The Northern Way

Beowulf in Old English

2865 þæt se mondryhten se eow ða maðmas geaf,
eoredgeatwe, þe ge þær on standað,
þonne he on ealubence oft gesealde
healsittendum helm ond byrnan,
þeoden his þegnum, swylce he þrydlicost

2870 ower feor oððe neah findan meahte,
þæt he genunga guðgewædu
wraðe forwurpe, ða hyne wig beget.
Nealles folccyning fyrdgesteallum
gylpan þorfte; hwæðre him god uðe,

2875 sigora waldend, þæt he hyne sylfne gewræc
ana mid ecge, þa him wæs elnes þearf.
Ic him lifwraðe lytle meahte
ætgifan æt guðe, ond ongan swa þeah
ofer min gemet mæges helpan;

2880 symle wæs þy sæmra, þonne ic sweorde drep
ferhðgeniðlan, fyr unswiðor
weoll of gewitte. Wergendra to lyt
þrong ymbe þeoden, þa hyne sio þrag becwom.
Nu sceal sincþego ond swyrdgifu,

2885 eall eðelwyn eowrum cynne,
lufen alicgean; londrihtes mot
þære mægburge monna æghwylc
idel hweorfan, syððan æðelingas
feorran gefricgean fleam eowerne,

2890 domleasan dæd. Deað bið sella
eorla gehwylcum þonne edwitlif!"
Heht ða þæt heaðoweorc to hagan biodan
up ofer ecgclif, þær þæt eorlweorod
morgenlongne dæg modgiomor sæt,

2895 bordhæbbende, bega on wenum,
endedogores ond eftcymes
leofes monnes. Lyt swigode
niwra spella se ðe næs gerad,
ac he soðlice sægde ofer ealle:

2900 "Nu is wilgeofa Wedra leoda,
dryhten Geata, deaðbedde fæst,
wunað wælreste wyrmes dædum.
Him on efn ligeð ealdorgewinna
sexbennum seoc; sweorde ne meahte

2905 on ðam aglæcean ænige þinga
wunde gewyrcean. Wiglaf siteð
ofer Biowulfe, byre Wihstanes,
eorl ofer oðrum unlifigendum,
healdeð higemæðum heafodwearde

2910 leofes ond laðes. Nu ys leodum wen
orleghwile, syððan underne
Froncum ond Frysum fyll cyninges
wide weorðeð. Wæs sio wroht scepen
heard wið Hugas, syððan Higelac cwom

2915 faran flotherge on Fresna land,
þær hyne Hetware hilde genægdon,
elne geeodon mid ofermægene,
þæt se byrnwiga bugan sceolde,
feoll on feðan, nalles frætwe geaf

2920 ealdor dugoðe. Us wæs a syððan
Merewioingas milts ungyfeðe.
Ne ic to Sweoðeode sibbe oððe treowe
wihte ne wene, ac wæs wide cuð
þætte Ongenðio ealdre besnyðede

2925 Hæðcen Hreþling wið Hrefnawudu,
þa for onmedlan ærest gesohton
Geata leode Guðscilfingas.
Sona him se froda fæder Ohtheres,
eald ond egesfull, ondslyht ageaf,

2930 abreot brimwisan, bryd ahredde,
gomela iomeowlan golde berofene,
Onelan modor ond Ohtheres,
ond ða folgode feorhgeniðlan,
oððæt hi oðeodon earfoðlice

2935 in Hrefnesholt hlafordlease.
Besæt ða sinherge sweorda lafe,
wundum werge, wean oft gehet
earmre teohhe ondlonge niht,
cwæð, he on mergenne meces ecgum

2940 getan wolde, sum on galgtreowum
fuglum to gamene. Frofor eft gelamp
sarigmodum somod ærdæge,
syððan hie Hygelaces horn ond byman,
gealdor ongeaton, þa se goda com

2945 leoda dugoðe on last faran.
Wæs sio swatswaðu Sweona ond Geata,
wælræs weora wide gesyne,
hu ða folc mid him fæhðe towehton.
Gewat him ða se goda mid his gædelingum,

2950 frod, felageomor, fæsten secean,
eorl Ongenþio, ufor oncirde;
hæfde Higelaces hilde gefrunen,
wlonces wigcræft, wiðres ne truwode,
þæt he sæmannum onsacan mihte,

2955 heaðoliðendum hord forstandan,
bearn ond bryde; beah eft þonan
eald under eorðweall. þa wæs æht boden
Sweona leodum, segn Higelaces
freoðowong þone forð ofereodon,

2960 syððan Hreðlingas to hagan þrungon.
þær wearð Ongenðiow ecgum sweorda,
blondenfexa, on bid wrecen,
þæt se þeodcyning ðafian sceolde
Eafores anne dom. Hyne yrringa

2965 Wulf Wonreding wæpne geræhte,
þæt him for swenge swat ædrum sprong
forð under fexe. Næs he forht swa ðeh,
gomela Scilfing, ac forgeald hraðe
wyrsan wrixle wælhlem þone,

2970 syððan ðeodcyning þyder oncirde.
Ne meahte se snella sunu Wonredes
ealdum ceorle ondslyht giofan,
ac he him on heafde helm ær gescer,
þæt he blode fah bugan sceolde,

2975 feoll on foldan; næs he fæge þa git,
ac he hyne gewyrpte, þeah ðe him wund hrine.
Let se hearda Higelaces þegn
bradne mece, þa his broðor læg,
eald sweord eotonisc, entiscne helm

2980 brecan ofer bordweal; ða gebeah cyning,
folces hyrde, wæs in feorh dropen.
ða wæron monige þe his mæg wriðon,
ricone arærdon, ða him gerymed wearð
þæt hie wælstowe wealdan moston.

2985 þenden reafode rinc oðerne,
nam on Ongenðio irenbyrnan,
heard swyrd hilted ond his helm somod,
hares hyrste Higelace bær.
He ðam frætwum feng ond him fægre gehet

2990 leana mid leodum, ond gelæste swa;
geald þone guðræs Geata dryhten,
Hreðles eafora, þa he to ham becom,
Iofore ond Wulfe mid ofermaðmum,
sealde hiora gehwæðrum hund þusenda

2995 landes ond locenra beaga (ne ðorfte him ða lean oðwitan
mon on middangearde), syððan hie ða mærða geslogon,
ond ða Iofore forgeaf angan dohtor,
hamweorðunge, hyldo to wedde.
þæt ys sio fæhðo ond se feondscipe,

3000 wælnið wera, ðæs ðe ic wen hafo,
þe us seceað to Sweona leoda,
syððan hie gefricgeað frean userne
ealdorleasne, þone ðe ær geheold
wið hettendum hord ond rice

3005 æfter hæleða hryre, hwate Scildingas,
folcred fremede oððe furður gen
eorlscipe efnde. Nu is ofost betost
þæt we þeodcyning þær sceawian
ond þone gebringan, þe us beagas geaf,

3010 on adfære. Ne scel anes hwæt
meltan mid þam modigan, ac þær is maðma hord,
gold unrime grimme geceapod,
ond nu æt siðestan sylfes feore
beagas gebohte. þa sceall brond fretan,

3015 æled þeccean, nalles eorl wegan
maððum to gemyndum, ne mægð scyne
habban on healse hringweorðunge,
ac sceal geomormod, golde bereafod,
oft nalles æne elland tredan,

3020 nu se herewisa hleahtor alegde,
gamen ond gleodream. Forðon sceall gar wesan
monig, morgenceald, mundum bewunden,
hæfen on handa, nalles hearpan sweg
wigend weccean, ac se wonna hrefn

3025 fus ofer fægum fela reordian,
earne secgan hu him æt æte speow,
þenden he wið wulf wæl reafode."
Swa se secg hwata secggende wæs
laðra spella; he ne leag fela

3030 wyrda ne worda. Weorod eall aras;
eodon unbliðe under Earnanæs,
wollenteare wundur sceawian.
Fundon ða on sande sawulleasne
hlimbed healdan þone þe him hringas geaf

 

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