BEOWULF - Amy Levy Poems

 
 

Poems » amy levy » beowulf

BEOWULF

Hwæt. We Gardena in geardagum,
           LO, praise of the prowess of people-kings
þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon,
           of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
           we have heard, and what honor the athelings won!
Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena/ þreatum,
           Oft Scyld the Scefing from squadroned foes,
monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah,
           from many a tribe, the mead-bench tore,
egsode eorlas. Syððan ærest wearð/
           awing the earls. Since erst he lay
feasceaft funden, he þæs frofre gebad,
           friendless, a foundling, fate repaid him:
weox under wolcnum, weorðmyndum þah,
           for he waxed under welkin, in wealth he throve,
oðþæt him æghwylc þara ymbsittendra
           till before him the folk, both far and near,
ofer hronrade hyran scolde,
            who house by the whale-path, heard his mandate,
gomban gyldan. þæt wæs god cyning.
            gave him gifts: a good king he!
ðæm eafera wæs æfter cenned,
            To him an heir was afterward born,
geong in geardum, þone god sende
            a son in his halls, whom heaven sent
folce to frofre; fyrenðearfe ongeat
            to favor the folk, feeling their woe
þe hie ær drugon aldorlease/
            that erst they had lacked an earl for leader
lange hwile. Him þæs liffrea,
            so long a while; the Lord endowed him,
wuldres wealdend, woroldare forgeaf;
            the Wielder of Wonder, with world's renown.
Beowulf wæs breme blæd wide sprang/,
            Famed was this Beowulf: far flew the boast of him,
Scyldes eafera Scedelandum in.
            son of Scyld, in the Scandian lands.
Swa sceal geong/ guma/ gode gewyrcean,
            So becomes it a youth to quit him well
fromum feohgiftum on fæder bearme/,
            with his father's friends, by fee and gift,
þæt hine on ylde eft gewunigen
            that to aid him, aged, in after days,
wilgesiþas, þonne wig cume,
            come warriors willing, should war draw nigh,
leode gelæsten; lofdædum sceal
            liegemen loyal: by lauded deeds
in mægþa gehwære man geþeon.
            shall an earl have honor in every clan.
Him ða Scyld gewat to gescæphwile
            Forth he fared at the fated moment,
felahror feran on frean wære.
            sturdy Scyld to the shelter of God.
Hi hyne þa ætbæron to brimes faroðe,
            Then they bore him over to ocean's billow,
swæse gesiþas, swa he selfa bæd,
            loving clansmen, as late he charged them,
þenden wordum weold wine Scyldinga;
            while wielded words the winsome Scyld,
leof landfruma lange ahte.
            the leader beloved who long had ruled....
þær æt hyðe stod hringedstefna,
            In the roadstead rocked a ring-dight vessel,
isig ond utfus, æþelinges fær.
            ice-flecked, outbound, atheling's barge:
Aledon þa leofne þeoden,
            there laid they down their darling lord
beaga bryttan, on bearm scipes,
            on the breast of the boat, the breaker-of-rings,
mærne be mæste. þær wæs madma fela
            by the mast the mighty one. Many a treasure
of feorwegum, frætwa, gelæded;
            fetched from far was freighted with him.
ne hyrde ic cymlicor ceol gegyrwan
            No ship have I known so nobly dight
hildewæpnum ond heaðowædum,
            with weapons of war and weeds of battle,
billum ond byrnum; him on bearme læg
            with breastplate and blade: on his bosom lay
madma mænigo, þa him mid scoldon
            a heaped hoard that hence should go
on flodes æht feor gewitan.
            far o'er the flood with him floating away.
Nalæs hi hine læssan lacum teodan,
            No less these loaded the lordly gifts,
þeodgestreonum, þon þa dydon
            thanes' huge treasure, than those had done
þe hine æt frumsceafte forð onsendon
            who in former time forth had sent him
ænne ofer yðe umborwesende.
            sole on the seas, a suckling child.
þa gyt hie him asetton segen geldenne/
            High o'er his head they hoist the standard,
heah ofer heafod, leton holm beran/,
            a gold-wove banner; let billows take him,
geafon on garsecg; him wæs geomor sefa,
            gave him to ocean. Grave were their spirits,
murnende mod. Men ne cunnon
            mournful their mood. No man is able
secgan to soðe, selerædende/,
            to say in sooth, no son of the halls,
hæleð under heofenum, hwa þæm hlæste onfeng.
            no hero 'neath heaven, -- who harbored that freight!
ða wæs on burgum Beowulf Scyldinga,
            Now Beowulf bode in the burg of the Scyldings,
leof leodcyning, longe þrage
            leader beloved, and long he ruled
folcum gefræge fæder ellor hwearf,
            in fame with all folk, since his father had gone
aldor of earde, oþþæt him eft onwoc
            away from the world, till awoke an heir,
heah Healfdene; heold þenden lifde,
            haughty Healfdene, who held through life,
gamol ond guðreouw, glæde Scyldingas.
            sage and sturdy, the Scyldings glad.
ðæm feower bearn forð gerimed
            Then, one after one, there woke to him,
in worold wocun, weoroda ræswan/,
            to the chieftain of clansmen, children four:
Heorogar ond Hroðgar ond Halga til;
            Heorogar, then Hrothgar, then Halga brave;
hyrde ic þæt wæs/ Onelan cwen,
            and I heard that -- was --'s queen,
Heaðoscilfingas healsgebedda.
            the Heathoscylfing's helpmate dear.
þa wæs Hroðgare heresped gyfen,
            To Hrothgar was given such glory of war,
wiges weorðmynd, þæt him his winemagas
            such honor of combat, that all his kin
georne hyrdon, oðð þæt seo geogoð geweox,
            obeyed him gladly till great grew his band
magodriht micel. Him on mod bearn
            of youthful comrades. It came in his mind
þæt healreced hatan wolde,
            to bid his henchmen a hall uprear,
medoærn/ micel, men gewyrcean
            a master mead-house, mightier far
þonne/ yldo bearn æfre gefrunon,
            than ever was seen by the sons of earth,
ond þær on innan eall gedælan
            and within it, then, to old and young
geongum ond ealdum, swylc him god sealde,
            he would all allot that the Lord had sent him,
buton folcscare ond feorum gumena.
            save only the land and the lives of his men.
ða ic wide gefrægn weorc gebannan
            Wide, I heard, was the work commanded,
manigre mægþe geond þisne middangeard,
            for many a tribe this mid-earth round,
folcstede frætwan. Him on fyrste gelomp,
            to fashion the folkstead. It fell, as he ordered,
ædre mid yldum, þæt hit wearð ealgearo,
            in rapid achievement that ready it stood there,
healærna mæst; scop him Heort naman
            of halls the noblest: Heorot he named it
se þe his wordes geweald wide hæfde.
            whose message had might in many a land.
He beot ne aleh, beagas dælde,
            Not reckless of promise, the rings he dealt,
sinc æt symle. Sele hlifade,
            treasure at banquet: there towered the hall,
heah ond horngeap, heaðowylma bad,
            high, gabled wide, the hot surge waiting
laðan liges; ne wæs hit lenge þa gen
            of furious flame. Nor far was that day
þæt se ecghete/ aþumsweorum/,
            when father and son-in-law stood in feud
æfter wælniðe wæcnan scolde.
            for warfare and hatred that woke again.
ða se ellengæst earfoðlice
            With envy and anger an evil spirit
þrage geþolode, se þe in þystrum bad,
            endured the dole in his dark abode,
þæt he dogora gehwam dream gehyrde
            that he heard each day the din of revel
hludne in healle; þær wæs hearpan sweg,
            high in the hall: there harps rang out,
swutol sang scopes. Sægde se þe cuþe
            clear song of the singer. He sang who knew
frumsceaft fira feorran reccan,
            tales of the early time of man,
cwæð þæt se ælmihtiga eorðan worhte/,
            how the Almighty made the earth,
wlitebeorhtne wang, swa wæter bebugeð,
            fairest fields enfolded by water,
gesette sigehreþig sunnan ond monan
            set, triumphant, sun and moon
leoman to leohte landbuendum
            for a light to lighten the land-dwellers,
ond gefrætwade foldan sceatas
            and braided bright the breast of earth
leomum ond leafum, lif eac gesceop
            with limbs and leaves, made life for all
cynna gehwylcum þara ðe cwice hwyrfaþ.
            of mortal beings that breathe and move.
Swa ða drihtguman dreamum lifdon
            So lived the clansmen in cheer and revel
eadiglice, oððæt an ongan
             a winsome life, till one began
fyrene fremman/ feond on helle.
             to fashion evils, that field of hell.
Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
             Grendel this monster grim was called,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold,
             march-riever mighty, in moorland living,
fen ond fæsten; fifelcynnes eard
             in fen and fastness; fief of the giants
wonsæli wer weardode hwile,
             the hapless wight a while had kept
siþðan him scyppend forscrifen hæfde
             since the Creator his exile doomed.
in Caines cynne. þone cwealm gewræc
             On kin of Cain was the killing avenged
ece drihten, þæs þe he Abel slog;
             by sovran God for slaughtered Abel.
ne gefeah he þære fæhðe, ac he hine feor forwræc,
             Ill fared his feud, and far was he driven,
metod for þy mane, mancynne fram.
             for the slaughter's sake, from sight of men.
þanon untydras ealle onwocon,
             Of Cain awoke all that woful breed,
eotenas ond ylfe ond orcneas,
             Etins and elves and evil-spirits,
swylce gigantas/, þa wið gode wunnon
             as well as the giants that warred with God
lange þrage; he him ðæs lean forgeald.
             weary while: but their wage was paid them!
Gewat ða neosian, syþðan niht becom,
             WENT he forth to find at fall of night
hean huses, hu hit Hringdene
             that haughty house, and heed wherever
æfter beorþege gebun hæfdon.
             the Ring-Danes, outrevelled, to rest had gone.
Fand þa ðær inne æþelinga gedriht
             Found within it the atheling band
swefan æfter symble; sorge ne cuðon,
             asleep after feasting and fearless of sorrow,
wonsceaft wera. Wiht unhælo,
             of human hardship. Unhallowed wight,
grim ond grædig, gearo sona wæs,
             grim and greedy, he grasped betimes,
reoc ond reþe, ond on ræste genam
             wrathful, reckless, from resting-places,
þritig þegna, þanon eft gewat
             thirty of the thanes, and thence he rushed
huðe hremig to ham faran,
             fain of his fell spoil, faring homeward,
mid þære wælfylle wica neosan.
             laden with slaughter, his lair to seek.
ða wæs on uhtan mid ærdæge
             Then at the dawning, as day was breaking,
Grendles guðcræft gumum undyrne;
             the might of Grendel to men was known;
þa wæs æfter wiste wop up ahafen,
             then after wassail was wail uplifted,
micel morgensweg. Mære þeoden,
             loud moan in the morn. The mighty chief,
æþeling ærgod, unbliðe sæt,
             atheling excellent, unblithe sat,
þolode ðryðswyð, þegnsorge dreah,
             labored in woe for the loss of his thanes,
syðþan hie þæs laðan last sceawedon,
             when once had been traced the trail of the fiend,
wergan gastes; wæs þæt gewin to strang,
             spirit accurst: too cruel that sorrow,
lað ond longsum. Næs hit lengra fyrst,
             too long, too loathsome. Not late the respite;
ac ymb ane niht eft gefremede
             with night returning, anew began
morðbeala mare ond no mearn fore,
             ruthless murder; he recked no whit,
fæhðe ond fyrene; wæs to fæst on þam.
             firm in his guilt, of the feud and crime.
þa wæs eaðfynde þe him elles hwær
             They were easy to find who elsewhere sought
gerumlicor ræste sohte/,
             in room remote their rest at night,
bed æfter burum, ða him gebeacnod wæs,
             bed in the bowers, when that bale was shown,
gesægd soðlice sweotolan tacne
             was seen in sooth, with surest token, --
healðegnes hete; heold hyne syðþan
             the hall-thane's hate. Such held themselves
fyr ond fæstor se þæm feonde ætwand.
             far and fast who the fiend outran!
Swa rixode ond wið rihte wan,
             Thus ruled unrighteous and raged his fill
ana wið eallum, oðþæt idel stod
             one against all; until empty stood
husa selest. Wæs seo hwil micel;
             that lordly building, and long it bode so.
XII wintra tid torn geþolode
             Twelve years' tide the trouble he bore,
wine Scyldinga/, weana gehwelcne,
             sovran of Scyldings, sorrows in plenty,
sidra sorga. Forðam secgum/ wearð,
             boundless cares. There came unhidden
ylda bearnum, undyrne cuð,
             tidings true to the tribes of men,
gyddum geomore, þætte Grendel wan
             in sorrowful songs, how ceaselessly Grendel
hwile wið Hroþgar, heteniðas wæg,
             harassed Hrothgar, what hate he bore him,
fyrene ond fæhðe fela missera,
             what murder and massacre, many a year,
singale sæce, sibbe ne wolde
             feud unfading, -- refused consent
wið manna hwone mægenes Deniga,
             to deal with any of Daneland's earls,
feorhbealo feorran, fea þingian,
             make pact of peace, or compound for gold:
ne þær nænig witena wenan þorfte
             still less did the wise men ween to get
beorhtre bote to banan/ folmum,
             great fee for the feud from his fiendish hands.
ac/ se/ æglæca ehtende wæs,
             But the evil one ambushed old and young
deorc deaþscua, duguþe ond geogoþe,
             death-shadow dark, and dogged them still,
seomade ond syrede, sinnihte heold
             lured, or lurked in the livelong night
mistige moras. men ne cunnon
             of misty moorlands: men may say not
hwyder helrunan hwyrftum scriþað.
             where the haunts of these Hell-Runes be.
Swa fela fyrena feond mancynnes,
             Such heaping of horrors the hater of men,
atol angengea, oft gefremede,
             lonely roamer, wrought unceasing,
heardra hynða. Heorot eardode,
             harassings heavy. O'er Heorot he lorded,
sincfage sel sweartum nihtum;
             gold-bright hall, in gloomy nights;
no he þone gifstol gretan moste,
             and ne'er could the prince approach his throne,
maþðum for metode, ne his myne wisse.
             -- 'twas judgment of God, -- or have joy in his hall.
þæt wæs wræc micel wine Scyldinga,
             Sore was the sorrow to Scyldings'-friend,
modes brecða. Monig oft gesæt
             heart-rending misery. Many nobles
rice to rune; ræd eahtedon
             sat assembled, and searched out counsel
hwæt swiðferhðum selest wære
             how it were best for bold-hearted men
wið færgryrum to gefremmanne.
             against harassing terror to try their hand.
Hwilum hie geheton æt hærgtrafum/
             Whiles they vowed in their heathen fanes
wigweorþunga, wordum bædon
             altar-offerings, asked with words
þæt him gastbona geoce gefremede
             that the slayer-of-souls would succor give them
wið þeodþreaum. Swylc wæs þeaw hyra,
             for the pain of their people. Their practice this,
hæþenra hyht; helle gemundon
             their heathen hope; 'twas Hell they thought of
in modsefan, metod hie ne cuþon,
             in mood of their mind. Almighty they knew not,
dæda demend, ne wiston hie drihten god,
             Doomsman of Deeds and dreadful Lord,
ne hie huru heofena helm herian ne cuþon,
             nor Heaven's-Helmet heeded they ever,
wuldres waldend. Wa bið þæm ðe sceal
             Wielder-of-Wonder. -- Woe for that man
þurh sliðne nið sawle bescufan
             who in harm and hatred hales his soul
in fyres fæþm, frofre ne wenan,
             to fiery embraces; -- nor favor nor change
wihte gewendan; wel bið þæm þe mot
             awaits he ever. But well for him
æfter deaðdæge drihten secean
             that after death-day may draw to his Lord,
ond to fæder fæþmum freoðo wilnian.
             and friendship find in the Father's arms!
Swa ða mælceare maga Healfdenes
             THUS seethed unceasing the son of Healfdene
singala seað, ne mihte snotor hæleð
             with the woe of these days; not wisest men
wean onwendan; wæs þæt gewin to swyð,
             assuaged his sorrow; too sore the anguish,
laþ ond longsum, þe on ða leode becom,
             loathly and long, that lay on his folk,
nydwracu niþgrim, nihtbealwa mæst.
             most baneful of burdens and bales of the night.
þæt fram ham gefrægn Higelaces þegn,
             This heard in his home Hygelac's thane,
god mid Geatum, Grendles dæda;
             great among Geats, of Grendel's doings.
se wæs moncynnes mægenes strengest
             He was the mightiest man of valor
on þæm dæge þysses lifes,
             in that same day of this our life,
æþele ond eacen. Het him yðlidan
             stalwart and stately. A stout wave-walker
godne gegyrwan, cwæð, hu guðcyning
             he bade make ready. Yon battle-king, said he,
ofer swanrade secean wolde,
             far o'er the swan-road he fain would seek,
mærne þeoden, þa him wæs manna þearf.
             the noble monarch who needed men!
ðone siðfæt him snotere ceorlas
             The prince's journey by prudent folk
lythwon logon, þeah he him leof wære;
             was little blamed, though they loved him dear;
hwetton higerofne/, hæl sceawedon.
             they whetted the hero, and hailed good omens.
Hæfde se goda Geata leoda
             And now the bold one from bands of Geats
cempan gecorone þara þe he cenoste
             comrades chose, the keenest of warriors
findan mihte; XVna sum
             e'er he could find; with fourteen men
sundwudu sohte; secg wisade,
             the sea-wood he sought, and, sailor proved,
lagucræftig mon, landgemyrcu.
             led them on to the land's confines.
Fyrst forð gewat. Flota wæs on yðum,
             Time had now flown; afloat was the ship,
bat under beorge. Beornas gearwe
             boat under bluff. On board they climbed,
on stefn stigon; streamas wundon,
             warriors ready; waves were churning
sund wið sande; secgas bæron
             sea with sand; the sailors bore
on bearm nacan beorhte frætwe,
             on the breast of the bark their bright array,
guðsearo geatolic; guman ut scufon,
             their mail and weapons: the men pushed off,
weras on wilsið, wudu bundenne.
             on its willing way, the well-braced craft.
Gewat þa ofer wægholm, winde gefysed,
             Then moved o'er the waters by might of the wind
flota famiheals fugle gelicost,
             that bark like a bird with breast of foam,
oðþæt ymb antid oþres dogores
             till in season due, on the second day,
wundenstefna gewaden hæfde
             the curved prow such course had run
þæt ða liðende land gesawon,
             that sailors now could see the land,
brimclifu blican, beorgas steape,
             sea-cliffs shining, steep high hills,
side sænæssas; þa wæs sund liden,
             headlands broad. Their haven was found,
eoletes æt ende. þanon up hraðe
             their journey ended. Up then quickly
Wedera leode on wang stigon,
             the Weders' clansmen climbed ashore,
sæwudu sældon syrcan hrysedon,
             anchored their sea-wood, with armor clashing
guðgewædo, gode þancedon
             and gear of battle: God they thanked
þæs þe him yþlade eaðe wurdon.
             for passing in peace o'er the paths of the sea.
þa of wealle geseah weard Scildinga,
             Now saw from the cliff a Scylding clansman,
se þe holmclifu healdan scolde,
             a warden that watched the water-side,
beran ofer bolcan beorhte randas,
             how they bore o'er the gangway glittering shields,
fyrdsearu fuslicu; hine fyrwyt bræc
             war-gear in readiness; wonder seized him
modgehygdum, hwæt þa men wæron.
             to know what manner of men they were.
Gewat him þa to waroðe wicge ridan
             Straight to the strand his steed he rode,
þegn Hroðgares, þrymmum cwehte
             Hrothgar's henchman; with hand of might
mægenwudu mundum, meþelwordum frægn:
             he shook his spear, and spake in parley.
Hwæt syndon ge searohæbbendra,
             "Who are ye, then, ye armed men,
byrnum werede, þe þus brontne ceol
             mailed folk, that yon mighty vessel
ofer lagustræte lædan cwomon,
             have urged thus over the ocean ways,
hider ofer holmas? le/ wæs
             here o'er the waters? A warden I,
endesæta, ægwearde heold,
             sentinel set o'er the sea-march here,
þe on land Dena laðra nænig
             lest any foe to the folk of Danes
mid scipherge sceðþan ne meahte.
             with harrying fleet should harm the land.
No her cuðlicor cuman ongunnon
             No aliens ever at ease thus bore them,
lindhæbbende; ne ge leafnesword
             linden-wielders: yet word-of-leave
guðfremmendra gearwe ne wisson,
             clearly ye lack from clansmen here,
maga gemedu. Næfre ic maran geseah
             my folk's agreement. -- A greater ne'er saw I
eorla ofer eorþan ðonne is eower sum,
             of warriors in world than is one of you, --
secg on searwum; nis þæt seldguma,
             yon hero in harness! No henchman he
wæpnum geweorðad, næfne/ him his wlite leoge,
             worthied by weapons, if witness his features,
ænlic ansyn. Nu ic eower sceal
             his peerless presence! I pray you, though, tell
frumcyn witan, ær ge fyr heonan ,
             your folk and home, lest hence ye fare
leassceaweras, on land Dena
             suspect to wander your way as spies
furþur feran. Nu ge feorbuend,
             in Danish land. Now, dwellers afar,
mereliðende, minne/ gehyrað
             ocean-travellers, take from me
anfealdne geþoht: Ofost is selest
             simple advice: the sooner the better
to gecyðanne hwanan eowre cyme syndon.
             I hear of the country whence ye came."
Him se yldesta ondswarode,
             To him the stateliest spake in answer;
werodes wisa, wordhord onleac:
             the warriors' leader his word-hoard unlocked:--
We synt gumcynnes Geata leode
             "We are by kin of the clan of Geats,
ond Higelaces heorðgeneatas.
             and Hygelac's own hearth-fellows we.
Wæs min fæder folcum gecyþed,
             To folk afar was my father known,
æþele ordfruma, Ecgþeow haten.
             noble atheling, Ecgtheow named.
Gebad wintra worn, ær he on weg hwurfe,
             Full of winters, he fared away
gamol of geardum; hine gearwe geman
             aged from earth; he is honored still
witena welhwylc wide geond eorþan.
             through width of the world by wise men all.
We þurh holdne hige hlaford þinne,
             To thy lord and liege in loyal mood
sunu Healfdenes, secean cwomon,
             we hasten hither, to Healfdene's son,
leodgebyrgean; wes þu us larena god.
             people-protector: be pleased to advise us!
Habbað we to þæm mæran micel ærende,
             To that mighty-one come we on mickle errand,
Deniga frean, ne sceal þær dyrne sum
             to the lord of the Danes; nor deem I right
wesan, þæs ic wene. þu wast gif hit is
             that aught be hidden. We hear -- thou knowest
swa we soþlice secgan hyrdon
             if sooth it is -- the saying of men,
þæt mid Scyldingum sceaðona/ ic nat hwylc,
             that amid the Scyldings a scathing monster,
deogol dædhata, deorcum nihtum
             dark ill-doer, in dusky nights
eaweð þurh egsan uncuðne nið,
             shows terrific his rage unmatched,
hynðu ond hrafyl. Ic þæs Hroðgar mæg
             hatred and murder. To Hrothgar I
þurh rumne sefan ræd gelæran,
             in greatness of soul would succor bring,
hu he frod ond god feond oferswyðeþ,
             so the Wise-and-Brave may worst his foes, --
gyf him edwendan æfre scolde
             if ever the end of ills is fated,
bealuwa bisigu, bot eft cuman,
             of cruel contest, if cure shall follow,
ond þa cearwylmas colran wurðaþ;
             and the boiling care-waves cooler grow;
oððe a syþðan earfoðþrage,
             else ever afterward anguish-days
þreanyd þolað, þenden þær wunað
             he shall suffer in sorrow while stands in place
on heahstede husa selest.
             high on its hill that house unpeered!"
Weard maþelode, ðær on wicge sæt,
             Astride his steed, the strand-ward answered,
ombeht unforht: æghwæþres sceal
             clansman unquailing: "The keen-souled thane
scearp scyldwiga gescad witan,
             must be skilled to sever and sunder duly
worda ond worca, se þe wel þenceð.
             words and works, if he well intends.
Ic þæt gehyre, þæt þis is hold weorod
             I gather, this band is graciously bent
frean Scyldinga. Gewitaþ forð beran
             to the Scyldings' master. March, then, bearing
wæpen ond gewædu; ic eow wisige.
             weapons and weeds the way I show you.
Swylce ic maguþegnas mine hate
             I will bid my men your boat meanwhile
wið feonda gehwone flotan eowerne,
             to guard for fear lest foemen come, --
niwtyrwydne nacan on sande
             your new-tarred ship by shore of ocean
arum healdan, oþðæt eft byreð
             faithfully watching till once again
ofer lagustreamas leofne mannan
             it waft o'er the waters those well-loved thanes,
wudu wundenhals to Wedermearce,
             -- winding-neck'd wood, -- to Weders' bounds,
godfremmendra swylcum gifeþe bið
             heroes such as the hest of fate
þæt þone hilderæs hal gedigeð.
             shall succor and save from the shock of war."
Gewiton him þa feran. Flota stille bad,
             They bent them to march, -- the boat lay still,
seomode on sale/ sidfæþmed scip,
             fettered by cable and fast at anchor,
on ancre fæst. Eoforlic scionon
             broad-bosomed ship. -- Then shone the boars
ofer hleorberan gehroden golde,
             over the cheek-guard; chased with gold,
fah ond fyrheard; ferhwearde heold
             keen and gleaming, guard it kept
guþmod grimmon/. Guman onetton,
             o'er the man of war, as marched along
sigon ætsomne, oþþæt hy sæl/ timbred,
             heroes in haste, till the hall they saw,
geatolic ond goldfah, ongyton mihton;
             broad of gable and bright with gold:
þæt wæs foremærost foldbuendum
             that was the fairest, 'mid folk of earth,
receda under roderum, on þæm se rica bad;
             of houses 'neath heaven, where Hrothgar lived,
lixte se leoma ofer landa fela.
             and the gleam of it lightened o'er lands afar.
Him þa hildedeor hof/ modigra
             The sturdy shieldsman showed that bright
torht getæhte, þæt hie him to mihton
             burg-of-the-boldest; bade them go
gegnum gangan; guðbeorna sum
             straightway thither; his steed then turned,
wicg gewende, word æfter cwæð:
             hardy hero, and hailed them thus:--
Mæl is me to feran; fæder alwalda
             "Tis time that I fare from you. Father Almighty
mid arstafum eowic gehealde
             in grace and mercy guard you well,
siða gesunde. Ic to sæ wille
             safe in your seekings. Seaward I go,
wið wrað werod wearde healdan.
             'gainst hostile warriors hold my watch."
Stræt wæs stanfah, stig wisode
             STONE-BRIGHT the street: it showed the way
gumum ætgædere. Guðbyrne scan
             to the crowd of clansmen. Corselets glistened
heard hondlocen, hringiren scir
             hand-forged, hard; on their harness bright
song in searwum, þa hie to sele furðum
             the steel ring sang, as they strode along
in hyra gryregeatwum gangan cwomon.
             in mail of battle, and marched to the hall.
Setton sæmeþe side scyldas,
             There, weary of ocean, the wall along
rondas regnhearde, wið þæs recedes weal,
             they set their bucklers, their broad shields, down,
bugon þa to bence. Byrnan hringdon,
             and bowed them to bench: the breastplates clanged,
guðsearo gumena; garas stodon,
             war-gear of men; their weapons stacked,
sæmanna searo, samod ætgædere,
             spears of the seafarers stood together,
æscholt ufan græg; wæs se irenþreat
             gray-tipped ash: that iron band
wæpnum gewurþad. þa ðær wlonc hæleð
             was worthily weaponed! -- A warrior proud
oretmecgas æfter æþelum frægn:
             asked of the heroes their home and kin.
Hwanon ferigeað ge fætte scyldas,
             "Whence, now, bear ye burnished shields,
græge syrcan ond grimhelmas,
             harness gray and helmets grim,
heresceafta heap? Ic eom Hroðgares
             spears in multitude? Messenger, I,
ar ond ombiht. Ne seah ic elþeodige
             Hrothgar's herald! Heroes so many
þus manige men modiglicran.
             ne'er met I as strangers of mood so strong.
Wen ic þæt ge for wlenco, nalles for wræcsiðum,
             'Tis plain that for prowess, not plunged into exile,
ac for higeþrymmum/ Hroðgar sohton.
             for high-hearted valor, Hrothgar ye seek!"
Him þa ellenrof andswarode,
             Him the sturdy-in-war bespake with words,
wlanc Wedera leod, word æfter spræc,
             proud earl of the Weders answer made,
heard under helme: We synt Higelaces
             hardy 'neath helmet:--"Hygelac's, we,