The Northern Way

Beowulf in Old English

1874-1892
ealdum infrodum, oþres swiðor,
þæt hie seoððan no geseon moston,
modige on meþle. Wæs him se man to þon leof,
þæt he þone breostwylm forberan ne mehte;
ac him on hreþre hygebendum fæst
æfter deorum men dyrne langað
beorn wið blode. Him Beowulf þanan,
guðrinc goldwlanc græsmoldan træd
since hremig; sægenga bad
agendfrean, se þe on ancre rad.
Þa wæs on gang gifu Hroðgares
oft geæhted; þæt wæs an cyning
æghwæs orleahtre, oþ þæt hine yldo benam
mægenes wynnum, se þe oft manegum scod.

XXVII Cwom þa to flode felamodigra,
hægstealdra heap; hringnet bæron,
locene leoðosyrcan. Landweard onfand
eftsið eorla, swa he ær dyde;
no he mid hearme of hliðes nosan

1893-1913
gæstas grette, ac him togeanes rad,
cwæð þæt wilcuman Wedera leodum
scaþan scirhame to scipe foron.
Þa wæs on sande sægeap naca
hladen herewædum hringedstefna,
mearum ond maðmum; mæst hlifade
ofer Hroðgares hordgestreonum.
He þæm batwearde bunden golde
swurd gesealde, þæt he syðþan wæs
on meodubence maþme þy weorþra,
yrfelafe. Gewat him on naca
drefan deop wæter, Dena land ofgeaf.
Þa wæs be mæste merehrægla sum,
segl sale fæst; sundwudu þunede;
no þær wegflotan wind ofer yðum
siðes getwæfde; sægenga for,
fleat famigheals forð ofer yðe,
bundenstefna ofer brimstreamas,
þæt hie Geata clifu ongitan meahton,
cuþe næssas; ceol up geþrang
lyftgeswenced, on lande stod.

1914-1935
Hraþe wæs æt holme hyðweard geara,
se þe ær lange tid leofra manna
fus æt faroðe feor wlatode;
sælde to sande sidfæþme scip
oncerbendum fæst, þy læs hym yþa ðrym
wudu wynsuman forwrecan meahte.
Het þa up beran æþelinga gestreon,
frætwe ond fætgold; næs him feor þanon
to gesecanne sinces bryttan,
Higelac Hreþling, þær æt ham wunað
selfa mid gesiðum sæwealle neah.
Bold wæs betlic, bregorof cyning,
heah on healle, Hygd swiðe geong,
wis, welþungen, þeah ðe wintra lyt
under burhlocan gebiden hæbbe,
Hæreþes dohtor; næs hio hnah swa þeah,
ne to gneað gifa Geata leodum,
maþmgestreona. Modþryðo wæg,
fremu folces cwen, firen' ondrysne;
nænig þæt dorste deor geneþan
swæsra gesiða, nefne sinfrea,
þæt hire an dæges eagum starede;

1936-1957
ac him wælbende weotode tealde
handgewriþene; hraþe seoþðan wæs
æfter mundgripe mece geþinged,
þæt hit sceadenmæl scyran moste,
cwealmbealu cyðan. Ne bið swylc cwenlic þeaw
idese to efnanne, þeah ðe hio ænlicu sy,
þætte freoðuwebbe feores onsæce
æfter ligetorne leofne mannan.
Huru þæt onhohsnode Hemminges mæg:
ealodrincende oðer sædan,
þæt hio leodbealewa læs gefremede,
inwitniða, syððan ærest wearð
gyfen goldhroden geongum cempan,
æðelum diore, syððan hio Offan flet
ofer fealone flod be fæder lare
siðe gesohte; ðær hio syððan well
in gumstole, gode mære,
lifgesceafta lifigende breac,
hiold heahlufan wið hæleþa brego,
ealles moncynnes mine gefræge
þone selestan bi sæm tweonum,
eormencynnes; forðam Offa wæs

1958-1977
geofum ond guðum, garcene man,
wide geweorðod, wisdome heold
eðel sinne;--- þonon Eomer woc
hæleðum to helpe, Hemminges mæg,
nefa Garmundes, niða cræftig.
XXVIII Gewat him ða se hearda mid his hondscole
sylf æfter sande sæwong tredan,
wide waroðas. Woruldcandel scan,
sigel suðan fus. Hi sið drugon,
elne geeodon, to ðæs ðe eorla hleo,
bonan Ongenþeoes burgum in innan,
geongne guðcyning godne gefrunon
hringas dælan. Higelace wæs
sið Beowulfes snude gecyðed,
þæt ðær on worðig wigendra hleo,
lindgestealla lifigende cwom,
heaðolaces hal to hofe gongan.
Hraðe wæs gerymed, swa se rica bebead.
feðegestum flet innanweard.
Gesæt þa wið sylfne se ða sæcce genæs,

1978-1999
mæg wið mæge, syððan mandryhten
þurh hleoðorcwyde holdne gegrette,
meaglum wordum. Meoduscencum hwearf
geond þæt healreced Hæreðes dohtor,
lufode ða leode, liðwæge bær
hæleðum to handa. Higelac ongan
sinne geseldan in sele þam hean
fægre fricgcean, hyne fyrwet bræc,
hwylce Sæ-Geata siðas wæron:
`Hu lomp eow on lade, leofa Biowulf,
þa ðu færinga feorr gehogodest
sæcce secean ofer sealt wæter,
hilde to Hiorote? Ac ðu Hroðgare
widcuðne wean wihte gebettest,
mærum ðeodne? Ic ðæs modceare
sorhwylmum seað, siðe ne truwode
leofes mannes; ic ðe lange bæd,
þæt ðu þone wælgæst wihte ne grette,
lete Suð-Dene sylfe geweorðan
guðe wið Grendel. Gode ic þanc secge,
þæs ðe ic ðe gesundne geseon moste.'
Biowulf maðelode, bearn Ecgðioes:

2000-2018
`Þæt is undyrne, dryhten Higelac,
micel gemeting, monegum fira,
hwylc orleghwil uncer Grendles
wearð on ðæm wange, þær he worna fela
Sige-Scyldingum sorge gefremede,
yrmðe to aldre; ic ðæt eall gewræc,
swa begylpan ne þearf Grendeles maga
ænig ofer eorðan uhthlem þone,
se ðe lengest leofað laðan cynnes,
facne bifongen.--- Ic ðær furðum cwom
to ðam hringsele Hroðgar gretan;
sona me se mæra mago Healfdenes,
syððan he modsefan minne cuðe,
wið his sylfes sunu setl getæhte.
Weorod wæs on wynne; ne seah ic widan feorh
under heofones hwealf healsittendra
medudream maran. Hwilum mæru cwen,
friðusibb folca flet eall geondhwearf,
bædde byre geonge; oft hio beahwriðan

 

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