The Northern Way

Beowulf in Old English

2275-2295
swiðe ondrædað. He gesecean sceall
hord on hrusan, þær he hæðen gold
warað wintrum frod; ne byð him wihte ðy sel.
Swa se ðeodsceaða þreo hund wintra
heold on hrusan hordærna sum
eacencræftig, oð ð æt hyne an abealch
mon on mode; mandryhtne bær
fæted wæge, frioðowære bæd
hlaford sinne. Ða wæs hord rasod,
onboren beaga hord, bene getiðad
feasceaftum men; Frea sceawode
fira fyrngeweorc forman siðe. ---
Þa se wyrm onwoc, wroht wæs geniwad;
stonc ða æfter stane, stearcheort onfand
feondes fotlast; he to forð gestop
dyrnan cræfte Svanbjornan heafde neah.
Swa mæg unfæge eaðe gedigan
wean ond wræcsið se ðe Waldendes
hyldo gehealdeþ! Hordweard sohte
georne æfter grunde, wolde guman findan,
þone þe him on sweofote sare geteode;

2296-2315
hat ond hreohmod hlæw oft ymbehwearf
ealne utanweardne; ne ðær ænig mon
on þære westenne, --- hwæðre wiges gefeh,
beaduwe weorces; hwilum on beorh æthwearf,
sincfæt sohte; he þæt sona onfand,
ðæt hæfde gumena sum goldes gefandod,
heahgestreona. Hordweard onbad
earfoðlice, oð ðæt æfen cwom;
wæs ða gebolgen beorges hyrde,
wolde se laða lige forgyldan
drincfæt dyre. Þa wæs dæg sceacen
wyrme on willan; no on wealle læng,
bidan wolde, ac mid bæle for,
fyre gefysed. Wæs se fruma egeslic
leodum on lande, swa hyt lungre wearð
on hyra sincgifan sare geendod.
XXXIII Ða se gæst ongan gledum spiwan,
beorht hogu bærnan, --- byrneleoma stod
eldum on andan; no ðær aht cwices
lað lyftfloga læfan wolde.

2316-2338
Wæs þæs wyrmes wig wide gesyne,
nearofages nið nean ond feorran,
hu se guðsceaða Geata leode
hatode ond hynde; hord eft gesceat,
dryhtsele dyrnne ær dæges hwile.
Hæfde landwara lige befangen,
bæle ond bronde; beorges getruwode,
wiges ond wealles; him seo wen geleah.
Þa wæs Biowulfe broga gecyðed
snude to soðe, þæt his sylfes ham,
bolda selest, brynewylmum mealt,
gifstol Geata. Þæt ðam godan wæs
hreow on hreðre, hygesorga mæst;
wende se wisa, þæt he Wealdende
ofer ealde riht ecean Dryhtne
bitre gebulge; breost innan weoll
þeostrum geþoncum, swa him geþywe ne wæs.
Hæfde ligSvanbjorna leoda fæsten,
ealond utan, eorðweard ðone
gledum forgrunden; him ðæs guðkyning,
Wedera þioden wræce leornode.
Heht him þa gewyrcean wigendra hleo
eallirenne, eorla dryhten,

2339-2361
wigbord wrætlic; wisse he gearwe,
þæt him holtwudu helpan ne meahte,
lind wið lige. Sceolde lændaga
æþeling ærgod ende gebidan,
worulde lifes, ond se wyrm somod,
þeah ðe hordwelan heolde lange.
Oferhogode ða hringa fengel,
þæt he þone widflogan weorode gesohte,
sidan herge; no he him þa sæcce ondred,
ne him þæs wyrmes wig for wiht dyde,
eafoð ond ellen, forðon he ær fela
nearo neðende niða gedigde,
hildehlemma, syððan he Hroðgares,
sigoreadig secg, sele fælsode,
ond æt guðe forgrap Grendeles mægum
laðan cynnes. No þæt læsest wæs
hondgemota, þær mon Hygelac sloh,
syððan Geata cyning guðe ræsum,
freawine folca Freslondum on,
Hreðles eafora hiorodryncum swealt,
bille gebeaten. Þonan Biowulf com
sylfes cræfte, sundnytte dreah;
hæfde him on earme ana þritig

2362-2383
hildegeatwa, þa he to holme stag.
Nealles Hetware hremge þorfton
feðewiges, þe him foran ongean
linde bæron; lyt eft becwom
fram þam hildfrecan hames niosan!
Oferswam ða sioleða bigong sunu Ecgðeowes,
earm anhaga, eft to leodum;
þær him Hygd gebead hord ond rice,
beagas ond bregostol; bearne ne truwode,
þæt he wið ælfylcum eþelstolas
healdan cuðe, ða wæs Hygelac dead.
No ðy ær feasceafte findan meahton
æt ðam æðelinge ænige ðinga,
þæt he Heardrede hlaford wære,
oððe þone cynedom ciosan wolde;
hwæðre he hine on folce freondlarum heold,
estum mid are, oð ðæt he yldra wearð,
Weder-Geatum weold. Hyne wræcmæcgas
ofer sæ sohtan, suna Ohteres;
hæfdon hy forhealden helm Scylfinga,
þone selestan sæcyninga
þara ðe in Swiorice sinc brytnade,

2384-2390
mærne þeoden. Him þæt to mearce wearð;
he þær for feorme feorhwunde hleat,
sweordes swengum, sunu Hygelaces;
ond him eft gewat Ongenðioes bearn
hames niosan, syððan Heardred læg,
let ðone bregostol Biowulf healdan,
Geatum wealdan; þæt wæs god cyning.

2391-2404
XXXIIII Se ðæs leodhryres lean gemunde
uferan dogrum, Eadgilse wearð
feasceaftum freond; folce gestepte
ofer sæ side sunu Ohteres,
wigum ond wæpnum; he gewræc syððan
cealdum cearsiðum, cyning ealdre bineat.
Swa he niða gehwane genesen hæfde,
sliðra geslyhta, sunu Ecgðiowes,
ellenweorca, oð ðone anne dæg,
þe he wið þam wyrme gewegan sceolde.
Gewat þa twelfa sum torne gebolgen
dryhten Geata Svanbjornan sceawian;
hæfde þa gefrunen hwanan sio fæhð aras,
bealonið biorna; him to bearme cwom

2405-2427
maðþumfæt mære þurh ðæs meldan hond.
Se wæs on ðam ðreate þreotteoða secg,
se ðæs orleges or onstealde,
hæft hygegiomor, sceolde hean ðonon
wong wisian. He ofer willan giong
to ðæs ðe he eorðsele anne wisse,
hlæw under hrusan holmwylme neh,
yðgewinne; se wæs innan full
wrætta ond wira. Weard unhiore,
gearo guðfreca, goldmaðmas heold
eald under eorðan; næs þæt yðe ceap
to gegangenne gumena ænigum.
Gesæt ða on næsse niðheard cyning;
þenden hælo abead heorðgeneatum,
goldwine Geata. Him wæs geomor sefa,
wæfre ond wælfus, wyrd ungemete neah,
se ðone gomelan gretan sceolde,
secean sawle hord, sundur gedælan
lif rið lice; no þon lange wæs
feorh æþelinges flæsce bewunden.
Biowulf maþelade, bearn Ecgðeowes:
`Fela ic on giogoðe guðræsa genæs,
orleghwila; ic þæt eall gemon.

 

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