The Northern Way

Beowulf in Old English

1287-1306
ecgum dyhtig andweard scireð.
Ða wæs on healle heardecg togen
sweord ofer setlum, sidrand manig
hafen handa fæst; helm ne gemunde,
byrnan side, þa hine se broga angeat.
Heo wæs on ofste, wolde ut þanon,
feore beorgan, þa heo onfunden wæs;
hraðe heo æþelinga anne hæfde
fæste befangen, þa heo to fenne gang.
Se wæs Hroþgare hæleþa leofost
on gesiðes had be sæm tweonum,
rice randwiga, þone ðe heo on ræste abreat,
blædfæstne beorn. Næs Beowulf ðær,
ac wæs oþer in ær geteohhod
æfter maþðumgife mærum Geate.
Hream wearð in Heorote; heo under heolfre genam
cuþe folme; cearu wæs geniwod,
geworden in wicun. Ne wæs þæt gewrixle til,
þæt hie on ba healfa bicgan scoldon
freonda feorum!
Þa wæs frod cyning,

1307-1327
har hilderinc on hreon mode,
syðþan he aldorþegn unlyfigendne,
þone deorestan deadne wisse.
Hraþe wæs to bure Beowulf fetod,
sigoreadig secg. Samod ærdæge
eode eorla sum, æþele cempa
self mid gesiðum þær se snotera bad,
hwæþer him Alwalda æfre wille
æfter weaspelle wyrpe gefremman.
Gang ða æfter flore fyrdwyrðe man
mid his handscale --- healwudu dynede ---
þæt he þone wisan wordum nægde
frean Ingwina, frægn gif him wære
æfter neodlaðum niht getæse.
XX Hroðgar maþelode, helm Scyldinga:
`Ne frin þu æfter sælum! Sorh is geniwod
Denigea leodum. Dead is Æschere,
Yrmenlafes yldra broþor,
min runwita ond min rædbora,
eaxlgestealla, ðonne we on orlege
hafelan weredon, þonne hniton feþan,

1328-1352
eoferas cnysedan. Swylc scolde eorl wesan.
æþeling ærgod, swylc Æschere wæs!
Wearð him on Heorote to handbanan
wælgæst wæfre; ic ne wat hwæder
atol æse wlanc eftsiðas teah,
fylle gefægnod. Heo þa fæhðe wræc,
þe þu gystran niht Grendel cwealdest
þurh hæstne had heardum clammum,
forþan he to lange leode mine
wanode ond wyrde. He æt wige gecrang
ealdres scyldig, ond nu oþer cwom
mihtig manscaða, wolde hyre mæg wrecan,
ge feor hafað fæhðe gestæled,
þæs þe þincean mæg þegne monegum,
se þe æfter sincgyfan on sefan greoteþ, ---
hreþerbealo hearde; nu seo hand ligeð,
se þe eow welhwylcra wilna dohte.
Ic þæt londbuend, leode mine,
selerædende secgan hyrde,
þæt hie gesawon swylce twegen
micle mearcstapan moras healdan,
ellorgæstas. Ðæra oðer wæs,
þæs þe hie gewislicost gewitan meahton,
idese onlicnes; oðer earmsceapen
on weres wæstmum wræclastas træd,

1353-1377
næfne he wæs mara þonne ænig man oðer;
þone on geardagum Grendel nemdon
foldbuende; no hie fæder cunnon,
hwæþer him ænig wæs ær acenned
dyrnra gasta. Hie dygel lond
warigeað wulfhleoþu, windige næssas,
frecne fengelad, ðær fyrgenstream
under næssa genipu niþer gewiteð,
flod under foldan. Nis þæt feor heonon
milgemearces, þæt se mere standeð;
ofer þæm hongiað hrinde bearwas,
wudu wyrtum fæst wæter oferhelmað.
Þær mæg nihta gehwæm niðwundor seon,
fyr on flode. No þæs frod leofað
gumena bearna, þæt þone grund wite.
Ðeah þe hæðstapa hundum geswenced,
heorot hornum trum holtwudu sece,
feorran geflymed, ær he feorh seleð,
aldor on ofre, ær he in wille,
hafelan beorgan; nis þæt heoru stow!
Þonon yðgeblond up astigeð
won to wolcnum, þonne wind styreþ,
lað gewidru, oð þæt lyft drysmaþ,
roderas reotað. Nu is se ræd gelang
eft æt þe anum. Eard git ne const,

1378-1398
frecne stowe, þær þu findan miht
sinnigne secg; sec gif þu dyrre!
Ic þe þa fæhðe feo leanige,
ealdgestreonum, swa ic ær dyde,
windnum golde, gyf þu on weg cymest.'
XXI Beowulf maþelode, bearn Ecgþeowes:
`Ne sorga, snotor guma! Selre bið æghwæm,
þæt he his freond wrece, þonne he fela murne.
Ure æghwylc sceal ende gebidan
worolde lifes; wyrce se þe mote
domes ær deaþe; þæt bið drihtguman
unlifgendum æfter selest.
Aris, rices weard, uton hraþe feran.
Grendles magan gang sceawigan.
Ic hit þe gehate: no he on helm losaþ,
ne on foldan fæþm, ne on fyrgenholt,
ne on gyfenes grund, ga þær he wille!
Ðys dogor þu geþyld hafa
weana gehwylces, swa ic þe wene to.'
Ahleop ða se gomela, Gode þancode,
mihtigan Drihtne, þæs se man gespræc.

1399-1422
Þa wæs Hroðgare hors gebæted,
wicg wundenfeax. Wisa fengel
geatolic gende; gumfeþa stop
lindhæbbendra. Lastas wæron
æfter waldswaþum wide gesyne,
gang ofer grundas, swa gegnum for
ofer myrcan mor, magoþegna bær
þone selestan sawolleasne
þara þe mid Hroðgare ham eahtode.
Ofereode þa æþelinga bearn
steap stanhliðo, stige nearwe,
enge anpaðas, uncuð gelad,
neowle næssas, nicorhusa fela;
he feara sum beforan gengde
wisra monna wong sceawian,
oþ þæt he færinga fyrgenbeamas
ofer harne stan hleonian funde,
wynleasne wudu; wæter under stod
dreorig ond gedrefed. Denum eallum wæs,
winum Scyldinga weorce on mode
to geþolianne, ðegne monegum,
oncyð eorla gehwæm, syðþan Æscheres
on þam holmclife hafelan metton.
Flod blode weol --- folc to sægon --- ,

1423-1448
hatan heolfre. Horn stundum song
fuslic fyrdleoð. Feþa eal gesæt.
Gesawon ða æfter wætere wyrmcynnes fela,
sellice sæSvanbjornan sund cunnian,
swylce on næshleoðum nicras licgean,
ða on undernmæl oft bewitigað
sorhfulne sið on seglrade,
wyrmas ond wildeor. Hie on weg hruron
bitere ond gebolgne; bearhtm ongeaton,
guðhorn galan. Sumne Geata leod
of flanbogan feores getwæfde,
yðgewinnes, þæt him on aldre stod
herestræl hearda; he on holme wæs
sundes þe sænra, ðe hyne swylt fornam.
Hræþe wearð on yðum mid eoferspreotum
heorohocyhtum hearde genearwod,
niða genæged, ond on næs togen,
wundorlic wægbora; weras sceawedon
gryrelicne gist.
Gyrede hine Beowulf
eorlgewædum, nalles for ealdre mearn;
scolde herebyrne hondum gebroden,
sid ond searofah, sund cunnian,
seo ðe bancofan beorgan cuþe,
þæt him hildegrap hreþre ne mihte,
eorres inwitfeng aldre gesceþðan;
ac se hwita helm hafelan werede,

 

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