The Northern Way

Beowulf in Old English

1449-1470
se þe meregrundas mengan scolde,
secan sundgebland since geweorðad,
befongen freawrasnum, swa hine fyrndagum
worhte wæpna smið, wundrum teode,
besette swinlicum, þæt hine syðþan no
brond ne beadomecas bitan ne meahton.
Næs þæt þonne mætost mægenfultuma,
þæt him on ðearfe lah ðyle Hroðgares;
wæs þæm hæftmece Hrunting nama;
þæt wæs an foran ealdgestreona;
ecg wæs iren, atertanum fah,
ahyrded heaþoswate; næfre hit æt hilde ne swac
manna ængum þara þe hit mid mundum bewand,
se ðe gryresiðas gegan dorste,
folcstede fara; næs þæt forma sið,
þæt hit ellenweorc æfnan scolde.
Huru ne gemunde mago Ecglafes
eafoþes cræftig, þæt he ær gespræc
wine druncen, þa he þæs wæpnes onlah
selran sweordfrecan; selfa ne dorste
under yða gewin aldre geneþan,
drihtscype dreogan; þær he dome forleas,

1471-1472
ellenmærðum. Ne wæs þæm oðrum swa,
syðþan he hine to guðe gegyred hæfde.

1473-1490
XXII Beowulf maðelode, bearn Ecgþeowes:
`Geþenc nu, se mæra maga Healfdenes,
snottra fengel, nu ic eom siðes fus,
goldwine gumena, hwæt wit geo spræcon,
gif ic æt þearfe þinre scolde
aldre linnan, þæt ðu me a wære
forðgewitenum on fæder stæle.
Wes þu mundbora minum magoþegnum
hondgesellum, gif mec hild nime;
swylce þu ða madmas, þe þu me sealdest,
Hroðgar leofa, Higelace onsend.
Mæg þonne on þæm golde ongitan Geata dryhten,
geseon sunu Hrædles, þonne he on þæt sinc starað.
þæt ic gumcystum godne funde
beaga bryttan, breac þonne moste.
Ond þu Unferð læt ealde lafe,
wrætlic wægsweord widcuðne man
heardecg habban; ic me mid Hruntinge

1491-1515
dom gewyrce, oþðe mec deað nimeð!'
Æfter þæm wordum Weder-Geata leod
efste mid elne,--- nalas andsware
bidan wolde; brimwylm onfeng
hilderince. Ða wæs hwil dæges,
ær he þone grundwong ongytan mehte.
Sona þæt onfunde se ðe floda begong
heorogifre beheold hund missera,
grim ond grædig, þæt þær gumena sum
ælwihta eard ufan cunnode.
Grap þa togeanes, guðrinc gefeng
atolan clommum; no þy ær in gescod
halan lice; hring utan ymbbearh,
þæt heo þone fyrdhom ðurhfon ne mihte,
locene leoðosyrcan laþan fingrum.
Bær þa seo brimwylf, þa heo to botme com,
hringa þengel to hofe sinum,
swa he ne mihte --- no he þæs modig wæs ---
wæpna gewealdan, ac hine wundra þæs fela
swencte on sunde, sædeor monig
hildetuxum heresyrcan bræc,
ehton aglæcan. Ða se eorl ongeat,
þæt he in niðsele nathwylcum wæs,
þær him nænig wæter wihte ne sceþede,
ne him for hrofsele hrinan ne mehte

1516-1541
færgripe flodes; fyrleoht geseah,
blacne leoman beorhte scinan.
Ongeat þa se goda grundwyrgenne,
merewif mihtig; mægenræs forgeaf
hildebille, hond sweng ne ofteah,
þæt hire on hafelan hringmæl agol
grædig guðleoð. Ða se gist onfand,
þæt se beadoleoma bitan nolde,
aldre sceþðan, ac seo ecg geswac
ðeodne æt þearfe; ðolode ær fela
hondgemota, helm oft gescær,
fæges fyrdhrægl; ða wæs forma sið
deorum madme, þæt his dom alæg.
Eft wæs anræd, nalas elnes læt,
mærða gemyndig mæg Hylaces:
wearp ða wundenmæl wrættum gebunden
yrre oretta, þæt hit on eorðan læg,
stið ond stylecg; strenge getruwode,
mundgripe mægenes. Swa sceal man don,
þonne he æt guðe gegan þenceð
longsumne lof; na ymb his lif cearað.
Gefeng þa be eaxle --- nalas for fæhðe mearn ---
Guð-Geata leod Grendles modor;
brægd þa beadwe heard, þa he gebolgen wæs,
feorhgeniðlan, þæt heo on flet gebeah.
Heo him eft hraþe andlean forgeald

1542-1565
grimman grapum ond him togeanes feng;
oferwearp þa werigmod wigena strengest,
feþecempa, þæt he on fylle wearð.
Ofsæt þa þone selegyst, ond hyre seax geteah
brad ond brunecg; wolde hire bearn wrecan,
angan eaferan. Him on eaxle læg
breostnet broden; þæt gebearh feore,
wið ord ond wið ecge ingang forstod.
Hæfde ða forsiðod sunu Ecgþeowes
under gynne grund, Geata cempa,
nemne him heaðobyrne helpe gefremede,
herenet hearde, --- ond halig God
geweold wigsigor; witig Drihten,
rodera Rædend hit on ryht gesced
yðelice, syþðan he eft astod.
XXIII Geseah ða on searwum sigeeadig bil,
eald sweord eotenisc ecgum þyhtig,
wigena weorðmynd; þæt wæs wæpna cyst, ---
buton hit wæs mare ðonne ænig mon oðer
to beadulace ætberan meahte,
God ond geatolic, giganta geweorc.
He gefeng þa fetelhilt, freca Scyldinga
hreoh ond heorogrim, hringmæl gebrægd
aldres orwena, yrringa sloh,

1566-1591
þæt hire wið halse heard grapode,
banhringas bræc; bil eal ðurhwod
fægne flæschoman; heo on flet gecrong,
sweord wæs swatig, secg weorce gefeh.
Lixte se leoma, leoht inne stod,
efne swa of hefene hadre scineð
rodores candel. He æfter recede wlat;
hwearf þa be wealle, wæpen hafenade
heard be hiltum Higelaces ðegn
yrre ond anræd, --- næs seo ecg fracod
hilderince, ac he hraþe wolde
Grendle forgyldan guðræsa fela
ðara þe he geworhte to West-Denum
oftor micle ðonne on ænne sið,
þonne he Hroðgares heorðgeneatas
sloh on sweofote, slæpende fræt
folces Denigea fyftyne men,
ond oðer swylc ut offerede,
laðlicu lac. He him þæs lean forgeald,
reþe cempa, to ðæs þe he on ræste geseah
guðwerigne Grendel licgan,
aldorleasne, swa him ær gescod
hild æt Heorote. Hra wide sprong,
syþðan he æfter deaðe drepe þrowade,
heorosweng heardne, ond hine þa heafde becearf.
Sona þæt gesawon snottre ceorlas,

 

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