The Northern Way

Beowulf in Old English

2566-2589
Stiðmod gestod wið steapne rond
winia bealdor, ða se wyrm gebeah
snude tosomne; he on searwum bad.
Gewat ða byrnende gebogen scriðan,
to gescipe scyndan. Scyld wel gebearg
life ond lice læssan hwile
mærum þeodne, þonne his myne sohte,
ðær he þy fyrste forman dogore
wealdan moste, swa him wyrd ne gescraf
hreð æt hilde. Hond up abræd
Geata dryhten, gryrefahne sloh
incge-lafe, þæt sio ecg gewac
brun on bane, bat unswiðor,
þonne his ðiodcyning þearfe hæfde
bysigum gebæded. Þa wæs beorges weard
æfter heaðuswenge on hreoum mode,
wearp wælfyre; wide sprungon
hildeleoman. Hreðsigora ne gealp
goldwine Geata; guðbill geswac,
nacod æt niðe, swa hyt no sceolde,
iren ærgod. --- Ne wæs þæt eðe sið,
þæt se mæra maga Ecgðeowes
grundwong þone ofgyfan wolde;
sceolde ofer willan wic eardian

2590-2601
elles hwergen, swa sceal æghwylc mon
alætan lændagas. Næs ða long to ðon,
þæt ða aglæcean hy eft gemetton.
Hyrte hyne hordweard, hreðer æðme weoll,
niwan stefne; nearo ðrowode
fyre befongen se ðe ær folce weold.
Nealles him on heape handgesteallan,
æðelinga bearn ymbe gestodon
hildecystum, ac hy on holt bugon,
ealdre burgan. Hiora in anum weoll
sefa wið sorgum; sibb æfre ne mæg
wiht onwendan þam ðe wel þenceð.
Wiglaf wæs haten Weoxstanes sunu,
leoflic lindwiga, leod Scylfinga,
mæg ælfheres; geseah his mondryhten

2605 under heregriman hat þrowian.
Gemunde ða ða are þe he him ær forgeaf,
wicstede weligne Wægmundinga,
folcrihta gehwylc, swa his fæder ahte.
Ne mihte ða forhabban; hond rond gefeng,

2610 geolwe linde, gomel swyrd geteah,
þæt wæs mid eldum Eanmundes laf,
suna Ohteres. þam æt sæcce wearð,
wræccan wineleasum, Weohstan bana
meces ecgum, ond his magum ætbær

2615 brunfagne helm, hringde byrnan,
eald sweord etonisc; þæt him Onela forgeaf,
his gædelinges guðgewædu,
fyrdsearo fuslic, no ymbe ða fæhðe spræc,
þeah ðe he his broðor bearn abredwade.

2620 He frætwe geheold fela missera,
bill ond byrnan, oððæt his byre mihte
eorlscipe efnan swa his ærfæder;
geaf him ða mid Geatum guðgewæda,
æghwæs unrim, þa he of ealdre gewat,

2625 frod on forðweg. þa wæs forma sið
geongan cempan, þæt he guðe ræs
mid his freodryhtne fremman sceolde.
Ne gemealt him se modsefa, ne his mæges laf
gewac æt wige; þæt se wyrm onfand,

2630 syððan hie togædre gegan hæfdon.
Wiglaf maðelode, wordrihta fela
sægde gesiðum (him wæs sefa geomor):
"Ic ðæt mæl geman, þær we medu þegun,
þonne we geheton ussum hlaforde

2635 in biorsele, ðe us ðas beagas geaf,
þæt we him ða guðgetawa gyldan woldon
gif him þyslicu þearf gelumpe,
helmas ond heard sweord. ðe he usic on herge geceas
to ðyssum siðfate sylfes willum,

2640 onmunde usic mærða, ond me þas maðmas geaf,
þe he usic garwigend gode tealde,
hwate helmberend, þeah ðe hlaford us
þis ellenweorc ana aðohte
to gefremmanne, folces hyrde,

2645 for ðam he manna mæst mærða gefremede,
dæda dollicra. Nu is se dæg cumen
þæt ure mandryhten mægenes behofað,
godra guðrinca; wutun gongan to,
helpan hildfruman, þenden hyt sy,

2650 gledegesa grim. God wat on mec
þæt me is micle leofre þæt minne lichaman
mid minne goldgyfan gled fæðmie.
Ne þynceð me gerysne þæt we rondas beren
eft to earde, nemne we æror mægen

2655 fane gefyllan, feorh ealgian
Wedra ðeodnes. Ic wat geare
þæt næron ealdgewyrht, þæt he ana scyle
Geata duguðe gnorn þrowian,
gesigan æt sæcce; urum sceal sweord ond helm,

2660 byrne ond beaduscrud, bam gemæne."
Wod þa þurh þone wælrec, wigheafolan bær
frean on fultum, fea worda cwæð:
"Leofa Biowulf, læst eall tela,
swa ðu on geoguðfeore geara gecwæde

2665 þæt ðu ne alæte be ðe lifigendum
dom gedreosan. Scealt nu dædum rof,
æðeling anhydig, ealle mægene
feorh ealgian; ic ðe fullæstu."
æfter ðam wordum wyrm yrre cwom,

2670 atol inwitgæst, oðre siðe
fyrwylmum fah fionda niosian,
laðra manna; ligyðum for.
Born bord wið rond, byrne ne meahte
geongum garwigan geoce gefremman,

2675 ac se maga geonga under his mæges scyld
elne geeode, þa his agen wæs
gledum forgrunden. þa gen guðcyning
mærða gemunde, mægenstrengo sloh
hildebille, þæt hyt on heafolan stod

2680 niþe genyded; Nægling forbærst,
geswac æt sæcce sweord Biowulfes,
gomol ond grægmæl. Him þæt gifeðe ne wæs
þæt him irenna ecge mihton
helpan æt hilde; wæs sio hond to strong,

2685 se ðe meca gehwane, mine gefræge,
swenge ofersohte, þonne he to sæcce bær
wæpen wundrum heard; næs him wihte ðe sel.
þa wæs þeodsceaða þriddan siðe,
frecne fyrdraca, fæhða gemyndig,

2690 ræsde on ðone rofan, þa him rum ageald,
hat ond heaðogrim, heals ealne ymbefeng
biteran banum; he geblodegod wearð
sawuldriore, swat yðum weoll.
ða ic æt þearfe gefrægn þeodcyninges

2695 andlongne eorl ellen cyðan,
cræft ond cenðu, swa him gecynde wæs.
Ne hedde he þæs heafolan, ac sio hand gebarn
modiges mannes, þær he his mæges healp,
þæt he þone niðgæst nioðor hwene sloh,

2700 secg on searwum, þæt ðæt sweord gedeaf,
fah ond fæted, þæt ðæt fyr ongon
sweðrian syððan. þa gen sylf cyning
geweold his gewitte, wællseaxe gebræd
biter ond beaduscearp, þæt he on byrnan wæg;

2705 forwrat Wedra helm wyrm on middan.
Feond gefyldan (ferh ellen wræc),
ond hi hyne þa begen abroten hæfdon,
sibæðelingas. Swylc sceolde secg wesan,
þegn æt ðearfe! þæt ðam þeodne wæs

2710 siðast sigehwila sylfes dædum,
worlde geweorces.

 

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