The Northern Way

Beowulf in Old English

1732-1751
gedeð him swa gewealdene worolde dælas,
side rice, þæt he his selfa ne mæg
his unsnyttrum ende geþencean.
Wunað he on wiste; no hine wiht dweleð
adl ne yldo, ne him inwitsorh
on sefan sweorceð, ne gesacu ohwær
ecghete eoweð, ac him eal worold
wendeð on willan; he þæt wyrse ne con --- ,
XXV oð þæt him on innan oferhygda dæl
weaxeð ond wridað; þonne se weard swefeð,
sawele hyrde; bið se slæp to fæst,
bisgum gebunden, bona swiðe neah,
se þe of flanbogan fyrenum sceoteð.
Þonne bið on hreþre under helm drepen
biteran stræle --- him bebeorgan ne con --- ,
wom wundorbebodum wergan gastes;
þinceð him to lytel, þæt he lange heold,
gytsað gromhydig, nallas on gylp seleð
fætte beagas, ond he þa forðgesceaft
forgyteð ond forgymeð, þæs þe him ær God sealde,

1752-1776
wuldres Waldend, weorðmynda dæl.
Hit on ende stæf eft gelimpeð,
þæt se lichoma læne gedreoseð,
fæge gefealleð; fehð oþer to,
se þe unmurnlice madmas dæleþ,
eorles ærgestreon, egesan ne gymeð.
Bebeorh þe ðone bealonið, Beowulf leofa,
secg betsta, ond þe þæt selre geceos,
ece rædas; oferhyda ne gym,
mære cempa! Nu is þines mægnes blæd
ane hwile; eft sona bið,
þæt þec adl oððe ecg eafoþes getwæfeð,
oððe fyres feng, oððe flodes wylm,
oððe gripe meces, oððe gares fliht,
oððe atol yldo; oððe eagena bearhtm
forsiteð ond forsworceð; semninga bið,
þæt ðec, dryhtguma, deað oferswyðeð.
Swa ic Hring-Dena hund missera
weold under wolcnum ond hig wigge beleac
manigum mægþa geond þysne middangeard,
æscum ond ecgum, þæt ic me ænigne
under swegles begong gesacan ne tealde.
Hwæt, me þæs on eþle edwenden cwom,
gyrn æfter gomene, seoþðan Grendel wearð,
ealdgewinna, ingenga min;

1777-1802
ic þære socne singales wæg
modceare micle. Þæs sig Metode þanc,
ecean Dryhtne, þæs ðe ic on aldre gebad,
þæt ic on þone hafelan heorodreorigne
ofer eald gewin eagum starige!
Ga nu to setle, symbelwynne dreoh
wiggeweorþad; unc sceal worn fela
maþma gemænra, siþðan morgen bið.'
Geat wæs glædmod, geong sona to,
setles neosan, swa se snottra heht.
Þa wæs eft swa ær ellenrofum,
fletsittendum fægere gereorded
niowan stefne.--- Nihthelm geswearc
deorc ofer dryhtgumum. Duguð eal aras;
wolde blondenfeax beddes neosan,
gamela Scylding. Geat unigmetes wel,
rofne randwigan restan lyste;
sona him seleþegn siðes wergum,
feorrancundum, forð wisade,
se for andrysnum ealle beweotede
þegnes þearfe, swylce þy dogore
heaþoliðende habban scoldon.
Reste hine þa rumheort; reced hliuade
geap ond goldfah; gæst inne swæf,
oþ þæt hrefn blaca heofones wynne
bliðheort bodode. Ða com beorht scacan

1803-1816
scima ofer sceadwa; scaþan onetton,
wæron æþelingas eft to leodum
fuse to farenne; wolde feor þanon
cuma collenferhð ceoles neosan.
Heht þa se hearda Hrunting beran
sunu Ecglafes, heht his sweord niman,
leoflic iren; sægde him þæs leanes þanc,
cwæð, he þone guðwine godne tealde,
wigcræftigne, nales wordum log
meces ecge; þæt wæs modig secg. ---
Ond þa siðfrome, searwum gearwe
wigend wæron; eode weorð Denum
æþeling to yppan, þær se oþer wæs,
hæle hildedeor Hroðgar grette.

1817-1825
XXVI Beowulf maþelode, bearn Ecgþeowes:
`Nu we sæliðend secgan willað
feorran cumene, þæt we fundiaþ
Higelac secan. Wæron her tela,
willum bewenede; þu us wel dohtest.
Gif ic þonne on eorþan owihte mæg
þinre modlufan maran tilian,
gumena dryhten, ðonne ic gyt dyde,
guðgeweorca, ic beo gearo sona.

1826-1849
Gif ic þæt gefricge ofer floda begang,
þæt þec ymbsittend egesan þywað,
swa þec hetende hwilum dydon,
ic ðe þusenda þegna bringe,
hæleþa to helpe. Ic on Higelace wat,
Geata dryhten, þeah ðe he geong sy,
folces hyrde, þæt he mec fremman wile
wordum ond weorcum, þæt ic þe wel herige
ond þe to geoce garholt bere,
mægenes fultum, þær ðe bið manna þearf.
Gif him þonne Hreþric to hofum Geata
geþingeð þeodnes bearn, he mæg þær fela
freonda findan; feorcyþðe beoð
selran gesohte þæm þe him selfa deah.'
Hroðgar maþelode him on andsware:
`Þe þa wordcwydas wigtig Drihten
on sefan sende; ne hyrde ic snotorlicor
on swa geongum feore guman þingian.
Þu eart mægenes strang, ond on mode frod,
wis wordcwida! Wen ic talige,
gif þæt gegangeð, þæt ðe gar nymeð,
hild heorugrimme, Hreþles eaferan,
adl oþðe iren ealdor ðinne,
folces hyrde, ond þu þin feorh hafast,

1850-1873
þæt þe Sæ-Geatas selran næbben
to geceosenne cyning ænigne,
hordweard hæleþa, gyf þu healdan wylt
maga rice. Me þin modsefa
licað leng swa wel, leofa Beowulf.
Hafast þu gefered, þæt þam folcum sceal,
Geata leodum ond Gar-Denum
sib gemæne, ond sacu restan,
inwitniþas, þe hie ær drugon,
wesan, þenden ic wealde widan rices,
maþmas gemæne, manig oþerne
godum gegrettan ofer ganotes bæð;
sceal hringnaca ofer heafu bringan
lac ond luftacen. Ic þa leode wat
ge wið feond ge wið freond fæste geworhte,
æghwæs untæle ealde wisan.'
Ða git him eorla hleo inne gesealde,
mago Healfdenes, maþmas twelfe;
het hine mid þæm lacum leode swæse
secean on gesyntum, snude eft cuman.
Gecyste þa cyning æþelum god,
þeoden Scyldinga ðegn betstan
ond be healse genam; hruron him tearas
blondenfeaxum. Him wæs bega wen

 

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