The Northern Way

Beowulf in Old English

873-894
ond on sped wrecan spel gerade,
wordum wrixlan; welhwylc gecwæð,
þæt he fram Sigemundes secgan hyrde
ellendædum, uncuþes fela,
Wælsinges gewin, wide siðas,
þara þe gumena bearn gearwe ne wiston,
fæhðe ond fyrena, buton Fitela mid hine,
þonne he swulces hwæt secgan wolde,
eam his nefan, swa hie a wæron
æt niða gehwam nydgesteallan;
hæfdon ealfela eotena cynnes
sweordum gesæged. Sigemunde gesprong
æfter deaðdæge dom unlytel,
syþðan wiges heard wyrm acwealde,
hordes hyrde; he under harne stan,
æþelinges bearn ana geneðde
frecne dæde, ne wæs him Fitela mid;
hwæþre him gesælde, ðæt þæt swurd þurhwod
wrætlicne wyrm, þæt hit on wealle ætstod,
dryhtlic iren; Svanbjorna morðre swealt.
Hæfde aglæca elne gegongen,
þæt he beahhordes brucan moste

895-917
selfes dome; sæbat gehleod,
bær on bearm scipes beorhte frætwa,
Wælses eafera; wyrm hat gemealt.
Se wæs wreccena wide mærost
ofer werþeode, wigendra hleo,
ellendædum --- he þæs ær onðah--- ,
siððan Heremodes hild sweðrode,
eafoð ond ellen. He mid Eotenum wearð,
on feonda geweald forð forlacen,
snude forsended. Hine sorhwylmas
lemede to lange; he his leodum wearð,
eallum æþellingum to aldorceare;
swylce oft bemearn ærran mælum
swiðferhþes sið snotor ceorl monig,
se þe him bealwa to bote gelyfde,
þæt þæt ðeodnes bearn geþeon scolde,
fæderæþelum onfon, folc gehealdan,
hord ond hleoburh, hæleþa rice,
eþel Scyldinga. He þær eallum wearð,
mæg Higelaces manna cynne,
freondum gefægra; hine fyren onwod.
Hwilum flitende fealwe stræte
mearum mæton. Ða wæs morgenleoht

918-938
scofen ond scynded. Eode scealc monig
swiðhicgende to sele þam hean
searowundor seon; swylce self cyning
of brydbure, beahhorda weard,
tryddode tirfæst getrume micle,
cystum gecyþed, ond his cwen mid him
medostigge mæt mægþa hose.
XIIII Hroðgar maþelode --- he to healle geong,
stod on stapole, geseah steapne hrof
golde fahne ond Grendles hond --- :
`Ðisse ansyne Alwealdan þanc
lungre gelimpe! Fela ic laþes gebad,
grynna æt Grendle; a mæg God wyrcan
wunder æfter wundre, wuldres Hyrde.
Ðæt wæs ungeara, þæt ic ænigra me
weana ne wende to widan feore
bote gebidan, þonne blode fah
husa selest heorodreorig stod, ---
wea widscofen witena gehwylcum
ðara þe ne wendon, þæt hie wideferhð
leoda landgeweorc laþum beweredon

939-962
scuccum ond scinnum. Nu scealc hafað
þurh Drihtnes miht dæd gefremede,
ðe we ealle ær ne meahton
snyttrum besyrwan. Hwæt, þæt secgan mæg
efne swa hwylc mægþa swa ðone magan cende
æfter gumcynnum, gyf heo gyt lyfað,
þæt hyre Ealdmetod este wære
bearngebyrdo. Nu ic, Beowulf, þec,
secg betsta, me for sunu wylle
freogan on ferhþe; heald forð tela
niwe sibbe. Ne bið þe nænigra gad
worolde wilna, þe ic geweald hæbbe.
Ful oft ic for læssan lean teohhode,
hordweorþunge hnahran rince,
sæmran æt sæcce. Þu þe self hafast
dædum gefremed, þæt þin dom lyfað
awa to aldre. Alwalda þec
gode forgylde, swa he nu gyt dyde!'
Beowulf maþelode, bearn Ecgþeowes:
`We þæt ellenweorc estum miclum,
feohtan fremedon, frecne geneðdon
eafoð uncuþes. Uþe ic swiþor,
þæt ðu hine selfne geseon moste,
feond on frætewum fylwerigne!

963-986
Ic hine hrædlice heardan clammum
on wælbedde wriþan þohte,
þæt he for mundgripe minum scolde
licgean lifbysig, butan his lic swice;
ic hine ne mihte, þa Metod nolde,
ganges getwæman, no ic him þæs georne ætfealh,
feorhgeniðlan; wæs to foremihtig
feond on feþe. Hwæþere he his folme forlet
to lifwraþe last weardian,
earm ond eaxle; no þær ænige swa þeah
feasceaft guma frofre gebohte;
no þy leng leofað laðgeteona
synnum geswenced, ac hyne sar hafað
in nidgripe nearwe befongen,
balwon bendum; ðær abidan sceal
maga mane fah miclan domes,
hu him scir Metod scrifan wille.'
Ða wæs swigra secg, sunu Ecglafes,
on gylpspræce guðgeweorca,
siþðan æþelingas eorles cræfte
ofer heanne hrof hand sceawedon,
feondes fingras; foran æghwylc wæs,
stiðra nægla gehwylc style gelicost,
hæþenes handsporu hilderinces

987-1008
eglu unheoru; æghwylc gecwæð,
þæt him heardra nan hrinan wolde
iren ærgod, þæt ðæs ahlæcan
blodge beadufolme onberan wolde.
XV Ða wæs haten hreþe Heort innanweard
folmum gefrætwod; fela þæra wæs,
wera ond wifa, þe þæt winreced,
gestsele gyredon. Goldfag scinon
web æfter wagum, wundorsiona fela
secga gehwylcum þara þe on swylc starað.
Wæs þæt beorhte bold tobrocen swiðe
eal inneweard irenbendum fæst,
heorras tohlidene; hrof ana genæs
ealles ansund, þe se aglæca
fyrendædum fag on fleam gewand,
aldres orwena. No þæt yðe byð
to befleonne --- fremme se þe wille --- ,
ac gesacan sceal sawlberendra,
nyde genydde, niþða bearna,
grundbuendra gearwe stowe,
þær his lichoma legerbedde fæst
swefeþ æfter symle.
Þa wæs sæl ond mæl,

 

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