1Hwæt. We Gardena in geardagum,
LO, praise of the prowess of people-kings
2þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon,
of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,
3hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
we have heard, and what honor the athelings won!
4Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena/ þreatum,
Oft Scyld the Scefing from squadroned foes,
5monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah,
from many a tribe, the mead-bench tore,
6egsode eorlas. Syððan ærest wearð/
awing the earls. Since erst he lay
7feasceaft funden, he þæs frofre gebad,
friendless, a foundling, fate repaid him:
8weox under wolcnum, weorðmyndum þah,
for he waxed under welkin, in wealth he throve,
9oðþæt him æghwylc þara ymbsittendra
till before him the folk, both far and near,
10ofer hronrade hyran scolde,
who house by the whale-path, heard his mandate,
11gomban gyldan. þæt wæs god cyning.
gave him gifts: a good king he!
12ðæm eafera wæs æfter cenned,
To him an heir was afterward born,
13geong in geardum, þone god sende
a son in his halls, whom heaven sent
14folce to frofre; fyrenðearfe ongeat
to favor the folk, feeling their woe
15þe hie ær drugon aldorlease/
that erst they had lacked an earl for leader
16lange hwile. Him þæs liffrea,
so long a while; the Lord endowed him,
17wuldres wealdend, woroldare forgeaf;
the Wielder of Wonder, with world's renown.
18Beowulf wæs breme blæd wide sprang/,
Famed was this Beowulf: far flew the boast of him,
19Scyldes eafera Scedelandum in.
son of Scyld, in the Scandian lands.
20Swa sceal geong/ guma/ gode gewyrcean,
So becomes it a youth to quit him well
21fromum feohgiftum on fæder bearme/,
with his father's friends, by fee and gift,
22þæt hine on ylde eft gewunigen
that to aid him, aged, in after days,
23wilgesiþas, þonne wig cume,
come warriors willing, should war draw nigh,
24leode gelæsten; lofdædum sceal
liegemen loyal: by lauded deeds
25in mægþa gehwære man geþeon.
shall an earl have honor in every clan.
26Him ða Scyld gewat to gescæphwile
Forth he fared at the fated moment,
27felahror feran on frean wære.
sturdy Scyld to the shelter of God.
28Hi hyne þa ætbæron to brimes faroðe,
Then they bore him over to ocean's billow,
29swæse gesiþas, swa he selfa bæd,
loving clansmen, as late he charged them,
30þenden wordum weold wine Scyldinga;
while wielded words the winsome Scyld,
31leof landfruma lange ahte.
the leader beloved who long had ruled....
32þær æt hyðe stod hringedstefna,
In the roadstead rocked a ring-dight vessel,
33isig ond utfus, æþelinges fær.
ice-flecked, outbound, atheling's barge:
34Aledon þa leofne þeoden,
there laid they down their darling lord
35beaga bryttan, on bearm scipes,
on the breast of the boat, the breaker-of-rings,
36mærne be mæste. þær wæs madma fela
by the mast the mighty one. Many a treasure
37of feorwegum, frætwa, gelæded;
fetched from far was freighted with him.
38ne hyrde ic cymlicor ceol gegyrwan
No ship have I known so nobly dight
39hildewæpnum ond heaðowædum,
with weapons of war and weeds of battle,
40billum ond byrnum; him on bearme læg
with breastplate and blade: on his bosom lay
41madma mænigo, þa him mid scoldon
a heaped hoard that hence should go
42on flodes æht feor gewitan.
far o'er the flood with him floating away.
43Nalæs hi hine læssan lacum teodan,
No less these loaded the lordly gifts,
44þeodgestreonum, þon þa dydon
thanes' huge treasure, than those had done
45þe hine æt frumsceafte forð onsendon
who in former time forth had sent him
46ænne ofer yðe umborwesende.
sole on the seas, a suckling child.
47þa gyt hie him asetton segen geldenne/
High o'er his head they hoist the standard,
48heah ofer heafod, leton holm beran/,
a gold-wove banner; let billows take him,
49geafon on garsecg; him wæs geomor sefa,
gave him to ocean. Grave were their spirits,
50murnende mod. Men ne cunnon
mournful their mood. No man is able
51secgan to soðe, selerædende/,
to say in sooth, no son of the halls,
52hæleð under heofenum, hwa þæm hlæste onfeng.
no hero 'neath heaven, -- who harbored that freight!
53ða wæs on burgum Beowulf Scyldinga,
Now Beowulf bode in the burg of the Scyldings,
54leof leodcyning, longe þrage
leader beloved, and long he ruled
55folcum gefræge fæder ellor hwearf,
in fame with all folk, since his father had gone
56aldor of earde, oþþæt him eft onwoc
away from the world, till awoke an heir,
57heah Healfdene; heold þenden lifde,
haughty Healfdene, who held through life,
58gamol ond guðreouw, glæde Scyldingas.
sage and sturdy, the Scyldings glad.
59ðæm feower bearn forð gerimed
Then, one after one, there woke to him,
60in worold wocun, weoroda ræswan/,
to the chieftain of clansmen, children four:
61Heorogar ond Hroðgar ond Halga til;
Heorogar, then Hrothgar, then Halga brave;
62hyrde ic þæt wæs/ Onelan cwen,
and I heard that -- was --'s queen,
the Heathoscylfing's helpmate dear.
64þa wæs Hroðgare heresped gyfen,
To Hrothgar was given such glory of war,
65wiges weorðmynd, þæt him his winemagas
such honor of combat, that all his kin
66georne hyrdon, oðð þæt seo geogoð geweox,
obeyed him gladly till great grew his band
67magodriht micel. Him on mod bearn
of youthful comrades. It came in his mind
68þæt healreced hatan wolde,
to bid his henchmen a hall uprear,
69medoærn/ micel, men gewyrcean
a master mead-house, mightier far
70þonne/ yldo bearn æfre gefrunon,
than ever was seen by the sons of earth,
71ond þær on innan eall gedælan
and within it, then, to old and young
72geongum ond ealdum, swylc him god sealde,
he would all allot that the Lord had sent him,
73buton folcscare ond feorum gumena.
save only the land and the lives of his men.
74ða ic wide gefrægn weorc gebannan
Wide, I heard, was the work commanded,
75manigre mægþe geond þisne middangeard,
for many a tribe this mid-earth round,
76folcstede frætwan. Him on fyrste gelomp,
to fashion the folkstead. It fell, as he ordered,
77ædre mid yldum, þæt hit wearð ealgearo,
in rapid achievement that ready it stood there,
78healærna mæst; scop him Heort naman
of halls the noblest: Heorot he named it
79se þe his wordes geweald wide hæfde.
whose message had might in many a land.
80He beot ne aleh, beagas dælde,
Not reckless of promise, the rings he dealt,
81sinc æt symle. Sele hlifade,
treasure at banquet: there towered the hall,
82heah ond horngeap, heaðowylma bad,
high, gabled wide, the hot surge waiting
83laðan liges; ne wæs hit lenge þa gen
of furious flame. Nor far was that day
84þæt se ecghete/ aþumsweorum/,
when father and son-in-law stood in feud
85æfter wælniðe wæcnan scolde.
for warfare and hatred that woke again.
86ða se ellengæst earfoðlice
With envy and anger an evil spirit
87þrage geþolode, se þe in þystrum bad,
endured the dole in his dark abode,
88þæt he dogora gehwam dream gehyrde
that he heard each day the din of revel
89hludne in healle; þær wæs hearpan sweg,
high in the hall: there harps rang out,
90swutol sang scopes. Sægde se þe cuþe
clear song of the singer. He sang who knew
91frumsceaft fira feorran reccan,
tales of the early time of man,
92cwæð þæt se ælmihtiga eorðan worhte/,
how the Almighty made the earth,
93wlitebeorhtne wang, swa wæter bebugeð,
fairest fields enfolded by water,
94gesette sigehreþig sunnan ond monan
set, triumphant, sun and moon
95leoman to leohte landbuendum
for a light to lighten the land-dwellers,
96ond gefrætwade foldan sceatas
and braided bright the breast of earth
97leomum ond leafum, lif eac gesceop
with limbs and leaves, made life for all
98cynna gehwylcum þara ðe cwice hwyrfaþ.
of mortal beings that breathe and move.
99Swa ða drihtguman dreamum lifdon
So lived the clansmen in cheer and revel
100eadiglice, oððæt an ongan
a winsome life, till one began
101fyrene fremman/ feond on helle.
to fashion evils, that field of hell.
102Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
Grendel this monster grim was called,
103mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold,
march-riever mighty, in moorland living,
104fen ond fæsten; fifelcynnes eard
in fen and fastness; fief of the giants
105wonsæli wer weardode hwile,
the hapless wight a while had kept
106siþðan him scyppend forscrifen hæfde
since the Creator his exile doomed.
107in Caines cynne. þone cwealm gewræc
On kin of Cain was the killing avenged
108ece drihten, þæs þe he Abel slog;
by sovran God for slaughtered Abel.
109ne gefeah he þære fæhðe, ac he hine feor forwræc,
Ill fared his feud, and far was he driven,
110metod for þy mane, mancynne fram.
for the slaughter's sake, from sight of men.
111þanon untydras ealle onwocon,
Of Cain awoke all that woful breed,
112eotenas ond ylfe ond orcneas,
Etins and elves and evil-spirits,
113swylce gigantas/, þa wið gode wunnon
as well as the giants that warred with God
114lange þrage; he him ðæs lean forgeald.
weary while: but their wage was paid them!
115Gewat ða neosian, syþðan niht becom,
WENT he forth to find at fall of night
116hean huses, hu hit Hringdene
that haughty house, and heed wherever
117æfter beorþege gebun hæfdon.
the Ring-Danes, outrevelled, to rest had gone.
118Fand þa ðær inne æþelinga gedriht
Found within it the atheling band
119swefan æfter symble; sorge ne cuðon,
asleep after feasting and fearless of sorrow,
120wonsceaft wera. Wiht unhælo,
of human hardship. Unhallowed wight,
121grim ond grædig, gearo sona wæs,
grim and greedy, he grasped betimes,
122reoc ond reþe, ond on ræste genam
wrathful, reckless, from resting-places,
123þritig þegna, þanon eft gewat
thirty of the thanes, and thence he rushed
124huðe hremig to ham faran,
fain of his fell spoil, faring homeward,
125mid þære wælfylle wica neosan.
laden with slaughter, his lair to seek.
126ða wæs on uhtan mid ærdæge
Then at the dawning, as day was breaking,
127Grendles guðcræft gumum undyrne;
the might of Grendel to men was known;
128þa wæs æfter wiste wop up ahafen,
then after wassail was wail uplifted,
129micel morgensweg. Mære þeoden,
loud moan in the morn. The mighty chief,
130æþeling ærgod, unbliðe sæt,
atheling excellent, unblithe sat,
131þolode ðryðswyð, þegnsorge dreah,
labored in woe for the loss of his thanes,
132syðþan hie þæs laðan last sceawedon,
when once had been traced the trail of the fiend,
133wergan gastes; wæs þæt gewin to strang,
spirit accurst: too cruel that sorrow,
134lað ond longsum. Næs hit lengra fyrst,
too long, too loathsome. Not late the respite;
135ac ymb ane niht eft gefremede
with night returning, anew began
136morðbeala mare ond no mearn fore,
ruthless murder; he recked no whit,
137fæhðe ond fyrene; wæs to fæst on þam.
firm in his guilt, of the feud and crime.
138þa wæs eaðfynde þe him elles hwær
They were easy to find who elsewhere sought
139gerumlicor ræste sohte/,
in room remote their rest at night,
140bed æfter burum, ða him gebeacnod wæs,
bed in the bowers, when that bale was shown,
141gesægd soðlice sweotolan tacne
was seen in sooth, with surest token, --
142healðegnes hete; heold hyne syðþan
the hall-thane's hate. Such held themselves
143fyr ond fæstor se þæm feonde ætwand.
far and fast who the fiend outran!
144Swa rixode ond wið rihte wan,
Thus ruled unrighteous and raged his fill
145ana wið eallum, oðþæt idel stod
one against all; until empty stood
146husa selest. Wæs seo hwil micel;
that lordly building, and long it bode so.
147XII wintra tid torn geþolode
Twelve years' tide the trouble he bore,
148wine Scyldinga/, weana gehwelcne,
sovran of Scyldings, sorrows in plenty,
149sidra sorga. Forðam secgum/ wearð,
boundless cares. There came unhidden
150ylda bearnum, undyrne cuð,
tidings true to the tribes of men,
151gyddum geomore, þætte Grendel wan
in sorrowful songs, how ceaselessly Grendel
152hwile wið Hroþgar, heteniðas wæg,
harassed Hrothgar, what hate he bore him,
153fyrene ond fæhðe fela missera,
what murder and massacre, many a year,
154singale sæce, sibbe ne wolde
feud unfading, -- refused consent
155wið manna hwone mægenes Deniga,
to deal with any of Daneland's earls,
156feorhbealo feorran, fea þingian,
make pact of peace, or compound for gold:
157ne þær nænig witena wenan þorfte
still less did the wise men ween to get
158beorhtre bote to banan/ folmum,
great fee for the feud from his fiendish hands.
159ac/ se/ æglæca ehtende wæs,
But the evil one ambushed old and young
160deorc deaþscua, duguþe ond geogoþe,
death-shadow dark, and dogged them still,
161seomade ond syrede, sinnihte heold
lured, or lurked in the livelong night
162mistige moras. men ne cunnon
of misty moorlands: men may say not
163hwyder helrunan hwyrftum scriþað.
where the haunts of these Hell-Runes be.
164Swa fela fyrena feond mancynnes,
Such heaping of horrors the hater of men,
165atol angengea, oft gefremede,
lonely roamer, wrought unceasing,
166heardra hynða. Heorot eardode,
harassings heavy. O'er Heorot he lorded,
167sincfage sel sweartum nihtum;
gold-bright hall, in gloomy nights;
168no he þone gifstol gretan moste,
and ne'er could the prince approach his throne,
169maþðum for metode, ne his myne wisse.
-- 'twas judgment of God, -- or have joy in his hall.
170þæt wæs wræc micel wine Scyldinga,
Sore was the sorrow to Scyldings'-friend,
171modes brecða. Monig oft gesæt
heart-rending misery. Many nobles
172rice to rune; ræd eahtedon
sat assembled, and searched out counsel
173hwæt swiðferhðum selest wære
how it were best for bold-hearted men
174wið færgryrum to gefremmanne.
against harassing terror to try their hand.
175Hwilum hie geheton æt hærgtrafum/
Whiles they vowed in their heathen fanes
176wigweorþunga, wordum bædon
altar-offerings, asked with words
177þæt him gastbona geoce gefremede
that the slayer-of-souls would succor give them
178wið þeodþreaum. Swylc wæs þeaw hyra,
for the pain of their people. Their practice this,
179hæþenra hyht; helle gemundon
their heathen hope; 'twas Hell they thought of
180in modsefan, metod hie ne cuþon,
in mood of their mind. Almighty they knew not,
181dæda demend, ne wiston hie drihten god,
Doomsman of Deeds and dreadful Lord,
182ne hie huru heofena helm herian ne cuþon,
nor Heaven's-Helmet heeded they ever,
183wuldres waldend. Wa bið þæm ðe sceal
Wielder-of-Wonder. -- Woe for that man
184þurh sliðne nið sawle bescufan
who in harm and hatred hales his soul
185in fyres fæþm, frofre ne wenan,
to fiery embraces; -- nor favor nor change
186wihte gewendan; wel bið þæm þe mot
awaits he ever. But well for him
187æfter deaðdæge drihten secean
that after death-day may draw to his Lord,
188ond to fæder fæþmum freoðo wilnian.
and friendship find in the Father's arms!
189Swa ða mælceare maga Healfdenes
THUS seethed unceasing the son of Healfdene
190singala seað, ne mihte snotor hæleð
with the woe of these days; not wisest men
191wean onwendan; wæs þæt gewin to swyð,
assuaged his sorrow; too sore the anguish,
192laþ ond longsum, þe on ða leode becom,
loathly and long, that lay on his folk,
193nydwracu niþgrim, nihtbealwa mæst.
most baneful of burdens and bales of the night.
194þæt fram ham gefrægn Higelaces þegn,
This heard in his home Hygelac's thane,
195god mid Geatum, Grendles dæda;
great among Geats, of Grendel's doings.
196se wæs moncynnes mægenes strengest
He was the mightiest man of valor
197on þæm dæge þysses lifes,
in that same day of this our life,
198æþele ond eacen. Het him yðlidan
stalwart and stately. A stout wave-walker
199godne gegyrwan, cwæð, hu guðcyning
he bade make ready. Yon battle-king, said he,
200ofer swanrade secean wolde,
far o'er the swan-road he fain would seek,
201mærne þeoden, þa him wæs manna þearf.
the noble monarch who needed men!
202ðone siðfæt him snotere ceorlas
The prince's journey by prudent folk
203lythwon logon, þeah he him leof wære;
was little blamed, though they loved him dear;
204hwetton higerofne/, hæl sceawedon.
they whetted the hero, and hailed good omens.
205Hæfde se goda Geata leoda
And now the bold one from bands of Geats
206cempan gecorone þara þe he cenoste
comrades chose, the keenest of warriors
207findan mihte; XVna sum
e'er he could find; with fourteen men
208sundwudu sohte; secg wisade,
the sea-wood he sought, and, sailor proved,
209lagucræftig mon, landgemyrcu.
led them on to the land's confines.
210Fyrst forð gewat. Flota wæs on yðum,
Time had now flown; afloat was the ship,
211bat under beorge. Beornas gearwe
boat under bluff. On board they climbed,
212on stefn stigon; streamas wundon,
warriors ready; waves were churning
213sund wið sande; secgas bæron
sea with sand; the sailors bore
214on bearm nacan beorhte frætwe,
on the breast of the bark their bright array,
215guðsearo geatolic; guman ut scufon,
their mail and weapons: the men pushed off,
216weras on wilsið, wudu bundenne.
on its willing way, the well-braced craft.
217Gewat þa ofer wægholm, winde gefysed,
Then moved o'er the waters by might of the wind
218flota famiheals fugle gelicost,
that bark like a bird with breast of foam,
219oðþæt ymb antid oþres dogores
till in season due, on the second day,
220wundenstefna gewaden hæfde
the curved prow such course had run
221þæt ða liðende land gesawon,
that sailors now could see the land,
222brimclifu blican, beorgas steape,
sea-cliffs shining, steep high hills,
223side sænæssas; þa wæs sund liden,
headlands broad. Their haven was found,
224eoletes æt ende. þanon up hraðe
their journey ended. Up then quickly
225Wedera leode on wang stigon,
the Weders' clansmen climbed ashore,
226sæwudu sældon syrcan hrysedon,
anchored their sea-wood, with armor clashing
227guðgewædo, gode þancedon
and gear of battle: God they thanked
228þæs þe him yþlade eaðe wurdon.
for passing in peace o'er the paths of the sea.
229þa of wealle geseah weard Scildinga,
Now saw from the cliff a Scylding clansman,
230se þe holmclifu healdan scolde,
a warden that watched the water-side,
231beran ofer bolcan beorhte randas,
how they bore o'er the gangway glittering shields,
232fyrdsearu fuslicu; hine fyrwyt bræc
war-gear in readiness; wonder seized him
233modgehygdum, hwæt þa men wæron.
to know what manner of men they were.
234Gewat him þa to waroðe wicge ridan
Straight to the strand his steed he rode,
235þegn Hroðgares, þrymmum cwehte
Hrothgar's henchman; with hand of might
236mægenwudu mundum, meþelwordum frægn:
he shook his spear, and spake in parley.
237Hwæt syndon ge searohæbbendra,
"Who are ye, then, ye armed men,
238byrnum werede, þe þus brontne ceol
mailed folk, that yon mighty vessel
239ofer lagustræte lædan cwomon,
have urged thus over the ocean ways,
240hider ofer holmas? le/ wæs
here o'er the waters? A warden I,
241endesæta, ægwearde heold,
sentinel set o'er the sea-march here,
242þe on land Dena laðra nænig
lest any foe to the folk of Danes
243mid scipherge sceðþan ne meahte.
with harrying fleet should harm the land.
244No her cuðlicor cuman ongunnon
No aliens ever at ease thus bore them,
245lindhæbbende; ne ge leafnesword
linden-wielders: yet word-of-leave
246guðfremmendra gearwe ne wisson,
clearly ye lack from clansmen here,
247maga gemedu. Næfre ic maran geseah
my folk's agreement. -- A greater ne'er saw I
248eorla ofer eorþan ðonne is eower sum,
of warriors in world than is one of you, --
249secg on searwum; nis þæt seldguma,
yon hero in harness! No henchman he
250wæpnum geweorðad, næfne/ him his wlite leoge,
worthied by weapons, if witness his features,
251ænlic ansyn. Nu ic eower sceal
his peerless presence! I pray you, though, tell
252frumcyn witan, ær ge fyr heonan ,
your folk and home, lest hence ye fare
253leassceaweras, on land Dena
suspect to wander your way as spies
254furþur feran. Nu ge feorbuend,
in Danish land. Now, dwellers afar,
255mereliðende, minne/ gehyrað
ocean-travellers, take from me
256anfealdne geþoht: Ofost is selest
simple advice: the sooner the better
257to gecyðanne hwanan eowre cyme syndon.
I hear of the country whence ye came."
258Him se yldesta ondswarode,
To him the stateliest spake in answer;
259werodes wisa, wordhord onleac:
the warriors' leader his word-hoard unlocked:--
260We synt gumcynnes Geata leode
"We are by kin of the clan of Geats,
261ond Higelaces heorðgeneatas.
and Hygelac's own hearth-fellows we.
262Wæs min fæder folcum gecyþed,
To folk afar was my father known,
263æþele ordfruma, Ecgþeow haten.
noble atheling, Ecgtheow named.
264Gebad wintra worn, ær he on weg hwurfe,
Full of winters, he fared away
265gamol of geardum; hine gearwe geman
aged from earth; he is honored still
266witena welhwylc wide geond eorþan.
through width of the world by wise men all.
267We þurh holdne hige hlaford þinne,
To thy lord and liege in loyal mood
268sunu Healfdenes, secean cwomon,
we hasten hither, to Healfdene's son,
269leodgebyrgean; wes þu us larena god.
people-protector: be pleased to advise us!
270Habbað we to þæm mæran micel ærende,
To that mighty-one come we on mickle errand,
271Deniga frean, ne sceal þær dyrne sum
to the lord of the Danes; nor deem I right
272wesan, þæs ic wene. þu wast gif hit is
that aught be hidden. We hear -- thou knowest
273swa we soþlice secgan hyrdon
if sooth it is -- the saying of men,
274þæt mid Scyldingum sceaðona/ ic nat hwylc,
that amid the Scyldings a scathing monster,
275deogol dædhata, deorcum nihtum
dark ill-doer, in dusky nights
276eaweð þurh egsan uncuðne nið,
shows terrific his rage unmatched,
277hynðu ond hrafyl. Ic þæs Hroðgar mæg
hatred and murder. To Hrothgar I
278þurh rumne sefan ræd gelæran,
in greatness of soul would succor bring,
279hu he frod ond god feond oferswyðeþ,
so the Wise-and-Brave may worst his foes, --
280gyf him edwendan æfre scolde
if ever the end of ills is fated,
281bealuwa bisigu, bot eft cuman,
of cruel contest, if cure shall follow,
282ond þa cearwylmas colran wurðaþ;
and the boiling care-waves cooler grow;
283oððe a syþðan earfoðþrage,
else ever afterward anguish-days
284þreanyd þolað, þenden þær wunað
he shall suffer in sorrow while stands in place
285on heahstede husa selest.
high on its hill that house unpeered!"
286Weard maþelode, ðær on wicge sæt,
Astride his steed, the strand-ward answered,
287ombeht unforht: æghwæþres sceal
clansman unquailing: "The keen-souled thane
288scearp scyldwiga gescad witan,
must be skilled to sever and sunder duly
289worda ond worca, se þe wel þenceð.
words and works, if he well intends.
290Ic þæt gehyre, þæt þis is hold weorod
I gather, this band is graciously bent
291frean Scyldinga. Gewitaþ forð beran
to the Scyldings' master. March, then, bearing
292wæpen ond gewædu; ic eow wisige.
weapons and weeds the way I show you.
293Swylce ic maguþegnas mine hate
I will bid my men your boat meanwhile
294wið feonda gehwone flotan eowerne,
to guard for fear lest foemen come, --
295niwtyrwydne nacan on sande
your new-tarred ship by shore of ocean
296arum healdan, oþðæt eft byreð
faithfully watching till once again
297ofer lagustreamas leofne mannan
it waft o'er the waters those well-loved thanes,
298wudu wundenhals to Wedermearce,
-- winding-neck'd wood, -- to Weders' bounds,
299godfremmendra swylcum gifeþe bið
heroes such as the hest of fate
300þæt þone hilderæs hal gedigeð.
shall succor and save from the shock of war."
301Gewiton him þa feran. Flota stille bad,
They bent them to march, -- the boat lay still,
302seomode on sale/ sidfæþmed scip,
fettered by cable and fast at anchor,
303on ancre fæst. Eoforlic scionon
broad-bosomed ship. -- Then shone the boars
304ofer hleorberan gehroden golde,
over the cheek-guard; chased with gold,
305fah ond fyrheard; ferhwearde heold
keen and gleaming, guard it kept
306guþmod grimmon/. Guman onetton,
o'er the man of war, as marched along
307sigon ætsomne, oþþæt hy sæl/ timbred,
heroes in haste, till the hall they saw,
308geatolic ond goldfah, ongyton mihton;
broad of gable and bright with gold:
309þæt wæs foremærost foldbuendum
that was the fairest, 'mid folk of earth,
310receda under roderum, on þæm se rica bad;
of houses 'neath heaven, where Hrothgar lived,
311lixte se leoma ofer landa fela.
and the gleam of it lightened o'er lands afar.
312Him þa hildedeor hof/ modigra
The sturdy shieldsman showed that bright
313torht getæhte, þæt hie him to mihton
burg-of-the-boldest; bade them go
314gegnum gangan; guðbeorna sum
straightway thither; his steed then turned,
315wicg gewende, word æfter cwæð:
hardy hero, and hailed them thus:--
316Mæl is me to feran; fæder alwalda
"Tis time that I fare from you. Father Almighty
317mid arstafum eowic gehealde
in grace and mercy guard you well,
318siða gesunde. Ic to sæ wille
safe in your seekings. Seaward I go,
319wið wrað werod wearde healdan.
'gainst hostile warriors hold my watch."
320Stræt wæs stanfah, stig wisode
STONE-BRIGHT the street: it showed the way
321gumum ætgædere. Guðbyrne scan
to the crowd of clansmen. Corselets glistened
322heard hondlocen, hringiren scir
hand-forged, hard; on their harness bright
323song in searwum, þa hie to sele furðum
the steel ring sang, as they strode along
324in hyra gryregeatwum gangan cwomon.
in mail of battle, and marched to the hall.
325Setton sæmeþe side scyldas,
There, weary of ocean, the wall along
326rondas regnhearde, wið þæs recedes weal,
they set their bucklers, their broad shields, down,
327bugon þa to bence. Byrnan hringdon,
and bowed them to bench: the breastplates clanged,
328guðsearo gumena; garas stodon,
war-gear of men; their weapons stacked,
329sæmanna searo, samod ætgædere,
spears of the seafarers stood together,
330æscholt ufan græg; wæs se irenþreat
gray-tipped ash: that iron band
331wæpnum gewurþad. þa ðær wlonc hæleð
was worthily weaponed! -- A warrior proud
332oretmecgas æfter æþelum frægn:
asked of the heroes their home and kin.
333Hwanon ferigeað ge fætte scyldas,
"Whence, now, bear ye burnished shields,
334græge syrcan ond grimhelmas,
harness gray and helmets grim,
335heresceafta heap? Ic eom Hroðgares
spears in multitude? Messenger, I,
336ar ond ombiht. Ne seah ic elþeodige
Hrothgar's herald! Heroes so many
337þus manige men modiglicran.
ne'er met I as strangers of mood so strong.
338Wen ic þæt ge for wlenco, nalles for wræcsiðum,
'Tis plain that for prowess, not plunged into exile,
339ac for higeþrymmum/ Hroðgar sohton.
for high-hearted valor, Hrothgar ye seek!"
340Him þa ellenrof andswarode,
Him the sturdy-in-war bespake with words,
341wlanc Wedera leod, word æfter spræc,
proud earl of the Weders answer made,
342heard under helme: We synt Higelaces
hardy 'neath helmet:--"Hygelac's, we,
343beodgeneatas; Beowulf is min nama.
fellows at board; I am Beowulf named.
344Wille ic asecgan sunu Healfdenes,
I am seeking to say to the son of Healfdene
345mærum þeodne, min ærende,
this mission of mine, to thy master-lord,
346aldre þinum, gif he us geunnan wile
the doughty prince, if he deign at all
347þæt we hine swa godne gretan moton.
grace that we greet him, the good one, now."
348Wulfgar maþelode þæt wæs Wendla leod;
Wulfgar spake, the Wendles' chieftain,
349wæs his modsefa manegum gecyðed,
whose might of mind to many was known,
350wig ond wisdom: Ic þæs wine Deniga,
his courage and counsel: "The king of Danes,
351frean Scildinga, frinan wille,
the Scyldings' friend, I fain will tell,
352beaga bryttan, swa þu bena eart,
the Breaker-of-Rings, as the boon thou askest,
353þeoden mærne, ymb þinne sið,
the famed prince, of thy faring hither,
354ond þe þa ondsware ædre gecyðan
and, swiftly after, such answer bring
355ðe me se goda agifan þenceð.
as the doughty monarch may deign to give."
356Hwearf þa hrædlice þær Hroðgar sæt
Hied then in haste to where Hrothgar sat
357eald ond anhar/ mid his eorla gedriht;
white-haired and old, his earls about him,
358eode ellenrof, þæt he for eaxlum gestod
till the stout thane stood at the shoulder there
359Deniga frean; cuþe he duguðe þeaw.
of the Danish king: good courtier he!
360Wulfgar maðelode to his/ winedrihtne:
Wulfgar spake to his winsome lord:--
361Her syndon geferede, feorran cumene
"Hither have fared to thee far-come men
362ofer geofenes begang Geata leode;
o'er the paths of ocean, people of Geatland;
363þone yldestan oretmecgas
and the stateliest there by his sturdy band
364Beowulf nemnað. Hy benan synt
is Beowulf named. This boon they seek,
365þæt hie, þeoden min, wið þe moton
that they, my master, may with thee
366wordum wrixlan. No ðu him wearne geteoh
have speech at will: nor spurn their prayer
367ðinra gegncwida, glædman Hroðgar.
to give them hearing, gracious Hrothgar!
368Hy on wiggetawum wyrðe þinceað
In weeds of the warrior worthy they,
369eorla geæhtlan; huru se aldor deah,
methinks, of our liking; their leader most surely,
370se þæm heaðorincum hider wisade.
a hero that hither his henchmen has led."
371Hroðgar maþelode, helm Scyldinga:
HROTHGAR answered, helmet of Scyldings:--
372Ic hine cuðe cnihtwesende.
"I knew him of yore in his youthful days;
373Wæs his ealdfæder Ecgþeo haten,
his aged father was Ecgtheow named,
374ðæm to ham forgeaf Hreþel Geata
to whom, at home, gave Hrethel the Geat
375angan dohtor; is his eafora/ nu
his only daughter. Their offspring bold
376heard her cumen, sohte holdne wine.
fares hither to seek the steadfast friend.
377ðonne sægdon þæt sæliþende,
And seamen, too, have said me this, --
378þa ðe gifsceattas Geata fyredon
who carried my gifts to the Geatish court,
379þyder to þance, þæt he XXXtiges
thither for thanks, -- he has thirty men's
380manna mægencræft on his mundgripe
heft of grasp in the gripe of his hand,
381heaþorof hæbbe. Hine halig god
the bold-in-battle. Blessed God
382for arstafum us onsende,
out of his mercy this man hath sent
383to Westdenum, þæs ic wen hæbbe,
to Danes of the West, as I ween indeed,
384wið Grendles gryre. Ic þæm/ godan sceal
against horror of Grendel. I hope to give
385for his modþræce madmas beodan.
the good youth gold for his gallant thought.
386Beo ðu on ofeste, hat in gan
Be thou in haste, and bid them hither,
387seon sibbegedriht samod ætgædere;
clan of kinsmen, to come before me;
388gesaga him eac wordum þæt hie sint wilcuman
and add this word, -- they are welcome guests
to folk of the Danes." [To the door of the hall
390 word/ inne abead:
Wulfgar went] and the word declared:--
391Eow het secgan sigedrihten min,
"To you this message my master sends,
392aldor Eastdena, þæt he eower æþelu can,
East-Danes' king, that your kin he knows,
393ond ge him syndon ofer sæwylmas
hardy heroes, and hails you all
394heardhicgende hider wilcuman.
welcome hither o'er waves of the sea!
395Nu ge moton gangan in eowrum guðgeatawum
Ye may wend your way in war-attire,
396under heregriman Hroðgar geseon;
and under helmets Hrothgar greet;
397lætað hildebord her onbidan,
but let here the battle-shields bide your parley,
398wudu, wælsceaftas, worda geþinges.
and wooden war-shafts wait its end."
399Aras þa se rica, ymb hine rinc manig,
Uprose the mighty one, ringed with his men,
400þryðlic þegna heap; sume þær bidon,
brave band of thanes: some bode without,
401heaðoreaf heoldon, swa him se hearda bebead.
battle-gear guarding, as bade the chief.
402Snyredon ætsomne, þa secg wisode,
Then hied that troop where the herald led them,
403under Heorotes hrof
under Heorot's roof: [the hero strode,]
404heard/ under helme, þæt he on heoðe gestod.
hardy 'neath helm, till the hearth he neared.
405Beowulf maðelode on him byrne scan,
Beowulf spake, -- his breastplate gleamed,
406searonet/ seowed smiþes orþancum:
war-net woven by wit of the smith:--
407Wæs þu, Hroðgar/, hal. Ic eom Higelaces
"Thou Hrothgar, hail! Hygelac's I,
408mæg ond magoðegn; hæbbe ic mærða fela
kinsman and follower. Fame a plenty
409ongunnen on geogoþe. Me wearð Grendles þing
have I gained in youth! These Grendel-deeds
410on minre eþeltyrf undyrne cuð;
I heard in my home-land heralded clear.
411secgað sæliðend þæt þæs sele stande,
Seafarers say how stands this hall,
412reced selesta, rinca gehwylcum
of buildings best, for your band of thanes
413idel ond unnyt, siððan æfenleoht
empty and idle, when evening sun
414under heofenes hador beholen weorþeð.
in the harbor of heaven is hidden away.
415þa me þæt gelærdon leode mine
So my vassals advised me well, --
416þa selestan, snotere ceorlas,
brave and wise, the best of men, --
417þeoden Hroðgar, þæt ic þe sohte,
O sovran Hrothgar, to seek thee here,
418forþan hie mægenes cræft minne/ cuþon,
for my nerve and my might they knew full well.
419selfe ofersawon, ða ic of searwum cwom,
Themselves had seen me from slaughter come
420fah from feondum. þær ic fife geband,
blood-flecked from foes, where five I bound,
421yðde eotena cyn ond on yðum slog
and that wild brood worsted. I' the waves I slew
422niceras nihtes, nearoþearfe dreah,
nicors by night, in need and peril
423wræc Wedera/ nið wean ahsodon,
avenging the Weders, whose woe they sought, --
424forgrand gramum, ond nu wið Grendel sceal,
crushing the grim ones. Grendel now,
425wið þam aglæcan, ana gehegan
monster cruel, be mine to quell
426ðing wið þyrse. Ic þe nu ða,
in single battle! So, from thee,
427brego Beorhtdena, biddan wille,
thou sovran of the Shining-Danes,
428eodor Scyldinga, anre bene,
Scyldings'-bulwark, a boon I seek, --
429þæt ðu me ne forwyrne, wigendra hleo,
and, Friend-of-the-folk, refuse it not,
430freowine folca, nu ic þus feorran com,
O Warriors'-shield, now I've wandered far, --
431þæt ic mote ana ond/ minra eorla gedryht,
that I alone with my liegemen here,
432þes hearda heap, Heorot fælsian.
this hardy band, may Heorot purge!
433Hæbbe ic eac geahsod þæt se æglæca
More I hear, that the monster dire,
434for his wonhydum wæpna ne recceð.
in his wanton mood, of weapons recks not;
435Ic þæt þonne forhicge swa me Higelac sie,
hence shall I scorn -- so Hygelac stay,
436min mondrihten, modes bliðe,
king of my kindred, kind to me! --
437þæt ic sweord bere oþðe sidne scyld,
brand or buckler to bear in the fight,
438geolorand to guþe, ac ic mid grape sceal
gold-colored targe: but with gripe alone
439fon wið feonde ond ymb feorh sacan,
must I front the fiend and fight for life,
440lað wið laþum; ðær gelyfan sceal
foe against foe. Then faith be his
441dryhtnes dome se þe hine deað nimeð.
in the doom of the Lord whom death shall take.
442Wen ic þæt he wille, gif he wealdan mot,
Fain, I ween, if the fight he win,
443in þæm guðsele Geotena leode
in this hall of gold my Geatish band
444etan unforhte, swa he oft dyde,
will he fearless eat, -- as oft before, --
445mægen Hreðmanna. Na þu minne þearft
my noblest thanes. Nor need'st thou then
446hafalan hydan, ac he me habban wile
to hide my head; for his shall I be,
447dreore/ fahne, gif mec deað nimeð.
dyed in gore, if death must take me;
448Byreð blodig wæl, byrgean þenceð,
and my blood-covered body he'll bear as prey,
449eteð angenga unmurnlice,
ruthless devour it, the roamer-lonely,
450mearcað morhopu; no ðu ymb mines ne þearft
with my life-blood redden his lair in the fen:
451lices feorme leng sorgian.
no further for me need'st food prepare!
452Onsend Higelace, gif mec hild nime,
To Hygelac send, if Hild should take me,
453beaduscruda betst, þæt mine breost wereð,
best of war-weeds, warding my breast,
454hrægla selest; þæt is Hrædlan laf,
armor excellent, heirloom of Hrethel
455Welandes geweorc. Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel.
and work of Wayland. Fares Wyrd as she must."
456Hroðgar maþelode, helm Scyldinga:
HROTHGAR spake, the Scyldings'-helmet:--
457For/ gewyrhtum/ þu, wine min Beowulf,
"For fight defensive, Friend my Beowulf,
458ond for arstafum usic sohtest.
to succor and save, thou hast sought us here.
459Gesloh þin fæder fæhðe mæste;
Thy father's combat a feud enkindled
460wearþ he Heaþolafe to handbonan
when Heatholaf with hand he slew
461mid Wilfingum; ða hine Wedera/ cyn
among the Wylfings; his Weder kin
462for herebrogan habban ne mihte.
for horror of fighting feared to hold him.
463þanon he gesohte Suðdena folc
Fleeing, he sought our South-Dane folk,
464ofer yða gewealc, Arscyldinga.
over surge of ocean the Honor-Scyldings,
465ða ic furþum weold folce Deniga/
when first I was ruling the folk of Danes,
466ond on geogoðe heold ginne/ rice,
wielded, youthful, this widespread realm,
467hordburh hæleþa; ða wæs Heregar dead,
this hoard-hold of heroes. Heorogar was dead,
468min yldra mæg unlifigende,
my elder brother, had breathed his last,
469bearn Healfdenes; se wæs betera ðonne ic.
Healfdene's bairn: he was better than I!
470Siððan þa fæhðe feo þingode;
Straightway the feud with fee I settled,
471sende ic Wylfingum ofer wæteres hrycg
to the Wylfings sent, o'er watery ridges,
472ealde madmas; he me aþas swor.
treasures olden: oaths he swore me.
473Sorh is me to secganne on sefan minum
Sore is my soul to say to any
474gumena ængum hwæt me Grendel hafað
of the race of man what ruth for me
475hynðo on Heorote mid his heteþancum,
in Heorot Grendel with hate hath wrought,
476færniða gefremed. Is min fletwerod,
what sudden harryings. Hall-folk fail me,
477wigheap gewanod; hie wyrd forsweop
my warriors wane; for Wyrd hath swept them
478on Grendles gryre. God eaþe mæg
into Grendel's grasp. But God is able
479þone dolsceaðan dæda getwæfan.
this deadly foe from his deeds to turn!
480Ful oft gebeotedon beore druncne
Boasted full oft, as my beer they drank,
481ofer ealowæge oretmecgas
earls o'er the ale-cup, armed men,
482þæt hie in beorsele bidan woldon
that they would bide in the beer-hall here,
483Grendles guþe mid gryrum ecga.
Grendel's attack with terror of blades.
484ðonne wæs þeos medoheal on morgentid,
Then was this mead-house at morning tide
485drihtsele dreorfah, þonne dæg lixte,
dyed with gore, when the daylight broke,
486eal bencþelu blode bestymed,
all the boards of the benches blood-besprinkled,
487heall heorudreore/; ahte ic holdra þy læs,
gory the hall: I had heroes the less,
488deorre duguðe, þe þa deað fornam.
doughty dear-ones that death had reft.
489Site nu to symle ond onsæl meoto,
-- But sit to the banquet, unbind thy words,
490sigehreð secgum, swa þin sefa hwette.
hardy hero, as heart shall prompt thee."
491þa wæs Geatmæcgum geador ætsomne
Gathered together, the Geatish men
492on beorsele benc gerymed;
in the banquet-hall on bench assigned,
493þær swiðferhþe sittan eodon,
sturdy-spirited, sat them down,
494þryðum dealle. þegn nytte beheold,
hardy-hearted. A henchman attended,
495se þe on handa bær hroden ealowæge,
carried the carven cup in hand,
496scencte scir wered. Scop hwilum sang
served the clear mead. Oft minstrels sang
497hador on Heorote. þær wæs hæleða dream,
blithe in Heorot. Heroes revelled,
498duguð unlytel Dena ond Wedera.
no dearth of warriors, Weder and Dane.
499Unferð/ maþelode, Ecglafes bearn,
UNFERTH spake, the son of Ecglaf,
500þe æt fotum sæt frean Scyldinga,
who sat at the feet of the Scyldings' lord,
501onband beadurune wæs him Beowulfes sið,
unbound the battle-runes. -- Beowulf's quest,
502modges merefaran, micel æfþunca,
sturdy seafarer's, sorely galled him;
503forþon þe he ne uþe þæt ænig oðer man/
ever he envied that other men
504æfre mærða þon ma middangeardes
should more achieve in middle-earth
505gehedde under heofenum þonne he sylfa:
of fame under heaven than he himself. --
506Eart þu se Beowulf, se þe wið Brecan wunne,
"Art thou that Beowulf, Breca's rival,
507on sidne sæ ymb sund flite,
who emulous swam on the open sea,
508ðær git for wlence wada cunnedon
when for pride the pair of you proved the floods,
509ond for dolgilpe on deop wæter
and wantonly dared in waters deep
510aldrum neþdon? Ne inc ænig mon,
to risk your lives? No living man,
511ne leof ne lað, belean mihte
or lief or loath, from your labor dire
512sorhfullne sið, þa git on sund reon.
could you dissuade, from swimming the main.
513þær git eagorstream earmum þehton,
Ocean-tides with your arms ye covered,
514mæton merestræta, mundum brugdon,
with strenuous hands the sea-streets measured,
515glidon ofer garsecg; geofon yþum weol,
swam o'er the waters. Winter's storm
516wintrys wylmum/. Git on wæteres æht
rolled the rough waves. In realm of sea
517seofon niht swuncon; he þe æt sunde oferflat,
a sennight strove ye. In swimming he topped thee,
518hæfde mare mægen. þa hine on morgentid
had more of main! Him at morning-tide
519on Heaþoræmas/ holm up ætbær;
billows bore to the Battling Reamas,
520ðonon he gesohte swæsne //eþel//,
whence he hied to his home so dear
521leof his leodum, lond Brondinga,
beloved of his liegemen, to land of Brondings,
522freoðoburh fægere, þær he folc ahte
fastness fair, where his folk he ruled,
523burh ond beagas. Beot eal wið þe
town and treasure. In triumph o'er thee
524sunu Beanstanes soðe/ gelæste.
Beanstan's bairn his boast achieved.
525ðonne wene ic to þe wyrsan geþingea,
So ween I for thee a worse adventure
526ðeah þu heaðoræsa gehwær dohte,
-- though in buffet of battle thou brave hast been,
527grimre guðe, gif þu Grendles dearst
in struggle grim, -- if Grendel's approach
528nihtlongne fyrst nean bidan.
thou darst await through the watch of night!"
529Beowulf maþelode, bearn Ecgþeowes:
Beowulf spake, bairn of Ecgtheow:--
530Hwæt. þu worn fela, wine min Unferð/,
"What a deal hast uttered, dear my Unferth,
531beore druncen ymb Brecan spræce,
drunken with beer, of Breca now,
532sægdest from his siðe. Soð ic talige,
told of his triumph! Truth I claim it,
533þæt ic merestrengo maran ahte,
that I had more of might in the sea
534earfeþo on yþum, ðonne ænig oþer man.
than any man else, more ocean-endurance.
535Wit þæt gecwædon cnihtwesende
We twain had talked, in time of youth,
536ond gebeotedon wæron begen þa git
and made our boast, -- we were merely boys,
537on geogoðfeore þæt wit on garsecg ut
striplings still, -- to stake our lives
538aldrum neðdon, ond þæt geæfndon swa.
far at sea: and so we performed it.
539Hæfdon swurd nacod, þa wit on sund reon,
Naked swords, as we swam along,
540heard on handa; wit unc wið hronfixas
we held in hand, with hope to guard us
541werian þohton. No he wiht fram me
against the whales. Not a whit from me
542flodyþum feor fleotan meahte,
could he float afar o'er the flood of waves,
543hraþor on holme; no ic fram him wolde.
haste o'er the billows; nor him I abandoned.
544ða wit ætsomne on sæ wæron
Together we twain on the tides abode
545fif nihta fyrst, oþþæt unc flod todraf,
five nights full till the flood divided us,
546wado weallende, wedera cealdost,
churning waves and chillest weather,
547nipende niht, ond norþanwind
darkling night, and the northern wind
548heaðogrim ondhwearf; hreo wæron yþa.
ruthless rushed on us: rough was the surge.
549Wæs merefixa mod onhrered;
Now the wrath of the sea-fish rose apace;
550þær me wið laðum licsyrce min,
yet me 'gainst the monsters my mailed coat,
551heard, hondlocen, helpe gefremede,
hard and hand-linked, help afforded, --
552beadohrægl broden on breostum læg
battle-sark braided my breast to ward,
553golde gegyrwed. Me to grunde teah
garnished with gold. There grasped me firm
554fah feondscaða, fæste hæfde
and haled me to bottom the hated foe,
555grim on grape; hwæþre me gyfeþe wearð
with grimmest gripe. 'Twas granted me, though,
556þæt ic aglæcan orde geræhte,
to pierce the monster with point of sword,
557hildebille; heaþoræs fornam
with blade of battle: huge beast of the sea
558mihtig meredeor þurh mine hand.
was whelmed by the hurly through hand of mine.
559Swa mec gelome laðgeteonan
ME thus often the evil monsters
560þreatedon þearle. Ic him þenode
thronging threatened. With thrust of my sword,
561deoran sweorde, swa hit gedefe wæs.
the darling, I dealt them due return!
562Næs hie ðære fylle gefean hæfdon,
Nowise had they bliss from their booty then
563manfordædlan, þæt hie me þegon,
to devour their victim, vengeful creatures,
564symbel ymbsæton sægrunde neah;
seated to banquet at bottom of sea;
565ac on mergenne mecum wunde
but at break of day, by my brand sore hurt,
566be yðlafe uppe lægon,
on the edge of ocean up they lay,
567sweordum/ aswefede, þæt syðþan na
put to sleep by the sword. And since, by them
568ymb brontne ford brimliðende
on the fathomless sea-ways sailor-folk
569lade ne letton. Leoht eastan com,
are never molested. -- Light from east,
570beorht beacen godes; brimu swaþredon,
came bright God's beacon; the billows sank,
571þæt ic sænæssas geseon mihte,
so that I saw the sea-cliffs high,
572windige weallas. Wyrd oft nereð
windy walls. For Wyrd oft saveth
573unfægne eorl, þonne his ellen deah.
earl undoomed if he doughty be!
574Hwæþere me gesælde þæt ic mid sweorde ofsloh
And so it came that I killed with my sword
575niceras nigene. No ic on niht gefrægn
nine of the nicors. Of night-fought battles
576under heofones hwealf heardran feohtan,
ne'er heard I a harder 'neath heaven's dome,
577ne on egstreamum earmran mannon;
nor adrift on the deep a more desolate man!
578hwaþere ic fara feng feore gedigde,
Yet I came unharmed from that hostile clutch,
579siþes werig. ða mec sæ oþbær,
though spent with swimming. The sea upbore me,
580flod æfter faroðe on Finna land,
flood of the tide, on Finnish land,
581wadu/ weallendu. No ic wiht fram þe
the welling waters. No wise of thee
582swylcra searoniða secgan hyrde,
have I heard men tell such terror of falchions,
583billa brogan. Breca næfre git
bitter battle. Breca ne'er yet,
584æt heaðolace, ne gehwæþer incer,
not one of you pair, in the play of war
585swa deorlice dæd gefremede
such daring deed has done at all
586fagum sweordum no ic þæs fela/ gylpe,
with bloody brand, -- I boast not of it! --
587þeah ðu þinum broðrum to banan wurde,
though thou wast the bane of thy brethren dear,
588heafodmægum; þæs þu in helle scealt
thy closest kin, whence curse of hell
589werhðo dreogan, þeah þin wit/ duge/.
awaits thee, well as thy wit may serve!
590Secge ic þe to soðe, sunu Ecglafes/,
For I say in sooth, thou son of Ecglaf,
591þæt næfre Grendel/ swa fela gryra gefremede,
never had Grendel these grim deeds wrought,
592atol æglæca, ealdre þinum,
monster dire, on thy master dear,
593hynðo on Heorote, gif þin hige wære,
in Heorot such havoc, if heart of thine
594sefa swa searogrim, swa þu self talast.
were as battle-bold as thy boast is loud!
595Ac he hafað onfunden þæt he þa fæhðe ne þearf,
But he has found no feud will happen;
596atole ecgþræce eower leode
from sword-clash dread of your Danish clan
597swiðe onsittan, Sigescyldinga;
he vaunts him safe, from the Victor-Scyldings.
598nymeð nydbade, nænegum arað
He forces pledges, favors none
599leode Deniga, ac he lust wigeð,
of the land of Danes, but lustily murders,
600swefeð ond sendeþ, secce ne weneþ
fights and feasts, nor feud he dreads
601to Gardenum. Ac ic him Geata sceal
from Spear-Dane men. But speedily now
602eafoð ond ellen ungeara nu,
shall I prove him the prowess and pride of the Geats,
603guþe gebeodan. Gæþ eft se þe mot
shall bid him battle. Blithe to mead
604to medo modig, siþþan morgenleoht
go he that listeth, when light of dawn
605ofer ylda bearn oþres dogores,
this morrow morning o'er men of earth,
606sunne sweglwered suþan scineð.
ether-robed sun from the south shall beam!"
607þa wæs on salum sinces brytta,
Joyous then was the Jewel-giver,
608gamolfeax ond guðrof; geoce gelyfde
hoar-haired, war-brave; help awaited
609brego Beorhtdena, gehyrde on Beowulfe
the Bright-Danes' prince, from Beowulf hearing,
610folces hyrde fæstrædne geþoht.
folk's good shepherd, such firm resolve.
611ðær wæs hæleþa hleahtor/, hlyn swynsode,
Then was laughter of liegemen loud resounding
612word wæron wynsume. Eode Wealhþeow forð,
with winsome words. Came Wealhtheow forth,
613cwen Hroðgares, cynna gemyndig,
queen of Hrothgar, heedful of courtesy,
614grette goldhroden guman on healle,
gold-decked, greeting the guests in hall;
615ond þa freolic wif ful gesealde
and the high-born lady handed the cup
616ærest Eastdena eþelwearde,
first to the East-Danes' heir and warden,
617bæd hine bliðne æt þære beorþege,
bade him be blithe at the beer-carouse,
618leodum leofne. He on lust geþeah
the land's beloved one. Lustily took he
619symbel ond seleful, sigerof kyning.
banquet and beaker, battle-famed king.
620Ymbeode þa ides Helminga
Through the hall then went the Helmings' Lady,
621duguþe ond geogoþe dæl æghwylcne,
to younger and older everywhere
622sincfato sealde, oþþæt sæl alamp
carried the cup, till come the moment
623þæt hio Beowulfe, beaghroden cwen
when the ring-graced queen, the royal-hearted,
624mode geþungen, medoful ætbær;
to Beowulf bore the beaker of mead.
625grette Geata leod, gode þancode
She greeted the Geats' lord, God she thanked,
626wisfæst wordum þæs ðe hire se willa gelamp
in wisdom's words, that her will was granted,
627þæt heo on ænigne eorl gelyfde
that at last on a hero her hope could lean
628fyrena frofre. He þæt ful geþeah,
for comfort in terrors. The cup he took,
629wælreow wiga, æt Wealhþeon,
hardy-in-war, from Wealhtheow's hand,
630ond þa gyddode guþe gefysed;
and answer uttered the eager-for-combat.
631Beowulf maþelode, bearn Ecgþeowes:
Beowulf spake, bairn of Ecgtheow:--
632Ic þæt hogode, þa ic on holm gestah,
"This was my thought, when my thanes and I
633sæbat gesæt mid minre secga gedriht,
bent to the ocean and entered our boat,
634þæt ic anunga eowra leoda
that I would work the will of your people
635willan geworhte oþðe on wæl crunge,
fully, or fighting fall in death,
636feondgrapum fæst. Ic gefremman sceal
in fiend's gripe fast. I am firm to do
637eorlic ellen, oþðe endedæg
an earl's brave deed, or end the days
638on þisse meoduhealle minne gebidan.
of this life of mine in the mead-hall here."
639ðam wife þa word wel licodon,
Well these words to the woman seemed,
640gilpcwide Geates; eode goldhroden
Beowulf's battle-boast. -- Bright with gold
641freolicu folccwen to hire frean/ sittan.
the stately dame by her spouse sat down.
642þa wæs eft swa ær inne on healle
Again, as erst, began in hall
643þryðword sprecen, ðeod on sælum,
warriors' wassail and words of power,
644sigefolca sweg, oþþæt semninga
the proud-band's revel, till presently
645sunu Healfdenes secean wolde
the son of Healfdene hastened to seek
646æfenræste; wiste þæm ahlæcan
rest for the night; he knew there waited
647to þæm heahsele hilde geþinged,
fight for the fiend in that festal hall,
648siððan hie sunnan leoht geseon ne/ meahton,
when the sheen of the sun they saw no more,
649oðþe nipende niht ofer ealle,
and dusk of night sank darkling nigh,
650scaduhelma gesceapu scriðan cwoman,
and shadowy shapes came striding on,
651wan under wolcnum. Werod eall aras.
wan under welkin. The warriors rose.
652Gegrette/ þa guma oþerne,
Man to man, he made harangue,
653Hroðgar Beowulf, ond him hæl abead,
Hrothgar to Beowulf, bade him hail,
654winærnes geweald, ond þæt word acwæð:
let him wield the wine hall: a word he added:--
655Næfre ic ænegum men ær alyfde,
"Never to any man erst I trusted,
656siþðan ic hond ond rond hebban mihte,
since I could heave up hand and shield,
657ðryþærn Dena buton þe nu ða.
this noble Dane-Hall, till now to thee.
658Hafa nu ond geheald husa selest,
Have now and hold this house unpeered;
659gemyne mærþo, mægenellen cyð,
remember thy glory; thy might declare;
660waca wið wraþum. Ne bið þe wilna gad,
watch for the foe! No wish shall fail thee
661gif þu þæt ellenweorc aldre gedigest.
if thou bidest the battle with bold-won life."
662ða him Hroþgar gewat mid his hæleþa gedryht,
THEN Hrothgar went with his hero-train,
663eodur Scyldinga, ut of healle;
defence-of-Scyldings, forth from hall;
664wolde wigfruma Wealhþeo secan,
fain would the war-lord Wealhtheow seek,
665cwen to gebeddan. Hæfde kyningwuldor
couch of his queen. The King-of-Glory
666Grendle togeanes, swa guman gefrungon,
against this Grendel a guard had set,
667seleweard aseted; sundornytte beheold
so heroes heard, a hall-defender,
668ymb aldor Dena, eotonweard abead.
who warded the monarch and watched for the monster.
669Huru Geata leod georne truwode
In truth, the Geats' prince gladly trusted
670modgan mægnes, metodes hyldo.
his mettle, his might, the mercy of God!
671ða he him of dyde isernbyrnan,
Cast off then his corselet of iron,
672helm of hafelan, sealde his hyrsted sweord,
helmet from head; to his henchman gave, --
673irena cyst, ombihtþegne,
choicest of weapons, -- the well-chased sword,
674ond gehealdan het hildegeatwe.
bidding him guard the gear of battle.
675Gespræc þa se goda gylpworda sum,
Spake then his Vaunt the valiant man,
676Beowulf Geata, ær he on bed stige:
Beowulf Geat, ere the bed be sought:--
677No ic me an herewæsmun hnagran talige,
"Of force in fight no feebler I count me,
678guþgeweorca, þonne Grendel hine;
in grim war-deeds, than Grendel deems him.
679forþan ic hine sweorde swebban nelle,
Not with the sword, then, to sleep of death
680aldre beneotan, þeah ic eal mæge.
his life will I give, though it lie in my power.
681Nat he þara goda þæt he me ongean slea,
No skill is his to strike against me,
682rand geheawe, þeah ðe he rof sie
my shield to hew though he hardy be,
683niþgeweorca; ac wit on niht sculon
bold in battle; we both, this night,
684secge ofersittan, gif he/ gesecean dear
shall spurn the sword, if he seek me here,
685wig ofer wæpen, ond siþðan witig god
unweaponed, for war. Let wisest God,
686on swa hwæþere hond, halig dryhten,
sacred Lord, on which side soever
687mærðo deme, swa him gemet þince.
doom decree as he deemeth right."
688Hylde hine þa heaþodeor, hleorbolster onfeng
Reclined then the chieftain, and cheek-pillows held
689eorles andwlitan, ond hine ymb monig
the head of the earl, while all about him
690snellic særinc selereste gebeah.
seamen hardy on hall-beds sank.
691Nænig heora þohte þæt he þanon scolde
None of them thought that thence their steps
692eft eardlufan æfre gesecean,
to the folk and fastness that fostered them,
693folc oþðe freoburh, þær he afeded wæs;
to the land they loved, would lead them back!
694ac hie hæfdon gefrunen þæt hie ær to fela micles
Full well they wist that on warriors many
695in þæm winsele wældeað fornam,
battle-death seized, in the banquet-hall,
696Denigea leode. Ac him dryhten forgeaf
of Danish clan. But comfort and help,
697wigspeda gewiofu, Wedera leodum,
war-weal weaving, to Weder folk
698frofor ond fultum/, þæt/ hie/ feond heora
the Master gave, that, by might of one,
699ðurh anes cræft ealle ofercomon,
over their enemy all prevailed,
700selfes mihtum. Soð is gecyþed
by single strength. In sooth 'tis told
701þæt mihtig god manna cynnes
that highest God o'er human kind
702weold wideferhð/. Com on wanre niht
hath wielded ever! -- Thro' wan night striding,
703scriðan sceadugenga. Sceotend swæfon,
came the walker-in-shadow. Warriors slept
704þa þæt hornreced healdan scoldon,
whose hest was to guard the gabled hall, --
705ealle buton anum. þæt wæs yldum cuþ
all save one. 'Twas widely known
706þæt hie ne moste, þa metod nolde,
that against God's will the ghostly ravager
707se scynscaþa/ under sceadu bregdan;
him could not hurl to haunts of darkness;
708ac he wæccende wraþum on andan
wakeful, ready, with warrior's wrath,
709bad bolgenmod beadwa geþinges.
bold he bided the battle's issue.
710ða com of more under misthleoþum
THEN from the moorland, by misty crags,
711Grendel gongan, godes yrre bær;
with God's wrath laden, Grendel came.
712mynte se manscaða manna cynnes
The monster was minded of mankind now
713sumne besyrwan/ in sele þam hean.
sundry to seize in the stately house.
714Wod under wolcnum/ to þæs þe he winreced,
Under welkin he walked, till the wine-palace there,
715goldsele gumena, gearwost wisse,
gold-hall of men, he gladly discerned,
716fættum fahne. Ne wæs þæt forma sið
flashing with fretwork. Not first time, this,
717þæt he Hroþgares ham gesohte;
that he the home of Hrothgar sought, --
718næfre he on aldordagum ær ne/ siþðan
yet ne'er in his life-day, late or early,
719heardran hæle, healðegnas fand.
such hardy heroes, such hall-thanes, found!
720Com þa to recede rinc siðian,
To the house the warrior walked apace,
721dreamum bedæled. Duru sona onarn/,
parted from peace; the portal opended,
722fyrbendum fæst, syþðan he hire folmum æthran/;
though with forged bolts fast, when his fists had struck it,
723onbræd þa bealohydig, ða he/ gebolgen/ wæs,
and baleful he burst in his blatant rage,
724recedes muþan. Raþe æfter þon
the house's mouth. All hastily, then,
725on fagne flor feond treddode,
o'er fair-paved floor the fiend trod on,
726eode yrremod; him of eagum stod
ireful he strode; there streamed from his eyes
727ligge gelicost leoht unfæger.
fearful flashes, like flame to see.
728Geseah he in recede rinca manige,
He spied in hall the hero-band,
729swefan sibbegedriht samod ætgædere,
kin and clansmen clustered asleep,
730magorinca heap. þa his mod ahlog;
hardy liegemen. Then laughed his heart;
731mynte þæt he gedælde, ærþon dæg cwome,
for the monster was minded, ere morn should dawn,
732atol aglæca, anra gehwylces
savage, to sever the soul of each,
733lif wið lice, þa him alumpen wæs
life from body, since lusty banquet
734wistfylle wen. Ne wæs þæt/ wyrd þa gen
waited his will! But Wyrd forbade him
735þæt he ma moste manna cynnes
to seize any more of men on earth
736ðicgean ofer þa niht. þryðswyð beheold
after that evening. Eagerly watched
737mæg Higelaces, hu se manscaða
Hygelac's kinsman his cursed foe,
738under færgripum gefaran wolde.
how he would fare in fell attack.
739Ne þæt se aglæca yldan þohte,
Not that the monster was minded to pause!
740ac he gefeng hraðe forman siðe
Straightway he seized a sleeping warrior
741slæpendne rinc, slat unwearnum,
for the first, and tore him fiercely asunder,
742bat banlocan, blod edrum dranc,
the bone-frame bit, drank blood in streams,
743synsnædum swealh; sona hæfde
swallowed him piecemeal: swiftly thus
744unlyfigendes eal gefeormod,
the lifeless corse was clear devoured,
745fet ond folma. Forð near ætstop,
e'en feet and hands. Then farther he hied;
746nam þa mid handa higeþihtigne
for the hardy hero with hand he grasped,
747rinc on ræste, ræhte ongean
felt for the foe with fiendish claw,
748feond mid folme; he onfeng hraþe
for the hero reclining, -- who clutched it boldly,
749inwitþancum ond wið earm gesæt.
prompt to answer, propped on his arm.
750Sona þæt onfunde fyrena hyrde
Soon then saw that shepherd-of-evils
751þæt he ne mette middangeardes,
that never he met in this middle-world,
752eorþan sceata/, on elran men
in the ways of earth, another wight
753mundgripe maran. He on mode wearð
with heavier hand-gripe; at heart he feared,
754forht on ferhðe; no þy ær fram meahte.
sorrowed in soul, -- none the sooner escaped!
755Hyge wæs him hinfus, wolde on heolster fleon,
Fain would he flee, his fastness seek,
756secan deofla gedræg; ne wæs his drohtoð þær
the den of devils: no doings now
757swylce he on ealderdagum ær gemette.
such as oft he had done in days of old!
758Gemunde þa se goda, mæg Higelaces,
Then bethought him the hardy Hygelac-thane
759æfenspræce, uplang astod
of his boast at evening: up he bounded,
760ond him fæste wiðfeng; fingras burston.
grasped firm his foe, whose fingers cracked.
761Eoten wæs utweard; eorl furþur stop.
The fiend made off, but the earl close followed.
762Mynte se mæra, þær/ he meahte swa,
The monster meant -- if he might at all --
763widre gewindan ond on weg þanon
to fling himself free, and far away
764fleon on fenhopu; wiste his/ fingra geweald
fly to the fens, -- knew his fingers' power
765on grames grapum. þæt/ wæs geocor sið
in the gripe of the grim one. Gruesome march
766þæt se hearmscaþa to Heorute ateah.
to Heorot this monster of harm had made!
767Dryhtsele dynede; Denum eallum wearð,
Din filled the room; the Danes were bereft,
768ceasterbuendum, cenra gehwylcum,
castle-dwellers and clansmen all,
769eorlum ealuscerwen. Yrre wæron begen,
earls, of their ale. Angry were both
770reþe renweardas. Reced hlynsode.
those savage hall-guards: the house resounded.
771þa wæs wundor micel þæt se winsele
Wonder it was the wine-hall firm
772wiðhæfde heaþodeorum, þæt he on hrusan ne feol,
in the strain of their struggle stood, to earth
773fæger foldbold; ac he þæs fæste wæs
the fair house fell not; too fast it was
774innan ond utan irenbendum
within and without by its iron bands
775searoþoncum besmiþod. þær fram sylle abeag
craftily clamped; though there crashed from sill
776medubenc monig, mine gefræge,
many a mead-bench -- men have told me --
777golde geregnad, þær þa graman wunnon.
gay with gold, where the grim foes wrestled.
778þæs ne wendon ær witan Scyldinga
So well had weened the wisest Scyldings
779þæt hit a mid gemete manna ænig,
that not ever at all might any man
780betlic/ ond banfag, tobrecan meahte,
that bone-decked, brave house break asunder,
781listum tolucan, nymþe liges fæþm
crush by craft, -- unless clasp of fire
782swulge on swaþule. Sweg up astag
in smoke engulfed it. -- Again uprose
783niwe geneahhe; Norðdenum stod
din redoubled. Danes of the North
784atelic egesa, anra gehwylcum
with fear and frenzy were filled, each one,
785þara þe of wealle wop gehyrdon,
who from the wall that wailing heard,
786gryreleoð galan godes ondsacan,
God's foe sounding his grisly song,
787sigeleasne sang, sar wanigean
cry of the conquered, clamorous pain
788helle hæfton. Heold hine fæste
from captive of hell. Too closely held him
789se þe manna wæs mægene strengest
he who of men in might was strongest
790on þæm dæge þysses lifes.
in that same day of this our life.
791Nolde eorla hleo ænige þinga
NOT in any wise would the earls'-defence
792þone cwealmcuman cwicne forlætan,
suffer that slaughterous stranger to live,
793ne his lifdagas leoda ænigum/
useless deeming his days and years
794nytte tealde. þær genehost brægd
to men on earth. Now many an earl
795eorl Beowulfes ealde lafe,
of Beowulf brandished blade ancestral,
796wolde freadrihtnes feorh ealgian,
fain the life of their lord to shield,
797mæres þeodnes, ðær hie meahton swa.
their praised prince, if power were theirs;
798Hie þæt ne wiston, þa hie gewin drugon,
never they knew, -- as they neared the foe,
hardy-hearted heroes of war,
800ond on healfa gehwone heawan þohton,
aiming their swords on every side
801sawle secan, þone synscaðan
the accursed to kill, -- no keenest blade,
802ænig ofer eorþan irenna cyst,
no farest of falchions fashioned on earth,
803guðbilla nan, gretan nolde,
could harm or hurt that hideous fiend!
804ac he sigewæpnum forsworen hæfde,
He was safe, by his spells, from sword of battle,
805ecga gehwylcre. Scolde his aldorgedal
from edge of iron. Yet his end and parting
806on ðæm dæge þysses lifes
on that same day of this our life
807earmlic wurðan, ond se ellorgast
woful should be, and his wandering soul
808on feonda geweald feor siðian.
far off flit to the fiends' domain.
809ða þæt onfunde se þe fela æror
Soon he found, who in former days,
810modes myrðe manna cynne,
harmful in heart and hated of God,
811fyrene gefremede he wæs/ fag wið god,
on many a man such murder wrought,
812þæt him se lichoma læstan nolde/,
that the frame of his body failed him now.
813ac hine se modega mæg Hygelaces
For him the keen-souled kinsman of Hygelac
814hæfde be honda; wæs gehwæþer oðrum
held in hand; hateful alive
815lifigende lað. Licsar gebad
was each to other. The outlaw dire
816atol æglæca; him on eaxle wearð
took mortal hurt; a mighty wound
817syndolh sweotol, seonowe onsprungon,
showed on his shoulder, and sinews cracked,
818burston banlocan. Beowulfe wearð
and the bone-frame burst. To Beowulf now
819guðhreð gyfeþe; scolde Grendel þonan
the glory was given, and Grendel thence
820feorhseoc fleon under fenhleoðu,
death-sick his den in the dark moor sought,
821secean wynleas wic; wiste þe geornor
noisome abode: he knew too well
822þæt his aldres wæs ende gegongen,
that here was the last of life, an end
823dogera dægrim. Denum eallum wearð
of his days on earth. -- To all the Danes
824æfter þam wælræse willa gelumpen.
by that bloody battle the boon had come.
825Hæfde þa gefælsod se þe ær feorran com,
From ravage had rescued the roving stranger
826snotor ond swyðferhð, sele Hroðgares,
Hrothgar's hall; the hardy and wise one
827genered wið niðe; nihtweorce gefeh,
had purged it anew. His night-work pleased him,
828ellenmærþum/. Hæfde Eastdenum
his deed and its honor. To Eastern Danes
829Geatmecga leod gilp gelæsted,
had the valiant Geat his vaunt made good,
830swylce oncyþðe ealle gebette,
all their sorrow and ills assuaged,
831inwidsorge, þe hie ær drugon
their bale of battle borne so long,
832ond for þreanydum þolian scoldon,
and all the dole they erst endured
833torn unlytel. þæt wæs tacen sweotol,
pain a-plenty. -- 'Twas proof of this,
834syþðan hildedeor hond alegde,
when the hardy-in-fight a hand laid down,
835earm ond eaxle þær wæs eal geador
arm and shoulder, -- all, indeed,
836Grendles grape under geapne hrof/.
of Grendel's gripe, -- 'neath the gabled roof
837ða wæs on morgen mine gefræge
MANY at morning, as men have told me,
838ymb þa gifhealle guðrinc monig;
warriors gathered the gift-hall round,
839ferdon folctogan feorran ond nean
folk-leaders faring from far and near,
840geond widwegas wundor sceawian,
o'er wide-stretched ways, the wonder to view,
841laþes lastas. No his lifgedal
trace of the traitor. Not troublous seemed
842sarlic þuhte secga ænegum
the enemy's end to any man
843þara þe tirleases trode sceawode,
who saw by the gait of the graceless foe
844hu he werigmod on weg þanon,
how the weary-hearted, away from thence,
845niða ofercumen, on nicera mere
baffled in battle and banned, his steps
846fæge ond geflymed feorhlastas bær.
death-marked dragged to the devils' mere.
847ðær wæs on blode brim weallende,
Bloody the billows were boiling there,
848atol yða geswing eal gemenged
turbid the tide of tumbling waves
849haton heolfre, heorodreore weol.
horribly seething, with sword-blood hot,
850Deaðfæge deog, siððan dreama leas
by that doomed one dyed, who in den of the moor
851in fenfreoðo feorh alegde,
laid forlorn his life adown,
852hæþene/ sawle; þær him hel onfeng.
his heathen soul,-and hell received it.
853þanon eft gewiton ealdgesiðas,
Home then rode the hoary clansmen
854swylce geong manig of gomenwaþe
from that merry journey, and many a youth,
855fram mere modge mearum ridan,
on horses white, the hardy warriors,
856beornas on blancum. ðær wæs Beowulfes
back from the mere. Then Beowulf's glory
857mærðo mæned; monig oft gecwæð
eager they echoed, and all averred
858þætte suð ne norð be sæm tweonum
that from sea to sea, or south or north,
859ofer eormengrund oþer nænig
there was no other in earth's domain,
860under swegles begong selra nære
under vault of heaven, more valiant found,
861rondhæbbendra, rices wyrðra.
of warriors none more worthy to rule!
862Ne hie huru winedrihten wiht ne logon,
(On their lord beloved they laid no slight,
863glædne Hroðgar, ac þæt wæs god cyning.
gracious Hrothgar: a good king he!)
864Hwilum heaþorofe hleapan leton,
From time to time, the tried-in-battle
865on geflit faran fealwe mearas
their gray steeds set to gallop amain,
866ðær him foldwegas fægere þuhton,
and ran a race when the road seemed fair.
867cystum cuðe/. Hwilum cyninges þegn,
From time to time, a thane of the king,
868guma gilphlæden, gidda gemyndig,
who had made many vaunts, and was mindful of verses,
869se ðe ealfela ealdgesegena
stored with sagas and songs of old,
870worn gemunde, word oþer fand
bound word to word in well-knit rime,
871soðe gebunden; secg eft ongan
welded his lay; this warrior soon
872sið Beowulfes snyttrum styrian
of Beowulf's quest right cleverly sang,
873ond on sped wrecan spel gerade,
and artfully added an excellent tale,
874wordum wrixlan. Welhwylc gecwæð
in well-ranged words, of the warlike deeds
875þæt he fram Sigemundes/ secgan hyrde
he had heard in saga of Sigemund.
876ellendædum, uncuþes fela,
Strange the story: he said it all, --
877Wælsinges gewin, wide siðas,
the Waelsing's wanderings wide, his struggles,
878þara þe gumena bearn gearwe ne wiston,
which never were told to tribes of men,
879fæhðe ond fyrena, buton Fitela mid hine,
the feuds and the frauds, save to Fitela only,
880þonne he swulces hwæt secgan wolde,
when of these doings he deigned to speak,
881eam his nefan, swa hie a wæron
uncle to nephew; as ever the twain
882æt niða gehwam nydgesteallan;
stood side by side in stress of war,
883hæfdon ealfela eotena cynnes
and multitude of the monster kind
884sweordum gesæged. Sigemunde gesprong
they had felled with their swords. Of Sigemund grew,
885æfter deaðdæge dom unlytel,
when he passed from life, no little praise;
886syþðan wiges heard wyrm acwealde,
for the doughty-in-combat a dragon killed
887hordes hyrde. He under harne stan,
that herded the hoard: under hoary rock
888æþelinges bearn, ana geneðde
the atheling dared the deed alone
889frecne dæde, ne wæs him Fitela mid.
fearful quest, nor was Fitela there.
890hwæþre him gesælde ðæt þæt swurd þurhwod
Yet so it befell, his falchion pierced
891wrætlicne wyrm, þæt hit on wealle ætstod,
that wondrous worm, -- on the wall it struck,
892dryhtlic iren; draca morðre swealt.
best blade; the dragon died in its blood.
893Hæfde aglæca elne gegongen
Thus had the dread-one by daring achieved
894þæt he beahhordes brucan moste
over the ring-hoard to rule at will,
895selfes dome; sæbat gehleod,
himself to pleasure; a sea-boat he loaded,
896bær on bearm scipes beorhte frætwa,
and bore on its bosom the beaming gold,
897Wælses eafera. Wyrm hat gemealt.
son of Waels; the worm was consumed.
898Se wæs wreccena wide mærost
He had of all heroes the highest renown
899ofer werþeode, wigendra hleo,
among races of men, this refuge-of-warriors,
900ellendædum he þæs ær onðah,
for deeds of daring that decked his name
901siððan Heremodes hild sweðrode,
since the hand and heart of Heremod
902eafoð/ ond ellen. He mid Eotenum wearð
grew slack in battle. He, swiftly banished
903on feonda geweald forð forlacen,
to mingle with monsters at mercy of foes,
904snude forsended. Hine sorhwylmas
to death was betrayed; for torrents of sorrow
905lemede to lange; he his leodum wearð,
had lamed him too long; a load of care
906eallum æþellingum to aldorceare;
to earls and athelings all he proved.
907swylce oft bemearn ærran mælum
Oft indeed, in earlier days,
908swiðferhþes sið snotor ceorl monig,
for the warrior's wayfaring wise men mourned,
909se þe him bealwa to bote gelyfde,
who had hoped of him help from harm and bale,
910þæt þæt ðeodnes bearn geþeon scolde,
and had thought their sovran's son would thrive,
911fæderæþelum onfon, folc gehealdan,
follow his father, his folk protect,
912hord ond hleoburh, hæleþa rice,
the hoard and the stronghold, heroes' land,
913//eþel// Scyldinga. He þær eallum wearð,
home of Scyldings. -- But here, thanes said,
914mæg Higelaces, manna cynne,
the kinsman of Hygelac kinder seemed
915freondum gefægra; hine fyren onwod.
to all: the other was urged to crime!
916Hwilum flitende fealwe stræte
And afresh to the race, the fallow roads
917mearum mæton. ða wæs morgenleoht
by swift steeds measured! The morning sun
918scofen ond scynded. Eode scealc monig
was climbing higher. Clansmen hastened
919swiðhicgende to sele þam hean
to the high-built hall, those hardy-minded,
920searowundor seon; swylce self cyning
the wonder to witness. Warden of treasure,
921of brydbure, beahhorda weard,
crowned with glory, the king himself,
922tryddode tirfæst getrume micle,
with stately band from the bride-bower strode;
923cystum gecyþed, ond his cwen mid him
and with him the queen and her crowd of maidens
924medostigge mæt mægþa hose.
measured the path to the mead-house fair.
925Hroðgar maþelode he to healle geong,
HROTHGAR spake, -- to the hall he went,
926stod on stapole, geseah steapne hrof,
stood by the steps, the steep roof saw,
927golde fahne, ond Grendles hond:
garnished with gold, and Grendel's hand:--
928ðisse ansyne alwealdan þanc
"For the sight I see to the Sovran Ruler
929lungre gelimpe. Fela ic laþes gebad,
be speedy thanks! A throng of sorrows
930grynna æt Grendle; a mæg god wyrcan
I have borne from Grendel; but God still works
931wunder æfter wundre, wuldres hyrde.
wonder on wonder, the Warden-of-Glory.
932ðæt wæs ungeara þæt ic ænigra me
It was but now that I never more
933weana ne wende to widan feore
for woes that weighed on me waited help
934bote gebidan, þonne blode fah
long as I lived, when, laved in blood,
935husa selest heorodreorig stod,
stood sword-gore-stained this stateliest house, --
936wea widscofen witena gehwylcum/
widespread woe for wise men all,
937ðara þe ne wendon þæt hie wideferhð
who had no hope to hinder ever
938leoda landgeweorc laþum beweredon
foes infernal and fiendish sprites
939scuccum ond scinnum. Nu scealc hafað
from havoc in hall. This hero now,
940þurh drihtnes miht dæd gefremede ðe
by the Wielder's might, a work has done
941we ealle ær/ ne meahton
that not all of us erst could ever do
942snyttrum besyrwan. Hwæt, þæt secgan mæg
by wile and wisdom. Lo, well can she say
943efne swa hwylc mægþa swa ðone magan cende
whoso of women this warrior bore
944æfter gumcynnum, gyf heo gyt lyfað,
among sons of men, if still she liveth,
945þæt hyre ealdmetod este wære
that the God of the ages was good to her
946bearngebyrdo. Nu ic, Beowulf, þec,
in the birth of her bairn. Now, Beowulf, thee,
947secg betsta, me/ for sunu wylle
of heroes best, I shall heartily love
948freogan on ferhþe; heald forð tela
as mine own, my son; preserve thou ever
949niwe sibbe. Ne bið þe nænigra/ gad
this kinship new: thou shalt never lack
950worolde wilna, þe ic geweald hæbbe.
wealth of the world that I wield as mine!
951Ful oft ic for læssan lean teohhode,
Full oft for less have I largess showered,
952hordweorþunge hnahran rince,
my precious hoard, on a punier man,
953sæmran æt sæcce. þu þe self hafast
less stout in struggle. Thyself hast now
954dædum gefremed þæt þin dom/ lyfað
fulfilled such deeds, that thy fame shall endure
955awa to aldre. Alwalda þec
through all the ages. As ever he did,
956gode forgylde, swa he nu gyt dyde.
well may the Wielder reward thee still!"
957Beowulf maþelode, bearn Ecþeowes:
Beowulf spake, bairn of Ecgtheow:--
958We þæt ellenweorc estum miclum,
"This work of war most willingly
959feohtan fremedon, frecne geneðdon
we have fought, this fight, and fearlessly dared
960eafoð uncuþes. Uþe ic swiþor
force of the foe. Fain, too, were I
961þæt ðu hine selfne geseon moste,
hadst thou but seen himself, what time
962feond on frætewum fylwerigne.
the fiend in his trappings tottered to fall!
963Ic hine/ hrædlice heardan clammum
Swiftly, I thought, in strongest gripe
964on wælbedde wriþan þohte,
on his bed of death to bind him down,
965þæt he for mundgripe/ minum scolde
that he in the hent of this hand of mine
966licgean lifbysig, butan his lic swice.
should breathe his last: but he broke away.
967Ic hine ne mihte, þa metod nolde,
Him I might not -- the Maker willed not --
968ganges getwæman, no ic him þæs georne ætfealh,
hinder from flight, and firm enough hold
969feorhgeniðlan; wæs to foremihtig
the life-destroyer: too sturdy was he,
970feond on feþe. Hwæþere he his folme forlet
the ruthless, in running! For rescue, however,
971to lifwraþe last weardian,
he left behind him his hand in pledge,
972earm ond eaxle. No þær ænige swa þeah
arm and shoulder; nor aught of help
973feasceaft guma frofre gebohte;
could the cursed one thus procure at all.
974no þy leng leofað/ laðgeteona,
None the longer liveth he, loathsome fiend,
975synnum geswenced, ac hyne sar hafað
sunk in his sins, but sorrow holds him
976mid/ nydgripe/ nearwe befongen,
tightly grasped in gripe of anguish,
977balwon bendum. ðær abidan sceal
in baleful bonds, where bide he must,
978maga mane fah miclan domes,
evil outlaw, such awful doom
979hu him scir metod scrifan wille.
as the Mighty Maker shall mete him out."
980ða wæs swigra secg, sunu Eclafes,
More silent seemed the son of Ecglaf
981on gylpspræce guðgeweorca,
in boastful speech of his battle-deeds,
982siþðan æþelingas eorles cræfte
since athelings all, through the earl's great prowess,
983ofer heanne hrof hand sceawedon,
beheld that hand, on the high roof gazing,
984feondes fingras. Foran æghwylc wæs,
foeman's fingers, -- the forepart of each
985stiðra/ nægla gehwylc, style gelicost,
of the sturdy nails to steel was likest, --
986hæþenes handsporu hilderinces/,
heathen's "hand-spear," hostile warrior's
987egl, unheoru. æghwylc gecwæð
claw uncanny. 'Twas clear, they said,
988þæt him heardra nan hrinan wolde
that him no blade of the brave could touch,
989iren ærgod, þæt ðæs ahlæcan
how keen soever, or cut away
990blodge beadufolme onberan wolde.
that battle-hand bloody from baneful foe.
991ða wæs haten hreþe Heort innanweard
THERE was hurry and hest in Heorot now
992folmum gefrætwod. Fela þæra wæs,
for hands to bedeck it, and dense was the throng
993wera ond wifa, þe þæt winreced,
of men and women the wine-hall to cleanse,
994gestsele gyredon. Goldfag scinon
the guest-room to garnish. Gold-gay shone the hangings
995web æfter wagum, wundorsiona fela
that were wove on the wall, and wonders many
996secga gehwylcum þara þe on swylc starað.
to delight each mortal that looks upon them.
997Wæs þæt beorhte bold tobrocen swiðe,
Though braced within by iron bands,
998eal inneweard irenbendum fæst,
that building bright was broken sorely;
999heorras tohlidene. Hrof ana genæs,
rent were its hinges; the roof alone
1000ealles ansund, þe se aglæca,
held safe and sound, when, seared with crime,
1001fyrendædum fag, on fleam gewand,
the fiendish foe his flight essayed,
1002aldres orwena. No þæt yðe byð
of life despairing. -- No light thing that,
1003to befleonne, fremme se þe wille,
the flight for safety, -- essay it who will!
1004ac gesecan/ sceal sawlberendra,
Forced of fate, he shall find his way
1005nyde genydde, niþða bearna,
to the refuge ready for race of man,
1006grundbuendra gearwe stowe,
for soul-possessors, and sons of earth;
1007þær his lichoma legerbedde fæst
and there his body on bed of death
1008swefeþ æfter symle. þa wæs sæl ond mæl
shall rest after revel. Arrived was the hour
1009þæt to healle gang Healfdenes sunu;
when to hall proceeded Healfdene's son:
1010wolde self cyning symbel þicgan.
the king himself would sit to banquet.
1011Ne gefrægen ic þa mægþe maran weorode
Ne'er heard I of host in haughtier throng
1012ymb hyra sincgyfan sel gebæran.
more graciously gathered round giver-of-rings!
1013Bugon þa to bence blædagande,
Bowed then to bench those bearers-of-glory,
1014fylle gefægon; fægere geþægon
fain of the feasting. Featly received
1015medoful manig magas þara
many a mead-cup the mighty-in-spirit,
1016swiðhicgende/ on sele þam hean,
kinsmen who sat in the sumptuous hall,
1017Hroðgar ond Hroþulf. Heorot innan wæs
Hrothgar and Hrothulf. Heorot now
1018freondum afylled; nalles facenstafas
was filled with friends; the folk of Scyldings
1019|eodscyldingas þenden fremedon.
ne'er yet had tried the traitor's deed.
1020Forgeaf þa Beowulfe bearn/ Healfdenes
To Beowulf gave the bairn of Healfdene
1021segen gyldenne sigores to leane;
a gold-wove banner, guerdon of triumph,
1022hroden hildecumbor, helm ond byrnan,
broidered battle-flag, breastplate and helmet;
1023mære maðþumsweord manige gesawon
and a splendid sword was seen of many
1024beforan beorn beran. Beowulf geþah
borne to the brave one. Beowulf took
1025ful on flette; no he þære feohgyfte
cup in hall: for such costly gifts
1026for sceotendum/ scamigan ðorfte.
he suffered no shame in that soldier throng.
1027Ne gefrægn ic freondlicor feower madmas
For I heard of few heroes, in heartier mood,
1028golde gegyrede gummanna fela
with four such gifts, so fashioned with gold,
1029in ealobence oðrum gesellan.
on the ale-bench honoring others thus!
1030Ymb þæs helmes hrof heafodbeorge
O'er the roof of the helmet high, a ridge,
1031wirum bewunden walu/ utan heold,
wound with wires, kept ward o'er the head,
1032þæt him fela laf frecne ne meahton
lest the relict-of-files should fierce invade,
1033scurheard sceþðan, þonne scyldfreca
sharp in the strife, when that shielded hero
1034ongean gramum gangan scolde.
should go to grapple against his foes.
1035Heht ða eorla hleo eahta mearas
Then the earls'-defence on the floor bade lead
1036fætedhleore on flet teon,
coursers eight, with carven head-gear,
1037in/ under eoderas. þara anum stod
adown the hall: one horse was decked
1038sadol searwum fah, since gewurþad;
with a saddle all shining and set in jewels;
1039þæt wæs hildesetl heahcyninges,
'twas the battle-seat of the best of kings,
1040ðonne sweorda gelac sunu Healfdenes
when to play of swords the son of Healfdene
1041efnan wolde. Næfre on ore læg
was fain to fare. Ne'er failed his valor
1042widcuþes wig, ðonne walu feollon.
in the crush of combat when corpses fell.
1043Ond ða Beowulfe bega gehwæþres
To Beowulf over them both then gave
1044eodor Ingwina onweald geteah,
the refuge-of-Ingwines right and power,
1045wicga ond wæpna, het hine wel brucan.
o'er war-steeds and weapons: wished him joy of them.
1046Swa manlice mære þeoden,
Manfully thus the mighty prince,
1047hordweard hæleþa, heaþoræsas geald
hoard-guard for heroes, that hard fight repaid
1048mearum ond madmum, swa hy næfre man lyhð,
with steeds and treasures contemned by none
1049se þe secgan wile soð æfter rihte.
who is willing to say the sooth aright.
1050ða gyt æghwylcum eorla drihten
AND the lord of earls, to each that came
1051þara þe mid Beowulfe brimlade/ teah
with Beowulf over the briny ways,
1052on þære medubence maþðum gesealde,
an heirloom there at the ale-bench gave,
1053yrfelafe, ond þone ænne heht
precious gift; and the price bade pay
1054golde forgyldan, þone ðe Grendel ær
in gold for him whom Grendel erst
1055mane acwealde, swa he hyra ma wolde,
murdered, -- and fain of them more had killed,
1056nefne him witig god wyrd forstode
had not wisest God their Wyrd averted,
1057ond ðæs mannes mod. Metod eallum weold
and the man's brave mood. The Maker then
1058gumena cynnes, swa he nu git deð.
ruled human kind, as here and now.
1059Forþan bið andgit æghwær selest,
Therefore is insight always best,
1060ferhðes foreþanc. Fela sceal gebidan
and forethought of mind. How much awaits him
1061leofes ond laþes se þe longe her
of lief and of loath, who long time here,
1062on ðyssum windagum worolde bruceð.
through days of warfare this world endures!
1063þær wæs sang ond sweg samod ætgædere
Then song and music mingled sounds
1064fore Healfdenes hildewisan,
in the presence of Healfdene's head-of-armies
1065gomenwudu greted, gid oft wrecen,
and harping was heard with the hero-lay
1066ðonne healgamen Hroþgares scop
as Hrothgar's singer the hall-joy woke
1067æfter medobence mænan scolde
along the mead-seats, making his song
1068be/ Finnes eaferum, ða hie se fær begeat,
of that sudden raid on the sons of Finn.
1069hæleð Healfdena, Hnæf Scyldinga,
Healfdene's hero, Hnaef the Scylding,
1070in Freswæle feallan scolde.
was fated to fall in the Frisian slaughter.
1071Ne huru Hildeburh herian þorfte
Hildeburh needed not hold in value
1072Eotena treowe; unsynnum wearð
her enemies' honor! Innocent both
1073beloren leofum æt þam lindplegan/,
were the loved ones she lost at the linden-play,
1074bearnum ond broðrum; hie on gebyrd hruron,
bairn and brother, they bowed to fate,
1075gare wunde. þæt wæs geomuru ides.
stricken by spears; 'twas a sorrowful woman!
1076Nalles holinga Hoces dohtor
None doubted why the daughter of Hoc
1077meotodsceaft bemearn, syþðan/ morgen com,
bewailed her doom when dawning came,
1078ða heo under swegle geseon meahte
and under the sky she saw them lying,
1079morþorbealo maga, þær heo ær mæste heold
kinsmen murdered, where most she had kenned
1080worolde wynne. Wig ealle fornam
of the sweets of the world! By war were swept, too,
1081Finnes þegnas nemne feaum anum,
Finn's own liegemen, and few were left;
1082þæt he ne mehte on þæm meðelstede
in the parleying-place he could ply no longer
1083wig Hengeste wiht gefeohtan,
weapon, nor war could he wage on Hengest,
1084ne þa wealafe wige forþringan
and rescue his remnant by right of arms
1085þeodnes ðegna/. ac hig him geþingo budon,
from the prince's thane. A pact he offered:
1086þæt hie him oðer flet eal gerymdon,
another dwelling the Danes should have,
1087healle ond heahsetl, þæt hie healfre geweald
hall and high-seat, and half the power
1088wið Eotena bearn agan moston,
should fall to them in Frisian land;
1089ond æt feohgyftum Folcwaldan sunu
and at the fee-gifts, Folcwald's son
1090dogra gehwylce Dene weorþode,
day by day the Danes should honor,
1091Hengestes heap hringum wenede
the folk of Hengest favor with rings,
1092efne swa swiðe sincgestreonum
even as truly, with treasure and jewels,
1093fættan goldes, swa he Fresena cyn
with fretted gold, as his Frisian kin
1094on beorsele byldan wolde.
he meant to honor in ale-hall there.
1095ða hie getruwedon on twa healfa
Pact of peace they plighted further
1096fæste frioðuwære. Fin Hengeste
on both sides firmly. Finn to Hengest
1097elne, unflitme aðum benemde
with oath, upon honor, openly promised
1098þæt he þa wealafe weotena dome
that woful remnant, with wise-men's aid,
1099arum heolde, þæt ðær ænig mon
nobly to govern, so none of the guests
1100wordum ne worcum wære ne bræce,
by word or work should warp the treaty,
1101ne þurh inwitsearo æfre gemænden
or with malice of mind bemoan themselves
1102ðeah hie hira beaggyfan banan folgedon
as forced to follow their fee-giver's slayer,
1103ðeodenlease, þa him swa geþearfod wæs.
lordless men, as their lot ordained.
1104gyf þonne Frysna hwylc frecnan/ spræce
Should Frisian, moreover, with foeman's taunt,
1105ðæs morþorhetes myndgiend wære,
that murderous hatred to mind recall,
1106þonne hit sweordes ecg seðan/ scolde.
then edge of the sword must seal his doom.
1107Ad/ wæs geæfned ond icge gold
Oaths were given, and ancient gold
1108ahæfen of horde. Herescyldinga
heaped from hoard. -- The hardy Scylding,
1109betst beadorinca wæs on bæl gearu.
battle-thane best, on his balefire lay.
1110æt þæm ade wæs eþgesyne
All on the pyre were plain to see
1111swatfah syrce, swyn ealgylden,
the gory sark, the gilded swine-crest,
1112eofer irenheard, æþeling manig
boar of hard iron, and athelings many
1113wundum awyrded; sume on wæle crungon.
slain by the sword: at the slaughter they fell.
1114Het ða Hildeburh æt Hnæfes ade
It was Hildeburh's hest, at Hnaef's own pyre
1115hire selfre sunu sweoloðe befæstan,
the bairn of her body on brands to lay,
1116banfatu bærnan ond on bæl don
his bones to burn, on the balefire placed,
1117eame/ on eaxle. Ides gnornode,
at his uncle's side. In sorrowful dirges
1118geomrode giddum. Guðrinc astah.
bewept them the woman: great wailing ascended.
1119Wand to wolcnum wælfyra mæst,
Then wound up to welkin the wildest of death-fires,
1120hlynode for hlawe; hafelan multon,
roared o'er the hillock: heads all were melted,
1121bengeato burston, ðonne blod ætspranc,
gashes burst, and blood gushed out
1122laðbite lices. Lig ealle forswealg,
from bites of the body. Balefire devoured,
1123gæsta gifrost, þara ðe þær guð fornam
greediest spirit, those spared not by war
1124bega folces; wæs hira blæd scacen.
out of either folk: their flower was gone.
1125Gewiton him ða wigend wica neosian,
THEN hastened those heroes their home to see,
1126freondum befeallen, Frysland geseon,
friendless, to find the Frisian land,
1127hamas ond heaburh. Hengest ða gyt
houses and high burg. Hengest still
1128wælfagne winter wunode mid Finne
through the death-dyed winter dwelt with Finn,
1129eal/ unhlitme. Eard gemunde,
holding pact, yet of home he minded,
1130þeah þe he ne/ meahte on mere drifan
though powerless his ring-decked prow to drive
1131hringedstefnan; holm storme weol,
over the waters, now waves rolled fierce
1132won wið winde, winter yþe beleac
lashed by the winds, or winter locked them
1133isgebinde, oþðæt oþer com
in icy fetters. Then fared another
1134gear in geardas, swa nu gyt deð,
year to men's dwellings, as yet they do,
1135þa ðe syngales sele bewitiað/,
the sunbright skies, that their season ever
1136wuldortorhtan weder. ða wæs winter scacen,
duly await. Far off winter was driven;
1137fæger foldan bearm. Fundode wrecca,
fair lay earth's breast; and fain was the rover,
1138gist of geardum; he to gyrnwræce
the guest, to depart, though more gladly he pondered
1139swiðor þohte þonne to sælade,
on wreaking his vengeance than roaming the deep,
1140gif he torngemot þurhteon mihte
and how to hasten the hot encounter
1141þæt he Eotena bearn inne gemunde.
where sons of the Frisians were sure to be.
1142Swa he ne forwyrnde woroldrædenne,
So he escaped not the common doom,
1143þonne him Hunlafing hildeleoman,
when Hun with "Lafing," the light-of-battle,
1144billa selest, on bearm dyde,
best of blades, his bosom pierced:
1145þæs wæron mid Eotenum ecge cuðe.
its edge was famed with the Frisian earls.
1146Swylce ferhðfrecan Fin eft begeat
On fierce-heart Finn there fell likewise,
1147sweordbealo sliðen æt his selfes ham,
on himself at home, the horrid sword-death;
1148siþðan grimne gripe Guðlaf ond Oslaf
for Guthlaf and Oslaf of grim attack
1149æfter sæsiðe, sorge, mændon,
had sorrowing told, from sea-ways landed,
1150ætwiton weana dæl; ne meahte wæfre mod
mourning their woes. Finn's wavering spirit
1151forhabban in hreþre. ða wæs heal roden/
bode not in breast. The burg was reddened
1152feonda feorum, swilce Fin slægen,
with blood of foemen, and Finn was slain,
1153cyning on corþre, ond seo cwen numen.
king amid clansmen; the queen was taken.
1154Sceotend Scyldinga to scypon feredon
To their ship the Scylding warriors bore
1155eal ingesteald eorðcyninges,
all the chattels the chieftain owned,
1156swylce hie æt Finnes ham findan meahton
whatever they found in Finn's domain
1157sigla, searogimma. Hie on sælade
of gems and jewels. The gentle wife
1158drihtlice wif to Denum feredon,
o'er paths of the deep to the Danes they bore,
1159læddon to leodum. Leoð wæs asungen,
led to her land. The lay was finished,
1160gleomannes gyd. Gamen eft astah,
the gleeman's song. Then glad rose the revel;
1161beorhtode bencsweg; byrelas sealdon
bench-joy brightened. Bearers draw
1162win of wunderfatum. þa cwom Wealhþeo forð
from their "wonder-vats" wine. Comes Wealhtheow forth,
1163gan under gyldnum beage, þær þa godan twegen
under gold-crown goes where the good pair sit,
1164sæton suhtergefæderan; þa gyt wæs hiera sib ætgædere,
uncle and nephew, true each to the other one,
1165æghwylc oðrum trywe. Swylce þær Unferþ þyle
kindred in amity. Unferth the spokesman
1166æt fotum sæt frean Scyldinga; gehwylc hiora his ferhþe treowde,
at the Scylding lord's feet sat: men had faith in his spirit,
1167þæt he hæfde mod micel, þeah þe he his magum nære
his keenness of courage, though kinsmen had found him
1168arfæst æt ecga gelacum. Spræc ða ides Scyldinga:
unsure at the sword-play. The Scylding queen spoke:
1169Onfoh þissum fulle, freodrihten min,
"Quaff of this cup, my king and lord,
1170sinces brytta. þu on sælum wes,
breaker of rings, and blithe be thou,
1171goldwine gumena, ond to Geatum spræc
gold-friend of men; to the Geats here speak
1172mildum wordum, swa sceal man don.
such words of mildness as man should use.
1173Beo wið Geatas glæd, geofena gemyndig,
Be glad with thy Geats; of those gifts be mindful,
1174nean ond feorran þu nu hafast.
or near or far, which now thou hast.
1175Me man sægde þæt þu ðe for sunu wolde
Men say to me, as son thou wishest
1176hererinc/ habban. Heorot is gefælsod,
yon hero to hold. Thy Heorot purged,
1177beahsele beorhta; bruc þenden þu mote
jewel-hall brightest, enjoy while thou canst,
1178manigra medo, ond þinum magum læf
with many a largess; and leave to thy kin
1179folc ond rice, þonne ðu forð scyle
folk and realm when forth thou goest
1180metodsceaft seon. Ic minne can
to greet thy doom. For gracious I deem
1181glædne Hroþulf, þæt he þa geogoðe wile
my Hrothulf, willing to hold and rule
1182arum healdan, gyf þu ær þonne/ he,
nobly our youths, if thou yield up first,
1183wine Scildinga, worold oflætest;
prince of Scyldings, thy part in the world.
1184wene ic þæt he mid gode gyldan wille
I ween with good he will well requite
1185uncran eaferan, gif he þæt eal gemon,
offspring of ours, when all he minds
1186hwæt wit to willan ond to worðmyndum
that for him we did in his helpless days
1187umborwesendum ær arna gefremedon.
of gift and grace to gain him honor!"
1188Hwearf þa bi bence þær hyre byre wæron,
Then she turned to the seat where her sons were placed,
1189Hreðric ond Hroðmund, ond hæleþa bearn,
Hrethric and Hrothmund, with heroes' bairns,
1190giogoð ætgædere; þær se goda sæt,
young men together: the Geat, too, sat there,
1191Beowulf Geata, be þæm gebroðrum twæm.
Beowulf brave, the brothers between.
1192Him wæs ful boren ond freondlaþu
A CUP she gave him, with kindly greeting
1193wordum bewægned, ond wunden gold
and winsome words. Of wounden gold,
1194estum geeawed, earmreade twa,
she offered, to honor him, arm-jewels twain,
1195hrægl ond hringas, healsbeaga mæst
corselet and rings, and of collars the noblest
1196þara þe ic on foldan gefrægen hæbbe.
that ever I knew the earth around.
1197Nænigne ic under swegle selran hyrde
Ne'er heard I so mighty, 'neath heaven's dome,
1198hordmaððum hæleþa, syþðan Hama ætwæg
a hoard-gem of heroes, since Hama bore
1199to þære/ byrhtan byrig Brosinga mene,
to his bright-built burg the Brisings' necklace,
1200sigle ond sincfæt; searoniðas fleah/
jewel and gem casket. -- Jealousy fled he,
1201Eormenrices, geceas ecne ræd.
Eormenric's hate: chose help eternal.
1202þone hring hæfde Higelac Geata,
Hygelac Geat, grandson of Swerting,
1203nefa Swertinges, nyhstan siðe,
on the last of his raids this ring bore with him,
1204siðþan he under segne sinc ealgode,
under his banner the booty defending,
1205wælreaf werede; hyne wyrd fornam,
the war-spoil warding; but Wyrd o'erwhelmed him
1206syþðan he for wlenco wean ahsode,
what time, in his daring, dangers he sought,
1207fæhðe to Frysum. He þa frætwe wæg,
feud with Frisians. Fairest of gems
1208eorclanstanas ofer yða ful,
he bore with him over the beaker-of-waves,
1209rice þeoden; he under rande gecranc.
sovran strong: under shield he died.
1210Gehwearf þa in Francna fæþm feorh cyninges,
Fell the corpse of the king into keeping of Franks,
1211breostgewædu ond se beah somod;
gear of the breast, and that gorgeous ring;
1212wyrsan wigfrecan wæl reafedon/
weaker warriors won the spoil,
1213æfter guðsceare, Geata leode,
after gripe of battle, from Geatland's lord,
1214hreawic heoldon. Heal swege onfeng.
and held the death-field. Din rose in hall.
1215Wealhðeo maþelode, heo fore þæm werede spræc:
Wealhtheow spake amid warriors, and said:--
1216Bruc ðisses beages, Beowulf leofa,
"This jewel enjoy in thy jocund youth,
1217hyse, mid hæle, ond þisses hrægles neot,
Beowulf lov'd, these battle-weeds wear,
1218þeodgestreona/, ond geþeoh tela,
a royal treasure, and richly thrive!
1219cen þec mid cræfte ond þyssum cnyhtum wes
Preserve thy strength, and these striplings here
1220lara liðe; ic þe þæs lean geman.
counsel in kindness: requital be mine.
1221Hafast/ þu gefered þæt ðe feor ond neah
Hast done such deeds, that for days to come
1222ealne wideferhþ weras ehtigað,
thou art famed among folk both far and near,
1223efne swa side swa sæ bebugeð/,
so wide as washeth the wave of Ocean
1224windgeard, weallas. Wes þenden þu lifige,
his windy walls. Through the ways of life
1225æþeling, eadig. Ic þe an tela
prosper, O prince! I pray for thee
1226sincgestreona. Beo þu suna minum
rich possessions. To son of mine
1227dædum gedefe, dreamhealdende.
be helpful in deed and uphold his joys!
1228Her is æghwylc eorl oþrum getrywe,
Here every earl to the other is true,
1229modes milde, mandrihtne hold/;
mild of mood, to the master loyal!
1230þegnas syndon geþwære, þeod ealgearo,
Thanes are friendly, the throng obedient,
1231druncne dryhtguman doð swa ic bidde.
liegemen are revelling: list and obey!"
1232Eode þa to setle. þær wæs symbla cyst;
Went then to her place. -- That was proudest of feasts;
1233druncon win weras. Wyrd ne cuþon,
flowed wine for the warriors. Wyrd they knew not,
1234geosceaft grimme/, swa hit agangen wearð
destiny dire, and the doom to be seen
1235eorla manegum, syþðan æfen cwom
by many an earl when eve should come,
1236ond him Hroþgar gewat to hofe sinum,
and Hrothgar homeward hasten away,
1237rice to ræste. Reced weardode
royal, to rest. The room was guarded
1238unrim eorla, swa hie oft ær dydon.
by an army of earls, as erst was done.
1239Bencþelu beredon; hit geondbræded wearð
They bared the bench-boards; abroad they spread
1240beddum ond bolstrum. Beorscealca sum
beds and bolsters. -- One beer-carouser
1241fus ond fæge fletræste gebeag.
in danger of doom lay down in the hall. --
1242Setton him to heafdon hilderandas,
At their heads they set their shields of war,
1243bordwudu beorhtan; þær on bence wæs
bucklers bright; on the bench were there
1244ofer æþelinge yþgesene
over each atheling, easy to see,
1245heaþosteapa helm, hringed byrne,
the high battle-helmet, the haughty spear,
1246þrecwudu þrymlic. Wæs þeaw/ hyra
the corselet of rings. 'Twas their custom so
1247þæt hie oft wæron an wig gearwe,
ever to be for battle prepared,
1248ge æt ham ge on herge, ge gehwæþer þara,
at home, or harrying, which it were,
1249efne swylce mæla swylce hira mandryhtne
even as oft as evil threatened
1250þearf gesælde; wæs seo þeod tilu.
their sovran king. -- They were clansmen good.
1251Sigon þa to slæpe. Sum sare angeald
THEN sank they to sleep. With sorrow one bought
1252æfenræste, swa him ful oft gelamp,
his rest of the evening, -- as ofttime had happened
1253siþðan goldsele Grendel warode,
when Grendel guarded that golden hall,
1254unriht æfnde, oþþæt ende becwom,
evil wrought, till his end drew nigh,
1255swylt æfter synnum. þæt gesyne wearþ,
slaughter for sins. 'Twas seen and told
1256widcuþ werum, þætte wrecend þa gyt
how an avenger survived the fiend,
1257lifde æfter laþum, lange þrage,
as was learned afar. The livelong time
1258æfter guðceare. Grendles modor,
after that grim fight, Grendel's mother,
1259ides, aglæcwif, yrmþe gemunde,
monster of women, mourned her woe.
1260se þe wæteregesan wunian scolde,
She was doomed to dwell in the dreary waters,
1261cealde streamas, siþðan Cain/ wearð
cold sea-courses, since Cain cut down
1262to ecgbanan angan breþer,
with edge of the sword his only brother,
1263fæderenmæge; he þa fag gewat,
his father's offspring: outlawed he fled,
1264morþre gemearcod, mandream fleon,
marked with murder, from men's delights
1265westen warode. þanon woc/ fela
warded the wilds. -- There woke from him
1266geosceaftgasta; wæs þæra Grendel sum,
such fate-sent ghosts as Grendel, who,
1267heorowearh hetelic, se æt Heorote fand
war-wolf horrid, at Heorot found
1268wæccendne wer wiges bidan.
a warrior watching and waiting the fray,
1269þær him aglæca ætgræpe wearð;
with whom the grisly one grappled amain.
1270hwæþre he gemunde mægenes strenge,
But the man remembered his mighty power,
1271gimfæste gife ðe him god sealde,
the glorious gift that God had sent him,
1272ond him to anwaldan are gelyfde,
in his Maker's mercy put his trust
1273frofre ond fultum; ðy he þone feond ofercwom,
for comfort and help: so he conquered the foe,
1274gehnægde helle gast. þa he hean gewat,
felled the fiend, who fled abject,
1275dreame bedæled, deaþwic seon,
reft of joy, to the realms of death,
1276mancynnes feond, ond his modor þa gyt,
mankind's foe. And his mother now,
1277gifre ond galgmod, gegan wolde
gloomy and grim, would go that quest
1278sorhfulne sið, sunu deað/ wrecan.
of sorrow, the death of her son to avenge.
1279Com þa to Heorote, ðær Hringdene
To Heorot came she, where helmeted Danes
1280geond þæt sæld swæfun. þa ðær sona wearð
slept in the hall. Too soon came back
1281edhwyrft eorlum, siþðan inne fealh
old ills of the earls, when in she burst,
1282Grendles modor. Wæs se gryre læssa
the mother of Grendel. Less grim, though, that terror,
1283efne swa micle swa bið mægþa cræft,
e'en as terror of woman in war is less,
1284wiggryre wifes, be wæpnedmen,
might of maid, than of men in arms
1285þonne/ heoru bunden, hamere geþuren,
when, hammer-forged, the falchion hard,
1286sweord swate fah swin ofer helme
sword gore-stained, through swine of the helm,
1287ecgum dyhttig/ andweard scireð.
crested, with keen blade carves amain.
1288þa wæs on healle heardecg togen
Then was in hall the hard-edge drawn,
1289sweord ofer setlum, sidrand manig
the swords on the settles, and shields a-many
1290hafen handa fæst; helm ne gemunde,
firm held in hand: nor helmet minded
1291byrnan side, þa hine se broga angeat.
nor harness of mail, whom that horror seized.
1292Heo wæs on ofste, wolde ut þanon,
Haste was hers; she would hie afar
1293feore beorgan, þa heo onfunden wæs.
and save her life when the liegemen saw her.
1294Hraðe heo æþelinga anne hæfde
Yet a single atheling up she seized
1295fæste befangen, þa heo to fenne gang.
fast and firm, as she fled to the moor.
1296Se wæs Hroþgare hæleþa leofost
He was for Hrothgar of heroes the dearest,
1297on gesiðes had be sæm tweonum,
of trusty vassals betwixt the seas,
1298rice randwiga, þone ðe heo on ræste abreat,
whom she killed on his couch, a clansman famous,
1299blædfæstne beorn. Næs Beowulf ðær,
in battle brave. -- Nor was Beowulf there;
1300ac wæs oþer in ær geteohhod
another house had been held apart,
1301æfter maþðumgife mærum Geate.
after giving of gold, for the Geat renowned. --
1302Hream wearð in Heorote; heo under heolfre genam
Uproar filled Heorot; the hand all had viewed,
1303cuþe folme; cearu wæs geniwod,
blood-flecked, she bore with her; bale was returned,
1304geworden in wicun. Ne wæs þæt gewrixle til,
dole in the dwellings: 'twas dire exchange
1305þæt hie on ba healfa bicgan scoldon
where Dane and Geat were doomed to give
1306freonda feorum. þa wæs frod cyning,
the lives of loved ones. Long-tried king,
1307har hilderinc, on hreon mode,
the hoary hero, at heart was sad
1308syðþan he aldorþegn unlyfigendne/,
when he knew his noble no more lived,
1309þone deorestan deadne wisse.
and dead indeed was his dearest thane.
1310Hraþe/ wæs to bure Beowulf fetod,
To his bower was Beowulf brought in haste,
1311sigoreadig secg. Samod ærdæge
dauntless victor. As daylight broke,
1312eode eorla sum, æþele cempa
along with his earls the atheling lord,
1313self mid gesiðum þær se snotera bad,
with his clansmen, came where the king abode
1314hwæþer/ him alwalda æfre wille
waiting to see if the Wielder-of-All
1315æfter weaspelle wyrpe gefremman.
would turn this tale of trouble and woe.
1316Gang ða æfter flore fyrdwyrðe man
Strode o'er floor the famed-in-strife,
1317mid his handscale healwudu dynede,
with his hand-companions, -- the hall resounded, --
1318þæt he þone wisan wordum nægde/
wishing to greet the wise old king,
1319frean Ingwina, frægn gif him wære
Ingwines' lord; he asked if the night
1320æfter neodlaðum/ niht getæse.
had passed in peace to the prince's mind.
1321Hroðgar maþelode, helm Scyldinga:
HROTHGAR spake, helmet-of-Scyldings:--
1322Ne frin þu æfter sælum. Sorh is geniwod
"Ask not of pleasure! Pain is renewed
1323Denigea leodum. Dead is æschere,
to Danish folk. Dead is Aeschere,
1324Yrmenlafes yldra broþor,
of Yrmenlaf the elder brother,
1325min runwita ond min rædbora,
my sage adviser and stay in council,
1326eaxlgestealla, ðonne we on orlege
shoulder-comrade in stress of fight
1327hafelan weredon, þonne hniton feþan,
when warriors clashed and we warded our heads,
1328eoferas cynsedan. Swylc/ scolde eorl wesan,
hewed the helm-boars; hero famed
1329æþeling/ ærgod, swylc æschere wæs.
should be every earl as Aeschere was!
1330Wearð him on Heorote to handbanan
But here in Heorot a hand hath slain him
1331wælgæst wæfre; ic ne wat hwæder/
of wandering death-sprite. I wot not whither,
1332atol æse wlanc eftsiðas teah,
proud of the prey, her path she took,
1333fylle gefægnod/. Heo þa fæhðe wræc
fain of her fill. The feud she avenged
1334þe þu gystranniht Grendel cwealdest
that yesternight, unyieldingly,
1335þurh hæstne had heardum clammum,
Grendel in grimmest grasp thou killedst, --
1336forþan he to lange leode mine
seeing how long these liegemen mine
1337wanode ond wyrde. He æt wige gecrang
he ruined and ravaged. Reft of life,
1338ealdres scyldig, ond nu oþer cwom
in arms he fell. Now another comes,
1339mihtig manscaða, wolde hyre mæg wrecan,
keen and cruel, her kin to avenge,
1340ge feor hafað fæhðe gestæled
faring far in feud of blood:
1341þæs þe þincean mæg þegne monegum,
so that many a thane shall think, who e'er
1342se þe æfter sincgyfan on sefan greoteþ,
sorrows in soul for that sharer of rings,
1343hreþerbealo hearde; nu seo hand ligeð,
this is hardest of heart-bales. The hand lies low
1344se þe eow welhwylcra/ wilna dohte.
that once was willing each wish to please.
1345Ic þæt londbuend, leode mine,
Land-dwellers here and liegemen mine,
1346selerædende, secgan hyrde
who house by those parts, I have heard relate
1347þæt hie gesawon swylce twegen
that such a pair they have sometimes seen,
1348micle mearcstapan moras healdan,
march-stalkers mighty the moorland haunting,
1349ellorgæstas. ðæra oðer wæs,
wandering spirits: one of them seemed,
1350þæs þe hie gewislicost gewitan meahton,
so far as my folk could fairly judge,
1351idese onlicnæs; oðer earmsceapen
of womankind; and one, accursed,
1352on weres wæstmum wræclastas træd,
in man's guise trod the misery-track
1353næfne he wæs mara þonne ænig man oðer;
of exile, though huger than human bulk.
1354þone on geardagum Grendel nemdon/
Grendel in days long gone they named him,
1355foldbuende. No hie fæder cunnon,
folk of the land; his father they knew not,
1356hwæþer him ænig wæs ær acenned
nor any brood that was born to him
1357dyrnra gasta. Hie dygel lond
of treacherous spirits. Untrod is their home;
1358warigeað, wulfhleoþu, windige/ næssas,
by wolf-cliffs haunt they and windy headlands,
1359frecne fengelad, ðær fyrgenstream
fenways fearful, where flows the stream
1360under næssa genipu niþer gewiteð,
from mountains gliding to gloom of the rocks,
1361flod under foldan. Nis þæt feor heonon
underground flood. Not far is it hence
1362milgemearces þæt se mere standeð/;
in measure of miles that the mere expands,
1363ofer þæm hongiað hrinde bearwas,
and o'er it the frost-bound forest hanging,
1364wudu wyrtum fæst wæter oferhelmað.
sturdily rooted, shadows the wave.
1365þær mæg nihta gehwæm niðwundor seon,
By night is a wonder weird to see,
1366fyr on flode. No þæs frod leofað
fire on the waters. So wise lived none
1367gumena bearna, þæt þone grund wite;
of the sons of men, to search those depths!
1368ðeah þe hæðstapa hundum geswenced,
Nay, though the heath-rover, harried by dogs,
1369heorot hornum trum, holtwudu sece,
the horn-proud hart, this holt should seek,
1370feorran geflymed, ær he feorh seleð,
long distance driven, his dear life first
1371aldor on ofre, ær he in wille
on the brink he yields ere he brave the plunge
1372hafelan hydan/. Nis þæt heoru stow.
to hide his head: 'tis no happy place!
1373þonon yðgeblond up astigeð
Thence the welter of waters washes up
1374won to wolcnum, þonne wind styreþ,
wan to welkin when winds bestir
1375lað gewidru, oðþæt lyft drysmaþ,
evil storms, and air grows dusk,
1376roderas reotað. Nu is se ræd gelang
and the heavens weep. Now is help once more
1377eft æt þe anum. Eard git ne const,
with thee alone! The land thou knowst not,
1378frecne stowe, ðær þu findan miht
place of fear, where thou findest out
1379felasinnigne secg; sec gif þu dyrre.
that sin-flecked being. Seek if thou dare!
1380Ic þe þa fæhðe feo leanige,
I will reward thee, for waging this fight,
1381ealdgestreonum, swa ic ær dyde,
with ancient treasure, as erst I did,
1382wundnum/ golde, gyf þu on weg cymest.
with winding gold, if thou winnest back."
1383Beowulf maþelode, bearn Ecgþeowes/:
BEOWULF spake, bairn of Ecgtheow:
1384Ne sorga, snotor guma; selre bið æghwæm
"Sorrow not, sage! It beseems us better
1385þæt he his freond wrece, þonne he fela murne.
friends to avenge than fruitlessly mourn them.
1386Ure æghwylc/ sceal ende gebidan
Each of us all must his end abide
1387worolde lifes; wyrce se þe mote
in the ways of the world; so win who may
1388domes ær deaþe; þæt bið drihtguman
glory ere death! When his days are told,
1389unlifgendum æfter selest.
that is the warrior's worthiest doom.
1390Aris, rices weard, uton raþe/ feran
Rise, O realm-warder! Ride we anon,
1391Grendles magan gang sceawigan.
and mark the trail of the mother of Grendel.
1392Ic hit þe gehate, no he on helm losaþ,
No harbor shall hide her -- heed my promise! --
1393ne on foldan fæþm, ne on fyrgenholt,
enfolding of field or forested mountain
1394ne on gyfenes grund, ga þær he wille.
or floor of the flood, let her flee where she will!
1395ðys dogor þu geþyld hafa
But thou this day endure in patience,
1396weana gehwylces, swa ic þe wene to.
as I ween thou wilt, thy woes each one."
1397Ahleop ða se gomela, gode þancode,
Leaped up the graybeard: God he thanked,
1398mihtigan drihtne, þæs se man gespræc/.
mighty Lord, for the man's brave words.
1399þa wæs Hroðgare hors gebæted,
For Hrothgar soon a horse was saddled
1400wicg wundenfeax. Wisa fengel
wave-maned steed. The sovran wise
1401geatolic/ gende; gumfeþa stop
stately rode on; his shield-armed men
1402lindhæbbendra. Lastas wæron
followed in force. The footprints led
1403æfter waldswaþum wide gesyne,
along the woodland, widely seen,
1404gang ofer grundas, þær/ heo/ gegnum for
a path o'er the plain, where she passed, and trod
1405ofer myrcan mor, magoþegna bær
the murky moor; of men-at-arms
1406þone selestan sawolleasne
she bore the bravest and best one, dead,
1407þara þe mid Hroðgare ham eahtode.
him who with Hrothgar the homestead ruled.
1408Ofereode þa æþelinga bearn
On then went the atheling-born
1409steap stanhliðo, stige nearwe,
o'er stone-cliffs steep and strait defiles,
1410enge anpaðas, uncuð gelad,
narrow passes and unknown ways,
1411neowle næssas, nicorhusa fela.
headlands sheer, and the haunts of the Nicors.
1412He feara sum beforan gengde
Foremost he fared, a few at his side
1413wisra monna wong sceawian,
of the wiser men, the ways to scan,
1414oþþæt he færinga fyrgenbeamas
till he found in a flash the forested hill
1415ofer harne stan hleonian funde,
hanging over the hoary rock,
1416wynleasne wudu; wæter under stod
a woful wood: the waves below
1417dreorig ond gedrefed. Denum eallum wæs,
were dyed in blood. The Danish men
1418winum Scyldinga, weorce on mode
had sorrow of soul, and for Scyldings all,
1419to geþolianne, ðegne monegum,
for many a hero, 'twas hard to bear,
1420oncyð eorla gehwæm, syðþan æscheres
ill for earls, when Aeschere's head
1421on þam holmclife hafelan metton.
they found by the flood on the foreland there.
1422Flod blode weol folc to sægon,
Waves were welling, the warriors saw,
1423hatan heolfre. Horn stundum song
hot with blood; but the horn sang oft
1424fuslic fyrdleoð/. Feþa eal gesæt.
battle-song bold. The band sat down,
1425Gesawon ða æfter wætere wyrmcynnes fela,
and watched on the water worm-like things,
1426sellice sædracan, sund cunnian,
sea-dragons strange that sounded the deep,
1427swylce on næshleoðum nicras licgean,
and nicors that lay on the ledge of the ness --
1428ða on undernmæl oft bewitigað
such as oft essay at hour of morn
1429sorhfulne sið on seglrade,
on the road-of-sails their ruthless quest, --
1430wyrmas ond wildeor; hie on weg hruron,
and sea-snakes and monsters. These started away,
1431bitere ond gebolgne, bearhtm ongeaton,
swollen and savage that song to hear,
1432guðhorn galan. Sumne Geata leod
that war-horn's blast. The warden of Geats,
1433of flanbogan feores getwæfde,
with bolt from bow, then balked of life,
1434yðgewinnes, þæt him on aldre stod
of wave-work, one monster, amid its heart
1435herestræl hearda; he on holme wæs
went the keen war-shaft; in water it seemed
1436sundes þe sænra, ðe hyne swylt fornam.
less doughty in swimming whom death had seized.
1437Hræþe wearð on yðum mid eoferspreotum
Swift on the billows, with boar-spears well
1438heorohocyhtum hearde genearwod,
hooked and barbed, it was hard beset,
1439niða genæged, ond on næs togen,
done to death and dragged on the headland,
1440wundorlic wægbora; weras sceawedon
wave-roamer wondrous. Warriors viewed
1441gryrelicne gist. Gyrede hine Beowulf
the grisly guest. Then girt him Beowulf
1442eorlgewædum, nalles for ealdre mearn.
in martial mail, nor mourned for his life.
1443Scolde herebyrne hondum gebroden,
His breastplate broad and bright of hues,
1444sid ond searofah, sund cunnian,
woven by hand, should the waters try;
1445seo ðe bancofan beorgan cuþe,
well could it ward the warrior's body
1446þæt him hildegrap hreþre ne mihte,
that battle should break on his breast in vain
1447eorres inwitfeng, aldre gesceþðan.
nor harm his heart by the hand of a foe.
1448ac se hwita helm hafelan werede,
And the helmet white that his head protected
1449se þe meregrundas mengan scolde,
was destined to dare the deeps of the flood,
1450secan sundgebland since geweorðad/,
through wave-whirl win: 'twas wound with chains,
1451befongen freawrasnum, swa hine fyrndagum
decked with gold, as in days of yore
1452worhte wæpna smið, wundrum teode,
the weapon-smith worked it wondrously,
1453besette swinlicum, þæt hine syðþan no
with swine-forms set it, that swords nowise,
1454brond ne beadomecas bitan ne meahton.
brandished in battle, could bite that helm.
1455Næs þæt þonne mætost mægenfultuma
Nor was that the meanest of mighty helps
1456þæt him on ðearfe lah ðyle Hroðgares;
which Hrothgar's orator offered at need:
1457wæs þæm hæftmece Hrunting nama.
"Hrunting" they named the hilted sword,
1458þæt wæs an foran ealdgestreona;
of old-time heirlooms easily first;
1459ecg wæs iren, atertanum fah,
iron was its edge, all etched with poison,
1460ahyrded heaþoswate; næfre hit æt hilde ne swac
with battle-blood hardened, nor blenched it at fight
1461manna ængum þara þe hit mid mundum bewand,
in hero's hand who held it ever,
1462se ðe gryresiðas gegan dorste,
on paths of peril prepared to go
1463folcstede fara; næs þæt forma sið
to folkstead of foes. Not first time this
1464þæt hit ellenweorc æfnan scolde.
it was destined to do a daring task.
1465Huru ne gemunde mago Ecglafes,
For he bore not in mind, the bairn of Ecglaf
1466eafoþes cræftig, þæt he ær gespræc
sturdy and strong, that speech he had made,
1467wine druncen, þa he þæs wæpnes onlah
drunk with wine, now this weapon he lent
1468selran sweordfrecan. Selfa ne dorste
to a stouter swordsman. Himself, though, durst not
1469under yða gewin aldre geneþan,
under welter of waters wager his life
1470drihtscype dreogan; þær he dome forleas,
as loyal liegeman. So lost he his glory,
1471ellenmærðum/. Ne wæs þæm oðrum swa,
honor of earls. With the other not so,
1472syðþan he hine to guðe gegyred hæfde.
who girded him now for the grim encounter.
1473Beowulf maðelode, bearn Ecgþeowes:
BEOWULF spake, bairn of Ecgtheow:--
1474Geþenc nu, se mæra maga Healfdenes,
"Have mind, thou honored offspring of Healfdene
1475snottra fengel, nu ic eom siðes fus,
gold-friend of men, now I go on this quest,
1476goldwine gumena, hwæt wit geo spræcon,
sovran wise, what once was said:
1477gif ic æt þearfe þinre scolde
if in thy cause it came that I
1478aldre linnan, þæt ðu me a wære
should lose my life, thou wouldst loyal bide
1479forðgewitenum on fæder stæle.
to me, though fallen, in father's place!
1480Wes þu mundbora minum magoþegnum,
Be guardian, thou, to this group of my thanes,
1481hondgesellum, gif mec hild nime;
my warrior-friends, if War should seize me;
1482swylce þu ða madmas þe þu me sealdest,
and the goodly gifts thou gavest me,
1483Hroðgar leofa, Higelace onsend.
Hrothgar beloved, to Hygelac send!
1484Mæg þonne on þæm golde ongitan Geata dryhten,
Geatland's king may ken by the gold,
1485geseon sunu Hrædles, þonne he on þæt sinc starað,
Hrethel's son see, when he stares at the treasure,
1486þæt ic gumcystum godne funde
that I got me a friend for goodness famed,
1487beaga bryttan, breac þonne moste.
and joyed while I could in my jewel-bestower.
1488Ond þu Unferð/ læt ealde lafe,
And let Unferth wield this wondrous sword,
1489wrætlic wægsweord, widcuðne man
earl far-honored, this heirloom precious,
1490heardecg habban; ic me mid Hruntinge
hard of edge: with Hrunting I
1491dom gewyrce, oþðe mec deað nimeð.
seek doom of glory, or Death shall take me."
1492æfter þæm wordum Wedergeata leod
After these words the Weder-Geat lord
1493efste mid elne, nalas ondsware
boldly hastened, biding never
1494bidan wolde; brimwylm onfeng
answer at all: the ocean floods
1495hilderince/. ða wæs hwil dæges
closed o'er the hero. Long while of the day
1496ær he þone grundwong ongytan mehte.
fled ere he felt the floor of the sea.
1497Sona þæt onfunde se ðe floda begong
Soon found the fiend who the flood-domain
1498heorogifre beheold hund missera,
sword-hungry held these hundred winters,
1499grim ond grædig, þæt þær gumena sum
greedy and grim, that some guest from above,
1500ælwihta eard ufan cunnode.
some man, was raiding her monster-realm.
1501Grap þa togeanes, guðrinc gefeng
She grasped out for him with grisly claws,
1502atolan clommum. No þy ær in gescod
and the warrior seized; yet scathed she not
1503halan lice; hring utan ymbbearh,
his body hale; the breastplate hindered,
1504þæt heo þone fyrdhom ðurhfon ne mihte,
as she strove to shatter the sark of war,
1505locene leoðosyrcan/ laþan fingrum.
the linked harness, with loathsome hand.
1506Bær þa seo brimwylf/, þa heo to botme com,
Then bore this brine-wolf, when bottom she touched,
1507hringa þengel to hofe sinum,
the lord of rings to the lair she haunted
1508swa he ne mihte, no he þæs/ modig wæs,
whiles vainly he strove, though his valor held,
1509wæpna gewealdan, ac hine wundra þæs fela
weapon to wield against wondrous monsters
1510swencte/ on sunde, sædeor monig
that sore beset him; sea-beasts many
1511hildetuxum heresyrcan bræc,
tried with fierce tusks to tear his mail,
1512ehton aglæcan. ða se eorl ongeat
and swarmed on the stranger. But soon he marked
1513þæt he in/ niðsele nathwylcum wæs,
he was now in some hall, he knew not which,
1514þær him nænig wæter wihte ne sceþede,
where water never could work him harm,
1515ne him for hrofsele hrinan ne mehte
nor through the roof could reach him ever
1516færgripe flodes; fyrleoht geseah,
fangs of the flood. Firelight he saw,
1517blacne leoman, beorhte scinan/.
beams of a blaze that brightly shone.
1518Ongeat þa se goda grundwyrgenne,
Then the warrior was ware of that wolf-of-the-deep,
1519merewif mihtig; mægenræs forgeaf
mere-wife monstrous. For mighty stroke
1520hildebille, hond/ sweng/ ne ofteah,
he swung his blade, and the blow withheld not.
1521þæt hire on hafelan hringmæl agol
Then sang on her head that seemly blade
1522grædig guðleoð. ða/ se gist onfand
its war-song wild. But the warrior found
1523þæt se beadoleoma bitan nolde,
the light-of-battle was loath to bite,
1524aldre sceþðan, ac seo ecg geswac
to harm the heart: its hard edge failed
1525ðeodne/ æt þearfe; ðolode ær fela
the noble at need, yet had known of old
1526hondgemota, helm oft gescær,
strife hand to hand, and had helmets cloven,
1527fæges fyrdhrægl; ða wæs forma sið
doomed men's fighting-gear. First time, this,
1528deorum madme, þæt his dom alæg.
for the gleaming blade that its glory fell.
1529Eft wæs anræd, nalas elnes læt,
Firm still stood, nor failed in valor,
1530mærða gemyndig mæg Hylaces.
heedful of high deeds, Hygelac's kinsman;
1531Wearp ða wundenmæl wrættum gebunden
flung away fretted sword, featly jewelled,
1532yrre oretta, þæt hit on eorðan læg,
the angry earl; on earth it lay
1533stið ond stylecg; strenge getruwode,
steel-edged and stiff. His strength he trusted,
1534mundgripe mægenes. Swa sceal man don,
hand-gripe of might. So man shall do
1535þonne he æt guðe gegan þenceð
whenever in war he weens to earn him
1536longsumne lof, na ymb his lif cearað.
lasting fame, nor fears for his life!
1537Gefeng þa be eaxle nalas for fæhðe mearn
Seized then by shoulder, shrank not from combat,
1538Guðgeata leod Grendles modor;
the Geatish war-prince Grendel's mother.
1539brægd þa beadwe heard, þa he gebolgen wæs,
Flung then the fierce one, filled with wrath,
1540feorhgeniðlan, þæt heo on flet gebeah.
his deadly foe, that she fell to ground.
1541Heo him eft hraþe andlean/ forgeald
Swift on her part she paid him back
1542grimman grapum ond him togeanes feng;
with grisly grasp, and grappled with him.
1543oferwearp/ þa werigmod wigena strengest,
Spent with struggle, stumbled the warrior,
1544feþecempa, þæt he on fylle wearð.
fiercest of fighting-men, fell adown.
1545Ofsæt þa þone selegyst ond hyre seax/ geteah,
On the hall-guest she hurled herself, hent her short sword,
1546brad ond/ brunecg, wolde hire bearn wrecan,
broad and brown-edged, the bairn to avenge,
1547angan eaferan. Him on eaxle læg
the sole-born son. -- On his shoulder lay
1548breostnet broden; þæt gebearh feore,
braided breast-mail, barring death,
1549wið ord ond wið ecge ingang forstod.
withstanding entrance of edge or blade.
1550Hæfde ða forsiðod sunu Ecgþeowes
Life would have ended for Ecgtheow's son,
1551under gynne grund, Geata cempa,
under wide earth for that earl of Geats,
1552nemne him heaðobyrne helpe gefremede,
had his armor of war not aided him,
1553herenet hearde, ond halig god
battle-net hard, and holy God
1554geweold wigsigor; witig drihten,
wielded the victory, wisest Maker.
1555rodera rædend, hit on ryht gesced
The Lord of Heaven allowed his cause;
1556yðelice, syþðan he eft astod.
and easily rose the earl erect.
1557Geseah ða on searwum sigeeadig bil,
'MID the battle-gear saw he a blade triumphant,
1558eald sweord eotenisc, ecgum þyhtig,
old-sword of Eotens, with edge of proof,
1559wigena weorðmynd; þæt wæs/ wæpna cyst,
warriors' heirloom, weapon unmatched,
1560buton hit wæs mare ðonne ænig mon oðer
-- save only 'twas more than other men
1561to beadulace ætberan meahte,
to bandy-of-battle could bear at all --
1562god ond geatolic, giganta geweorc.
as the giants had wrought it, ready and keen.
1563He gefeng þa fetelhilt, freca Scyldinga
Seized then its chain-hilt the Scyldings' chieftain,
1564hreoh ond heorogrim hringmæl gebrægd,
bold and battle-grim, brandished the sword,
1565aldres orwena, yrringa sloh,
reckless of life, and so wrathfully smote
1566þæt hire wið halse heard grapode,
that it gripped her neck and grasped her hard,
1567banhringas bræc. Bil eal ðurhwod
her bone-rings breaking: the blade pierced through
1568fægne flæschoman; heo on flet gecrong.
that fated-one's flesh: to floor she sank.
1569Sweord wæs swatig, secg weorce gefeh.
Bloody the blade: he was blithe of his deed.
1570Lixte se leoma, leoht inne stod,
Then blazed forth light. 'Twas bright within
1571efne swa of hefene hadre scineð
as when from the sky there shines unclouded
1572rodores candel. He æfter recede wlat;
heaven's candle. The hall he scanned.
1573hwearf þa be wealle, wæpen hafenade
By the wall then went he; his weapon raised
1574heard be hiltum Higelaces ðegn,
high by its hilts the Hygelac-thane,
1575yrre ond anræd. Næs seo ecg fracod
angry and eager. That edge was not useless
1576hilderince, ac he hraþe wolde
to the warrior now. He wished with speed
1577Grendle forgyldan guðræsa fela
Grendel to guerdon for grim raids many,
1578ðara þe he geworhte to Westdenum
for the war he waged on Western-Danes
1579oftor micle ðonne on ænne sið,
oftener far than an only time,
1580þonne he Hroðgares heorðgeneatas
when of Hrothgar's hearth-companions
1581sloh on sweofote, slæpende fræt
he slew in slumber, in sleep devoured,
1582folces Denigea fyftyne men
fifteen men of the folk of Danes,
1583ond oðer swylc ut offerede,
and as many others outward bore,
1584laðlicu lac. He him þæs lean forgeald,
his horrible prey. Well paid for that
1585reþe cempa, to ðæs þe he on ræste geseah
the wrathful prince! For now prone he saw
1586guðwerigne Grendel licgan
Grendel stretched there, spent with war,
1587aldorleasne, swa him ær gescod
spoiled of life, so scathed had left him
1588hild æt Heorote. Hra wide sprong,
Heorot's battle. The body sprang far
1589syþðan he æfter deaðe drepe þrowade,
when after death it endured the blow,
1590heorosweng heardne, ond hine þa heafde becearf.
sword-stroke savage, that severed its head.
1591Sona þæt gesawon snottre ceorlas,
Soon, then, saw the sage companions
1592þa ðe mid Hroðgare on holm wliton/,
who waited with Hrothgar, watching the flood,
1593þæt wæs yðgeblond eal gemenged,
that the tossing waters turbid grew,
1594brim blode fah. Blondenfeaxe,
blood-stained the mere. Old men together,
1595gomele ymb godne, ongeador spræcon
hoary-haired, of the hero spake;
1596þæt hig þæs æðelinges eft ne wendon
the warrior would not, they weened, again,
1597þæt he sigehreðig secean come
proud of conquest, come to seek
1598mærne þeoden; þa ðæs monige gewearð
their mighty master. To many it seemed
1599þæt hine seo brimwylf abroten/ hæfde.
the wolf-of-the-waves had won his life.
1600ða com non dæges. Næs ofgeafon
The ninth hour came. The noble Scyldings
1601hwate Scyldingas; gewat him ham þonon
left the headland; homeward went
1602goldwine gumena. Gistas setan/
the gold-friend of men. But the guests sat on,
1603modes seoce ond on mere staredon,
stared at the surges, sick in heart,
1604wiston ond ne wendon þæt hie heora winedrihten
and wished, yet weened not, their winsome lord
1605selfne gesawon. þa þæt sweord ongan
again to see. Now that sword began,
1606æfter heaþoswate hildegicelum,
from blood of the fight, in battle-droppings,
1607wigbil wanian. þæt wæs wundra sum,
war-blade, to wane: 'twas a wondrous thing
1608þæt hit eal gemealt ise gelicost,
that all of it melted as ice is wont
1609ðonne forstes bend fæder onlæteð,
when frosty fetters the Father loosens,
1610onwindeð wælrapas, se geweald hafað
unwinds the wave-bonds, wielding all
1611sæla ond mæla; þæt is soð metod.
seasons and times: the true God he!
1612Ne nom he in þæm wicum, Wedergeata leod,
Nor took from that dwelling the duke of the Geats
1613maðmæhta ma, þeh he þær monige geseah,
precious things, though a plenty he saw,
1614buton þone hafelan ond þa hilt somod
save only the head and that hilt withal
1615since fage. Sweord ær gemealt,
blazoned with jewels: the blade had melted,
1616forbarn brodenmæl; wæs þæt blod to þæs hat,
burned was the bright sword, her blood was so hot,
1617ættren ellorgæst se þær inne/ swealt.
so poisoned the hell-sprite who perished within there.
1618Sona wæs on sunde se þe ær æt sæcce gebad
Soon he was swimming who safe saw in combat
1619wighryre wraðra, wæter up þurhdeaf.
downfall of demons; up-dove through the flood.
1620Wæron yðgebland eal gefælsod,
The clashing waters were cleansed now,
1621eacne eardas, þa se ellorgast
waste of waves, where the wandering fiend
1622oflet lifdagas ond þas lænan gesceaft.
her life-days left and this lapsing world.
1623Com þa to lande lidmanna helm
Swam then to strand the sailors'-refuge,
1624swiðmod swymman; sælace gefeah,
sturdy-in-spirit, of sea-booty glad,
1625mægenbyrþenne þara þe he him mid hæfde.
of burden brave he bore with him.
1626Eodon him þa togeanes, gode þancodon,
Went then to greet him, and God they thanked,
1627ðryðlic þegna heap, þeodnes gefegon,
the thane-band choice of their chieftain blithe,
1628þæs þe hi hyne gesundne geseon moston.
that safe and sound they could see him again.
1629ða wæs of þæm hroran helm ond byrne
Soon from the hardy one helmet and armor
1630lungre alysed. Lagu drusade,
deftly they doffed: now drowsed the mere,
1631wæter under wolcnum, wældreore fag.
water 'neath welkin, with war-blood stained.
1632Ferdon forð þonon feþelastum
Forth they fared by the footpaths thence,
1633ferhþum fægne, foldweg mæton,
merry at heart the highways measured,
1634cuþe stræte. Cyningbalde men
well-known roads. Courageous men
1635from þæm holmclife hafelan bæron
carried the head from the cliff by the sea,
1636earfoðlice heora æghwæþrum,
an arduous task for all the band,
1637felamodigra; feower scoldon
the firm in fight, since four were needed
1638on þæm wælstenge weorcum geferian
on the shaft-of-slaughter strenuously
1639to þæm goldsele Grendles heafod,
to bear to the gold-hall Grendel's head.
1640oþðæt semninga to sele comon
So presently to the palace there
1641frome fyrdhwate feowertyne
foemen fearless, fourteen Geats,
1642Geata gongan; gumdryhten mid
marching came. Their master-of-clan
1643modig on gemonge meodowongas træd.
mighty amid them the meadow-ways trod.
1644ða com in gan ealdor ðegna,
Strode then within the sovran thane
1645dædcene mon dome gewurþad,
fearless in fight, of fame renowned,
1646hæle hildedeor, Hroðgar gretan.
hardy hero, Hrothgar to greet.
1647þa wæs be feaxe on flet boren
And next by the hair into hall was borne
1648Grendles heafod, þær guman druncon,
Grendel's head, where the henchmen were drinking,
1649egeslic for eorlum ond þære idese mid,
an awe to clan and queen alike,
1650wliteseon wrætlic; weras on sawon.
a monster of marvel: the men looked on.
1651Beowulf maþelode, bearn Ecgþeowes:
BEOWULF spake, bairn of Ecgtheow:--
1652Hwæt. we þe þas sælac, sunu Healfdenes,
"Lo, now, this sea-booty, son of Healfdene,
1653leod Scyldinga, lustum brohton
Lord of Scyldings, we've lustily brought thee,
1654tires to tacne, þe þu her to locast.
sign of glory; thou seest it here.
1655Ic þæt unsofte ealdre gedigde
Not lightly did I with my life escape!
1656wigge under wætere, weorc geneþde
In war under water this work I essayed
1657earfoðlice; ætrihte wæs
with endless effort; and even so
1658guð getwæfed, nymðe mec god scylde.
my strength had been lost had the Lord not shielded me.
1659Ne meahte ic æt hilde mid Hruntinge
Not a whit could I with Hrunting do
1660wiht gewyrcan, þeah þæt wæpen duge;
in work of war, though the weapon is good;
1661ac me geuðe ylda waldend
yet a sword the Sovran of Men vouchsafed me
1662þæt ic on wage geseah wlitig hangian
to spy on the wall there, in splendor hanging,
1663eald sweord eacen oftost wisode
old, gigantic, -- how oft He guides
1664winigea leasum, þæt ic ðy wæpne gebræd.
the friendless wight! -- and I fought with that brand,
1665Ofsloh ða æt þære sæcce, þa me sæl ageald,
felling in fight, since fate was with me,
1666huses hyrdas. þa þæt hildebil
the house's wardens. That war-sword then
1667forbarn brogdenmæl, swa þæt blod gesprang,
all burned, bright blade, when the blood gushed o'er it,
1668hatost heaþoswata. Ic þæt hilt þanan
battle-sweat hot; but the hilt I brought back
1669feondum ætferede, fyrendæda wræc,
from my foes. So avenged I their fiendish deeds
1670deaðcwealm Denigea, swa hit gedefe wæs.
death-fall of Danes, as was due and right.
1671Ic hit þe þonne gehate, þæt þu on Heorote most
And this is my hest, that in Heorot now
1672sorhleas swefan mid þinra secga gedryht
safe thou canst sleep with thy soldier band,
1673ond þegna gehwylc þinra leoda,
and every thane of all thy folk
1674duguðe ond iogoþe, þæt þu him ondrædan ne þearft,
both old and young; no evil fear,
1675þeoden Scyldinga, on þa healfe,
Scyldings' lord, from that side again,
1676aldorbealu eorlum, swa þu ær dydest.
aught ill for thy earls, as erst thou must!"
1677ða wæs gylden hilt gamelum rince,
Then the golden hilt, for that gray-haired leader,
1678harum hildfruman, on hand gyfen,
hoary hero, in hand was laid,
1679enta ærgeweorc. hit on æht gehwearf
giant-wrought, old. So owned and enjoyed it
1680æfter deofla hryre Denigea frean,
after downfall of devils, the Danish lord,
1681wundorsmiþa geweorc, ond þa þas worold ofgeaf
wonder-smiths' work, since the world was rid
1682gromheort guma, godes ondsaca,
of that grim-souled fiend, the foe of God,
1683morðres scyldig, ond his modor eac,
murder-marked, and his mother as well.
1684on geweald gehwearf woroldcyninga
Now it passed into power of the people's king,
1685ðæm selestan be sæm tweonum
best of all that the oceans bound
1686ðara þe on Scedenigge sceattas dælde.
who have scattered their gold o'er Scandia's isle.
1687Hroðgar maðelode, hylt sceawode,
Hrothgar spake -- the hilt he viewed,
1688ealde lafe, on ðæm wæs or writen
heirloom old, where was etched the rise
1689fyrngewinnes, syðþan flod ofsloh,
of that far-off fight when the floods o'erwhelmed,
1690gifen geotende, giganta cyn
raging waves, the race of giants
1691frecne geferdon; þæt wæs fremde þeod
(fearful their fate!), a folk estranged
1692ecean dryhtne; him þæs endelean
from God Eternal: whence guerdon due
1693þurh wæteres wylm waldend sealde.
in that waste of waters the Wielder paid them.
1694Swa wæs on ðæm scennum sciran goldes
So on the guard of shining gold
1695þurh runstafas rihte gemearcod,
in runic staves it was rightly said
1696geseted ond gesæd hwam þæt sweord geworht,
for whom the serpent-traced sword was wrought,
1697irena cyst, ærest wære,
best of blades, in bygone days,
1698wreoþenhilt ond wyrmfah. ða se wisa spræc
and the hilt well wound. -- The wise-one spake,
1699sunu Healfdenes swigedon ealle:
son of Healfdene; silent were all:--
1700þæt, la, mæg secgan se þe soð ond riht
"Lo, so may he say who sooth and right
1701fremeð on folce, feor eal gemon,
follows 'mid folk, of far times mindful,
1702eald //eðel// weard, þæt ðes eorl wære
a land-warden old, that this earl belongs
1703geboren betera. Blæd is aræred
to the better breed! So, borne aloft,
1704geond widwegas, wine min Beowulf/,
thy fame must fly, O friend my Beowulf,
1705ðin ofer þeoda gehwylce. Eal þu hit geþyldum healdest,
far and wide o'er folksteads many. Firmly thou shalt all maintain,
1706mægen mid modes snyttrum. Ic þe sceal mine gelæstan
mighty strength with mood of wisdom. Love of mine will I assure thee,
1707freode, swa wit furðum spræcon. ðu scealt to frofre weorþan
as, awhile ago, I promised; thou shalt prove a stay in future,
1708eal langtwidig leodum þinum,
in far-off years, to folk of thine,
1709hæleðum to helpe. Ne wearð Heremod swa
to the heroes a help. Was not Heremod thus
1710eaforum Ecgwelan, Arscyldingum;
to offspring of Ecgwela, Honor-Scyldings,
1711ne geweox he him to willan, ac to wælfealle
nor grew for their grace, but for grisly slaughter,
1712ond to deaðcwalum Deniga leodum;
for doom of death to the Danishmen.
1713breat bolgenmod beodgeneatas,
He slew, wrath-swollen, his shoulder-comrades,
1714eaxlgesteallan, oþþæt he ana hwearf,
companions at board! So he passed alone,
1715mære þeoden, mondreamum from.
chieftain haughty, from human cheer.
1716ðeah þe hine mihtig god mægenes wynnum,
Though him the Maker with might endowed,
1717eafeþum stepte, ofer ealle men
delights of power, and uplifted high
1718forð gefremede, hwæþere him on ferhþe greow
above all men, yet blood-fierce his mind,
1719breosthord blodreow. Nallas beagas geaf
his breast-hoard, grew, no bracelets gave he
1720Denum æfter dome; dreamleas gebad
to Danes as was due; he endured all joyless
1721þæt he þæs gewinnes weorc þrowade,
strain of struggle and stress of woe,
1722leodbealo longsum. ðu þe lær be þon,
long feud with his folk. Here find thy lesson!
1723gumcyste ongit; ic þis gid be þe
Of virtue advise thee! This verse I have said for thee,
1724awræc wintrum frod. Wundor is to secganne
wise from lapsed winters. Wondrous seems
1725hu mihtig god manna cynne
how to sons of men Almighty God
1726þurh sidne sefan snyttru bryttað,
in the strength of His spirit sendeth wisdom,
1727eard ond eorlscipe; he ah ealra geweald.
estate, high station: He swayeth all things.
1728Hwilum he on lufan læteð hworfan
Whiles He letteth right lustily fare
1729monnes modgeþonc mæran cynnes,
the heart of the hero of high-born race, --
1730seleð him on eþle eorþan wynne
in seat ancestral assigns him bliss,
1731to healdanne, hleoburh wera,
his folk's sure fortress in fee to hold,
1732gedeð him swa gewealdene worolde dælas,
puts in his power great parts of the earth,
1733side rice, þæt he his selfa ne mæg
empire so ample, that end of it
1734for/ his unsnyttrum ende geþencean.
this wanter-of-wisdom weeneth none.
1735Wunað/ he on wiste; no hine wiht dweleð
So he waxes in wealth, nowise can harm him
1736adl/ ne yldo, ne him inwitsorh
illness or age; no evil cares
1737on sefan sweorceð, ne gesacu ohwær
shadow his spirit; no sword-hate threatens
1738ecghete eoweð, ac him eal worold
from ever an enemy: all the world
1739wendeð on willan he þæt wyrse ne con,
wends at his will, no worse he knoweth,
1740oðþæt him on innan oferhygda dæl
till all within him obstinate pride
1741weaxeð ond wridað. þonne se weard swefeð,
waxes and wakes while the warden slumbers,
1742sawele hyrde; bið se slæp to fæst,
the spirit's sentry; sleep is too fast
1743bisgum gebunden, bona swiðe neah,
which masters his might, and the murderer nears,
1744se þe of flanbogan fyrenum sceoteð.
stealthily shooting the shafts from his bow!
1745þonne bið on hreþre under helm drepen
"UNDER harness his heart then is hit indeed
1746biteran stræle him bebeorgan ne con,
by sharpest shafts; and no shelter avails
1747wom wundorbebodum wergan gastes;
from foul behest of the hellish fiend.
1748þinceð him to lytel þæt he lange heold,
Him seems too little what long he possessed.
1749gytsað gromhydig, nallas on gylp seleð
Greedy and grim, no golden rings
1750fædde beagas, ond he þa forðgesceaft
he gives for his pride; the promised future
1751forgyteð ond forgymeð, þæs þe him ær god sealde,
forgets he and spurns, with all God has sent him,
1752wuldres waldend, weorðmynda dæl.
Wonder-Wielder, of wealth and fame.
1753Hit on endestæf eft gelimpeð
Yet in the end it ever comes
1754þæt se lichoma læne/ gedreoseð,
that the frame of the body fragile yields,
1755fæge gefealleð; fehð oþer to,
fated falls; and there follows another
1756se þe unmurnlice madmas dæleþ,
who joyously the jewels divides,
1757eorles ærgestreon, egesan ne gymeð.
the royal riches, nor recks of his forebear.
1758Bebeorh þe ðone bealonið, Beowulf leofa,
Ban, then, such baleful thoughts, Beowulf dearest,
1759secg betsta, ond þe þæt selre geceos,
best of men, and the better part choose,
1760ece rædas; oferhyda ne gym,
profit eternal; and temper thy pride,
1761mære cempa. Nu is þines mægnes blæd
warrior famous! The flower of thy might
1762ane hwile. Eft sona bið
lasts now a while: but erelong it shall be
1763þæt þec adl oððe ecg eafoþes getwæfeð,
that sickness or sword thy strength shall minish,
1764oððe fyres feng, oððe flodes wylm,
or fang of fire, or flooding billow,
1765oððe gripe meces, oððe gares fliht,
or bite of blade, or brandished spear,
1766oððe atol yldo; oððe eagena bearhtm
or odious age; or the eyes' clear beam
1767forsiteð ond forsworceð; semninga bið
wax dull and darken: Death even thee
1768þæt ðec, dryhtguma, deað oferswyðeð.
in haste shall o'erwhelm, thou hero of war!
1769Swa ic Hringdena hund missera
So the Ring-Danes these half-years a hundred I ruled,
1770weold under wolcnum ond hig wigge beleac/
wielded 'neath welkin, and warded them bravely
1771manigum mægþa geond þysne middangeard/,
from mighty-ones many o'er middle-earth,
1772æscum ond ecgum, þæt ic me ænigne
from spear and sword, till it seemed for me
1773under swegles begong gesacan ne tealde.
no foe could be found under fold of the sky.
1774Hwæt, me þæs on eþle edwenden/ cwom,
Lo, sudden the shift! To me seated secure
1775gyrn æfter gomene, seoþðan Grendel wearð,
came grief for joy when Grendel began
1776ealdgewinna, ingenga min;
to harry my home, the hellish foe;
1777ic þære socne singales wæg
for those ruthless raids, unresting I suffered
1778modceare micle. þæs sig metode þanc,
heart-sorrow heavy. Heaven be thanked,
1779ecean dryhtne, þæs ðe ic on aldre gebad
Lord Eternal, for life extended
1780þæt ic on þone hafelan heorodreorigne
that I on this head all hewn and bloody,
1781ofer ealdgewin eagum starige.
after long evil, with eyes may gaze!
1782Ga nu to setle, symbelwynne dreoh
-- Go to the bench now! Be glad at banquet,
1783wigge weorþad; unc sceal worn fela
warrior worthy! A wealth of treasure
1784maþma gemænra, siþðan morgen bið.
at dawn of day, be dealt between us!"
1785Geat wæs glædmod, geong sona to
Glad was the Geats' lord, going betimes
1786setles neosan, swa se snottra heht.
to seek his seat, as the Sage commanded.
1787þa wæs eft swa ær ellenrofum
Afresh, as before, for the famed-in-battle,
1788fletsittendum fægere gereorded
for the band of the hall, was a banquet dight
1789niowan stefne. Nihthelm geswearc
nobly anew. The Night-Helm darkened
1790deorc ofer dryhtgumum. Duguð eal aras.
dusk o'er the drinkers. The doughty ones rose:
1791Wolde blondenfeax beddes neosan,
for the hoary-headed would hasten to rest,
1792gamela Scylding. Geat unigmetes wel,
aged Scylding; and eager the Geat,
1793rofne randwigan, restan lyste;
shield-fighter sturdy, for sleeping yearned.
1794sona him seleþegn siðes wergum,
Him wander-weary, warrior-guest
1795feorrancundum, forð wisade,
from far, a hall-thane heralded forth,
1796se for andrysnum ealle beweotede/
who by custom courtly cared for all
1797þegnes þearfe, swylce þy dogore
needs of a thane as in those old days
1798heaþoliðende habban scoldon.
warrior-wanderers wont to have.
1799Reste hine þa rumheort; reced hliuade
So slumbered the stout-heart. Stately the hall
1800geap ond goldfah; gæst inne swæf
rose gabled and gilt where the guest slept on
1801oþþæt hrefn blaca heofones wynne
till a raven black the rapture-of-heaven
1802bliðheort bodode. ða/ com/ beorht scacan
blithe-heart boded. Bright came flying
shine after shadow. The swordsmen hastened,
1804wæron æþelingas eft to leodum
athelings all were eager homeward
1805fuse to farenne/; wolde feor þanon
forth to fare; and far from thence
1806cuma collenferhð/ ceoles neosan.
the great-hearted guest would guide his keel.
1807Heht þa se hearda Hrunting beran
Bade then the hardy-one Hrunting be brought
1808sunu Ecglafes, heht his sweord niman,
to the son of Ecglaf, the sword bade him take,
1809leoflic iren; sægde him þæs leanes þanc,
excellent iron, and uttered his thanks for it,
1810cwæð, he þone guðwine godne tealde,
quoth that he counted it keen in battle,
1811wigcræftigne, nales wordum log
"war-friend" winsome: with words he slandered not
1812meces ecge; þæt wæs modig secg.
edge of the blade: 'twas a big-hearted man!
1813Ond þa siðfrome, searwum gearwe
Now eager for parting and armed at point
1814wigend wæron; eode weorð Denum
warriors waited, while went to his host
1815æþeling to yppan, þær se oþer wæs,
that Darling of Danes. The doughty atheling
1816hæle hildedeor Hroðgar grette.
to high-seat hastened and Hrothgar greeted.
1817Beowulf maþelode, bearn Ecgþeowes:
BEOWULF spake, bairn of Ecgtheow:--
1818Nu we sæliðend secgan wyllað,
"Lo, we seafarers say our will,
1819feorran cumene, þæt we fundiaþ
far-come men, that we fain would seek
1820Higelac secan. Wæron her tela
Hygelac now. We here have found
1821willum bewenede; þu us wel dohtest.
hosts to our heart: thou hast harbored us well.
1822Gif ic þonne on eorþan owihte mæg
If ever on earth I am able to win me
1823þinre modlufan maran tilian,
more of thy love, O lord of men,
1824gumena dryhten, ðonne ic gyt dyde,
aught anew, than I now have done,
1825guðgeweorca, ic beo gearo sona.
for work of war I am willing still!
1826Gif ic þæt gefricge ofer floda begang,
If it come to me ever across the seas
1827þæt þec ymbsittend egesan þywað,
that neighbor foemen annoy and fright thee, --
1828swa þec hetende hwilum dydon,
as they that hate thee erewhile have used, --
1829ic ðe þusenda þegna bringe,
thousands then of thanes I shall bring,
1830hæleþa to helpe. Ic on Higelac/ wat,
heroes to help thee. Of Hygelac I know,
1831Geata dryhten, þeah ðe he geong sy,
ward of his folk, that, though few his years,
1832folces hyrde, þæt he mec fremman wile
the lord of the Geats will give me aid
1833wordum/ ond worcum, þæt ic þe wel herige
by word and by work, that well I may serve thee,
1834ond þe to geoce garholt bere,
wielding the war-wood to win thy triumph
1835mægenes fultum, þær ðe bið manna þearf.
and lending thee might when thou lackest men.
1836Gif him þonne Hreþric/ to hofum Geata
If thy Hrethric should come to court of Geats,
1837geþingeð/, þeodnes bearn, he mæg þær fela
a sovran's son, he will surely there
1838freonda findan; feorcyþðe beoð
find his friends. A far-off land
1839selran gesohte þæm þe him selfa deah.
each man should visit who vaunts him brave."
1840Hroðgar maþelode him on ondsware:
Him then answering, Hrothgar spake:--
1841þe þa wordcwydas wigtig drihten
"These words of thine the wisest God
1842on sefan sende; ne hyrde ic snotorlicor
sent to thy soul! No sager counsel
1843on swa geongum feore guman þingian.
from so young in years e'er yet have I heard.
1844þu eart mægenes strang ond on mode frod,
Thou art strong of main and in mind art wary,
1845wis wordcwida. Wen ic talige,
art wise in words! I ween indeed
1846gif þæt gegangeð, þæt ðe gar nymeð,
if ever it hap that Hrethel's heir
1847hild heorugrimme, Hreþles eaferan,
by spear be seized, by sword-grim battle,
1848adl oþðe iren ealdor ðinne,
by illness or iron, thine elder and lord,
1849folces hyrde, ond þu þin feorh hafast,
people's leader, -- and life be thine, --
1850þæt þe Sægeatas selran næbben
no seemlier man will the Sea-Geats find
1851to geceosenne cyning ænigne,
at all to choose for their chief and king,
1852hordweard hæleþa, gyf/ þu healdan wylt
for hoard-guard of heroes, if hold thou wilt
1853maga rice. Me þin modsefa/
thy kinsman's kingdom! Thy keen mind pleases me
1854licað leng swa wel, leofa Beowulf/.
the longer the better, Beowulf loved!
1855Hafast þu gefered þæt þam folcum sceal,
Thou hast brought it about that both our peoples,
1856Geata leodum ond Gardenum,
sons of the Geat and Spear-Dane folk,
1857sib gemæne/, ond sacu restan,
shall have mutual peace, and from murderous strife,
1858inwitniþas, þe hie ær drugon,
such as once they waged, from war refrain.
1859wesan, þenden ic wealde widan rices,
Long as I rule this realm so wide,
1860maþmas gemæne, manig/ oþerne
let our hoards be common, let heroes with gold
1861godum gegretan ofer ganotes bæð;
each other greet o'er the gannet's-bath,
1862sceal hringnaca ofer heafu/ bringan
and the ringed-prow bear o'er rolling waves
1863lac ond luftacen. Ic þa leode wat
tokens of love. I trow my landfolk
1864ge wið feond ge wið freond fæste geworhte,
towards friend and foe are firmly joined,
1865æghwæs untæle ealde wisan.
and honor they keep in the olden way."
1866ða git him eorla hleo inne gesealde,
To him in the hall, then, Healfdene's son
1867mago Healfdenes, maþmas XII;
gave treasures twelve, and the trust-of-earls
1868het hine/ mid þæm lacum leode swæse
bade him fare with the gifts to his folk beloved,
1869secean on gesyntum, snude eft cuman.
hale to his home, and in haste return.
1870Gecyste þa cyning æþelum god,
Then kissed the king of kin renowned,
1871þeoden Scyldinga, ðegn betstan
Scyldings' chieftain, that choicest thane,
1872ond be healse genam; hruron him tearas,
and fell on his neck. Fast flowed the tears
1873blondenfeaxum. Him wæs bega wen,
of the hoary-headed. Heavy with winters,
1874ealdum infrodum, oþres swiðor,
he had chances twain, but he clung to this, --
1875þæt hie/ seoððan/ no/ geseon moston,
that each should look on the other again,
1876modige on meþle. Wæs/ him se man to þon leof
and hear him in hall. Was this hero so dear to him.
1877þæt he þone breostwylm forberan ne mehte,
his breast's wild billows he banned in vain;
1878ac him on hreþre hygebendum fæst
safe in his soul a secret longing,
1879æfter deorum men dyrne langað
locked in his mind, for that loved man
1880beorn wið blode. Him Beowulf þanan,
burned in his blood. Then Beowulf strode,
1881guðrinc goldwlanc, græsmoldan træd
glad of his gold-gifts, the grass-plot o'er,
1882since hremig; sægenga bad
warrior blithe. The wave-roamer bode
1883agendfrean/, se þe/ on ancre rad.
riding at anchor, its owner awaiting.
1884þa wæs on gange gifu Hroðgares
As they hastened onward, Hrothgar's gift
1885oft geæhted; þæt wæs an cyning,
they lauded at length. -- 'Twas a lord unpeered,
1886æghwæs orleahtre, oþþæt hine yldo benam
every way blameless, till age had broken
1887mægenes wynnum, se þe oft manegum scod.
-- it spareth no mortal -- his splendid might.
1888Cwom þa to flode felamodigra,
CAME now to ocean the ever-courageous
1889hægstealdra heap/, hringnet bæron,
hardy henchmen, their harness bearing,
1890locene leoðosyrcan. Landweard onfand
woven war-sarks. The warden marked,
1891eftsið eorla, swa he ær dyde;
trusty as ever, the earl's return.
1892no he mid hearme of hliðes nosan
From the height of the hill no hostile words
1893gæstas/ grette, ac him togeanes rad,
reached the guests as he rode to greet them;
1894cwæð/ þæt wilcuman Wedera leodum
but "Welcome!" he called to that Weder clan
1895scaþan/ scirhame to scipe foron.
as the sheen-mailed spoilers to ship marched on.
1896þa wæs on sande sægeap naca
Then on the strand, with steeds and treasure
1897hladen herewædum, hringedstefna,
and armor their roomy and ring-dight ship
1898mearum ond maðmum; mæst hlifade
was heavily laden: high its mast
1899ofer Hroðgares hordgestreonum.
rose over Hrothgar's hoarded gems.
1900He þæm batwearde bunden golde
A sword to the boat-guard Beowulf gave,
1901swurd gesealde, þæt he syðþan wæs
mounted with gold; on the mead-bench since
1902on meodubence maþme/ þy weorþra/,
he was better esteemed, that blade possessing,
1903yrfelafe. Gewat him on naca/
heirloom old. -- Their ocean-keel boarding,
1904drefan deop wæter, Dena land ofgeaf.
they drove through the deep, and Daneland left.
1905þa wæs be mæste merehrægla sum,
A sea-cloth was set, a sail with ropes,
1906segl sale fæst; sundwudu þunede.
firm to the mast; the flood-timbers moaned;
1907No þær wegflotan wind ofer yðum
nor did wind over billows that wave-swimmer blow
1908siðes getwæfde; sægenga for,
across from her course. The craft sped on,
1909fleat famigheals forð ofer yðe,
foam-necked it floated forth o'er the waves,
1910bundenstefna ofer brimstreamas,
keel firm-bound over briny currents,
1911þæt hie Geata clifu ongitan meahton,
till they got them sight of the Geatish cliffs,
1912cuþe næssas. Ceol up geþrang
home-known headlands. High the boat,
1913lyftgeswenced, on lande stod.
stirred by winds, on the strand updrove.
1914Hraþe wæs æt holme hyðweard geara
Helpful at haven the harbor-guard stood,
1915se þe ær lange tid leofra manna
who long already for loved companions
1916fus æt faroðe feor wlatode;
by the water had waited and watched afar.
1917sælde to sande sidfæþme scip,
He bound to the beach the broad-bosomed ship
1918oncerbendum/ fæst, þy læs hym yþa ðrym
with anchor-bands, lest ocean-billows
1919wudu wynsuman forwrecan meahte.
that trusty timber should tear away.
1920Het þa up beran æþelinga gestreon,
Then Beowulf bade them bear the treasure,
1921frætwe ond fætgold; næs him feor þanon
gold and jewels; no journey far
1922to gesecanne sinces bryttan,
was it thence to go to the giver of rings,
1923Higelac Hreþling, þær æt ham wunað
Hygelac Hrethling: at home he dwelt
1924selfa mid gesiðum sæwealle neah.
by the sea-wall close, himself and clan.
1925Bold wæs betlic, bregorof cyning,
Haughty that house, a hero the king,
1926heah/ in/ healle, Hygd swiðe geong,
high the hall, and Hygd right young,
1927wis, welþungen, þeah ðe wintra lyt
wise and wary, though winters few
1928under burhlocan gebiden hæbbe,
in those fortress walls she had found a home,
1929Hæreþes dohtor; næs hio hnah swa þeah,
Haereth's daughter. Nor humble her ways,
1930ne to gneað gifa Geata leodum,
nor grudged she gifts to the Geatish men,
1931maþmgestreona. Mod þryðo wæg,
of precious treasure. Not Thryth's pride showed she,
1932fremu folces cwen, firen ondrysne.
folk-queen famed, or that fell deceit.
1933Nænig þæt dorste deor geneþan
Was none so daring that durst make bold
1934swæsra gesiða, nefne sinfrea,
(save her lord alone) of the liegemen dear
1935þæt hire an dæges eagum starede,
that lady full in the face to look,
1936ac him wælbende weotode tealde
but forged fetters he found his lot,
1937handgewriþene; hraþe seoþðan wæs
bonds of death! And brief the respite;
1938æfter mundgripe mece geþinged,
soon as they seized him, his sword-doom was spoken,
1939þæt hit sceadenmæl scyran moste,
and the burnished blade a baleful murder
1940cwealmbealu cyðan. Ne bið swylc cwenlic þeaw
proclaimed and closed. No queenly way
1941idese to efnanne, þeah ðe hio ænlicu sy,
for woman to practise, though peerless she,
1942þætte freoðuwebbe feores onsæce
that the weaver-of-peace from warrior dear
1943æfter ligetorne leofne mannan.
by wrath and lying his life should reave!
1944Huru þæt onhohsnode/ Hemminges/ mæg;
But Hemming's kinsman hindered this. --
1945ealodrincende oðer sædan,
For over their ale men also told
1946þæt hio leodbealewa læs gefremede,
that of these folk-horrors fewer she wrought,
1947inwitniða, syððan/ ærest wearð
onslaughts of evil, after she went,
1948gyfen goldhroden geongum cempan,
gold-decked bride, to the brave young prince,
1949æðelum diore, syððan hio Offan flet
atheling haughty, and Offa's hall
1950ofer fealone flod be fæder lare
o'er the fallow flood at her father's bidding
1951siðe gesohte. ðær hio syððan well
safely sought, where since she prospered,
1952in gumstole, gode, mære,
royal, throned, rich in goods,
1953lifgesceafta lifigende breac,
fain of the fair life fate had sent her,
1954hiold heahlufan wið hæleþa brego,
and leal in love to the lord of warriors.
1955ealles moncynnes mine gefræge
He, of all heroes I heard of ever
1956þone/ selestan bi sæm tweonum,
from sea to sea, of the sons of earth,
1957eormencynnes. Forðam Offa wæs
most excellent seemed. Hence Offa was praised
1958geofum ond guðum, garcene man,
for his fighting and feeing by far-off men,
1959wide/ geweorðod/, wisdome heold
the spear-bold warrior; wisely he ruled
1960eðel sinne; þonon Eomer/ woc
over his empire. Eomer woke to him,
1961hæleðum to helpe, Hemminges/ mæg,
help of heroes, Hemming's kinsman,
1962nefa Garmundes, niða cræftig.
Grandson of Garmund, grim in war.
1963Gewat him ða se hearda mid his hondscole
HASTENED the hardy one, henchmen with him,
1964sylf æfter sande sæwong tredan,
sandy strand of the sea to tread
1965wide waroðas. Woruldcandel scan,
and widespread ways. The world's great candle,
1966sigel suðan fus. Hi sið drugon,
sun shone from south. They strode along
1967elne geeodon, to ðæs ðe eorla hleo,
with sturdy steps to the spot they knew
1968bonan Ongenþeoes burgum in innan,
where the battle-king young, his burg within,
1969geongne guðcyning godne gefrunon
slayer of Ongentheow, shared the rings,
1970hringas dælan. Higelace wæs
shelter-of-heroes. To Hygelac
1971sið Beowulfes snude gecyðed,
Beowulf's coming was quickly told, --
1972þæt ðær on worðig wigendra hleo,
that there in the court the clansmen's refuge,
1973lindgestealla, lifigende cwom,
the shield-companion sound and alive,
1974heaðolaces hal to hofe gongan.
hale from the hero-play homeward strode.
1975Hraðe wæs gerymed, swa se rica bebead,
With haste in the hall, by highest order,
1976feðegestum flet innanweard.
room for the rovers was readily made.
1977Gesæt þa wið sylfne se ða sæcce genæs,
By his sovran he sat, come safe from battle,
1978mæg wið mæge, syððan/ mandryhten
kinsman by kinsman. His kindly lord
1979þurh hleoðorcwyde holdne gegrette,
he first had greeted in gracious form,
1980meaglum wordum. Meoduscencum
with manly words. The mead dispensing,
1981hwearf geond þæt healreced Hæreðes dohtor,
came through the high hall Haereth's daughter,
1982lufode ða leode, liðwæge bær
winsome to warriors, wine-cup bore
1983hæleðum/ to handa. Higelac ongan
to the hands of the heroes. Hygelac then
1984sinne geseldan in sele þam hean
his comrade fairly with question plied
1985fægre fricgcean hyne fyrwet bræc,
in the lofty hall, sore longing to know
1986hwylce Sægeata siðas wæron:
what manner of sojourn the Sea-Geats made.
1987Hu lomp eow on lade, leofa Biowulf,
"What came of thy quest, my kinsman Beowulf,
1988þa ðu færinga feorr gehogodest
when thy yearnings suddenly swept thee yonder
1989sæcce secean ofer sealt wæter,
battle to seek o'er the briny sea,
1990hilde to Hiorote? Ac ðu Hroðgare
combat in Heorot? Hrothgar couldst thou
1991widcuðne/ wean wihte gebettest,
aid at all, the honored chief,
1992mærum ðeodne? Ic ðæs modceare
in his wide-known woes? With waves of care
1993sorhwylmum seað, siðe ne truwode
my sad heart seethed; I sore mistrusted
1994leofes mannes; ic ðe lange bæd
my loved one's venture: long I begged thee
1995þæt ðu þone wælgæst wihte ne grette,
by no means to seek that slaughtering monster,
1996lete Suðdene sylfe geweorðan
but suffer the South-Danes to settle their feud
1997guðe wið Grendel. Gode ic þanc secge
themselves with Grendel. Now God be thanked
1998þæs ðe ic ðe gesundne geseon moste.
that safe and sound I can see thee now!"
1999Biowulf maðelode, bearn Ecgðioes:
Beowulf spake, the bairn of Ecgtheow:--
2000þæt is undyrne, dryhten Higelac/,
"'Tis known and unhidden, Hygelac Lord,
2001micel/ gemeting, monegum fira,
to many men, that meeting of ours,
2002hwylc/ orleghwil/ uncer Grendles
struggle grim between Grendel and me,
2003wearð on ðam/ wange, þær he worna fela
which we fought on the field where full too many
2004Sigescyldingum/ sorge gefremede,
sorrows he wrought for the Scylding-Victors,
2005yrmðe/ to aldre. Ic ðæt eall gewræc,
evils unending. These all I avenged.
2006swa begylpan/ ne þearf Grendeles maga
No boast can be from breed of Grendel,
2007ænig/ ofer eorðan uhthlem þone,
any on earth, for that uproar at dawn,
2008se ðe/ lengest leofað laðan cynnes,
from the longest-lived of the loathsome race
2009facne/ bifongen. Ic ðær furðum cwom
in fleshly fold! -- But first I went
2010to ðam hringsele Hroðgar gretan;
Hrothgar to greet in the hall of gifts,
2011sona me se mæra mago Healfdenes,
where Healfdene's kinsman high-renowned,
2012syððan he modsefan minne cuðe,
soon as my purpose was plain to him,
2013wið his sylfes sunu setl getæhte.
assigned me a seat by his son and heir.
2014Weorod wæs on wynne; ne seah ic widan feorh
The liegemen were lusty; my life-days never
2015under heofones hwealf healsittendra
such merry men over mead in hall
2016medudream maran. Hwilum mæru cwen,
have I heard under heaven! The high-born queen,
2017friðusibb folca, flet eall geondhwearf,
people's peace-bringer, passed through the hall,
2018bædde byre geonge; oft hio beahwriðan
cheered the young clansmen, clasps of gold,
2019secge sealde/, ær hie to setle geong.
ere she sought her seat, to sundry gave.
2020Hwilum for duguðe/ dohtor Hroðgares
Oft to the heroes Hrothgar's daughter,
2021eorlum on/ ende ealuwæge bær;
to earls in turn, the ale-cup tendered, --
2022þa ic Freaware fletsittende/
she whom I heard these hall-companions
2023nemnan hyrde, þær hio nægled/ sinc
Freawaru name, when fretted gold
2024hæleðum sealde. Sio gehaten is/,
she proffered the warriors. Promised is she,
2025geong, goldhroden, gladum suna Frodan;
gold-decked maid, to the glad son of Froda.
2026hafað/ þæs geworden wine Scyldinga,
Sage this seems to the Scylding's-friend,
2027rices hyrde, ond þæt ræd talað,
kingdom's-keeper: he counts it wise
2028þæt he mid ðy wife wælfæhða dæl,
the woman to wed so and ward off feud,
2029sæcca gesette. Oft seldan hwær
store of slaughter. But seldom ever
2030æfter leodhryre lytle hwile
when men are slain, does the murder-spear sink
2031bongar bugeð, þeah seo bryd duge.
but briefest while, though the bride be fair!
2032Mæg þæs þonne ofþyncan ðeodne/ Heaðobeardna
"Nor haply will like it the Heathobard lord,
2033ond þegna gehwam þara leoda,
and as little each of his liegemen all,
2034þonne he mid fæmnan on flett gæð,
when a thane of the Danes, in that doughty throng,
2035dryhtbearn Dena, duguða biwenede.
goes with the lady along their hall,
2036on him gladiað gomelra lafe,
and on him the old-time heirlooms glisten
2037heard ond hringmæl Heaðabeardna/ gestreon
hard and ring-decked, Heathobard's treasure,
2038þenden hie ðam wæpnum wealdan moston,
weapons that once they wielded fair
2039oððæt hie forlæddan to ðam lindplegan
until they lost at the linden-play
2040swæse gesiðas ond hyra sylfra feorh.
liegeman leal and their lives as well.
2041þonne cwið æt beore se ðe beah gesyhð/,
Then, over the ale, on this heirloom gazing,
2042eald æscwiga, se ðe eall geman/,
some ash-wielder old who has all in mind
2043garcwealm gumena him bið grim sefa/,
that spear-death of men, -- he is stern of mood,
2044onginneð geomormod geongum cempan
heavy at heart, -- in the hero young
2045þurh hreðra gehygd higes cunnian,
tests the temper and tries the soul
2046wigbealu weccean, ond þæt word acwyð:
and war-hate wakens, with words like these:--
2047Meaht ðu, min wine, mece gecnawan
_Canst thou not, comrade, ken that sword
2048þone þin fæder to gefeohte bær
which to the fray thy father carried
2049under heregriman hindeman siðe,
in his final feud, 'neath the fighting-mask,
2050dyre iren, þær hyne Dene slogon,
dearest of blades, when the Danish slew him
2051weoldon wælstowe, syððan/ Wiðergyld læg,
and wielded the war-place on Withergild's fall,
2052æfter hæleþa hryre, hwate Scyldungas?
after havoc of heroes, those hardy Scyldings?
2053Nu her þara banena byre nathwylces
Now, the son of a certain slaughtering Dane,
2054frætwum hremig on flet gæð,
proud of his treasure, paces this hall,
2055morðres gylpeð, ond þone maðþum byreð,
joys in the killing, and carries the jewel
2056þone þe ðu mid rihte rædan sceoldest.
that rightfully ought to be owned by thee!_
2057Manað swa ond myndgað mæla gehwylce
Thus he urges and eggs him all the time
2058sarum wordum, oððæt sæl cymeð
with keenest words, till occasion offers
2059þæt se fæmnan þegn fore fæder dædum
that Freawaru's thane, for his father's deed,
2060æfter billes bite blodfag swefeð,
after bite of brand in his blood must slumber,
2061ealdres scyldig; him se oðer þonan
losing his life; but that liegeman flies
2062losað lifigende/, con him land geare.
living away, for the land he kens.
2063þonne bioð/ abrocene/ on ba healfe
And thus be broken on both their sides
2064aðsweord eorla; syððan/ Ingelde
oaths of the earls, when Ingeld's breast
2065weallað wælniðas, ond him wiflufan
wells with war-hate, and wife-love now
2066æfter cearwælmum colran weorðað.
after the care-billows cooler grows.
2067þy ic Heaðobeardna/ hyldo ne telge,
"So I hold not high the Heathobards' faith
2068dryhtsibbe dæl Denum unfæcne,
due to the Danes, or their during love
2069freondscipe fæstne. Ic sceal forð sprecan
and pact of peace. -- But I pass from that,
2070gen ymbe Grendel, þæt ðu geare cunne,
turning to Grendel, O giver-of-treasure,
2071sinces brytta, to hwan syððan wearð
and saying in full how the fight resulted,
2072hondræs hæleða. Syððan heofones gim
hand-fray of heroes. When heaven's jewel
2073glad ofer grundas, gæst yrre cwom,
had fled o'er far fields, that fierce sprite came,
2074eatol, æfengrom, user neosan,
night-foe savage, to seek us out
2075ðær we gesunde sæl weardodon.
where safe and sound we sentried the hall.
2076þær wæs Hondscio hild/ onsæge,
To Hondscio then was that harassing deadly,
2077feorhbealu fægum; he fyrmest læg,
his fall there was fated. He first was slain,
2078gyrded cempa; him Grendel wearð,
girded warrior. Grendel on him
2079mærum maguþegne/ to muðbonan,
turned murderous mouth, on our mighty kinsman,
2080leofes mannes lic eall forswealg.
and all of the brave man's body devoured.
2081No ðy ær ut ða gen idelhende
Yet none the earlier, empty-handed,
2082bona blodigtoð, bealewa gemyndig,
would the bloody-toothed murderer, mindful of bale,
2083of ðam goldsele gongan wolde,
outward go from the gold-decked hall:
2084ac he mægnes rof min costode,
but me he attacked in his terror of might,
2085grapode gearofolm. Glof hangode
with greedy hand grasped me. A glove hung by him
2086sid ond syllic, searobendum fæst;
wide and wondrous, wound with bands;
2087sio/ wæs orðoncum eall gegyrwed
and in artful wise it all was wrought,
2088deofles cræftum ond dracan fellum.
by devilish craft, of dragon-skins.
2089He mec þær on innan unsynnigne,
Me therein, an innocent man,
2090dior dædfruma, gedon wolde
the fiendish foe was fain to thrust
2091manigra sumne; hyt ne mihte swa,
with many another. He might not so,
2092syððan ic on yrre uppriht astod.
when I all angrily upright stood.
2093To lang ys to reccenne hu ic/ ðam/ leodsceaðan
'Twere long to relate how that land-destroyer
2094yfla gehwylces ondlean forgeald;
I paid in kind for his cruel deeds;
2095þær ic, þeoden min, þine leode
yet there, my prince, this people of thine
2096weorðode weorcum. He on weg losade,
got fame by my fighting. He fled away,
2097lytle hwile lifwynna breac/;
and a little space his life preserved;
2098hwæþre him sio swiðre swaðe weardade
but there staid behind him his stronger hand
2099hand on Hiorte, ond he hean ðonan
left in Heorot; heartsick thence
2100modes geomor meregrund gefeoll.
on the floor of the ocean that outcast fell.
2101Me þone wælræs wine Scildunga
Me for this struggle the Scyldings'-friend
2102fættan golde fela leanode,
paid in plenty with plates of gold,
2103manegum maðmum, syððan mergen com
with many a treasure, when morn had come
2104ond we to symble geseten hæfdon.
and we all at the banquet-board sat down.
2105þær wæs gidd ond gleo. Gomela Scilding,
Then was song and glee. The gray-haired Scylding,
2106felafricgende, feorran rehte/;
much tested, told of the times of yore.
2107hwilum hildedeor hearpan wynne,
Whiles the hero his harp bestirred,
2108gomenwudu grette, hwilum gyd awræc
wood-of-delight; now lays he chanted
2109soð ond sarlic, hwilum syllic spell
of sooth and sadness, or said aright
2110rehte æfter rihte rumheort cyning.
legends of wonder, the wide-hearted king;
2111Hwilum eft ongan, eldo gebunden,
or for years of his youth he would yearn at times,
2112gomel guðwiga gioguðe/ cwiðan,
for strength of old struggles, now stricken with age,
2113hildestrengo; hreðer inne/ weoll,
hoary hero: his heart surged full
2114þonne he wintrum frod worn gemunde.
when, wise with winters, he wailed their flight.
2115Swa we þær inne ondlangne dæg/
Thus in the hall the whole of that day
2116niode naman, oððæt niht becwom
at ease we feasted, till fell o'er earth
2117oðer to yldum. þa wæs eft hraðe
another night. Anon full ready
2118gearo gyrnwræce Grendeles modor,
in greed of vengeance, Grendel's mother
2119siðode sorhfull; sunu deað fornam,
set forth all doleful. Dead was her son
2120wighete Wedra. Wif unhyre
through war-hate of Weders; now, woman monstrous
2121hyre bearn gewræc, beorn acwealde
with fury fell a foeman she slew,
2122ellenlice; þær wæs æschere,
avenged her offspring. From Aeschere old,
2123frodan fyrnwitan, feorh uðgenge.
loyal councillor, life was gone;
2124Noðer hy hine ne moston, syððan mergen cwom,
nor might they e'en, when morning broke,
2125deaðwerigne, Denia leode,
those Danish people, their death-done comrade
2126bronde forbærnan, ne on bæl/ hladan
burn with brands, on balefire lay
2127leofne mannan; hio þæt lic ætbær
the man they mourned. Under mountain stream
2128feondes fæðmum/ under/ firgenstream.
she had carried the corpse with cruel hands.
2129þæt wæs Hroðgare/ hreowa tornost
For Hrothgar that was the heaviest sorrow
2130þara þe leodfruman lange begeate.
of all that had laden the lord of his folk.
2131þa se ðeoden mec ðine life
The leader then, by thy life, besought me
2132healsode hreohmod, þæt ic on holma geþring
(sad was his soul) in the sea-waves' coil
2133eorlscipe efnde, ealdre geneðde,
to play the hero and hazard my being
2134mærðo fremede; he me mede gehet.
for glory of prowess: my guerdon he pledged.
2135Ic ða ðæs wælmes, þe is wide cuð,
I then in the waters -- 'tis widely known --
2136grimne/ gryrelicne grundhyrde fond;
that sea-floor-guardian savage found.
2137þær unc hwile wæs hand gemæne,
Hand-to-hand there a while we struggled;
2138holm heolfre weoll, ond ic heafde becearf
billows welled blood; in the briny hall
2139in ðam guðsele/ Grendeles modor
her head I hewed with a hardy blade
2140eacnum ecgum, unsofte þonan
from Grendel's mother, -- and gained my life,
2141feorh oðferede. Næs ic fæge þa gyt,
though not without danger. My doom was not yet.
2142ac me eorla hleo eft gesealde
Then the haven-of-heroes, Healfdene's son,
2143maðma menigeo, maga Healfdenes.
gave me in guerdon great gifts of price.
2144Swa se ðeodkyning þeawum lyfde.
"So held this king to the customs old,
2145Nealles ic ðam leanum forloren hæfde,
that I wanted for nought in the wage I gained,
2146mægnes mede, ac he me maðmas/ geaf,
the meed of my might; he made me gifts,
2147sunu Healfdenes, on minne/ sylfes dom;
Healfdene's heir, for my own disposal.
2148ða ic ðe, beorncyning, bringan wylle,
Now to thee, my prince, I proffer them all,
2149estum geywan. Gen is eall æt ðe
gladly give them. Thy grace alone
2150lissa gelong; ic lyt hafo
can find me favor. Few indeed
2151heafodmaga nefne, Hygelac, ðec.
have I of kinsmen, save, Hygelac, thee!"
2152Het ða in beran eaforheafodsegn,
Then he bade them bear him the boar-head standard,
2153heaðosteapne helm, hare byrnan,
the battle-helm high, and breastplate gray,
2154guðsweord geatolic, gyd æfter wræc:
the splendid sword; then spake in form:--
2155Me ðis hildesceorp Hroðgar sealde,
"Me this war-gear the wise old prince,
2156snotra fengel, sume worde het
Hrothgar, gave, and his hest he added,
2157þæt ic his ærest ðe est gesægde.
that its story be straightway said to thee. --
2158cwæð þæt hyt hæfde Hiorogar cyning,
A while it was held by Heorogar king,
2159leod Scyldunga lange hwile;
for long time lord of the land of Scyldings;
2160no ðy ær suna sinum syllan wolde,
yet not to his son the sovran left it,
2161hwatum Heorowearde, þeah he him hold wære,
to daring Heoroweard, -- dear as he was to him,
2162breostgewædu. Bruc ealles well.
his harness of battle. -- Well hold thou it all!"
2163Hyrde ic þæt þam frætwum feower mearas
And I heard that soon passed o'er the path of this treasure,
2164lungre, gelice, last weardode,
all apple-fallow, four good steeds,
2165æppelfealuwe; he him est geteah
each like the others, arms and horses
2166meara ond maðma. Swa sceal mæg don,
he gave to the king. So should kinsmen be,
2167nealles inwitnet oðrum/ bregdon
not weave one another the net of wiles,
2168dyrnum cræfte, deað renian/
or with deep-hid treachery death contrive
2169hondgesteallan. Hygelace wæs,
for neighbor and comrade. His nephew was ever
2170niða/ heardum, nefa swyðe hold,
by hardy Hygelac held full dear,
2171ond gehwæðer/ oðrum hroþra gemyndig.
and each kept watch o'er the other's weal.
2172Hyrde ic þæt he ðone healsbeah Hygde gesealde,
I heard, too, the necklace to Hygd he presented,
2173wrætlicne wundurmaððum, ðone þe him Wealhðeo geaf,
wonder-wrought treasure, which Wealhtheow gave him
2174ðeodnes/ dohtor, þrio wicg somod
sovran's daughter: three steeds he added,
2175swancor ond sadolbeorht; hyre syððan wæs
slender and saddle-gay. Since such gift
2176æfter/ beahðege breost/ geweorðod.
the gem gleamed bright on the breast of the queen.
2177Swa bealdode/ bearn Ecgðeowes,
Thus showed his strain the son of Ecgtheow
2178guma guðum cuð, godum dædum,
as a man remarked for mighty deeds
2179dreah æfter dome, nealles druncne slog
and acts of honor. At ale he slew not
2180heorðgeneatas; næs him hreoh sefa,
comrade or kin; nor cruel his mood,
2181ac he mancynnes mæste cræfte
though of sons of earth his strength was greatest,
2182ginfæstan gife, þe him god sealde,
a glorious gift that God had sent
2183heold hildedeor. Hean wæs lange,
the splendid leader. Long was he spurned,
2184swa hyne Geata bearn godne ne tealdon,
and worthless by Geatish warriors held;
2185ne hyne on medobence micles wyrðne
him at mead the master-of-clans
2186drihten/ Wedera gedon wolde;
failed full oft to favor at all.
2187swyðe wendon/ þæt he sleac wære,
Slack and shiftless the strong men deemed him,
2188æðeling unfrom. Edwenden cwom
profitless prince; but payment came,
2189tireadigum menn torna gehwylces.
to the warrior honored, for all his woes. --
2190Het ða eorla hleo in gefetian,
Then the bulwark-of-earls bade bring within,
2191heaðorof cyning, Hreðles lafe
hardy chieftain, Hrethel's heirloom
2192golde gegyrede; næs mid/ Geatum ða
garnished with gold: no Geat e'er knew
2193sincmaðþum selra on/ sweordes had;
in shape of a sword a statelier prize.
2194þæt he on Biowulfes bearm alegde
The brand he laid in Beowulf's lap;
2195ond him gesealde seofan þusendo,
and of hides assigned him seven thousand,
2196bold ond bregostol. Him wæs bam/ samod
with house and high-seat. They held in common
2197on ðam leodscipe lond/ gecynde,
land alike by their line of birth,
2198eard, eðelriht, oðrum swiðor
inheritance, home: but higher the king
2199side rice þam ðær selra wæs.
because of his rule o'er the realm itself.
2200Eft/ þæt geiode ufaran dogrum
Now further it fell with the flight of years,
2201hildehlæmmum, syððan Hygelac læg
with harryings horrid, that Hygelac perished,
2202ond Heardrede/ hildemeceas
and Heardred, too, by hewing of swords
2203under bordhreoðan to bonan wurdon,
under the shield-wall slaughtered lay,
2204ða hyne gesohtan on sigeþeode
when him at the van of his victor-folk
2205hearde hildefrecan, Heaðoscilfingas,
sought hardy heroes, Heatho-Scilfings,
2206niða genægdan nefan Hererices,
in arms o'erwhelming Hereric's nephew.
2207syððan Beowulfe brade rice
Then Beowulf came as king this broad
2208on hand gehwearf. he geheold tela
realm to wield; and he ruled it well
2209fiftig wintra/ wæs ða frod cyning,
fifty winters, a wise old prince,
2210eald eþelweard/, oððæt an/ ongan
warding his land, until One began
2211deorcum nihtum draca ricsian/,
in the dark of night, a Dragon, to rage.
2212se ðe on heanum hofe hord beweotode,
In the grave on the hill a hoard it guarded,
2213stanbeorh steapne/; stig under læg,
in the stone-barrow steep. A strait path reached it,
2214eldum uncuð. þær on innan giong
unknown to mortals. Some man, however,
2215niða nathwylc, se ðe/ neh/ gefeng
came by chance that cave within
2216hæðnum horde, hond,
to the heathen hoard. In hand he took
2217since/ fahne. He þæt syððan,
a golden goblet, nor gave he it back,
2218þeah/ ðe/ he/ slæpende besyred/ wurde/
stole with it away, while the watcher slept,
2219þeofes cræfte; þæt sie ðiod onfand/,
by thievish wiles: for the warden's wrath
2220bufolc/ beorna, þæt he gebolgen/ wæs.
prince and people must pay betimes!
2221Nealles mid gewealdum/ wyrmhord abræc/
THAT way he went with no will of his own,
2222sylfes willum, se ðe him sare gesceod,
in danger of life, to the dragon's hoard,
2223ac for þreanedlan þeow/ nathwylces
but for pressure of peril, some prince's thane.
2224hæleða bearna heteswengeas fleah/,
He fled in fear the fatal scourge,
2225ærnes/ þearfa, ond ðær inne fealh/,
seeking shelter, a sinful man,
2226secg synbysig, sona onfunde
and entered in. At the awful sight
2227þæt þær/ ðam gyste gryrebroga/ stod;
tottered that guest, and terror seized him;
2228hwæðre earm/ sceapen/
yet the wretched fugitive rallied anon
from fright and fear ere he fled away,
2230th}a/ hyne se fær begeat.
and took the cup from that treasure-hoard.
2231Sincfæt/; þær wæs swylcra fela
Of such besides there was store enough,
2232in ðam eorðhuse/ ærgestreona,
heirlooms old, the earth below,
2233swa hy on geardagum gumena nathwylc,
which some earl forgotten, in ancient years,
2234eormenlafe æþelan cynnes,
left the last of his lofty race,
2235þanchycgende þær gehydde,
heedfully there had hidden away,
2236deore maðmas. Ealle hie deað fornam
dearest treasure. For death of yore
2237ærran mælum, ond se/ an ða gen
had hurried all hence; and he alone
2238leoda duguðe, se ðær lengest hwearf,
left to live, the last of the clan,
2239weard/ winegeomor, wende/ þæs ylcan,
weeping his friends, yet wished to bide
2240þæt he lytel fæc longgestreona
warding the treasure, his one delight,
2241brucan moste. Beorh eallgearo
though brief his respite. The barrow, new-ready,
2242wunode on wonge wæteryðum/ neah,
to strand and sea-waves stood anear,
2243niwe be næsse, nearocræftum fæst.
hard by the headland, hidden and closed;
2244þær on innan/ bær eorlgestreona
there laid within it his lordly heirlooms
2245hringa hyrde hordwyrðne/ dæl,
and heaped hoard of heavy gold
2246fættan goldes, fea/ worda cwæð:
that warden of rings. Few words he spake:
2247Heald þu nu, hruse, nu hæleð ne moston/,
"Now hold thou, earth, since heroes may not,
2248eorla æhte. Hwæt, hyt ær on ðe
what earls have owned! Lo, erst from thee
2249gode begeaton. Guðdeað fornam,
brave men brought it! But battle-death seized
2250feorhbealo/ frecne, fyra/ gehwylcne
and cruel killing my clansmen all,
2251leoda minra, þara/ ðe þis lif/ ofgeaf,
robbed them of life and a liegeman's joys.
2252gesawon seledream. Ic/ nah hwa sweord wege
None have I left to lift the sword,
2253oððe feormie/ fæted wæge,
or to cleanse the carven cup of price,
2254dryncfæt deore; duguð/ ellor sceoc/.
beaker bright. My brave are gone.
2255Sceal se hearda helm hyrsted/ golde
And the helmet hard, all haughty with gold,
2256fætum befeallen; feormynd swefað,
shall part from its plating. Polishers sleep
2257þa ðe beadogriman bywan sceoldon,
who could brighten and burnish the battle-mask;
2258ge swylce seo herepad, sio æt hilde gebad
and those weeds of war that were wont to brave
2259ofer borda gebræc bite irena,
over bicker of shields the bite of steel
2260brosnað æfter beorne. Ne mæg byrnan hring
rust with their bearer. The ringed mail
2261æfter wigfruman/ wide feran,
fares not far with famous chieftain,
2262hæleðum be healfe. Næs hearpan wyn,
at side of hero! No harp's delight,
2263gomen gleobeames, ne god hafoc
no glee-wood's gladness! No good hawk now
2264geond sæl swingeð, ne se swifta mearh
flies through the hall! Nor horses fleet
2265burhstede beateð. Bealocwealm hafað
stamp in the burgstead! Battle and death
2266fela feorhcynna forð/ onsended.
the flower of my race have reft away."
2267Swa giomormod giohðo mænde
Mournful of mood, thus he moaned his woe,
2268an æfter eallum, unbliðe hwearf/
alone, for them all, and unblithe wept
2269dæges ond nihtes, oððæt deaðes wylm
by day and by night, till death's fell wave
2270hran æt heortan. Hordwynne fond
o'erwhelmed his heart. His hoard-of-bliss
2271eald uhtsceaða opene standan,
that old ill-doer open found,
2272se ðe byrnende/ biorgas seceð,
who, blazing at twilight the barrows haunteth,
2273nacod niðdraca, nihtes fleogeð
naked foe-dragon flying by night
2274fyre befangen; hyne foldbuend
folded in fire: the folk of earth
2275swiðe/ ondrædað/. He gesecean sceall
dread him sore. 'Tis his doom to seek
2276hord/ on/ hrusan/, þær he hæðen gold
hoard in the graves, and heathen gold
2277warað wintrum/ frod, ne byð him wihte ðy sel.
to watch, many-wintered: nor wins he thereby!
2278Swa se ðeodsceaða þreo hund wintra
Powerful this plague-of-the-people thus
2279heold on hrusan hordærna sum,
held the house of the hoard in earth
2280eacencræftig, oððæt hyne an abealch
three hundred winters; till One aroused
2281mon on mode; mandryhtne bær
wrath in his breast, to the ruler bearing
2282fæted wæge, frioðowære bæd
that costly cup, and the king implored
2283hlaford sinne. ða wæs hord rasod,
for bond of peace. So the barrow was plundered,
2284onboren beaga hord, bene getiðad
borne off was booty. His boon was granted
2285feasceaftum men. Frea sceawode
that wretched man; and his ruler saw
2286fira fyrngeweorc forman siðe.
first time what was fashioned in far-off days.
2287þa se wyrm onwoc, wroht wæs geniwad;
When the dragon awoke, new woe was kindled.
2288stonc ða æfter stane, stearcheort onfand
O'er the stone he snuffed. The stark-heart found
2289feondes fotlast; he to forð gestop
footprint of foe who so far had gone
2290dyrnan cræfte dracan heafde neah.
in his hidden craft by the creature's head. --
2291Swa mæg unfæge eaðe gedigan
So may the undoomed easily flee
2292wean ond wræcsið, se ðe waldendes
evils and exile, if only he gain
2293hyldo gehealdeþ. Hordweard sohte
the grace of The Wielder! -- That warden of gold
2294georne æfter grunde, wolde guman findan,
o'er the ground went seeking, greedy to find
2295þone þe him on sweofote sare geteode,
the man who wrought him such wrong in sleep.
2296hat ond hreohmod hlæw/ oft ymbehwearf
Savage and burning, the barrow he circled
2297ealne utanweardne/, ne ðær ænig mon
all without; nor was any there,
2298on þære/ westenne; hwæðre wiges/ gefeh,
none in the waste.... Yet war he desired,
2299beaduwe/ weorces, hwilum on beorh æthwearf,
was eager for battle. The barrow he entered,
2300sincfæt sohte. He þæt sona onfand/
sought the cup, and discovered soon
2301ðæt hæfde gumena sum goldes gefandod,
that some one of mortals had searched his treasure,
2302heahgestreona. Hordweard onbad
his lordly gold. The guardian waited
2303earfoðlice oððæt æfen cwom;
ill-enduring till evening came;
2304wæs ða gebolgen beorges hyrde,
boiling with wrath was the barrow's keeper,
2305wolde se/ laða/ lige forgyldan
and fain with flame the foe to pay
2306drincfæt dyre. þa wæs dæg sceacen
for the dear cup's loss. -- Now day was fled
2307wyrme on willan; no on wealle læg,
as the worm had wished. By its wall no more
2308bidan wolde, ac mid bæle for,
was it glad to bide, but burning flew
2309fyre gefysed. Wæs se fruma egeslic
folded in flame: a fearful beginning
2310leodum on lande, swa hyt lungre wearð
for sons of the soil; and soon it came,
2311on hyra sincgifan sare geendod.
in the doom of their lord, to a dreadful end.
2312ða se gæst ongan gledum spiwan,
THEN the baleful fiend its fire belched out,
2313beorht hofu bærnan; bryneleoma stod
and bright homes burned. The blaze stood high
2314eldum on andan. No ðær/ aht cwices
all landsfolk frighting. No living thing
2315lað lyftfloga læfan wolde.
would that loathly one leave as aloft it flew.
2316Wæs þæs wyrmes wig wide gesyne,
Wide was the dragon's warring seen,
2317nearofages nið nean ond feorran,
its fiendish fury far and near,
2318hu se guðsceaða Geata leode
as the grim destroyer those Geatish people
2319hatode ond hynde; hord eft gesceat,
hated and hounded. To hidden lair,
2320dryhtsele dyrnne, ær dæges hwile.
to its hoard it hastened at hint of dawn.
2321Hæfde landwara lige befangen,
Folk of the land it had lapped in flame,
2322bæle ond bronde, beorges getruwode,
with bale and brand. In its barrow it trusted,
2323wiges ond wealles; him seo wen geleah.
its battling and bulwarks: that boast was vain!
2324þa wæs Biowulfe broga gecyðed
To Beowulf then the bale was told
2325snude to soðe, þæt his sylfes ham/,
quickly and truly: the king's own home,
2326bolda selest, brynewylmum mealt,
of buildings the best, in brand-waves melted,
2327gifstol Geata. þæt ðam godan wæs
that gift-throne of Geats. To the good old man
2328hreow on hreðre, hygesorga mæst;
sad in heart, 'twas heaviest sorrow.
2329wende se wisa þæt he wealdende
The sage assumed that his sovran God
2330ofer ealde riht, ecean dryhtne,
he had angered, breaking ancient law,
2331bitre gebulge. Breost innan weoll
and embittered the Lord. His breast within
2332þeostrum geþoncum, swa him geþywe ne wæs.
with black thoughts welled, as his wont was never.
2333Hæfde ligdraca leoda fæsten,
The folk's own fastness that fiery dragon
2334ealond utan, eorðweard ðone
with flame had destroyed, and the stronghold all
2335gledum forgrunden; him ðæs guðkyning,
washed by waves; but the warlike king,
2336Wedera þioden, wræce leornode.
prince of the Weders, plotted vengeance.
2337Heht him þa gewyrcean wigendra hleo
Warriors'-bulwark, he bade them work
2338eallirenne, eorla dryhten,
all of iron -- the earl's commander --
2339wigbord wrætlic; wisse he gearwe
a war-shield wondrous: well he knew
2340þæt him holtwudu helpan/ ne meahte,
that forest-wood against fire were worthless,
2341lind wið lige. Sceolde lændaga/
linden could aid not. -- Atheling brave,
2342æþeling ærgod ende gebidan,
he was fated to finish this fleeting life,
2343worulde lifes, ond se wyrm somod,
his days on earth, and the dragon with him,
2344þeah ðe hordwelan heolde lange.
though long it had watched o'er the wealth of the hoard! --
2345Oferhogode ða hringa fengel
Shame he reckoned it, sharer-of-rings,
2346þæt he þone widflogan weorode gesohte,
to follow the flyer-afar with a host,
2347sidan herge; no he him þa/ sæcce ondred,
a broad-flung band; nor the battle feared he,
2348ne him þæs wyrmes wig for wiht dyde,
nor deemed he dreadful the dragon's warring,
2349eafoð ond ellen, forðon he ær fela
its vigor and valor: ventures desperate
2350nearo neðende niða gedigde,
he had passed a-plenty, and perils of war,
2351hildehlemma, syððan he Hroðgares,
contest-crash, since, conqueror proud,
2352sigoreadig secg, sele fælsode
Hrothgar's hall he had wholly purged,
2353ond æt guðe forgrap Grendeles mægum
and in grapple had killed the kin of Grendel,
2354laðan cynnes. No þæt læsest wæs
loathsome breed! Not least was that
2355hondgemota/, þær mon Hygelac sloh,
of hand-to-hand fights where Hygelac fell,
2356syððan Geata cyning guðe ræsum,
when the ruler of Geats in rush of battle,
2357freawine folca Freslondum on,
lord of his folk, in the Frisian land,
2358Hreðles eafora hiorodryncum swealt,
son of Hrethel, by sword-draughts died,
2359bille gebeaten. þonan Biowulf com
by brands down-beaten. Thence Beowulf fled
2360sylfes cræfte, sundnytte dreah;
through strength of himself and his swimming power,
2361hæfde him on earme ana/ XXXL
though alone, and his arms were laden with thirty
2362hildegeatwa, þa he to holme beag/.
coats of mail, when he came to the sea!
2363Nealles Hetware hremge þorfton/
Nor yet might Hetwaras haughtily boast
2364feðewiges, þe him foran ongean
their craft of contest, who carried against him
2365linde bæron; lyt eft becwom
shields to the fight: but few escaped
2366fram þam hildfrecan/ hames niosan.
from strife with the hero to seek their homes!
2367Oferswam ða sioleða bigong sunu Ecgðeowes,
Then swam over ocean Ecgtheow's son
2368earm anhaga, eft to leodum;
lonely and sorrowful, seeking his land,
2369þær him Hygd gebead hord ond rice,
where Hygd made him offer of hoard and realm,
2370beagas ond bregostol, bearne ne truwode
rings and royal-seat, reckoning naught
2371þæt he wið ælfylcum eþelstolas
the strength of her son to save their kingdom
2372healdan cuðe, ða wæs Hygelac dead.
from hostile hordes, after Hygelac's death.
2373No ðy ær feasceafte findan meahton
No sooner for this could the stricken ones
2374æt ðam æðelinge ænige ðinga,
in any wise move that atheling's mind
2375þæt he Heardrede hlaford wære
over young Heardred's head as lord
2376oððe þone cynedom ciosan wolde;
and ruler of all the realm to be:
2377hwæðre he him on folce freondlarum heold,
yet the hero upheld him with helpful words,
2378estum mid are, oððæt he yldra wearð,
aided in honor, till, older grown,
2379Wedergeatum weold. Hyne wræcmæcgas
he wielded the Weder-Geats. -- Wandering exiles
2380ofer sæ sohtan, suna Ohteres;
sought him o'er seas, the sons of Ohtere,
2381hæfdon hy forhealden helm Scylfinga,
who had spurned the sway of the Scylfings'-helmet,
2382þone selestan sæcyninga
the bravest and best that broke the rings,
2383þara ðe in Swiorice sinc brytnade,
in Swedish land, of the sea-kings' line,
2384mærne þeoden. Him þæt to mearce wearð;
haughty hero. Hence Heardred's end.
2385he þær/ for/ feorme feorhwunde hleat
For shelter he gave them, sword-death came,
2386sweordes swengum, sunu Hygelaces,
the blade's fell blow, to bairn of Hygelac;
2387ond him/ eft gewat Ongenðioes bearn
but the son of Ongentheow sought again
2388hames niosan, syððan Heardred læg,
house and home when Heardred fell,
2389let ðone bregostol Biowulf healdan,
leaving Beowulf lord of Geats
2390Geatum wealdan. þæt wæs god cyning.
and gift-seat's master. -- A good king he!
2391Se ðæs leodhryres lean gemunde
THE fall of his lord he was fain to requite
2392uferan dogrum. Eadgilse wearð
in after days; and to Eadgils he proved
2393feasceaftum freond, folce gestepte
friend to the friendless, and forces sent
2394ofer sæ side sunu Ohteres,
over the sea to the son of Ohtere,
2395wigum ond wæpnum; he gewræc syððan
weapons and warriors: well repaid he
2396cealdum cearsiðum, cyning ealdre bineat.
those care-paths cold when the king he slew.
2397Swa he niða gehwane genesen hæfde,
Thus safe through struggles the son of Ecgtheow
2398sliðra geslyhta/, sunu Ecgðiowes,
had passed a plenty, through perils dire,
2399ellenweorca, oð ðone anne dæg
with daring deeds, till this day was come
2400þe he wið þam wyrme gewegan sceolde.
that doomed him now with the dragon to strive.
2401Gewat þa XIIa sum torne gebolgen
With comrades eleven the lord of Geats
2402dryhten Geata dracan sceawian.
swollen in rage went seeking the dragon.
2403Hæfde þa gefrunen hwanan sio fæhð aras,
He had heard whence all the harm arose
2404bealonið biorna; him to bearme cwom
and the killing of clansmen; that cup of price
2405maðþumfæt mære þurh ðæs meldan hond.
on the lap of the lord had been laid by the finder.
2406Se wæs on ðam ðreate þreotteoða secg,
In the throng was this one thirteenth man,
2407se ðæs orleges or onstealde,
starter of all the strife and ill,
2408hæft hygegiomor, sceolde hean ðonon
care-laden captive; cringing thence
2409wong wisian. He ofer willan giong
forced and reluctant, he led them on
2410to ðæs ðe he eorðsele anne wisse,
till he came in ken of that cavern-hall,
2411hlæw under hrusan holmwylme neh,
the barrow delved near billowy surges,
2412yðgewinne; se wæs innan full
flood of ocean. Within 'twas full
2413wrætta ond wira. Weard unhiore,
of wire-gold and jewels; a jealous warden,
2414gearo guðfreca, goldmaðmas heold,
warrior trusty, the treasures held,
2415eald under eorðan. Næs þæt yðe ceap
lurked in his lair. Not light the task
2416to gegangenne gumena ænigum.
of entrance for any of earth-born men!
2417Gesæt ða on næsse niðheard cyning,
Sat on the headland the hero king,
2418þenden hælo abead heorðgeneatum,
spake words of hail to his hearth-companions,
2419goldwine Geata. Him wæs geomor sefa,
gold-friend of Geats. All gloomy his soul,
2420wæfre ond wælfus, wyrd ungemete neah,
wavering, death-bound. Wyrd full nigh
2421se ðone gomelan gretan sceolde,
stood ready to greet the gray-haired man,
2422secean sawle hord, sundur gedælan
to seize his soul-hoard, sunder apart
2423lif wið lice, no þon lange wæs
life and body. Not long would be
2424feorh æþelinges flæsce bewunden.
the warrior's spirit enwound with flesh.
2425Biowulf maþelade, bearn Ecgðeowes:
Beowulf spake, the bairn of Ecgtheow:--
2426Fela ic on giogoðe guðræsa genæs,
"Through store of struggles I strove in youth,
2427orleghwila; ic þæt eall gemon.
mighty feuds; I mind them all.
2428Ic wæs syfanwintre, þa mec sinca/ baldor/,
I was seven years old when the sovran of rings,
2429freawine folca, æt minum fæder/ genam;
friend-of-his-folk, from my father took me,
2430heold mec ond hæfde Hreðel cyning,
had me, and held me, Hrethel the king,
2431geaf me sinc ond symbel, sibbe gemunde.
with food and fee, faithful in kinship.
2432Næs ic him to life laðra owihte,
Ne'er, while I lived there, he loathlier found me,
2433beorn in/ burgum, þonne his bearna hwylc,
bairn in the burg, than his birthright sons,
2434Herebeald ond Hæðcyn oððe Hygelac min.
Herebeald and Haethcyn and Hygelac mine.
2435Wæs þam yldestan ungedefelice
For the eldest of these, by unmeet chance,
2436mæges dædum morþorbed stred,
by kinsman's deed, was the death-bed strewn,
2437syððan hyne Hæðcyn of hornbogan,
when Haethcyn killed him with horny bow,
2438his freawine, flane geswencte,
his own dear liege laid low with an arrow,
2439miste mercelses ond his mæg ofscet,
missed the mark and his mate shot down,
2440broðor oðerne blodigan gare.
one brother the other, with bloody shaft.
2441þæt wæs feohleas gefeoht, fyrenum gesyngad,
A feeless fight, and a fearful sin,
2442hreðre hygemeðe; sceolde hwæðre swa þeah
horror to Hrethel; yet, hard as it was,
2443æðeling unwrecen ealdres linnan.
unavenged must the atheling die!
2444Swa bið geomorlic gomelum ceorle
Too awful it is for an aged man
2445to gebidanne, þæt his byre ride
to bide and bear, that his bairn so young
2446giong on galgan, þonne he gyd wrece,
rides on the gallows. A rime he makes,
2447sarigne sang, þonne his sunu hangað
sorrow-song for his son there hanging
2448hrefne to hroðre, ond he him helpe/ ne mæg,
as rapture of ravens; no rescue now
2449eald ond infrod, ænige gefremman.
can come from the old, disabled man!
2450Symble bið gemyndgad morna gehwylce
Still is he minded, as morning breaks,
2451eaforan ellorsið; oðres ne gymeð
of the heir gone elsewhere; another he hopes not
2452to gebidanne burgum in innan
he will bide to see his burg within
2453yrfeweardas, þonne se an hafað
as ward for his wealth, now the one has found
2454þurh deaðes nyd dæda gefondad.
doom of death that the deed incurred.
2455Gesyhð sorhcearig on his suna bure
Forlorn he looks on the lodge of his son,
2456winsele westne, windge reste
wine-hall waste and wind-swept chambers
2457reote berofene. Ridend swefað,
reft of revel. The rider sleepeth,
2458hæleð in hoðman; nis þær hearpan sweg,
the hero, far-hidden; no harp resounds,
2459gomen in geardum, swylce ðær iu wæron.
in the courts no wassail, as once was heard.
2460Gewiteð þonne on sealman, sorhleoð gæleð
"THEN he goes to his chamber, a grief-song chants
2461an æfter anum; þuhte him eall to rum,
alone for his lost. Too large all seems,
2462wongas ond wicstede. Swa Wedra helm
homestead and house. So the helmet-of-Weders
2463æfter Herebealde heortan sorge
hid in his heart for Herebeald
2464weallende/ wæg. Wihte ne meahte
waves of woe. No way could he take
2465on ðam feorhbonan fæghðe gebetan;
to avenge on the slayer slaughter so foul;
2466no ðy ær he þone heaðorinc hatian ne meahte
nor e'en could he harass that hero at all
2467laðum dædum, þeah him leof ne wæs.
with loathing deed, though he loved him not.
2468He ða mid þære sorhge, þe him swa/ sar belamp,
And so for the sorrow his soul endured,
2469gumdream ofgeaf, godes leoht geceas,
men's gladness he gave up and God's light chose.
2470eaferum læfde, swa deð eadig mon,
Lands and cities he left his sons
2471lond ond leodbyrig, þa he of life gewat.
(as the wealthy do) when he went from earth.
2472þa wæs synn ond sacu Sweona ond Geata
There was strife and struggle 'twixt Swede and Geat
2473ofer wid/ wæter, wroht gemæne,
o'er the width of waters; war arose,
2474herenið hearda, syððan Hreðel swealt,
hard battle-horror, when Hrethel died,
2475oððe him Ongenðeowes eaferan wæran
and Ongentheow's offspring grew
2476frome, fyrdhwate, freode ne woldon
strife-keen, bold, nor brooked o'er the seas
2477ofer heafo healdan, ac ymb Hreosnabeorh
pact of peace, but pushed their hosts
2478eatolne inwitscear oft gefremedon/.
to harass in hatred by Hreosnabeorh.
2479þæt mægwine mine gewræcan,
Men of my folk for that feud had vengeance,
2480fæhðe ond fyrene, swa hyt gefræge wæs,
for woful war ('tis widely known),
2481þeah ðe oðer his ealdre gebohte,
though one of them bought it with blood of his heart,
2482heardan ceape: Hæðcynne wearð,
a bargain hard: for Haethcyn proved
2483Geata dryhtne, guð onsæge.
fatal that fray, for the first-of-Geats.
2484þa ic on morgne gefrægn mæg oðerne
At morn, I heard, was the murderer killed
2485billes ecgum on bonan stælan,
by kinsman for kinsman, with clash of sword,
2486þær Ongenþeow Eofores niosað.