilum hie geheton
æt hrærgtrafum
Sometimes at pagan shrines they vowed
wordum bædon
Offerings to idols, swore oaths
þæt him gastbona
geoce gefremede
That the killer of souls might come to their aid
wið þeodþreaum.
Swylc wæs þeaw hyra,
And save the people.  That was their way,
hæþenra hyht.
Helle gemundon
Their heathenish hope; deep in their hearts
180 in modsefan,
Metod hie ne cuþon,
They remembered hell.  The Almighty Judge
dæda Demend,
ne wiston hie Drihten God.
Of good deeds and bad, the Lord God,
134r | Ne hie huru heofena Helm
herian ne cuþon,
Head of the Heavens and High King of the World,
wuldres Waldend.
Wa bið þæm ðe sceal
Was unknown to them.  Oh, cursed is he
þurh sliðne nið
sawle bescufan
Who in time of trouble has to thrust his soul
185 in fyres fæþm,
frofre ne wenan,
In the fire’s embrace, forfeiting help;
wihte gewendan.
Wel bið þæm þe mot
He has nowhere to turn.  But blessed is he
æfter deaðdæge
Drihten secean
Who after death can approach the Lord
7 to fæder fæþmum
freoðo wilnian.
And find friendship in the Father’s embrace.
{ 4 }
Swa ða mælceare
maga Healfdenes
So that trouble time continued, woe
190 singala seað.
Ne mihte snotor hæleð
That never stopped, steady affliction
wean onwendan.
Wæs þæt gewin to swyð,
For Halfdane’s son, too hard an ordeal.
laþ 7 longsum,
þe on ða leode becom,
There was panic after dark, people endured
nydwracu niþgrim,
nihtbealwa mæst.
Raids in the night, torn by the terror.
Þæt fram ham gefrægn
Higelaces þegn,
When he heard about Grendel, Hygelac’s thane
195 god mid Geatum,
Grendles dæda.
Was on home ground, over in Geatland.
Se wæs moncynnes
mægenes strengest
There was no on else like him alive.
on þæm dæge
þysses lifes,
In his day, he was the mightiest man on earth,
æþele 7 eacen.
Het him yðlidan
High-born and powerful.  He ordered a boat
godne gegyrwan.
Cwæð, he guðcyning
That would ply the waves.  He announced his plan:
200 ofer swanrade
secean wolde,
To sail the swan’s road and search out that king,
mærne þeoden,
þa him wæs manna þearf.
The famous prince who needed defenders.
Đone siðfæt him
snotere ceorlas
Nobody tried to keep him from going,
134v lythwon logon.
| Þeah he him leof wære,
No elder denied him, dear as he was to them.
hwetton higerofne.
Hæl sceawedon.
Instead, they inspected omens and spurred
205 Hæfde, se goda
Geata leoda,
His ambition to go, whilst he moved about
cempan gecorone,
þara þe he cenoste
Like the leader he was, enlisting men,
findan mihte.
Fiftyna sum
The best he could find;  with fourteen others
sundwudu sohte,
secg wisade,
The warrior boarded the boat as captain,
lagucræftig mon
A canny pilot along coast and currents.
210 Fyrst forð gewat.
Flota wæs on yðum,
Time went by, the boat was on water,
bat under beorge.
Beornas gearwe
In close under the cliffs.
on stefn stigon.
Streamas wundon,
Men climbed eagerly up the gangplank,
sund wið sande.
Secgas bæron
sand churned in surf, warriors loaded
on bearm nacan
beorhte frætwe,
a cargo of weapons, shining war-gear
215 guðsearo geatolic.
Guman ut scufon,
In the vessel’s hold, then heaved out,
weras on wilsið
wudu bundenne.
Away with a will in their wood-wreathed ship.
Gewat þa ofer wægholm,
winde gefysed,
Over the waves, with the wind behind her
flota famiheals
fugle gelicost,
And foam at her neck, she flew like a bird
oð þæt ymb antid
oþres dogores
Until her curved prow had covered the distance
220 wundenstefna
gewaden hæfde,
And on the following day, at the due hour,
þæt ða liðende
land gesawon,
Those seafarers sighted land,
brimclifu blican,
beorgas steape,
Sunlit cliffs, sheer crags
side sænæssas.
Þa wæs sund liden,
And looming headlands, the landfall they sought.
eoletes æt ende.
Þanon up hraðe
It was the end of their voyage and the Geats vaulted
225 Wedera leode
on wang stigon,
Over the side, out on to the sand,
sæwudu sældon.
Syrcan hrysedon,
And moored their ship.  There was a clash of mail
Gode þancedon
And a thresh of gear.  They thanked God
þæs þe him yþlade
eaðe wurdon.
For that easy crossing on a calm sea.
135r | Þa of wealle geseah
weard Scildinga,
When the watchman on the wall, the Shieldings’ lookout
230 se þe holmclifu
healdan scolde,
Whose job it was to guard the sea-cliffs,
beran ofer bolcan
beorhte randas,
Saw shields glittering on the gangplank
fyrdsearu fuslicu.
Hine fyrwyt bræc
And battle-equipment being unloaded
hwæt þa men wæron.
He had to find out who and what
Gewat him þa to waroðe
wicge ridan,
The arrivals were.  So he rode to the shore,
235 þegn Hroðgares,
þrymmum cwehte
This horseman of Hrothgar’s, and challenged them
mægenwudu mundum,
meþelwordum frægn.
In formal terms, flourishing his spear:
“Hwæt syndon ge
“What kind of men are you who arrive
byrnum werede,
þe þus brontne ceol
Rigged out for combat in coats of mail,
ofer lagustræte
lædan cwomon,
Sailing here over the sea lanes
240 hider ofer holmas?”
He on handscole wæs
In your steep-hulled boat?  I have been stationed
ægwearde heold;
As lookout on this coast for a long time.
þe on land Dena
laðra nænig
My job is to watch the waves for raiders,
mid scipherge
sceðþan ne meahte.
And danger to the Danish shore.
“No her cuðlicor
cuman ongunnon
Never before has a force under arms
245 lindhæbbende,
ne ge leafnesword
Disembarked so openly — not bothering to ask
gearwe ne wisson,
If the sentries allowed them safe passage
maga gemedu.
Næfre ic maran geseah
Or the clan had consented.  Nor have I seen
eorla ofer eorþan
ðonne is eower sum,
A mightier man-at-arms on this earth
secg on searwum.
Nis þæt seldguma,
Than the one standing here:  unless I am mistaken,
250 wæpnum geweorðad.
Næfre him his wlite leoge,
He is truly noble.  This is no mere
ænlic ansyn.
Nu ic eower sceal
Hanger-on in a hero’s armor.
135v frumcyn witan,
ær ge fyr | heonan
So now, before you fare inland
on land Dena
As interlopers, I have to be informed
furþur feran.
Nu ge feorbuend,
About who you are and where you hail from.
255 mereliðende
mine gehyrað
Outsiders from across the water,
anfealdne geþoht:
ofost is selest
I say it again:  the sooner you tell
to gecyðanne.
Hwanan eowre cyme syndon?”
Where you came from and why, the better.”
{ 5 }
Him se yldesta
The distinguished one delivered this answer,
werodes wisa,
wordhord onleac:
The leader of the troop unlocked his word-hoard:
260 “We synt gumcynnes
Geata leode
“We belong by birth to the Geat people
7 Higelaces
and owe allegiance to Lord Hygelac.
Wæs min fæder
folcum gecyþed,
In my day, my father was a famous man,
æþele ordfruma,
Ecgþeow haten.
A noble warrior name Ecgtheow.
Gebad wintra worn,
ær he on weg hwurfe,
He outlasted many a long winter
265 gamol of geardum.
Hine gearwe geman,
And went on his way.  All over the world
witena welhwylc,
wide geond eorþan.
Wise men in council continue to remember him.
We þurh holdne hige
hlaford þinne,
We come in good faith to find your lord
sunu Healfdenes,
secean cwomon,
And nation’s shield, the son of Halfdane.
Wes þu us larena god.
Give us the right to advise and direction.
270 Habbað we to þæm mæran
micel ærende,
We have arrived here on a great errand
Deniga frean.
Ne sceal þær dyrne sum
To the lord of the Danes, and I believe therefore
wesan þæs, ic wene.
Þu wast, gif hit is
There should be nothing hidden or withheld between us.
136r swa we soþlice
| secgan hyrdon,
So tell us if what we have heard is true
þæt mid Scyldingum
sceaðona ic nat hwylc,
About this threat, whatever it is,
275 deogol dædhata,
deorcum nihtum,
This danger abroad in the dark nights,
eaweð þurh egsan
uncuðne nið,
This corpse-maker mongering death
hynðu 7 hrafyl.
Ic þæs Hroðgar mæg,
In the Shieldings’ country.  I come to proffer
þurh rumne sefan,
ræd gelæran,
My wholehearted help and counsel.
hu he, frod 7 god,
feond oferswyðeþ -
I can show the wise Hrothgar a way
280 gyf him edwendan
æfre scolde,
To defeat his enemy and find respite —
bealuwa bisigu,
bot eft cuman.
If any respite is to reach him, ever.
7 þa cearwylmas
colran wurðaþ,
I can calm the turmoil and terror in his mind.
oððe a syþðan
Otherwise, he must endure woes
þreanyd þolað,
þenden þær wunað
And live with grief for as long as his hall
285 on heahstede
husa selest.”
Stands at the horizon, on its high ground.”
Weard maþelode,
ðær on wicge sæt,
Undaunted, sitting astride his horse,
ombeht unforht:
“Æghwæþres sceal
The coast-guard answered, “Anyone with gumption
scearp scyldwiga
gescad witan
And a sharp mind will take the measure
worda 7 worca,
se þe wel þenceð.
Of two things:  what’s said and what’s done.
290 Ic þæt gehyre,
þæt þis is hold weorod
I believe what you have told me:  that you are a troop
frean Scyldinga.
Gewitaþ forð beran
Loyal to our king.  So come ahead
wæpen 7 gewædu.
Ic eow wisige.
With your arms and your gear, and I will guide you.
Swylce ic maguþegnas
mine hate
What’s more, I’ll order my own comrades
wið feonda gehwone
flotan eowerne,
On their word of honor to watch your boat
295 niwtyrwydne
nacan on sande,
Down there on the strand — keep her safe
arum healdan,
oþ ðæt eft byreð
In her fresh tar, until the time comes
136v ofer lagustrea|mas
leofne mannan,
For her curved prow to preen on the waves
wudu wundenhals
to Wedermearce.
And bear this hero back to Geatland.
swylcum gifeþe bið
May one so valiant and venturesome
300 þæt þone hilderæs
hal gedigeð.”
Come unharmed through the clash of battle.”
Gewiton him þa feran.
Flota stille bad,
So they went on their way.  The ship rode the water,
seomode on sole,
sidfæþmed scip,
Broad-beamed, bound by its hawser
on ancre fæst.
Eoforlic scionon
And anchored fast.  Boar-shapes flashed
ofer hleorberan,
gehroden golde;
Above their cheek-guards, the brightly forged
305 fah 7 fyrheard
ferhwearde heold.
Work of goldsmiths, watching over
Guþmod grummon,
guman onetton,
Those stern-faced men. They marched in step,
sigon ætsomne,
oþ þæt hy æltimbred,
Hurrying on till the timbered hall
geatolic 7 goldfah,
ongyton mihton.
Rose before them, radiant with gold.
Þæt wæs foremærost
Nobody on earth knew of another
310 receda under roderum.
On þæm se rica bad.
Building like it.  Majesty lodged there,
Lixte se leoma
ofer landa fela.
And its light shone over many lands.
Him þa hildedeor
of modigra
So their gallant escort guided them
torht getæhte,
þæt hie him to mihton
To that dazzling stronghold and indicated
gegnum gangan.
Guðbeorna sum
The shortest way to it;  then the noble warrior
315 wicg gewende,
word æfter cwæð.
Wheeled on his horse and spoke these words:
“Mæl is me to feran.
Fæder alwalda
“It is time for me to go.  May the Almighty
mid arstafum
eowic gehealde,
Father keep you and in His kindness
siða gesunde.
Ic to sæ wille,
Watch over your exploits. I’m away to the sea,
137r wið | wrað werod
wearde healdan.”
Back on alert against enemy raiders.”
{ 5 }
320 Stræt wæs stanfah,
stig wisode
It was a paved track, a path that kept them
gumum ætgædere.
Guðbyrne scan
In marching order.  Their mail-shirts glinted,
heard, hondlocen,
hringiren scir
Hard and hand-linked;  the high-gloss iron
song in searwum,
þa hie to sele furðum
Of their armor rang.  So they duly arrived
in hyra gryregeatwum
gangan cwomon.
In their grim war-graith and gear at the hall,
325 Setton sæmeþe
side scyldas,
And, weary from the sea, stacked wide shields
rondas regnhearde
wið þæs recedes weal,
Of the toughest hardwood against the wall,
bugon þa to bence.
Byrnan hringdon,
Then collapsed on the benches; battle-dress
guðsearo gumena.
Garas stodon
And weapons clashed.  They collected their spears
sæmanna searo,
samod ætgædere,
In a seafarer’s stook, a stand of grayish
330 æscholt ufan græg.
Wæs se irenþreat
Tapering ash.  And the troops themselves
wæpnum gewurþad.
Þa ðær wlonc hæleð
Were as good as their weapons.
Then a proud warrior
æfter hæleþum frægn:
Questioned the men concerning their origins:
“Hwanon ferigeað ge
fætte scyldas
“Where do you come from, carrying these
græge syrcan
7 grimhelmas,
Decorated shields and shirts of mail,
335 heresceafta heap?
Ic eom Hroðgares
These cheek-hinged helmets and javelins?
ar 7 ombiht.
Ne seah ic elþeodige
I am Hrothgar’s herald and officer.
þus manige men
I have never seen so impressive or large
Wen' ic þæt ge for wlenco,
nalles for wræcsiðum,
An assembly of strangers.  Stoutness of heart,
137v ac for hige | þrymmum
Hroðgar sohton.”
Bravery not banishment, must have brought you to Hrothgar.”
340 Him þa ellenrof
The man whose name was known for courage,
wlanc Wedera leod,
word æfter spræc,
The Geat leader, resolute in his helmet,
heard under helme.
“We synt Higelaces
Answered in return:  “We are retainers
Beowulf is min nama.
From Hygelac’s band.  Beowulf is my name.
Wille ic asecgan
sunu Healfdenes,
If your lord and master, the most renowned
345 mærum þeodne,
min ærende,
Son of Halfdane, will hear me out
aldre þinum,
gif he us geunnan wile
And graciously allow me to greet him in person,
þæt we hine swa godne
gretan moton.”
I am ready and willing to report my errand.”
Wulfgar maþelode.
Þæt wæs Wendla leod,
Wulfgar replied, a Wendel chief
wæs his modsefa
manegum gecyðed,
Renowned as a warrior, well known for his wisdom
350 wig 7 wisdom:
“Ic þæs wine Deniga,
And the temper of his mind:  “I will take this message,
frean Scildinga,
frinan wille,
In accordance with your wish, to our noble king,
beaga bryttan,
swa þu bena eart,
Our dear lord, friend of the Danes,
þeoden mærne
ymb þinne sið,
The giver of rings.  I will go and ask him
7 þe þa andsware
ædre gecyðan
About your coming here, then hurry back
355 ðe me se goda
agifan þenceð.”
With whatever reply it pleases him to give.”
Hwearf þa hrædlice
þær Hroðgar sæt,
With that he turned to where Hrothgar sat,
eald 7 unhar,
mid his eorla gedriht.
An old man among retainers;
Eode ellenrof
þæt he for eaxlum gestod
The valiant follower stood four-square
Deniga frean.
Cuþe he duguðe þeaw.
In front of his king:  he knew the courtesies.
Wulfgar maðelode
|to his winedrihtne:
Wulfgar addressed his dear lord:
“Her syndon geferede,
feorran cumene,
“People from Geatland have put ashore.
ofer geofenes begang
Geata leode.
They have sailed far over the wide sea.
Þone yldestan
They call the chief in charge of their band
Beowulf nemnað.
Hy benan synt,
By the name of Beowulf.  They beg, my lord,
365 þæt hie, þeoden min,
wið þe moton
An audience with you, exchange of words
wordum wrixlan.
No ðu him wearne geteoh
And formal greeting.  Most gracious Hrothgar,
ðinra gegncwida,
glædman Hroðgar.
Do not refuse them, but grant them a reply.
Hy on wiggetawum
wyrðe þinceað
From their arms and appointment, they appear well-born
eorla geæhtlan.
Huru se aldor deah,
And worthy of respect, especially the one
370 se þæm heaðorincum
hider wisade.”
Who has led them this far:  he is formidable indeed.”
{ 7 }
Hroðgar maþelode,
helm Scyldinga:
Hrothgar, protector of Shieldings, replied:
“Ic hine cuðe
“I used to know him when I was a young boy.
Wæs his ealdfæder
Ecgþeo haten.
His father before him was called Ecgtheow.
Đæm to ham forgeaf
Hreþel Geata,
Hrethel the Geat gave Ecgtheow
375 angan dohtor.
Is his eaforan nu
His daughter in marriage.  This man is their son,
heard her cumen,
sohte holdne wine.
Here to follow up an old friendship.
Đonne sægdon þæt,
A crew of seamen who sailed for me once
þa ðe gifsceattas
Geata fyredon
With a gift-cargo across to Geatland
138v þyder to þance,
þæt he þri|tiges
Returned with marvelous tales about him:
380 manna mægencræft
on his mundgripe
A thane, they declared, with the strength of thirty
heaþorof hæbbe.
Hine halig God
In the grip of each hand.  Now Holy God
for arstafum
us onsende,
Has, in His Goodness, guided him here
to West-Denum.
þæs ic wen hæbbe,
To the West-Danes, to defend us from Grendel.
wið Grendles gryre.
Ic þæm godan sceal
This is my hope;  and for his heroism
385 for his modþræce
madmas beodan.
I will recompense him with a rich treasure.
Beo ðu on ofeste,
hat in gan
Go immediately, bid him and the Geats
seon sibbegedriht
samod ætgædere.
He has in attendance to assemble and enter.
Gesaga him eac wordum
þæt hie sint wilcuman
Say, moreover, when you speak to them,
Deniga leodum.”
Word inne abead:
That they are welcome in Denmark.”
At the door of the hall,
Wulfgar duly delivered the message:
390 “Eow het secgan,
sigedrihten min,
“My lord, the conquering king of the Danes,
aldor East-Dena,
þæt he eower æþelu can,
Bids me announce that he knows your ancestry;
7 ge him syndon
ofer sæwylmas
Also that he welcomes you here to Heorot
hider wilcuman.
And salutes your arrival from across the sea.
Nu ge moton gangan
in eowrum guðgeatawum,
You are free now to move forward
395 under heregriman,
Hroðgar geseon.
To meet Hrothgar, in helmets and armor,
Lætað hildebord
her onbidan,
But shields must stay here and spears be stacked
worda geþinges.”
Until the outcome of the audience is clear.”
Aras þa se rica,
ymb hine rinc manig,
The hero arose, surrounded closely
þryðlic þegna heap.
Sume þær bidon,
By his powerful thanes.  A party remained
139r heaðoreaf heoldon,
swa him se | hearda bebead.
Under orders to keep watch on the arms;
Snyredon ætsomne,
þa secg wisode
The rest proceeded, lead by their prince
under Heorotes hrof, Under Heorot’s roof.  And standing on the hearth
heard under helme,
þæt he on heoðe gestod.
In webbed links that the smith had woven,
Beowulf maðelode.
On him byrne scan,
The fine-forged mesh of his gleaming mail shirt,
405 searonet seowed
smiþes orþancum:
Resolute in his helmet, Beowulf spoke:
“Wæs þu, Hroðgar, hal.
Ic eom Higelaces
“Greetings to Hrothgar.  I am Hygelac’s kinsman,
mæg 7 magoðegn.
Hæbbe ic mærða fela
One of his hall-troop.  When I was younger,
ongunnen on geogoþe.
Me wearð Grendles þing
I had great triumphs.  Then news of Grendel,
on minre eþeltyrf
undyrne cuð.
Hard to ignore, reached me at home:
410 Secgað sæliðend
þæt þæs sele stande,
Sailors brought stories of the plight you suffer
reced selesta
rinca gehwylcum,
In this legendary hall, how it lies deserted,
idel 7 unnyt,
siððan æfenleoht
Empty and useless once the evening light
under heofenes hador
beholen weorþeð.
Hides itself under Heaven’s dome.
Þa me þæt gelærdon,
leode mine,
So every elder and experienced councilman
415 þa selestan,
snotere ceorlas,
Among my people supported my resolve
þeoden Hroðgar,
þæt ic þe sohte,
To come here to you, King Hrothgar,
for þan hie mægenes cræft
mine cuþon;
Because all knew of my awesome strength.
selfe ofersawon,
ða ic of searwum cwom,
They had seen me boltered in the blood of enemies
fah from feondum,
þær ic fife geband,
When I battled and bound five beasts,
420 yðde eotena cyn,
7 on yðum slog
Raided a troll-nest and in the night-sea
niceras nihtes,
nearoþearfe dreah,
Slaughtered sea-brutes.  I have suffered extremes
139v wræc | Wedera nið.
Wean ahsodon,
And avenged the Geats (their enemies brought it
forgrand gramum.
7 nu wið Grendel sceal,
Upon themselves, I devastated them).
wið þam aglæcan
ana gehegan
Now I mean to be a match for Grendel,
425 ðing wið þyrse.
Ic þe nu ða,
Settle the outcome in a single combat.
brego Beorht-Dena
biddan wille,
And so, my request, O king of Bright-Danes,
eodor Scyldinga,
anre bene,
Dear prince pf the Shieldings, friend of the people
þæt ðu me ne forwyrne,
wigendra hleo,
And their ring of defense, my one request
freowine folca,
nu ic þus feorran com:
Is that you won’t refuse me, who have come this far,
430 þæt ic mote ana,
na minra eorla gedryht
The privilege of purifying Heorot,
7 þes hearda heap,
Heorot fælsian.
With my own men to help me, and nobody else.
Hæbbe ic eac geahsod
þæt se æglæca
I have heard moreover that the monster scorns
for his wonhydum
wæpna ne recceð.
In his reckless way to use weapons;
Ic þæt þonne forhicge,
swa me Higelac sie,
Therefore, to heighten Hygelac’s fame
435 min mondrihten,
modes bliðe,
And gladden his heart, I hereby renounce
þæt ic sweord bere
oþðe sidne scyld,
Sword and the shelter of the broad shield,
geolorand to guþe.
Ac ic mid grape sceal
The heavy war-board:  hand-to-hand
fon wið feonde
7 ymb feorh sacan,
Is how it will be, a life-and-death
lað wið laþum.
Đær gelyfan sceal
Fight with the fiend.  Whichever one death fells
440 Dryhtnes dome,
se þe hine deað nimeð.
Must deem it a just judgment by God.
Wen' ic þæt he wille,
gif he wealdan mot
If Grendel wins, it will be a gruesome day;
in þæm guðsele,
Geotena leode
He will glut himself on the Geats in the war-hall,
140r etan unforhte,
swa he | oft dyde
Swoop without fear on that flower of manhood
mægenhreð manna.
Na þu minne þearft
As on others before.  Then my face won’t be there
445 hafalan hydan,
ac he me habban wile
To be covered in death;  he will carry me away
deore fahne,
gif mec deað nimeð.
As he goes to ground, gorged and bloodied;
Byreð blodig wæl,
byrgean þenceð,
He will run gloating with my raw corpse
eteð angenga
And feed on it alone, in a cruel frenzy,
mearcað morhopu.
No ðu ymb mines ne þearft
Fouling his moor-nest.  No need then
450 lices feorme
leng sorgian.
To lament for long or lay out my body:
Onsend Higelace,
gif mec hild nime,
If the battle takes me, send back
beaduscruda betst
þæt mine breost wereð,
This breast-webbing that Weland fashioned
hrægla selest.
Þæt is Hrædlan laf
And Hrethel gave me, to Hygelac.
Welandes geweorc.
Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel.
Fate goes ever as fate must.”
{ 8 }
455 Hroðgar maþelode,
helm Scyldinga:
Hrothgar, the helmet of the Shieldings, spoke:
“Fere fyhtum, þu,
wine min Beowulf,
“Beowulf, my friend, you have traveled here
7 for arstafum,
usic sohtest.
To favor us with help and fight for us.
Gesloh þin fæder
fæhðe mæste.
There was a feud one time, begun by your father.
Wearþ he Heaþolafe
to handbonan
With his own hands he had killed Heatholaf,
460 mid Wilfingum.
Đa hine wigara cyn
Who was a Wulfing;  so war was looming
for herebrogan
habban ne mihte.
And his people, in fear of it, forced him to leave.
Þanon he gesohte
Suð-Dena folc
He came away then over rolling waves
140v ofer yða gewealc
To the South Danes here, the sons of honor.
Đa ic furþum weold
folce Deninga
I was then in the full flush of kingship,
465 7 on geogoðe heold
Establishing my sway over all the rich strongholds
hordburh hæleþa.
Đa wæs Heregar dead,
Of this heroic land.  Heorogar,
min yldra mæg
My older brother and the better man,
bearn Healfdenes.
Se wæs betera ðonne ic.
Also a son of Halfdane’s, had died.
Siððan þa fæhðe
feo þingode.
Finally I healed the feud by paying:
470 Sende ic Wylfingum
ofer wæteres hrycg
I shipped a treasure-trove to the Wulfings
ealde madmas.
He me aþas swor.
And Ecgtheow acknowledged me with oaths of allegiance
Sorh is me to secganne
on sefan minum,
“It bothers me to have to burden anyone
gumena ængum,
hwæt me Grendel hafað
With all the grief Grendel has caused
hynðo on Heorote
mid his heteþancum,
And the havoc he has wreaked upon us in Heorot,
475 færniða gefremed.
Is min fletwerod,
Our humiliations.  My household-guard
wigheap gewanod.
Hie wyrd forsweop
Are on the wane, fate sweeps them away
on Grendles gryre.
God eaþe mæg
Into Grendel’s clutches---but God can easily
þone dolsceaðan
dæda getwæfan.
Halt these raids and harrowing attacks!
Ful oft gebeotedon,
beore druncne,
“Time and again, when the goblets passed
480 ofer ealowæge
And seasoned fighters got flushed with beer
þæt hie in beorsele
bidan woldon
They would pledge themselves to protect Heorot
Grendles guþe
mid gryrum ecga.
And wait for Grendel with whetted swords.
Đonne wæs þeos medoheal
on morgentid
But when dawn broke and day crept in
drihtsele dreorfah,
þonne dæg lixte,
Over each empty, blood-spattered bench,
141r eal | bencþelu
blode bestymed,
The floor of the mead-hall where they had feasted
heall heorudreore.
Ahte ic holdra þy læs,
Would be slick with slaughter.  And so they died,
deorre duguðe,
þe þa deað fornam.
Faithful retainers, and my following dwindled.
Site nu to symle
7 onsæl meoto,
Now take your place at the table, relish
sigehreð secgum,
swa þin sefa hwette.”
The triumph of heroes to your heart’s content.”
490 Þa wæs Geatmæcgum
geador ætsomne
Then a bench was cleared in that banquet hall
on beorsele
benc gerymed.
So the Geats could have room to be together
Þær swiðferhþe
sittan eodon,
And the party sat, proud in their bearing,
þryðum dealle.
Þegn nytte beheold,
Strong and stalwart.  An attendant stood by
se þe on handa bær
hroden ealowæge,
With a decorated pitcher, pouring bright
495 scencte scir wered.
Scop hwilum sang
Helpings of mead.  And the minstrel sang,
hador on Heorote.
Þær wæs hæleða dream,
Filling Heorot with his head-clearing voice,
duguð unlytel
Dena 7 Wedera.
Gladdening that great rally of Danes and Geats.
{ 9 }
HVNferð maþelode,
Ecglafes bearn,
From where he crouched at the king’s feet,
þe æt fotum sæt
frean Scyldinga.
Unferth, a son of Ecglaf’s, spoke
500 Onband beadurune.
Wæs him Beowulfes sið,
Contrary words.  Beowulf’s coming,
modges merefaran,
micel æfþunca,
His sea-braving, made him sick with envy:
forþon þe he ne uþe
þæt ænig oðer man
He could not brook or abide the fact
141v æfre | mærða þon ma
That anyone else alive under heaven
gehedde under heofenum
þonne he sylfa:
Might enjoy greater regard than he did:
505 “Eart þu se Beowulf,
se þe wið Brecan wunne
“Are you the Beowulf who took on Breca
on sidne sæ,
ymb sund flite,
In a swimming match on the open sea,
ðær git for wlence
wada cunnedon
Risking the water just to prove you could win?
7 for dolgilpe
on deop wæter
It was sheer vanity made you venture out
aldrum neþdon?
Ne inc ænig mon,
On the main deep. And no matter who tried,
510 ne leof ne lað,
belean mihte
Friend or foe, to deflect the pair of you,
sorhfullne sið,
þa git on sund reon.
Neither would back down:  the sea-test obsessed you.
Þær git eagorstream
earmum þehton,
You waded in, embracing water,
mæton merestræta,
mundum brugdon,
Taking its measure, mastering currents,
glidon ofer garsecg.
Geofon yþum weol
Riding on the swell. The ocean swayed,
515 in wintrys wylm.
Git on wæteres æht
Winter went wild in the waves, but you vied
seofon niht swuncon.
He þe æt sunde oferflat,
For seven nights;  and then he outswam you,
hæfde mare mægen.
Þa hine on morgentid
Came ashore the stronger contender.
on Heaþo-Ræmes.
holm up ætbær,
He was cast up safe and sound one morning
Đonon he gesohte
swæsne .eðel.,
Among the Heathoreams, then made his way
520 leof his leodum,
lond Brondinga,
To where he belonged in Bronding country,
freoðoburh fægere,
þær he folc ahte,
Home again, sure of his ground
142r burh 7 beagas.
| Beot eal wið þe
In strong room and bawn.  So Breca made good
sunu Beanstanes
soðe gelæste.
His boast upon you and was proved right.
Đonne wene ic to þe
wyrsan geþingea,
No matter, therefore, how you may have fared
525 ðeah þu heaðoræsa
gehwær dohte,
In every bout and battle until now,
grimre guðe,
gif þu Grendles dearst
This time you’ll be worsted; no one has ever
nihtlongne fyrst
nean bidan.”
Outlasted an entire night against Grendel.”
Beowulf maþelode,
bearn Ecgþeowes:
Beowulf, Ecgtheow’s son, replied:
“Hwæt, þu worn fela,
wine min Hunferð,
“Well, friend Unferth, you have had your say
530 beore druncen,
ymb Brecan spræce,
About Breca and me.  But it was mostly beer
sægdest from his siðe.
Soð ic talige
That was doing the talking.  The truth is this:
þæt ic merestrengo
maran ahte,
When the going was heavy in those high waves,
earfeþo on yþum,
ðonne ænig oþer man.
I was the strongest swimmer of all.
Wit þæt gecwædon,
We’d been children together and we grew up
535 7 gebeotedon,
wæron begen þa git
Daring ourselves to outdo each other,
on geogoðfeore,
þæt wit on garsecg ut
Boasting and urging each other to risk
aldrum neðdon,
7 þæt geæfndon swa.
Our lives on the sea.  And so it turned out.
Hæfdon swurd nacod,
þa wit on sund reon,
Each of us swam holding a sword,
heard on handa.
Wit unc wið hronfixas
A naked, hard-proofed blade for protection
540 werian þohton.
No he wiht fram me
Against the whale-beasts. But Breca could never
flodyþum feor
fleotan meahte,
Move out farther or faster from me
hraþor on holme,
no ic fram him wolde.
Than I could manage to move from him.
142v Đa wit æt|somne
on sæ wæron
Shoulder to shoulder, we struggled on
fif nihta fyrst,
oþ þæt unc flod todraf,
For five nights, until the long flow
545 wado weallende,
wedera cealdost,
And pitch of the waves, the perishing cold,
nipende niht,
7 norþanwind,
Night falling and winds from the North
heaðogrim ondhwearf.
Hreo wæron yþa!
Drove us apart.  The deep boiled up
Wæs merefixa
mod onhrered:
And its wallowing sent the sea-brutes wild.
þær me wið laðum
licsyrce min
My armor held me to hold out;
550 heard hondlocen,
helpe gefremede,
My hard-ringed chain-mail, hand-forged and linked,
beadohrægl broden
on breostum læg,
A fine, close-fitting filigree of gold,
golde gegyrwed.
Me to grunde teah,
Kept me safe when some ocean creature
fah feondscaða,
fæste hæfde,
Pulled me to the bottom.  Pinioned fast
grim on grape.
Hwæþre me gyfeþe wearð
And swathed in its grip, I was granted one
555 þæt ic aglæcan
orde geræhte,
Final chance:  my sword plunged
Heaþoræs fornam
And the ordeal was over.  Through my own hands
mihtig meredeor
þurh mine hand.”
The fury of battle had finished off the sea-beast.
{ 10 }
“Swa mec gelome
“Time and again, foul things attacked me,
þreatedon þearle.
Ic him þenode
Lurking and stalking, but I lashed out,
560 deoran sweorde,
swa hit gedefe wæs.
Gave as good as I got with my sword.
Næs hie ðære fylle
gefean hæfdon,
My flesh was not for feasting on,
þæt hie me þegon,
There would be no monsters gnawing and gloating
symbel ymbsæton
sægrunde neah.
Over their banquet at the bottom of the sea.
143r Ac on mergenne,
mecum | wunde,
Instead, in the morning, mangled and sleeping
565 be yðlafe
uppe lægon,
The sleep of the sword, they slopped and floated
sweordum aswefede,
þæt syðþan na
Like the ocean’s leavings. From now on
ymb brontne ford
Sailors would the safe, the deep-sea raids
lade ne letton.
Leoht eastan com,
Were over for good. Light came from the East,
beorht beacen Godes,
brimu swaþredon,
Bright guarantee of God, and the waves
570 þæt ic sænæssas
geseon mihte,
Went quiet;  I could see the headlands
windige weallas.
Wyrd oft nereð
And buffeted cliffs. Often, for undaunted courage,
unfægne eorl,
þonne his ellen deah.
Fate spares the man it has not already marked.
Hwæþere me gesælde
þæt ic mid sweorde ofsloh
However it had occurred, my sword had killed
niceras nigene.
No ic on niht gefrægn
Nine sea monsters. Such night-dangers
575 under heofones hwealf
heardran feohtan,
And hard ordeals I have never heard of
ne on egstreamum
earmran mannon.
Nor of a man so desolate in surging waves.
Hwaþere ic fara feng
feore gedigde,
But worn out as I was, I survived,
Came through with my life.
siþes werig.
Đa mec sæ oþbær,
  The ocean lifted
And laid me ashore,
flod æfter faroðe,
on Finna land,
I landed safe
On the coast of Finland.
580 wadu weallendu.
No ic wiht fram þe
Now, I cannot recall
swylcra searoniða
secgan hyrde,
any fight you entered, Unferth,
That bears comparison.
billa brogan.
Breca næfre git
I don’t boast when I say
That neither you nor Breca
æt heaðolace,
ne gehwæþer incer,
ever were much
swa deorlice
dæd gefremede
Celebrated for swordsmanship
585 fagum sweordum.
No ic þæs gylpe,
Or for facing danger in the battlefield.
þeah ðu þinum broðrum
to banan wurde,
You killed your own kith and kin,
143v heafodmægum.
Þæs þu in | helle scealt
So for all your cleverness and quick tongue,
werhðo dreogan,
þeah þin wit duge.
You will suffer damnation in the pits of hell.
Secge ic þe to soðe,
sunu Ecglafes,
The fact is, Unferth, if you were truly
As keen or courageous as you claim to be
590 þæt næfre Gredel swa fela
gryra gefremede,
Grendel would never have got away with
atol æglæca
ealdre þinum,
Such unchecked atrocity, attacks on your king,
hynðo on Heorote,
gif þin hige wære,
Havoc in Heorot and horrors everywhere.
sefa swa searogrim
swa þu self talast.
But he knows he need never be in dread
Ac he hafað onfunden
þæt he þa fæhðe ne þearf,
Of your blade making a mizzle of his blood
595 atole ecgþræce
eower leode
Or of vengeance arriving ever from this quarter —
swiðe onsittan
From the Victory-Shieldings, the shoulderers of the spear.
Nymeð nydbade,
nænegum arað
He knows he can trample down you Danes
leode Deniga,
ac he lust wigeð,
To his heart’s content, humiliate and murder
swefeð ond sendeþ,
secce ne weneþ
Without fear of reprisal, nor feud he dreads
600 to Gar-Denum.
Ac ic him Geata sceal
from Spear-Dane men.  But speedily now
eafoð 7 ellen
ungeara nu
shall I prove him the prowess and pride of the Geats,
guþe gebeodan.
Gæþ eft, se þe mot,
shall bid him battle.  Then whoever wants to
to medo modig,
siþþan morgenleoht
May go bravely to morning mead, when morning light,
ofer ylda bearn
oþres dogores,
Scarfed in sun-dazzle, shines forth from the south
605 sunne sweglwered
suþan scineð.”
And brings another daybreak to the world.”
Þa wæs on salum
sinces brytta,
Then the gray-haired treasure-giver was glad;
gamolfeax 7 guðrof.
Geoce gelyfde,
Far-famed in battle,
144r | brego Beorht-Dena,
gehyrde on Beowulfe,
the prince of Bright-Danes
And keeper of his people counted on Beowulf,
folces hyrde,
fæstrædne geþoht.
On the warrior’s steadfastness and his word.
610 Đær wæs hæleþa hleahtor,
hlyn swynsode,
So the laughter started, the din got louder
word wæron wynsume.
Eode Wealhþeow forð,
And the crowd was happy.  Wealhtheow came in,
cwen Hroðgares,
cynna gemyndig,
Hrothgar’s queen, observing the courtesies.
grette goldhroden
guman on healle.
Adorned in her gold, she graciously saluted
7 þa freolic wif
ful gesealde
The men in the hall, then handed the cup
615 ærest East-Dena
First to Hrothgar, their homeland’s guardian,
bæd hine bliðne
æt þære beorþege,
Urging him to drink deep and enjoy it,
leodum leofne.
He on lust geþeah
Because he was dear to them.  And he drank it down
symbel 7 seleful,
sigerof kyning.
Like the warlord he was, with festive cheer.
Ymbeode þa,
ides Helminga,
So the Helming woman went on her rounds,
620 duguþe 7 geogoþe
dæl æghwylcne,
Queenly and dignified, decked out in rings,
sincfato sealde,
oþ þæt sæl alamp
Offering the goblet to all ranks,
þæt hio Beowulfe,
beaghroden cwen,
Treating the household and the assembled troop
mode geþungen,
medoful ætbær.
Until it was Beowulf’s turn to take it from her hand.
Grette Geata leod,
Gode þancode
With measured words she welcomed the Geat
625 wisfæst wordum,
þæs ðe hire se willa gelamp,
And thanked God for granting her wish
þæt heo on ænigne
eorl gelyfde
That a deliverer she could believe in would arrive
fyrena frofre.
He þæt ful geþeah,
To ease their afflictions.  He accepted the cup,
144v wælreow wiga
| æt Wealhþeon
A daunting man, dangerous in action
And eager for it always.  And Wealhtheow
7 þa gyddode,
guþe gefysed.
was answered by the eager-for-combat.
630 Beowulf maþelode,
bearn Ecgþeowes:
Beowulf, son of Ecgtheow, said:
“Ic þæt hogode,
þa ic on holm gestah,
“I had a fixed purpose when I put out to sea.
sæbat gesæt
mid minra secga gedriht,
As I sat in the boat with my band of men,
þæt ic anunga
eowra leoda
I meant to perform to the uttermost
willan geworhte,
oþðe on wæl crunge,
What your people wanted or perish in the attempt,
635 feondgrapum fæst.
Ic gefremman sceal
In the fiend’s clutches.  And I shall fulfill that purpose,
eorlic ellen,
oþðe endedæg
Prove myself with a proud deed
on þisse meoduhealle
minne gebidan.”
Or meet my death here in the mead-hall.”
Đam wife þa word
wel licodon,
This formal boast by Beowulf the Geat
gilpcwide Geates.
Eode goldhroden,
Pleased the lady well and she went to sit
640 freolicu folccwen,
to hire frean sittan.
By Hrothgar, regal and arrayed with gold.
Þa wæs eft, swa ær
inne on healle,
Then it was like old times in the echoing hall,
þryðword sprecen,
ðeod on sælum,
Proud talk and the people happy,
sigefolca sweg,
oþ þæt semninga
Loud and excited;  until soon enough
sunu Healfdenes
secean wolde
Halfdane’s heir had to be away
645 æfenræste.
Wiste þæm ahlæcan
To his night’s rest.  He realized
to þæm heahsele
hilde geþinged,
That the demon was going to descend on the hall
siððan hie sunnan leoht
geseon meahton,
That he had plotted all day, from dawn-light
oþ ðe nipende
niht ofer ealle,
Until darkness gathered again over the world
scaduhelma gesceapu
scriðan cwoman,
And stealthy night-shades came stealing forth
650 wan under wolcnum.
Werod eall aras.
Under the cloud-murk. The company stood
Grette þa guma
guman oþerne,
As the two leaders took leave of each other:
Hroðgar Beowulf,
7 him hæl abead,
Hrothgar wished Beowulf health and good luck,
145r winærnes | geweald,
7 þæt word acwæð:
Named him hall-warden and announced as follows:
“Næfre ic ænegum men
ær alyfde,
“Never, since my hand could hold a shield
655 siþðan ic hond 7 rond
hebban mihte,
Have I entrusted or given control
ðryþærn Dena,
buton þe nu ða.
Of the Dane’s hall to anyone but you.
Hafa nu 7 geheald
husa selest,
Ward and guard it, for it is the greatest of houses.
gemyne mærþo,
mægenellen cyð,
Be on your mettle now, keep in mind your fame,
waca wið wraþum.
Ne bið þe wilna gad
Beware of the enemy.  There’s nothing you wish for
660 gif þu þæt ellenweorc
aldre gedigest.”
That won’t be yours if you win through alive.”
{ 11 }
ĐA him Hroþgar gewat
mid his hæleþa gedryht,
Hrothgar departed then with his house-guard.
eodur Scyldinga
ut of healle.
The lord of the Shieldings, their shelter in war,
Wolde wigfruma
Wealhþeo secan,
Left the mead-hall to lie with Wealhtheow,
cwen to gebeddan.
Hæfde Kyningwuldor
His queen and bedmate.  The King of Glory
665 Grendle togeanes,
swa guman gefrungon,
(as people learned) had posted a lookout
seleweard aseted.
Sundornytte beheold
Who was a match for Grendel, a guard against monsters,
ymb aldor Dena,
eotonweard abead.
Special protection to the Danish prince.
Huru Geata leod
georne truwode
And the Geat placed complete trust
modgan mægnes,
Metodes hyldo.
In his strength of limb and the Lord’s favor.
670 Đa he him of dyde
He began to remove his iron breast-mail,
helm of hafelan,
sealde his hyrsted sweord,
Took off the helmet and handed his attendant
irena cyst,
The patterned sword, a smith’s masterpiece,
7 gehealdan het
Ordering him to keep the equipment guarded.
Gespræc þa se goda
gylpworda sum,
And before he bedded down, Beowulf,
145v Beowulf | Geata,
ær he on bed stige:
That prince of goodness, proudly asserted:
“No ic me an herewæsmun
hnagran talige,
“When it comes to fighting, I count myself
þonne Grendel hine.
As dangerous any day as Grendel.
Forþan ic hine sweorde
swebban nelle,
So it won’t be a cutting edge I’ll wield
aldre beneotan,
þeah ic eal mæge.
To mow him down, easily as I might.
680 Nat he þara goda,
þæt he me ongean slea,
He has no ideas of the arts of war,
rand geheawe,
þeah ðe he rof sie
Of shield or sword-play, though he does possess
Ac wit on niht sculon
A wild strength.  No weapons, therefore,
secge ofersittan,
gif he gesecean dear
For either this night:  unarmed he shall face me
wig ofer wæpen.
7 siþðan witig God,
If face me he dares. And may the Divine Lord
685 on swa hwæþere hond,
halig Dryhten,
In His wisdom grant victory
mærðo deme,
swa him gemet þince.”
To whichever side He sees fit.”
Hylde hine þa, heaþodeor,
hleorbolster onfeng
Then down the brave man lay with his bolster
eorles andwlitan,
7 hine ymb monig
Under his head and his whole company
snellic særinc
selereste gebeah.
Of sea-rovers at rest beside him.
690 Nænig heora þohte,
þæt he þanon scolde
None of them expected he would ever see
eft eardlufan
æfre gesecean,
His homeland again or get back
folc oþðe freoburh,
þær he afeded wæs.
To his native place and the people who reared him.
Ac hie hæfdon gefrunen
þæt hie ær, to fela micles,
They knew too well the way it was before,
in þæm winsele
wældeað fornam
How often the Danes had fallen prey
695 Denigea leode.
Ac him Dryhten forgeaf
To death in the mead-hall.  But the Lord was weaving
146r wigspeda gewiofu
Wedera leodum,
A victory on his war-loom for the Weather-Geats.
frofor 7 fultum,
þæt hie feond heora
Through the strength of one they all prevailed;
ðurh anes cræft
ealle ofercomon,
They would crush their enemy and come through
selfes mihtum.
Soð is gecyþed,
In triumph and gladness.  The truth is clear:
700 þæt mihtig God
manna cynnes
Almighty God rules over mankind
weold wideferhð.
Com on wanre niht
And always has.
Then out of the night
scriðan sceadugenga.
Sceotend swæfon,
Came the shadow-stalker, stealthy and swift;
þa þæt hornreced
healdan scoldon,
The hall-guards were slack, asleep at their posts,
ealle buton anum.
Þæt wæs yldum cuþ,
All except one;  it was widely understood
705 þæt hie ne moste,
þa Metod nolde,
That as long as God disallowed it,
se synscaþa
under sceadu bregdan.
The fiend could not bear them to his shadow-bourne.
Ac he wæccende
wraþum on andan
One man, however, was in a fighting mood,
bad bolgenmod
beadwa geþinges.
Awake and on edge, spoiling for action.
{ 12 }
Đa com of more
under misthleoþum
In off the moors, down through the mist-bands
710 Grendel gongan,
Godes yrre bær.
God-cursed Grendel came greedily loping.
Mynte, se manscaða
manna cynnes,
The bane of the race of men roamed forth,
sumne besyrwan
in sele þam hean.
Hunting for a prey in the high hall.
Wod under wolcnum
to þæs þe he winreced,
Under the cloud-murk he moved towards it
goldsele gumena
gearwost wisse,
Until it shone above him, a sheer keep
715 fættum fahne.
Ne wæs þæt forma sið
Of fortified gold.  Nor was that the first time
þæt he Hroþgares
ham gesohte.
He had scouted the grounds of Hrothgar’s dwelling —
146v Næfre he on aldordagum,
ær | ne siþðan,
Although never in his life, before or since,
heardran hæle
healðegnas fand.
Did he find harder fortune or hall-defenders.
Com þa to recede,
rinc siðian,
Spurned and joyless, he journeyed on ahead
720 dreamum bedæled.
Duru sona onarn,
And arrived at the building.  The iron-braced door
fyrbendum fæst,
syþðan he hire folmum æthran.
Turned in its hinge when his hand touched it.
Onbræd þa, bealohydig,
ða he gebolgen wæs,
Then his rage boiled over, he ripped open
recedes muþan.
Raþe æfter þon
The mouth of the building, maddening for blood,
on fagne flor
feond treddode,
Pacing the length of the patterned floor
725 eode yrremod.
Him of eagum stod
With his loathsome tread, while a baleful light,
ligge gelicost
leoht unfæger.
Flame more than light, flared from his eyes.
Geseah he in recede
rinca manige,
He saw many men in the mansion, sleeping,
swefan sibbegedriht
samod ætgædere
A ranked company of kinsmen and warriors
magorinca heap.
Þa his mod ahlog,
Quartered together.  And his glee was demonic,
730 mynte þæt he gedælde,
ær þon dæg cwome,
For the monster was minded, ere morn should dawn,
atol aglæca
anra gehwylces
The loathsome monster, from each of the men
lif wið lic.
Þa him alumpen wæs
To rip life from limb and devour them.
He awaited a banquet,
wistfylle wen.
Ne wæs þæt wyrd þa gen
A prospect of plenty.  But no longer did Wyrd allow
þæt he ma moste
manna cynnes
to be able to feed on mankind’s flesh
735 ðicgean ofer þa niht.
Þryðswyð beheold,
to devour after that night.  Mighty and canny,
mæg Higelaces,
hu se manscaða
Hygelac’s kinsman was keenly watching
under færgripum
gefaran wolde.
For the first move the monster would make.
Ne þæt se aglæca
yldan þohte,
Nor did the creature keep him waiting
ac he ge|feng hraðe
forman siðe
But struck suddenly and started in;
740 slæpendne rinc,
slat unwearnum,
He grabbed and mauled a man on his bench,
bat banlocan,
blod edrum dranc,
Bit into his bone-lappings, bolted down his blood
synsnædum swealh.
Sona hæfde
And gorged on him in lumps, leaving the body
eal gefeormod
Utterly lifeless, eaten up
fet 7 folma.
Forð near ætstop,
Hand and foot.  Venturing closer,
745 nam þa mid handa
his talon was raised to attack Beowulf
rinc on ræste,
ræhte ongean,
Where he lay on the bed;  he was bearing in
feond mid folme.
He onfeng hraþe
With open claw when the alert hero’s
7 wið earm gesæt.
Comeback and armlock forestalled him utterly.
Sona þæt onfunde,
fyrena hyrde,
The captain of evil discovered himself
750 þæt he ne mette
In a handgrip harder than anything
eorþan sceatta,
on elran men
He had ever encountered in any man
mundgripe maran.
He on mode wearð
On the face of the earth.  Every bone in his body
forht on ferhðe.
No þy ær fram meahte.
Quailed and coiled, but he could not escape.
Hyge wæs him hinfus,
wolde on heolster fleon,
He was desperate to flee to his den and hide
755 secan deofla gedræg.
Ne wæs his drohtoð þær
With the devil’s litter, for in all his days
swylce he on ealderdagum
ær gemette.
He had never been clamped or cornered like this.
Gemunde þa, se goda
mæg Higelaces,
Then Hygelac’s trusty retainer recalled
Uplang astod
His bedtime speech, sprang to his feet
7 him fæste wiðfeng.
Fingras burston.
And got a firm hold.  Fingers were bursting,
760 Eoten wæs utweard,
eorl furþur stop.
The monster back-tracking, the man overpowering.
Mynte se mæra,
| hwær he meahte swa,
The dread of the land was desperate to escape,
widre gewindan,
7 on weg þanon
To take a roundabout road and flee
fleon on fenhopu.
Wiste his fingra geweald
To his lair in the fens.  The latching power
on grames grapum,
þæt he wæs geocor sið
In his fingers weakened;  it was the worst trip
765 þæt se hearmscaþa
to Heorute ateah.
The terror-monger had taken to Heorot.
Dryhtsele dynede.
Denum eallum wearð,
And now the timber trembled and sang,
cenra gehwylcum,
A hall-session that harrowed every Dane
eorlum ealuscerwen.
Yrre wæron begen,
Inside the stockade:  stumbling in fury,
reþe renweardas.
Reced hlynsode.
The two contenders crashed through the building.
770 Þa wæs wundor micel
þæt se winsele
The hall clattered and hammered, but somehow
wiðhæfde heaþodeorum,
þæt he on hrusan ne feol,
Survived the onslaught and kept standing:
fæger foldbold.
Ac he þæs fæste wæs,
It was handsomely structured, a sturdy frame
innan 7 utan
Braced with the best of blacksmith’s work
searoþoncum besmiþod.
Þær fram sylle abeag
Inside and out.  The story goes
775 medubenc monig,
mine gefræge,
That as the pair struggled, mead benches were smashed
golde geregnad,
þær þa graman wunnon.
And sprung off the floor, gold fittings and all.
Þæs ne wendon ær,
witan Scyldinga,
Before then, no Shielding elder would believe
þæt hit a mid gemete
manna ænig,
There was any power or person on earth
betlic 7 banfag
tobrecan meahte,
Capable of wrecking their horn-rigged hall
780 listum tolucan,
nymþe liges fæþm
Unless the burning embrace of fire
147r swulge on swaþule.
Sweg | up astag,
Engulf it in flame. Then an extraordinary
niwe geneahhe:
Norð-Denum stod
Wail arose, and bewildering fear
atelic egesa,
anra gehwylcum
Came over the Danes.  Everyone felt it
þara þe of wealle
wop gehyrdon,
Who heard that cry as it echoed off the wall,
785 gryreleoð galan
Godes andsacan,
A God-cursed scream and strain of catastrophe,
sigeleasne sang,
sar wanigean,
The howl of the loser, the lament of the hell-serf
helle hæfton.
Heold hine fæste,
Keening his wound.  He was overwhelmed,
se þe manna wæs
mægene strengest
Manacled tight by the man who of all men
on þæm dæge
þysses lifes.
Was foremost and strongest in the days of this life.
{ 13 }
790 Nolde, eorla hleo,
ænige þinga
But the earl troop’s leader was not inclined
þone cwealmcuman
cwicne forlætan,
To allow his caller to depart alive:
ne his lifdagas
leoda ænigum
He did not consider that life of much account
nytte tealde.
Þær genehost brægd
To anyone anywhere.  Time and again,
eorl Beowulfes,
ealde lafe,
Beowulf’s warriors worked to defend
795 wolde freadrihtnes
feorh ealgian,
Their lord’s life, laying about them
mæres þeodnes,
ðær hie meahton swa.
As best they could with their ancestral blades.
Hie þæt ne wiston,
þa hie gewin drugon,
Stalwart in action, they kept striking out
On every side, seeking to cut
7 on healfa gehwone
heawan þohton,
Straight to the soul.  When they joined the struggle
800 sawle secan:
þone synscaðan
There was something they could have not known at the time,
ænig ofer eorþan,
irenna cyst,
That no blade on earth, no blacksmith’s art
guðbilla nan
gretan nolde.
Could ever damage their demon opponent.
147v Ac he sigewæpnum
| forsworen hæfde,
He had conjured the harm from the cutting edge
ecga gehwylcre.
Scolde his aldorgedal,
Of every weapon.  But his going away
805 on ðæm dæge
þysses lifes,
Out of the world and the days of his life
earmlic wurðan,
7 se ellorgast
Would be agony to him, and his alien spirit
on feonda geweald
feor siðian.
would travel far into fiends’ keeping.
Đa þæt onfunde
se þe fela æror
Then he who had harrowed the hearts of men
modes myrðe
manna cynne,
With pain and affliction in former times
810 fyrene gefremede,
he fag wið God,
And had given offense also to God
þæt him se lichoma
læstan nolde;
Found that his bodily powers had failed him.
ac hine se modega
mæg Hygelaces
Hygelac’s kinsman kept him helplessly
hæfde be honda.
Wæs gehwæþer oðrum
Locked in a handgrip.  As long as either lived
lifigende lað.
Licsar gebad,
He was hateful to the other.  The monster’s whole
815 atol æglæca.
Him on eaxle wearð
Body was in pain, a tremendous wound
syndolh sweotol,
seonowe onsprungon,
Appeared on his shoulder.  Sinews split
burston banlocan.
Beowulfe wearð
And the bone-lappings burst.  Beowulf was granted
guðhreð gyfeþe.
Scolde Grendel þonan
The glory of winning;  Grendel was driven
feorhseoc fleon
under fenhleoðu,
Under the fen banks, fatally hurt,
820 secean wynleas wic.
Wiste þe geornor
To his desolate lair.  His days were numbered,
þæt his aldres wæs
ende gegongen,
The end of his life was coming over him,
dogera dægrim.
Denum eallum wearð
He knew it for certain;  and one bloody clash
æfter þam wælræse
willa gelumpen.
Had fulfilled the dearest wishes of the Danes.
Hæfde þa gefælsod,
se þe ær feorran com,
The man who had lately landed among them,
825 snotor 7 swyðferhð,
sele Hroðgares,
Proud and sure, had purged the hall,
148r genered wið | niðe.
Nihtweorce gefeh,
Kept it from harm;  he was happy with his night-work
Hæfde East-Denum,
And the courage he had shown.  The Geat captain
Geatmecga leod,
gilp gelæsted.
Had boldly fulfilled his boast to the Danes:
Swylce oncyþðe
ealle gebette,
He had healed and relieved a huge distress,
830 inwidsorge,
þe hie ær drugon,
Unremitting humiliations,
7 for þreanydum
þolian scoldon
The hard fate they’d been forced to undergo,
torn unlytel.
Þæt wæs tacen sweotol,
No small affliction.  Clear proof of this
syþðan hildedeor
hond alegde,
Could be seen in the hand the hero displayed
earm 7 eaxle.
Þær wæs eal geador
High up near the roof:  the whole of Grendel’s
835 Grendles grape
under geapne hrof.
Shoulder and arm, his awesome grasp.
{ 14 }
ĐA wæs on morgen
mine gefræge
Then morning came and many a warrior
ymb þa gifhealle
guðrinc monig.
Gathered, as I have heard, around the gift-hall,
Ferdon folctogan
feorran 7 nean
Clan-chiefs flocking from far and near
geond widwegas
wundor sceawian,
Down wide-ranging roads, wondering greatly
840 laþes lastas
No his lifgedal
At the monster’s footprint.  His fatal departure
sarlic þuhte
secga ænegum
Was regretted by no one who witnessed his trail,
þara þe tirleases
trode sceawode,
The ignominious marks of his flight
hu he werigmod
on weg þanon,
Where he’d sulked away, exhausted in spirit
niða ofercumen,
on nicera mere,
And beaten in battle, bloodying the path,
845 fæge 7 geflymed,
feorhlastas bær.
Hauling his doom to the demons’ mere.
Đær wæs on blode
brim weallende,
The bloodshot water wallowed and surged,
atol yða geswing
eal gemenged
There were loathsome up throws and over turnings
148v haton heolfre;
| heorodreore weol,
Of waves and gore and would-slurry.
deaðfæge deog.
Siððan, dreama leas,
With his death upon him, he had dived deep
850 in fenfreoðo
feorh alegde,
Into his marsh den, drowned out his life
hæþene sawle.
Þær him hel onfeng.
And his heathen soul:  hell claimed him there.
Þanon eft gewiton
Then away they rode, the old retainers
swylce geong manig,
of gomenwaþe
With many a young man following after,
fram mere, modge
mearum ridan,
A troop on horseback, in high spirits
855 beornas on blancum.
Đær wæs Beowulfes
On their bay steeds.  Beowulf’s doings
mærðo mæned.
Monig oft gecwæð
Were praised over and over again.
þætte suð ne norð
be sæm tweonum,
Nowhere, they said, north or south
ofer eormengrund,
oþer nænig
Between the two seas or under the tall sky
under swegles begong
selra nære
On the broad earth was there anyone better
860 rondhæbbendra,
rices wyrðra.
To raise a shield or to rule a kingdom.
Ne hie huru winedrihten
wiht ne logon,
Yet there was no laying of blame on their lord,
glædne Hroðgar,
ac þæt wæs god cyning.
The noble Hrothgar;  he was a good king.
Hwilum heaþorofe
hleapan leton,
At times the war-band broke into a gallop,
on geflit faran
fealwe mearas,
Letting their chestnut horses race
865 ðær him foldwegas
fægere þuhton,
Wherever they found the going good
cystum cuðe.
Hwilum cyninges þegn
On those well-known tracks.  Meanwhile, a thane
guma gilphlæden,
gidda gemyndig,
Of the king’s household, a carrier of tales,
se ðe ealfela
A traditional singer deeply schooled
worn gemunde;
word oþer fand
In the lore of the past, linked a new theme
870 soðe gebunden.
Secg eft ongan
To a strict metre.  The man started
149r sið Beowulfes
snyttrum | styrian,
To recite with skill, rehearsing Beowulf’s
7 on sped wrecan
spel gerade,
Triumphs and feats in well-fashioned lines,
wordum wrixlan.
Welhwylc gecwæð
Entwining his words.
He told what he’d heard
þæt he fram Sigemunde
secgan hyrde,
Repeated in songs of Sigemund’s exploits,
875 ellendædum,
uncuþes fela
All of those many feats and marvels,
Wælsinges gewin,
wide siðas,
The struggles and wanderings of Wael’s son,
þara þe gumena bearn
gearwe ne wiston,
Things unknown to anyone,
fæhðe 7 fyrena,
buton Fitela mid hine,
Except Fitela, feuds and foul doings
þonne he swulces hwæt
secgan wolde,
Confided from uncle to nephew when he felt
880 eam his nefan,
swa hie a wæron
The urge to speak of them:  always had they been
æt niða gehwam
Partners in the fight, friends in need.
Hæfdon ealfela
eotena cynnes
They killed giants, their conquering swords
sweordum gesæged.
Sigemunde gesprong
Had brought them down.
æfter deaðdæge
dom unlytel.
After his death
885 Syþðan wiges heard
wyrm acwealde,
Sigemund’s glory grew and grew
hordes hyrde,
he under harne stan
Because of his courage when he killed the dragon,
æþelinges bearn
ana geneðde
The guardian of the hoard.  Under gray stone
frecne dæde,
ne wæs him Fitela mid.
He had dared to enter all by himself
Hwæþre him gesælde
ðæt þæt swurd þurhwod
To face the worst without Fitela.
890 wrætlicne wyrm,
þæt hit on wealle ætstod,
But it came to pass that his sword plunged
dryhtlic iren.
Draca morðre swealt.
Right through those radiant scales
Hæfde aglæca
elne gegongen,
And drove into the wall.  The dragon died of it.
þæt he beahhordes
brucan moste
His daring had given him total possession
149v selfes dome.
| Sæbat gehleod,
Of the treasure hoard, his to dispose of
895 bær on bearm scipes
beorhte frætwa,
However he liked.  He loaded a boat:
Wælses eafera
Wyrm hat gemealt.
Wael’s son weighted her hold
With dazzling spoils.  The hot dragon melted.
Se wæs wreccena
wide mærost
Sigemund’s name was known everywhere.
ofer werþeode,
wigendra hleo,
He was utterly valiant and venturesome,
He þæs ær onðah.
A fence round his fighters and flourished therefore
900 Siððan Heremodes
hild sweðrode,
After King Heremond’s prowess declined
earfoð' 7 ellen.
He mid eotenum wearð
And his campaigns slowed down.  The king was betrayed,
on feonda geweald
forð forlacen,
Ambushed in Jutland, overpowered
snude forsended.
Hine sorhwylmas
And done away with.  The waves of his grief
lemede to lange.
He his leodum wearð,
Had beaten him down, made him a burden,
905 eallum æþellingum,
to aldorceare.
A source of anxiety to his own nobles:
Swylce oft bemearn
ærran mælum
That expedition was often condemned
swiðferhþes sið,
snotor ceorl monig,
To those earlier times by experienced men,
se þe him bealwa
to bote gelyfde,
Men who relied on his lordship for redress,
þæt þæt ðeodnes bearn
geþeon scolde,
Who presumed that the part of a prince was to thrive
910 fæderæþelum onfon,
folc gehealdan,
On his father’s throne and protect the nation,
hord 7 hleoburh,
hæleþa rice,
The Shielding land where they lived and belonged,
.eðel. Scyldinga.
He þær eallum wearð,
Its holdings and strongholds.  Such was Beowulf
mæg Higelaces,
manna cynne,
In the affection of his friends and of everyone alive.
freondum gefægra.
Hine fyren onwod.
But evil entered into Heremod.
915 Hwilum flitende
fealwe stræte
Meanwhile, the Dane kept racing their mounts
mearum mæton.
Đa wæs morgenleoht
Down sandy lanes.  The light of day
150r scofen 7 scynded.
| Eode scealc monig
Broke and kept brightening.  Bands of retainers
to sele þam hean
Galloped in excitement to the gabled hall
searowundor seon.
Swylce self cyning
To see the marvel;  and the king himself,
920 of brydbure,
beahhorda weard,
Guardian of the ring-hoard, goodness in person,
tryddode tirfæst
getrume micle,
Walked in majesty from the women’s quarters
cystum gecyþed;
7 his cwen mid him
With a numerous train, attended by his queen
medostigge mæt
mægþa hose.
And her crowd of maidens, across the mead-hall.
{ 15 }
Hroðgar maþelode.
He to healle geong,
When Hrothgar arrived at the hall, he spoke,
925 stod on stapole,
geseah steapne hrof
Standing on the steps, under the steep eaves,
golde fahne
7 Grendles hond.
Gazing at the roofwork and Grendel’s talon:
“Đisse ansyne
Alwealdan þanc
“First and foremost, let the Almighty Father
lungre gelimpe.
Fela ic laþes gebad,
Be thanked for this sight.  I suffered a long
grynna æt Grendle.
A mæg God wyrcan
Harrowing by Grendel.  But the Heavenly Shepherd
930 wunder æfter wundre,
wuldres Hyrde.
Can work his wonders always and everywhere.
Đæt wæs ungeara
þæt ic ænigra me
Not long since, it seemed I would never
weana ne wende
to widan feore,
Be granted the slightest solace or relief
bote gebidan,
þonne blode fah
From any of my burdens:  the best of houses
husa selest
heorodreorig stod,
Glittered and reeked and ran with blood
935 wea widscofen;
witena gehwylcne
This one worry outweighed all others —
ðara þe ne wendon
þæt hie wideferhð
A constant distress to counselors entrusted
leoda landgeweorc
laþum beweredon,
With defending the people’s forts from assault
150v | scuccum 7 scinnum.
Nu scealc hafað
By monsters and demons.  But now a man,
þurh Drihtnes miht
dæd gefremede,
With the Lord’s assistance, has accomplished something
940 ðe we ealle
ær ne meahton
None of us could manage before now
snyttrum besyrwan.
Hwæt! þæt secgan mæg,
For all our efforts.  Whoever she was
efne swa hwylc mægþa.
swa ðone magan cende,
Who brought forth this flower of manhood,
æfter gumcynnum,
gyf heo gyt lyfað,
If she is still alive, that woman can say
þæt hyre Ealdmetod
este wære
That in her labor the Lord of Ages
945 bearngebyrdo.
Nu ic Beowulf, þec,
Bestowed a grace on her.  So now, Beowulf,
secg betsta,
me for sunu wylle
I adopt you in my heart as a dear son.
freogan on ferhþe.
Heald forð tela
Nourish and maintain this new connection,
niwe sibbe.
Ne bið þe ænigre gad
You noblest of men;  there’ll be nothing you want for,
worolde wilna,
þe ic geweald hæbbe.
No worldly good that won’t be yours.
950 Ful oft ic for læssan
lean teohhode,
I have often honored smaller achievements,
hnahran rince,
Recognized warriors not nearly as worthy,
sæmran æt sæcce.
Þu þe self hafast
Lavished rewards on the less deserving.
dædum gefremed,
þæt þin dæd lyfað
But you have made yourself immortal
awa to aldre.
Alwalda þec
By your glorious action.  May the Lord of Ages
955 gode forgylde,
swa he nu gyt dyde.”
Continue to keep and requite you well.”
Beowulf maþelode,
bearn Ecþeowes:
Beowulf, son of Ecgtheow, spoke:
“We þæt ellenweorc
estum miclum,
“We have gone through a glorious endeavor
feohtan fremedon,
frecne geneðdon
And been much favored in this fight we dared
eafoð uncuþes.
Uþe ic swiþor
Against the unknown.  Nevertheless,
960 þæt ðu hine selfne
geseon moste,
If you could have seen the monster himself
feond on frætewum
Where he lay beaten, I would have been better pleased.
151r Ic him hrædlice
| heardan clammum
My plan was to pounce, pin him down
on wælbedde
wriþan þohte,
In a tight grip and grapple him to death —
þæt he for handgripe
minum scolde
Have him panting for life, powerless and clasped
965 licgean lifbysig,
butan his lic swice.
In my bare hands, his body in thrall
Ic hine ne mihte,
þa Metod nolde,
But I couldn’t stop him from slipping my hold.
ganges getwæman:
no ic him þæs georne ætfealh,
The Lord allowed it, my lock on him
Wæs to foremihtig,
Wasn’t strong enough, he struggled fiercely
feond on feþe.
Hwæþere, he his folme forlet
And broke and ran.  Yet he bought his freedom
970 to lifwraþe
last weardian,
At a high price, for he left his hand
earm 7 eaxle.
No þær ænige swa þeah
And arm and shoulder to show he had been here,
feasceaft guma,
frofre gebohte.
A cold comfort for having come among us.
No þy leng leofað
And now he won’t be long for this world.
synnum geswenced,
ac hyne sar hafað
He has done his worst but the wound will end him.
975 in niðgripe,
nearwe befongen
He is hasped and hooped and hirpling with pain,
balwon bendum.
Đær abidan sceal,
Limped and looped in it. Like a man outlawed
maga mane fah,
miclan domes,
For wickedness, he must await
hu him scir Metod
scrifan wille.”
The mighty judgment of God in majesty.”
Đa wæs swigra secg,
sunu Eclafes,
There was less tampering and big talk then
980 on gylpspræce
From Unferth the boaster, less of his blather
siþðan æþelingas
eorles cræfte
As the hall-thanes eyed the awful proof
ofer heanne hrof
hand sceawedon,
Of the hero’s prowess, the splayed hand
feondes fingras.
Foran æghwylc wæs
Up under the eaves.  Every nail,
steda nægla gehwylc,
style gelicost,
Claw-scale and spur, every spike
151v hæþenes handsporu,
And welt on the hand of that heathen brute
egl unheoru.
Æghwylc gecwæð
Was like barbed steel.  Everybody said
þæt him heardra nan
hrinan wolde,
There was no honed iron hard enough
iren ærgod,
þæt ðæs ahlæcan
To pierce him through, no time-proofed blade
blodge beadufolme
onberan wolde.
That could cut his brutal, blood-caked claw.
{ 16 }
990 ĐA wæs haten hreþe
Heort innanweard
Then the order was given for all hands
folmum gefrætwod.
Fela þæra wæs
To help refurbish Heorot immediately:
wera 7 wifa,
þe þæt winreced,
Men and women thronging the wine-hall,
gestsele gyredon.
Goldfag scinon,
Getting it ready.  Gold thread shone
web æfter wagum,
wundorsiona fela
In the wall-hangings, woven scenes
995 secga gehwylcum,
þara þe on swylc starað.
That attracted and held the eye’s attention.
Wæs þæt beorhte bold
tobrocen swiðe
But iron-braced as the inside of it had been,
eal inneweard
irenbendum fæst,
The bright room lay in ruins now.
heorras tohlidene.
Hrof ana genæs
The very doors had been dragged from their hinges.
ealles ansund,
þe se aglæca
Only the roof remained unscathed
1000 fyrendædum fag
on fleam gewand,
By the time the guilt-fouled fiend turned tail
aldres orwena.
No þæt yðe byð
In despair of his life.  But death is not easily
to befleonne,
fremme se þe wille;
Escaped from by anyone:
ac gesacan sceal,
All of us with souls, earth-dwellers
nyde genydde,
niþða bearna,
And children of men, must make our way
1005 grundbuendra
gearwe stowe,
To a destination already ordained
þær his lichoma,
legerbedde fæst,
Where the body, after the banqueting,
swefeþ æfter symle.
Þa wæs sæl 7 mæl
Sleeps on its deathbed.
Then the due time arrived
152r þæt to healle | gang
Healfdenes sunu.
For Halfdane’s son to proceed to the hall.
Wolde self cyning
symbel þicgan.
The king himself would sit down to feast.
1010 Ne gefrægen ic þa mægþe
maran weorode
No group ever gathered in greater numbers
ymb hyra sincgyfan
sel gebæran.
Or better order around their ring-giver.
Bugon þa to bence
The benches filled with famous men
fylle gefægon.
Fægere geþægon
Who fell to with relish; round upon round
medoful manig,
magas þara
Of mead was passed;  those powerful kinsmen,
1015 swiðhicgende
on sele þam hean,
Hrothgar and Hrothulf, were in high spirits
Hroðgar 7 Hroþulf.
Heorot innan wæs
In the raftered hall.  Inside Heorot
freondum afylled.
Nalles facenstafas
There was nothing but friendship.  The Shielding nation
þenden fremedon.
Was not yet familiar with feud and betrayal.
Forgeaf þa Beowulfe
brand Healfdenes;
Then Halfdane’s son presented Beowulf
1020 segen gyldenne
sigores to leane,
With gold standards as a victory gift,
hroden hiltecumbor,
helm, 7 byrnan.
An embroidered banner;  also breast-mail
Mære maðþumsweord
manige gesawon
And a helmet;  and a sword carried high,
beforan beorn beran.
Beowulf geþah
That was both precious object and a token of honor.
ful on flette.
No he þære feohgyfte
So Beowulf drank his drink, at ease;
1025 for scotenum
scamigan ðorfte.
It was hardly a shame to be showered with such gifts
Ne gefrægn ic freondlicor
feower madmas
In front of the hall-troops.  There haven’t been many
golde gegyrede
gummanna fela
Moments, I am sure, when men have exchanged
in ealobence
oðrum gesellan.
Four such treasures at so friendly a sitting.
Ymb þæs helmes hrof,
An embossed ring, a band lapped with wire
1030 wirum bewunden,
walan utan heold,
Arched over the helmet:  head-protection
152v þæt him fela | laf
frecne ne meahton,
To keep the keen-ground cutting edge
scurheard, sceþðan,
þonne scyldfreca
From damaging it when danger threatened
ongean gramum
gangan scolde.
And the man was battling behind his shield.
Heht ða eorla hleo
eahta mearas,
Next the king ordered eight horses
1035 fætedhleore,
on flet teon
With gold bridles to be brought through the yard
in under eoderas.
Þara anum stod
Into the hall.  The harness of one
sadol searwum fah,
since gewurþad.
Included a saddle of sumptuous design,
Þæt wæs hildesetl
The battle-seat where the son of Halfdane
ðonne sweorda gelac
sunu Healfdenes
Rode when he wished to join the sword-play:
1040 efnan wolde.
Næfre on ore læg
Wherever the killing and carnage were the worst,
widcuþes wig,
ðonne walu feollon.
He would be to the fore, fighting hard.
7 ða Beowulfe
bega gehwæþres
The Danish prince, descendent of Ing,
eodor Ingwina
onweald geteah,
Handed over both the arms and the horses,
wicga 7 wæpna.
Het hine wel brucan.
Urging Beowulf to use them well.
1045 Swa manlice
mære þeoden
And so their leader, the lord and guard
hordweard hæleþa,
heaþoræsas geald
Of coffer and strong room, with customary grace
mearum 7 madmum.
Swa hy næfre man lyhð,
Bestowed upon Beowulf both sets of gifts.
se þe secgan wile
soð æfter rihte.
A fair witness can see how well each one behaved.
{ 17 }
ĐA gyt æghwylcum
eorla drihten
The chieftain went on to reward the others:
1050 þara þe mid Beowulfe
brimleade teah,
Each man on the bench who had sailed with Beowulf
on þære medubence
maþðum gesealde,
And risked the voyage received a bounty,
153r yr|felafe,
7 þone ænne heht
Some treasured possession. And compensation,
golde forgyldan,
þone ðe Grendel ær
A price in gold, was settled for the Geat
mane acwealde.
Swa he hyra ma wolde,
Grendel had killed cruelly earlier —
1055 nefne him witig God
wyrd forstode,
As he would have killed more, had not mindful God
7 ðæs mannes mod.
Metod eallum weold
And one man’s daring prevented that doom.
gumena cynnes,
swa he nu git deð.
Past and present, God’s will prevails
Forþan bið andgit
æghwær selest,
Hence, understanding is always best
ferhðes foreþanc.
Fela sceal gebidan
And a prudent mind.  Whoever remains
1060 leofes 7 laþes
se þe longe her
For long here in this earthly life
on ðyssum windagum
worolde bruceð.
Will enjoy and endure more than enough.
Þær wæs sang 7 sweg
samod ætgædere
They sang then and played to please the hero,
fore Healfdenes
Words and music for their warrior prince,
gomenwudu greted,
gid oft wrecen.
Harp tunes and tales of adventure:
1065 Đonne healgamen
Hroþgares scop
There were high times on the hall benches
æfter medobence
mænan scolde,
And the king’s poet performed his part
Finnes eaferum,
ða hie se fær begeat:
With the saga of Finn and his sons, unfolding
Hæleð Healfdena,
Hnæf Scyldinga,
The tale of the fierce attack in Friesland
in Freswæle
feallan scolde.
Where Hnaef, king of the Danes, met death.
1070 Ne huru Hildeburh
herian þorfte
Had little cause
eotena treowe.
Unsynnum wearð
To credit the Jutes:
Son and brother,
beloren leofum
æt þam hildplegan,
She lost them both
On the battlefield.
bearnum 7 broðrum.
Hie on gebyrd hruron,
She, bereft
And blameless, they
153v gare | wunde.
Þæt wæs geomuru ides.
Foredoomed, cut down
And spear-gored.  She,
1075 Nalles holinga
Hoces dohtor
The woman in shock,
Waylaid by grief,
meotodsceaft bemearn,
syþðan morgen com.
Hoc’s daughter —
How could she not
Đa heo under swegle
geseon meahte
Lament her fate
When morning came
morþorbealo maga.
Þær he ær mæste heold
And the light broke
On her murdered dears?
worolde wynne,
wig ealle fornam
And so farewell
Delight on earth,
1080 Finnes þegnas,
nemne feaum anum,
War carried away
Finn’s troop of thanes,
þæt he ne mehte
on þæm meðelstede
All but a few.
How then could Finn
wig Hengeste
wiht gefeohtan,
Hold the line
Or fight on
ne þa wealafe
wige forþringan
To the end with Hengest,
How save
þeodnes ðegne.
Ac hig him geþingo budon,
The rump of his force
From that enemy chief?
1085 þæt hie him oðer flet
eal gerymdon,
So a truce was offered
As follows: first
healle 7 heahsetl,
þæt hie healfre geweald
Separate quarters
To be cleared for the Danes,
wið eotena bearn
agan moston.
Hall and throne
To be shared with the Frisians.
7 æt feohgyftum
Folcwaldan sunu
Then, second ;
Every day
dogra gehwylce
Dene weorþode,
At the dole-out of gifts

Finn, son of Focwald,
1090 Hengestes heap
hringum wenede,
Should honor the Danes,
Bestow with an even
efne swa swiðe
Hand to Hengest
And Hengest’s men
fættan goldes
swa he Fresena cyn
The wrought-gold rings,
Bounty to match
on beorsele
byldan wolde.
The measure he gave
His own Frisians —
Đa hie getruwedon
on twa healfa
To keep morale
In the beer-hall high.
1095 fæste frioðuwære.
Fin Hengeste
Both sides then
Sealed their agreement.
154r elne unflitme
aðum | benemde
With oaths to Hengest
Finn swore
þæt he þa wealafe
weotena dome
Openly, solemnly,
That the battle survivors
arum heolde,
þæt ðær ænig mon
Would be guaranteed
Honor and status.
wordum ne worcum
wære ne bræce,
No infringement
By word or deed,
1100 ne þurh inwitsearo
æfre gemænden,
No provocation
Would be permitted.
ðeah hie hira beaggyfan
banan folgedon,
Their own ring-giver
After all
þa him swa geþearfod wæs.
Was dead and gone,
They were leaderless
Gyf þonne Frysna hwylc
frecnen spræce
In forced allegiance
To his murderer.
ðæs morþorhetes
myndgiend wære,
So if any Frisian
Stirred up bad blood
1105 þonne hit sweordes ecg
syððan scolde.
With insinuations
Or taunts about this
Að wæs geæfned,
7 icge, gold,
The blade of the sword
Will arbitrate it.
ahæfen of horde.
A funeral pyre
Was then prepared,
betst beadorinca
wæs on bæl gearu.
Effulgent gold
Brought out from the hoard.
Æt þæm ade wæs
The pride and prince
Of the Shieldings lay
1110 swatfah syrce,
swyn ealgylden,
Awaiting the flame.
eofer irenheard,
æþeling manig
There were blood-plastered
Coats of mail.
wundum awyrded.
Sume on wæle crungon.
The pyre was heaped
With boar-shaped helmets
Het ða Hildeburh
æt Hnæfes ade
Forged in gold,
With the gashed corpses
hire selfre sunu
sweoloðe befæstan,
Of well-born Danes —
Many had fallen.
1115 banfatu bærnan,
7 on bæl don.
Then Hildeburh
Ordered her own
Earme on eaxle,
ides gnornode,
Son’s body
Be burnt with Hnaef’s,
geomrode giddum.
Guðrinc astah,
The flesh on his bones
To sputter and blaze
154v wand | to wolcnum.
Wælfyra mæst
Beside his uncle’s.
The woman wailed
hlynode for hlawe.
Hafelan multon,
And sang keens,
The warrior went up.
1120 bengeato burston,
ðonne blod ætspranc,
Carcass flame
Swirled and fumed,
laðbite lices.
Lig ealle forswealg,
They stood round the burial
Mound and howled
gæsta gifrost,
þara ðe þær guð fornam
As heads melted,
Crusted gashes
bega folces.
Wæs hira blæd scacen.
Spattered and ran
Bloody matter.
{ 18 }
GEwiton him ða wigend
wica neosian,
The glutton element
Flamed and consumed
1125 freondum befeallen,
Frysland geseon,
The dead of both sides.
Their great days were gone.
hamas 7 heaburh.
Hengest ða gyt
Warriors scattered
To homes and forts
wælfagne winter
wunode mid Finne
All over Friesland,
Fewer now, feeling
eal unhlitine.
Eard gemunde,
Loss of friends.
Hengest stayed,
þeah þe he meahte
on mere drifan
Lived out that whole
Resentful, blood-sullen
1130 hringedstefnan.
Holm storme weol,
Winter with Finn,
Homesick and helpless.
won wið winde;
winter yþe beleac
No ring-whorled prow
Could up then
oþ ðæt oþer com,
And away on the sea.
Wind and water
gear in geardas,
swa nu gyt deð,
Raged with storms,
Wave and shingle
þa ðe syngales
sele bewitiað,
Were shackled on ice
Until another year
1135 wuldortorhtan weder.
Đa wæs winter scacen,
Appeared in the yard
As it does to this day,
fæger foldan bearm.
Fundode wrecca,
The seasons constant,
The wonder of light
gist of geardum.
He to gyrnwræce
Coming over us.
Then winter was gone,
155r swiðor | þohte
þonne to sælade,
Earth’s lap grew lovely,
Longing woke
gif he torngemot
þurhteon mihte,
In the cooped-up exile
For a voyage home —
1140 þæt he eotena bearn
inne gemunde.
But more for vengeance,
Some way of bringing
Swa he ne forwyrnde
Things to a head:
His sword arm hankered
þonne him Hunlafing,
To greet the Jutes.
So he did not balk
billa selest
on bearm dyde.
Once Hunlafing
Placed on his lap
Þæs wæron mid eotenum
ecge cuðe.
The best sword of all,
1145 Swylce ferhðfrecan
Fin eft begeat
Whose edges Jutes
Knew only too well.
sweordbealo sliðen
æt his selfes ham.
Thus blood was spilled,
The gallant Finn
Siþðan grimne gripe
Guðlaf ond Oslaf,
Slain in his home
After Guthlaf and Oslaf
æfter sæsiðe,
sorge mændon,
Back from their voyage
Made old accusation:
ætwiton weana dæl.
Ne meahte wæfre mod
The brutal ambush,
The fate they had suffered,
1150 forhabban in hreþre.
Đa wæs heal hroden
All blamed on Finn.
The wildness in them
feonda feorum,
swilce Fin slægen,
Had to brim over.
The hall ran red
cyning on corþre,
7 seo cwen numen.
With blood of enemies.
Finn was cut down,
Sceotend Scyldinga
to scypon feredon
The queen brought away
And everything
eal ingesteald
The Shieldings could find
Inside Finn’s walls —
1155 swylce hie æt Finnes ham
findan meahton
The Frisian king’s
Gold collars and gemstones —
sigla searogimma.
Hie on sælade
Swept off to the ship.
Over sea-lanes then
drihtlice wif
to Denum feredon,
Back to Daneland
The warrior troop
155v læddon |to leodum.
Leoð wæs asungen,
Bore that lady home.
The poem was over,
gleomannes gyd.
Gamen eft astah,
The poet had performed, a pleasant murmur
1160 beorhtode bencsweg;
byrelas sealdon
Started on the benches, stewards did the rounds
win of wunderfatum.
Þa cwom Wealhþeo forð,
With wine in splendid jugs, and Wilhtheow came to sit
gan under gyldnum
beage þær þa godan,
In her gold crown between two good men,
twegen sæton,
Uncle and nephew, each of whom
Þa gyt wæs hiera sib
ætgædere æghwylc
Still trusted the other;  and the forthright Unferth,
1165 oðrum trywe.
Swylce þær Hunferþ þyle
Admired by all for his mind and courage
æt fotum sæt
frean Scyldinga.
Reclined near the king
Gehwylc hiora
his ferhþe treowde
Men had faith in his spirit,
þæt he hæfde mod micel,
þeah þe he his magum
His keenness of courage, though to his own kinsmen
nære arfæst
æt ecga gelacum.
He was unmerciful in sword-play.
1170 Spræc ða ides
The queen of the Shieldings spoke:
“Onfoh þissum fulle,
freodrihten min,
“Enjoy this drink, my most generous lord;
sinces brytta.
Þu on sælum wes,
Raise up your goblet, entertain the Geats
goldwine gumena,
7 to Geatum spræc
Duly and gently, discourse with them,
mildum wordum,
swa sceal man don.
Be open-handed, happy and fond.
1175 Beo wið Geatas glæd,
geofena gemyndig;
Relish their company, but recollect as well
nean 7 feorran
þu nu hafast.
All of the boons that have been bestowed upon you.
156r Me man sægde.  þæt | þu ðe for sunu wolde And now the word is that you want to adopt
This warrior as a son.
hererican habban.
Heorot is gefælsod,
The hall of Heorot has been cleansed,
beahsele beorhta.
Bruc, þenden þu mote,
This great bright court.  So, while you may,
1180 manigra medo,
7 þinum magum læf
Bask in your fortune, then bequeath
folc 7 rice,
þonne ðu forð scyle
Kingdom and nation to your kith and kin,
metodsceaft seon.
Ic minne can
Before your decease.  I am certain of Hrothulf.
glædne Hroþulf,
þæt he þa geogoðe wile
He is noble and will use the young ones well.
arum healdan,
gyf þu ær þonne he,
He will not let you down.  Should you die before him,
1185 wine Scildinga,
worold oflætest.
He will treat our children truly and fairly.
Wene ic þæt he mid gode
gyldan wille
He will honor, I am sure, our two sons,
uncran eaferan,
gif he þæt eal gemon,
Repay them in kind when he recollects
hwæt wit to willan
7 to worðmyndum
All the good things we gave him once,
umborwesendum ær
arna gefremedon.”
The favor and respect he found in childhood.”
1190 Hwearf þa bi bence,
þær hyre byre wæron,
She turned then to the bench where her boys sat,
Hreðric 7 Hroðmund,
7 hæleþa bearn
Hrethric and Hrothmond, with other nobles’ sons,
giogoð ætgædere.
Þær se goda sæt
All the youth together;  and that good man,
Beowulf Geata
be þæm gebroðrum twæm.
Beowulf the Geat, sat between the brothers.
{ 19 }
HIm wæs ful boren,
7 freondlaþu
The cup was carried to him, kind words
1195 wordum bewægned
7 wundengold
Spoken in welcome and wealth of wrought gold
estum geeawed,
earmreade twa,
Graciously bestowed;  two arm bangles,
156v hrægl 7 hrin|gas,
healsbeaga mæst
A mail shirt and rings, and the most resplendent
þara þe ic on foldan
gefrægen hæbbe.
Torque of gold I have ever heard tell of
Nænigne ic under swegle
selran hyrde
Anywhere on earth or under heaven.
1200 hordmadmum hæleþa,
syþðan Hama ætwæg
There was no hoard like it since Hama snatched
to herebyrhtan byrig
Brosinga mene,
The Brosings’ neck-chain and bore it away
sigle 7 sincfæt.
Searoniðas fealh
With its gems and settings to his shinning fort,
geceas ecne ræd.
Away from Eormenric’s wiles and hatred,
Þone hring hæfde,
Higelac Geata,
And thereby ensured his eternal reward.
Hygelac the Geat,
1205 nefa Swertinges,
nyhstan siðe,
grandson of Swerting,
siðþan he under segne
sinc ealgode,
Wore this neck-ring on his last raid;
wælreaf werede.
Hyne wyrd fornam,
At bay under his banner, he defended the booty,
syþðan he for wlenco
wean ahsode,
Treasure he had won.  Fate swept him away
because of his proud need to provoke
fæhðe to Frysum.
He þa frætwe wæg,
A feud with the Frisians.
1210 eorclanstanas
ofer yða ful,
The same precious stones he had worn
when he crossed the frothing wave-vat,
rice þeoden.
He under rande gecranc.
A powerful king.  He fell beneath his shield,
Gehwearf þa in Francna fæþm
feorh cyninges
So the dead king fell into Frankish hands.
7 se beah somod.
They took his breast-mail, also his neck-torque,
Wyrsan wigfrecan
wæl reafeden
And punier warriors plundered the slain
1215 æfter guðsceare.
Geata leode
When the carnage ended;  Geat corpses
hreawic heoldon.
Heal swege onfeng.
Covered the field.
Applause filled the hall.
Wealhðeo maþelode.
Heo fore þæm werede spræc:
Then Wealhtheow pronounced in the presence of the company:
“Bruc ðisses beages,
Beowulf leofa,
“Take delight in this torque, dear Beowulf,
157r hyse mid hæle,
|7 þisses hrægles neot;
Wear it for luck and also wear this mail
1220 þeo gestreona,
7 geþeoh tela,
From our people’s armory:  may you prosper in them!
cen þec mid cræfte,
7 þyssum cnyhtum wes
Be acclaimed for strength, for kindly guidance
lara liðe.
Ic þe þæs lean geman.
To these two boys, and your bounty will be sure.
Hafast þu gefered
þæt ðe feor 7 neah
You have won renown:  you are known to all men
ealne wideferhþ
weras ehtigað,
Far and near, now and forever.
1225 efne swa side
swa sæ bebugeð
Your sway is wide and the wind’s home,
windgeard, weallas.
Wes þenden þu lifige,
As the sea around cliffs. So, my prince,
æþeling, eadig.
Ic þe an tela
I wish you a lifetime’s luck and blessings
Beo þu suna minum
To enjoy this treasure.  Treat my sons
dædum gedefe,
With tender care, be strong and kind.
1230 Her is æghwylc eorl
oþrum getrywe,
Here each comrade is true to the other,
modes milde,
mandrihtne hleo;
Loyal to lord, loving in spirit.
þegnas syndon geþwære,
þeod ealgearo,
The thanes have one purpose, the people are ready:
druncne dryhtguman.
Doð swa ic bidde.”
Having drunk and pledged, the ranks do as I bid.”
Eode þa to setle.
Þær wæs symbla cyst,
She moved then to her place.  Men were drinking wine
1235 druncon win weras.
Wyrd ne cuþon,
At that rare feast;  how could they know fate,
geosceaft grimne,
swa hit agangen wearð
The grim shape of things to come,
eorla manegum,
syþðan æfen cwom.
The threat looming over many thanes
7 him Hroþgar gewat
to hofe sinum,
As night approached and king Hrothgar prepared
rice to ræste.
Reced weardode
To retire to his quarters?  Retainers in great numbers
1240 unrim eorla,
swa hie oft ær dydon.
Were posted on guard as so often in the past.
Bencþelu beredon.
Hit geondbræded wearð
Benches were pushed back, bedding gear and bolsters
beddum 7 bolstrum.
Beorscealca sum
Spread across the floor, and one man
157v fus 7 fæge
fletræste ge|beag.
Lay down to his rest, already marked for death.
Setton him to heafdon
At their heads they placed their polished timber
1245 bordwudu beorhtan.
Þær on bence wæs
Battle-shields;  and on the bench above them,
ofer æþelinge
Each man’s kit was kept to hand:
heaþosteapa helm,
hringed byrne,
A towering war-helmet, webbed mail-shirt
þrecwudu þrymlic.
Wæs þeaw hyra
And great-shafted spear.  It was their habit
þæt hie oft wæron
an wig gearwe
Always and everywhere to be ready for action,
1250 ge æt ham ge on herge,
ge gehwæþer þara,
At home or in the camp, in whatever case
efne swylce mæla
swylce hira mandryhtne
And at whatever time the need arose
þearf gesælde.
Wæs seo þeod tilu.
To rally round their lord.  They were a right people.
{ 20 }
Sigon þa to slæpe.
Sum sare angeald
They went to sleep.  And one paid dearly
swa him ful oft gelamp,
For his night’s ease, as had happened to them often,
1255 siþðan goldsele
Grendel warode,
Ever since Grendel occupied the gold-hall,
unriht æfnde
oþ þæt ende becwom,
Committing evil until the end came,
swylt æfter synnum.
Þæt gesyne wearþ,
Death after his crimes.  Then it became clear,
widcuþ werum,
þætte wrecend þa gyt
Obvious to everyone once the fight was over,
lifde æfter laþum
lange þrage
That an avenger lurked and was still alive,
1260 æfter guðceare.
Grendles modor,
Grimly biding time.  Grendel’s mother,
ides aglæcwif
yrmþe gemunde,
Monstrous hell-bride, brooded on her wrongs.
se þe wæteregesan
wunian scolde,
She had been forced down into fearful waters,
cealde streamas,
siþðan camp wearð
The cold depths, after Cain had killed
to ecgbanan
angan breþer,
His father’s son, felled his own
1265 fæderenmæge.
He þa fag gewat,
Brother with the sword.  Banished an outlaw,
158r morþre gemearcod,
| mandream fleon,
Marked by having murdered, he moved into the wilds,
westen warode.
Þanon woc fela
Shunning company and joy. And from Cain there sprang
Wæs þæra Grendel sum,
Misbegotten spirits, among them Grendel,
heorowearh hetelic,
se æt Heorote fand
The banished and accursed, due to come to grips
1270 wæccendne wer
wiges bidan.
With that watcher in Heorot waiting to do battle.
Þær him aglæca
ætgræpe wearð.
The monster wrenched and wrestled with him
Hwæþre he gemunde
mægenes strenge,
But Beowulf was mindful of his mighty strength,
gimfæste gife,
ðe him God sealde,
The wondrous gifts God had showered on him:
7 him to Anwaldan
are gelyfde,
He relied for help on the Lord of All,
1275 frofre 7 fultum.
Đy he þone feond ofercwom,
On His care and favor.  So he overcame the foe,
gehnægde helle gast.
Þa he hean gewat,
Brought down the hell-brute.  Broken and bowed,
dreame bedæled,
deaþwic seon,
Outcast from all sweetness, the enemy of mankind
mancynnes feond.
7 his modor þa gyt,
Made for his death-den.  But now his mother
gifre 7 galgmod
gegan wolde
Had sallied forth on a savage journey,
1280 sorhfulne sið
sunu þeod wrecan.
Grief-racked and ravenous, desperate for revenge.
Com þa to Heorote,
ðær Hring-Dene
She came to Heorot.  There, inside the hall,
geond þæt sæld swæfun.
Þa ðær sona wearð
Danes lay asleep, earls who would soon endure
edhwyrft eorlum,
siþðan inne fealh
A great reversal once Grendel’s mother
Grendles modor.
Wæs se gryre læssa
Attacked and entered.  Her onslaught was less
1285 efne swa micle,
swa bið mægþa cræft
Only by as much as an Amazon warrior’s
wiggryre wifes,
bewæpned men,
Is less than an armored man’s
þonne heoru bunden,
hamere geþuren,
When the hefted sword, its hammered edge
sweord swate fah
swin ofer helme
And gleaming blade slathered in blood,
158v ecgum | dyhttig
andweard scireð.
Razes the sturdy boar-ridge off a helmet.
1290 Þa wæs on healle
heardecg togen
Then in the hall, hard-honed swords
sweord ofer setlum,
sidrand manig
Were grabbed from the bench, many a broad shield
hafen handa fæst.
Helm ne gemunde,
Lifted and braced;  there was little thought of helmets
byrnan side,
þa hine se broga angeat.
Or woven mail when they woke in terror.
Heo wæs on ofste,
wolde ut þanon,
The hell-dam was in panic, desperate to get out,
1295 feore beorgan,
þa heo onfunden wæs.
In mortal terror the moment she was found.
Hraðe heo æþelinga
anne hæfde
She had pounced and taken one of the retainers
fæste befangen,
þa heo to fenne gang.
In a tight hold, then headed for the fen
Se wæs Hroþgare
hæleþa leofost
To Hrothgar, this man was the most beloved
on gesiðes had
be sæm tweonum,
Of the friends he trusted between the two seas.
1300 rice randwiga,
þone ðe heo on ræste abreat,
She had done away with a great warrior,
blædfæstne beorn.
Næs Beowulf ðær,
Ambushed him at rest.
Beowulf was elsewhere.
ac wæs oþer in
ær geteohhod
Earlier, after the reward of the treasure,
æfter maþðumgife
mærum Geate.
The Geat had been given another lodging.
Hream wearð in Heorote.
Heo under heolfre genam
There was an uproar in Heorot.  She had snatched their trophy,
1305 cuþe folme.
Cearu wæs geniwod,
Grendel’s bloodied hand.  It was a fresh blow
geworden in wicun.
Ne wæs þæt gewrixle til
To the afflicted building.  The bargain was hard,
þæt hie on ba healfa
bicgan scoldon
Both parties having to pay
freonda feorum.
Þa wæs frod cyning,
With the lives of friends.  And the old lord,
159r har hilderinc,
on hreon |mode,
The gray-haired warrior, was heartsore and weary
1310 syðþan he aldorþegn
When he heard the news: his highest-placed advisor,
þone deorestan,
deadne wisse.
His dearest companion, was dead and gone.
Hraþe wæs to bure
Beowulf fetod
Beowulf was quickly brought to the chamber:
sigoreadig secg.
Samod ærdæge
The winner of fights, the arch-warrior,
eode eorla sum,
æþele cempa
Came first-footing in with his fellow troops
1315 self mid gesiðum
þær se snotera bad.
To where the king in his wisdom waited,
Hwæþre him Alwalda
æfre wille
Still wondering whether Almighty God
æfter weaspelle
wyrpe gefremman.
Would even turn the tide of his misfortunes.
Gang ða æfter flore
fyrdwyrðe man
So Beowulf entered with his band in attendance
mid his handscale,
healwudu dynede,
And the wooden floor-boards banged and rang
1320 þæt he þone wisan
wordum hnægde
As he advanced, hurrying to address
frean Ingwina;
frægn gif him wære
The prince of the Ingwins, asking if he’d rested
æfter neodlaðu
niht getæse.
Since the urgent summons had come as a surprise.
{ 21 }
Hroðgar maþelode,
helm Scyldinga:
Then Hrothgar, the Shieldings’ helmet, spoke:
“Ne frin þu æfter sælum.
Sorh is geniwod
“Rest?  What is rest?  Sorrow has returned.
1325 Denigea leodum.
Dead is Æschere,
Alas for the Danes!  Æschere is dead.
yldra broþor,
He was Yrmenlaf’s elder brother
min runwita
7 min rædbora,
And a soul mate to me, a true mentor,
ðonne we on orlege
My right-hand man when the ranks clashed
hafelan weredon,
þonne hniton feþan,
And our boar-crests had to take a battering
159v eoferas cnysedan
|Swylc eorl scolde
In the line of action.  Æschere was everything
wesan ærgod,
swylc Æschere wæs!
The world admires in a wise man and a friend.
Wearð him on Heorote
to handbanan
Then this roaming killer came in a fury
wælgæst wæfre.
Ic ne wat hwæþer
And slaughtered him in Heorot.  Where she is hiding,
atol æse wlanc
eftsiðas teah,
Glutting on the corpse and glorying in her escape,
1335 fylle gefrægnod.
Heo þa fæhðe wræc
I cannot tell;  she has taken up the feud
þe þu gystran niht
Grendel cwealdest
Because of last night, when you killed Grendel,
þurh hæstne had
heardum clammum,
Wrestled and racked him in ruinous combat
forþan he to lange
leode mine
Since for too long he had terrorized us
wanode 7 wyrde.
He æt wige gecrang,
With his depredations.  He died in battle,
1340 ealdres scyldig.
7 nu oþer cwom,
Paid with his life;  and now this powerful
mihtig manscaða,
wolde hyre mæg wrecan,
Other one arrives, this force for evil
ge feor hafað
fæhðe gestæled,
Driven to avenge her kinsman’s death.
þæs þe þincean mæg
þegne monegum,
Or so it seems to thanes in their grief,
se þe æfter sincgyfan
on sefan greoteþ.
In the anguish every thane endures
1345 Hreþerbealo hearde!
Nu seo hand ligeð,
At the loss of a ring-giver, now that the hand
se þe eow welhwylcra
wilna dohte.
That bestowed so richly has been stilled in death.
Ic þæt londbuend,
leode mine,
“I have heard it said by my people in hall,
secgan hyrde
Counselors who live in the upland country,
þæt hie gesawon
swylce twegen
That they have seen two such creatures
1350 micle mearcstapan
moras healdan,
Prowling the moors, huge marauders
Đæra oðer wæs,
From some other world.  One of these things,
þæs þe hie gewislicost
gewitan meahton,
As far as anyone ever can discern,
idese onlicnæs.
Oðer earmsceapen
Looks like a woman;  the other, warped
160r on weres wæstmum
wræclastas | træd,
In the shape of a man, moves beyond the pale
1355 næfne he wæs mara
þonne ænig man oðer.
Bigger than any man, an unnatural birth
Þone on geardagum
Grendel nemdon.
Called Grendel by country people
no hie fæder cunnon,
In former days.  They are fatherless creatures,
hwæþer him ænig wæs
ær acenned
And their whole ancestry is hidden in a past
dyrnra gasta.
Hie dygel lond
Of demons and ghosts.  They dwell apart
1360 warigeað, wulfhleoþu,
windige næssas,
Among wolves on hills, on windswept crags
frecne fengelad,
ðær fyrgenstream
And treacherous fen-paths, where cold streams
under næssa genipu
niþer gewiteð,
Pour down the mountain and disappear
flod under foldan.
Nis þæt feor heonon
Under mist and moorland.
A few miles from here
þæt se mere standeð.
A frost-stiffened wood waits and keeps watch
1365 Ofer þæm hongiað
hrinde bearwas,
Above a mere;  the overhanging bank
wudu wyrtum fæst
wæter oferhelmað.
Is a maze of tree roots mirrored in its surface.
Þær mæg nihta gehwæm
niðwundor seon,
At night there, something uncanny happens:
fyr on flode.
No þæs frod leofað
The water burns.  And the mere bottom
gumena bearna,
þæt þone grund wite.
Has never been sounded by the sons of men.
1370 Đeah þe hæðstapa
hundum geswenced,
On its bank, the heather-stepper halts:
heorot hornum trum,
holtwudu sece,
The hart in flight from pursuing hounds
feorran geflymed,
ær he feorh seleð,
Will turn to face them with firm-set horns
aldor on ofre,
ær he in wille
And die in the wood rather than dive
hafelan hafenian.
Nis þæt heoru stow.
Beneath its surface.  That is no good place.
1375 Þonon yðgeblond
up astigeð,
When the wind blows up and stormy weather
won to wolcnum,
þonne wind styreþ
Makes clouds scud and the skies weep,
lað gewidru,
oð þæt lyft drysmaþ,
Out of its depths a dirty surge
roderas reotað.
Nu is se ræd gelang
Is pitched towards the heavens.
Now help depends
160v eft æt | þe anum.
Eard git ne const,
Again on you and you alone.
1380 frecne stowe
ðær þu findan miht
The gap of danger where the demon waits
felasinnigne secg.
Sec gif þu dyrre.
Is still unknown to you.  Seek it if you dare.
Ic þe þa fæhðe
feo leanige,
I will compensate you for settling the feud
swa ic ær dyde
As I did last time with lavish wealth,
gyf þu on weg cymest.”
Coffers of coiled gold, if you come back.”
{ 22 }
1385 BEOWULF maþelode,
bearn Ecgþeowes.
Beowulf, son of Ecgtheow, spoke:
“Ne sorga, snotor guma.
Selre bið æghwæm
“Wise sir, do not grieve.“ It is always better
þæt he his freond wrece
þonne he fela murne.
To avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning.
Ure æghwylc sceal
ende gebidan
For every one of us, living in this world
worolde lifes.
Wyrce se þe mote
Means waiting for our end.  Let whoever can
1390 domes ær deaþe
Þæt bið drihtguman,
Win glory before death.  When a warrior is gone,
æfter selest.
That will be his best and only bulwark.
Aris, rices weard,
uton hraþe feran,
So arise, my lord, and let us immediately
Grendles magan
gang sceawigan.
Set forth on the trail of this troll-dam.
Ic hit þe gehate:
no he on helm losaþ,
I guarantee you:  she will not get away,
1395 ne on foldan fæþm,
ne on fyrgenholt,
Not to dens underground nor upland groves
ne on gyfenes grund,
ga þær he wille.
Nor the ocean floor.  She’ll have nowhere to flee to.
Đys dogor þu
geþyld hafa
Endure your troubles today.  Bear up
weana gehwylces,
swa ic þe wene to.”
And be the man I expect you to be.”
Ahleop ða, se gomela,
Gode þancode,
With that the old lord sprung to his feet
161r mihtigan Drihtne,
þæs se man ge|spræc.
And praised God for Beowulf’s pledge.
Þa wæs Hroðgare
hors gebæted,
Then a bit and halter were brought for his horse
wicg wundenfeax.
Wisa fengel
With the plaited mane.  The wise king mounted
geatolic gende.
Gumfeþa stop
The royal saddle and rode out in style
Lastas wæron
With a force of shield-bearers.  The forest paths
1405 æfter waldswaþum
wide gesyne.
Were marked all over with the monster’s tracks,
Gang ofer grundas,
gegnum for
Her trail on the ground wherever she had gone
ofer myrcan mor,
magoþegna bær
Across the dark moors, dragging away
þone selestan
The body of that thane, Hrothgar’s best
þara þe mid Hroðgare
ham eahtode.
Counselor and overseer of the country.
1410 Ofereode þa,
æþelinga bearn,
So the noble prince proceeded undismayed
steap stanhliðo,
stige nearwe,
Up fells and pebbly slopes, along narrow footpaths
enge anpaðas,
uncuð gelad,
And ways where they were forced into single file,
neowle næssas,
nicorhusa fela.
Ledges on cliffs above lairs of water-monsters.
He feara sum
beforan gengde
He went in front with a few men,
1415 wisra monna
wong sceawian,
Good judges of the lie of the land,
oþ þæt he færinga
And suddenly discovered the dismal wood,
ofer harne stan
hleonian funde,
Mountain trees growing out at an angle
wynleasne wudu.
Wæter under stod,
Above gray stones:  the bloodshot water
dreorig 7 gedrefed.
Denum eallum wæs,
Surged underneath.  It was a sore blow
1420 winum Scyldinga,
weorce on mode
To all of the Danes, friends of the Shieldings,
to geþolianne,
ðegne monegum,
A hurt to each and every one
oncyð eorla gehwæm,
syðþan Æscheres
Of that noble company when they came upon
on þam holmclife
hafelan metton.
Æschere’s head at the foot of the cliff.
Flod blode weol
- folc to sægon -
Everybody gazed as the hot gore
161v | hatan heolfre.
Horn stundum song
Kept wallowing up and an urgent war-horn
fuslic forðleoð.
Feþa eal gesæt.
Repeated its notes:  the whole party
Gesawon ða æfter wætere
wyrmcynnes fela,
Sat down to watch.  The water was infested
sellice sædracan
sund cunnian,
With all kinds of reptiles.  There were writhing sea-dragons
swylce on næshleoðum
nicras licgean.
And monsters slouching on slopes by the cliff,
1430 Đa on undernmæl
oft bewitigað
Serpents and wild things such as those that often
sorhfulne sið
on seglrade,
Surface at dawn to roam the sail-road
wyrmas 7 wildeor.
Hie on weg hruron
And doom the voyage.  Down they plunged,
bitere 7 gebolgne.
Bearhtm ongeaton,
Lashing in anger at the loud call
guðhorn galan.
Sumne Geata leod
Of the battle bugle.  An arrow from the bow
1435 of flanbogan
feores getwæfde,
Of the Geat chief got one of them
Þæt him on aldre stod,
As he surged to the surface:  the seasoned shaft
herestræl hearda.
He on holme wæs
Stuck deep in his flank and his freedom in the water
sundes þe sænra,
ðe hyne swylt fornam.
Got less and less.  It was his last swim.
Hræþe wearð on yðum
mid eoferspreotum,
He was swiftly overwhelmed in the shallows,
1440 heorohocyhtum
hearde genearwod,
Prodded by barbed boar-spears,
niða genæged,
7 on næs togen,
Cornered, beaten, pulled up on the bank,
wundorlic wægbora.
Weras sceawedon
A strange lake-birth, a loathsome catch
gryrelicne gist.
Gyrede hine Beowulf
Men gazed at in awe.
Beowulf got ready,
nalles for ealdre mearn;
Donned his war-gear, indifferent to death;
1445 scolde herebyrne
hondum gebroden
His mighty, hand-forged, fine-webbed mail
sid 7 searofah
sund cunnian,
Would soon meet with the menace under water.
seo ðe bancofan
beorgan cuþe,
It would keep the bone-cage of his body safe:
þæt him hildegrap
hreþre ne mihte
No enemy’s clasp could crush him in it,
eorres inwitfeng
aldre gesceþðan.
No vicious arm lock choke his life out.
162r Ac se hwita helm
| hafelan werede,
To guard his head he had a glittering helmet
se þe meregrundas
mengan scolde,
That was due to be muddied on the mere bottom
secan sundgebland
since geweorðad,
And blurred in the up swirl.  It was of beaten gold,
befongen freawrasnum
swa hine fyrndagum
Princely headgear hooped and hasped
worhte wæpna smið,
wundrum teode,
By a weapon-smith who had worked wonders
1455 besette swinlicum,
þæt hine syðþan no
In days gone by and adorned it with boar-shapes;
brond ne beadomecas
bitan ne meahton.
Since then it had resisted every sword.
Næs þæt þonne mætost
And another item lent by Unferth
þæt him on ðearfe lah
ðyle Hroðgares.
At that moment was of no small importance:
Wæs þæm hæftmece
Hrunting nama.
The spokesman handed him a hilted weapon,
1460 Þæt wæs an foran
A rare and ancient sword named Hrunting.
Ecg wæs iren,
atertanum fah,
The iron blade with its ill-boding patterns
ahyrded heaþoswate.
Næfre hit æt hilde ne swac
Had been tempered in blood.  It had never failed
manna ængum,
þara þe hit mid mundum bewand,
The hand of anyone who had hefted it in battle,
se ðe gryresiðas
gegan dorste,
Anyone who had fought and faced the worst
1465 folcstede fara.
Næs þæt forma sið
In the gap of danger.  This was not the first time
þæt hit ellenweorc
æfnan scolde.
It had been called to perform heroic feats.
Huru ne gemunde
mago Ecglafes,
When he lent that blade to the better swordsman,
eafoþes cræftig,
þæt he ær gespræc,
Unferth, the strong-built son of Ecglaf,
wine druncen,
þa he þæs wæpnes onlah
Could hardly have remembered the ranting speech
1470 selran sweordfrecan.
Selfa ne dorste
He had made in his cups.  He was not man enough
under yða gewin
aldre geneþan,
To face the turmoil of a fight under water
drihtscype dreogan.
Þær he dome forleas,
And the risk to his life.  So there he lost
162v ellen|mærðum.
Ne wæs þæm oðrum swa,
fame and repute.  It was different for the other
syðþan he hine to guðe
gegyred hæfde.
Rigged out in his gear, ready to do battle.
{ 23 }
1475 BEOWVLF maðelode,
bearn Ecgþeowes:
Beowulf, son of Ecgtheow, spoke:
“Geþenc nu, se mæra
maga Healfdenes,
“Wisest of kings, now that I have come
snottra fengel,
nu ic eom siðes fus,
To the point of action, I ask you to recall
goldwine gumena,
hwæt wit geo spræcon:
What we said earlier:  that you, son of Halfdane
gif ic æt þearfe
þinre scolde
And gold-friend to retainers, that you, if I should fall
1480 aldre linnan,
þæt ðu me a wære,
And suffer death while serving your cause,
on fæder stæle.
Would act like a father to me afterwards.
Wes þu mundbora
minum magoþegnum,
If this combat kills me, take care
gif mec hild nime.
Of my young company, my comrades in arms.
Swylce þu ða madmas,
þe þu me sealdest,
And be sure also, my beloved Hrothgar,
1485 Hroðgar leofa,
Higelace onsend.
To send Hygelac the treasures I received.
Mæg þonne on þæm golde ongitan
Geata dryhten,
Let the lord of the Geats gaze on that gold,
geseon sunu Hrædles,
þonne he on þæt sinc starað,
Let Hrethel’s son take note of it and see
þæt ic gumcystum
godne funde
That I found a ring-giver of rare magnificence
beaga bryttan,
breac þonne moste.
And enjoyed the good of his generosity.
1490 7 þu Hunferð læt
ealde lafe,
And Unferth is to have what I inherited:
wrætlic wægsweord;
widcuðne man
To that far-famed man I bequeath my own
heardecg habban.
Ic me mid Hruntinge
Sharp-horned, wave-sheened wonder blade.
163r dom gewyrce
| oþðe mec deað nimeð.”
With Hrunting I shall gain glory or die.
Æfter þæm wordum
Weder-Geata leod
After these words, the prince of the Weather-Geats
1495 efste mid elne.
Nalas 7sware
Was impatient to be away and plunged suddenly:
bidan wolde.
Brimwylm onfeng
Without more ado, he dove in to the heaving
Đa wæs hwil dæges
Depths of the lake.  It was the best part of a day
ær he þone grundwong
ongytan mehte.
Before he could see the solid bottom.
Sona þæt onfunde,
se ðe floda begong,
Quickly the one who haunted those waters,
1500 heorogifre, beheold
hund missera,
Who had scavenged and gone her gluttonous rounds
grim 7 grædig,
þæt þær gumena sum
For a hundred seasons, sensed a human
ælwihta eard
ufan cunnode.
Observing her outlandish lair from above.
Grap þa togeanes,
guðrinc gefeng
So she lunged and clutched and managed to catch him
atolan clommum.
No þy ær in gescod
In her brutal grip;  but his body, for all that,
1505 halan lice.
Hring utan ymbbearh,
Remained unscathed:  the mesh of the chain-mail
þæt heo þone fyrdhom
ðurhfon ne mihte,
Saved him on the outside.  Her savage talons
locene leoðosyrcan,
laþan fingrum.
Failed to rip the web of his war shirt.
Bær þa seo brimwylf,
þa heo to botme com,
Then once she touched bottom, the wolfish swimmer
hringa þengel
to hofe sinum,
Carried the ring-mailed prince to her court
1510 swa he ne mihte
- no he þæm modig wæs! -
So that for all his courage he could never use
wæpna gewealdan,
ac hine wundra þæs fela
The weapons he carried;  and a bewildering horde
swecte on sunde,
sædeor monig
Came at him from the depths, droves of sea-beasts
heresyrcan bræc,
Who attacked with tusks and tore at his chain-mail
ehton aglæcan.
Đa se eorl ongeat
In a ghastly onslaught.  The gallant man
1515 þæt he niðsele
nathwylcum wæs,
Could see he had entered some hellish turn-hole
þær him nænig wæter
wihte ne sceþede,
And yet the water did not work against him
ne him for hrofsele
hrinan ne mehte,
Because the hall-roofing held off
163v færgripe flodes.
| Fyrleoht geseah,
The force of the current; then he saw firelight,
blacne leoman
beorhte scinan.
A gleam and flare-up, a glimmer of brightness.
1520 Ongeat þa se goda
The hero observed that swamp-thing from hell,
merewif mihtig.
Mægenræs forgeaf
The tarn-hag in all her terrible strength,
hondswenge, ne ofteah,
Then heaved his war-sword and swung his arm:
þæt hire on hafelan
hringmæl agol
The decorated blade came down ringing
grædig guðleoð.
Đa se gist onfand
And singing on her head.  But he soon found
1525 þæt se beadoleoma
bitan nolde,
His battle-torch extinguished:  the shinning blade
aldre sceþðan.
Ac seo ecg geswac
Refused to bite.  It spared her and failed
ðeodne æt þearfe.
Đolode ær fela
The man in his need.  It had gone through many
helm oft gescær,
Hand-to-hand fights, had hewed the armor
fæges fyrdhrægl.
Đa wæs forma sið
And helmets of the doomed, but here at last
1530 deorum madme
þæt his dom alæg.
The fabulous powers of that heirloom failed.
Eft wæs anræd,
nalas elnes læt,
Hygelac’s kinsman kept thinking about
mærða gemyndig
mæg Hylaces:
His name and fame:  he never lost heart.
wearp ða wundelmæl,
wrættum gebunden,
Then, in fury, he flung his sword away.
yrre oretta,
þæt hit on eorðan læg,
The keen, inlaid, worm-looped-patterned steel
1535 stið 7 stylecg.
Strenge getruwode,
Was hurled to the ground: he would have to rely
mundgripe mægenes.
Swa sceal man don,
On the might of his arm. So must a man do
þonne he æt guðe
gegan þenceð
Who intends to gain enduring glory
longsumne lof.
Na ymb his lif cearað.
In a combat.  Life doesn’t cost him thought.
Gefeng þa be eaxle,
nalas for fæhðe mearn,
Then the prince of War-Geats, warming to his fight
1540 Guð-Geata leod,
Grendles modor.
With Grendel’s mother, gripped her shoulder
Brægd þa beadwe heard,
þa he gebolgen wæs,
And laid about him in a battle frenzy:
þæt heo on flet gebeah.
He pitched his killer opponent to the floor
Heo him eft hraþe
handlean forgeald
But she rose quickly and retaliated,
164r grim|man grapum
7 him togeanes feng.
Grappled him tightly in her grim embrace.
1545 Oferwearp þa werigmod,
wigena strengest,
The sure-footed fight fell daunted,
þæt he on fylle wearð.
The strongest of warriors stumbled and fell.
Ofsæt þa þone selegyst,
7 hyre seax geteah,
So she pounced upon him and pulled out
brad, brunecg.
Wolde hire bearn wrecan,
A broad, whetted knife:  now she could avenge
angan eaferan.
Him on eaxle læg
Her only child.  But the mesh of chain-mail
1550 breostnet broden;
þæt gebearh feore,
On Beowulf’s shoulder shielded his life,
wið ord 7 wið ecge
ingang forstod.
Turned the edge and tip of the blade.
Hæfde ða forsiðod
sunu Ecgþeowes,
The son of Ecgtheow would surely have perished
under gynne grund,
Geata cempa,
And the Geats lost their warrior under the wide earth
nemne him heaðobyrne
helpe gefremede,
Had the strong links and locks of his war-gear
1555 herenet hearde.
7 halig God
Not helped to save him:  Holy God
geweold wigsigor.
Witig Drihten,
Decided the victory.  It was easy for the Lord,
rodera Rædend,
hit on ryht gesced
The Ruler of Heaven, to redress the balance
Syþðan he eft astod.
Once Beowulf got back up on his feet.
{ 24 }
GEseah ða on searwum
sigeeadig bil,
Then he saw a blade that boded well,
1560 ealdsweord eotenisc
ecgum þyhtig,
A sword in her armory, an ancient heirloom
wigena weorðmynd,
þæt wæpna cyst,
From the days of the giants, an ideal weapon,
buton hit wæs mare
ðonne ænig mon oðer
One that any warrior would envy,
to beadulace
ætberan meahte,
But so huge and heavy in itself
god 7 geatolic,
giganta geweorc.
Only Beowulf could wield it in battle.
1565 He gefeng þa fetelhilt,
freca Scyldinga
So the Shieldings’ hero, hard-pressed and enraged,
hreoh 7 heorogrim,
hringmæl gebrægd
Took a firm hold of the hilt and swung
164v aldres orwena,
yrringa | sloh,
The blade in an arc, a resolute blow
þæt hire wið halse
heard grapode,
That bit into her neck bone
banhringas bræc.
Bil eal ðurhwod
And severed it entirely, toppling the doomed
1570 fægne flæschoman.
Heo on flet gecrong.
House of her flesh;  she fell to the floor.
Sweord wæs swatig,
secg weorce gefeh.
The sword dripped blood, the swordsman was elated.
Lixte se leoma,
leoht inne stod,
A light appeared and the place brightened
efne swa of hefene
hadre scineð
The way the sky does when heaven’s candle
rodores candel.
He æfter recede wlat.
Is shinning clearly.  He inspected the vault:
1575 Hwearf þa be wealle,
wæpen hafenade
With sword held high, its hilt raised
heard be hiltum,
Higelaces ðegn,
To guard and threaten, Hygelac’s thane
yrre 7 anræd.
Næs seo ecg fracod
Scouted by the wall in Grendel’s wake.
ac he hraþe wolde
Now the weapon was to prove its worth.
Grendle forgyldan
guðræsa fela
The warrior determined to take revenge
1580 ðara þe he geworhte
to West-Denum
For every gross act Grendel had committed —
oftor micle
ðonne on ænne sið,
And not only for that one occasion
þonne he Hroðgares
When he’d come to slaughter the sleeping troops,
sloh on sweofote,
slæpende fræt,
Fifteen of Hrothgar’s house-guards
folces Denigea
fyftyne men,
Surprised on their benches and ruthlessly devoured,
1585 7 oðer swylc
ut offerede
And as many again carried away,
laðlicu lac.
He him þæs lean forgeald,
A brutal plunderer.  Beowulf in his fury
reþe cempa,
to ðæs þe he on ræste geseah
Now settled that score:  he saw the monster
Grendel licgan,
In his resting place, war-weary and wrecked,
swa him ær gescod
A lifeless corpse, a casualty
1590 hild æt Heorote.
Hra wide sprong,
Of the battle in Heorot.  The body gaped
syþðan he æfter deaðe
drepe þrowade,
At the stroke dealt to it after death:
heorosweng heardne,
7 hine þa heafde becearf.
Beowulf cut the corpse’s head off.
165r Sona þæt gesawon,
snottre | ceorlas,
Immediately the counselors keeping a lookout
þa ðe mid Hroðgare
on holm wliton,
With Hrothgar, watching the lake water,
1595 þæt wæs yðgeblond
eal gemenged
Saw a heave-up and surge of waves
brim blode fah.
And blood in the backwash.  They bowed gray heads,
gomele ymb godne,
ongeador spræcon
Spoke in their sage, experienced way
þæt hig þæs æðelinges
eft ne wendon,
About the good warrior, how they never again
þæt he sigehreðig
secean come
Expected to see that prince returning
1600 mærne þeoden.
Þa ðæs monige gewearð
In triumph to their king. It was clear to many
þæt hine seo brimwylf
abreoten hæfde.
That the wolf of the deep had destroyed him forever.
Đa com non dæges.
Næs ofgeafon
The ninth hour of the day arrived.
hwate Scyldingas.
Gewat him ham þonon,
The brave Shieldings abandoned their cliff-top
goldwine gumena.
Gistas secan
And the king went home;  but sick at heart,
1605 modes seoce,
7 on mere staredon;
Staring at the mere, the strangers held on.
wiston, 7 ne wendon,
þæt hie heora winedrihten
They wished, without hope, to behold their lord,
selfne gesawon.
Þa þæt sweord ongan
Beowulf himself.
Meanwhile, the sword
æfter heaþoswate
Began to wilt into gory icicles,
wigbil wanian.
Þæt wæs wundra sum,
To slather and thaw.  It was a wonderful thing,
1610 þæt hit eal gemealt,
ise gelicost,
The way it all melted as ice melts
ðonne forstes bend
Fæder onlæteð,
When the father eases the fetters off the frost
onwindeð wælrapas,
se geweald hafað
And unravels the water-ropes.  He who wields power
sæla 7 mæla.
Þæt is soð Metod.
Over time and tide:  He is the true Lord.
Ne nom he in þæm wicum,
Weder-Geata leod,
The Geat captain saw treasure in abundance
1615 maðmæhta ma,
þeh he þær monige geseah,
But carried no spoils from those quarters
buton þone hafelan
7 þa hilt somod
Except for the head and the inlaid hilt
since fage.
Sweord ær gemealt,
Embossed with jewels; its blade had melted
165v forbarn brodenmæl.
Wæs þæt blod | to þæs hat,
And the scrollwork on it burnt, so scalding was the blood
ættren ellorgæst
se þær inne swealt.
Of the poisonous fiend who had perished there.
1620 Sona wæs on sunde,
se þe ær æt sæcce gebad,
Then away he swan, the one who had survived
wighryre wraðra.
Wæter up þurhdeaf,
The fall of his enemies, flailing to the surface.
wæron yðgebland
eal gefælsod,
The wide water, the waves and pools
eacne eardas,
þa se ellorgast
Were no longer infested once the wandering fiend
oflet lifdagas
7 þas lænan gesceaft.
Let go of her life and this unreliable world.
1625 Com þa to lande,
lidmanna helm,
The seafarers’ leader made for land,
swiðmod swymman.
Sælace gefeah,
Resolutely swimming, delighted with his prize,
þara þe he him mid hæfde.
The mighty load he was lugging to the surface.
Eodon him þa togeanes,
Gode þancodon,
His thanes advanced in a troop to meet him,
ðryðlic þegna heap
þeodnes gefegon,
Thanking God and taking great delight
1630 þæs þe hi hyne gesundne
geseon moston.
In seeing their prince back safe and sound.
Đa wæs of þæm hroran
helm 7 byrne
Quickly the hero’s helmet and mail-shirt
lungre alysed.
Lagu drusade,
Were loosed and unlaced.  The lake settled,
wæter under wolcnum,
wældreore fag.
Clouds darkened above the bloodshot depths.
Ferdon forð þonon
With high hearts they headed away
1635 ferhþum fægne
foldweg mæton,
Along footpath and trails through the fields,
cuþe stræte.
Cyningbalde men
Roads that they knew, each of them wrestling
from þæm holmclife
hafelan bæron
With the head they were carrying from the lakeside cliff,
heora æghwæþrum
Men kingly in their courage and capable
Feower scoldon
Of difficult work.  It was a task for four
1640 on þæm wælstenge
weorcum geferian
To hoist Grendel’s head on a spear
to þæm goldsele
Grendles heafod.
And bear it under strain to the bright hall.
166r Oþ ðæt | semninga
to sele comon,
But soon enough they neared the place,
frome fyrdhwate
Fourteen Geats in fine fettle,
Geata gongan,
gumdryhten mid,
Striding across the outlying ground
1645 modig on gemonge,
meodowongas træd.
In a delighted throng around their leader.
Đa com in gan
ealdor ðegna,
In he came then, the thanes’ commander,
dædcene mon
dome gewurþad,
The arch-warrior, to address Hrothgar:
hæle hildedeor,
Hroðgar gretan.
His courage was proven, his glory was secure.
Þa wæs be feaxe
on flet boren
Grendel’s head was hauled by the hair,
1650 Grendles heafod,
þær guman druncon,
Dragged across the floor where people were drinking,
egeslic for eorlum,
7 þære idese mid,
A horror for both queen and company to behold.
wliteseon wrætlic.
Weras onsawon.
They stared in awe.  It was an astonishing sight.
{ 25 }
BEOwulf maþelode,
bearn Ecgþeowes:
Beowulf, son of Ecgtheow, spoke:
“Hwæt, we þe þas sælac,
sunu Healfdenes,
“So, son of Halfdane, prince of the Shieldings,
1655 leod Scyldinga,
lustum brohton
We are glad to bring this booty from the lake.
tires to tacne,
þe þu her to locast.
It is a token of triumph and we tender it to you.
Ic þæt unsofte
ealdre gedigde,
I barely survived the battle underwater.
wigge under wætere,
weorc geneþde
It was hard-fought, a desperate affair
Ætrihte wæs
That could have gone badly;  if God had not helped me,
1660 guð getwæfed,
nymðe mec God scylde.
The outcome would have been quick and fatal.
Ne meahte ic æt hilde
mid Hruntinge
Although Hrunting is hard-edged,
wiht gewyrcan,
þeah þæt wæpen duge.
I could never bring it to bear in battle.
Ac me geuðe
ylda Waldend
But the Lord of Men allowed me to behold—
166v þæt ic on wage geseah
wlitig | hangian
For he often helps the unbefriended —
1665 ealdsweord eacen.
Oftost wisode
An ancient sword shinning on the wall,
winigea leasum;
þæt ic ðy wæpne gebræd,
A weapon made for giants, there for the wielding.
ofsloh ða æt þære sæcce,
þa me sæl ageald,
Then my moment came in the combat and I struck
huses hyrdas.
Þa þæt hildebil
The dwellers in that den.  Next thing the damascened
forbarn, brogdenmæl,
swa þæt blod gesprang,
Sword blade melted;  it bloated and it burned
1670 hatost heaþoswata.
Ic þæt hilt þanan
In their rushing blood.  I have wrested the hilt
feondum ætferede,
fyrendæda wræc,
From the enemies’ hand, avenged the evil
deaðcwealm Denigea,
swa hit gedefe wæs.
Done to the Danes;  it is what was due.
Ic hit þe þonne gehate,
þæt þu on Heorote most
And this I pledge, O prince of the Shieldings:
sorhleas swefan
mid þinra secga gedryht,
You can sleep secure with your company of troops
1675 7 þegna gehwylc
þinra leoda,
In Heorot Hall.  Never need you fear
duguðe 7 iogoþe,
þæt þu him ondrædan ne þearft,
For a single thane of your guard or nation,
þeoden Scyldinga,
on þa healfe,
Young warriors or old, that laying waste of life
aldorbealu eorlum,
swa þu ær dydest.”
That you and your people endured of yore.”
Đa wæs gyldenhilt
gamelum rince,
Then the gold hilt was handed over
1680 harum hildfruman,
on hand gyfen
To the old lord, a relic from long ago
enta ærgeweorc.
Hit on æht gehwearf
For the venerable ruler.  That rare smith work
æfter deofla hryre
Denigea frean,
Was passed on to the prince of the Danes
wundorsmiþa geweorc.
7 þa þas worold ofgeaf,
When those devils perished;  once death removed
gromheort guma,
Godes andsaca
That murdering, guilt-steeped, God-cursed fiend,
1685 morðres scyldig,
7 his modor eac.
Eliminating his unholy life
On geweald gehwearf
And his mother’s as well, it was willed that the king
167r ðæm selestan
be | sæm tweonum,
Who of all the lavish gift-lords of the north
ðara þe on Scedenigge
sceattas dælde.
Was the best regarded between the two seas.
Hroðgar maðelode.
Hylt sceawode,
Hrothgar spoke;  he examined the hilt,
1690 ealde lafe;
on ðæm wæs or writen
That relic of old times.  It was engraved all over
syðþan flod ofsloh,
And showed how war first came into the world
gifen geotende,
giganta cyn.
And the flood destroyed the tribe of giants.
Frecne geferdon;
þæt wæs fremde þeod
They suffered a terrible severance from the Lord;
ecean Dryhtne.
Him þæs endelean
The Almighty made the waters rise,
1695 þurh wæteres wylm
Waldend sealde.
Drowned them in the deluge for retribution.
Swa wæs on ðæm scennum
sciran goldes,
In pure gold inlay on the sword-guards
þurh runstafas
rihte gemearcod,
There were rune markings correctly incised,
geseted 7 gesæd,
hwam þæt sweord geworht,
Stating and recording for whom the sword
irena cyst
ærest wære,
Had been first made and ornamented
1700 wreoþenhilt 7 wyrmfah.
Đa se wisa spræc,
With its scrollwork hilt. Then everyone hushed
sunu Healfdenes.
Swigedon ealle:
As the son of Halfdane spoke his wisdom.
“Þæt, la, mæg secgan,
se þe soð 7 riht
“Indeed, this may be said by a man who has wrought
fremeð on folce,
feor eal gemon,
Truth and justice among his people,
who remembers things of long ago
eald eðelweard,
þæt ðes eorl wære
an old guardian of the ancestral land,
that this earl was
1705 geboren betera.
Blæd is aræred
born more excellent.
Your glory is uplifted
geond widwegas,
wine min Beowulf,
beyond distant ways,
Beowulf, my friend,
ðin ofer þeoda gehwylce.
Eal þu hit geþyldum
over every people.
healdest mægen,
mid modes snyttrum.
You hold sway, with wisdom of mind.
Ic þe sceal mine
gelæstan freoðe
So I stand firm by the promise of friendship
1710 swa wit furðum spræcon.
Đu scealt to frofre weorþan
We exchanged before.  Forever you will be
eal langtwidig
leodum þinum,
Your people’s mainstay and your own warriors’
167v | hæleðum to helpe.
Ne wearð Heremod swa
Helping hand.
Heremod was different,
eaforum Ecgwelan,
The way he behaved to Ecgwala’s sons.
Ne geweox he him to willan,
ac to wælfealle
His rise in the world brought little joy
1715 7 to deaðcwalum
Deniga leodum.
To the Danish people, only death and destruction.
Breat bolgenmod
He vented his rage on people he caroused with,
oþ þæt he ana hwearf,
Killed his own comrades, a pariah king
mære þeoden,
mondreamum from
Who cut himself off from his own kind,
ðeah þe hine mihtig God
mægenes wynnum
Even though God Almighty had made him
1720 eafeþum stepte
ofer ealle men,
Eminent and powerful and marked him from the start
forð gefremede.
Hwæþere him on ferhþe greow
For a happy life.  But a change happened,
breosthord blodreow.
Nallas beagas geaf
He grew bloodthirsty, gave no more rings
Denum æfter dome.
Dreamleas gebad,
To honor the Danes.  He suffered in the end
þæt he þæs gewinnes
weorc þrowade,
For having plagued his people for so long:
1725 leodbealo longsum.
Đu þe lær be þon,
His life lost happiness.
So learn from this
gumcyste ongit.
Ic þis gid be þe
And understand true values.  I who tell you
awræc wintrum frod.
Wundor is to secganne
Have wintered into wisdom.
It is a great wonder
hu mihtig God
manna cynne
How Almighty God in his magnificence upon our race
þurh sidne sefan
snyttru bryttað,
Bestows the gift of wisdom
1730 eard 7 eorlscipe.
He ah ealra geweald.
And land and valor.  His sway is wide.
Hwilum he on lufan
læteð hworfan
Sometimes He allows the mind of a man
monnes modgeþonc
mæran cynnes,
Of distinguished birth to follow its bent,
seleð him on eþle
eorþan wynne
Grants him fulfillment and felicity on earth
to healdanne
hleoburh wera,
And forts to command in his own country.
168r | gedeð him swa gewealdene
worolde dælas,
He permits him to lord it in many lands
side rice,
þæt he his selfa ne mæg
Until the man in his unthinkingness
for his unsnyttrum
ende geþencean.
Forgets that it will ever end for him.
Wunað he on wiste.
No hine wiht dweleð,
He indulges his desires;  illness and old age
adl ne yldo,
ne him inwitsorh
Mean nothing to him;  his mind is untroubled
1740 on sefan sweorceð,
ne gesacu ohwær
By envy or malice or thought of enemies
ecghete eoweð,
ac him eal worold
With their hate-honed swords.  The whole world
wendeð on willan.
He þæt wyrse ne con.”
Conforms to his will, he is kept from the worst
{ 26 }
“Oð þæt him on innan
oferhygda dæl
Until an element of overweening
weaxeð 7 wridað.
Þonne se weard swefeð,
Enters him and takes hold
1745 sawele hyrde.
Bið se slæp to fæst,
While the soul’s guard, its sentry, drowses,
bisgum gebunden,
bona swiðe neah,
Grown too distracted.  A killer stalks him,
se þe of flanbogan
fyrenum sceoteð.
An archer who draws a deadly bow.
Þonne bið on hreþre
under helm drepen
And then the man is hit in the heart,
biteran stræle,
him bebeorgan ne con,
The arrow flies beneath his defenses,
1750 wom wundorbebodum
wergan gastes.
The devious promptings of the demon start.
Þinceð him to lytel
þæt he to lange heold;
His old possessions seem paltry to him now.
gytsað gromhydig,
nallas on gylp seleð
He covets and resents;  dishonors custom
fædde beagas,
7 he þa forðgesceaft
And bestows no gold;  and because of good things
forgyteð 7 forgymeð,
þæs þe him ær God sealde,
That the Heavenly powers gave him in the past
168v wuldres | Waldend,
weorðmynda dæl.
He ignores the shape of things to come.
Hit on endestæf
eft gelimpeð
Then finally the end arrives
þæt se lichoma
læne gedreoseð,
When the body he was lent collapses and falls
fæge gefealleð.
Fehð oþer to,
Prey to its death; ancestral possessions
se þe unmurnlice
madmas dæleþ,
And the goods he hoarded and inherited by another
1760 eorles ærgestreon,
egesan ne gymeð.
Who lets them go with a liberal hand.
Bebeorh þe ðone bealonið,
Beowulf leofa,
“O flower of warriors, beware of that trap.
secg betsta,
7 þe þæt selre geceos,
Choose, dear Beowulf, the better part,
ece rædas.
Oferhyda ne gym,
Eternal rewards.  Do not give way to pride.
mære cempa.
Nu is þines mægnes blæd
For a brief while your strength is in bloom
1765 ane hwile.
Eft sona bið
But it fades quickly;  and soon there will follow
þæt þec adl oððe ecg
eafoþes getwæfeð,
Illness or the sword to lay you low,
oððe fyres feng,
oððe flodes wylm,
Or a sudden fire or surge of water
oððe gripe meces,
oððe gares fliht,
Or jabbing blade or javelin from the air
oððe atol yldo.
Oððe eagena bearhtm
Or repellent age.  Your piercing eye
1770 forsiteð 7 forsworceð.
Semninga bið
Will dim and darken;  and death will arrive,
þæt ðec, dryhtguma,
deað oferswyðeð.
Dear warrior, to sweep you away.
Swa ic Hring-Dena
hund missera
“Just so I ruled the ring-Danes’ country
weold under wolcnum
7 hig wigge beleac,
For fifty years, defended them in wartime
manigum mægþa
geond þysne middangeard,
With spear and sword against constant assaults
1775 æscum 7 ecgum,
þæt ic me ænigne
By many tribes:  I came to believe
under swegles begong
gesacan ne tealde.
My enemies had faded from the face of the earth.
Hwæt, me þæs on eþle
edwendan cwom,
Still, what happened was a hard reversal
gyrn æfter gomene,
seoþðan Grendel wearð
From bliss to grief.  Grendel struck
ingenga min.
After lying in wait.  He laid waste the land
169r | Ic þære socne
singales wæg
And from that moment my mind was in dread
modceare micle.
Þæs sig Metode þanc,
Of his depredations.  So I praise God
ecean Dryhtne,
þæs ðe ic on aldre gebad,
In His heavenly glory that I lived to behold
þæt ic on þone hafelan
This head dripping blood and after such harrowing
ofer eald gewin
eagum starige.
I can look upon it in triumph at last.
1785 Ga nu to setle,
symbelwynne dreoh
Take your place, then, with pride and pleasure
Unc sceal worn fela
And move to the feast.  Tomorrow morning
maþma gemænra
siþðan morgen bið.”
Our treasure will be shared and showered upon you.”
Geat wæs glædmod,
geong sona to
The Geat was elated and gladly obeyed
setles neosan,
swa se snottra heht.
The old man’s biding;  he sat on the bench.
1790 Þa wæs eft swa ær
And soon all was restored, the same as before.
fægere gereorded
Happiness came back, the hall was thronged,
niowan stefne.
Nihthelm geswearc,
And a banquet set forth;  black night fell
deorc ofer dryhtgumum.
Duguð eal aras.
And covered them in darkness.
Then the company rose
Wolde blondenfeax
beddes neosan,
For the old campaigner:  the gray-haired prince
1795 gamela Scylding.
Geat unigmetes wel,
Was ready for bed.  And a need for rest
rofne randwigan,
restan lyste.
Came over the brave shield-bearing Geat.
Sona him seleþegn,
siðes wergum
He was a weary sea-farer, far from home,
forð wisade;
So immediately a house-guard guided him out,
se for andrysnum
ealle beweotede
One whose office entailed looking after
1800 þegnes þearfe,
swylce þy dogore
Whatever a thane on the road in those days
habban scoldon.
Might need or require.  It was noble courtesy.
Reste hine þa rumheort.
Reced hliuade,
That great heart rested. The hall towered,
geap 7 goldfah.
Gæst inne swæf,
Gold-shingled and gabled, and the guest slept in it
oþ þæt hrefn blaca,
heofones wynne
Until the black raven with raucous glee
169v bliðheort bodode.
| Đa com beorht scacan;
Announced heaven’s joy, and a hurry of brightness
scaþan onetton.Overran the shadows.  Warriors rose quickly,
Wæron æþelingas
eft to leodum
Impatient to be off:  their own country
fuse to farenne.
Wolde feor þanon,
Was beckoning the nobles;  and the bold voyager
cuma collenferhð,
ceoles neosan.
Longed to be aboard his distant boat.
1810 Heht þa, se hearda,
Hrunting beran
Then that stalwart fighter ordered Hrunting
sunu Ecglafes,
heht his sweord niman,
To be brought to Unferth, and bade Unferth
leoflic iren.
Sægde him þæs leanes þanc,
Take the sword and thanked him for lending it.
cwæð, he þone guðwine
godne tealde.
He said he had found it a friend in battle
Nales wordum log
And a powerful help;  he put no blame
1815 meces ecge.
Þæt wæs modig secg.
On the blade’s cutting edge.  He was a considerate man.
7 þa, siðfrome,
searwum gearwe,
And there the warriors stood in their war-gear,
wigend wæron.
Eode weorð Denum,
Eager to go, while their honored lord
æþeling to yppan,
þær se oþer wæs.
Approached the platform where the other sat.
Helle hildedeor
Hroðgar grette.
The undaunted hero addressed Hrothgar.
{ 27 }
1820 Beowulf maþelode,
bearn Ecgþeowes:
Beowulf, son of Ecgtheow, spoke:
“Nu we sæliðend
secgan wyllað
“Now we who crossed the wide sea
feorran cumene,
þæt we fundiaþ
Have to inform you that we feel a desire
Higelac secan.
Wæron her tela
To return to Hygelac.  Here we have been welcomed
willum bewenede.
Þu us wel dohtest.
And thoroughly entertain.  You have treated us well.
1825 Gif ic þonne on eorþan
owihte mæg
If there is any favor on earth I can perform
þinre modlufan
maran tilian,
Beyond deeds of arms I have done already,
gumena dryhten,
ðonne ic gyt dyde
Anything that would merit your affections more,
ic beo gearo sona.
I shall act, my lord, with alacrity.
170r Gif ic þæt ge|fricge
ofer floda begang,
If ever I hear from across the ocean
1830 þæt þec ymbsittend
egesan þywað,
That people on your borders are threatening battle
swa þec hetende
hwilum dydon,
As attackers have done from time to time,
ic ðe þusenda
þegna bringe,
I shall land with a thousand thanes at my back
hæleþa to helpe.
Ic on Higelace wat
To help your cause.  Hygelac may be young
Geata dryhten,
þeah ðe he geong sy
To rule a nation, but this much I know
1835 folces hyrde,
þæt he mec fremman wile
About the king of the Geats:  he will come to my aid
weordum 7 worcum,
þæt ic þe wel herige
And want to support me by word and action
7 þe to geoce
garholt bere,
In your hour of need, when honor dictates
mægenes fultum,
þær ðe bið manna þearf.
That I raise a hedge of spears around you.
Gif him þonne Hreþric
to hofum Geata
Then if Hrethric should think about traveling
1840 geþingeð þeodnes bearn,
he mæg þær fela
As a king’s son to the court of the Geats,
freonda findan.
Feorcyþðe beoð
He will find many friend.  Foreign places
selran gesohte
þæm þe him selfa deah.”
Yield more to one who is himself worth meeting.”
Hroðgar maþelode
him on andsware:
Hrothgar spoke and answered him:
“Þe þa wordcwydas
wigtig Drihten
“The Lord in his wisdom sent you those words
1845 on sefan sende.
Ne hyrde ic snotorlicor
And they came from the heart.  I have never heard
on swa geongum feore
guman þingian.
So young a man make truer observations.
Þu eart mægenes strang
7 on mode frod,
You are strong in body and mature in mind,
wis wordcwida.
Wen ic talige:
Impressive in speech.  If it should come to pass
gif þæt gegangeð
þæt ðe gar nymeð,
That Hrethel’s descendant dies beneath a spear,
1850 hild heorugrimme
Hreþles eaferan,
If deadly battle or the sword blade or disease
adl oþðe iren
ealdor ðinne,
Fells the prince who guards your people
folces hyrde,
7 þu þin feorh hafast,
And you are still alive, I firmly believe
170v þæt þe |Sæ-Geatas
selran næbban
The seafaring Geats won’t find a man
to geceosenne
cyning ænigne
Worthier of acclaim as their king and defender
1855 hordweard hæleþa,
gyf þu healdan wylt
Than you, if only you would undertake
maga rice.
Me þin modsefa
The lordship of your homeland.  My liking for you
licað leng swa wel,
leofa Beowulf.
Deepens with time, dear Beowulf.
Hafast þu gefered
þæt þam folcum sceal,
What you have done is to draw two peoples,
Geata leodum
7 Gar-Denum,
The Geat nation and us neighboring Danes,
1860 sib gemænum,
7 sacu restan,
Into shared peace and a pact of friendship
þe hie ær drugon;
In spite of hatreds we have harbored in the past.
wesan, þenden ic wealde
widan rices,
For as long as I rule this far-flung land
maþmas gemæne,
manig oþerne
Treasures will change hands and each side will treat
godum gegrettan
ofer ganotes bæð.
The other with gifts;  across the gannet’s bath
1865 Sceal hringnaca
ofer heaþu bringan
Over the broad sea, whorled prows will bring
lac 7 luftacen.
Ic þa leode wat
Presents and tokens.  I know your people
ge wið feond ge wið freond
fæste geworhte,
Are beyond reproach in every respect,
æghwæs untæle
ealde wisan.”
Steadfast in the old way with friend or foe.”
Đa git him eorla hleo.
inne gesealde,
Then the earl’s defender furnished the hero
1870 mago Healfdenes,
maþmas twelfe.
With twelve treasures and told him to set out,
Het inne mid þæm lacum
leode swæse
Sail with those gifts safely home
secean on gesyntum,
snude eft cuman.
To the people he loved, but to return promptly.
Gecyste þa,
cyning æþelum god,
And so the good and gray-haired Dane,
þeoden Scyldinga,
ðegn betstan
That high-born king, kissed Beowulf
1875 7 be healse genam.
Hruron him tearas
And embraced his neck, then broke down
Him wæs bega wen,
In sudden tears.  Two forebodings
171r ealdum in|frodum
oþres swiðor,
Disturbed him in his wisdom, but one was stronger:
þæt hie seoððan na
geseon moston,
Nevermore would they meet each other
modige on meþle.
Wæs him se man to þon leof
Face to face.  And such was his affection
1880 þæt he þone breostwylm
forberan ne mehte.
That he could not help being overcome:
Ac him on hreþre
hygebendum fæst
His fondness for the man was so deep-founded,
æfter deorum men
dyrne langað
It warmed his heart and wound the heartstrings
beorn wið blode.
Him Beowulf þanan,
Tight in his breast.
The embrace ended
guðrinc goldwlanc,
græsmoldan træd,
And Beowulf, glorious in his gold regalia,
1885 since hremig.
Sægenga bad
Stepped on the green earth.  Straining at anchor
se þe on ancre rad.
And ready for boarding, his boat awaited him.
Þa wæs on gange
gifu Hroðgares
So they went on their journey, and Hrothgar’s generosity
oft geæhted.
Þæt wæs an cyning,
Was praised repeatedly.  He was a peerless king
æghwæs orleahtre,
oþ þæt hine yldo benam
Until old age sapped his strength and did him
1890 mægenes wynnum,
se þe oft manegum scod.
Mortal harm, as it has done so many.
{ 28 }
CWOM þa to flode
fela modigra
Down to the waves then, dressed in the web
Hringnet bæron
Of their chain-mail and war-shirts the young men marched
locene leoðosyrcan.
Landweard onfand
In high spirits.  The coast-guard spied them,
eftsið eorla,
swa he ær dyde.
Thanes setting forth, the same as before.
1895 No he mid hearme
of hliðes nosan
His salute this time from the top of the cliff
171v | giestas grette,
ac him togeanes rad,
Was far from unmannerly;  he galloped to meet them
cwæð þæt wilcuman
Wedera leodum
And as they took ship in their shinning gear,
scaþan scirhame
to scipe foron.
He said how welcome they would be in Geatland.
Þa wæs on sande
sægeap naca
Then the broad hull was beached on the sand
1900 hladen herewædum,
To be cargoed with treasure, horses and war-gear.
mearum 7 maðmum.
Mæst hlifade
The curved prow motioned;  the mast stood high
ofer Hroðgares
Above Hrothgar’s riches in the loaded hold.
He þæm batwearde
bunden golde
The guard who had watched the boat was given
swurd gesealde,
þæt he syðþan wæs
A sword with gold fittings and in future days
1905 on meodubence
maþma þy weorþre,
That present would make him a respected man
Gewat him on nacan
At his place on the mead-bench.
Then the keel plunged
drefan deop wæter.
Dena land ofgeaf.
And shook in the sea;
and they sailed from Denmark.
Þa wæs be mæste
merehrægla sum,
Right away the mast was rigged with its sea-shawl;
segl sale fæst.
Sundwudu þunede.
Sail ropes were tightened, timbers drummed
1910 No þær wegflotan
wind ofer yðum
And stiff winds kept the wave-crosser
siðes getwæfde.
Sægenga for,
Skimming ahead;  as she heaved forward,
fleat famigheals
forð ofer yðe,
Her foamy neck was fleet and buoyant,
ofer brimstreamas,
A lapped prow loping over currents,
þæt hie Geata clifu
ongitan meahton,
Until finally the Geats caught sight of coastline
1915 cuþe næssas.
Ceol up geþrang
And familiar cliffs.  The keel reared up,
On lande stod.
Wind lifted it home, it hit on the land.
172r Hraþe wæs æt | holme
hyðweard geara,
The harbor guard came hurrying out
To the rolling water:
se þe ær lange tid
leofra manna
Long and hard, on the lookout for those friends,
fus æt faroðe
feor wlatode.
By the water he had waited and watched afar.
1920 Sælde to sande
sidfæþme scip
With the anchor cables, he moored their craft
oncearbendum fæst,
þy læs hym yþa ðrym
Right where it had beached, in case a backwash
wudu wynsuman
forwrecan meahte.
Might catch the hull and carry it away.
Het þa up beran
æþelinga gestreon,
Then he ordered the prince’s treasure-trove
frætwe 7 fætgold.
Næs him feor þanon
To be carried ashore.  It was a short step
1925 to gesecanne
sinces bryttan,
From there to where Hrethel’s son and heir,
Higelac Hreþling,
þær æt ham wunað
Hygelac the gold-giver, makes his home
selfa mid gesiðum
sæwealle neah.
On a secure cliff, in the company of retainers.
Bold wæs betlic,
bregorof cyning,
The building was magnificent, the king majestic,
heahealle in.
Hygd swiðe geong,
Ensconced in his hall;  and although Hygd, his queen,
1930 wis welþungen,
þeah ðe wintra lyt
Was young, a few short years at court,
under burhlocan
gebiden hæbbe,
Her mind was thoughtful and her manners sure.
Hæreþes dohtor.
Næs hio hnah swa þeah,
Haereth’s daughter behaved generously
ne to gneað gifa
Geata leodum,
And stinted nothing when she distributed
Mod Þryðo wæg,
Bounty to the Geats.
Great Queen Modthryth
1935 fremu folces cwen,
firen ondrysne.
Perpetrated terrible wrongs.
Nænig þæt dorste
deor geneþan,
If any retainer ever made bold
swæsra gesiða,
nefne sinfrea,
To look her in the face, if an eye not her lord’s
þæt hire an dæges
eagum starede.
Stared at her directly during daylight,
172v Ac him wælbende
| weotode tealde
The outcome was sealed:  he was bound
1940 handgewriþene;
hraþe seoþðan wæs,
In hand-tightened shackles, racked, tortured
æfter mundgripe
mece geþinged,
Until doom was announced — death by the sword,
þæt hit sceadenmæl
scyran moste,
Slash of blade, blood gush and death qualms
cwealmbealu cyðan.
Ne bið swylc cwenlic þeaw
In an evil display.  Even a queen
idese to efnanne,
þeah ðe hio ænlicu sy,
Outstanding in beauty must not overstep like that.
1945 þætte freoðuwebbe
feores onsæce
A queen should weave peace, not punish the innocent
æfter ligetorne
leofne mannan.
With loss of life for imagined insults.
Huru þæt on hoh snod
Hemninges mæg.
But Hemming’s kinsman put a halt to her ways
oðer sædan,
And drinkers round the table had another tale:
þæt hio leodbealewa
læs gefremede,
She was less of a bane to people’s lives,
1950 inwitniða,
syððan ærest wearð
Less cruel-minded, after she was married
gyfen goldhroden
geongum cempan,
To the brave Offa, a bride arrayed
æðelum diore,
syððan hio Offan flet
In her gold finery, given away
ofer fealone flod
be fæder lare
By a caring father, ferried to her young prince
siðe gesohte.
Đær hio syððan well
Over dim seas.  In days to come
1955 in gumstole,
gode mære,
She would grace the throne and grow famous
lifigende breac,
For her good deeds and conduct of life,
hiold heahlufan
wið hæleþa brego,
Her high devotion to the hero king
ealles moncynnes
mine gefræge
Who was the best king, it has been said,
þæs selestan
bi sæm tweonum,
Between the two seas or anywhere else
173r eormencynnes.
Forðam Offa | wæs
On the face of the earth.  Offa was honored
geofum 7 guðum,
garcene man,
Far and wide for his generous ways,
wide geweorðod.
Wisdome heold
His fighting spirit and his far-seeing
eðel sinne.
Þonon geomor woc
Defense of his homeland; from him there sprang Eomer,
hæleðum to helpe,
Heminges mæg,
Garmund’s grandson, kinsman of Hemming,
1965 nefa Garmundes,
niða cræftig.
His warrior’s mainstay and master of the field.
{ 29 }
GEwat him ða se hearda
mid his hondscole
Heroic Beowulf and his band of men
sylf æfter sande
sæwong tredan,
Crossed the wide strand, striding along
wide waroðas.
Woruldcandel scan,
The sandy foreshore;  the sun shone,
sigel suðan fus.
Hi sið drugon,
The world’s candle warmed them from the south
1970 elne geeodon,
to ðæs ðe eorla hleo,
As they hastened to where, as they had heard,
bonan Ongenþeoes
burgum in innan,
The young king, Ongentheow’s killer
geongne guðcyning
godne gefrunon
And his people’s protector, was dispensing rings
hringas dælan.
Higelace wæs
Inside his building.  Beowulf’s return
sið Beowulfes
snude gecyðed,
Was reported to Hygelac as soon as possible,
1975 þæt ðær on worðig
wigendra hleo,
News that the captain was now in the enclosure,
lifigende cwom,
His battle-brother back from the fray
heaðolaces hal
to hofe gongan.
Alive and well, walking back to the hall.
Hraðe wæs gerymed,
swa se rica bebead,
Room was quickly made, on the king’s orders,
flet innanweard.
And the troops filed across the cleared floor.
1980 Gesæt þa wið sylfne,
se ða sæcce genæs,
After Hygelac had offered greetings
173v mæg wið mæge,
| syððan mandryhten
To his loyal thane in lofty speech,
þurh hleoðorcwyde
holdne gegrette,
He and his kinsman, that hale survivor,
meaglum wordum.
Meoduscencum hwearf
Sat face to face.  Haereth’s daughter
geond þæt herereced
Hæreðes dohtor,
Moved about with the mead-jug in her hand,
1985 lufode ða leode,
liðwæge bær
Taking care of the company, filling the cups
hænum to handa.
Higelac ongan
That warriors held out.  Then Hygelac began
sinne geseldan
in sele þam hean
To put courteous questions to his old comrade
fægre fricgcean,
hyne fyrwet bræc,
In the high hall.  He hankered to know
hwylce Sæ-Geata
siðas wæron.
Every tale the Sea-Geats had to tell.
1990 “Hu lomp eow on lade,
leofa Biowulf,
“How did you fare on your foreign voyage,
þa ðu færinga
feorr gehogodest
Dear Beowulf, when you abruptly decided
sæcce secean
ofer sealt wæter,
To sail away across the salt water
hilde to Hiorote?
Ac ðu Hroðgare
And fight at Heorot?  Did you help Hrothgar
widcuðne wean
wihte gebettest,
Much in the end?  Could you ease the prince
1995 mærum ðeodne?
Ic ðæs modceare
Of his well-known troubles?  Your undertaking
sorhwylmum seað,
siðe ne truwode
Cast my spirits down, I dreaded the outcome
leofes mannes.
Ic ðe lange bæd,
Of your expedition and pleaded with you
þæt ðu þone wælgæst
wihte ne grette,
Long and hard to leave the killer be,
lete Suð-Dene
sylfe geweorðan
Let the South-Danes settle their own
2000 guðe wið Grendel.
Gode ic þanc secge,
Blood-feud with Grendel.  So God be thanked
þæs ðe ic ðe gesundne
geseon moste.
I am granted this sight of you, safe and sound.”
Biowulf maðelode,
bearn Ecgðioes:
Beowulf, son of Ecgtheow, spoke:
174r | “Þæt is undyrne,
dryhten Higelac,
“What happened, lord Hygelac, is hardly a secret
micel gemeting
monegum fira,
Any more among men in this world —
2005 hwylc earfoðhwil
uncer Grendles
Myself and Grendel coming to grips
wearð on ðam wange
þær he worna fela
On the very spot where he visited destruction
sorge gefremede,
On the Victory-Shieldings and violated
yrmðe to aldre.
Ic ðæt eall gewræc,
Life and limb, losses I avenged
swa læs gylpan þearf
Grendeles maga
So no earthly offspring of Grendel’s
2010 yfel ofer eorðan
uhthlem þone,
Need ever boast of that bout before dawn,
se ðe lengest leofað
laðan cynnes,
No matter know long the last of his evil
fyrene bifongen.
Ic ðær furðum cwom
Family survives.
When I first landed
to ðam hringsele
Hroðgar gretan.
I hastened to the ring-hall and saluted Hrothgar.
Sona me se mæra
mago Healfdenes,
Once he had discovered why I had come
2015 syððan he modsefan
minne cuðe,
The son of Halfdane sent me immediately
wið his sylfes sunu
setl getæhte.
To sit with his own sons on the bench.
Weorod wæs on wynne.
Ne seah ic widan feorh
It was a happy gathering.  In my whole life
under heofones hwealf
I have never seen mead enjoyed more
medudream maran.
Hwilum mæru cwen,
In any hall on earth.  Sometimes the queen
2020 friðusibb folca,
flet eall geondhwearf,
Herself appeared, peace-pledge between nations,
bædde byre geonge.
Oft hio beahwriðan
To hearten the young ones and hand out
174v secge | sealde,
ær hie to setle geong.
A torque to a warrior, then take her place.
Hwilum for duguðe
dohtor Hroðgares
Sometimes Hrothgar’s daughter distributed
eorlum on ende
ealuwæge bær.
Ale to older ranks, in order on the benches:
2025 Þa ic Freaware
I heard the company call her Freawaru
nemnan hyrde,
þær hio nægled sinc
As she made her rounds, presenting men
hæleðum sealde.
Sio gehaten is,
With the gem-studded bowl, young bride-to-be
geong goldhroden,
gladum suna Frodan.
To the gracious Ingeld, in her gold-rimmed attire.
Hafað þæs geworden
wine Scyldinga,
The friend of the Shieldings favors her betrothal:
2030 rices hyrde,
7 þæt ræd talað,
The guardian of the kingdom sees good in it
þæt he mid ðy wife
wælfæhða dæl
And hoped this woman will heal old wounds
sæcca gesette.
Oft seldan hwær
And grievous feuds.
But generally the spear
æfter leodhryre
lytle hwile
Is prompt to retaliate when a prince is killed,
bongar bugeð,
þeah seo bryd duge.
No matter how admirable the bride may be.
2035 Mæg þæs þonne ofþyncan
ðeodne Heaðo-Beardna
“Think how the Heathobards will be bound to feel,
7 þegna gehwam
þara leoda,
Their lord, Ingeld, and his loyal thanes,
þonne he mid fæmnan
on flett gæð:
When he walks in with that woman to the feast:
dryhtbearn Dena
duguða, biwenede,
Danes are at the table, being entertained,
on him gladiað
gomelra lafe,
Honored guest in glittering regalia,
2040 heard 7 hringmæl
Heaða-Bearna gestreon,
Burnished ring-mail that was their hosts’ birthright,
þenden hie ðam wæpnum
wealdan moston.
Looted when the Heathobards could no longer wield
{ 30 }
Oð ðæt hie forlæddan
to ðam lindplegan
Their weapons in the shield-clash, when they went down
swæse gesiðas
ond hyra sylfra feorh.
With their beloved comrades and forfeited their lives.
175r Þonne cwið æt beore,
se ðe beah | gesyhð,
Then an old spearman will speak while they are drinking,
2045 eald æscwiga,
se ðe eall geman
Having glimpsed some heirloom that brings alive
garcwealm gumena.
Him bið grim sefa,
Memories of the massacre;  his mood will darken
onginneð geomormod
geongan cempan
And heart-stricken, in the stress of his emotion,
þurh hreðra gehygd
higes cunnian,
He will begin to test a young-man’s temper
wigbealu weccean,
7 þæt word acwyð:
And stir up trouble, starting like this:
2050 “Meaht ðu, min wine,
mece gecnawan,
“Now, my friend, don’t you recognize
þone þin fæder
to gefeohte bær,
Your father’s sword, his favorite weapon,
under heregriman
hindeman siðe,
Then one he wore when he went out in his war-mask
dyre iren.
Þær hyne Dene slogon,
To face the Danes on that final day?
weoldon wælstowe,
syððan wiðergyld læg,
After Wethergeld died and his men were doomed
2055 æfter hæleþa hryre,
hwate Scyldungas.
The Shieldings quickly took the field,
Nu her þara banena
byre nathwylces,
And now here’s the son of one or other
frætwum hremig,
on flet gæð,
Of those same killers coming through our hall
morðres gylpeð,
7 þone maðþum byreð
Overbearing us, mouthing boasts,
þone þe ðu mid rihte
rædan sceoldest.”
And rigged in armor that by right is yours.”
2060 Manað swa 7 myndgað
mæla gehwylce
And so he keeps on, recalling and accusing,
sarum wordum,
oð ðæt sæl cymeð
Working things up with bitter words
þæt se fæmnan þegn
fore fæder dædum
Until one of the lady’s retainers lies
æfter billes bite
blodfag swefeð,
Spattered in blood, split open
ealdres scyldig.
Him se oðer þonan
On his father’s account.  The killer knows
175v losað |lifigende,
con him land geare.
The lie of the land and escaped with his life.
Þonne bioð brocene
on ba healfe
Then on both sides the oath-bound lords
aðsweord eorla.
Syððan Ingelde
Will break the peace, a passionate hate
weallað wælniðas
7 him wiflufan
Will build up in Ingeld and love for his bride
æfter cearwælmum
colran weorðað.
Will falter in him as the feud rankles.
2070 Þy ic Heaðo-Bearna
hyldo ne telge,
I therefore suspect the good faith of the Heathobards,
dryhtsibbe dæl
Denum unfæcne,
The truth of their friendship and the trustworthiness
freondscipe fæstne.
Ic sceal forð sprecan
Of their alliance with the Danes.
But now, my lord,
gen ymbe Grendel,
þæt ðu geare cunne,
I shall carry on with my account of Grendel,
sinces brytta,
to hwan syððan wearð
The whole story of everything that happened
2075 hondræs hæleða.
Syððan heofones gim
In the hand-to-hand fight.
After heaven’s gem
glad ofer grundas,
gæst yrre cwom,
Had gone mildly to earth, that maddened spirit,
eatol æfengrom
user neosan,
The terror of those twilights, came to attack us
ðær we gesunde
sæl weardodon.
Where we stood guard, still safe inside the hall.
Þær wæs Hondscio
hilde onsæge
There deadly violence came down on Handscio
2080 feorhbealu fægum
He fyrmest læg,
And he fell as fate ordained, the first to perish,
gyrded cempa.
Him Grendel wearð,
Rigged out for the combat.  A comrade from our ranks
mærum maguþegne,
to muðbonan;
Had come to grief in Grendel’s maw:
leofes mannes
lic eall forswealg.
He ate up the entire body.
No ðy ær ut ða gen
There was blood on his teeth, he was bloated and furious,
2085 bona blodigtoð,
bealewa gemyndig,
All roused up, yet still unready
of ðam goldsele
gongan wolde.
To leave the hall empty-handed;
Ac he mægnes rof
min costode,
Renowned for his might, he matched himself against me,
176r | grapode geareofolm.
Glof hangode
Wildly reaching.  He had this roomy pouch,
sid 7 syllic,
searobendum fæst.
A strange accoutrement, intricately strung
2090 Sio wæs orðoncum
eall gegyrwed
And hung at the ready, a rare patchwork
deofles cræftum
7 dracan fellum.
Of devilishly fitting dragon-skins.
He mec þær on innan
I had done him no wrong, yet the raging demon
dior dædfruma
gedon wolde
Wanted to cram me and many another
manigra sumne.
Hyt ne mihte swa,
Into this bag — but it was not to be
2095 syððan ic on yrre
upprihte astod.
Once I got to my feet in a blind fury.
To lang ys to reccenne
hu ic ðam leodsceaðan
It would take too long to tell how I repaid
yfla gehwylces
hondlean forgeald.
The terror of the land for every life he took
Þær ic, þeoden min,
þine leode
And so won credit for you, my king,
weorðode weorcum.
He on weg losade
And for all your people.  And although he got away
2100 lytle hwile,
lifwynna breac.
To enjoy life’s sweetness for a while longer,
Hwæþre him sio swiðre
swaðe weardade
His right hand stayed behind him in Heorot,
hand on Hiorte,
7 he hean ðonan,
Evidence of his miserable overthrow
modes geomor,
meregrund gefeoll.
As he dived into murk on the mere bottom.
Me þone wælræs
wine Scildunga
“I got lavish rewards from the lord of the Danes
2105 fættan golde
fela leanode,
For my part in the battle, beaten gold
manegum maðmum,
syððan mergen com,
And much else, once morning came
7 we to symble
geseten hæfdon.
And we took our places at the banquet table.
176v Þær wæs gidd 7 gleo.
Gomela| Scilding
There was singing and excitement:  an old reciter,
feorran rehte.
A carrier of stories, recalled the early days.
2110 Hwilum hildedeor
hearpan wynne
At times some hero made the timbered harp
gomelwudu grette;
hwilum gyd awræc,
Tremble with sweetness, or related true
soð 7 sarlic;
hwilum syllic spell.
And tragic happenings;  at times the king
Rehte æfter rihte
rumheort cyning.
Gave the proper turn to some fantastic tale,
Hwilum eft ongan,
eldo gebunden,
Or a battle-scarred veteran, bowed with age,
2115 gomel guðwiga,
gioguðe cwiðan,
Would begin to remember the martial deeds
Hreðer inne weoll,
Of his youth and prime and be overcome
þonne he, wintrum frod,
worn gemunde.
As the past welled up in his wintry heart.
Swa we þær inne
andlangne dæg
“We were happy there the whole day long
niode naman,
oð ðæt niht becwom,
And enjoyed our time until another night
2120 oðer to yldum.
Þa wæs eft hraðe
Descended upon us. Then suddenly
gearo gyrnwræce
Grendeles modor.
The vehement mother avenged her son
Siðode sorhfull;
sunu deað fornam,
And wrought destruction.“ Death had robbed her;
wighete Wedra.
Wif unhyre
Geats had slain Grendel, so his ghastly dam
hyre bearn gewræc,
beorn acwealde
Struck back and with bare-faced defiance
2125 ellenlice.
Þær wæs Æschere,
Laid a man low.  Thus life departed
frodan fyrnwitan
feorh uðgenge.
From the sage Aeschere, an elder wise in council.
Noðer hy hine ne moston,
syððan mergen cwom,
But afterwards, on the morning following,
Denia leode
The Danes could not burn the dead body
bronde forbærnan,
ne on bel hladan
Nor lay the remains of the man they loved
177r leofne mannan.
|Hio þæt lic ætbær
On his funeral pyre.  She had fled with the corpse
feondes fæðme
under firgenstream.
And taken refuge beneath torrents on the mountain.
þæt wæs Hroðgare
hreowa tornost
It was a hard blow for Hrothgar to bear,
þara þe leodfruman
lange begeate.
Harder than any he had undergone before.
Þa se ðeoden mec
ðine life
And so the heartsore king besought me
2135 healsode hreohmod,
þæt ic on holma geþring
In your royal name to take my chances
eorlscipe efnde,
ealdre geneðde,
Underwater, to win glory
mærðo fremede.
He me mede gehet.
And prove my worth.  He promised me rewards.
Ic ða ðæs wælmes,
þe is wide cuð,
Hence, as is well known, I went to my encounter
grimme gryrelicne
grundhyrde fond.
With the terror-monger at the bottom of the lake.
2140 Þær unc hwile wæs
hand gemæne.
For a while it was hand-to-hand between us,
Holm heolfre weoll,
7 ic heafde becearf
Then blood went curdling along the currents
in ðam grundsele
Grendeles modor
And I beheaded Grendel’s mother in the hall
eacnum ecgum.
Unsofte þonan
With a mighty sword.  I barely managed
feorh oðferede.
Næs ic fæge þa gyt.
To escape with my life;  my time had not yet come.
2145 Ac me eorla hleo
eft gesealde
But Halfdane’s heir, the shelter of those earls,
maðma menigeo,
maga Healfdenes.”
Again endowed me with gifts in abundance.
{ 31 }
“Swa se ðeodkyning
þeawum lyfde.
“Thus the king acted with due custom.
Nealles ic ðam leanum
forloren hæfde,
I was paid and recompensed completely,
177v mægnes mede,
ac he me |maðmas geaf,
Given full measure and the freedom to choose
2150 sunu Healfdenes,
on minne sylfes dom.
From Hrothgar’s treasures by Hrothgar himself.
Đa ic ðe, beorncyning,
bringan wylle,
These, King Hygelac, I am happy to present
estum geywan.
Gen is eall æt ðe
To you as gifts.  It is still upon your grace
lissa gelong.
Ic lyt hafo
That all favor depends.  I have few kinsman
nefne, Hygelac, ðec.”
Who are close, my king, except for your kind self.”
2155 Het ða in beran
eafor heafodsegn,
Then he ordered the boar-framed standard to be brought,
heaðosteapne helm,
hare byrnan,
The battle-topping helmet, the mail-shirt gray as hoar-frost
guðsweord geatolic.
Gyd æfter wræc.
And the precious war-sword;  and proceeded with his speech.
“Me ðis hildesceorp
Hroðgar sealde,
“When Hrothgar presented this war-gear to me
snotra fengel.
Sume worde het,
He instructed, my lord, to give you some account
2160 þæt ic his ærest ðe
est gesægde;
Of why it signifies his special favor.
cwæð þæt hyt hæfde
Hiorogar cyning,
He said it had belonged to his older brother,
leod Scyldunga
lange hwile.
King Heorogar, who had long kept it,
No ðy ær suna sinum
syllan wolde,
But that Heorogar had never bequeathed it
hwatum Heorowearde,
þeah he him hold wære,
To his son Heoroweard, that worthy scion,
2165 breostgewædu.
Bruc ealles well.”
Loyal as he was.
Enjoy it well.”
Hyrde ic þæt þam frætwum
feower mearas
I heard four horses were handed over next.
lungre gelice
last weardode,
Beowulf bestowed four bay steeds
He him est geteah
To go with the armor, swift gallopers,
178r meara 7 maðma.
Swa sceal | mæg don,
All alike.  So ought a kinsman act,
2170 nealles inwitnet
oðrum bregdon,
Instead of plotting and planning in secret
dyrnum cræfte
deað renian
To bring people to grief, or conspiring to arrange
Hygelace wæs
The death of comrades.  The warrior king
niða heardum
nefa swyðe hold,
Was uncle to Beowulf and honored by his nephew:
7 gehwæðer oðrum
hroþra gemyndig.
Each was concerned for the other’s good.
2175 Hyrde ic þæt he ðone healsbeah
Hygde gesealde,
I heard he presented Hygd with a gorget,
wrætlicne wundurmaððum
ðone þe him Wealhðeo geaf,
The priceless torque that the prince’s daughter,
ðeodnes dohtor,
þrio wicg somod
Wealhtheow, had given him; and three horses,
swancor 7 sadolbeorht.
Hyre syððan wæs
Supple creatures, brilliantly saddled.
æfter beahðege
brost geweorðod.
The bright necklace would be luminous on Hygd’s breast.
2180 Swa bealdode,
bearn Ecgðeowes,
Thus Beowulf bore himself with valor;
guma guðum cuð,
godum dædum.
He was formidable in battle yet behaved with honor
Dreah æfter dome,
nealles druncne slog
And took no advantage:  never cut down
Næs him hreoh sefa,
A comrade who was drunk, kept his temper
ac he mancynnes,
mæste cræfte,
And, warrior that he was, watched and controlled
2185 ginfæstan gife,
þe him God sealde,
His God-sent strength and his outstanding
heold hildedeor.
Hean wæs lange
Natural powers.  He had been poorly regarded
swa hyne Geata bearn
godne ne tealdon,
For a long time, was taken by the Geats
ne hyne on medobence
micles wyrðne
For less than he was worth:  and their lord too
178v | drihten wereda
gedon wolde.
Had never much esteemed him in the mead-hall.
2190 Swyðe sægdon,
þæt he sleac wære,
They firmly believed that he lacked force,
æðeling unfrom.
Edwenden cwom
That the prince was a weakling;  but presently
tireadigum menn
torna gehwylces.
Every affront to his deserving was reversed.
Het ða eorla hleo
in gefetian,
The battle-famed king, bulwark of his earls,
heaðorof cyning,
Hreðles lafe,
Ordered a gold-chased heirloom of Hrethel’s
2195 golde gegyrede.
Næs mid Geatum ða
To be brought in;  it was the best example
sincmaðþum selra
on sweordes had.
Of a gem-studded sword in the Geat treasury.
Þæt he on Biowulfes
bearm alegde,
This he laid on Beowulf’s lap
7 him gesealde
seofan þusendo,
And then rewarded him with land as well,
bold 7 bregostol.
Him wæs bam samod
Seven thousand hides, and a hall and a throne.
2200 on ðam leodscipe
lond gecynde,
Both owned land by birth in that country,
eard eðelriht,
oðrum swiðor
Ancestral ground;  but the greater right
side rice,
þam ðær selra wæs.
And sway were inherited by the higher born.
Eft þæt geiode
ufaran dogrum
A lot was to happen in later days
syððan Hygelac læg,
In the fury of battle.  Hygelac fell
2205 7 Hearede
And the shelter of Heardred’s shield proved useless
under bordhreoðan
to bonan wurdon,
Against the fierce aggression of the Shylfings:
ða hyne gesohtan
on sigeþeode,
Ruthless swordsmen, seasoned campaigners,
hearde hildefrecan,
They came against him and his conquering nation,
niða genægdan
nefan Hererices,
And with cruel force cut him down
179r þæt syððan | Beowulfe
brade rice
So that afterwards
The wide kingdom
on hand gehwearf.
He geheold tela
Reverted to Beowulf.  He ruled it well
fiftig wintra,
wæs ða frod cyning,
For fifty winters, grew old and wise
eald eþelweard,
oð ðæt on ongan
As warden of the land
Until one began
deorcum nihtum
draca ricsian,
To dominate the dark, a dragon on the prowl
2215 se ðe on heaðohlæwe
hord beweotode,
From the steep vaults of a stone-roofed barrow
stanbeorh stearcne.
Stig under læg
Where he guarded a hoard;  there was a hidden passage,
eldum uncuð.
Þær on innan giong
Unknown to men, but someone managed
niða nathwylc,
nyddæl gefeng
To enter by it and interfere
hæðnum horde,
hondgewriþen dæl,
With the heathen trove.  He had handled and removed
2220 since fahne. He þæt syððan begetA gem-studded goblet;  it gained him nothing,
þeah ðe he slæpende. besyred hæfdeThough with a thief’s wiles he had outwitted
þeofes cræfte,
þæt sie ðiod onfand,
The sleeping dragon;  that drove him into rage,
bufolc beornes,
þæt he gebolgen wæs.
As the people of that country would soon discover.
{ 32 }
Nealles wæs geweoldum
wyrmhorda cræft,
The intruder who broached the dragon’s treasure
2225 sylfes willum,
se ðe him sare gesceod,
And moved him to wrath had never meant to.
ac for þreanedlan
þeof nathwylces
But out of great distress some thief,
hæleða bearna
heteswengeas fleoh;
Was fleeing the hateful blows of sons of heroes;
ðær wæs þearfa,
7 ðær inne weall,
There was desperation there, and inside the cave
secg synbysig,
sona onwacede,
The sin-troubled man immediately weakened
2230 þæt gean ðam gyste
gryrebroga stod.
As fearsome terror came upon the guest.
179v Hwæðre fyrensceapen|
[atolan wyrme
However the fugitive
wræcmon ætwand —
him wæs wroht
sceapen —
Escaped the horrid reptile  (an accusation had been made against him),
fus on feðe
þa hyne]
se fær begeat.
Being fleet of gait when danger confronted him.
Note:  Verse 2231 (MS 179v) in chapter 32 is Klaeber’s (p. 208)
hypothetical restoration of the missing words at the beginning of BL 182v.
Sincfæt sohte
þær wæs swylcra fela
He made for the treasure-chalice.  At that, there was so much
in ðam eorðsele
Ancient treasure in the earth-hall
swa hy on geardagum
gumena nathwylc,
Such as in former days some one of men,
2235 eormenlafe
æþelan cynnes,
The great remnants of a noble race,
þær gehydde,
Being thoughtful, had there hidden
deore maðmas.
Ealle hie deað fornam
Precious jewels.  Death had taken them all
ærran mælum,
7 si an ða gen
In times gone by.  And the only one still left,
leoda duguðe,
se ðær lengest hwearf,
Of the flower of the people, who there longest went about,
2240 weard winegeomor,
wende þæs yldan,
The watchman mourning his friends, could look forward to nothing
þæt he lytel fæc
But the same fate for himself:  he foresaw that his joy
brucan moste.
Beorh eallgearo
In the treasure would be brief.
A newly constructed
wunode on wonge
wæteryðum neah,
Barrow stood waiting, on a wide headland
niwe be næsse,
nearocræftum fæst.
Close to the waves, its entryway secured.
2245 Þær on innan bær
Into it the keeper of the hoard had carried
hringa hyrde
handwyrðne dæl,
All the goods and golden ware
fættan goldes.
Fea worda cwæð:
Worth preserving.  His words were few:
“Heald þu nu, hruse,
nu hæleð ne mostan,
“Now, earth, hold what earls once held
eorla æhta.
Hwæt, hyt ær on ðe
And heroes can no more;  it was mined from you first
2250 gode begeaton.
Guðdeað fornam,
By honorable men.  My own people
feorhbeale frecne,
fyrena gehwylcne,
Have been ruined in war;  one by one
leoda minra,
þa meðe þis ofgeaf.
They went down to death, looked their last
180r Gesawon seledreamas.
| Nah, hwa sweord wege
On sweet life in the hall.  I am left with nobody
oððe forð sele
fæted wæge,
To bear a sword or burnish plated goblets,
2255 dryncfæt deore.
Duguð ellor seoc.
Put a sheen on the cup.  The companies have departed.
Sceal se hearda helm
The hard helmet, hasped with gold,
fætum befeallen.
Feormynd swefað,
Will be stripped of its hoops;  and the helmet-shiner
þa ðe beadogriman
bywan sceoldon.
Who should polish the metal of the war-mask sleeps;
Ge swylce seo herepad,
sio æt hilde gebad
The coat of mail that came through all fights,
2260 ofer borda gebræc
bite irena,
Through shield-collapse and cut of sword,
brosnað æfter beorne.
Ne mæg byrnan hring
Decays with the warrior.  Now may webbed mail
æfter wigfruman
wide feran,
Range far and wide on a warlord’s back
hæleðum be healfe.
Næs hearpan wyn,
Beside his mustered troops.  No trembling harp,
gomen gleobeames,
ne god hafoc
No tuned timber, no tumbling hawk
2265 geond sæl swingeð,
ne se swifta mearh
Swerving through the hall, no swift horse
burhstede beateð.
Bealocwealm hafað
Pawing the courtyard.  pillage and slaughter
fela feorhcynna
forð onsended.”
Have emptied the earth of entire peoples.”
Swa giomormod
giohðo mænde
And so he mourned as he moved about the world,
an æfter eallum,
unbliðe hwearf
Deserted and alone, lamenting his unhappiness
2270 dæges 7 nihtes,
oð ðæt deaðes wylm
Day and night, until death’s flood
hran æt heortan.
Hordwynne fond,
Brimmed up in his heart.
Then an old harrower of the dark
eald uhtsceaða,
opene standan,
Happened to find the hoard open,
se ðe, byrnende,
biorgas seceð.
The burning one who hunts out barrows,
Nacod niðdraca
nihtes fleogeð,
The slick-skinned dragon, threatening the night sky
2275 fyre befangen.
Hyne foldbuend,
With streamers of fire.  People on the farms
180v | swiðe drædað.
He gesecean sceall
Are in dread of him.  He is driven to hunt out
hearm on hrusan,
þær he hæðen gold
Hoards under ground, to guard heathen gold
warað wintrum frod.
Ne byð him wihte ðy sel.
Through age-long vigils, though to little avail.
Swa se ðeodsceaða
þreo hund wintra
For three centuries, this scourge of the people
2280 heold on hrusan
hordærna sum,
Had stood guard on that stoutly protected
oð ðæt hyne an abealch,
Underground treasury, until the intruder
mon on mode.
Mandryhtne bær
Unleashed its fury;  he hurried to his lord
fæted wæge,
frioðowære bæd
With the gold-plated cup and made his plea
hlaford sinne.
Đa wæs hord rasod,
To be reinstated.  Then the vault was rifled,
2285 onboren beaga hord.
Bene getiðad
The ring-hoard robbed, and the wretched man
feasceaftum men.
Frea sceawode
Had his request granted. His master gazed
fira fyrngeweorc.
forman siðe.
On that find from the past for the first time.
Þa se wyrm onwoc,
wroht wæs geniwad.
When the dragon awoke, trouble flared again.
Stonc ða æfter stane,
stearcheort onfand
He rippled down the rock, writhing with anger
2290 feondes fotlast.
He to forð gestop
When he saw the footprints of the prowler who had stolen
dyrnan cræfte
dracan heafde neah.
Too close to his dreaming head.
Swa mæg unfæge
eaðe gedigan
So may a man not marked by fate
wean 7 wræcsið
se ðe Waldendes
Easily escape exile and woe
hyldo gehealdeþ.
Hordweard sohte
By the grace of God.
The hoard-guardian
2295 georne æfter grunde,
wolde guman findan,
Scorched the ground as he scoured and hunted
þone þe him on sweofote
sare geteode.
For the trespasser who had troubled his sleep.
181r Hat 7 hreohmod,
| hlæw oft ymbehwearf
Hot and savage, he kept circling and circling
ealne utanweardne.
Ne ðær ænig mon
The outside of the mound.  No man appeared
on þam westenne,
hwæðre hilde gefeh,
In that desert waste, but he worked himself up
2300 beaduweorces.
Hwilum on beorh æthwearf,
By imagining battle; then back in he’d go
sincfæt sohte.
He þæt sona onfand,
In search of the cup, only to discover
ðæt hæfde gumena sum
goldes gefandod,
Signs that someone had stumbled upon
Hordweard onbad
The golden treasures.  The guardian of the mound,
oð ðæt æfen cwom.
The hoard-watcher, waited for the gloaming
2305 Wæs ða gebolgen
beorges hyrde,
With fierce impatience;  his pent-up fury
wolde se laða
lige forgyldan
At the loss of the vessel made him long to hit back
drincfæt dyre.
Þa wæs dæg sceacen
And lash out in flames.  Then, to his delight,
wyrme on willan.
No on wealle læg,
The day waned and he could wait no longer
bidan wolde,
ac mid bæle for,
Behind the wall, but hurtled forth
2310 fyre gefysed.
Wæs se fruma egeslic
In a fiery blaze.  The first to suffer
leodum on lande,
swa hyt lungre wearð
Were the people on the land, but before long
on hyra sincgifan
sare geendod.
It was their treasure-giver who would come to grief.
{ 33 }
ĐA se gæst ongan
gledum spiwan,
The dragon began to belch out flames
beorht hofu bærnan.
Bryneleoma stod
And burn bright homesteads;  there was a hot glow
2315 eldum on andan.
No ðær aht cwices
That scared everyone, for the vile sky-winger
181v lað lyftfloga
læfan |wolde.
Would leave nothing alive in his wake.
Wæs þæs wyrmes wig
wide gesyne,
Everywhere the havoc he wrought was in evidence.
nearofages nið
nean 7 feorran,
Far and near, the Geat nation
hu se guðsceaða
Geata leode
Bore the brunt of his brutal assaults
2320 hatode 7 hynde.
Hord eft gesceat,
And virulent hate.  Then back to the hoard
dryhtsele dyrnne
ær dæges hwile.
He would dart before daybreak, to hide in his den.
Hæfde landwara
lige befangen,
He had swinged the land, swathed it in flame,
bæle 7 bronde.
Beorges getruwode,
In fire and burning, and now he felt secure
wiges 7 wealles.
Him seo wen geleah.
In the vaults of his burrow;  but his trust was unavailing.
2325 Þa wæs Biowulfe
broga gecyðed
Then Beowulf was given bad news,
snude to soðe,
þæt his sylfes ham,
A hard truth:  his own home,
bolda selest,
brynewylmum mealt,
The best of buildings, had been burnt to a cinder,
gifstol Geata.
Þæt ðam godan wæs
The throne-room of the Geats.  It threw the hero
hreow on hreðre,
hygesorga mæst.
Into deep anguish and darkened his mood:
2330 Wende se wisa
þæt he Wealdende
The wise man thought he must have thwarted
ofer ealde riht
ecean Dryhtne
Ancient ordinance of the eternal Lord,
bitre gebulge.
Breost innan weoll
Broken His commandment.  His mind was in turmoil,
þeostrum geþoncum,
swa him geþywe ne wæs.
Unaccustomed anxiety and gloom
Hæfde ligdraca
leoda fæsten,
Confused his brain;  the fire-dragon
2335 ealond utan,
eorðweard ðone
Had razed the coastal region and reduced
gledum forgrunden.
Him ðæs guðkyning,
Forts and earthworks to dust and ashes,
Wedera þioden,
wræce leornode.
So the war-king planned and plotted his revenge.
Heht him þa gewyrcean,
wigendra hleo,
The warriors’ protector, prince of the hall-troop,
eorla dryhten,
Ordered a marvelous all-iron shield
182r wigbord wrætlic.
| Wisse he gearwe
From his smithy works.  He well knew
þæt him holtwudu
helpan ne meahte,
That linden boards would let him down
lind wið lige.
Sceolde liþenddaga,
And timber burn.  After many trials,
æþeling ærgod,
ende gebidan
He was destined to face the end of his days
worulde lifes,
7 se wyrm somod,
In this mortal world;  as was the dragon,
2345 þeah ðe hordwelan
heolde lange.
For all his leasehold on the treasure.
Oferhogode ða
hringa fengel
Yet the prince of the rings was too proud
þæt he þone widflogan
weorode gesohte
To line up with a large army
sidan herge.
No he him þam sæcce ondred,
Against the sky-plague.  He had scant regard
ne him þæs wyrmes wig
for wiht dyde,
For the dragon as a threat, no dread at all
2350 eafoð 7 ellen,
forðon he ær fela
Of its courage or strength, for he had kept going
nearo neðende
niða gedigde,
Often in the past, through perils and ordeals
syððan he Hroðgares
Of every sort, after he had purged
sigoreadig secg,
sele fælsode,
Hrothgar’s hall, triumphed in Heorot
7 æt guðe forgrap
Grendeles mægum,
And beaten Grendel.  He outgrappled the monster
2355 laðan cynnes.
No þæt læsest wæs
And his evil kin.
One of his cruelest
þær mon Hygelac sloh,
Hand-to-hand encounters had happened
syððan Geata cyning,
guðe ræsum,
When Hygelac, king of the Geats, was killed
freawine folca,
Freslondum on,
In Friesland:  the people’s friend and lord,
Hreðles eafora,
hiorodryncum swealt,
Hrethel’s son, slaked a sword blade’s
2360 bille gebeaten.
Þonan Biowulf com
Thirst for blood.  But Beowulf’s prodigious
sylfes cræfte,
sundnytte dreah.
Gifts as a swimmer guaranteed his safety:
182v Hæfde him on earme
| ealra þritig
He arrived at the shore, shouldering thirty
þa he to holme giong.
Battle-dresses, the booty he had won.
Nealles Hetware
hremge þorfton
There was little for the Hetware to be happy about
2365 feðewiges,
þe him foran ongean
As they shielded their faces and fighting on the ground
linde bæron.
Lyt eft becwom
Began in earnest.  With Beowulf against them,
fram þam hildfrecan
hames niosan.
Few could hope to return home.
Oferswam ða sioleða bigong
sunu Ecgðeowes,
Across the wide sea, desolate and alone,
earm anhaga
eft to leodum.
The son of Ecgtheow swam back to his people.
2370 Þær him Hygd gebead
hord 7 rice,
There Hygd offered him throne and authority
beagas 7 bregostol.
Bearne ne truwode,
As lord of the ring-hoard:  with Hygelac dead,
þæt he wið ælfylcum
She had no belief in her son’s ability
healdan cuðe.
Đa wæs Hygelac dead.
To defend their homeland against foreign invaders.
No ðy ær feasceafte
findan meahton
Yet there was no way the weakened nation
2375 æt ðam æðelinge
ænige ðinga,
Could get Beowulf to give in and agree
þæt he Heardrede
hlaford wære,
To be elevated over Heardred as his lord
oððe þone cynedom
ciosan wolde.
Or to undertake the office of kingship.
Hwæðre he him on folce
freondlarum heold,
But he did provide support for the prince,
estum mid are,
oð ðæt he yldra wearð,
Honored and minded him until he matured
2380 Weder-Geatum weold.
Hyne wræcmæcgas
As the ruler of Geatland.
Then over sea-roads
ofer sæ sohtan,
suna Ohteres.
Exiles arrived, sons of Ohthere.
Hæfdon hy forhealden
helm Scylfinga,
They had rebelled against the best of all
þone selestan
The sea-kings in Sweden, the one who held sway
þara ðe ðe in Swiorice
sinc brytnade,
In the Shylfing nation, their renowned prince,
183r mærne |þeoden.
Him þæt to mearce wearð.
Lord of the mead-hall.  That marked the end
He þær orfeorme
feorhwunde hleat,
For Hygelac’s son: his hospitality
sweordes swengum,
sunu Hygelaces.
Was mortally rewarded with wounds from a sword.
7 him eft gewat
Ongenðioes bearn
Heardred lay slaughtered and Onela returned
hames niosan,
syððan Heardred læg.
To the land of Sweden, leaving Beowulf
2390 Let ðone bregostol
Biowulf healdan,
To ascend the throne, to sit in majesty
Geatum wealdan.
Þæt wæs god cyning.
And rule over the Geats.  He was a good king.
{ 34 }
SE ðæs leodhryres
lean gemunde.
In days to come, he contrived to avenge
Uferan dogrum
Eadgilse wearð
The fall of his prince;  he befriended Eadgils
feasceaftum freond.
Folce gestepte
When Eadgils was friendless, aiding his cause
2395 ofer sæ side
sunu Ohteres,
With weapons and warriors over the wide sea,
wigum 7 wæpnum.
Þæt he gewræc syððan
Sending him men.  The feud was settled
cealdum cearsiðum,
cyning ealdre bineat.
On a comfortless campaign when he killed Onela.
Swa he niða gehwane
genesen hæfde,
And so the son of Ecgtheow had survived
sliðra geslyhta,
sunu Ecgðiowes,
Every extreme, excelling himself
2400 ellenweorca,
oð ðone anne dæg,
In daring and in danger, until the day arrived
þe he wið þam wyrme
gewegan sceolde.
When he had to come face to face with the dragon.
Gewat þa, twelfa sum,
torne gebolgen,
The lord of the Geats took eleven comrades
dryhten Geata,
dracan sceawian.
And went in a rage to reconnoiter.
Hæfde þa gefrunen
hwanan sio fæhð aras,
By then he had discovered the cause of the affliction
183v bealonið biorna.
Him to bearme |cwom
Being visited on the people.  The precious cup
maðþumfæt mære,
þurh ðæs meldan hond.
Had come to him from the hand of the finder,
Se wæs on ðam ðreate
þreotteoða secg,
The one who had started all this strife
se ðæs orleges
or onstealde,
And was now added as a thirteenth to their number.
hæft hygegiomor.
Sceolde hean ðonon
They press-ganged and compelled this poor creature
2410 wong wisian.
He ofer willan giong
To be their guide.  Against his will
to ðæs ðe he eorðsele
anne wisse,
He led them to the earth-vault he alone knew,
hlæw under hrusan
holmwylme neh,
An underground barrow near the sea-billows
Se wæs innan full
And heaving waves, heaped inside
wrætta 7 wira.
Weard unhiore,
With exquisite metalwork.  The one who stood guard
2415 gearo guðfreca
goldmaðmas heold,
Was dangerous and watchful, warden of that trove
eald under eorðan.
Næs þæt yðe ceap,
Buried under earth: no easy bargain
to gegangenne
gumena ænigum.
Would be made in that place by any man.
Gesæt ða on næsse
niðheard cyning,
The veteran king sat down on the cliff-top.
þenden hælo abead
He wished good luck to the Geats who had shared
2420 goldwine Geata.
Him wæs geomor sefa,
His hearth and his gold. He was sad at heart,
wæfre 7 wælfus.
Wyrd ungemete neah
Unsettled yet ready, sensing his own death.
se ðone gomelan
gretan sceolde,
His fate hovered near, unknowable but certain:
secean sawle hord,
sundur gedælan
It would soon claim his coffered soul,
lif wið lice.
No þon lange wæs
Part life from limb.  Before long
2425 feorh æþelinges
flæsce bewunden.
The prince’s spirit would spin free from his body.
Biowulf maþelade,
bearn Ecgðeowes:
Beowulf, son of Ecgtheow, spoke:
“Fela ic on gioguðe
guðræsa genæs,
“Many a skirmish I survived when I was young
Ic þæt eall gemon.
And many times of war; I remember them well.
184r | Ic wæs syfanwintre
þa mec sinca baldor,
At seven, I was fostered out by my father,
2430 freawine folca,
æt minum fæder genam.
Left in the charge of my people’s lord.
Heold mec 7 hæfde
Hreðel cyning,
King Hrethel kept me and took care of me,
geaf me sinc 7 symbel,
sibbe gemunde;
Was open-handed, behaved like a kinsman.
næs ic him to life
laðra owihte
While I was his ward, he treated me no worse
beorn in burgum,
þonne his bearna hwylc,
As a wee one about the place than one of his own boys,
2435 Herebeald 7 Hæðcyn
oððe Hygelac min.
Herebeald and Haethcyn, or my own Hygelac.
Wæs þam yldestan
For the eldest, Herebeald, an unexpected
mæges dædum
morþorbed stred,
Deathbed was laid out, through a brother’s doing,
syððan hyne Hæðcyn
of hornbogan,
When Haethcyn bent his horn-tipped bow
his freawine
flane geswencte,
And loosed the arrow that destroyed his life.
2440 miste mercelses
7 his mæg ofscet,
He shot wide and buried a shaft
broðor oðerne
blodigan gare.
In the flesh and blood of his own brother.
Þæt wæs feohleas gefeoht,
fyrenum gesyngad,
That offence was beyond redress, a wrong footing
hreðre hygemeðe
Sceolde hwæðre swa þeah
Of the heart’s affections;  for who could avenge
æðeling unwrecen
ealdres linnan.
The prince’s life or pay his death-price?
2445 Swa bið geomorlic
gomelum ceorle
It was like the misery felt by an old man
to gebidanne
þæt his byre ride
Who has lived to see his son’s body
giong on galgan.
Þonne he gyd wrece,
Swing on the gallows.  He begins to keen
sarigne sang,
þonne his sunu hangað
And weep for his boy, watching the raven
hrefne to hroðre,
7 he him helpan ne mæg,
Gloat where he hangs:  he can be of no help.
2450 eald 7 infrod
ænige gefremman.
The wisdom of age is worthless to him.
Symble bið gemyndgad
morna gehwylce,
Morning after morning, he wakes to remember
184v | eaforan ellorsið.
Oðres ne gymeð
That his child is gone;  he has no interest
to gebidanne
burgum in innan
In living on until another heir
þonne se an hafað
Is born in the hall, now that his first-born
2455 þurh deaðes nyd
dæda gefondad.
Has entered death’s dominion forever.
Gesyhð sorhcearig
on his suna bure
He gazes sorrowfully at his son’s dwelling,
winsele westne,
windge reste
The banquet hall bereft of all delight,
reote berofene.
Ridend swefað,
The windswept hearthstone;  the horsemen are sleeping,
hæleð in hoðman.
Nis þær hearpan sweg,
The warriors underground;  what was is no more.
2460 gomen in geardum,
swylce ðær iu wæron.”
No tunes from the harp, no cheer raised in the yard.
{ 35 }
“GEwiteð þonne on sealman,
sorhleoð gæleð,
Alone with his longing, he lies down on his bed
an æfter anum.
Þuhte him eall to rum,
And sings a lament;  everything seems too large,
wongas 7 wicstede.
Swa Wedra helm
The farmsteads and the fields.
Such was the feeling
æfter Herebealde
heortan sorge,
Of loss endured by the lord of the Geats
2465 weallinde, wæg.
Wihte ne meahte
After Herebeald’s death.  He was hopelessly placed
on ðam feorhbonan
fæghðe gebetan.
To set to rights the wrong committed,
No ðy ær he þone heaðorinc
hatian ne meahte
Could not punish the killer in accordance of the law
laðum dædum,
þeah him leof ne wæs.
Of the blood-feud, although he felt no love for him.
He ða mid þære sorhge,
þe him sio sar belamp,
Heartsore, wearied, he turned away
2470 gumdream ofgeaf,
Godes leoht geceas.
From life’s joys, chose God’s light
Eaferum læfde,
swa deð eadig mon,
And departed, leaving buildings and lands
lond 7 leodbyrig,
þa he of life gewat.
To his sons, as a man of substance will.
185r Þa | wæs synn 7 sacu
Sweona 7 Geata
“Then over the wide seas Swedes and Geats
ofer wid wæter
wroht gemæne,
Battled and feuded and fought without quarter.
2475 herenið hearda,
syððan Hreðel swealt,
Hostilities broke out when Hrethel died.
oððe him Ongenðeowes
eaferan wæran
Ongentheow’s sons were unrelenting,
frome fyrdhwate.
Freode ne woldon
Refusing to make peace, campaigning violently
ofer heafo healdan,
ac ymb Hreosna-Beorh
From coast to coast, constantly setting up
eatolne inwitscear
oft gefremedon.
Terrible ambushes around Hreasnshill.
2480 Þæt mægwine
mine gewræcan,
My own kith and kin avenged
fæhðe 7 fyrene,
swa hyt gefræge wæs,
These evil events, as everybody knows,
þeah ðe oðer his
ealdre gebohte
But the price was high:  one of them paid
heardan ceape.
Hæðcynne wearð,
With his life.  Heathcyn, lord of the Geats,
Geata dryhtne
guð onsæge.
Met his fate there and fell in battle.
2485 Þa ic on morgne gefrægn
mæg oðerne
Then, as I have heard, Hygelac’s sword
billes ecgum
on bonan stælan,
Was raised in the morning against Ongentheow,
þær Ongenþeow
Eofores niosað.
His brother’s killer.  When Eofor cleft
Guðhelm toglad,
gomela Scylfing
The old Swede’s helmet, halved it open,
hreas heaþoblac.
Hond gemunde
He fell, death-pale:  his feud-calloused hand
2490 fæhðo genoge,
feorhsweng ne ofteah.
Could not stave off the fatal stroke.
Ic him þa maðmas,
þe he me sealde,
“The treasures that Hygelac lavished on me
geald æt guðe,
swa me gifeðe wæs,
I paid for as I fought, as fortune allowed me,
leohtan sweorde.
He me lond forgeaf,
With my glittering sword.  He gave me land
eard, eðelwyn.
Næs him ænig þearf,
And the security land brings, so he had no call
2495 þæt he to Gifðum
oððe to Gar-Denum
To go looking for some lesser champion,
oððe in Swiorice
secean þurfe
Some mercenary among the Gifthas
185v | wyrsan wigfrecan,
weorðe gecypan.
Or the Spear-Danes or the men of Sweden.
Symle ic him on feðan
beforan wolde,
I marched ahead of him, always there
ana on orde,
7 swa to aldre sceall
At the front of the line;  and I shall fight like that
2500 sæcce fremman,
þenden þis sweord þolað.
For as long as I live, as long as this sword
Þæt mec ær 7 sið
oft gelæste,
Shall last, which has stood me in good stead
syððan ic for dugeðum
Dæghrefne wearð
Late and soon, ever since I killed
to handbonan,
Huga cempan.
Dayraven the Frank in front of the two armies.
Nalles he ða frætwe
He brought back no looted breastplate
2505 breostweorðunge
bringan moste,
To the Frisian king, but fell in battle,
ac in cempan gecrong
cumbles hyrde,
Their standard-bearer, high-born and brave.
æþeling on elne.
Ne wæs ecg bona,
No sword blade sent him to his death,
ac him hildegrap
heortan wylmas,
My bare hands stilled his heartbeats
banhus gebræc.
Nu sceall billes ecg,
And wrecked the bone-house.  Now blade and hand,
2510 hond 7 heard sweord
ymb hord wigan.”
Sword and sword-stroke, will assay the hoard.”
Beowulf maðelode,
beotwordum spræc
Beowulf spoke, made a formal boast
niehstan siðe:
“Ic geneðde fela
For the last time:  “I risked my life
guða on geogoðe;
gyt ic wylle,
Often when I was young.  Now I am old,
frod folces weard
fæhðe secan,
But as king of this people I shall pursue this fight
2515 mærðum fremman,
gif mec se mansceaða
For the glory of winning, if the evil one will only
of eorðsele
ut geseceð.”
Abandon his earth-fort and face me in the open.”
Gegrette ða
gumena gehwylcne,
Then he addressed each dear companion
hwate helmberend
hindeman siðe,
One final time, those fighters in their helmets,
swæse gesiðas:
“Nolde ic sweord beran,
Resolute and high-born:  “I would rather not
186r wæpen to wyrme,
|gif ic wiste hu
Use a weapon if I knew another way
wið ðam aglæcean
elles meahte
To grapple with the dragon and make good my boast
gylpe wiðgripan,
swa ic gio wið Grendle dyde.
As I did against Grendel in days gone by.
Ac ic ðær heaðufyres
hates wene,
But I shall be meeting molten venom
reðes 7 hattres;
forðon ic me on hafu
In the fire he breaths, so I go forth
2525 bord 7 byrnan.
Nelle ic beorges weard
In mail-shirt and shield.  I won’t shift a foot
oferfleon fotes trem,
ac unc sceal
When I meet the cave-guard:  what occurs on the wall
weorðan æt wealle
swa unc wyrd geteoð,
Between the two of us will turn out as fate,
Metod manna gehwæs.
Ic eom on mode from
Overseer of men, decides.  I am resolved.
þæt ic wið þone guðflogan
gylp ofersitte.
I scorn further words against this sky-born foe.
2530 Gebide ge on beorge
byrnum werede,
“Men at arms, remain here on the barrow,
secgas on searwum,
hwæðer sel mæge
Safe in your armor, to see which one of us
æfter wælræse
wunde gedygan
Is better in the end at bearing wounds
uncer twega.
Nis þæt eower sið,
In a deadly fray.  This fight is not yours,
ne gemet mannes,
nefne min anes.”
Nor is it up to any man except me
2535 Wat he wið aglæcean
eofoðo dæle,
To measure his strength against the monster
eorlscype efne.
“Ic mid elne sceall
Or to prove his worth.  I shall win the gold
gold gegangan,
oððe guð nimeð,
By my courage, or else mortal combat,
feorhbealu frecne
frean eowerne.”
Doom of battle, will bear your lord away.”
Aras ða bi ronde,
rof oretta,
Then he drew himself up beside his shield.
2540 heard under helme,
hiorosercean bær
The fabled warrior in his war-shirt and helmet
under stancleofu,
strengo getruwode
Trusted in his own strength entirely
anes mannes.
Ne bið swylc earges sið!
And went under the crag.  No coward path.
186v Geseah ða be wealle,
|se ðe worna fela,
Hard by the rock-face that hale veteran,
gumcystum god,
guða gedigde,
A good man who had gone repeatedly
2545 hildehlemma,
þonne hnitan feðan
Into combat and danger and come through,
stodan stanbogan,
stream ut þonan
Saw a stone arch and a gushing stream
brecan of beorge.
Wæs þære burnan wælm
That burst from the barrow, blazing and wafting
heaðofyrum hat,
ne meahte horde neah,
A deadly heat. It would be hard to survive
ænige hwile
Unscathed near the hoard, to hold firm
2550 deop gedygan,
for dracan lege.
Against the dragon in those flaming depths.
Let ða of breostum,
ða he gebolgen wæs,
Then he gave a shout.  The lord of the Geats
Weder-Geata leod
word ut faran;
Unburdened his breast and broke out
stearcheort styrmde.
Stefn in becom,
In a storm of anger.  Under gray stone
heaðotorht hlynnan
under harne stan.
His voice challenged and resounded clearly.
2555 Hete wæs onhrered,
hordweard oncniow
Heat was ignited.  The hoard-guard recognized
mannes reorde.
Næs ðær mara fyrst
A human voice, the time was over
freode to friclan.
From ærest cwom
For peace and parleying.  Pouring forth
oruð aglæcean
ut of stane,
In a hot battle-fume, the breath of the monster
hat hildeswat.
Hruse dynede.
Burst from the rock.  There was a rumble underground.
2560 Biorn under beorge
bordrand onswaf
Down there in the barrow, Beowulf the warrior
wið ðam gryregieste
Geata dryhten.
Lifted his shield:  the outlandish thing
Đa wæs hringbogan
heorte gefysed
Writhed and convulsed and viciously
sæcce to seceanne.
Sweord ær gebræd
Turned on the king, whose keen-edged-sword,
god guðcyning,
gomele lafe,
And heirloom inherited by ancient right,
2565 ecgum ungleaw.
Æghwæðrum wæs
Was already in his hand.  Roused to a fury,
187r bealohycgendra
| broga fram oðrum.
Each antagonist struck terror in the other.
Stiðmod gestod
wið steapne rond,
Unyielding, the lord of his people loomed
winia bealdor,
ða se wyrm gebeah
By his tall shield, sure of his ground,
snude tosomne.
He on searwum bad.
While the serpent looped and unleashed itself.
2570 Gewat ða byrnende
gebogen scriðan
Swaddled in flames, it came gliding and flexing
to gescipe scyndan.
Scyld wel gebearg
And racing toward its fate.  Yet his shield defended
life 7 lice
læssan hwile
The renowned leader’s life and limb
mærum þeodne
þonne his myne sohte,
For a shorter time than he meant it to:
ðær he þy fyrste
forman dogore
That final day was the first time
2575 wealdan moste,
swa him wyrd ne gescraf
When Beowulf fought and fate denied him
hreð æt hilde.
Hond up abræd
Glory in battle.  So the king of the Geats
Geata dryhten,
gryrefahne sloh
Raised his hand and struck hard
þæt sio ecg gewac,
At the enameled scales, but hardly cut through:
brun on bane,
bat unswiðor
The blade flashed and slashed yet the blow
2580 þonne his ðiodcyning
þearfe hæfde,
Was far less powerful than the hard-pressed king
bysigum gebæded.
Þa wæs beorges weard
Had need of at the moment.  The hoard-keeper
æfter heaðuswenge
on hreoum mode.
Went into a spasm and spouted deadly flames:
Wearp wælfyre;
wide sprungon
When he felt the stroke, battle-fire
Hreðsigora ne gealp
Billowed and spewed.  Beowulf was foiled
2585 goldwine Geata.
Guðbill geswac,
Of a glorious victory.  The glittering sword,
nacod æt niðe,
swa hyt no sceolde,
Infallible before that day,
iren ærgod.
Ne wæs þæt eðe sið,
Failed when he unsheathed it, as it never should have.
þæt se mæra
maga Ecgðeowes
For the son of Ecgtheow, it was no easy thing
grundwong þone
ofgyfan wolde.
To have to give ground like that and go
2590 Sceolde willan
wic eardian
Unwillingly to inhabit another home
187v elles hwergen,
swa | sceal æghwylc mon
In a place beyond; so every man must yield
alætan lændagas.
Næs ða long to ðon,
The leasehold of his days.
Before long
þæt ða aglæcean
hy eft gemetton.
The fierce contenders clashed again.
Hyrte hyne hordweard,
hreðer æðme weoll,
The hoard-guard took heart, inhaled and swelled up
2595 niwan stefne.
Nearo ðrowode,
And got a new wind;  he who had once ruled
fyre befongen,
se ðe ær folce weold.
Was furled in fire and had to face the worst.
Nealles him on heape
No help or backing was to be had then
æðelinga bearn,
ymbe gestodon
From his high-born comrades;  that hand-picked troop
ac hy on holt bugon,
Broke ranks and ran for their lives
2600 ealdre burgan.
Hiora in anum weoll
To the safety of the wood.  But within one heart
sefa wið sorgum.
Sibb æfre ne mæg
Sorrow welled up: in a man of worth
wiht onwendan,
þam ðe wel þenceð.
The claims of kinship cannot be denied.
{ 36 }
WIGlaf wæs haten,
Weoxstanes sunu,
His name was Wiglaf, a son of Weohstan’s,
leoflic lindwiga,
leod Scylfinga,
A well-regarded Shylfing warrior
2605 mæg Ælfheres.
Geseah his mondryhten
Related to Aelfhere.  When he saw his lord
under heregriman
hat þrowian.
Tormented by the heat of his scalding helmet,
Gemunde ða ða are
þe he him ær forgeaf,
He remember the bountiful gifts he bestowed on him,
wicstede weligne
How well he lived among the Waegmundings,
folcrihta gehwylc,
swa his fæder ahte.
The freehold he inherited from his father before him.
2610 Ne mihte ða forhabban,
hond rond gefeng,
He could not hold back:  one hand brandished
geolwe linde,
gomelswyrd geteah.
The yellow-timbered shield, the other drew his sword —
Þæt wæs mid eldum
Eanmundes laf.
An ancient blade that was said to have belonged
188r | Suna Ohtere
þam æt sæcce wearð
To Eanmund, the son of Ohthere, the one
wræcca wineleasum,
Weohstan se bana,
Weohstan had slain when he was in exile without friends.
2615 meces ecgum,
7 his magum ætbær
He carried the arms to the victim’s kinfolk,
brunfagne helm,
hringde byrnan,
The burnished helmet, the webbed chain-mail
ealdsweord etonisc.
Þæt him Onela forgeaf,
And that relic of the giants.  But Onela retuned
his gædelinges
The weapons to him, rewarded Weohstan
fyrdsearo fuslic.
No ymbe ða fæhðe spræc,
With Eanmund’s war-gear.  He ignored the blood-feud,
2620 þeah ðe he his broðor bearn
The fact that Eanmund was his brother’s son.
He frætwe geheold
fela missera,
Weohstan kept that war-gear for a lifetime,
bill 7 byrnan,
oð ðæt his byre mihte
The sword and the mail-shirt, until it was the son’s turn
eorlscipe efnan
swa his ærfæder.
To follow his father and perform his part.
Geaf him ða mid Geatum
Then, in old age, at the end of his days
2625 æghwæs unrim,
þa he of ealdre gewat,
Among the Weather-Geats, he bequeathed to Wiglaf
frod on forðweg.
Þa wæs forma sið
Innumerable weapons.
And now the youth
geongan cempan,
þæt he guðe ræs
Was to enter the line of battle with his lord,
mid his freodryhtne
fremman sceolde.
His first time to be tested as a fighter.
Ne gemealt him, se modsefa,
ne his mægenes laf
His spirit did not break and the ancestral blade
2630 gewac æt wige.
Þa se wyrm onfand,
Would keep its edge, as the dragon discovered
syððan hie togædre
gegan hæfdon.
As soon as they came together in combat.
Wiglaf maðelode,
wordrihta fela
Sad at heart, addressing his companions,
sægde gesiðum.
Him wæs sefa geomor.
Wiglaf spoke wise and fluent words:
188v “Ic ðæt |mæl geman,
þær we medu þegun,
“I remember that time when the mead was flowing,
2635 þonne we geheton
ussum hlaforde
How we pledged loyalty to our lord in the hall,
in biorsele,
ðe us ðas beagas geaf,
Promised our ring-giver we would be worth our price,
þæt we him ða guðgetawa
gyldan woldon,
Make good the gift of the war-gear,
gif him þyslicu
þearf gelumpe,
Those swords and helmets, as and when
helmas 7 heard sweord.
Đe he usic on herge geceas
His need required it.  He picked us out
2640 to ðyssum siðfate
sylfes willum.
From the army deliberately, honored us and judged us
Onmunde usic mærða,
7 me þas maðmas geaf,
Fit for this action, made me these lavish gifts —
þe he usic garwigend
gode tealde,
And all because he considered us the best
hwate helmberend,
þeah ðe hlaford us
Of his arms-bearing thanes.  And now, although
þis ellenweorc
ana aðohte
He wanted this challenge to be the one he’d face
2645 to gefremmanne,
folces hyrde,
By himself alone — the shepherd of our land,
forðan he manna mæst
mærða gefremede,
A man unequalled in the quest for glory
dæda dollicra.
Nu is se dæg cumen
And a name for daring — now the day has come
þæt ure mandryhten
mægenes behofað
When this lord we serve needs sound men
godra guðrinca.
Wutun gongan to
To give him their support.  Let us go to him,
2650 helpan hildfruman,
þenden hyt sy,
Help our leader through the hot flame
gledegesa grim.
God wat on mec
And dread of the fire.  As God is my witness,
þæt me is micle leofre,
þæt minne lichaman
I would rather my body were robbed in the same
mid minne goldgyfan
gled fæðmie.
Burning blaze as my gold-giver’s body
Ne þynceð me gerysne,
þæt we rondas beren
Than go back home bearing arms.
2655 eft to earde,
nemne we æror mægen
That is unthinkable, unless we have first
fane gefyllan,
| feorh ealgian
Slain the foe and defended the life
Wedra ðeodnes.
Ic wat geare,
Of the prince of the Weather-Geats.  I well know
þæt næron ealdgewyrht,
þæt he ana scyle
That things he has done for us deserve better.
Geata duguðe
gnorn þrowian,
Should he alone be left exposed
2660 gesigan æt sæcce.
Urum sceal sweord 7 helm,
To fall in battle?  We must bond together,
byrne 7 byrduscrud
bam gemæne.”
Shield and helmet, mail-shirt and sword.’
Wod þa þurh þone wælrec,
wigheafolan bær
Then he waded the dangerous slaughter-smoke and went
frean on fultum.
Fea worda cwæð:
Under arms to his lord, saying only:
“Leofa Biowulf,
læst eall tela,
“Go on, dear Beowulf, do everything
2665 swa ðu on geoguðfeore
geara gecwæde,
You said you would when you were still young
þæt ðu ne alæte
be ðe lifigendum
And vowed you would never let your name and fame
dom gedreosan.
Scealt nu dædum rof,
Be dimmed while you lived.  Your deeds are famous
æðeling anhydig,
ealle mægene,
So stay resolute, my lord, defend your life now
feorh ealgian.
Ic ðe fullæstu.”
With the whole of your strength.  I shall stand by you.”
2670 Æfter ðam wordum
wyrm yrre cwom,
After those words, a wildness rose
atol inwitgæst
oðre siðe,
In the dragon again and drove it to attack,
fyrwylmum fah
fionda niosian
Heaving up fire, hunting for enemies,
laðra manna.
Ligyðum for,
The humans it loathed.  Flames lapped the shield,
born bord wið rond.
Byrne ne meahte
Charred it to the boss, and the body armor
2675 geongum garwigan
geoce gefremman,
On the young warrior was useless to him.
ac se maga geonga
under his mæges scyld
But Wiglaf did well under the wide rim
elne geeode,
þa his agen wæs
Beowulf shared with him once his own had shattered
gledum forgrunden.
Þa gen guðcyning
In sparks and ashes.
Inspired again
miht gemunde,
mægenstrengo sloh
By the thought of glory, the war-king threw
2680 hildebille,
þæt hyt on heafolan stod
His whole strength behind a sword-stroke
niþe genyded.
Nægling forbærst,
And connected with the skull.  And Naegling snapped.
geswac æt sæcce
sweord Biowulfes
Beowulf’s ancient iron-gray sword
| gomol 7 grægmæl.
Him þæt gifeðe ne wæs,
Let him down in the fight.  It was never his fortune
þæt him irenna
ecge mihton
To be helped in combat by the cutting-edge
2685 helpan æt hilde.
Wæs sio hond to strong,
Of weapons made of iron.  When he yielded a sword,
se ðe meca gehwane
mine gefræge
No matter how blooded and hard-edged the blade
swenge ofersohte.
Þonne he to sæcce bær
His hand was too strong, the stroke he dealt
wæpen wundum heard;
næs him wihte ðe sel.
(I have heard) would ruin it.  He could reap no advantage.
Þa wæs þeodsceaða
þriddan siðe,
Then the bane of that people, the fire-breathing dragon,
2690 frecne fyrdraca
fæhða gemyndig,
Was mad to attack for a third time.
ræsde on ðone rofan,
þa him rum ageald,
When a chance came, he caught the hero
hat 7 heaðogrim,
heals ealne ymbefeng
In a rush of flame and clamped sharp fangs
biteran banum.
He geblodegod wearð
Into his neck.  Beowulf’s body
Swat yðum weoll.
Ran wet with his life-blood:  it came welling out.
{ 37 }
2695 ĐA ic æt þearfe gefrægn
Next thing, they say, the noble son of Weohstan
andlongne eorl
ellen cyðan,
Saw the king in danger at his side
cræft 7 cenðu,
swa him gecynde wæs.
And displayed his inborn bravery and strength.
Ne hedde he þæs heafolan,
ac sio hand gebarn
He left the head alone, but his fighting hand
modiges mannes,
þær he his mægenes healp,
Was burned when he came to his kinsman’s aid.
2700 þæt he þone niðgæst
nioðor hwene sloh,
He lunged at the enemy lower down
secg on searwum,
þæt ðæt sweord gedeaf,
So that his decorated sword sank into its belly
fah 7 fæted;
þæt ðæt fyr ongon
And the flames grew weaker.
Once again the king
sweðrian syððan.
Þa gen sylf cyning
Gathered his strength and drew a stabbing knife
geweold his gewitte,
wællseaxe gebræd
He carried on his belt, sharpened for battle.
2705 biter 7 beaduscearp,
þæt he on byrnan wæg.
He stuck it deep into the dragon’s flank.
189r Forwrat Wedra | helm
wyrm on middan.
Beowulf dealt it a deadly wound.
Feond gefyldan,
ferh ellen wræc,
They had killed the enemy, courage quelled his life;
7 hi hyne þa begen
abroten hæfdon,
That pair of kinsmen, partners in nobility,
Swylc sceolde secg wesan,
Had destroyed the foe.  So every man should act,
2710 þegn æt ðearfe.
Þæt ðam þeodne wæs
Be at hand when needed;  but now, for the king,
siðas sigehwile
sylfes dædum
This would be the last of his many labors
worlde geweorces.
Đa sio wund ongon,
And triumphs in the world.
Then the wound
þe him se eorðdraca
ær geworhte,
Dealt by the ground-burner earlier began
swelan 7 swellan.
He þæt sona onfand
To scald and swell;  Beowulf discovered
2715 þæt him on breostum
bealonið weoll,
Deadly poison suppurating inside him,
attor on innan.
Đa se æðeling giong,
Surges of nausea, and so, in his wisdom,
þæt he bi wealle
The prince realized his state and struggled
gesæt on sesse.
Seah on enta geweorc
Towards a seat on the rampart.  He steadied his gaze
hu ða stanbogan
stapulum fæste
On those gigantic stones, saw how the earthwork
2720 ece eorðreced
innan healden.
Was braced with arches built over columns.
Hyne þa mid handa
And now that thane unequalled for goodness
þeoden mærne,
þegn ungemete till
With his own hands washed his lord’s wounds,
winedryhten his
wætere gelafede,
Swabbed the weary prince with water,
hilde sædne,
7 his helm onspeon.
Bathed him clean, unbuckled his helmet.
2725 Biowulf maþelode.
He ofer benne spræc,
Beowulf spoke:  in spite of his wounds,
wunde wælbleate.
Wisse he gearwe
Mortal wounds, he still spoke
þæt he dæghwila
gedrogen hæfde,
For he well knew his days in the world
eorðan wynne.
Đa wæs eall sceacen
Had been lived out to the end:  his allotted time
deað ungemete neah:
Was drawing to a close, death was very near.
2730 “Nu ic suna minum
syllan wolde
“Now is the time when I would have wanted
þær me gifeðe swa
To bestow this armor on my own son,
189v ænig yrfe|weard
æfter wurde
Had it been my fortune to have fathered an heir
lice gelenge.
Ic ðas leode heold
And live on in his flesh.  For fifty years
fiftig wintra.
Næs se folccyning
I ruled this nation.  No king
2735 ymbesittendra
ænig ðara
Of any neighboring clan would dare
þe mec guðwinum
gretan dorste,
Face me with troops, none had the power
egesan ðeon.
Ic on earde bad
To intimidate me.  I took what came,
heold min tela,
Cared for and stood by things in my keeping,
ne sohte searoniðas,
ne me swor fela
Never fomented quarrels, never
2740 aða on unriht.
Ic ðæs ealles mæg
Swore to a lie.  All this consoles me,
feorhbennum seoc,
gefean habban,
Doomed as I am and sickening for death;
forðam me witan ne ðearf
Waldend fira
Because of my right way, the Ruler of Mankind
morðorbealo maga,
þonne min sceaceð
Need never blame me when the breath leaves my body
lif of lice.
Nu ðu lungre geong
For murder of kinsmen.  Go now quickly,
2745 hord sceawian
under harne stan,
Dearest Wiglaf, under the gray stone
Wiglaf leofa.
Nu se wyrm ligeð,
Where the dragon is laid out, lost to his treasure;
swefeð sare wund,
since bereafod.
Hurry to feast your eyes on the hoard.
Bio nu on ofoste,
þæt ic ærwelan,
Away you go:  I want to examine
goldæht ongite,
gearo sceawige
That ancient gold, gaze my fill
2750 swegle searogimmas,
þæt ic ðy seft mæge
On those garnered jewels; my going will be easier
æfter maððumwelan
min alætan
For having seen the treasure, a less troubled letting-go
lif 7 leodscipe,
þone ic longe heold.”
Of the life and lordship I have long maintained.”
{ 38 }
ĐA ic snude gefrægn
sunu Wihstanes,
And so, I have heard, the son of Wihstan
æfter wordcwydum
wundum dryhtne,
Quickly obeyed the command of his languishing
2755 hyran heaðosiocum,
hringnet beran,
War-weary lord;  he went in his chain-mail
brogdne beadusercean,
under beorges hrof.
Under the rock-piled roof of the barrow,
Geseah ða sigehreðig,
þa he bi sesse geong,
Exulting in his triumph, and saw beyond the seat
190r magoþegn | modig,
maððumsigla fealo,
A treasure-trove of astonishing richness,
gold glitinian
grunde getenge,
Wall-hangings that were a wonder to behold,
2760 wundur on wealle,
7 þæs wyrmes denn,
Glittering gold spread across the ground,
ealdes uhtflogan,
orcas stondan,
The old dawn-scorching serpent’s den
fyrnmanna fatu
Packed with goblets and vessels of the past,
hyrstum behrorene.
Þær wæs helm monig
Tarnished and corroding.  Rusty helmets
eald 7 omig,
earmbeaga fela
All eaten away.  Armbands everywhere,
2765 searwum gesæled.
Sinc eaðe mæg,
Artfully wrought.  How easily treasure
gold on grunde,
gumcynnes gehwone
Buried in the ground, gold hidden
hyde se ðe wylle.
However skillfully, can escape from any man!
Swylce he siomian geseah
segn eallgylden,
And he saw too a standard, entirely of gold,
heah ofer horde,
hondwundra mæst,
Hanging high over the hoard,
2770 gelocen leoðocræftum.
Of ðam leoman stod,
A masterpiece of filigree;  it glowed with light
þæt he þone grundwong
ongitan meahte,
So he could make out the ground at his feet
wræce giondwlitan:
næs ðæs wyrmes þær
And inspect the valuables.  Of the dragon there was no
onsyn ænig,
ac hyne ecg fornam.
Remaining sign:  the sword had dispatched him.
Đa ic on hlæwe gefrægn
hord reafian,
Then, the story goes, in the mound, this one man
2775 eald enta geweorc
anne mannan.
Plundered the hoard, the old work of giants,
Him on bearm hlodon
bunan 7 discas.
laded upon his bosom flagons and plates,
Sylfes dome
segn eac genom,
Anything he wanted;  and took the standard also,
beacna beorhtost.
Bill ær gescod —
Most brilliant of banners.
Already the blade
ecg wæs iren
ealdhlafordes -
Of the old king’s sharp killing-sword
2780 þam ðara maðma
mundbora wæs
Had done its worst:  the one who had for long
longe hwile.
Ligegesan wæg
Minded the hoard, hovering over gold,
hatne for horde,
Unleashing fire, surging forth
190v middelnihtum,
| oð þæt he morðre swealt.
Midnight after midnight, had been mown down.
Ar wæs on ofoste,
eftsiðes georn,
Wiglaf went quickly, keen to get back,
2785 frætwum gefyrðred.
Hyne fyrwet bræc,
Excited by the treasure.  Anxiety weighed
hwæðer collenferð
cwicne gemette
On his brave heart — he was hoping he would find
in ðam wongstede,
Wedra þeoden
The leader of the Geats alive where he had left him
þær he hine ær forlet.
Helpless, earlier, on the open ground.
He ða mid þam maðmum
mærne þioden,
So he came to the place, carrying the treasure,
2790 dryhten sinne,
driorigne fand,
And found his lord bleeding profusely,
ealdres æt ende.
He hine eft ongon
His life at an end:  again he began
wæteres weorpan,
oð þæt wordes ord
To swab his body.  The beginnings of an utterance
breosthord þurhbræc.Broke out from the king’s breast-cage.
Gomel on giogoðe
gold sceawode.
The old lord gazed sadly at the gold.
2795 “Ic ðara frætwa
Frean ealles ðanc,
“To the everlasting Lord of All,
wordum secge,
To the King of Glory, I give thanks
ecum Dryhtne,
þe ic her on starie,
That I beheld this treasure here in front of me,
þæs ðe ic moste
minum leodum
That I have been allowed to leave my people
ær swyltdæge
swylc gestrynan.
So well endowed on the day I die.
2800 Nu ic on maðma hord
minne bebohte
Now that I have bartered my last breath
frode feorhlege.
Fremmað gena
To own this fortune, it is up to you
leoda þearfe.
Ne mæg ic her leng wesan.
To look after their needs.  I can hold out no longer.
Hatað heaðomære
hlæw gewyrcean
Order my troop to construct a barrow
beorhtne æfter bæle,
æt brimes nosan.
On a headland on the coast, after my pyre has cooled.
2805 Se scel to gemyndum
minum leodum
It will loom in the horizon at Hronesness
heah hlifian
on hrones næsse,
And be a reminder among my people —
þæt hit sæliðend
syððan hatan
So that in coming times crews under sail
Biowulfes Biorh,
ða ðe brentingas
Will call it Beowulf’s barrow, as they steer
191r ofer | floda genipu
feorran drifað.”
Ships across the wide and shrouded waters.”
2810 Dyde him of healse
hring gyldenne,
Then the king in his great-heartedness unclasped
þioden þristhydig,
þegne gesealde,
The collar of gold from his neck and gave it
geongum garwigan,
goldfahne helm,
To the young thane, telling him to use
beah 7 byrnan,
het hyne brucan well:
It and the war shirt and the gilded helmet well.
“Þu eart endelaf
usses cynnes,
“You are the last of us, the only one left
2815 Wægmundinga.
Ealle wyrd forspeoft
Of the Waegmundings. Fate swept us away,
mine magas
to metodsceafte,
Sent my whole brave high-born clan
eorlas on elne.
Ic him æfter sceal.”
To their final doom.  Now I must follow them.”
Þæt wæs þam gomelan
gingæste word
That was the warrior’s last word
ær he bæl cure,
He had no more to confide.  The furious heat
2820 hate heaðowylmas.
Him of hwæðre gewat
Of the pyre would assail him.  His soul fled from his breast
sawol secean
soðfæstra dom.
To its destined place among the steadfast ones.
{ 39 }
Đa wæs gegongen
guman unfrodum
It was hard then on the young hero,
þæt he on eorðan geseah
Having to watch the one he held so dear
þone leofestan
lifes æt ende
There on the ground, going through
2825 bleate gebæran.
Bona swylce læg,
His death agony.  The dragon from underearth,
egeslic eorðdraca
ealdre bereafod,
His nightmarish destroyer, lay destroyed as well,
bealwe gebæded.
Beahhordum leng
Utterly without life.  No longer would his snake folds
wyrm wohbogen
wealdan ne moste,
Ply themselves to safeguard hidden gold.
ac him irenna
ecga fornamon,
Hard-edged blades, hammered out
2830 hearde heaðoscearde
homera lafe,
And keenly filed, had finished him
þæt se widfloga,
wundum stille,
So that the sky-roamer lay there rigid,
hreas on hrusan
hordærne neah.
Brought low beside the treasure-lodge.
191v Nalles | æfter lyfte
lacende hwearf
Never again would he glitter and glide
maðmæhta wlonc,
And show himself off in midnight air,
2835 ansyn ywde,
ac he eorðan gefeoll
Exulting in his riches:  he fell to earth
for ðæs hildfruman
Through the battle-strength in Beowulf’s arm.
Huru þæt on lande
lyt manna ðah
There were few, indeed, as far as I have heard,
mine gefræge,
Big and brave as they may have been,
þeah ðe he dæda gehwæs
dyrstig wære,
Few who would have held out if they had had to face
2840 þæt he wið attorsceaðan
oreðe geræsde,
The outpourings of that poison-breather
oððe hringsele
hondum styrede,
Or gone foraging on the ring-hall floor
gif he wæccende
weard onfunde
And found the deep barrow-dweller
buon on beorge.
Biowulfe wearð
On guard and awake.
The treasure had been won,
dryhtmaðma dæl,
deaðe forgolden.
Bought and paid for by Beowulf’s death.
2845 Hæfde æghwæðre
ende gefered
Both had reached the end of the road
lænan lifes.
Næs ða lang to ðon,
Through the life they had been lent.
Before long
þæt ða hildlatan
holt ofgefan,
The battle-dodgers abandoned the wood,
tydre treowlogan,
tyne ætsomne,
The ones who had let down their lord earlier,
ða ne dorston ær
dareðum lacan
The tail-turners, ten of them together.
2850 on hyra mandryhtnes
miclan þearfe.
When he needed them the most, they had made off.
Ac hy scamiende
scyldas bæran,
Now they were ashamed and came behind shields,
þær se gomela læg.
In their battle-outfits, to where the old man lay.
Wlitan on Wilaf.
He gewergad sæt,
They watched Wiglaf, sitting worn out,
frean eaxlum neah.
A comrade shoulder to shoulder with his lord,
2855 Wehte hyne wætre -
him wiht ne speow.
Trying in vain to bring him round with water.
Ne meahte he on eorðan,
ðeah he uðe wel,
Much as he wanted to, there was no way
on ðam frumgare
feorh gehealdan,
He could preserve his lord’s life on earth
ne ðæs Wealdendes
wiht oncirran.
Or alter in the least the Almighty’s will.
192r Wolde dom | Godes
dædum rædan
What God judged right would rule what happened
2860 gumena gehwylcum,
swa he nu gen deð.
To every man, as it does to this day.
Þa wæs æt ðam geongum
grim andswaru
Then a stern rebuke was bound to come
þam ðe ær his elne forleas.
From the young warrior to the ones who had been cowards.
Wiglaf maðelode,
Weohstanes sunu,
Wiglaf, son of Weohstan, spoke
sec sarigferð.
Seah on unleofe:
Disdainfully and in disappointment:
2865 “Þæt, la, mæg secgan
se ðe wyle soð specan,
“Anyone ready to admit the truth
þæt se mondryhten,
se eow ða maðmas geaf,
Will surely realize the lord of men
þe ge þær on standað,
Who showered you with gifts and gave you the armor
þonne he on ealubence
oft gesealde
You are standing in — when he would distribute
helm 7 byrnan,
Helmets and mail-shirts to men on the mead-benches,
2870 þeoden his þegnum
swylce he þrydlicost
A prince treating his thanes in hall
ower feor oððe neah
findan meahte,
To the best he could find, far or near —
þæt he genunga
Was throwing weapons uselessly away.
wraðe forwurpe,
ða hyne wig beget.
It would be a sad waste when the war broke out.
Nealles folccyning
Beowulf had little cause to brag
2875 gylpan þorfte;
hwæðre him God uðe,
About his armed guard;  yet God who ordains
sigora Waldend,
þæt he hyne sylfne gewræc,
Who wins or loses allowed him to strike
ana mid ecge,
þa him wæs elnes þearf.
With his own blade when bravery was needed.
Ic him lifwraðe
lytle meahte
There was little I could do to protect his life
ætgifan æt guðe,
7 ongan swa þeah
In the heat of the fray, yet I found new strength
2880 ofer min gemet
mæges helpan.
Welling up when I went to help him.
Symle wæs þy sæmra
þonne ic sweorde drep,
Then my sword connected and the deadly assaults
fyr unswiðor
Of our foe grew weaker, the fire coursed
weoll of gewitte.
wergendra to lyt
Less strongly from his head.  But when the worst happened
192v þrong ymbe þeoden,
þa hyne sio | þrag becwom.
Too few rallied around the prince.
2885 Hu sceal sincþego
7 swyrdgifu,
“So it is goodbye now to all you know and love
eall eðelwyn
eowrum cynne,
On your home-ground, the open-handedness,
lufen alicgean.
Londrihtes mot
The giving of war-swords.  Every one of you
þære mægburge
monna æghwylc
With freeholds of land, our whole nation,
idel hweorfan,
syððan æðelingas
Will be dispossessed, once princes from beyond
2890 feorran gefricgean
fleam eowerne,
Get tidings of how you turned and fled
domleasan dæd.
Deað bið sella
And disgraced yourselves.  A warrior will sooner
eorla gehwylcum
þonne edwitlif.”
Die than live a life of shame.”
{ 40 }
Heht ða þæt heaðoweorc
to hagan biodan,
Then he ordered the outcome of the fight to be reported
up ofer ecgclif,
þær þæt eorlweorod
To those camped on the ridge, that crowd of retainers
2895 morgenlongne dæg
modgiomor sæt,
Who had sat all morning, sad at heart,
bega on wenum,
Shield-bearers wondering about
7 eftcymes
The man they loved:  would this day be his last
leofes monnes.
Lyt swigode
Or would he return.  He told the truth
niwra spella,
se ðe næs gerad,
And did not balk, the rider who bore
2900 ac he soðlice
sægde ofer ealle:
News to the cliff-top.  He addressed them all:
“Nu is wilgeofa
Wedra leoda,
“Now the people’s pride and love,
dryhten Geata,
deaðbedde fæst,
The lord of the Geats, is laid on his deathbed,
wunað wælreste
wyrmes dædum.
Brought down by the dragon’s attack.
Him on efn ligeð
Beside him lies the bane of his life,
2905 siexbennum seoc.
Sweorde ne meahte
Dead from knife-wounds.  There was no way
on ðam aglæcean
ænige þinga
Beowulf could manage to get the better
wunde gewyrcean.
Wiglaf siteð
Of the monster with his sword.  Wiglaf sits
ofer Biowulfe,
byre Wihstanes,
At Beowulf’s side, the son of Wihstan,
eorl ofer oðrum
The living warrior watching by the dead,
193r healdeð higemæðum
| heafodwearde
Keeping weary vigil, holding a wake
leofes 7 laðes.
Nu ys leodum wen
For the loved and the loathed.
Now war is looming
syððan underne
Over our nation, soon it will be known
Froncum 7 Frysum,
fyll cyninges
To Franks and Frisians, far and wide,
wide weorðeð.
Wæs sio wroht scepen
That the king is gone. Hostility has been great
2915 heard wið Hugas,
syððan Higelac cwom
Among the Franks since Hygelac sailed forth
faran flotherge
on Fresna land.
At the head of a war-fleet into Friesland:
Þær hyne Hetware
hilde gehnægdon,
There the Hetware harried and attacked
elne geeodon
mid ofermægene,
And overwhelmed him with great odds.
þæt se byrnwiga
bugan sceolde.
The leader in his war-gear was laid low,
2920 Feoll on feðan.
Nalles frætwe geaf,
Fell amongst followers;  that lord did not favor
ealdor dugoðe
Us wæs a syððan
His company with spoils.  The Merovingian king
milts ungyfeðe.
Has been an enemy to us ever since.
Ne ic te Sweoðeode
sibbe oððe treowe
“Nor do I expect peace of pact-keeping
wihte ne wene,
ac wæs wide cuð
Of any sort from the Swedes.  Remember:
2925 þætte Ongenðio
ealdre besnyðede
At Ravenswood, Ongentheow
Hæðcen Hreþling
wið Hrefnawudu,
Slaughtered Haethcyn, Hrethel’s son,
þa for onmedlan
ærest gesohton
When the Geat people in their arrogance
Geata leode
First attacked the fierce Shylfings.
Sona him se froda
fæder Ohtheres,
The return blow was quickly struck
2930 eald 7 egesfull,
hondslyht ageaf,
By Ohthere’s father.  Old and terrible,
abreot brimwisan,
bryd aheorde,
He felled the sea-king and saved his own
gomela iomeowlan
golde berofene,
Aged wife, the mother of Onela
Onelan modor
7 Ohtheres.
And of Ohthere, bereft of her gold rings.
7 ða folgode
Then he kept hard on the heels of the foe
2935 oð ðæt hi oðeodon
And drove them, leaderless, lucky to get away,
in Hrefnesholt
In a desperate route to Ravenswood.
Besæt ða sinherge
sweorda lafe,
His army surrounded the weary remnant
193v wundum werge.
|Wean oft gehet
Where they nursed their wounds;  all through the night
earmre teohhe
ondlonge niht,
He howled threats at those huddled survivors,
2940 cwæð, he on mergenne
meces ecgum
Promises to axe their bodies open
getan wolde
sum on galgtreowum
When dawn broke, dangle them from gallows
feðan to gamene.
Frofor eft gelamp
To feed the birds.  But at first light
somod ærdæge,
When their spirits were lowest, relief arrived.
syððan hie Hygelaces
horn 7 byman
They heard the sound of Hygelac’s horn,
2945 gealdor ongeaton,
þa se goda com
His trumpet calling as he came to find them,
leoda dugoðe
on last faran.
The hero in pursuit, at hand with troops.
{ 41 }
Wæs sio swatswaðu
Swona 7 Geata,
“The bloody swathe that Swedes and Geats
wælræs weora,
wide gesyne.
Cut through each other was everywhere.
Hu ða folc mid him
fæhðe towehton!
No one could miss their murderous feuding.
2950 Gewat him ða se goda
mid his gædelingum,
Then the old man made his move,
frod, felageomor,
fæsten secean.
Pulled back, barred his people in:
Eorl Ongenþio
ufor oncirde,
Ongentheow withdrew to higher ground.
hæfde Higelaces
hilde gefrunen,
Hygelac’s pride and prowess as a fighter
wlonces wigcræft.
Wiðres ne truwode,
Were known to the earl;  he had no confidence
2955 þæt he sæmannum
onsacan mihte,
That he could hold out against that horde of seamen,
hord forstandan,
Defend wife and the ones he loved
bearn 7 bryde.
Beah eft þonan
From the shock of the attack.  He retreated for shelter
eald under eorðweall.
Þa wæs æht boden
Behind the earth wall.  Then Hygelac swooped
Sweona leodum,
segn Higelace.
On the Swedes at bay, his banners swarmed
2960 Freoðowong þone
ford ofereodon,
Into their refuge, the Geat forces
syððan Hreðlingas
to hagan þrungon.
Drove forward to destroy the camp.
Þær wearð Ongenðiow
ecgum, sweordum,
There in his gray hairs, Ongentheow
on bid wrecen,
Was cornered, ringed around with swords.
þæt se þeodcyning
ðafian sceolde
And it came to pass that the king’s fate
194r Eafores | anne dom.
Hyne yrringa
Was in Eofor’s hands, and in his alone.
Wulf Wonreðing
wæpne geræhte,
Wulf, son of Wonred, went for him in anger,
þæt him for swenge
swat ædrum sprong
Split him open so that blood came spurting
forð under fexe.
Næs he forht swa ðeh,
From under his hair.  The old hero
gomela Scilfing,
ac forgeald hraðe
Still did not flinch, but parried fast,
2970 wyrsan wrixle
wælhlem þone,
Hit back with a harder stroke:
syððan ðeodcyning
þyder oncirde.
The king turned and took him on.
Ne meahte se snella
sunu Wonredes
Then Wonred’s son, the brave Wulf,
ealdum ceorle
hondslyht giofan,
Could land no blow against the aged lord.
ac he him on heafde
helm ær gescer,
Ongentheow divided his helmet
2975 þæt he blode fah
bugan sceolde.
So that he buckled and bowed his bloodied head
Feoll on foldan.
Næs he fæge þa git,
And dropped to the ground.  But his doom held off.
ac he hyne gewyrpte,
þeah ðe him wund hrine.
Though he was cut deep, he recovered again.
Let se hearda
Higelaces þegn
“With his brother down, the undaunted Eofor,
— brade mece
þa his broðor læg —
Hygelac’s thane, hefted his sword
2980 ealdsweord eotonisc
entiscne helm
And smashed murderously at the massive helmet
brecan ofer bordweal.
Đa gebeah cyning,
Past the lifted shield.  And the king collapsed,
folces hyrde
wæs in feorh dropen.
The shepherd of people was sheared of life.
Đa wæron monige
þe his mæg wriðon,
“Many then hurried to help Wulf,
ricone arærdon,
ða him gerymed wearð,
Bandaged and lifted him, now that they were left
2985 þæt hie wælstowe
wealdan moston.
Masters of the blood-soaked battleground.
Þenden reafode
rinc oðerne,
One warrior stripped the other,
nam on Ongenðio
Looted Ongentheow’s iron mail-coat,
heard swyrd hilted,
7 his helm somod.
His hard sword-hilt, his helmet too,
Hares hyrste
Higelace bær.
And carried the armor to King Hygelac;
2990 He ðam frætwum feng
7 him fægre gehet
He accepted the prize, promised fairly
194v leana mid | leodum,
7 gelæste swa.
That reward would come, and kept his word.
Geald þone guðræs,
Geata dryhten,
For their bravery in action, when they arrived home
Hreðles eafora,
þa he to ham becom,
Eofor and Wulf were overloaded
Iofore 7 Wulfe
mid ofermaðmum.
By Hrethel’s son, Hygelac the Geat,
2995 Sealde hiora gehwæðrum
hund þusenda
With gifts of land and linked rings
landes 7 locenra
beaga ne ðorfte him
That were worth a fortune.  They had won glory,
ða lean oðwitan
mon on middangearde
So there was no gainsaying his generosity.
syððan hie ða maran
mærða geslogon.
And he gave Eofor his only daughter
7 ða Iofore forgeaf
angan dohtor,
To bide at home with him, an honor and a bond.
3000 hamweorðunge,
hyldo to wedde.
“So this bad blood between us and the Swedes,
Þæt ys sio fæhðo
7 se feondscipe,
This vicious feud, I am convinced,
wælnið wera,
ðæs ðe ic wen hafo,
Is bound to revive;  they will cross our borders
þe us seceað to
Sweona leoda,
And attack in force once they find out
syððan hie gefricgeað
frean userne
That Beowulf is dead.  In days gone by
3005 ealdorleasne,
þone ðe ær geheold
When our warriors fell and we were undefended
wið hettendum
hord 7 rice,
He kept our coffers and our kingdoms safe.
æfter hæleða hryre,
hwate Scildingas,
After the fall of heroes he ruled the valiant Scyldings,
folcred fremede,
oððe furður gen
He accomplished the good of his people.
And even further yet
eorlscipe efnde.
Me is ofost betost,
practised valor.  For me it is best for us to hurry
3010 þæt we þeodcyning
þær sceawian,
And there look upon our powerful king,
7 þone gebringan,
þe us beagas geaf,
And launch him who gave us ring-presents
on adfære.
Ne scel anes hwæt
On the funeral path.  Nor shall any single thing alone
meltan mid þam modigan,
ac þær is maðma hord,
melt with the bold prince, but there is a hoard of treasures,
gold unrime,
grimme geceapod,
Gold unnumbered, gruesomely purchased ;
3015 7 nu æt siðestan
sylfes feore
And now at last with his own life
beagas gebohte.
Þa sceall brond fretan,
he has bought the rings which the fire shall devour,
195r æled þeccean,
| nalles eorl wegan
the flame cover, and no earl at all wear
maððum to gemyndum,
ne mægð scyne
the treasure for a memorial, nor fair maiden —
habban on healse
have the dignity of rings upon her neck ;
3020 ac sceal, geomormod,
golde bereafod,
but, sad of mood, despoiled of gold,
oft, nalles æne,
elland tredan.
they shall often, not once alone, tread foreign lands,
Nu se herewisa
hleahtor alegde
Now that their leader’s laugh is silenced,
gamen 7 gleodream.
Forðon sceall gar wesan
His mirth and joyful merriment quenched.  Many a spear
monig morgenceald,
mundum bewunden,
Dawn-cold to the touch will be taken down
3025 hæfen on handa;
nalles hearpan sweg
And waved on high;  the melody of the harp
wigend weccean,
ac se wonna hrefn,
Won’t waken warriors, but the raven winging
fus ofer fægum,
fela reordian,
Darkly over the doomed will say a lot,
earne secgan
hu him æt æte speow,
To the eagle about how he prospered at eating,
þenden he wið wulf
wæl reafode.”
While he with the wolf was wasting the slain.”
3030 Swa se secg hwata
secggende wæs
Such was the drift of the dire report
laðra spella.
He ne leag fela
That gallant man delivered. He got little wrong
wyrda ne worda.
Weorod eall aras.
In what he told and predicted.
The whole troop
Eodon unbliðe
under earna næs,
Rose in tears, then took their way
wundur sceawian.
To the uncanny scene under Earnaness.
3035 Fundon ða on sande
There, on the sand, where his soul had left him,
hlimbed healdan,
þone þe him hringas geaf
They found him at rest, their ring-giver
ærran mælum.
Þa wæs endedæg
From days gone by.  The great man
godum gegongen,
þæt se guðcyning,
Had breathed his last.  Beowulf the King
Wedra þeoden,
wundordeaðe swealt.
Had indeed met with a marvelous death.
3040 Ær hi þær gesegan
syllicran wiht,
But what they saw first was far stranger:
wyrm on wonge
wiðerræhtes þær,
The serpent on the ground, gruesome and vile,
laðne licgean.
Wæs se legdraca
Lying facing him.  The fire-dragon
195v grimlic gryregist
|gledum beswæled.
Was scaresomely burnt, scorched all colors.
Se wæs fiftiges
From head to tail, his entire length
3045 lang on legere.
Lyftwynne heold
Was fifty feet.  He had shimmered forth
nihtes hwilum,
nyðer eft gewat
On the night air once, then winged back
dennes niosian.
Wæs ða deaðe fæst,
Down to his den;  but death owned him now,
hæfde eorðscrafa
ende genyttod.
He would never enter his earth-gallery again.
Him big stodan
bunan 7 orcas,
Beside him stood pitchers and piled-up dishes,
3050 discas lagon
7 dyre swyrd,
Silent flagons, precious swords
omige, þurhetone,
swa hie wið eorðan fæðm
Eaten through with rust, ranged as they had been
þusend wintra
þær eardodon.
While they waited their thousand winters underground.
Þonne wæs þæt yrfe,
That huge cache, gold inherited
iumonna gold,
galdre bewunden,
From an ancient race, was under a spell —
3055 þæt ðam hringsele
hrinan ne moste,
Which meant no one was ever permitted
gumena ænig,
nefne God sylfa,
To enter the king-hall unless God himself,
sigora Soðcyning
sealde þam ðe he wolde
Mankind’s Keeper, True King of Triumphs,
He is manna gehyld
hord openian,
Allowed some person pleasing him —
efne swa hwylcum manna
swa him gemet ðuhte.
And in his eyes worthy — to open the hoard.
{ 42 }
3060 Þa wæs gesyne
þæt se sið ne ðah
What came about brought to nothing
þam ðe unrihte
inne gehydde
The hopes of the one who had wrongly hidden
wræce under wealle.
Weard ær ofsloh
Riches under the rock face.  First the dragon slew
feara sumne.
Þa sio fæhð gewearð
That man among men, who in turn made fierce amends
gewrecen wraðlice.
Wundur hwar þonne
And settled the feud.  Famous for his deeds
3065 eorl ellenrof
ende gefere
A warrior may be, but it remains a mystery
þonne leng ne mæg,
Where his life will end, when he may no longer
mon mid his mægum,
meduseld buan.
Dwell in the mead-hall among his own.
196r Swa wæs Biowulfe,
| þa he biorges weard
So it was with Beowulf, when he faced the cruelty
sohte, searoniðas.
Seolfa ne cuðe
And cunning of the mound-guard.  He himself was ignorant
3070 þurh hwæt his worulde gedal
weorðan sceolde.
Of how his departure from the world would happen.
Swa hit oð domes dæg
diope benemdon
The high-born chiefs who had buried the treasure
þeodnas mære,
þa ðæt þær dydon,
Declared it until doomsday so accursed
þæt se secg wære
synnum scildig,
That whoever robbed it would be guilty of wrong
hergum geheaðerod,
hellbendum fæst,
And grimly punished for his transgression,
3075 wommum gewitnad,
se ðone wong strude.
Hasped in hell-bonds in heathen shrines.
Næs he goldhwæte,
gearwor hæfde
Yet Beowulf’s gaze at the gold treasure
Agendes est
ær gesceawod.
When he first saw it had not been selfish.
Wiglaf maðelode,
Wihstanes sunu:
Wiglaf, son of Wihstan, spoke:
“Oft sceall eorl monig,
anes willan,
“Often when one man follows his own will
3080 wræc adreogan,
swa us geworden is.
Many are hurt.  This happened to us.
Ne meahton we gelæran
leofne þeoden,
Nothing we advised could ever convince
rices hyrde,
ræd ænigne,
The prince we loved, our land’s guardian,
þæt he ne grette
goldweard þone,
Not to vex the custodian of the gold,
lete hyne licgean
þær he longe wæs,
Let him lie where he was long accustomed,
3085 wicum wunian
oð woruldende.
Lurk there under the earth until the end of the world.
Heold on heahgesceap.
Hord ys gesceawod,
He held to his high destiny. The hoard is laid bare,
grimme gegongen.
Þæt gifeðe wæs
But at a grave cost;  it was too cruel a fate
to swið þe ðone
þyder ontyhte.
That forced the king to that encounter.
Ic wæs þær inne
7 þæt eall geondseh,
I have been inside and seen everything
3090 recedes geatwa,
þa me gerymed wæs,
Amassed in the vault.  I managed to enter
nealles swæslice
sið alyfed,
Although no great welcome awaited me
inn under eorðweall.
Ic on ofoste gefeng
Under the earth wall.  I quickly gathered up
micle mid mundum,
A huge pile of the priceless treasures
196v hordgestreona,
hider | ut ætbær
Handpicked from the hoard and carried them here
3095 cyninge minum.
Cwico wæs þa gena,
Where the king could see them.  He was still himself,
wis 7 gewittig.
Worn eall gespræc,
Alive, aware, and in spite of his weakness
gomol on gehðo,
7 eowic gretan het,
He had many requests.  He wanted me to greet you
bæd þæt ge geworhton
æfter wines dædum
And order the building of a barrow that would crown
in bælstede
beorh þone hean,
The site of his pyre, serve as his memorial,
3100 micelne 7 mærne,
swa he manna wæs
In a commanding position, since of all men
wigend weorðfullost
wide geond eorðan,
To have lived and thriven and lorded it on earth
þenden he burhwelan
brucan moste.
His worth and due as a warrior were the greatest.
Uton nu efstan
oðre siðe
Now let us again go quickly
seon 7 secean
on searogeþræc
And feast our eyes on that amazing fortune
3105 wundur under wealle.
Ic eow wisige,
Heaped under the wall.  I will show the way
þæt ge genoge
neon sceawiað
And take you close to those coffers packed with rings
beagas 7 brad gold.
Sie sio bær gearo,
And bars of gold.  Let a bier be made
ædre geæfned,
þonne we ut cymen,
And got ready quickly when we come out
7 þonne geferian
frean userne,
And then let us bring the body of our lord,
3110 leofne mannan,
þær he longe sceal
The man we loved, to where he will lodge
on ðæs Waldendes
wære geþolian.”
For a long time in the care of the Almighty.”
Het ða gebeodan,
byre Wihstanes,
Then Wihstan’s son, stalwart to the end,
hæle hildedior,
hæleða monegum
Had orders given to owners of dwellings,
þæt hie bælwudu
Many people of importance in the land,
3115 feorran feredon,
To fetch wood from far and wide
godum togenes:
“Nu sceal gled fretan
For the good man’s pyre.
“Now shall flame consume
weaxan wonna leg
wigena strengel,
Our leader in battle, the blaze darken
þone ðe oft gebad
Round him who stood his ground in the steel-hail,
þonne stræla storm,
strengum gebæded,
When the arrow-storm shot from bowstrings
3120 scoc ofer scildweall.
Sceft nytte heold,
Pelted from the shield-wall. The shaft hit home.
fæðergearwum fus,
flane fulleode.”
Feather-fledged, it finned the barb in flight.”
Huru se snotra
sunu Wihstanes
Next the wise son of Wihstan
198r acigde of corðre
| cyniges þegnas,
Called from among the king’s thanes
syfone tosomne,
þa selestan.
A group of seven:  he selected the best
3125 Eode eahta sum
under inwithrof.
And entered with them, the eighth of their number,
Hilderinc sum
on handa bær
Under the God-cursed roof;  one raised
se ðe on orde geong.
A lighted torch and led the way.
Næs ða on hlytme,
hwa þæt hord strude,
No lots were cast for who should loot the hoard
syððan orwearde
ænigne dæl
For it was obvious to them that every bit of it
3130 secgas gesegon
on sele wunian,
Lay unprotected within the vault,
læne licgan.
Lyt ænig mearn
There for the taking.  It was no trouble
þæt hi ofostlice
ut geferedon
To hurry to work and haul out
dyre maðmas.
Dracan ec scufun,
The priceless store.  They pitched the dragon
wyrm ofer weallclif,
leton weg niman,
Over the cliff top, let tide’s flow
3135 flod fæðmian
frætwa hyrde.
And backwash take the treasure-minder.
Þæt wæs wundengold
on wæn hladen,
Then coiled gold was loaded on a cart
æghwæs unrim,
æþelinge boren,
In great abundance, and the gray-haired leader,
harum hilde,
to hrones næsse.
The prince of his bier, born to Hronesness.
{ 43 }
Him ða gegiredan,
Geata leode,
The Geat people built a pyre for Beowulf,
3140 ad on eorðan
Stacked and decked it until it stood four-square,
helmum behongen,
Hung with helmets, heavy war-shields
beorhtum byrnum,
swa he bena wæs.
And shining armor, just as he had ordered.
Alegdon ða tomiddes
mærne þeoden,
Then his warriors laid him in the middle of it,
hæleð hiofende,
hlaford leofne.
Mourning a lord far-famed and beloved.
3145 Ongunnon þa on beorge
bælfyra mæst,
On a height they kindled the hugest of all
wigend weccan.
Wudurec astah,
Funeral fires;  fumes of wood smoke
sweart ofer swioðole,
swogende let,
Billowed darkly up, the blaze roared
wope bewunden.
Windblond gelæg,
And drowned out their weeping, wind died down
oð þæt he ða banhus
gebrocen hæfde
And flames wrought havoc in the hot bone-house,
3150 hat on hreðre.
Higum unrote
Burning it to the core.  They were disconsolate
modceare mændon,
mondryhtnes cwealm.
And wailed aloud for their lord’s decease.
198v Swylce giomorgyd
|Geatisc anmeowle,
A Geat woman too sang out in grief:
næs bliðheorte,
With hair bound up, she unburdened herself
sang sorgcearig
sælðe geneahhe
Of her worst fears, a wild litany
3155 þæt hio hyre heregængas
hearde ondrede,
Of nightmare and lament:  her nation invaded,
wælfylla worn,
werudes egesan,
Enemies on the rampage, bodies in piles,
hyðo 7 hæftnyd.
Heofon rece swealg.
Slavery and abasement.  Heaven swallowed the smoke.
Geworhton ða
Wedra leode
Then the Geat people began to construct
hlæo on hoe,
se wæs heah 7 brad,
A mound on a headland, high and imposing,
3160 wægliðendum
wide gesyne,
A marker that sailors could see from far away,
7 betimbredon
on tyn dagum,
And in ten days they had done the work.
beadurofes becn,
bronda lafe.
It was their hero’s memorial;  what remained from fire
Wealle beworhton,
swa hyt weorðlicost
They housed inside it, behind a wall
foresnotre men
findan mihton.
As worthy of him as their workmanship could make it.
3165 Hi on beorg dydon
beg 7 siglu,
And they buried torques in the barrow, and jewels
eall swylce hyrsta,
swylce on horde ær
And a trove of such things as trespassing men
niðhedige men
genumen hæfdon.
Had once dared to drag from the hoard.
Forleton eorla gestreon
eorðan healdan,
They let the ground keep that ancestral treasure,
gold on greote,
þær hit nu gen lifað
Gold under gravel, gone to earth,
3170 eldum swa unnyt
swa hyt æror wæs.
As useless to men now as it ever was.
Þa ymbe hlæw riodan,
Then twelve warriors rode around the tomb,
æþelinga bearn,
ealra twelfa,
Chieftain’s sons, champions in battle,
woldon care cwiðan,
kyning mænan,
All of them distraught, chanting in dirges,
wordgyd wrecan,
7 ymb wer sprecan.
Mourning his loss as a man and a king.
3175 Eahtodan eorlscipe
7 his ellenweorc
They extolled his heroic exploits
duguðum demdon,
swa hit gedefe bið
And gave thanks for his greatness;  which was the proper thing,
þæt mon his winedryhten
wordum herge,
For a man should praise a prince whom he holds dear
ferhðum freoge,
þonne he forð scile
And cherish his memory when that moment comes
of lichaman
læded weorðan.
When he has to be convoyed from his bodily home.
3180 Swa begnornodon
Geata leode
So the Geat people, his hearth companions,
hlafordes hryre,
Sorrowed for the lord who had been laid low.
Cwædon þæt he wære
They said that of all the kings upon the earth
manna mildust
7 monðwærust,
He was the man most gracious and fair-minded,
leodum liðost,
7 lofgeornost.
Kindest to his people and keenest to win fame.

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Deus vult ! — Þeedrich ( Inscriptio electronica :   )
Dies immutationis recentissimæ :  die Jovis, 2017 Jan 12