The Northern Way

Beowulf in Old English

2428-2450
Ic wæs syfanwintre, þa mec sinca baldor,
freawine folca æt minum fæder genam;
heold mec ond hæfde Hreðel cyning,
geaf me sinc ond symbel, sibbe gemunde;
næs ic him to life laðra owihte,
beorn in burgum, þonne his bearna hwylc,
Herebeald ond Hæðcyn oððe Hygelac min.
Wæs þam yldestan ungedefelice
mæges dædum morþorbed stred,
syððan hyne Hæðcyn of hornbogan,
his freawine flane geswencte,
miste mercelses ond his mæg ofscet,
broðor oðerne blodigan gare.
Þæt wæs feohleas gefeoht, fyrenum gesyngad,
hreðre hygemeðe; sceolde hwæðre swa þeah
æðeling unwrecen ealdres linnan.
Swa bið geomorlic gomelum ceorle
to gebidanne, þæt his byre ride
giong on galgan; þonne he gyd wrece,
sarigne sang, þonne his sunu hangað
hrefne to hroðre, ond he him helpe ne mæg
eald ond infrod ænige gefremman.
Symble bið gemyndgad morna gehwylce

2451-2471
eaforan ellorsið; oðres ne gymeð
to gebidanne burgum in innan
yrfeweardas, þonne se an hafað
þurh deaðes nyd dæda gefondad.
Gesyhð sorhcearig on his suna bure
winsele westne, windge reste
reote berofene, --- Ridend swefað,
hæleð in hoðman; nis þær hearpan sweg,
gomen in geardum, swylce ðær iu wæron.
XXXV Gewiteð þonne on sealman, sorhleoð gæleð
an æfter anum; þuhte him eall to rum,
wongas ond wicstede. Swa Wedra helm
æfter Herebealde heortan sorge
weallinde wæg; wihte ne meahte
on ðam feorhbonan fæghðe gebetan;
no ðy ær he þone heaðorinc hatian ne meahte
laðum dædum, þeah him leof ne wæs.
He ða mid þære sorhge, þe him to sar belamp,
gumdream ofgeaf, Godes leoht geceas;
eaferum læfde, swa deð eadig mon,
lond ond leodbyrig, þa he of life gewat.

2472-2495
Þa wæs synn ond sacu Sweona ond Geata
ofer wid wæter, wroht gemæne,
herenið hearda, syððan Hreðel swealt,
oððe him Ongenðeowes eaferan wæran
frome fyrdhwate, freode ne woldon
ofer heafo healdan, ac ymb Hreosnabeorh
eatolne inwitscear oft gefremedon.
Þæt mægwine mine gewræcan,
fæhðe ond fyrene, swa hyt gefræge wæs,
þeah ðe oðer his ealdre gebohte,
heardan ceape; Hæðcynne wearð,
Geata dryhtne, guð onsæge.
Þa ic on morgne gefrægn mæg oðerne
billes ecgum on bonan stælan,
þær Ongenþeow Eofores niosað;
guðhelm toglad, gomela Scylfing
hreas heoroblac; hond gemunde
fæhðo genoge, feorhsweng ne ofteah.
Ic him þa maðmas, þe he me sealde,
geald æt guðe, swa me gifeðe wæs,
leohtan sweorde; he me lond forgeaf,
eard eðelwyn. Næs him ænig þearf,
þæt he to Gifðum oððe to Gar-Denum
oððe in Swiorice secean þurfe

2496-2519
wyrsan wigfrecan, weorðe gecyþan;
symle ic him on feðan beforan wolde,
ana on orde, ond swa to aldre sceall
sæcce fremman, þenden þis sweord þolað,
þæt mec ær ond sið oft gelæste,
syððan ic for dugeðum Dæghrefne wearð
to handbonan, Huga cempan; ---
nalles he ða frætwe Frescyninge,
breostweorðunge, bringan moste,
ac in campe gecrong cumbles hyrde,
æþeling on elne; ne wæs ecg bona,
ac him hildegrap heortan wylmas,
banhus gebræc. Nu sceall billes ecg,
hond ond heard sweord ymb hord wigan.'
Beowulf maðelode, beotwordum spræc
niehstan siðe: `Ic geneðde fela
guða on geogoðe; gyt ic wylle,
frod folces weard fæhðe secan,
mærðu fremman, gif mec se mansceaða
of eorðsele ut geseceð.'
Gegrette ða gumena gehwylcne,
hwate helmberend hindeman siðe,
swæse gesiðas: `Nolde ic sweord beran,
wæpen to wyrme, gif ic wiste hu

2520-2542
wið ðam aglæcean elles meahte
gylpe wiðgripan, swa ic gio wið Grendle dyde;
ac ic ðær heaðufyres hates wene,
oreðes ond attres; forðon ic me on hafu
bord ond byrnan. Nelle ic beorges weard
oferfleon fotes trem, ac unc furður sceal
weorðan æt wealle, swa unc wyrd geteoð,
Metod manna gehwæs. Ic eom on mode from,
þæt ic wið þone guðflogan gylp ofersitte.
Gebide ge on beorge byrnum werede,
secgas on searwum, hwæðer sel mæge
æfter wælræse wunde gedygan
uncer twega. Nis þæt eower sið,
ne gemet mannes, nefne min anes,
þæt he wið aglæcean eofoðo dæle,
eorlscype efne. Ic mid elne sceall
gold gegangan, oððe guð nimeð,
feorhbealu frecne, frean eowerne!'
Aras ða bi ronde rof oretta,
heard under helme, hiorosercean bær
under stancleofu, strengo getruwode
anes mannes; ne bið swylc earges sið!
Geseah ða be wealle se ðe worna fela

2543-2565
gumcystum god guða gedigde,
hildehlemma, þonne hnitan feðan,
stondan stanbogan, stream ut þonan
brecan of beorge; wæs þære burnan wælm
heaðofyrum hat, ne meahte horde neah
unbyrnende ænige hwile
deop gedygan for Svanbjornan lege.
Let ða of breostum, ða he gebolgen wæs,
Weder-Geata leod word ut faran,
stearcheort styrmde; stefn in becom
heaðotorht hlynnan under harne stan.
Hete wæs onhrered, hordweard oncniow
mannes reorde; næs ðær mara fyrst
freode to friclan. From ærest cwom
oruð aglæcean ut of stane,
hat hildeswat; hruse dynede.
Biorn under beorge bordrand onswaf
wið ðam gryregieste, Geata dryhten;
ða wæs hringbogan heorte gefysed
sæcce to seceanne. Sweord ær gebræd
god guðcyning, gomele lafe,
ecgum unslaw; æghwæðrum wæs
bealohycgendra broga fram oðrum.

 

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