BEOWULF

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last updated on 01-Oct-2006


(click on the 'lyre icon' [ sydaudio ] to listen to a reading of selected passages in Old English)

Hwæt! Wé Gárdena      in géardagum

 

Listen! We --of the Spear-Danes      in the days of yore,
þéodcyninga      þrym gefrúnon·

 

of those clan-kings--      heard of their glory.
hú ðá æþelingas      ellen fremedon.

 

how those nobles      performed courageous deeds.
Oft Scyld Scéfing      sceaþena þréatum

 

Often Scyld, Scef's son,      from enemy hosts
monegum maégþum      meodosetla oftéah·

5

from many peoples      seized mead-benches;
egsode Eorle      syððan aérest wearð

 

and terrorised the fearsome Heruli      after first he was
féasceaft funden      hé þæs frófre gebád·

 

found helpless and destitute,      he then knew recompense for that:-
wéox under wolcnum·      weorðmyndum þáh

 

he waxed under the clouds,      throve in honours,
oð þæt him aéghwylc      þára ymbsittendra

 

until to him each      of the bordering tribes
ofer hronráde      hýran scolde,

10

beyond the whale-road      had to submit,
gomban gyldan·      þæt wæs gód cyning.

 

and yield tribute:-      that was a good king!
Ðaém eafera wæs      æfter cenned

 

To him a heir was      born then
geong in geardum      þone god sende

 

young in the yards,      God sent him
folce tó frófre·      fyrenðearfe ongeat·

 

to comfort the people;      He had seen the dire distress
þæt híe aér drugon      aldorléase

15

that they suffered before,      leader-less
lange hwíle·      him þæs líffréä

 

a long while;      them for that the Life-Lord,
wuldres wealdend      woroldáre forgeaf:

 

Ruler of Glory,      granted honour on earth:
Béowulf wæs bréme      --blaéd wíde sprang--

 

Beowulf (Beaw) was famed      --his renown spread wide--
Scyldes eafera      Scedelandum in.

 

Scyld's heir,      in Northern lands.
Swá sceal geong guma      góde gewyrcean

20

So ought a young man      by good deeds deserve,
fromum feohgiftum      on fæder bearme

 

(and) by fine treasure-gifts,      while in his father's keeping,
þæt hine on ylde      eft gewunigen

 

that him in old age      shall again stand by,
wilgesíþas      þonne wíg cume·

 

willing companions,      when war comes,
léode gelaésten:      lofdaédum sceal

 

people serve him:      by glorious deeds must,
in maégþa gehwaére      man geþéön.

25

amongst his people, everywhere,      one prosper.
Him ðá Scyld gewát      tó gescæphwíle

 

Then Scyld departed      at the destined time,
felahrór féran      on fréan waére·

 

still in his full-strength, to fare      in the protection of the Lord Frea;
hí hyne þá ætbaéron      tó brimes faroðe

 

he they carried      to the sea's surf,
swaése gesíþas      swá hé selfa bæd

 

his dear comrades,      as he himself had bid,
þenden wordum wéold      wine Scyldinga

30

when he yet wielded words,      that friend of the Scyldings,
léof landfruma      lange áhte·

 

beloved ruler of the land,      had ruled for a long time;
þaér æt hýðe stód      hringedstefna

 

there at the harbour stood      with a ringed-prow,
ísig ond útfús      æþelinges fær·

 

icy and keen to sail,      a hero's vessel;
álédon þá      léofne þéoden

 

they then laid down      the beloved prince,
béaga bryttan      on bearm scipes

35

the giver of rings and treasure,      in the bosom of the boat,
maérne be mæste·      þaér wæs mádma fela

 

the mighty by the mast;      many riches were there,
of feorwegum      frætwa gelaéded·

 

from far-off lands      ornate armour and baubles were brought;
ne hýrde ic cýmlícor      céol gegyrwan

 

I have not heard of a comelier      keel adorned
hildewaépnum      ond heaðowaédum

 

with weapons of battle      and war-dress,
billum ond byrnum·      him on bearme læg

40

bill-blades and byrnies;      there lay on his breast
mádma mænigo      þá him mid scoldon

 

many treasures,      which with him must,
on flódes aéht      feor gewítan·

 

in the power of the waves,      drift far off;
nalæs hí hine laéssan      lácum téodan

 

in no way had they upon him fewer      gifts bestowed
þéodgestréonum      þonne þá dydon

 

with the wealth of a nation,      than those did
þe hine æt frumsceafte      forð onsendon

45

who him in the beginning      had sent forth
aénne ofer ýðe      umborwesende·

 

alone upon the waves      being but a child;
þá gýt híe him ásetton      segen gyldenne

 

yet then they set up      the standard of gold,
héah ofer héafod·      léton holm beran·

 

high over head;      they let the sea bear,
géafon on gársecg·      him wæs geómor sefa

 

gave to the ocean,      in them were troubled hearts,
murnende mód·      men ne cunnon

50

mourning minds;      men cannot
secgan tó sóðe      seleraédenne

 

say for certain,      (neither) court-counsellors
hæleð under heofenum      hwá þaém hlæste onféng.

 

(nor) heroes under heaven,      who received that cargo.

I

 

Ðá wæs on burgum      Béowulf Scyldinga

 

Then was in boroughs,      Beowulf the Scylding (Beaw),
léof léodcyning      longe þráge

 

beloved king of the people      a long age
folcum gefraége      --fæder ellor hwearf

55

famed among the folk      --his father having gone elsewhere,
aldor of earde--      oþ þæt him eft onwóc

 

elder on earth--      until unto him in turn was born
héah Healfdene      héold þenden lifde

 

high Half-Dane,      he ruled so long as he lived
gamol ond gúðréouw      glæde Scyldingas·

 

old and battle-fierce,      the glad Scyldings;
ðaém féower bearn      forðgerímed

 

to him four sons      in succession
in worold wócun      weoroda raéswan:

60

woke in the world,      the leader of the legions:
Heorogár ond Hróðgár      ond Hálga til·

 

Heorogar and Hrothgar      and good Halga;
hýrde ic þæt Ýrse      wæs Onelan cwén

 

I heard that Yrse      was Onela's queen,
Heaðo-Scilfingas      healsgebedda.

 

the War-Scylfing's      belovèd embraced in bed.
Þá wæs Hróðgáre      herespéd gyfen

 

Then was to Hrothgar      success in warcraft given,
wíges weorðmynd      þæt him his winemágas

65

honour in war,      so that his retainers
georne hýrdon      oðð þæt séo geogoð gewéox

 

eagerly served him      until the young war-band grew
magodriht micel·      him on mód bearn

 

into a mighty battalion;      it came into his mind
þæt healreced      hátan wolde

 

that a hall-house,      he wished to command,
medoærn micel      men gewyrcean

 

a grand mead-hall,      be built by men
þone yldo bearn      aéfre gefrúnon

70

which the sons of men      should hear of forever,
ond þaér on innan      eall gedaélan

 

and there within      share out all
geongum ond ealdum      swylc him god sealde

 

to young and old,      such as God gave him,
búton folcscare      ond feorum gumena·

 

except the common land      and the lives of men;
ða ic wíde gefrægn      weorc gebannan

 

Then, I heard, widely      was the work commissioned
manigre maégþe      geond þisne middangeard·

75

from many peoples      throughout this middle-earth,
folcstede frætwan.      Him on fyrste gelomp

 

to furnish this hall of the folk.      For him in time it came to pass,
aédre mid yldum      þæt hit wearð ealgearo

 

early, through the men,      that it was fully finished,
healærna maést·      scóp him Heort naman

 

the best of royal halls;      he named it Heorot,
sé þe his wordes geweald      wíde hæfde·

 

he whose words weight      had everywhere;
hé béot ne áléh·      béagas daélde

80

he did not lie when he boasted;      rings he dealt out,
sinc æt symle.      Sele hlífade

 

riches at his feasts.      The hall towered,
héah ond horngéap·      heaðowylma bád

 

high and horn-gabled;      it awaited the cruel surges
láðan líges·      ne wæs hit lenge þá gén

 

of hateful flames;      nor was the time yet nigh
þæt se ecghete      áþumswéoran

 

that the furious edge-malice      of son-in-law and father-in-law,
æfter wælníðe      wæcnan scolde.

85

arising from deadly enmity      would inevitably awaken.
Ðá se ellengaést      earfoðlíce

 

Then the bold spirit,      impatiently
þráge geþolode      sé þe in þýstrum bád

 

endured dreary time,      he who dwelt in darkness,
þæt hé dógora gehwám      dréam gehýrde

 

he that every day      heard noise of revelry
hlúdne in healle·      þaér wæs hearpan swég

 

loud in the hall;      there was the harmony of the harp,
swutol sang scopes·      sægde sé þe cúþe

90

the sweet song of the poet;      he spoke who knew how
frumsceaft fíra      feorran reccan·

 

the origin of men      to narrate from afar;
cwæð þæt se ælmihtiga      eorðan worhte

 

said he that the almighty one      wrought the earth,
wlitebeorhtne wang      swá wæter bebúgeð·

 

(that) fair, sublime field      bounded by water;
gesette sigehréþig      sunnan ond mónan

 

set up triumphant      the sun and moon,
léoman tó léohte      land-búendum

95

luminaries as lamps      for the land-dwellers
ond gefrætwade      foldan scéatas

 

and adorned      the corners of the earth
leomum ond léafum·      líf éac gesceóp

 

with limbs and leaves;      life too He formed
cynna gehwylcum      þára ðe cwice hwyrfaþ·

 

for each of the species      which lives and moves.
Swá ðá drihtguman      dréamum lifdon

 

So the lord's men      lived in joys,
éadiglice      oð ðæt án ongan

100

happily,      until one began
fyrene fremman      féond on helle·

 

to execute atrocities,      a fiend in hell;
wæs se grimma gaést      Grendel háten

 

this ghastly demon was      named Grendel,
maére mearcstapa      sé þe móras héold

 

infamous stalker in the marches,      he who held the moors,
fen ond fæsten·      fífelcynnes eard

 

fen and desolate strong-hold;      the land of marsh-monsters,
wonsaélí wer      weardode hwíle

105

the wretched creature      ruled for a time
siþðan him scyppend      forscrifen hæfde

 

since him the Creator      had condemned
in Caines cynne      þone cwealm gewræc

 

with the kin of Cain;      that killing avenged
éce drihten      þæs þe hé Ábel slóg·

 

the eternal Lord,      in which he slew Abel;
ne gefeah hé þaére faéhðe      ac hé hine feor forwræc

 

this feud he did not enjoy,      for He drove him far away,
metod for þý máne      mancynne fram·

110

the Ruler, for this crime,      from mankind;
þanon untýdras      ealle onwócon

 

thence unspeakable offspring      all awoke:
eotenas ond ylfe      ond orcnéäs

 

ogres and elves      and spirits from the underworld;
swylce gígantas      þá wið gode wunnon

 

also giants,      who strove with God
lange þráge·      hé him ðæs léan forgeald.

 

for an interminable season;      He gave them their reward for that.

II

 

Gewát ðá néosian      syþðan niht becóm

 115

He then went to visit and see      --when night came--
héän húses·      hú hit Hring-Dene

 

the high house      how it, the Ring-Danes
æfter béorþege      gebún hæfdon·

 

after the beer-feast,      had occupied;
fand þá ðaér inne      æþelinga gedriht

 

he found then therein      the nobles' company
swefan æfter symble·      sorge ne cúðon

 

slumbering after the feast;      they did not know sorrow,
wonsceaft wera·      wiht unhaélo

 120

misery of men;      that damned creature,
grim ond graédig      gearo sóna wæs

 

grim and greedy,      soon was ready,
réoc ond réþe      ond on ræste genam

 

savage and cruel      and from their rest seized
þrítig þegna·      þanon eft gewát

 

thirty thanes;      thence back he went
húðe hrémig      tó hám faran

 

proud in plunder      to his home, faring
mid þaére wælfylle      wíca néosan.

 125

with the banquet of bodies      to seek his shelter.
Ðá wæs on úhtan      mid aérdæge

 

Then was in the dark of dawn      before the day
Grendles gúðcræft      gumum undyrne·

 

Grendle's war-might      revealed to the men;
þá wæs æfter wiste      wóp up áhafen

 

then it was after their feasting      they raised up lament
micel morgenswég.      Maére þéoden

 

in a great morning-cry.      The mighty chieftain,
æþeling aérgod      unblíðe sæt·

 130

the prince, old and good,      sat in sorrow,
þolode ðrýðswýð      þegnsorge dréah

 

The great mighty one suffered,      anguish of thane-loss   oppressed him
syðþan híe þæs láðan      lást scéawedon,

 

when they the foe's      tracks beheld,
wergan gástes·      wæs þæt gewin tó strang

 

of the wicked ghoul;      that strife was too strong,
láð ond longsum.      Næs hit lengra fyrst

 

loathsome and lingering.      Nor was it a longer time
ac ymb áne niht      eft gefremede

 135

but after a single night      again he perpetuated
morðbeala máre      ond nó mearn fore,

 

more brutal slaughter,      and it grieved him not,
faéhðe ond fyrene·      wæs tó fæst on þám.

 

violence and viciousness,      he was too entrenched in these.
Þá wæs éaðfynde      þé him elles hwaér

 

Then was it easily found,      one who would somewhere else,
gerúmlícor      ræste sóhte

 

further away,      seek rest:
bed æfter búrum      ðá him gebéacnod wæs

 140

a bed among the bowers,      when it was made clear to him,
gesægd sóðlíce      sweotolan tácne

 

truly told,      by an unmistakable token
healðegnes hete·      héold hyne syðþan

 

the enmity of the hall's occupier;      he held himself then
fyr ond fæstor      sé þaém féonde ætwand.

 

further and safer,      he who shunned that fiend.
Swá ríxode      ond wið rihte wan

 

Thus he ruled      and challenged justice,
ána wið eallum      oð þæt ídel stód

 145

one against all,      until empty stood
húsa sélest·      wæs séo hwíl micel,

 

that finest of houses;      the time was long
twelf wintra tíd      torn geþolode

 

--the space of twelve winters--      that bitter anguish endured
wine Scyldenda,      wéana gehwelcne

 

the friend, the shielder,      --every woe,   
sídra sorga·      forðám secgum wearð

 

immense miseries;      therefore to men became
ylda bearnum      undyrne cúð,

 150

to sons of men,      clearly known
gyddum geómore      þætte Grendel wan

 

in mournful ballads,      that Grendle had contended
hwíle wið Hróþgár·      heteníðas wæg

 

long against Hrothgar,      sustained fierce enmity,
fyrene ond faéhðe      fela misséra,

 

felony and feud,      for many seasons
singále sæce·      sibbe ne wolde

 

continual strife;      he did not want peace
wið manna hwone      mægenes Deniga,

 155

with any man      of the Danish contingent,
feorhbealo feorran,      féa þingian

 

to desist in life-destruction,      to settle it with payment,
né þaér naénig witena      wénan þorfte

 

none of the counsellors      had any need to hope for
beorhtre bóte      tó banan folmum

 

noble recompense      from the slayer's hands,
ac se aéglaéca      éhtende wæs

 

but the wretch      was persecuting
deorc déaþscua      duguþe ond geogoþe

 160

--the dark death-shade--      warriors old and young;
seomade ond syrede·      sinnihte héold

 

he lay in wait and set snares,      in the endless night he held
mistige móras·      men ne cunnon

 

the misty moors;      men do not know
hwyder helrúnan      hwyrftum scríþað.

 

where such hellish enigmas      slink in their haunts.
Swá fela fyrena      féond mancynnes

 

Thus many offences      that foe of mankind,
atol ángengea      oft gefremede,

 165

that terrible lone traveller,      often committed,
heardra hýnða·      Heorot eardode

 

hard humiliations;      he dwelt in Heorot,
sincfáge sel      sweartum nihtum

 

the richly-adorned hall,      in the black nights
--nó hé þone gifstól      grétan móste,

 

--by no means he the gift-throne      was compelled to approach respectfully,
máþðum for metode,      né his myne wisse--

 

the treasure, by the Maker,      nor did he feel love for it--
Þæt wæs wraéc micel      wine Scyldinga,

 170

That was great misery      for the Friend of the Scyldings,
módes brecða.      Monig oft gesæt

 

a breaking of his spirit.      Many often sat
ríce tó rúne·      raéd eahtedon·

 

the mighty at counsel;      pondered a plan,
hwæt swíðferhðum      sélest waére

 

what by strong-minded men      would be best,
wið faérgryrum      tó gefremmanne·

 

against the sudden horror,      to do;
hwílum híe gehéton      æt hærgtrafum

 175

sometimes they pledged      at holy temples
wígweorþunga·      wordum baédon

 

sacred honouring,      in words bid
þæt him gástbona      géoce gefremede

 

that them the demon-slayer      would offer succour
wið þéodþréaum·      swylc wæs þéaw hyra·

 

from the plight of the people;      such was their habit:
haéþenra hyht·      helle gemundon

 

the hope of heathens;      on hell they pondered
in módsefan·      metod híe ne cúþon

 180

in the depths of their hearts;      the Creator they did not know,
daéda démend·      ne wiston híe drihten god

 

the Judge of deeds,      they were not aware of the Lord God,
né híe húru heofena helm      herian ne cúþon

 

nor yet they the Helm of the Heavens      were able to honour,
wuldres waldend.      Wá bið þaém ðe sceal

 

Glory's Wielder.      Woe be to him who must,
þurh slíðne níð      sáwle bescúfan

 

through dire terror,      thrust his soul
in fýres fæþm,      frófre ne wénan,

 185

into fire's embrace;      hope not for relief,
wihte gewendan·      wél bið þaém þe mót

 

or to change at all;      well be he who may
æfter déaðdæge      drihten sécean

 

after death-day      seek the Lord
ond tó fæder fæþmum      freoðo wilnian.

 

and in his Father's arms      yearn towards Nirvana.

III

 

Swá ðá maélceare      maga Healfdenes

 

So then over the sorrow of the time      the son of Half-Dane
singála séað·      ne mihte snotor hæleð

 190

continually brooded;      the wise hero could not
wéan onwendan·      wæs þæt gewin tó swýð

 

turn away woe;      that strife was too strong,
láþ ond longsum      þe on ðá léode becóm,

 

hateful and enduring,      that on the people came
nýdwracu níþgrim      nihtbealwa maést.

 

fearfully cruel, violent trouble,      the greatest night-evil.

 syd-journey Þæt fram hám gefrægn      Higeláces þegn

 

That from home heard      Hygelac's thane,
gód mid Géatum,      Grendles daéda·

 195

a good man of the Geats,      of Grendel's deeds;
sé wæs moncynnes      mægenes strengest

 

he was of mankind      of the greatest strength,
on þaém dæge      þysses lífes

 

on that day      in this life,
æþele ond éacen·      hét him ýðlidan

 

noble and mighty;      he ordered them a wave-crosser
gódne gegyrwan·      cwæð: hé gúðcyning

 

--a good one-- prepare;      he said: the war-king
ofer swanráde      sécean wolde

 200

over swan-road      he wished to seek,
maérne þéoden      þá him wæs manna þearf·

 

that mighty clan-chief,      since he was in need of men;
ðone síðfæt him      snotere ceorlas

 

that adventure him,      the clear-headed chaps,
lýt hwón lógon      þéah hé him léof waére

 

very little begrudged      though he was dear to them,
hwetton higerófne·      haél scéawedon.

 

they urged on the valiant-hearted one,      and observed the omens.
Hæfde se góda      Géata léoda

 205

The worthy one had,      from the Geatish peoples,
cempan gecorone      þára þe hé cénoste

 

chosen champions,      those who were the boldest he
findan mihte·      fíftýna sum

 

could find;      fifteen together,
sundwudu sóhte·      secg wísade

 

they sought the sea-wood,      he led the warriors,
lagucræftig mon      landgemyrcu.

 

that sea-skilled man,      to the boundary of the shore.
Fyrst forð gewát·      flota wæs on ýðum

 210

Time passed by;      the ship was on the waves,
bát under beorge·      beornas gearwe

 

the boat under the cliffs;      the ready warriors
on stefn stigon      --stréamas wundon,

 

stepped up into the prow      --the currents curled round,
sund wið sande--      secgas baéron

 

sea against sand--      the men bore
on bearm nacan      beorhte frætwe

 

into the bosom of boat      bright arms and armour,
gúðsearo geatolíc·      guman út scufon

 215

noble war-gear;      the fellows shoved off,
weras on wilsíð      wudu bundenne.

 

men on a welcome voyage,      in a well-braced ship.
Gewát þá ofer waégholm      winde gefýsed

 

Then they went over the water-waves      urged by the wind,
flota fámíheals      fugle gelícost

 

the foamy-necked floater,      remarkably bird-like
oð þæt ymb ántid      óþres dógores

 

until in due time,      on the second day,
wundenstefna      gewaden hæfde

 220

the curved-prow      had made the journey,
þæt ða líðende      land gesáwon,

 

so that the sailors      sighted land,

brimclifu blícan,      beorgas stéape

 

bright sea-cliffs,      towering shores,
side saénæssas·      þá wæs sund liden

 

wide headlands;      then was the sea traversed,
éoletes æt ende.      Þanon up hraðe

 

their sea-voyage at an end.      Thence up quickly
Wedera léode      on wang stigon·

 225

the Wederas-warriors      stepped onto land;
saéwudu saéldon·      syrcan hrysedon

 

moored their vessel;      their mail-shirts clanked
gúðgewaédo·      gode þancedon

 

those war-garments;      they thanked God
þæs þe him ýþláde      éaðe wurdon.

 

that for them the wave-paths      had been smooth.
Þá of wealle geseah      weard Scildinga

 

Then from the wall saw      the ward of the Scyldings,
sé þe holmclifu      healdan scolde·

 230

he who the sea-cliffs      had the duty to guard,
beran ofer bolcan      beorhte randas

 

borne over the gang-plank,      bright bossed-shields,
fyrdsearu fúslicu·      hine fyrwyt bræc

 

eager war-devices;      in him curiosity broke
módgehygdum      hwæt þá men waéron·

 

the thoughts of his heart:      what these men were;
gewát him þá tó waroðe      wicge rídan

 

then he went to the shore      riding his horse,
þegn Hróðgáres·      þrymmum cwehte

 235

the thane of Hrothgar;      he forcefully shook
mægenwudu mundum·      meþelwordum frægn:

 

his mighty wooden shaft,      and with formal words asked:
'Hwæt syndon gé      searohæbbendra

 

'What are you      armour-wearers
byrnum werede      þe þus brontne céol

 

bound in byrnies,      who thus your tall keel
ofer lagustraéte      laédan cwómon

 

over the sea-street      leading came,
hider ofer holmas?'  

 240

hither over the waters?'
Hé wæs endesaéta·      aégwearde héold

 

He was the coast-guardian,      he held the sea-watch,
þé on land Dena      láðra naénig

 

so that on Danish land      no enemies at all
mid scipherge      sceðþan ne meahte·

 

with a navy      would not be able to ravage.
'Nó hér cúðlícor      cuman ongunnon

 

'Not here more openly      began to come
lindhæbbende      né gé léafnesword

 245

lindenwood shield-bearers,      nor you the leave-word
gúðfremmendra      gearwe ne wisson

 

of our war-makers      certainly don't know
mága gemédu·      naéfre ic máran geseah

 

our kinsmen's consent;      never have I seen greater
eorla ofer eorþan      ðonne is éower sum,

 

noble on earth      than the one that you are,
secg on searwum·      nis þæt seldguma

 

warrior in armour;      this is no a mere retainer
waépnum geweorðad·      næfne him his wlite léoge,

 250

made worthy by weapons;      unless he is belied by his looks,
aénlic ansýn!      Nú ic éower sceal

 

a unique appearance!      Now I must your
frumcyn witan      aér gé fyr heonan

 

lineage learn,      ere you far hence,
léasscéaweras      on land Dena

 

deceiving spies      in the land of the Danes
furþur féran·      Nú gé feorbúend

 

further fare;      now you far-dwellers
merelíðende      mínne gehýrað

 255

you sea-sailors,      hear my
ánfealdne geþóht:      ofost is sélest

 

one-fold thought:      speed is best
tó gecýðanne      hwanan éowre cyme syndon.'  

 

for reporting,      whence your comings are.'

IIII

 

Him se yldesta      andswarode·

 

He the eldest      answered,
werodes wísa      wordhord onléac:

 

the crew's captain,      he unlocked his word-hoard:
'Wé synt gumcynnes      Géata léode

 260

'We are of the tribe      of the Geat people
ond Higeláces      heorðgenéatas·

 

and Hygelac's      hearth-companions;

wæs mín fæder      folcum gecýþed

 

my father was      known to the folk,
æþele ordfruma      Ecgþéow háten·

 

a noble vanguard-warrior,      called Edgetheow,
gebád wintra worn      aér hé on weg hwurfe

 

who saw many winters      ere he passed away,
gamol of geardum·      hine gearwe geman

 265

old, from our courtyards;      he is readily recalled
witena wélhwylc      wíde geond eorþan.

 

by each one of the wise      widely throughout the world.
Wé þurh holdne hige      hláford þínne

 

We, by resolute resolve,      your lord,
sunu Healfdenes      sécean cwómon

 

the son of Half-Dane      have come to seek,
léodgebyrgean·      wes þú ús lárena gód·

 

that protector of the people;      be you a good guide to us;
habbað wé tó þaém maéran      micel aérende

 270

we have, to that grand one,      a great errand
Deniga fréän·      ne sceal þaér dyrne sum

 

to the Danish lord;      there shouldn't some secret
wesan þæs ic wéne.      Þú wást gif hit is

 

be of this, I think.      You know if it is
swá wé sóþlíce      secgan hýrdon

 

as we truly      have heard said,
þæt mid Scyldingum      sceaðona ic nát hwylc

 

that amongst the Scyldings,      some enemy, I know not what,
déogol daédhata      deorcum nihtum

 275

a furtive despoiler,      in dark nights,
éaweð þurh egsan      uncúðne níð

 

sickeningly reveals      unknown enmity,
hýnðu ond hráfyl.      Ic þæs Hróðgár mæg

 

suffering and slaughter.      I can on this matter, to Hrothgar,
þurh rúmne sefan      raéd gelaéran·

 

from a spacious spirit,      give counsel,
hú hé fród ond gód,      féond oferswýðeþ--

 

how he, wise and good,      overcome the fiend--
gyf him edwendan      aéfre scolde

 280

if for him a change      ever should,
bealuwa bisigu      bót eft cuman--

 

from this suffering of miseries      to remedy, come after--
ond þá cearwylmas      cólran wurðaþ

 

and his hot wellings of melancholic care      grow cooler;
oððe á syþðan      earfoðþráge

 

or else ever after,      a time of torment,
þréanýd þolað      þenden þaér wunað

 

horrible hardship he will endure,      so long as there remains,
on héahstede      húsa sélest.'

 285

in its high place,      that best of houses.
Weard maþelode      ðaér on wicge sæt

 

The guard made a speech,      sitting there on his horse,
ombeht unforht:      'AÉghwæþres sceal

 

--the unhesistating officer:      'He will --every
scearp scyldwiga      gescád witan

 

sharp shield-warrior--      know the distinction
worda ond worca      sé þe wél þenceð.

 

between words and works,      he who reasons rightly.
Ic þæt gehýre·      þæt þis is hold weorod

 290

I hear it,      that this is a legion loyal
fréan Scyldinga·      gewítaþ forð beran

 

to the lord of the Scyldings;      go forth bearing
waépen ond gewaédu·      ic éow wísige·

 

weapons and armour;      I shall guide you;
swylce ic maguþegnas      míne háte

 

likewise, I  the kin-thanes      of mine will order,
wið féonda gehwone      flotan éowerne

 

against any foes      your vessel,
níwtyrwydne      nacan on sande

 295

--newly tarred,      ship on the sand--
árum healdan      oþ ðæt eft byreð

 

to guard in honour,      until it bears back,
ofer lagustréamas      léofne mannan

 

over the sea-streams,      the dear man,
wudu wundenhals      tó Wedermearce·

 

--the swoop-necked wood --      to Wedermark;
gódfremmendra      swylcum gifeþe bið

 

those who perform noble deeds--      to such as these it shall be granted
þæt þone hilderaés      hál gedígeð.'

 300

that the battle-rush      he survive in one piece.'
Gewiton him þá féran      --flota stille bád·

 

Then they went faring      --the boat at rest awaited,
seomode on sole      sidfaéþmed scip

 

it rode on the sand      the broad-bosomed ship,
on ancre fæst--      eoforlíc scionon

 

on anchor fast--      boar-figures shone
ofer hléorberan      gehroden golde·   atop cheekguards      adorned with gold;
fáh ond fýrheard      ferhwearde héold·

 305

glittering and fire-hard;      life-guard they held;
gúþmód grummon·      guman ónetton·

 

war-spirits raised;      the men hastened,
sigon ætsomne      oþ þæt hý sæltimbred

 

marched forward together,      until they the timbered hall,
geatolíc ond goldfáh      ongyton mihton·

 

glorious and gold-trimmed,      were able to glimpse;
þæt wæs foremaérost      foldbúendum

 

that was the foremost      --for earth-dwellers--
receda under roderum      on þaém se ríca bád·

 310

of halls under the heavens,      in it the ruler dwelt;
líxte se léoma      ofer landa fela.

 

its light glimmered      over many lands.
Him þá hildedéor      hof módigra

 

Then to them the fierce fellow     --to that court of great men
torht getaéhte      þæt híe him tó mihton

 

glorious-- he lead,      that they to it could
gegnum gangan·      gúðbeorna sum

 

go directly;      the worthy warrior
wicg gewende·      word æfter cwæð:

 315

turned his horse,      thereupon spoke words:
'Maél is mé tó féran.      Fæder alwalda

 

'Time it is for me to go.      The Father all-ruling,
mid árstafum      éowic gehealde

 

with grace      may He hold you
síða gesunde!      Ic tó saé wille

 

sound on your sojourns!      I will to the sea,
wið wráð werod      wearde healdan.'

 

against brutal dacoits      keep watch.'

V

 

Straét wæs stánfáh·      stíg wísode

 320

The street was paved with stones,      the path guided
gumum ætgædere·      gúðbyrne scán

 

the men together;      war-byrnie shone
heard hondlocen      hringíren scír

 

harsh, linked by hand,      ring-iron glittering,
song in searwum·      þá híe tó sele furðum

 

they sang in their arms,      as they to the hall straight
in hyra gryregeatwum      gangan cwómon·

 

in their grim gear      came marching;
setton saéméþe      síde scyldas

 325

they set down, sea-weary,      their wide shields,
rondas regnhearde      wið þæs recedes weal·

 

the rims wondrous-hard      against the wall of the hall,
bugon þá tó bence·      byrnan hringdon

 

and bent down then to a bench;      corslets rang--
gúðsearo gumena·      gáras stódon

 

the war-clothes of warriors;      spears stood,
saémanna searo      samod ætgædere

 

seamen's weapons,      all together,
æscholt ufan graég·      wæs se írenþréat

 330

silvery above a grove of ash;      the iron-clad troop was
waépnum gewurþad·      þá ðaér wlonc hæleð

 

honoured in weapons;      then a proud noble
óretmecgas      æfter hæleþum frægn:

 

the elite soldiers      asked about the heroes:
'Hwanon ferigeað gé      faétte scyldas

 

'Whence ferry you      plated shields,
graége syrcan      ond grímhelmas

 

steel-hued shirts of mail      and masked-helms,
heresceafta héap?      Ic eom Hróðgáres

 335

this host of army-shafts?      I am Hrothgar's
ár ond ombiht·      ne seah ic elþéodige

 

herald and officer;      I have not seen from a foreign land
þus manige men      módiglícran·

 

this many men      looking braver in spirit;
wén' ic þæt gé for wlenco      nalles for wraécsíðum

 

I expect that you from valour,      not from exile,
ac for higeþrymmum      Hróðgár sóhton.'

 

but from greatness of heart      have sought out Hrothgar.'
Him þá ellenróf      andswarode

 340

Then him the renowned one      answered
wlanc Wedera léod      word æfter spræc

 

--that proud prince of the Wedera nation--      spoke thereafter words,
heard under helme:      'Wé synt Higeláces

 

severe beneath his helmet:      'We are Hygelac's
béodgenéatas·      Béowulf is mín nama·

 

companions at table;      Beowulf  is my name;
wille ic ásecgan      sunu Healfdenes

 

I wish to proclaim to      the son of Half-Dane,
maérum þéodne      min aérende

 345

--that famed sovereign--      my errand
aldre þínum      gif hé ús geunnan wile

 

to your lord,      if he wishes to grant us
þæt wé hine swá gódne      grétan móton.'

 

that we him, the virtuous one,      might greet.'
Wulfgár maþelode      --þæt wæs Wendla léod·

 

Wulfgar began to speak      --he was the Wendels' leader,
wæs his módsefa      manegum gecýðed

 

his courage was      well-known to many,
wíg ond wísdóm--:      'Ic þæs wine Deniga

 350

war-skill and wisdom--:      'I this from friend of the Danes,
fréan Scildinga      frínan wille

 

lord of the Scyldings,      will inquire,
béaga bryttan·      swá þú béna eart·

 

from the giver of rings,      --as you are petitioners--
þéoden maérne      ymb þínne síð

 

from that famed sovereign      about your quest,
ond þé þá andsware      aédre gecýðan

 

and to you the answer      promptly make known
ðe mé se góda      ágifan þenceð.'

 355

which to me the virtuous one      sees fit to give.'
Hwearf þá hrædlíce      þaér Hróðgár sæt

 

He turned then quickly      to where Hrothgar sat,
eald ond anhár      mid his eorla gedriht·

 

old and very grey,      amid his company of earls;
éode ellenróf      þæt hé for eaxlum gestód

 

he strode grandly      so that he stood by the shoulders
Deniga fréän:      cúþe hé duguðe þéaw·

 

of the Danes' lord:      he knew the custom of veteran-warriors;
Wulfgár maðelode      tó his winedrihtne:

  360

Wulfgar made this speech      to his friend and lord:
'Hér syndon geferede      feorran cumene

 

'Here have ventured,      come from far away,
ofer geofenes begang      Géata léode·

 

over the expanse of the sea,      men of the Geats;
þone yldestan      óretmecgas

 

the eldest one      of these elite warriors
Béowulf nemnað·      hý bénan synt

 

is called Beowulf;      they are asking
þæt híe, þéoden min,      wið þé móton

 365

that they, my lord,      with you might
wordum wrixlan·      nó ðú him wearne getéoh

 

exchange words;      give them not refusal
ðínra gegncwida,      glædman Hróðgár·

 

from your answers,      gracious Hrothgar;
hý on wíggetáwum      wyrðe þinceað

 

they by their war-gear      seem worthy
eorla geæhtlan·      húru se aldor déah

 

of the esteem of nobles;      indeed, the prince is powerful,
sé þaém heaðorincum      hider wísade.'

 370

who the warriors      led hither.'

VI

 

Hróðgár maþelode      helm Scyldinga:

 

Hrothgar spoke,      --the Helm of the Scyldings--:
'Ic hine cúðe      cnihtwesende·

 

'I knew him      when he was a youth;

wæs his ealdfæder      Ecgþéo háten

 

his old father was      called Ecgtheow,
ðaém tó hám forgeaf      Hréþel Géata

 

to whom gave into his home      Hrethel of the Geats
ángan dohtor·      is his eaforan nú

 375

his only daughter;      now his heir is
heard hér cumen·      sóhte holdne wine.

 

come here bravely,      seeking a steadfast friend.
Ðonne sægdon þæt      saélíþende

 

Further, it has been said by      sea-farers,
þá ðe gifsceattas      Géata fyredon

 

they who our gifts of coins      ferried for the Geats
þyder tó þance·      þæt hé þrítiges

 

thither in thanks,      that he thirty   
manna mægencræft      on his mundgripe

  380

men's strength      in the grip of his hand,
heaþoróf hæbbe·      hine hálig god

 

renowned in war, has;      him holy God,
for árstafum      ús onsende

 

in benevolence,      has sent to us,
tó West-Denum·      þæs ic wén hæbbe·

 

to the West-Danes,      of this I have hope,
wið Grendles gryre·      ic þaém gódan sceal

 

against Grendel's terror;      I the good man must
for his módþræce      mádmas béodan.

  385

for his great daring      offer precious treasures.
Béo ðú on ofeste·      hát in gáän

 

Be you in haste,      order to come in
séon sibbegedriht      samod ætgædere·

 

to see me the noble band of kinsmen      all together;
gesaga him éac wordum      þæt híe sint wilcuman

 

Say to them also in words,      that they are welcome
Deniga léodum.'     

 

to the Danish land.'     
                             Word inne ábéad:

 

                             A word from within announced:
'Éow hét secgan      sigedrihten mín

  391

'To you I am commanded to say      by my valorous lord,
aldor Éast-Dena      þæt hé éower æþelu can

 

the leader of the East Danes,      that he knows your noble history,
ond gé him syndon      ofer saéwylmas

 

and you are to him,      over sea-swells,
heardhicgende      hider wilcuman·

 

--bold in thought--      welcome hither;
nú gé móton gangan      in éowrum gúðgeatáwum

 

now you may enter      in your war-gear,
under heregríman      Hróðgár geseon·

  396

under visored-helmets,      to see Hrothgar;
laétað hildebord      hér onbidan,

 

let battle-boards      here await,
wuduwælsceaftas,      worda geþinges.'

 

and wooden slaughter-shafts,      the result of words.'
Árás þá se ríca,      ymb hine rinc manig

 

Then the mighty one arose,      about him many warriors,
þrýðlíc þegna héap·      sume þaér bidon·

 

the glorious troop of thanes;      some waited there,
heaðoréaf héoldon      swá him se hearda bebéad·

  401

guarding the gear of war      as the hardy leader bade;
snyredon ætsomne·      þá secg wísode

 

they hurried together;      the hero led the way for them
under Heorotes hróf·

 

under Heorot's roof,
heard under helme      þæt hé on héoðe gestód.

 

severe under his helmet,      until he stood in the hall.
Béowulf maðelode      --on him byrne scán

 

Beowulf spoke      --on him a mail-coat gleamed,
searonet seowed      smiþes orþancum--:

  406

a net of armour woven      by smith's skilful art--:
'Wæs þú, Hróðgár, hál.      Ic eom Higeláces

 

'Be you, Hrothgar, whole.       I am Hygelace's
maég ond magoðegn·      hæbbe ic maérða fela

 

kinsman and retainer;      I have many great labours
ongunnen on geogoþe·      mé wearð Grendles þing

 

undertaken in my youth;      Grendel's enterprises have to me become,
on mínre éþeltyrf      undyrne cúð:

 

on my native soil,      clearly known:
secgað saélíðend      þæt þæs sele stande

  411

it is said by sea-farers      that in this hall stands,
reced sélesta      rinca gehwylcum

 

--the best of buildings--      for each and every man,
ídel ond unnyt      siððan aéfenléoht

 

idle and useless,      after evening-light
under heofenes hádor      beholen weorþeð.

 

under the firmament of heaven      goes to hide.
Þá mé þæt gelaérdon      léode míne

 

Then I was advised that,      by my people,
þá sélestan      snotere ceorlas,

  416

the best ones,      the clever chaps,
þéoden Hróðgár,      þæt ic þé sóhte

 

sovereign Hrothgar,      that it were thee I should seek,
for þan híe mægenes cræft      míne cúþon·

 

for that they the force of the strength      of mine knew;
selfe ofersáwon      ðá ic of searwum cwóm

 

themselves had looked on,      when I returned from battle,
fáh from féondum      þaér ic fífe geband·

 

stained with the blood of foes,      where I bound five,
ýðde eotena cyn      ond on ýðum slóg

  421

destroyed ogrish kin,      and amid the waves slew
niceras nihtes·      nearoþearfe dréah·

 

nicors by night;      I weathered distress in many a tight corner,
wræc Wedera níð      --wéan áhsodon--

 

avenged injury done the Wederas      --they sought woe--
forgrand gramum      ond nú wið Grendel sceal

 

the foes I crushed,      and now against Grendel I am bound,
wið þám áglaécan      ána gehégan

 

with that terrible creature,      alone,   to settle
ðing wið þyrse.      Ic þé nú ðá,

  426

the affair with the troll.      I now then you,
brego Beorht-Dena,      biddan wille,

 

prince of the Bright-Danes,      want to request,
eodor Scyldinga,      ánre béne:

 

O protector of the Scyldings,      one boon:
þæt ðú mé ne forwyrne,      wígendra hléo

 

that you not refuse me,      O shield of warriors,
fréowine folca,      nú ic þus feorran cóm·

 

liege and comrade of the folk,      now that I have come thus far;
þæt ic móte ána,      mínra eorla gedryht

  431

that I might alone,      with my company of nobles
ond þes hearda héap,      Heorot faélsian·

 

and this hardy horde of warriors,      clense Heorot;
hæbbe ic éac ge-áhsod      þæt sé aéglaéca

 

I have also heard      that the evil creature
for his wonhýdum      waépna ne recceð·

 

in his recklessness      heeds not weapons;
ic þæt þonne forhicge      --swá mé Higelác síe

 

then I it scorn      --so that for me Hygelac may be
mín mondrihten      módes blíðe--

  436

my liege-lord      blithe in his heart--
þæt ic sweord bere      oþðe sídne scyld

 

that I bear a sword      or broad shield,
geolorand tó gúþe      ac ic mid grápe sceal

 

yellow-rim to war,      but I with my grip shall
fón wið féonde      ond ymb feorh sacan,

 

fight with this fiend      and over life strive,
láð wið láþum·      ðaér gelýfan sceal

 

enemy against enemy;      there must trust in
dryhtnes dóme      sé þe hine déað nimeð·

  441

the judgement of the Lord,      whichever one that Death takes;
wén' ic þæt hé wille      gif hé wealdan mót

 

I expect that he will wish,      if he can compass it,
in þaém gúðsele      Géotena léode

 

in the war-hall,      the Geatish people
etan unforhte      swá hé oft dyde,

 

to devour fearlessly,      as he often did,
mægenhréð manna.      Ná þú mínne þearft

 

the force of glorious warriors.      You will have no need for my
hafalan hýdan      ac hé mé habban wile

  446

head to shroud,      but rather he will have me
déore fahne      gif mec déað nimeð

 

fiercely stained with gore,      if me Death takes,
byreð blódig wæl·      byrgean þenceð·

 

he will bear my bloody corpse;      he aims to bite,
eteð ángenga      unmurnlíce·

 

the lone prowler eats      unmournfully,
mearcað mórhopu·      nó ðú ymb mínes ne þearft

 

marking the limits of his moor enclosures;      nor will you for the needs of my
líces feorme      leng sorgian.

  451

body's funeral-provisions      have any further concern.
Onsend Higeláce      gif mec hild nime

 

Send to Hygelac,      if I am taken by battle,
beaduscrúda betst      þæt míne bréost wereð,

 

the best of battle-shrouds,      the one that protects my breast,
hrægla sélest·      þæt is Hraédlan láf

 

choicest of garments;      that is Hrethel's relic,
Wélandes geweorc.      Gaéð á wyrd swá hío scel.'

 

Wayland's work.        Fate goes always as She must.'

VII

 

Hróðgár maþelode      helm Scyldinga:

  456

Hrothgar spoke,      the helm of the Scyldings:
'Fére fyhtum, þú,      wine mín Béowulf,

 

'Fit to fight, you,      my friend Beowulf,
ond for árstafum      úsic sóhtest.

 

and for honour      us have sought.
Geslóh þín fæder      faéhðe maéste:

 

Your father by striking began      the greatest feud:
wearþ hé Heaþoláfe      tó handbonan

 

he was Heatholaf's      slayer by his own hand
mid Wilfingum·      ðá hine gára cyn

  461

of the Wylfings;      then him his spear-kin
for herebrógan      habban ne mihte·

 

for dread of troops      could not shelter;
þanon hé gesóhte      Súð-Dena folc

 

thence he sought      the South-Danes' folk
ofer ýða gewealc,      Ár-Scyldinga·

 

over the welling of the waves,      the Honour-Scyldings;
ðá ic furþum wéold      folce Deninga

 

at that time I had just begun to rule      the Danish folk
ond on geogoðe héold      gimmeríce

  466

and in my youth held      the precious kingdom,
hordburh hæleþa·      ðá wæs Heregár déad

 

the treasure-keep of heroes;      then was Heregar dead,
mín yldra maég      unlifigende

 

my elder brother      unliving,
bearn Healfdenes·      sé wæs betera ðonne ic.

 

the son of Half-Dane;      he was better than I.
Siððan þá faéhðe      féo þingode·

 

Then the feud      I settled with fees;
sende ic Wylfingum      ofer wæteres hrycg

  471

I sent the Wylfings      across the water's ridge
ealde mádmas·      hé mé áþas swór.

 

ancient treasures;      he swore oaths to me.
Sorh is mé tó secganne      on sefan mínum

 

It sorrows me to say      in my heart
gumena aéngum      hwæt mé Grendel hafað

 

to any man      Grendel has caused me what
hýnðo on Heorote      mid his heteþancum

 

humiliations in Heorot      with his thoughts of hatred,
faérníða gefremed·      is mín fletwerod

  476

carried out lightning-quick attacks;      my hall-troop is
wíghéap gewanod·      híe wyrd forswéop

 

waned, that war-band;      they have been swept aside by Fate
on Grendles gryre·      god éaþe mæg

 

in Grendel's horrid violence;      God can easily
þone dolsceaðan      daéda getwaéfan.

 

the rash ravager's      deeds put an end to.
Ful oft gebéotedon      béore druncne

 

Full oft have vowed,      having drunk beer,
ofer ealowaége      óretmecgas

  481

over ale-flagons,      battle-men,
þæt híe in béorsele      bídan woldon

 

that they in the beer-hall      would await
Grendles gúþe      mid gryrum ecga.

 

Grendel's onslaught      with vicious edges.
Ðonne wæs þéos medoheal      on morgentíd

 

Then, this mead-hall was      in the morning
drihtsele dréorfáh      þonne dæg lixte,

 

this noble hall stained with gore      when the day lightened,
eal bencþelu      blóde bestýmed

  486

all of the benches      smeared with blood
heall heoru-dréore·      áhte ic holdra þý laés,

 

the hall battle-gory;      I had friends the fewer,
déorre duguðe      þé þá déað fornam.

 

cherished old battle-retinue,      for these Death took them away.
Site nú tó symle      ond onsaél meoto

 

Sit now to feast      and untie your thoughts
sigehréð secgum      swá þín sefa hwette.'

 

of your glorious victories to the soldiers,      as your heart urges.'
Þá wæs Géatmæcgum      geador ætsomne

  491

Then the Geatish men were      gathered together
on béorsele      benc gerýmed

 

in the beer-hall,      room was made on a bench,
þaér swíðferhþe      sittan éodon

 

there the strong-souled      went to sit down,
þrýðum dealle      þegn nytte behéold

 

proud in prowess      a thane performed his office,
sé þe on handa bær      hroden ealowaége

 

he who in his hands bore      an ornate ale-cup,
scencte scír wered·      scop hwílum sang

  496

decanted pure sweet mead;      a bard sang from time to time
hádor on Heorote·      þaér wæs hæleða dréam,

 

clear in Heorot;      there was joy of heroes,
duguð unlýtel      Dena ond Wedera.

 

no small host      of Danes and Wederas.

VIII

Hunferð maþelode      Ecgláfes bearn
Unferth spoke,      the son of Edgelaf,
þe æt fótum sæt      fréan Scyldinga· who sat at the feet      of the lord of the Scyldings;
onband beadurúne      --wæs him Béowulfes síð

  501

he unbound battle-runes      --for him was the venture of Beowulf,
módges merefaran      micel æfþunca

 

brave seafarer's,      a source of great displeasure,
forþon þe hé ne úþe      þæt aénig óðer man

 

because he did not grant      that any other man
aéfre maérða þon má      middangeardes

 

ever glorious deeds the more      on middle-earth
gehédde under heofenum      þonne hé sylfa--:

 

heeded under the heavens      than he himself--:
'Eart þú sé Béowulf      sé þe wið Brecan wunne

  506

'Are you the Beowulf,      who contested against Breca          
on sídne saé      ymb sund flite?

 

on the broad sea,      contended around the ocean-sound?
Ðaér git for wlence      wada cunnedon

 

Where you for bravado      tempted the waters
ond for dolgilpe      on déop wæter

 

and for a foolish boast      in deep sea
aldrum néþdon      né inc aénig mon

 

risked your lives,      you no man
né léof né láð      beléan mihte

  511

--neither friend nor foe--      could dissuade
sorhfullne síð      þa git on sund réön·

 

from that sorrowful jaunt,      when you rowed into the strait;
þaér git éagorstréam      earmum þehton·

 

there you sea-currents      in your arms embraced,
maéton merestraéta      mundum brugdon·

 

traversed the ocean-roads,      with hands wove,
glidon ofer gársecg·      geofon ýþum

 

gliding over the sea;      the ocean in waves
wéol wintrys wylm·      git on wæteres aéht

  516

welled, in winter's swells;      you in the water's grasp
seofon niht swuncon·      hé þé æt sunde oferflát·

 

toiled for seven nights;      he got the better of you on the sea,
hæfde máre mægen.      Þá hine on morgentíd

 

he had more might.      Then he in the morning
on Heaþo-Raémes      holm up ætbær·

 

on Heatho-Reams' shore      was cast up by the sea;
ðonon hé gesóhte      swaésne éðel,

 

thence he sought      his own homeland,
léof his léodum,      lond Brondinga

  521

dear to his people,      the land of the Brondings,
freoðoburh fægere      þaér hé folc áhte

 

the fair citadel,      he had folk there,
burh ond béagas·      béot eal wið þé

 

boroughs and rings;      the entire boast with you
sunu Béanstánes      sóðe gelaéste.

 

the son of Beanstan      truly fulfilled.
Ðonne wéne ic tó þé      wyrsan geþingea

 

I expect then for you      worse results,
ðéah þú heaðoraésa      gehwaér dohte

  526

though you in war-assaults      everywhere prevailed,
grimre gúðe      gif þú Grendles dearst

 

grim combat,      if you for Grendel dare
nihtlongne fyrst      néän bídan.'

 

the space of a night      nearby wait.'
Béowulf maþelode      bearn Ecgþéowes:

 

Beowulf spoke,      the son of Edgetheow:
'Hwæt, þú worn fela,      wine mín Hunferð,

 

'Listen, you a great deal      --Unferth, my friend,
béore druncen      ymb Brecan spraéce·

  531

drunk on beer--      have spoken about Breca,
sægdest from his síðe.      Sóð ic talige

 

told of his journey.      Truth I claim
þæt ic merestrengo      máran áhte

 

that I sea-strength      greater had,
earfeþo on ýþum      ðonne aénig óþer man·

 

hardship on the waves,      than any other man;
wit þæt gecwaédon      cnihtwesende

 

we had it agreed,      being lads,
ond gebéotedon      --waéron bégen þá git

  536

and vowed      --being both then still
on geogoðféore--      þæt wit on gársecg út

 

in the years of youth--      that we out on the ocean
aldrum néðdon      ond þæt geæfndon swá.

 

our lives would risk,      and thus that we did.
Hæfdon swurd nacod      þá wit on sund réön

 

We had naked swords      when we rowed on the ocean-sound,
heard on handa:      wit unc wið hronfixas

 

hard in our hands:      we ourselves against whales
werian þóhton·      nó hé wiht fram mé

  541

planned to defend;      not a whit from me was he
flódýþum feor      fléotan meahte

 

on the sea-waves far      able to float,
hraþor on holme·      nó ic fram him wolde·

 

swifter on water,      nor did I wish to part from him;
ðá wit ætsomne      on saé waéron

 

then we together      were on the sea,
fíf nihta fyrst      oþ þæt unc flód tódráf

 

for the space of five nights,      until the sea-waves drove us apart,
wado weallende      wedera cealdost

  546

the water welling,      the coldest of weathers,
nípende niht      ond norþanwind

 

the darkening night      and the north wind
heaðogrim ondhwearf·      hréo waéron ýþa·

 

fierce turned against us;      wild were the waves;
wæs merefixa      mód onhréred·

 

then was the sea-fishes'      wrath roused;
þaér mé wið láðum      lícsyrce mín

 

there me against foes      my body-shirt
heard hondlocen      helpe gefremede·

  551

strong and hand-linked,      did me help,
beadohrægl bróden      on bréostum læg

 

my battle-garment braided      lay on my breast,
golde gegyrwed·      mé tó grunde téah

 

adorned with gold;      to the bottom of the sea I was drawn
fáh féondscaða·      fæste hæfde

 

by the hostile foe-scather,      it held me fast,
grim on grápe·      hwæþre mé gyfeþe wearð

 

cruel in grip;      however, to it was granted
þæt ic áglaécan      orde geraéhte

  556

that I the monster      reached with my point,
hildebille·      heaþoraés fornam

 

with battle-bill;      in the battle-rush I destroyed
mihtig meredéor      þurh míne hand.

 

the mighty sea-beast      with my hand.

VIIII

 

Swá mec gelóme      láðgetéonan

 

Thus me often      hateful attackers
þréatedon þearle·      ic him þénode

 

pressed sorely;      I served them
déoran sweorde      swá hit gedéfe wæs·

  561

with my dear sword,      as it was fitting;
næs híe ðaére fylle      geféan hæfdon

 

they the feast did not      have rejoicing,
mánfordaédlan      þæt híe mé þégon·

 

those perpetrators of crime,      that they partook of me,
symbel ymbsaéton      saégrunde néah

 

sitting round a banquet      near the sea-bed
ac on mergenne      mécum wunde

 

but in the morning      by maiche-swords wounded,
be ýðláfe      uppe laégon

  566

along what is left by the waves      up they lay
sweordum áswefede      þæt syðþan ná

 

put to sleep by swords,      so that never since
ymb brontne ford      brimlíðende

 

on the high waterway      sea-travellers
láde ne letton.      Léoht éastan cóm

 

way did not hinder.      Light came from the east,
beorht béacen godes·      brimu swaþredon

 

bright beacon of God,      the sea became still,
þæt ic saénæssas      geséon mihte

  571

so that I the headlands      was able to see,
windige weallas.      Wyrd oft nereð

 

windswept walls.      Fate often spares
unfaégne eorl      þonne his ellen déah.

 

the hero not fated to die      when his courage endures.
Hwæþere mé gesaélde      þæt ic mid sweorde ofslóh

 

However it was my good fortune      that I with my sword slew
niceras nigene·      nó ic on niht gefrægn

 

nine of the nicors;      I have not heard by night
under heofones hwealf      heardran feohtan

  576

under heaven's vault      of a more grievous fight,
né on égstréamum      earmran mannon·

 

nor on the water-streams      of a more wretched man;
hwaþere ic fára feng      féore gedígde

 

yet I the foes' grasp      survived with my life,
siþes wérig·      ðá mec saé oþbær

 

weary from my venture;      then the sea bore me off
flód æfter faroðe      on Finna land

 

flood following current      onto the land of the Lapps,
wudu weallendu.      Nó ic wiht fram þé

  581

the tossing boat.      Not a whit of thee
swylcra searoníða      secgan hýrde

 

in such strife of conflict      have I heard told,
billa brógan·      Breca naéfre gít

 

of bill-blade terror;      Breca never yet
æt heaðoláce      né gehwæþer incer

 

at battle-play,      nor either of you,
swá déorlíce      daéd gefremede

 

so boldly      performed a deed
fágum sweordum      --nó ic þæs gylpe--

  586

with bright swords      --I do not boast of this--
þéah ðú þínum bróðrum      tó banan wurde

 

nevertheless, you your brothers'      killer were,
héafodmaégum·      þæs þú in helle scealt

 

near relatives;      for that you must with Hel
werhðo dreogan      þéah þín wit duge·

 

suffer torment,      though your mind is strong;
secge ic þé to sóðe,      sunu Ecgláfes,

 

I say to you in truth,      son of Edgelaf,
þæt naéfre Grendel swá fela      gryra gefremede

  591

that Grendel would have never so many      atrocities committed,
atol aéglaéca      ealdre þínum,

 

--that terrible demon--      to your leader,
hýnðo on Heorote      gif þín hige waére

 

humiliation on Heorot,      if your heart were,
sefa swá searogrim      swá þú self talast

 

and your spirit so battle-fierce      as you yourself tell
ac hé hafað onfunden      þæt hé þá faéhðe ne þearf

 

but he has found      that the fight he needs not,
atole ecgþræce      éower léode

  596

that terrible storm of sword-edges      of your nation,
swíðe onsittan      Sige-Scyldinga·

 

greatly to dread,      of the Victory-Scyldings;
nymeð nýdbáde·      naénegum árað

 

he takes a forced toll,      spares none
léode Deniga      ac hé lust wigeð·

 

of the Danish people,      but he carries on his delight,
swefeð ond sendeþ·      secce ne wéneþ

 

slaying and despatching,      he does not expect contest
tó Gár-Denum.      Ac ic him Géata sceal

  601

from the Spear-Danes.      But I shall him the Geats'
eafoð ond ellen      ungeára nú

 

might and courage,      before long now,
gúþe gebéodan·      gaéþ eft, sé þe mót

 

offer in war;      a man will be able to go back,
tó medo módig      siþþan morgenléoht

 

to mead bravely,      when the morning-light
ofer ylda bearn      óþres dógores

 

over the sons of men      of another day,
sunne sweglwered      súþan scíneð.'

  606

the sun clad in radiance,      shines from the south.'
Þá wæs on sálum      sinces brytta

 

Then was joyful      the dispenser of treasures,
gamolfeax ond gúðróf      géoce gelýfde

 

with wizened hair and brave in battle      for support he trusted
brego Beorht-Dena      gehýrde on Béowulfe

 

the lord of the Bright-Danes      heard in Beowulf
folces hyrde      fæstraédne geþóht·

 

the guardian of the folk,      firmly-resolved intent;
ðaér wæs hæleþa hleahtor·      hlyn swynsode·

  611

There was the laughter of heroes,      the noise made melody,
word waéron wynsume.      Éode Wealhþéow forð

 

words were joyful.      Wealhtheow came forth,
cwén Hróðgáres      cynna gemyndig

 

Hrothgar's queen,      mindful of etiquette,
grétte goldhroden      guman on healle

 

greeted, gold-adorned,      the men in the hall
ond þá fréolíc wíf      ful gesealde

 

and then the noble lady      gave out full cups,
aérest Éast-Dena      éþelwearde·

  616

first to the East-Danes      homeland-guardian,
bæd hine blíðne      æt þaére béorþege

 

bade him be blithe      at the partaking of beer,
léodum léofne·      hé on lust geþeah

 

beloved by the people;      he took in delight
symbel ond seleful      sigeróf kyning·

 

feast-food and hall-cup,      the victorious king;
ymb-éode þá      ides Helminga

 

then she went among them,      the lady of the Helmings,
duguþe ond geogoþe      daél aéghwylcne·

  621

to veteran and youth      a portion to each,
sincfato sealde      oþ þæt saél álamp

 

gave rich cups,      until the time came
þæt hío Béowulfe,      béaghroden cwén

 

that she to Beowulf,      the ring-adorned queen,
móde geþungen      medoful ætbær·

 

blossoming in spirit,      carried a mead-cup;
grétte Géata léod·      gode þancode

 

she greeted the Geatish prince,      thanked God,
wísfæst wordum      þæs ðe hire se willa gelamp

  626

wise in her words,      for that her wish was to be fulfilled,
þæt héo on aénigne      eorl gelýfde

 

that she in any      noble man could count on
fyrena frófre.      Hé þæt ful geþeah

 

relief from wickedness.      He took that full-cup,
wælréow wiga      æt Wealhþéön

 

the slaughter-fierce warrior      from Wealhtheow,
ond þá gyddode      gúþe gefýsed·

 

and then spoke solemnly,      made eager for war;
Béowulf maþelode      bearn Ecgþéowes:

  631

Beowulf spoke,      the son of Edgetheow:
'Ic þæt hogode·      þá ic on holm gestáh·

 

'I resolved that,      when I mounted the water,
saébát gesæt      mid mínra secga gedriht·

 

sat down in the sea-boat      amid my company of warriors,
þaét ic ánunga      éowra léoda

 

that I forthwith      your people's
willan geworhte      oþðe on wæl crunge

 

will would work,      or fall in slaughter,
féondgrápum fæst·      ic gefremman sceal

  636

fast in the fiend's grasp;      I must perform
eorlíc ellen      oþðe endedæg

 

this daring act of courage      or the last day
on þisse meoduhealle      mínne gebídan.'

 

in this mead-hall      of mine await.'
Ðám wífe þá word      wél lícodon

 

The woman these words      liked well,
gilpcwide Géates·      éode goldhroden

 

the vow-speech of the Geat;      went gold-adorned,
fréolicu folccwén      tó hire fréan sittan.

  641

the noble queen of the folk,      to sit by her lord.
Þá wæs eft swá aér      inne on healle

 

Then were again, as before,      in the hall,
þrýðword sprecen,      ðéod on saélum,

 

bold words spoken,      the people full of joy,
sigefolca swég      oþ þæt semninga

 

--victory-folk's clamour--      until presently
sunu Healfdenes      sécean wolde

 

the son of Half-Dane      wished to seek
aéfenræste·      wiste þaém áhlaécan

  646

evening-rest;      he knew that the ogre
tó þaém héahsele      hilde geþinged

 

for the high hall      had plotted an attack,
siððan híe sunnan léoht      geséon meahton

 

ever since when they the sun's light      could see;
oþðe nípende      niht ofer ealle

 

and darkening      night all over,
scaduhelma gesceapu      scríðan cwóman

 

shadow-helm's shapes      came slithering,
wan under wolcnum.      Werod eall árás·

  651

black beneath the skies.      The troop all arose;
gegrétte þá guma      guman óþerne

 

greeted then the man      the other man,
Hróðgár Béowulf      ond him haél ábéad

 

Hrothgar Beowulf,      and bid him health,
wínærnes geweald      ond þæt word ácwæð:

 

the wine-hall's ruler,      and spoke these words:
'Naéfre ic aénegum men      aér álýfde·

 

'I never to any man      before entrusted,
siþðan ic hond ond rond      hebban mihte·

  656

since I hand and shield      was able to raise,
ðrýþærn Dena      búton þé nú ðá·

 

this strong-hall of the Danes,      save to thee now;
hafa nú ond geheald      húsa sélest·

 

have now and hold      this best of houses,
gemyne maérþo·      mægenellen cýð·

 

focus on glory,      show great valour,
waca wið wráþum·      ne bið þé wilna gád

 

keep watch against the enemy;      there shall be no dearth of your desires
gif þú þæt ellenweorc      aldre gedígest.'

  661

if this courage-work you      survive with your life.'

X

 

Ðá him Hróþgár gewát      mid his hæleþa gedryht   Then Hrothgar went      with his band of heroes,
eodur Scyldinga      út of healle·   the protector of the Scyldings,      out of the hall;
wolde wígfruma      Wealhþéo sécan

 

he wished      to seek Wealhtheow,
cwén tó gebeddan·      hæfde kyningwuldor

 

the queen as companion in bed;      the glory of kings had,
Grendle tógéanes·      swá guman gefrungon·

  666

against Grendel,      --so men heard--
seleweard áseted:      sundornytte behéold

 

the hall-guard posted:      special duty he held
ymb aldor Dena·      eotonweard' ábéad.

 

for the chief of the Danes,      ogre-watch he kept.
Húru Géata léod      georne trúwode

 

Indeed the prince of the Geats      keenly trusted
módgan mægnes,      metodes hyldo

 

in his prodigious power,      his Maker's favour,
ðá hé him of dyde      ísernbyrnan

  671

then he from himself took      iron-byrnie,
helm of hafelan·      sealde his hyrsted sweord

 

helm from head,      gave his adorned sword,
írena cyst      ombihtþegne

 

the choicest of irons,      to his retainer,
ond gehealdan hét      hildegeatwe·

 

and commanded him ward      his battle-gear;
gespræc þá se góda      gylpworda sum

 

the good man spoke then      some promise-words,
Béowulf Géata      aér hé on bed stige:

  676

Beowulf of the Geats,      before he stepped into bed:
'Nó ic mé an herewæsmun      hnágran talige

 

'I myself in martial-stature do not      tally poorer
gúþgeweorca      þonne Grendel hine·

 

in works of war      then Grendel himself;
forþan ic hine sweorde      swebban nelle,

 

therefore him with my sword I      shall not slay,
aldre benéotan      þéah ic eal mæge·

 

deprive of life,      though I fully am able;
nát hé þára góda      þæt hé mé ongéan sléä·

  681

he knows not the finer skills      that he may strike me back,
rand gehéawe      þéah ðe hé róf síe

 

hew my rimmed-shield,      although he is renowned
níþgeweorca      ac wit on niht sculon

 

for malicious works      but we at night must
secge ofersittan      gif hé gesécean dear

 

relinquish short sword      if he dares to seek
wíg ofer waépen      ond siþðan wítig god

 

war without weapons,      and then wise God,
on swá hwæþere hond      hálig dryhten

  686

on whichever hand,      the holy Lord
maérðo déme      swá him gemet þince.'

 

will allot glory,      as seems fitting to Him.'
Hylde hine þá heaþodéor      --hléorbolster onféng

 

The war-bold one then bent himself down      --the cheek-bolster received
eorles andwlitan--      ond hine ymb monig

 

the earl's face--      and round him many
snellíc saérinc      selereste gebéah·

 

brave seaman      sank down in hall-slumber;
naénig heora þóhte      þæt hé þanon scolde

  691

none of them thought      that he thence would
eft eardlufan      aéfre gesécean

 

his dear home again      ever visit,
folc oþðe fréoburh      þaér hé áféded wæs

 

his folk or his noble citadel,      where he was nurtured
ac híe hæfdon gefrúnen      þæt híe aér tó fela micles

 

for they had heard      that far too many of them already
in þaém wínsele      wældéað fornam

 

in that wine-hall      slaughtering Death had carried off
Denigea léode.      Ac him dryhten forgeaf

  696

of the Danish people.      But to them the Lord granted
wígspéda gewiofu       Wedera léodum

 

the woven-destiny of war-luck      to the Wederas' men,
frófor ond fultum      þæt híe féond heora

 

solace and support,      that they their foe,
ðurh ánes cræft      ealle ofercómon

 

through the strength of one,      all overcame,
selfes mihtum·      sóð is gecýþed,

 

by his own might;      truth is known
þæt mihtig god      manna cynnes

  701

that mighty God      mankind
weold wídeferhð.      Cóm on wanre niht

 

has ruled forever.      In the colourless night came
scríðan sceadugenga·      scéotend swaéfon

 

slinking the shadow-wanderer;      the shooters slept,
þá þæt hornreced      healdan scoldon

 

they that the horned-house      were obliged to guard,
ealle búton ánum      --þæt wæs yldum cúþ

 

all but one      --it was known to men
þæt híe ne móste·      þá metod nolde·

  706

that they could not,      when the Maker did not wish it,
se synscaþa      under sceadu bregdan--

 

by the malefactor      be drawn under the shadows--
ac hé wæccende      wráþum on andan

 

but he watching      in angry indignation
bád bolgenmód      beadwa geþinges.

 

bided in rising rage      for the result of battle.

XI

 

Ðá cóm of móre      under misthleoþum

 

Then came from the moor      under the misty cliffs
Grendel gongan·      godes yrre bær·

  711

Grendel walking,      God's wrath he bore;

mynte se mánscaða      manna cynnes

 

the vile ravager meant      from mankind
sumne besyrwan      in sele þám héan·

 

a sample to snare      in the high hall;
wód under wolcnum      tó þæs þe hé wínreced

 

he waded under the clouds      until he the wine-hall,
goldsele gumena      gearwost wisse

 

--the gold-hall of men--      mostly-certainly saw,
faéttum fáhne·      ne wæs þæt forma síð

716

shining gold;      it was not the first time
þæt hé Hróþgáres      hám gesóhte·

 

that he Hrothgar's      home had sought;
naéfre hé on aldordagum      aér ne siþðan

 

he never in the days of his life,      ere nor after,
heardran haéle      healðegnas fand.

 

harder luck      or hall-thanes found.
  Cóm þá to recede      rinc síðian

 

  He came then to the hall      the fighter journeying,
dréamum bedaéled·      duru sóna onarn

  721

cut-off from merriment;      the door soon rushed open,
fýrbendum fæst      syþðan hé hire folmum æthrán

 

firm with fire-forged bands,      when he tapped it with his hands
onbraéd þá bealohýdig      ðá hé gebolgen wæs,

 

plotting evil then he tore open,      now that he was enraged,
recedes múþan·      raþe æfter þon

 

the mouth of the building;      straight after that
on fágne flór      féond treddode·

 

on the tessellated floor      the fiend treaded,
éode yrremód·      him of éagum stód

  726

advanced angrily;      from his eyes issued,
ligge gelícost      léoht unfaéger·

 

most like a flame,      a distorted light;
geseah hé in recede      rinca manige

 

he saw in the hall      many warriors
swefan sibbegedriht      samod ætgædere

 

a sleeping company of kinsmen      gathered together
magorinca héap.      Þá his mód áhlóg:

 

a great host of warriors.      Then his heart laughed:  
mynte þæt hé gedaélde      aér þon dæg cwóme

  731

he intended to deprive,      ere the day came,
atol áglaéca      ánra gehwylces

 

the cruel beast,      from each one
líf wið líce      þá him álumpen wæs

 

life from body,      now had befallen him
wistfylle wén.      Ne wæs þæt wyrd þá gén

 

a hope of a full feast.      It was not his fate again
þæt hé má móste      manna cynnes

 

that he might more      of mankind
ðicgean ofer þá niht·      þrýðswýð behéold

  736

partake of after that night;      the mighty man beheld,
maég Higeláces      hú se mánscaða

 

the kinsman of Hygelac,      how the cruel killer
under faérgripum      gefaran wolde.

 

by means of a sudden attack      wished to proceed.
Né þæt se áglaéca      yldan þóhte

 

That the monster did not      think to delay,
ac hé geféng hraðe      forman síðe

 

but he quickly grasped,      at the first occasion,
slaépendne rinc      slát unwearnum·

  741

a sleeping warrior,      rended without restraint,
bát bánlocan·      blód édrum dranc·

 

bit into the bone-locks,      from the veins drank blood,
synsnaédum swealh·      sóna hæfde

 

swallowed great chunks;      soon he had
unlyfigendes      ealgefeormod

 

the unliving one      all devoured,
fét ond folma·      forð néar ætstóp·

 

feet and hands;      nearer he stepped forth,
nam þá mid handa      higeþíhtigne

  746

taking then with his hands      a stout-hearted
rinc on ræste·      raéhte ongéan

 

warrior from his rest,      reached towards him
féond mid folme·      hé onféng hraþe

 

the foe with his palm;      quickly he grasped
inwitþancum      ond wið earm gesæt.

 

the malice thoughts      and clamped down on the arm.
Sóna þæt onfunde      fyrena hyrde·

 

At once he found,      the shepherd of atrocities,
þæt hé ne métte      middangeardes

  751

that he had not met      in middle-earth,
eorþan scéatta      on elran men

 

in the expanse of the world,      in another man
mundgripe máran·      hé on móde wearð

 

a greater hand-grip;      he in his heart grew
forht on ferhðe·      nó þý aér fram meahte·

 

fearing for life;      none the sooner could he away;
hyge wæs him hinfús·      wolde on heolster fléon,

 

eager-to-go-hence was the thought in him,      he wanted to flee into the darkness,
sécan déofla gedræg·      ne wæs his drohtoð þaér

  756

to seek the devils' concourse;      his situation there was not
swylce hé on ealderdagum      aér gemétte.

 

like he in the days of his life      ever had met.

Gemunde þá se góda      maég Higeláces

 

The good man then recalled,      the kinsman of Hygelac,
aéfenspraéce·      uplang ástód

 

his evening-speech;      upright he stood
ond him fæste wiðféng·      fingras burston·

 

and laid hold of him tight;      fingers burst;
eoten wæs útweard·      eorl furþur stóp.

  761

the troll was striving to move outward,      the earl stepped forward.
Mynte se maéra      hwaér hé meahte swá

 

The infamous one meant,      anywhere he so was able,
wídre gewindan      ond on weg þanon

 

farther escape      and away thence
fléon on fenhopu·     wiste his fingra geweald

 

flee to his secret places in the fen;      he knew his fingers' control
on grames grápum·      þæt he wæs géocorsíð

 

in his enemy's grip,      that was a bitter journey he
þæt sé hearmscaþa      to Heorute átéah.

  766

that the harm-warrior      had taken to Heorot.
Dryhtsele dynede·      Denum eallum wearð

 

The noble hall broke into a din;      the Danes all were,
ceasterbúendum      cénra gehwylcum

 

--the citadel-dwellers--      each of the bold,
eorlum ealuscerwen·      yrre waéron bégen

 

earls in the flood of bitter drink;      enraged were both
réþe renweardas·      reced hlynsode.

 

fierce hall-wards;      the hall resounded.
Þá wæs wundor micel      þæt se wínsele

  771

Then it was a great wonder      that the wine-hall
wiðhæfde heaþodéorum·      þæt hé on hrúsan ne féol

 

withstood the war-fighters,      that it did not fall to the ground,

faéger foldbold      ac hé þæs fæste wæs

 

the fair mansion      but it so firm was
innan ond útan      írenbendum

 

inside and out      with iron-bands
searoþoncum besmiþod·      þaér fram sylle ábéag

 

skilfully smithed;      there from the floor broke away
medubenc monig      míne gefraége

  776

many mead-benches,      I heard,
golde geregnad      þaér þá graman wunnon·

 

adorned with gold,      where the enemies struggled;
þæs ne wéndon aér      witan Scyldinga·

 

it was not thought before,      by the sages of the Scyldings,
þæt hit á mid gemete      manna aénig

 

that it ever by means      any men
betlíc ond bánfág      tóbrecan meahte,

 

splendid and bone-adorned,      could break it up,
listum tólúcan      nymþe líges fæþm

  781

cleverly cleave asunder,      not unless fire's embrace
swulge on swaþule.      Swég up ástág

 

swallowed it in inferno.      Sound ascended up,
níwe geneahhe·      Norð-Denum stód

 

new, nearby:      the North-Danes stood
atelíc egesa      ánra gehwylcum

 

in ghastly horror,      in each one of

þára þe of wealle      wóp gehýrdon,

 

them who from the wall      weeping heard,
gryreléoð galan      godes andsacan

  786

terrible screaming,      God's adversary,
sigeléasne sang,      sár wánigean

 

a victoryless song,      bewailing his wound,
helle hæfton·      héold hine fæste

 

Hel's prisoner;      he held him fast,
sé þe manna wæs      mægene strengest

 

he who was of men      in might strongest
on þaém dæge      þysses lífes.

 

on that day      in this life.

XII

 

sydaudio Nolde eorla hléo      aénige þinga

  791

The protector of earls had no wish      for any reason

þone cwealmcuman      cwicne forlaétan

 

the murderous guest      to release alive,
né his lífdagas      léoda aénigum

 

nor his life-days      to any people
nytte tealde.      Þær genehost brægd

 

counted as advantage.      There many brandished
eorl Béowulfes      ealde láfe·

 

warriors of Beowulf,      old heirlooms,
wolde fréadrihtnes      feorh ealgian

  796

they wished prince-lord's      life defend,
maéres þéodnes      ðaér híe meahton swá·

 

the legendary leader's,      if they could do so;
híe þæt ne wiston      þá híe gewin drugon

 

they did not know that,      when they joined the fray,
heardhicgende      hildemecgas

 

the bold-minded      battle-men,
ond on healfa gehwone      héawan þóhton,

 

and on each side      thought to heaw,
sáwle sécan:      þone synscaðan

  801

to seek the soul:      that the sin-scather
aénig ofer eorþan      írenna cyst

 

any on earth,      of the choicest of irons,
gúðbilla nán      grétan nolde

 

of war-bills, none,      could not at all greet him
ac hé sigewaépnum      forsworen hæfde

 

but he victory-weapons      had forsworn,
ecga gehwylcre.      Scolde his aldorgedál

 

every blade-edge.      His life-severing was bound to
on ðaém dæge      þysses lífes

  806

on that day      in this life
earmlíc wurðan      ond se ellorgást

 

be wretched,      and the alien-spirit
on féonda geweald      feor síðian·

 

into the administration of fiends      would journey far away;
ðá þæt onfunde      sé þe fela aéror

 

then he found,      he who before many,
módes myrðe      manna cynne

 

miseries in his mind,      on mankind
fyrene gefremede      --he, fág wið god--

  811

atrocities committed      --he, who fought with God--
þæt him se líchoma      laéstan nolde

 

that him his body-shell      would not obey,
ac hine se módega      maég Hygeláces

 

but him the daring      kinsman of Hygelac
hæfde be honda·      wæs gehwæþer óðrum

 

had by the hand;      each was by the other
lifigende láð·      lícsár gebád

 

loathed while living;      body-pain he felt,
atol aéglaéca·      him on eaxle wearð

  816

the awful ogre;      on his shoulder was
syndolh sweotol·      seonowe onsprungon·

 

a great wound apparent,      sinows sprang asunder,
burston bánlocan·      Béowulfe wearð

 

bone-locks burst;      to Beowulf was
gúðhréð gyfeþe·      scolde Grendel þonan

 

war-glory given;      thence Grendel had to
feorhséoc fléön      under fenhleoðu,

 

flee sick unto death      under the hills of the fen,
sécean wynléas wíc·      wiste þé geornor

  821

to seek his joyless abode;      he knew it more surely
þæt his aldres wæs      ende gegongen

 

that was his life's      end arrived,
dógera dægrím.      Denum eallum wearð

 

the day-count of his days.      For the Danes were all,
æfter þám wælraése      willa gelumpen:

 

after that slaughter-storm,      wishes come to pass:
hæfde þá gefaélsod      sé þe aér feorran cóm

 

he had then cleansed,      he who had before come from afar,
snotor ond swýðferhð      sele Hróðgáres,

  826

shrewd and strong-minded,      the hall of Hrothgar,
genered wið níðe·      nihtweorce gefeh

 

rescued from ruin;      in his night's work he rejoiced,
ellenmaérþum·      hæfde Éast-Denum

 

in valour from great deeds;      to the East-Danes had
Géatmecga léod      gilp gelæsted·

 

the Geatmen's leader,      his oath fulfilled;
swylce oncýþðe      ealle gebétte

 

so too anguish      all remedied,
inwidsorge      þé híe aér drugon

  831

grievous sorrow,      that they had ere endured,
ond for þréanýdum      þolian scoldon

 

and in hard distress      had to suffer,
torn unlýtel·      þæt wæs tácen sweotol

 

no small misery;      that was a clear sign,
syþðan hildedéor      hond álegde

 

when the battle-bold one      the hand placed,
earm ond eaxle      --þaér wæs eal geador

 

arm and shoulder      --there was all together
Grendles grápe--      under géapne hróf.

  836

the grip of Grendel--      under the gaping roof.

XIII

 

Ðá wæs on morgen      míne gefraége

 

Then was in the morning,      as I heard tell,
ymb þá gifhealle      gúðrinc monig

 

about the gift-hall      many warriors,
férdon folctogan      feorran ond néän

 

folk-chiefs arrived      from far and near
geond wídwegas      wundor scéawian

 

across wide regions      to behold the wonder,
láþes lástas·      nó his lífgedál

  841

the foe's foot-prints;      his parting from life did not
sárlíc þúhte      secga aénegum

 

seem mournful      to any man
þára þe tírléases      trode scéawode·

 

of those who the gloryless foe's      track observed,
hú hé wérigmód      on weg þanon

 

how he weary      away thence,
níða ofercumen      on nicera mere

 

vanquished by violence,      to the nicors' mere
faége ond geflýmed      feorhlástas bær.

  846

doomed and driven back      left behind life-trails.
Ðaér wæs on blóde      brim weallende,

 

There with blood was      the water seething,
atol ýða geswing      eal gemenged

 

terrible swirling of swells      all mingled
háton heolfre      heorodréore wéol·

 

with boiling gore,      with sword-blood it welled,
déaðfaége déog      siððan dréama léas

 

doomed to die he hid himself,      then, bereft of pleasure,
in fenfreoðo      feorh álegde

  851

in his fen-refuge      he laid down his life,
haéþene sáwle·      þaér him hel onféng. his heathen soul;      there Hel embraced him.
Þanon eft gewiton      ealdgesíðas

 

Thence returned      old companions,
swylce geong manig      of gomenwáþe

 

also many young,      from the sport-chase,
fram mere módge      méarum rídan

 

from the mere full-spirited,      riding horses,
beornas on blancum·      ðaér wæs Béowulfes

  856

warriors on fair steeds,      there was Beowulf's
maérðo maéned·      monig oft gecwæð

 

glory proclaimed;      many often said
þætte súð né norð      be saém twéonum

 

that neither south nor north      between the seas
ofer eormengrund      óþer naénig

 

over the whole vast earth,      no other
under swegles begong      sélra naére

 

under the sky's expanse      was ne're better
rondhæbbendra,      ríces wyrðra·

  861

shield-bearer,      of a worthier kingdom;
né híe húru winedrihten      wiht ne lógon

 

nor, however, the friend and lord,      did they blame at all,
glædne Hróðgár      ac þæt wæs gód cyning.

 

gracious Hrothgar,      for he was a good king.
Hwílum heaþorófe      hléapan léton

 

At times the brave warriors      let leap,
on geflit faran      fealwe méaras

 

in a contest raced      fallow horses,
ðaér him foldwegas      fægere þúhton

  866

where to them the earth-roads      seemed suitable,
cystum cúðe.      Hwílum cyninges þegn

 

and known to be the best.      At times the king's thane,
guma gilphlæden      gidda gemyndig

 

a man laden with fine speech,      remembering songs,
sé ðe ealfela      ealdgesegena

 

he who very many      of ancient traditions
worn gemunde      word óþer fand

 

recalled scores,      found new words
sóðe gebunden·      secg eft ongan

  871

bound in truth;      the man then began
síð Béowulfes      snyttrum styrian

 

Beowulf's exploit      skilfully to recite,
ond on spéd wrecan      spel geráde,

 

and artfully utter      an adept tale,
wordum wrixlan·      wélhwylc gecwæð

 

varying his words;      he spoke of almost everything
þæt hé fram Sigemunde      secgan hyrde

 

that he of Sigmund      had heard said,
ellendaédum:      uncúþes fela

  876

of his deeds of glory:      many uncanny things,
Wælsinges gewin      wíde síðas

 

the striving of Wael's son,      his great journeys;
þára þe gumena bearn      gearwe ne wiston

 

those things of which the childen of men      by no means knew,
faéhðe ond fyrena      búton Fitela mid hine,

 

feuds and feats of arms,      only Fitela with him,
þonne hé swulces hwæt      secgan wolde

 

then he of such matters      was wont to speak of,
éäm his nefan      swá híe á waéron

  881

uncle to his nephew,      as they always were
æt níða gehwám      nýdgesteallan·

 

in every conflict      comrades in need;
hæfdon ealfela      eotena cynnes

 

they had a great many      of the giantkind
sweordum gesaéged·      Sigemunde gesprong

 

laid low with swords;      for Sigmund arose,
æfter déaðdæge      dóm unlýtel

 

after the day of his death,      no little fame,
syþðan wíges heard      wyrm ácwealde

  886

since the fierce warrior      had quelled the great serpent,
hordes hyrde·      hé under hárne stán

 

the keeper of a hoard;      beneath the hoary grey stone he,
æþelinges bearn      ána genéðde

 

the prince's son,      alone ventured
frécne daéde      ne waés him Fitela mid·

 

a dangerous deed,      Fitela was not with him;
hwæþre him gesaélde      ðæt þæt swurd þurhwód

 

however it was granted him      that the sword pierced
wraétlícne wyrm      þæt hit on wealle ætstód

  891

the wondrous wyrm,      so that it stood fixed in the wall,
dryhtlíc íren·      draca morðre swealt·

 

the noble iron;      the dragon perished in the slaughter;
hæfde áglaéca      elne gegongen

 

the fearsome one had      ensured by courage
þæt hé béahhordes      brúcan móste

 

that he the ring-hoard      might possess
selfes dóme·      saébát gehléod·

 

at his own chosing;      he loaded the sea-boat,
bær on bearm scipes      beorhte frætwa

  896

bore in the bosom of his ship      the gleaming treasures,
Wælses eafera      --wyrm hát gemealt--

 

Wael's son      --the wyrm in its heat melted--
sé wæs wreccena      wíde maérost

 

he was of adventurers      the most widely famed
ofer werþéode      wígendra hléo

 

among nations,      the warriors' protector,
ellendaédum      --hé þæs aér onðáh--

 

for deeds of valour      --he had prospered by this--
siððan Heremódes      hild sweðrode,

  901

since Heremod's      skirmishing had abated,
earfoð ond ellen·      he mid eotenum wearð

 

affliction and spirit;      he among the Etins was
on féonda geweald      forð forlácen

 

into enemy hands      given up,
snúde forsended·      hine sorhwylmas

 

quickly despatched;      the surgings of sorrow him
lemede tó lange·      hé his léodum wearð

 

hindered too long;      he to his people became,
eallum æþellingum      tó aldorceare·

  906

to all of the nobels,      a great mortal sorrow;
swylce oft bemearn      aérran maélum

 

moreover they often mourned,      for in earlier times,
swíðferhþes síð      snotor ceorl monig

 

the departure of the stouted-hearted king,      many learnèd sages
sé þe him bealwa      tó bóte gelýfde

 

who to him for miseries'      remedy had trusted and believed
þæt þæt ðéodnes bearn      geþéon scolde,

 

that that prince's son      must prosper,
fæderæþelum onfón,      folc gehealdan

  911

take up his father's rank,      rule the folk,
hord ond hléoburh      hæleþa ríce

 

their treasury and citadel,      the heroes' kingdom,
éðel Scyldinga·      hé þaér eallum wearð

 

homeland of the Scyldings;      he by all became,
maég Higeláces      manna cynne

 

the kinsman of Hygelac,      by mankind,
fréondum gefægra·      hine fyren onwód.

 

more esteemed;      wickedness undid him.
Hwílum flítende      fealwe straéte

  916

Now and then racing,      dusky streets
méarum maéton.      Ðá waés morgenléoht

 

on their mounts they traversed.      Then was the morning light
scofen ond scynded·      éode scealc monig

 

hurried and hastened;      many retainers went
swíðhicgende      tó sele þám héan

 

determined      to the high hall
searowundor séon·      swylce self cyning

 

to see the strange wonder;      the king himself too
of brýdbúre      béahhorda weard

  921

from his wife's bower,      the ward of the ring-hoard,
tryddode tírfæst      getrume micle

 

stepped out splendid      with his great troop,
cystum gecýþed      ond his cwén mid him

 

famed for his excellence,      and his queen with him,
medostigge mæt      mægþa hóse.

 

passed down the meadhall-path,      accompanied by maidens.

XIIII

 

Hróðgár maþelode      --hé to héalle géong·

 

Hrothgar spoke      --he went to the hall,
stód on stapole·     geseah stéapne hróf

  926

stood on the steps,      observed the steep roof
golde fáhne      ond Grendles hond--:

 

adorned with gold      and Grendel's hand--:
'Ðisse ansýne      alwealdan þanc

 

'For this sight      Thanks to the All-Ruler
lungre gelimpe!      Fela ic láþes gebád,

 

be swiftly forthcoming!      I have suffered many injuries,
grynna æt Grendle·      á mæg god wyrcan

 

griefs from Grendel;      God can always work
wunder æfter wundre,      wuldres hyrde.

  931

wonder after wonder,      glory's Keeper.
Ðaét wæs ungeára      þæt ic aénigra mé

 

It was not long past      that I for me any
wéana ne wénde      tó wídan feore

 

for woes not hoped      for the bredth of my life,
bóte gebídan      þonne blóde fáh

 

to experience remedy      when adorned with blood
húsa sélest      heorodréorig stód:

 

the most splendid house      stood battle-gory:
wéa wídscofen      witena gehwylcne

  936

woe widespread      for each of the sages
ðára þe ne wéndon      þæt híe wídeferhð

 

those who did not hope      that in the span of their lives
léoda landgeweorc      láþum beweredon

 

the nation's fortress      from foes they could protect,
scuccum ond scinnum·      ná scealc hafað

 

from shucks and shines;      now a warrior has,
þurh drihtnes miht      daéd gefremede

 

through the Lord's power,      performed a deed
ðe wé ealle      aér ne meahton

  941

which we all      before could not
snyttrum besyrwan·      hwæt, þæt secgan mæg

 

with schemes contrive;      listen, that may say
efne swá hwylc mægþa      swá ðone magan cende

 

even so whichever woman      as that begot this man,
æfter gumcynnum      gyf héo gýt lyfað

 

among mankind,      if she yet lives,
þæt hyre ealdmetod      éste waére

 

that to her the Old Measurer of Fate      was gracious
bearngebyrdo.      Nú ic, Béowulf, þec,

  946

in child-bearing.      Now, I, Beowulf, you,
secg betosta,      mé for sunu wylle

 

the best of men,      for me like a son would
fréogan on ferhþe·      heald forð tela

 

love in life;      keep well henceforth
níwe sibbe·      ne bið þé aénigre gád

 

this new kinship;      there will not be any want
worolde wilna      þé ic geweald hæbbe·

 

of worldly wishes      while I have power;
ful oft ic for laéssan      léan teohhode

  951

full oft I for less      rewards have bestowed,
hordweorþunge      hnáhran rince

 

honouring with treasure      a humbler man,
saémran æt sæcce·      þú þé self hafast

 

lesser at fighting;      you for yourself have
daédum gefremed      þæt þín dóm lyfað

 

by deeds ensured,      that your fame lives
áwa tó aldre·      alwalda þec

 

for ever and ever;      may the All-Ruler you
góde forgylde      swá hé nú gýt dyde!'

  956

reward with good,      as He has now yet done!'
Béowulf maþelode      bearn Ecgþéowes:

 

Beowulf spoke,      the son of Edgetheow:
'Wé þæt ellenweorc      éstum miclum

 

'We the courage-works      with great pleasure,
feohtan fremedon·      frécne genéðdon

 

endeavoured to fight,      boldly risked
eafoð uncúþes.      Úþe ic swíþor

 

the strength of an unknown foe.      I would rather
þæt ðú hine selfne      geséon móste

  961

that you him himself      might have seen,
féond on frætewum      fylwérigne·

 

the fiend in his full gear      wearied by death;
ic him hrædlíce      heardan clammum

 

I him quickly      in hard clasp
on wælbedde      wríþan þóhte

 

on the bed of slaughter      thought to fetter,
þæt hé for handgripe      mínum scolde

 

that he because of the hand-grip      of mine must
licgean lífbysig      bútan his líc swice·

  966

lie struggling for life,      lest his body slip away;
ic hine ne mihte      þá metod nolde

 

I him could not,      when the Measurer of Fate did not wish it,
ganges getwaéman·      nó ic him þæs georne ætfealh

 

hinder departing;      nor I so readily kept him close,
feorhgeníðlan·      wæs tó foremihtig

 

that mortal foe;      he was too overpowering,
féond on féþe·      hwæþere, hé his folme forlét

 

the fiend in departing;      however, he left his hand
tó lífwraþe      lást weardian,

  971

to save his life,      remaining behind,
earm ond eaxle·      nó þaér aénige swá þéah

 

arm and shoulder;      not with it though any
féasceaft guma      frófre gebohte·

 

the worthless creature,      relief purchased;
nó þý leng leofað      láðgetéona

 

not the longer does he live,      the hateful spoiler,
synnum geswenced      ac hyne sár hafað

 

struck down by sins      but him the wound has
in níðgripe      nearwe befongen

  976

with violent grip      narrowly enclosed
balwon bendum      ðaér ábídan sceal

 

in baleful bonds,      there he must await,
maga máne fáh      miclan dómes·

 

the creature stained with crimes,      the great judgement,
hú him scír metod      scrífan wille.'

 

how him the glorious Measure of Fate      wishes to decree.'
Ðá wæs swígra secg      sunu Ecgláfes

 

Then the man was more silent,      the son of Edgelaf,
on gylpspraéce      gúðgeweorca

  981

in boast-speech      of war-works
siþðan æþelingas      eorles cræfte

 

when the noble men,      by the strength of the prince
ofer héanne hróf      hand scéawedon

 

over the high roof      saw the hand,
feondes fingras·      foran aéghwylc wæs

 

the fiend's fingers;      on the front of each was,
steda nægla gehwylc      stýle gelícost

 

in the place of each nail      very much like steel
haéþenes handsporu      hilderinces

 986

heathenish hand-spurs,      the war-creature's
egl unhéoru·      aéghwylc gecwæð

 

ungentle talon;      everyone said
þæt him heardra nán      hrínan wolde

 

that him no hard weapon      would strike,
íren aérgód,      þæt ðæs áhlaécan

 

pre-eminent iron,      that of them (none) the demon's
blódge beadufolme      onberan wolde.

 

bloody battle-hand      would injure.

XV

 

Ðá wæs háten hreþe      Heort innanweard

  991

Then the order was promptly given      the interior of Heorot
folmum gefrætwod·      fela þaéra wæs

 

to furnish by hands;      many there were,
wera ond wífa      þe þæt wínreced

 

of men and women,      who the wine-hall,
gestsele gyredon·      goldfág scinon

 

the guest-hall prepared;      gold-glittering shone
web æfter wágum      wundorsíona fela

 

woven tapestries along the walls,      many wondrous sights
secga gehwylcum      þára þe on swylc starað·

  996

for each of the men,      who on such stared;

wæs þæt beorhte bold      tóbrocen swíðe

 

that bright building was      badly broken up
eal inneweard      írenbendum fæst,

 

all inside      secure with iron-bands,
heorras tóhlidene·      hróf ána genæs

 

hinges sprung open;      the roof alone remained
ealles ansund      þé se áglaéca

 

entirely sound,      when the ogre,
fyrendaédum fág      on fléam gewand

  1001

guilty of wicked deeds      turned in flight,
aldres orwéna.      Nó þæt ýðe byð

 

despairing of life.      That is not easy
to befléönne      --fremme sé þe wille--

 

to flee from      --try he who will--
ac gesacan sceal      sáwlberendra

 

but he must gain by strife,      those who have souls,
nýde genýdde,      niþða bearna

 

compelled by necessity,      the mens' sons',
grundbúendra      gearwe stówe

  1006

the ground-dwellers'      ready place,
þaér his líchoma      legerbedde fæst

 

there his body,      fast in his death-bed,
swefeþ æfter symle.      Þá wæs saél ond maél

 

sleeps after feasting.      Then it was the time and occasion
þæt tó healle gang      Healfdenes sunu·

 

that to the hall went      Half-Dane's son;
wolde self cyning      symbel þicgan·

 

the king himself wished      to partake of the feast;
ne gefrægen ic þá maégþe      máran weorode

  1011

I have not heard when a tribe      in a greater force
ymb hyra sincgyfan      sél gebaéran·

 

around their treasure-giver      comported themselves better;
bugon þá tó bence      blaédágande

 

they then sank down on the bench,      the fame-bearers,
fylle gefaégon·      fægere geþaégon

 

rejoicing at the feast;      they graciously received
medoful manig      mágas þára

 

many full goblets of mead,      their kinsmen,
swíðhicgende      on sele þám héan

  1016

stout-hearted,      in the high hall
Hróðgár ond Hróþulf·      Heorot innan wæs

 

Hrothgar and Hrothulf·      the interior of Heorot was
fréondum áfylled·      nalles fácenstafas

 

filled with friends;      no treacherous-strokes
Þéod-Scyldingas      þenden fremedon.

 

the Folk-Scyldings      made as yet.
Forgeaf þá Béowulfe      brand Healfdenes

 

Then Beowulf was given      the brand of Half-Dane,
segen gyldenne      sigores tó léane

  1021

the golden banner      in reward of victory,
hroden hiltecumbor,      helm ond byrnan·

 

the adorned standard,      helm and byrnie;
maére máðþumsweord      manige gesáwon

 

the renowned treasure-sword      many saw
beforan beorn beran·      Béowulf geþah

 

brought before the hero;      Beowulf took
ful on flette·      nó hé þaére feohgyfte

 

the full flagon from the floor;      of the reward-gift he did not,
for scótenum      scamigan ðorfte·

  1026

as payment,      need to be ashamed;
ne gefrægn ic fréondlícor      féower mádmas

 

I have not heard that more graciously      four treasures,
golde gegyrede      gummanna fela

 

adorned with gold,      many men
in ealobence      óðrum gesellan·

 

on ale-bench      have given to others;
ymb þæs helmes hróf      héafodbeorge

 

around the helmet's roof      --the head-guard--
wírum bewunden      walan útan héold

  1031

was wound with wires      the re-inforced crest guarded from without,
þæt him féla láf      frécne ne meahton

 

that him what the files have left      could not savagely,
scúrheard sceþðan      þonne scyldfreca

 

(could not) harm the wondrously-tempered (helm),      when the shield-fighter
ongéan gramum      gangan scolde.

 

against enemies      had to go.
Heht ðá eorla hléo       eahta méaras

 

The defender of earls then ordered      eight horses,
faétedhléore      on flet téön

  1036

with decorated head-gear,      led onto the hall-floor
in under eoderas·      þára ánum stód

 

in under the ramparts;      one of them stood,
sadol searwum fáh      since gewurþad·

 

saddle skilfully adorned,      ennobled with jewels;
þæt wæs hildesetl      héahcyninges

 

that was the battle-seat      of the high king,
ðonne sweorda gelác      sunu Healfdenes

 

when in sword-play      the son of Half-Dane
efnan wolde·      naéfre on óre læg

  1041

wished to engage;      in the vanguard it never failed
wídcúþes wíg      ðonne walu féollon·

 

his warskill well-known,      when the slain were falling;
ond ðá Béowulfe      béga gehwæþres

 

and then to Beowulf      both of the treasures
eodor Ingwina      onweald getéah

 

the protector of the Friends of Ing      bestowed possession,
wicga ond waépna·      hét hine wél brúcan·

 

horses and weapons;      he ordered him to make good use of (them);
swá manlíce      maére þéoden

  1046

so in a manly manner      the famed chieftain,
hordweard hæleþa      heaþoraésas geald

 

the hoard-ward of heroes,      paid for war-clashes
méarum ond mádmum      swá hý naéfre man lyhð

 

in horses and treasures;      thus, one can never find fault in them
sé þe secgan wile      sóð æfter rihte.

 

he who wishes to tell      the truth according to what is right.

XVI

 

Ðá gýt aéghwylcum      eorla drihten

 

Then, furthermore, to each one      of the earl's company
þára þe mid Béowulfe      brimléade teah

  1051

those with Beowulf      travelled the sea-path,
on þære medubence      máþðum gesealde

 

on the mead-bench      he gave treasures,
yrfeláfe      ond þone aénne heht

 

inherited relics,      and the one man decreed
golde forgyldan      þone ðe Grendel aér

 

to requite in gold      whom Grendel first
máne ácwealde      swá hé hyra má wolde

 

in wickedness quelled,      as he would have more of them
nefne him wítig god      wyrd forstóde

  1056

except for them wise God      that fate had prevented,
ond ðæs mannes mód.      Metod eallum wéold

 

and this man's courage.      The Measure of Fate controlled all
gumena cynnes,      swá hé nú gít déëð·

 

for mankind,      as he now still does;
forþan bið andgit      aéghwaér sélest

 

therefore understanding is      best everywhere,
ferhðes foreþanc·      fela sceal gebídan

 

the forethought of mind;      he must abide much
léofes ond láþes      sé þe longe hér

  1061

love and much hate      he who long here
on ðyssum windagum      worolde brúceð.

 

in these days of strife      would enjoy the world.
Þaér wæs sang ond swég      samod ætgædere

 

There was song and sound      at the same time all together
fore Healfdenes      hildewísan,

 

before Half-Dane's      battle-plotter,
gomenwudu gréted,      gid oft wrecen

 

the glee-wood plucked,      a lay often recited
ðonne healgamen      Hróþgáres scop

  1066

when a hall-performance      Hrothgar's bard
æfter medobence      maénan scolde:

 

before the mead-bench      was obliged to utter:
Finnes eaferum      ðá híe se faér begeat

 

concerning Finn's heirs, with whom,      when disaster struck them,
hæleð Healfdena·      Hnæf Scyldinga

 

the hero of Half-Danes,      Hnaef the Scylding,
in Fréswæle      feallan scolde.

 

on the Frisian battle-field      was fated to fall.
Né húru Hildeburh      herian þorfte

  1071

Truly, Hildeburh did not      have need to praise
eotena tréowe·      unsynnum wearð

 

the good faith of the Eotens;      she was guiltless,
beloren léofum      æt þám hildplegan

 

bereft of her dear ones:      --in the war-play--
bearnum ond bróðrum·      híe on gebyrd hruron

 

her son and brother;      they fell, in accorance with Fate,
gáre wunde·      þæt wæs geómuru ides.

 

wounded by spear;      that was a mournful woman.
Nalles hólinga      Hóces dohtor

  1076

Not without reason did      Hoc's daughter
meotodsceaft bemearn      syþðan morgen cóm

 

grieve over Fate's decree,      when the morning came,
ðá héo under swegle      geséon meahte

 

then she under the sky      could see
morþorbealo mága      þaér hé aér maéste héold

 

the baleful slaughter of kinsmen,      where before he had held the most
worolde wynne·      wíg ealle fornam

 

joy in the world,      war took all
Finnes þegnas      nemne féaum ánum

  1081

of Finn's thanes,      except a few alone,
þæt hé ne mehte      on þaém meðelstede

 

so that he could not      in that meeting-place
wíg Hengeste      wiht gefeohtan

 

the clash with Hengest      conclude at all,
né þá wéaláfe      wíge forþringan

 

nor the woeful remnant      by battle dislodge from their position,
þéodnes ðegne      ac hig him geþingo budon:

 

the prince's thane,      so they offered them settlement:
þæt híe him óðer flet      eal gerýmdon

  1086

that they for them the other dwelling      would completely clear,
healle ond héahsetl      þæt híe healfre geweald

 

hall and high seat,      that they would half of it control
wið eotena bearn      ágan móston

 

with the Eotens' sons      might have,
ond æt feohgyftum      Folcwaldan sunu

 

and at the giving of treasure      Folcwalden's son
dógra gehwylce      Dene weorþode·

 

each day      the Danes would honour,
Hengestes héap      hringum wenede

  1091

Hengest's company      would revere with rings,
efne swá swíðe      sincgestréonum

 

with even as much      precious possesions
faéttan goldes      swá hé Frésena cyn

 

of ornate gold      exactly as he the Frisian kind
on béorsele      byldan wolde.

 

in the beer-hall      would wish to embolden.
Ðá híe getruwedon      on twá healfa

 

Then they pledged      on both sides
fæste frioðuwaére·      Fin Hengeste

  1096

firm compact of peace;      Finn to Hengest
elne unflitme      áðum benemde

 

with incontestable earnestness      proclaimed an oath
þæt hé þá wéaláfe      weotena dóme

 

that he the woeful remnant,      by sages' judgement,
árum héolde      þæt ðaér aénig mon

 

would hold in honour,      that there any man
wordum né worcum      waére ne braéce

 

by word nor by deed      would not break the treaty,
né þurh inwitsearo      aéfre gemaénden

  1101

nor in malicious artifice      ever complain,
ðéah híe hira béaggyfan      banan folgedon

 

though they their ring-giver's      killer followed,
ðéodenléase,      þá him swá geþearfod wæs·

 

leaderless,      and were thus forced by necessity;
gyf þonne Frýsna hwylc      frécnen spraéce

 

if then any Frisian      by audacious speech
ðæs morþorhétes      myndgiend waére

 

the murderous feud      were to remind (them),
þonne hit sweordes ecg      syððan scolde.

  1106

then it by sword's edge      must be thereafter.
Ád wæs geæfned      ond incge gold

 

The funeral fire was prepared,      and Ingui's gold,
áhæfen of horde·      Here-Scyldinga

 

raised from the hoard;      the War-Scyldings'
betst beadorinca      wæs on baél gearu·

 

best battle-man      was ready on the bier;
æt þaém áde wæs      éþgesýne

 

at the funeral-pyre was      easily seen
swátfáh syrce      swýn ealgylden

  1111

the blood-stained mail-shirt,      the swine all-golden,
eofer írenheard      æþeling manig

 

the boar hard as iron,      the prince had many
wundum áwyrded·      sume on wæle crungon·

 

destroyed by wounds;      great men had fallen in slaughter;
hét ðá Hildeburh      æt Hnæfes áde

 

then Hildeburh ordered      at Hnaef's pier
hire selfre sunu      sweoloðe befæstan,

 

her own sun      committed to the fire,
bánfatu bærnan      ond on baél dóön

  1116

the body-vessel burned,      and put on the bier,
earme on eaxle·      ides gnornode·

 

the wretched woman at his shoulder,      the lady lamented,
geómrode giddum·      gúðrinc ástáh·

 

sorrowed with songs;      the warrior was laid out,
wand tó wolcnum      wælfýra maést

 

spiralled into the clouds      the greatest fire of the slain
hlynode for hláwe·      hafelan multon·

 

roared before the mound;      heads melted,
bengeato burston      ðonne blód ætspranc,

  1121

the wound-gates burst open,      then blood sprang out,
láðbite líces·      líg ealle forswealg,

 

from the hate-bites of the body;      the blaze swallowed all up,
gaésta gífrost,      þára ðe þaér gúð fornam

 

--the greediest guest--      those who there were taken by battle
béga folces·      wæs hira blaéd scacen.

 

from both peoples;      their vigour was dispersed.

XVII

 

Gewiton him ðá wígend      wíca néosian

 

The warriors returned then      to seek their houses,
fréondum befeallen,      Frýsland geséon,

  1126

bereft of friends,      to see Frisia,
hámas ond héaburh·      Hengest ðá gýt

 

their homes and high fort;      yet Hengest
wælfágne winter      wunode mid Finn

 

the death-stained winter      spent with Finn,
eal unhlitine·      eard gemunde

 

in a place with no fellowship at all;      he remembered his land,
þéah þe ne meahte      on mere drífan

 

though he could not      drive on the sea
hringedstefnan:      holm storme wéol·

  1131

the ring-prowed ship:      the sea welled in storm,
won wið winde·      winter ýþe beléac

 

fought against the wind;      the winter locked the waves
ísgebinde      oþ ðæt óþer cóm

 

in icy bonds,      until came another
géar in geardas      swá nú gýt déëð·

 

year to the courtyards,      as it still does now,
þá ðe syngáles      séle bewitiað

 

those which continuously      carry out their seasons,
wuldortorhtan weder.      Ðá wæs winter scacen,

  1136

gloriously bright weathers.      Then winter was gone,
fæger foldan bearm·      fundode wrecca

 

fair was the Earth's breast;      the exile was anxious to go,
gist of geardum·      hé tó gyrnwræce

 

the guest of the dwellings;      he of vengeance for grief
swíðor þóhte      þonne tó saéláde·

 

sooner thought      than of sea-path,
gif hé torngemót      þurhtéon mihte

 

and whether he a bitter encounter      could bring about,
þæt hé eotena bearn      inne gemunde·

  1141

for that he of the Eotens' sons      inwardly remembered;
swá hé ne forwyrnde      woroldraédenne

 

so he did not refuse      the worldly practice,
þonne him Húnláfing,      hildeléoman

 

when to him Hunlafing      the battle-light,
billa sélest      on bearm dyde·

 

the finest blade      he placed on (Hnaef's) lap;
þæs waéron mid eotenum      ecge cúðe.

 

among the Eotens its      edges were known.
Swylce ferhðfrecan      Fin eft begeat

  1146

So too his mortal enemy's      --Finn in turn received--
sweordbealo slíðen      æt his selfes hám

 

dire sword-onslaught      in his own home,
siþðan grimne gripe      Gúðláf ond Ósláf

 

when concerning the fierce attack      Guthlaf and Oslaf,
æfter saésíðe      sorge maéndon·

 

following their sea-journey,      declared their grief,
ætwiton wéana daél·      ne meahte waéfre mód

 

blamed for their share of woes;      he could not his restless spirit
forhabban in hreþre·      ðá wæs heal hroden

  1151

contain in his breast;      then the hall were decorated
féonda féorum·      swilce Fin slægen

 

with the foes' lives,      so too Finn was slain,
cyning on corþre      ond séo cwén numen·

 

the king amid his troop,      and the queen was seized;
scéotend Scyldinga      tó scypon feredon

 

Scylding shooters      ferried to the ships
eal ingesteald      eorðcyninges·

 

all of the house-goods      of the nation's king,
swylce híe æt Finnes hám      findan meahton

  1156

which they at Finn's estate      could find:
sigla searogimma·      híe on saéláde

 

shining jewels and well-cut gems;      they on the sea-path
drihtlíce wíf      tó Denum feredon·

 

the noble lady      ferried to the Danes,
laéddon tó léodum.      Léoð wæs ásungen

 

led to the people.      The lay was sung,
gléomannes gyd·      gamen eft ástáh·

 

the gleeman's tale;      joy again sprang up,
beorhtode bencswég·      byrelas sealdon

  1161

music rang out from the bench,      cup-bearers served
wín of wunderfatum.      Þá cwóm Wealhþéo forð

 

wine from wondrous vessels.      Then Wealhtheow came forth,
gán under gyldnum béage      þaér þá gódan twégen

 

walking in a golden neck-ring      to where the good pair
sæton suhtergefæderan      þá gýt wæs hiera sib ætgædere,

 

sat, uncle and nephew;      then their kinship was still together,
aéghwylc óðrum trýwe·     swylce þaér Hunferþ þyle

 

each to the other true;      Unferth the þyle was also there
æt fótum sæt fréan Scyldinga·    gehwylc hiora his ferhþe tréowde

  1166

sitting at the feet of the Scylding lord;     each of them trusted his spirit,
þæt hé hæfde mód micel      þéah þe hé his mágum naére

 

and that he had great courage,      though he to his kin was not
árfæst æt ecga gelácum·      spræc ðá ides Scyldinga:

 

honourable in clash of blades;      the Scylding lady then spoke:
'Onfóh þissum fulle,      fréodrihten mín,

 

'Receive this full cup,      my noble lord,
sinces brytta·      þú on saélum wes,

 

dispenser of treasure;      you--be joyful,
goldwine gumena,      ond tó Géatum spræc

 

gold-friend of men,      and to the Geats speak
mildum wordum      swá sceal man dóön·

 

with gentle words      so ought a man to do;
béo wið Géatas glæd,      geofena gemyndig

  1173

be gracious with the Geats,      mindful of gifts
néan ond feorran      þú nú hafast·

 

which from near and far      you now have;
mé man sægde      þæt þú ðé for sunu wolde

 

it has been said to me      that you wish for a son,
hereric habban·      Heorot is gefaélsod

 

to have this leader of armies;      Heorot is cleansed,
béahsele beorhta·      brúc þenden þú móte

 

the bright ring-hall;      enjoy, while you may,
manigra médo      ond þínum mágum laéf

  1178

many rewards,      and leave to your kinsmen
folc ond ríce      þonne ðú forð scyle

 

folk and kingdom      when you must go forth
metodsceaft séön·      ic mínne can

 

to meet what is fated;      I know my
glædne Hróþulf·      þæt hé þá geogoðe wile

 

gracious Hrothulf,      that he the youths wishes
árum healdan      gyf þú aér þonne hé,

 

to hold in honour,      if you earlier than he,
wine Scildinga,      worold oflaétest

  1183

friend of the Scyldings,      leave behind the world,
wéne ic þæt hé mid góde      gyldan wille

 

I think that he with good      will repay
uncran eaferan      gif hé þæt eal gemon·

 

our children,      if he that at all remembers,
hwæt wit tó willan      ond tó worðmyndum

 

what we for his sake      and for his worldly renown,
umborwesendum aér      árna gefremedon.'

 

before, in his youth,      bestowed our favours.'
Hwearf þá bí bence      þaér hyre byre waéron

  1188

She turned then by the bench,      where her boys were,
Hréðríc ond Hróðmund      ond hæleþa bearn   Hrethric and Hrothmund,      and heroes' sons,
giogoð æt gædere·      þaér se góda sæt

 

the young company all together;      there sat the good
Béowulf Géata      be þaém gebróðrum twaém.

 

Beowulf of the Geats      by the two brothers.

XVIII

 

Him wæs ful boren      ond fréondlaþu

 

The full cup was brought to him,      and a friendly invitation
wordum bewægned      ond wundengold

  1193

proffered in words,      and twisted gold
éstum geéawed:      earmréade twá

 

kindly offered:      two arm-ornaments,
hrægl ond hringas,      healsbéaga maést

 

robe and rings,      the largest necklace
þára þe ic on foldan      gefrægen hæbbe·

 

of those which I on earth      have heard of;
naénigne ic under swegle      sélran hýrde

 

none under the sky I      have heard of better
hordmádmum hæleþa      syþðan Háma ætwæg

  1198

from hoard-treasures of heroes,      since Hama carried off
tó herebyrhtan byrig      Brósinga mene

 

to the battle-bright stronghold      the Brosings' necklet,
sigle ond sincfæt·      searoníðas fealh

 

jewel and precious setting;      he fled the cunning enmity
Eormenríces·      gecéas écne raéd·

 

of Eormenric,      chose eternal benefit;
þone hring hæfde      Higelác Géata

 

That ring had      Hygelac of the Geats,
nefa Swertinges      nýhstan síðe

  1203

grandson of Swerting,      on his last adventure,
siðþan hé under segne      sinc ealgode·

 

when under the banner he      defended riches,
wælréaf werede·      hyne wyrd fornam

 

warded slaughter-spoils;      him Fate took away,
syþðan hé for wlenco      wéan áhsode

 

after he from pride      sought misery,
faéhðe tó Frýsum·      hé þá frætwe wæg

 

feud with the Frisians;      he then wore the ornament,
eorclanstánas      ofer ýða ful

  1208

the mysterious stone      over the waves' cup,
ríce þéoden·      hé under rande gecranc.

 

the mighty prince;      he fell under the rimmed-shield.
Gehwearf þá in Francna fæþm      feorh cyninges

 

Passed then into the Franks' grasp      the body of the king,
bréostgewaédu      ond se béah somod·

 

mail-coat      and the ring together;
wyrsan wígfrecan      wæl réafeden

 

lesser warrior      rifled the corpses
æfter gúðsceare·      Géata léode

  1213

after the slaughter of battle;      the people of the Geats
hréawíc héoldon.      Heal swége onféng·

 

filled the field of corpses.      The hall resounded with noise;
Wealhðéo maþelode·      héo fore þaém werede spræc:

 

Wealhtheow spoke;      she spoke before the retinue:
'Brúc ðisses béages,      Béowulf léofa

 

'Make use of this ring,      belovèd Beowulf,
hyse, mid haéle      ond þisses hrægles néot

 

young man, with good fortune,      and take benefit from this corslet,
þéod gestreona      ond geþéoh tela·

  1218

the wealth of a nation,      and prosper well,
cen þec mid cræfte      ond þyssum cnyhtum wes

 

prove yourself with strength,      and to these lads be
lára líðe·      ic þé þæs léan geman·

 

gentle in teaching;      I shall remember you for this requital;
hafast þú geféred      þæt ðé feor ond néah

 

you have brought it about      that you far and near
ealne wídeferhþ      weras ehtigað

 

always and forever      men will praise,
efne swá síde      swá saé bebúgeð,

  1223

even as widely      as the sea surrounds
windgeard, weallas·      wes þenden þú lifige,

 

the home of the wind, walls;      be while you live,
æþeling, éadig·      ic þé an tela

 

prince, happy;      I wish thee well,
sincgestréona·      béo þú suna mínum

 

and rich in treasure;      be you to my sons
daédum gedéfe,      dréamhealdende·

 

indulgent in deeds,      possessing joy;
hér is aéghwylc eorl      óþrum getrýwe

  1228

here is each of the men      true to the others
módes milde      mandrihtne hléo·

 

generous in mind,      in the protetion of their liege-lord;
þegnas syndon geþwaére      þéod ealgearo

 

the thanes are united,      the people alert,
druncne dryhtguman      dóð swá ic bidde.'

 

the warrior-retinue cheered by drink      do as I bid.'
Éode þá tó setle·      þaér wæs symbla cyst·

 

She went then to her seat;      there was the finest feast,
druncon wín weras·      wyrd ne cúþon

  1233

the men drank wine;      they did not know their fate,
geósceaft grimme      swá hit ágangen wearð

 

horrific destiny,      as it had happened
eorla manegum      syþðan aéfen cwóm

 

to many heroes,      after evening came,
ond him Hróþgár gewát      tó hofe sínum

 

and Hrothgar went      to his quarters,
ríce tó ræste      reced weardode

 

the ruler to rest,      the hall guarded
unrím eorla      swá híe oft aér dydon

  1238

countless earls,      as they often had done before,
bencþelu beredon·      hit geondbraéded wearð

 

they cleared away the benches from the floor;      over it was spread
beddum ond bolstrum·      béorscealca sum

 

bedding and bolsters;      one of the beer-drinkers,
fús ond faége      fletræste gebéag·

 

eager and doomed,      lay down in his hall-couch;
setton him tó héafdon      hilderandas

 

they set at their heads      battle-bossed shields,
bordwudu beorhtan·      þaér on bence wæs

  1243

bright linden-wood;      there on the bench was
ofer æþelinge      ýþgeséne

 

over each nobleman      easily seen
heaþostéapa helm      hringed byrne

 

a battle-steep helm,      ringed byrnie,
þrecwudu þrymlíc·      wæs þéaw hyra

 

(and) glorious mighty shaft;      their custom was
þæt híe oft waéron      an wíg gearwe

 

that they were often      ready for a battle
gé æt hám gé on herge      gé gehwæþer þára

  1248

both at home and out harrying,      and either of these,
efne swylce maéla      swylce hira mandryhtne

 

for just such times      as for their liege-lord
þearf gesaélde·      wæs séo þéod tilu.

 

the need arose;      they were a good platoon.

XVIIII

 

Sigon þá tó slaépe·      sum sáre angeald 

 

They sank then into sleep;      one paid sorely
æfenræste      swá him ful oft gelamp

 

for his evening rest,      as had quite often happened,
siþðan goldsele      Grendel warode·

  1253

when the gold-hall      Grendel warded,
unriht æfnde      oþ þæt ende becwóm,

 

inflict wrong      until the end came,
swylt æfter synnum.      Þæt gesýne wearþ

 

death for crimes.      That became manifest,
wídcúþ werum      þætte wrecend þá gýt

 

widely known by men,      that an avenger still
lifde æfter láþum      lange þráge

 

lived after the misfortunes,      for a long time
æfter gúðceare      Grendles módor

  1258

after the war-trouble,      Grendel's mother,
ides áglaécwíf      yrmþe gemunde

 

lady troll-wife,      remembered misery,
sé þe wæteregesan      wunian scolde

 

she who the dreadful water      had to inhabit,
cealde stréamas     siþðan camp him wearð

 

the cold currents,      after strife arose through him,
tó ecgbanan      ángan bréþer

 

a sword-slayer to      an only brother,
fæderenmaége·      hé þá fág gewát

  1263

father's kin;      he went then stained,
morþre gemearcod      mandréam fléön·

 

marked by the murder,      fled human pleasures,
wésten warode.      Þanon wóc fela

 

lived in the wilds.      Then awoke many
geósceaftgásta·      wæs þaéra Grendel sum,

 

fated spirits;      Grendel was one of these,
heorowearh hetelíc·      sé æt Heorote fand

 

the hateful sword-outlaw,      who found at Heorot
wæccendne wer      wíges bidan·

  1268

a watching man      biding for battle;
þaér him áglaéca      ætgráepe wearð·

 

there with him the troll      came at close grips;
hwæþre hé gemunde      mægenes strenge

 

yet he remembered      the great strength,
gimfæste gife      ðe him god sealde

 

generous gift,      which God gave him,
ond him tó anwaldan      áre gelýfde

 

and he on the One-Ruler's      favour relied,
frófre ond fultum·      ðý hé þone féond ofercwóm·

  1273

comfort and support;      by this he overcame the fiend,
gehnaégde helle gást·      þá hé héan gewát

 

subdued the spirit of hell;      then wretched he went,
dréame bedaéled      déaþwíc séön,

 

deprived of joy,      to see his place of death,
mancynnes féond.      Ond his módor þá gýt

 

that foe of mankind.      And his mother even now,
gífre ond galgmód      gegán wolde

 

greedy and gloomy-hearted      wished to go forth,
sorhfulne síð,      sunu déoð wrecan·

  1278

a sorrowful journey,      to avenge her son's death;
cóm þá to Heorote      ðaér Hring-Dene

 

she came then to Heorot,      where the Ring-Danes
geond þæt sæld swaéfun·      þá ðaér sóna wearð

 

slept throught the hall;      then there at once came about
edhwyrft eorlum      siþðan inne fealh

 

the earl's reversal of fortune,      when inside passed
Grendles módor·      wæs se gryre laéssa

 

Grendel's mother;      the horror was less
efne swá micle      swá bið mægþa cræft

  1283

by even so much,      as is maid's strength,
wíggryre wífes      bewaépned men

 

--the war-violence of woman--      from an armed man,
þonne heoru bunden      hamere geþuren

 

when adorned blade,      by hammer forged,
sweord swáte fáh      swín ofer helme

 

--sword stained with blood--      the boar-crest
ecgum dyhttig      andweard scireð.

 

by edges firm,      the opposing (helmet) is sheared.
Þá wæs on healle      heardecg togen

  1288

Then in the hall was drawn a hard-edged
sweord ofer setlum,      sídrand manig

 

sword above the seats,      many a broad bossed-shield
hafen handa fæst·      helm ne gemunde

 

held fast in hand;      helmet was not heeded,
byrnan síde      þá hine se bróga angeat·

 

(nor) broad byrnie,      when the horror perceived him;
héo wæs on ofste·      wolde út þanon,

 

she was in haste,      wanted out of there,
féore beorgan      þá héo onfunden wæs·

  1293

to protect her life,      when she was discovered;
hraðe héo æþelinga      ánne hæfde

 

quickly she a noble      one had
fæste befangen·      þá héo tó fenne gang·

 

seized tightly,      then she went to the fen;
sé wæs Hróþgáre      hæleþa léofost

 

he was to Hrothgar      the best-loved hero
on gesíðes hád      be saém twéonum

 

in the retinue's rank      between the two seas
ríce randwiga      þone ðe héo on ræste ábréat

  1298

mighty shield-warrior,      whom she ripped from his rest,
blaédfæstne beorn      --næs Béowulf ðaér

 

the glorious man      --Beowulf was not there,
ac wæs óþer in      aér geteohhod

 

but was in the other lodging      assigned earlier
æfter máþðumgife      maérum Géate--

 

after the treasure-giving      to the mighty Geat--
hréam wearð in Heorote·      héo under heolfre genam

 

a cry was in Heorot;      she took from its gore
cúþe folme·      cearu wæs geníwod,

  1303

a well-known arm;      sorrow was renewed,
geworden in wícun·      ne wæs þæt gewrixle til

 

it returned to their dwellings;      that exchange was not good,
þæt híe on bá healfa      bicgan scoldon

 

which they on both sides      were obliged to pay for
fréonda féorum·      þá wæs fród cyning

 

with the lives of friends;      then was the wise king,
hár hilderinc      on hréonmóde

 

the grey battle-man,      in a troubled spirit,
syðþan hé aldorþegn      unlyfigendne

  1308

when he the lordly thane      unliving,
þone déorestan      déadne wisse.

 

the dearest one,      knew was dead.
Hraþe wæs tó búre      Béowulf fetod

 

Quickly to the bower was      Beowulf fetched
sigoréadig secg·      samod aérdæge

 

the victorious warrior;      at day-break
éode eorla sum      æþele cempa

 

the notable earl went      --noble champion--
self mid gesíðum      þaér se snotera bád

  1313

himself with his companions      where the wise one awaited
hwæþre him Alfwalda      aéfre wille

 

whether for him the Ruler of Elves      ever would wish,
æfter wéaspelle      wyrpe gefremman·

 

after the news of woe,      to bring about a change for the better;
gang ðá æfter flóre      fyrdwyrðe man

 

then over the floor went      the war-worthy man
mid his handscale      --healwudu dynede--

 

with his crowd of companions      --the wood of the hall resounded--
þæt hé þone wísan      wordum hnægde

  1318

he the wise (king)      humbled with words:
fréan Ingwina·      frægn gif him waére

 

--the lord of the Ingwins--      asked if it had been for him,
æfter néodlaðu      niht getaése.

 

according to his hopes,      a pleasing night.

XX

 

Hróðgár maþelode      helm Scyldinga:

 

Hrothgar spoke,      the Helm of the Scyldings:
'Ne frín þú æfter saélum·      sorh is geníwod

 

'Do not you ask after pleasures;      sorrow is renewed
Denigea léodum·      déad is Æschere

  1323

for the Danish nation;      Æschere is dead,
Yrmenláfes      yldra bróþor

 

Yrmenlaf's      elder brother,
mín rúnwita      ond mín raédbora

 

my confident      and my chief counsellor,
eaxlgestealla      ðonne wé on orlege

 

shoulder-companion,      when we in war
hafelan weredon      þonne hniton féþan

 

protected the head,      when clashed with foot-soldiers,
eoferas cnysedan·      swylc eorl scolde

  1328

dashed boars (atop helmets);      so ought a man
wesan aérgód      swylc Æschere wæs.

 

be experienced and noble,      as Æschere was.
Wearð him on Heorote      tó handbanan

 

In Heorot for him was      a hand-slayer,
wælgaést waéfre·      ic ne wát hwæþer

 

restless death-spirit;      I know not whether,
atol aése wlanc      eftsíðas téah

 

glorying in the carcass,      she undertook a return journey,
fylle gefraégnod·      héo þá faéhðe wræc

  1333

contented by her feast;      she avenged the feud
þe þú gystran niht      Grendel cwealdest

 

in which you yester-night      Grendel quelled
þurh haéstne hád      heardum clammum

 

through violent means      in harsh embrace,
forþan hé tó lange      léode míne

 

because he for too long      my people
wanode ond wyrde      hé æt wíge gecrang

 

diminished and destroyed,      he fell in the fight,
ealdres scyldig      ond nú óþer cwóm

  1338

having forfeited his life,      and now the other has come,
mihtig mánscaða·      wolde hyre maég wrecan·

 

the mighty crime-wreaker,      she wants to avenge her kinsman,
gé feor hafað      faéhðe gestaéled

 

and has very far      carried her feud,
þæs þe þincean mæg      þegne monegum

 

as it must seem      to many a thane,
sé þe æfter sincgyfan      on sefan gréoteþ:

 

who for the treasure-giver      weeps in his heart:
hreþerbealo hearde·      nú séo hand ligeð

  1343

hard mind-grief!      now the hand has fallen away,
sé þe éow wélhwylcra      wilna dohte.

 

which in all of you      had sustained wishes.
Ic þæt londbúend      léode míne

 

I it, land-dwellers,      my people,
seleraédende      secgan hýrde

 

hall-counsellors      have heard tell
þæt híe gesáwon      swylce twégen

 

that they saw      two such
micle mearcstapan      móras healdan,

  1348

massive marchers of no-man's land      haunting the moors,
ellorgaéstas·      ðaéra óðer wæs

 

alien spirits;      one of them was,
þæs þe híe gewislícost      gewitan meahton

 

as they most certainly      were able to discern,
idese onlícnæs·      óðer earmsceapen

 

of the likeness of a woman;      the other one wretchedly shaped
on weres wæstmum      wraéclástas træd

 

in the form of a man      trod in the tracks of an exile,
næfne hé wæs mára      þonne aénig man óðer·

  1353

except he was larger      than any other man;
þone on géardagum      Grendel nemdon

 

in days of yore him      'Grendel' named
foldbúende·      nó híe fæder cunnon·

 

the earth-dwellers;      they did not know of his father,
hwæþer him aénig wæs      aér ácenned

 

whether of them any were      born previously
dyrnra gásta.      Híe dýgel lond

 

of obscure spirits.      They a secret land
warigeað wulfhleoþu      windige næssas

  1358

inhabited, wolf-slopes,      windy water-capes,
frécne fengelád      ðaér fyrgenstréam

 

a dangerous passage over the fen-waters,      where mountain-stream
under næssa genipu      niþer gewíteð

 

under the darkness of the headlands      descended downward,
flód under foldan·      nis þæt feor heonon

 

the flood under the earth;      it is not that far hence
mílgemearces      þæt se mere standeð·

 

in mile-marks,      that the mere stands;
ofer þaém hongiað      hrímge bearwas·

  1363

over it hangs      frost-covered groves,
wudu wyrtum fæst      wæter oferhelmað·

 

tree held fast by its roots      overshadows the water;
þaér mæg nihta gehwaém      níðwundor séon

 

there one may every night      a horrible marvel see:
fýr on flóde·      nó þæs fród leofað

 

fire on the water;      not even the wise of them lives,
gumena bearna      þæt þone grund wite.

 

of men's sons,      that knows the bottom.
Ðéah þe haéðstapa      hundum geswenced

  1368

Though the heath-stepper      harrassed by hounds,
heorot hornum trum      holtwudu séce

 

the hart with strong horns,      seeks the forest,
feorran geflýmed·      aér hé feorh seleð

 

put to flight from far,      first he will give up his life,
aldor on ófre      aér hé in wille

 

existence on the shore,      before he will (leap) in
hafelan helan·      nis þæt héoru stów·

 

to hide his head;      it is not a pleasant place;
þonon ýðgeblond      úp ástígeð

  1373

thence a maelström of the waves      rises up,
won tó wolcnum      þonne wind styreþ

 

dark to the clouds,      when the wind stirs
láð gewidru      oð þæt lyft drysmaþ·

 

grievous storms,      until the air grows dark,
roderas réotað.      Nú is se raéd gelang

 

the skies weep.      Now is the remedy dependent upon
eft æt þé ánum·      eard gít ne const

 

you alone once again;      you do not know the region yet,
frécne stówe      ðaér þú findan miht

  1378

terrible place      where you might find
felasinnigne secg·      séc gif þú dyrre·

 

the much-sinning creature;      seek if you dare;
ic þé þá faéhðe      féo léanige

 

for the feud you I      would reward with wealth,
ealdgestréonum      swá ic aér dyde,

 

with old treasures,      as I did before,
wundungolde      gyf þú on weg cymest.'

 

with twisted-gold,      if you come away.'

XXI

 

Béowulf maþelode      bearn Ecgþéowes:

  1383

Beowulf spoke,      the son of Edgetheow:
'Ne sorga, snotor guma·      sélre bið aéghwaém

 

'Do not sorrow, wise man·      it is better for everyone
þæt hé his fréond wrece      þonne hé fela murne·

 

that he his friend avenge,      than he mourn over-much;
úre aéghwylc sceal      ende gebídan

 

each of us must      await the end
worolde lífes:      wyrce sé þe móte

 

in the world of life:      gain he who may
dómes aér déaþe·      þæt bið drihtguman,

  1388

glory before death;      that is for the warrior,
unlifgendum      æfter sélest.

 

unliving,      afterwards the best.
Árís, ríces weard,      uton hraþe féran

 

Arise, O guardian of the kingdom,      let us go quickly,
Grendles mágan      gang scéawigan·

 

Grendel's kin's      trail survey;
ic hit þé geháte:      nó hé on helm losaþ

 

I swear it to thee:      she will not be lost in the cover,
né on foldan fæþm      né on fyrgenholt

  1393

nor in the embrace of the earth,      nor in the mountain wood,
né on gyfenes grund·      gá þaér hé wille·

 

nor in the ocean's depth,      go where she will;
ðýs dógor þú      geþyld hafa

 

this day you      must have patience
wéana gehwylces      swá ic þé wéne tó.'

 

in each of the woes,      as I expect you to.'
Áhléop ðá se gomela,      gode þancode

 

The agèd one leapt up,      thanked God,
mihtigan drihtne      þæs se man gespræc·

  1398

mighty Lord,      for what the man spoke;
þá wæs Hróðgáre      hors gebaéted

 

then was for Hrothgar      a horse was bridled,
wicg wundenfeax·      wísa fengel

 

a mount with braided mane;      the wise ruler
geatolíc gende·      gumféþa stóp

 

rode well-equipped;      the foot-soldiers marched
lindhæbbendra·      lástas waéron

 

linden-wood bearers;      tracks were
æfter waldswaþum      wíde gesýne,

  1403

along the forest-track      widely seen,
gang ofer grundas      gegnum for

 

the trail over the grounds,      went straight-forward
ofer myrcan mór      magoþegna bær

 

over the murky moor,      she carried of the kin-thanes
þone sélestan      sáwolléasne

 

the finest      --without his soul--
þára þe mid Hróðgáre        hám eahtode.

 

of those who with Hrothgar      had defended their home.
Oferéode þá      æþelinga bearn

  1408

Traversed then      the nobles' son
stéap stánhliðo      stíge nearwe

 

the steep stone slopes,      the narrow ways,
enge ánpaðas      uncúð gelád

 

the tight single-file paths,      the unknown, uncertain water-crossings,
neowle næssas      nicorhúsa fela·

 

the precipitous headlands,      the many homes of nicors;
hé féara sum      beforan gengde

 

he with a few      went ahead
wísra monna      wong scéawian

  1413

wise men      surveying the field,
oþ þæt hé faéringa      fyrgenbéamas

 

until he by chance      mountain-trees
ofer hárne stán      hleonian funde

 

over a silvery-grey stone      found hanging,
wynléasne wudu·      wæter under stód

 

the joyless forest;      water stood below,
dréorig ond gedréfed·      Denum eallum wæs

 

bloody and stirred-up;      for all of the Danes was,
winum Scyldinga      wærce on móde

  1418

for the friends of the Scyldings,     suffering in the heart
tó geþolianne,      ðegne monegum

 

to endure,      for many thanes,
oncýð eorla gehwaém      syðþan Æscheres

 

awakening grief in each of the nobles,      when Æschere's
on þám holmclife      hafelan métton.

 

--on the sea-cliff--      head encountered.
Flód blóde wéol      --folc tó saégon--

 

The flood welled bloody      --the folk stared at it--
hátan heolfre·      horn stundum song

  1423

with flaming gore;      rapidly the horn sang,
fúslíc forðléoð·      féþa eal gesæt·

 

urgent song of departure;      the troop all sat down;
gesáwon ðá æfter wætere      wyrmcynnes fela

 

they saw then through the water      many of the race of serpents,
sellice saédracan      sund cunnian,

 

strange sea-dragon      exploring the lake,
swylce on næshleoðum      nicras licgean

 

also on the cape-slopes      were lounging nicors,
ðá on undernmaél      oft bewitigað

  1428

they in mid-morning      often carry out
sorhfulne síð      on seglráde,

 

grievous sorties      on the sail-road,
wyrmas ond wildéor·      híe on weg hruron

 

serpents and wild beasts;      they rushed away
bitere ond gebolgne·      bearhtm ongéaton

 

bitter and swollen with rage;      they perceived the clear note,
gúðhorn galan·      sumne Géata léod

 

war-horn wailing;      one of the Geats' men
of flánbogan      féores getwaéfde

  1433

with a shaft and bow      separated it from life,
ýðgewinnes      þæt him on aldre stód

 

of wave-struggle      that in its heart stood,
herestraél hearda·      hé on holme wæs

 

a strong war-arrow;      it in the water was
sundes þé saénra      ðé hyne swylt fornam·

 

swimming the slower,      when Death seized it;
hræþe wearð on ýðum      mid eoferspréotum

 

fast it was in the waves      against boar-pikes
heorohócyhtum      hearde genearwod,

  1438

savagely-hooked      hard pressed,
níða genaéged      ond on næs togen

 

viciously attacked,      and from the cape dragged out,
wundorlíc waégbora·      weras scéawedon

 

wondrous spawn of the waves;      men stared at
gryrelícne gist.      Gyrede hine Béowulf

 

the gruesome guest.      Beowulf armed himself
eorlgewaédum·      nalles for ealdre mearn·

 

in noble garments,      feared not at all for his life;
scolde herebyrne      hondum gebróden

  1443

it was necessary that his army-byrnie,      braided by hands,
síd ond searofáh      sund cunnian

 

broad and cunningly adorned,      explore the lake,
séo ðe báncofan      beorgan cúþe

 

it the bone-chamber      could protect,
þæt him hildegráp      hreþre ne mihte

 

that him the battle-grip      could not his heart,     
eorres inwitfeng      aldre gesceþðan

 

nor angry grasp of malice      his life scathe,
ac se hwíta helm      hafelan werede

  1448

moreover the shining helm      warded his head,
sé þe meregrundas      mengan scolde,

 

that which the mere-depths      must stir up,
sécan sundgebland      since geweorðad

 

seek the mingling of waters      adorned with riches,
befongen fréawrásnum      swá hine fyrndagum

 

encircled with lordly-bands      as in far-days it
worhte waépna smið      wundrum téode·

 

was wrought by weapons' smith,      wonderfully lengthened,
besette swínlícum      þæt hine syðþan nó

  1453

beset with swine-forms,      so that it then no
brond né beadomécas      bítan ne meahton.

 

brond-blade nor battle-maiches      to bite were not able.
Næs þæt þonne maétost      mægenfultuma

 

Not the least then of      his mighty supports,
þæt him on ðearfe láh      ðyle Hróðgáres

 

that him in need lent      Hrothgar's þyle
--wæs þaém hæftméce      Hrunting nama--

 

--was the long-hilted maiche-sword's      name Hrunting--
þæt wæs án foran      ealdgestréona·

  1458

it was one above      of ancient treasures;
ecg wæs íren      átertánum fáh

 

edge was iron,      with poison-twigs patterned,
áhyrded heaþoswáte·      naéfre hit æt hilde ne swác

 

hardened with battle-blood;      never had it in a fight failed
manna aéngum      þára þe hit mid mundum bewand

 

any man,      who it in hands brandished,
sé ðe gryresíðas      gegán dorste

 

he who terrifying journeys      dared to enter upon,
folcstede fára·      næs þæt forma síð

  1463

the domain of foes;      it was not the first time
þæt hit ellenweorc      æfnan scolde.

 

that it courage-work      had been obliged to perform.
Húru ne gemunde      mago Ecgláfes

 

Indeed he could not have recalled,      the kin of Ecgelaf,
eafoþes cræftig      þæt hé aér gespræc

 

mighty in strength,      that which he had said before,
wíne druncen      þá hé þæs waépnes onláh

 

drunk on wine,      when he lent that the weapon
sélran sweordfrecan      selfa ne dorste

  1468

to a better swordsman,      he himself did not dare
under ýða gewin      aldre genéþan,

 

under the waves' turmoil      to risk his life,
drihtscype dréogan·      þaér hé dóme forléas

 

to carry out bravery;      there he forfeited glory,
ellenmaérðum·      ne wæs þaém óðrum swá     

 

fame from valour;      it was not so for the other,
syðþan hé hine tó gúðe      gegyred hæfde.

 

when he himself for war      had equipped.

XXII

 

Béowulf maðelode      bearn Ecgþéowes:

  1473

Beowulf spoke,      the son of Edgetheow:
'Geþenc nú, se maéra      maga Healfdenes

 

'Think now, glorious      kinsman of Half-Dane,
snottra fengel·      nú ic eom síðes fús·

 

wise chieftain,      now I am eager for the adventure,
goldwine gumena,      hwæt wit géo spraécon:

 

gold-friend of man,      what we spoke of earlier:
gif ic æt þearfe      þínre scolde

 

if I in employment      of yours should
aldre linnan·      þæt ðú mé á waére

  1478

be parted from life,      that you for me ever would be,
forðgewitenum      on fæder staéle·

 

having passed on,      in the place of a father;
wes þú mundbora mínum      magoþegnum

 

be you hand-bearer to my      young retainers,
hondgesellum      gif mec hild nime

 

hand-companions,      if battle takes me,
swylce þú ðá mádmas,      þé þú mé sealdest,

 

so too you the treasures,      those which you gave me,
Hróðgár léofa,      Higeláce onsend·

  1483

beloved Hrothgar,      send on to Hygelac;
mæg þonne on þaém golde ongitan      Géata dryhten,

 

he then will able to in the gold observe,      the lord of the Geats,
geséon sunu Hraédles      þonne hé on þæt sinc starað

 

to perceive, the son of Hrethel,      when he on that treasures stares,
þæt ic gumcystum      gódne funde

 

that I one of noble virtues,      a good king, had found,
béaga bryttan      bréac þonne móste.

 

dispenser of rings,      enjoyed while I could.
Ond þú Hunferð laét      ealde láfe

  1488

And let Unferth      the old heirloom,
wraétlíc waégsweord      wídcúðne man

 

the glorious wave-sword,      (let) the widely-known man
heardecg habban·      ic mé mid Hruntinge

 

have that hard-edged (sword);      I for myself with Hrunting
dóm gewyrce      oþðe mec déað nimeð.'

 

will gain glory,      unless Death takes me.'
Æfter þaém wordum      Weder-Géata léod

 

After these words      the man of the Weder-Geats
efste mid elne·      nalas andsware

  1493

hastened with courage;      not in the least for a reply
bídan wolde·      brimwylm onfeng

 

did he wish to await;      the surging-lake enfolded
hilderince.      Ðá wæs hwíl dæges,

 

the battle-warrior.      Then it was a long part of a day,
aér hé þone grundwong      ongytan mehte

 

ere he the bottom      could perceive,
sóna þæt onfunde      sé ðe flóda begong

 

at once she found it out,      --she who the floods' expanse,
heorogífre behéold      hund misséra

  1498

fiercely-ravenous, held      a hundred half-years,
grim ond graédig      þæt þaér gumena sum

 

wrathful and greedy--      that there one of the humans
ælwihta eard      ufan cunnode·

 

the realm of strange being      explored from above;
gráp þá tógéanes·      gúðrinc geféng

 

then she groped towards,      seized the warrior
atolan clommum·      nó þý aér in gescód

 

in terrible clasps;      Not the sooner she crushed inside
hálan líce·      hring útan ymbbearh

  1503

his hale body;      the ring-mail gave him protection from without,
þæt héo þone fyrdhom      ðurhfón ne mihte

 

that she the soldier-garment      could not penetrate,
locene leoðosyrcan      láþan fingrum.

 

the interlocked limb-coat,      with her loathsome fingers.
Bær þá séo brimwylf      þá héo tó botme cóm

 

Then the sea-wolf bore,      when she had come to the bottom,
hringa þengel      tó hofe sínum

 

the lord of those rings      to her court,
swá hé ne mihte      --nó hé þæs módig wæs--

  1508

so he could not      --no matter how brave he was--
waépna gewealdan      ac hine wundra þæs fela

 

wield his weapon,      but him so many bizarre things
swecte on sunde·      saédéor monig

 

smelled in the deep,      many sea-beasts
hildetúxum      heresyrcan bræc·

 

with battle-tusks      tore at his army-mail,
éhton áglaécan.      Ðá se eorl ongeat

 

the horrors attacked.      Then the earl saw
þæt hé níðsele      náthwylcum wæs

  1513

that he in a hall of hatred      --I know not which-- was,
þaér him naénig wæter      wihte ne sceþede

 

where not any water him      oppressed at all,
né him for hrófsele      hrínan ne mehte

 

nor him, due to the the hall's roof,      was not able to reach
faérgripe flódes·      fýrléoht geseah,

 

the sudden onrush of the flood;      he saw firelight,
blácne léoman      beorhte scínan·

 

a pale light      shining vividly;
ongeat þá se góda      grundwyrgenne

  1518

then the good man saw      the accursèd one of the deep,
merewíf mihtig·      mægenraés forgeaf

 

the mighty mere-wife;      he gave a powerful thrust
hildebille·      hondswenge ne oftéah

 

to the battle-bill,      did not withhold the swing of his hand,
þæt hire on hafelan      hringmaél ágól

 

so that on her head      the ring-marked sang out
graédig gúðléoð·      ðá se gist onfand

 

a greedy war-song;      then the guest discovered
þæt se beadoléoma      bítan nolde,

  1523

that the battle-brand      did not wish to bite,
aldre sceþðan      ac séo ecg geswác

 

to crush life,      rather the edge failed
ðéodne æt þearfe·      ðolode aér fela

 

the noble in his need;      it had endured already many
hondgemóta·      helm oft gescær

 

hand-to-hand encounters,      often split helm,
faéges fyrdhrægl·      ðá wæs forma síð

 

the war-garments of the doomed;      this was the first time
déorum mádme      þæt his dóm álæg.

  1528

for the precious treasure      that its glory failed.
Eft wæs anraéd,      nalas elnes læt

 

Again was resolute,      not at all slackening in courage,
maérða gemyndig      maég Hýgláces

 

mindful of fame      the kinsman of Hygelac
wearp ðá wundenmaél      wraéttum gebunden

 

then he threw aside the twisting pattern (sword),      adorned with ornaments,
yrre óretta      þæt hit on eorðan læg

 

the angry warrior,      so that it lay on the earth,
stíð ond stýlecg·      strenge getrúwode,

  1533

firm and steel-edged;      he trusted to strength,
mundgripe mægenes·      swá sceal man doön

 

his hand-grip of might;      so must a man do,
þonne hé æt gúðe      gegán þenceð

 

when he in war      intends to gain
longsumne lof·      ná ymb his líf cearað.

 

long-lasting praise;      he cares not for his life.
sydaudioGeféng þá be eaxle      --nalas for faéhðe mearn--

 

Grabbed her then by the shoulder      --not in the least regretting the feud--
Gúð-Géata léod,      Grendles módor·

  1538

the prince of the War-Geats,      Grendel's mother;
brægd þá beadwe heard      þá hé gebolgen wæs

 

the hard man of conflict then heaved,      now that he was enraged,
feorhgeníðlan      þæt héo on flet gebéah·

 

the deadly foe,      so that she fell to the floor;
héo him eft hraþe      handlean forgeald

 

she again him quickly      gave hand-reward
grimman grápum      ond him tógéanes féng·

 

with wrathful grips      and clutched him against herself;
oferwearp þá wérigmód      wigena strengest

  1543

then, weary in spirit, he stumbled,      the strongest man,
féþecempa      þæt hé on fylle wearð·

 

warrior on foot,      so that he was in a fall;
ofsæt þá þone selegyst      ond hyre seax getéah

 

then she bestrode the guest in her hall,      and drew her seax,
brád ond brúnecg·      wolde hire bearn wrecan

 

broad and bright-edged;      she wished to avenge her son,
ángan eaferan·      him on eaxle læg

 

only offspring;      on his shoulder lay
bréostnet bróden;      þæt gebearh féore

  1548

woven breast-net;      it protected life,
wið ord ond wið ecge      ingang forstód.

 

against point and against edge      it withstood entry.
Hæfde ðá forsíðod      sunu Ecgþéowes

 

Then he would have perished,      the son of Edgetheow,
under gynne grund      Géata cempa

 

under the yawning ground,      the champion of the Geats,
nemne him heaðobyrne      helpe gefremede

 

except that him the war-byrnie      provided help,
herenet hearde--      ond hálig god

  1553

firm army-net--      and holy God
gewéold wígsigor·      wítig drihten

 

controlled the war-victory;      the wise Lord,
rodera raédend      hit on ryht gescéd

 

the Ruler of the heavens,      decided it rightly,
ýðelíce      syþðan hé eft ástód.

 

easily,      thereupon he stood up again.

XXIII

 

Geseah ðá on searwum     sigeéadig bil

 

He saw then among the arms     a victory-blessed bill,
ealdsweord eotenisc    ecgum þýhtig

  1558

an old giantish sword    with firm edges,
wigena weorðmynd·    þæt wæs waépna cyst

 

an honour of warriors,    it was the choicest weapon,
búton hit wæs máre    ðonne aénig mon óðer

 

but it was more    than any other man
tó beaduláce    ætberan meahte

 

to battle-play    could carry,
gód ond geatolíc    gíganta geweorc·

 

good and stately,    the work of giants;
hé geféng þá fetelhilt·    freca Scyldinga

  1563

he seized then the ring-hilt,    champion of the Scyldings
hréoh ond heorogrim    hringmaél gebrægd

 

wild and furiously battle-fierce,    he drew the ring-marked (sword)
aldres orwéna·    yrringa slóh

 

without hope of life,    angrily struck,
þæt hire wið halse    heard grápode·

 

so that through her neck    it clutched hard,
bánhringas bræc·    bil eal ðurhwód

 

broke bone-rings;     the bill passed entirely through
faégne flaéschoman·    héo on flet gecrong·

  1568

the doomed cloak of flesh;    she fell on the floor;
sweord wæs swátig·    secg weorce gefeh.

 

the sword was bloody,    the warrior rejoiced in his work.
Líxte se léoma·    léoht inne stód

 

The gleam flashed,     the light stood within,
efne swá of hefene    hádre scíneð

 

even as from heaven    shines brightly
rodores candel·    hé æfter recede wlát·

 

the sky's candle;    he looked about the hall;
hwearf þá be wealle·    waépen hafenade

  1573

moved along the wall,    weapon raised
heard be hiltum    Higeláces ðegn

 

fierce with hilts,    Hygelac's thane,
yrre ond anraéd·    næs séo ecg fracod

 

angry and single-minded;    nor was that edge useless
hilderince    ac hé hraþe wolde

 

to the battle-man,    but he quickly wished
Grendle forgyldan    gúðraésa fela

 

to repay Grendel    for the many war-raids
ðára þe hé geworhte    tó West-Denum

  1578

which he had carried out    on the West-Danes
oftor micle     ðonne on aénne síð

 

much more often    than on a single venture,
þonne hé Hróðgáres     heorðgenéatas

 

when he Hrothgar's    hearth-companions
slóh on sweofote·    slaépende fraét

 

slaughter in their slumber,    devoured in their sleep,
folces Denigea    fýftýne men

 

of the folk of the Danes    fifteen men,
ond óðer swylc    út offerede

  1583

and other such    had he carried out and off
láðlicu lác· sydaudio     hé him þæs léan forgeald

 

hideous haul;    he paid him the reward of that,
réþe cempa    tó ðæs þe hé on ræste geseah

 

the fierce fighter,    in that he saw in repose
gúðwérigne     Grendel licgan

 

war-weary    Grendel lying,
aldorléasne    swá him aér gescód

 

lifeless,     as he had injured him earlier
hild æt Heorote    --hrá wíde sprong

  1588

in the conflict at Heorot    --the corpse burst wide open,
syþðan hé æfter déaðe     drepe þrówade

 

when it after death    suffered a blow,
heorosweng heardne--    ond hine þá héafde becearf.

 

a hard sword-stroke--    and then its head he cut off.
Sóna þæt gesáwon     snottre ceorlas

 

Suddenly that saw     the wise fellows,
þá ðe mid Hróðgáre    on holm wliton·

 

who with Hrothgar    looked at the lake,
þæt wæs ýðgeblond    eal gemenged

 

that was turmoil of waves    all stirred up
brim blóde fáh·    blondenfeaxe

  1593

the water coloured with blood;    with blended-hair,
gomele ymb gódne    ongeador spraécon

 

aged, about the good man,    together they spoke,
þæt hig þæs æðelinges     eft ne wéndon·

 

that they that noble one    did not expect again
þæt hé sigehréðig     sécean cóme

 

that he, triumphing in victory,    would come to seek
maérne þéoden·    þá ðæs monige gewearð

  1598

the glorious ruler;    then it many agreed,
þæt hine séo brimwylf    ábreoten hæfde.

 

that the sea-wolf him    had destroyed.
Ðá cóm nón dæges·    næs ofgéafon

 

Then came then ninth hour of the day;    they abandoned the cape,
hwate Scyldingas·    gewát him hám þonon

 

the brave Scyldings;    he went home hence,
goldwine gumena·    gistas sécan

 

the gold-friend of men;    the guests looked about
módes séoce    ond on mere staredon·

  1603

sick at heart,    and stared into the mere,
wíston, ond ne wéndon    þæt híe heora winedrihten

 

wished, and did not expect,    that they their lord and friend
selfne gesáwon.    Þá þæt sweord ongan

 

himself would see.    Then that sword began
æfter heaþoswáte    hildegicelum

 

caused by the gore of battle    in icycles of battle,
wígbil wanian·    þæt wæs wundra sum

 

the war-bill to wane;    that was a great wonder
þæt hit eal gemealt    íse gelícost

  1608

that it all melted,    so like ice,
ðonne forstes bend    fæder onlaéteð·

 

when frost's bond    the Father loosens,
onwindeð waélrápas    sé geweald hafað

 

unwinds water-ropes,    who has control
saéla ond maéla·    þæt is sóð metod.

 

of times and seaons;    that is the true Creator.
Ne nóm hé in þaém wícum     Weder-Géata léod

 

He did not take into those dwelling,    the leader of the Weder-Geats,
máðmaéhta má    þéh hé þaér monige geseah

  1613

more treasures,    though he there saw a great number,
búton þone hafelan    ond þá hilt somod

 

but that head    and the hilt as well
since fáge·    sweord aér gemealt·

 

shining with ornament;    the sword had already melted,
forbarn bródenmaél·    wæs þæt blód tó þæs hát,

 

burned up the wavy-patterned (blade);     that blood was so hot,
ættren ellorgaést    sé þaér inne swealt.

 

the venomous foreign spirit    who had perished there inside.
Sóna wæs on sunde    sé þe aér æt sæcce gebád

  1618

Straightaway he was in the water,    he who survived in strife,
wíghryre wráðra    wæter úp þurhdéaf·

 

the enemies' fall in war;    he dove up through the water,
waéron ýðgebland    eal gefaélsod

 

the turmoil of waves was    all cleared,
éacne eardas    þá se ellorgást

 

the vast regions,    where the alien ghosts
oflét lífdagas    ond þás laénan gesceaft·

 

gave up their life-days    and this borrowed world;
cóm þá to lande    lidmanna helm

  1623

he came then to the land,    the seafarer's leader,
swíðmód swymman·    saéláce gefeah

 

swimming stout-hearted;    he rejoiced in the sea-loot,
mægenbyrþenne,     þára þe hé him mid hæfde.

 

the great burden,    which he had with him.
Éodon him þá tógéanes·    gode þancodon

 

They went towards him,    thanked God,
ðrýðlíc þegna héap     þéodnes gefégon

 

the mighty band of thanes,    they rejoiced for their lord,
þæs þe hí hyne gesundne     geséon móston·

  1628

that they him sound    were able to see;
ðá wæs of þaém hróran    helm ond byrne

 

then the vigorous man was from    helm and byrnie
lungre álýsed    --lagu drúsade,

 

quickly loosened    --the water grew still,
wæter under wolcnum    wældréore fág--

 

the lake under the clouds,    stained with the gore of death--
férdon forð þonon     féþelástum

 

they fared forth thence     along foot-paths
ferhþum fægne·    foldweg maéton

  1633

happy in their hearts,    traversed the trail over the earth,
cúþe straéte·    cyningbalde men

 

the familiar streets;    the men, bold as kings,
from þaém holmclife    hafelan baéron

 

from that lake-cliff    bore the head
earfoðlíce    heora aéghwæþrum

 

arduously,    for all of them,
felamódigra     --féower scoldon

 

full of spirit    --four had to
on þaém wælstenge    wærcum geferian

  1638

on the pole of the slain    to carry with difficulty
tó þaém goldsele    Grendles héafod--

 

to the gold-hall    Grendel's head--
oþ ðæt semninga    tó sele cómon

 

until presently    they came to the hall,
frome fyrdhwate    féowertýne

 

brave army-keen    fourteen
Géata gongan    gumdryhten mid·

 

of the Geats moving,    with their lord of men,
módig on gemonge    meodowongas træd.

  1643

proud in the throng,    trod on the plain near the mead-hall.
Ðá cóm in gaän    ealdor ðegna

 

Then came in marching     the lord of the thanes,
daédcéne mon    dóme gewurþad

 

the deed-bold man    exalted by glory,
hæle hildedéor    Hróðgár grétan·

 

the battle-brave hero,    to greet Hrothgar;
þá wæs be feaxe    on flet boren

 

then it was by the hair    borne to the floor
Grendles héafod    þaér guman druncon,

  1648

the head of Grendel,    where men were drinking,
egeslíc for eorlum    ond þaére idese mid,

 

dreadful for the earls,    and the ladies with them,
wliteséon wraétlíc·    weras onsáwon.

 

a wondrous spectacle;    the men stared.

XXV

 

Béowulf maþelode    bearn Ecgþéowes:

 

Beowulf spoke,    the son of Edgetheow:
'Hwæt, wé þé þás saélác,    sunu Healfdenes

 

'Listen, we you these sea-spoils,    son of Half-Dane,
léod Scyldinga,    lustum bróhton

  1653

lord of the Scyldings,    gladly brought
tíres tó tácne    þé þú hér tó lócast.

 

as token of glory,    which you look at here.
Ic þæt unsófte    ealdre gedígde

 

I it not easily    survived with my life,
wigge under wætere·    weorc genéþde

 

war under water,    work risked
earfoðlíce·     ætrihte wæs

 

with trouble;    at once was
gúð getwaéfed    nymðe mec god scylde·

  1658

the warfare at an end,    unless God shielded me;
ne meahte ic æt hilde    mid Hruntinge

 

I could not in the battle    with Hrunting
wiht gewyrcan    þéah þæt waépen duge

 

bring about anything,    though that weapon is excellent
ac mé geúðe    ylda waldend

 

but to me granted    men's Ruler
þæt ic on wáge geseah    wlitig hangian

 

that I saw on the wall    hanging fair
ealdsweord éacen    --oftost wísode

  1663

a mighty ancient sword    --most often He has guided
winigea léasum--    þæt ic ðý waépne gebraéd·

 

the one deprived of friend--    that I the weapon drew,
ofslóh ðá æt þaére sæcce     þá mé saél ageald

 

slew then in the strife,    when an opportunity was yielded to me,
húses hyrdas·    þá þæt hildebil

 

the house's guardians;    then that battle-bill
forbarn brogdenmaél    swá þæt blód gesprang

 

burned up, wavy-patterned,     as the blood leapt out,
hátost heaþoswáta·    ic þæt hilt þanan

  1668

the hottest sweat of war;    I that hilt thence
féondum ætferede·    fyrendaéda wræc

 

carried back from the fiends,    foul-deeds avenged,
déaðcwealm Denigea    swá hit gedéfe wæs.

 

deadly slaughter of Danes,    as it was fitting.
Ic hit þé þonne geháte    þæt þú on Heorote móst

 

I promise it to you then,    that you in Heorot may
sorhléas swefan    mid þínra secga gedryht

 

sleep without sorrow    with your company of soldiers,
ond þegna gehwylc    þínra léoda

  1673

and each thane    of your nation,
duguðe ond iogoþe·      þæt þú him ondraédan ne þearft,

 

veterans and youths,    that you for them need not dread,
þéoden Scyldinga,    on þá healfe

 

chieftain of the Scyldings,    on that side,
aldorbealu eorlum    swá þú aér dydest.'

 

life-bale for earls,    as you did before.'
Ðá wæs gyldenhilt    gamelum rince

 

Then was the golden hilt    to the old king
hárum hildfruman    on hand gyfen

  1678

to the grey battle-leader,    given into his hand,
enta aérgeweorc·    hit on aéht gehwearf

 

the ancient work of giants;    it had passed into the possession
æfter déofla hryre    Denigea fréän

 

after the devils' fall    of the lord of the Danes,
wundorsmiþa geweorc    ond þá þás worold ofgeaf

 

the work of wondersmiths,    and then this world gave up
gromheort guma    godes andsaca

 

the angry-hearted creature,    God's adversary
morðres scyldig    ond his módor éac

  1683

guilty of murder,    and his mother also;
on geweald gehwearf    woroldcyninga

 

it passed into the power    of the earthly kings
ðaém sélestan       be saém twéonum

 

the finest ones    between the two seas,
ðára þe on Scedenigge    sceattas daélde.

 

of those who in Scandinavia     dealt out riches.
Hróðgár maðelode·    hylt scéawode

 

Hrothgor spoke;    he examined the hilt,
ealde lafe·    on ðaém wæs ór writen

  1688

the old heirloom,    on which was engraved the origin
fyrngewinnes    syðþan flód ofslóh

 

of ancient strife,    when the flood slew
gifen géotende    gíganta cyn--

 

the pouring ocean,    the race of giants--
frécne geférdon·    þæt wæs fremde þéod

 

they fared terribly;    that was a tribe foreign
écean dryhtne·    him þæs endeléan

 

to the eternal Lord;    them the end-reward
þurh wæteres wylm    waldend sealde--

  1693

through the surging of waters    the Ruler granted--
swá wæs on ðaém scennum    scíran goldes

 

also was on the sword-hilt    of shining gold
þurh rúnstafas    rihte gemearcod

 

in rune-staves    rightly marked,
geseted ond gesaéd    hwám þæt sweord geworht

 

it was set down and said,    for whom the sword wrought,
írena cyst    aérest waére

 

--choicest of irons--     had been first,
wreoþenhilt ond wyrmfáh·    ðá se wísa spræc

  1698

with a twisted-hilt and serpent-patterned;    then the wise man spoke,
sunu Healfdenes     swígedon ealle:

 

the son of Half-Dane     all fell silent:
'Þæt, lá, mæg secgan     sé þe sóð ond riht

 

'That, indeed, may say    he who truth and right
fremeð on folce·    feor eal gemon,

 

performs among the folk,    remembers all from far-back,
eald éðel weard·    þæt ðes eorl waére

 

old warden of the homeland;    that this hero was
geboren betera·    blaéd is áraéred

  1703

born a greater man;    the fame is established
geond wídwegas,    wine mín Béowulf,

 

throughout the distant regions,    Beowulf my friend,
ðín ofer þéoda gehwylce·    eal þú hit geþyldum healdest,

 

over each of the nations, of you;    all you it with patience hold,
mægen mid módes snyttrum·      ic þé sceal míne gelaéstan

 

strength with the wisdom of the heart;    to you I shall continue to give my
fréoðe swá wit furðum spraécon·    ðú scealt tó frófre weorþan

  1707

protection, as we spoke of before;    you must be as a comfort
eal langtwídig    léodum þínum

 

all long-lasting    to your people,
hæleðum tó helpe.    Ne wearð Heremód swá

 

to heroes a support.    Heremod was not so
eaforum Ecgwelan    Ár-Scyldingum·

 

to the sons of Edgewela,    to the Honour-Scyldings;
ne gewéox hé him tó willan    ac tó wælfealle

 

he grew not to their pleasure,    but for slaughter
ond tó déaðcwalum    Deniga léodum·

  1712

and for annihilation    of the people of the Danes;
bréat bolgenmód    béodgenéatas

 

he felled in a furious spirit    his companions at table,
eaxlgesteallan    oþ þæt hé ána hwearf

 

shoulder-comrades,    until he alone passed,
maére þéoden    mondréamum from

 

famous king,    from the joys of man
ðéah þe hine mihtig god    mægenes wynnum

 

though him mighty God    with joys of strength
eafeþum stépte    ofer ealle men

  1717

powerfully exalted    over all men,
forð gefremede    hwæþere him on ferhþe gréow

 

further advanced    yet in his heart grew to him
bréosthord blódréow·    nallas béagas geaf

 

the treasure of the breast eager for blood;     not at all did he give rings
Denum æfter dóme·    dréamléas gebád

 

to Danes for glory;    he lived joylessly,
þæt hé þæs gewinnes    wærc þrówade

 

so that he the strife's    pain suffered,
léodbealo longsum.    Ðú þé laér be þon·

  1722

a great evil to the people for a long time.    You learn by this,
gumcyste ongit·    ic þis gid be þé

 

understand human virtue;    I this tale for you
áwræc wintrum fród.    Wundor is tó secganne

 

recited, old and wise in winters.    Wonder is to say
hú mihtig god    manna cynne

 

how mighty God    to mankind
þurh sídne sefan    snyttru bryttað

 

according to deep understanding     dispenses wisdom,
eard ond eorlscipe·    hé áh ealra geweald·   1727 land and noble qualities;    he has control of all;
hwílum hé on lufan    laéteð hworfan

 

at times He in delight    lets go
monnes módgeþonc    maéran cynnes

 

the heart's thought of some man    of glorious kin
seleð him on éþle    eorþan wynne

 

gives to him in his own homeland    earthly bliss
tó healdanne    hléoburh wera·

 

to command    a stronghold of men,
gedéð him swá gewealdene     worolde daélas

  1732

makes subject to him    from the world's portions,
síde ríce    þæt hé his selfa ne mæg

 

a wide kingdom,    that he himself can not
for his unsnyttrum    ende geþencean·

 

in his ignorance    conceive the end (of his rule);
wunað hé on wiste·    nó hine wiht dweleð

 

he lives on in abundance;    they hinder him not a bit,
ádl né yldo    né him inwitsorh

 

sickness nor age,    nor him evil sorrow
on sefan sweorceð    né gesacu óhwaér

  1737

darkens in his soul,    nor strife anywhere
ecghete éoweð    ac him eal worold

 

sharp-hate appears,    but to him all the world
wendeð on willan·    hé þæt wyrse ne con.

 

turns on his pleasure;    he does not know it worse.

XXVI

 

Oð þæt him on innan    oferhygda daél

 

Until within him    pride's portion
weaxeð ond wrídað    þonne se weard swefeð

 

grows and flourishes    then the warder sleeps,
sáwele hyrde·    bið se slaép tó fæst,

  1742

the soul's keeper;    the sleep is too sound,
bisgum gebunden,    bona swíðe néah

 

bound with troubles,    the killer is very near,
sá þe of flánbogan    fyrenum scéoteð·

 

he who from his shaft-bow    foully fires;
þonne bið on hreþre    under helm drepen

 

then it is in the heart    struck beneath the helm
biteran straéle    --him bebeorgan ne con--

 

by the bitter dart    --he cannot protect himself--
wóm wundorbebodum    wergan gástes·

  1747

from the perversity of strange biddings    of the wicked spirit;
þinceð him tó lýtel     þæt hé tó lange héold·

 

it seems to him too little    what he rules too long;
gýtsað gromhýdig·    nallas on gylp seleð

 

cruel-mindedly covets,    he in arrogance never gives
faédde béagas    ond hé þá forðgesceaft

 

golden rings,    and he then the future
forgyteð ond forgýmeð    þæs þe him aér god sealde,

 

forgets and disregards,    that which God gave him before,
wuldres waldend,    weorðmynda daél·

  1752

glory's Ruler,    a share of honour·
hit on endestæf    eft gelimpeð

 

it in the end    finally comes to pass
þæt se líchoma    laéne gedréoseð·

 

that the body,    lent, fails;
faége gefealleð·    féhð óþer tó

 

fated to death, it falls;    another body takes up,
sé þe unmurnlíce    mádmas daéleþ

 

who without regret    shares out treasure,
eorles aérgestréon·    egesan ne gýmeð.

  1757

the earl's ancient wealth,    and he heeds not fear.
Bebeorh þé ðone bealoníð,    Beowulf léofa

 

Guard yourself against this wicked strife,    beloved Beowulf,
secg betosta,    ond þé þæt sélre gecéos

 

finest man,    and for yourself choose the better,
éce raédas·    oferhýda ne gým,

 

the eternal gains;    do not pay heed to pride,
maére cempa·    nú is þínes mægnes blaéd

 

renowned champion;    now is the glory of your strength
áne hwíle·    eft sóna bið

  1762

for a while;    presently in turn will be
þæt þec ádl oððe ecg     eafoþes getwaéfeð

 

that you sickness or edge    will part from strength,
oððe fýres feng    oððe flódes wylm

 

or grasp of fire,    or surge of flood,
oððe gripe méces    oððe gáres fliht

 

or bite of blade,    or flight of spear,
oððe atol yldo·    oððe éagena bearhtm

 

or repulsive old-age;    or the brightness of the eyes
forsiteð ond forsworceð·    semninga bið

  1767

weakens and dims;    very soon will be
þæt ðec, dryhtguma,    déað oferswýðeð.

 

that you, warrior,    Death overpowers.
Swá ic Hring-Dena    hund misséra

 

So I the Ring-Danes     a hundred seasons
wéold under wolcnum    ond hig wigge beléac

 

have ruled under the skies    and in war sheltered them,
manigum maégþa    geond þysne middangeard

 

from many tribes     throughout this middle-earth,
æscum ond ecgum    þæt ic mé aénigne

  1772

from ash-shafts and sword-edges,    so that I for myself any,
under swegles begong    gesacan ne tealde.

 

under the expanse of the heavens,    adversary I did not account.
Hwæt, mé þæs on éþle    edwendan cwóm,

 

Listen, to me in the homeland for that    a reversal came,
gyrn æfter gomene    seoþðan Grendel wearð

 

sorrow after joy,    since Grendel became
ealdgewinna    ingenga min

 

an old contender,    invader of mine,
ic þaére sócne     singáles wæg

  1777

I from that persecution    endured continually
módceare micle·    þæs sig metode þanc

 

great sorrow of spirit;    thanks be for that to the Measurer of Fate,
écean dryhtne    þæs ðe ic on aldre gebád

 

eternal Lord,    from that I survived alive,
þæt ic on þone hafelan     heorodréorigne

 

so that I on the head    sword-bloodied
ofer eald gewin    éagum starige!

 

after ancient strife     could gaze with my eyes!
Gá nú tó setle·     symbelwynne dréoh

  1782

Go now to the bench,    join in the pleasure-banquet,
wíggeweorþad·    unc sceal worn fela

 

honoured by your battle;    we must very many
máþma gemaénra    siþðan morgen bið.'

 

treasures share between us    when it is morning.'
Géat wæs glædmód·     géong sóna tó

 

The Geat was glad-hearted,    went straightaway to
setles néosan    swá se snottra heht·

 

seek the bench,    as the wise one had commanded;
þá wæs eft swá aér     ellenrófum

  1787

then it was again as before    for bold warriors,
fletsittendum    fægere gereorded

 

for those sitting in the hall    they prepared a fine feast
níowan stefne·    nihthelm geswearc

 

once again;    the helm of night darkened,
deorc ofer dryhtgumum·    duguð eal árás·

 

dark over the company of warriors;    the veterans all arose;
wolde blondenfeax    beddes néosan,

 

the blended-haired one wishes    to seek his bed,
gamela Scylding·    Géat unigmetes wél

  1792

the aged Scylding;    the Geat exceedingly much,
rófne randwigan    restan lyste·

 

valiant shield-warrior,    desired rest;
sóna him seleþegn    síðes wérgum

 

at once him the hall-thane    the weary journeyer
feorrancundum    orð wísade

 

from afar    guided forth,
sé for andrysnum    ealle beweotede

 

who for courtesy    looked after everything
þegnes þearfe    swylce þý dógore

  1797

of the hero's needs,    such as in those days
heaþolíðende    habban scoldon·

 

warrior-sailors    were obliged to have;
reste hine þá rúmheort·     reced hlíuade

 

rested him then, the large-hearted man;    the hall towered
géap ond goldfáh·    gæst inne swæf

 

vaulted and gold-adorned;    the guest slept inside
oþ þæt hrefn blaca    heofones wynne

 

until the black raven,    the joy of the sky
blíðheort bodode.    Ðá cóm beorht scacan

  1802

declared glad-heartedly.    Then came bright hurrying,
scaþan ónetton·

 

fighters hastening;
waéron æþelingas    eft tó léodum

 

the nobles were    back to their people
fúse tó farenne·    wolde feor þanon

 

eager to fare;    he wished far thence,
cuma collenferhð    céoles néosan.

 

the high-spirited visitor,    to seek his ship.
Heht þá se hearda    Hrunting beran

  1807

He then directed the tough man    to wear Hrunting
sunu Ecgláfes·    heht his sweord niman

 

the son of Edgelaf,    bid him take his sword,
léoflíc íren·    sægde him þæs léanes þanc·

 

beloved iron;    said thanks to him for the loan,
cwæð: hé þone gúðwine     gódne tealde

 

quoth: he the war-friend    marked well,
wígcræftigne·     nales wordum lóg

 

skilled in war;    he did not in words blame
méces ecge·    þæt wæs módig secg.

  1812

the maiche's edge;    he was a proud man.
Ond þá síðfrome,    searwum gearwe

 

And then, eager to be going,    ready in arms,
wígend waéron    éode weorð Denum

 

were the warriors,     the one honoured by the Danes went,
æþeling tó yppan    þaér se óþer wæs

 

noble to the high seat,    where the other was,
hæle hildedéor    Hróðgár grétte.

 

the battle-bold hero    greeted Hrothgar.

XXVII

 

Béowulf maþelode    bearn Ecgþéowes:

  1817

Beowulf spoke,    the son of Edgetheow:
'Nú wé saélíðend       secgan wyllað

 

'Now we sea-farers     wish to say
feorran cumene    þæt wé fundiaþ

 

having come from afar,    that we are anxious
Higelác sécan·    waéron hér tela

 

to seek Hygelac;    we here were well
willum bewenede·    þú ús wél dohtest.

 

entertained in our desires;    you have treated us well.
Gif ic þonne on eorþan    ówihte mæg

  1822

If then on earth I    can (do) anything
þínre módlufan    máran tilian,

 

of your affections    earn more,
gumena dryhten,    ðonne ic gýt dyde,

 

lord of men,    than I have done yet,
gúðgeweorca    ic béo gearo sóna

 

with feats of arms,    I am ready at once,
gif ic þæt gefricge    ofer flóda begang

 

if I find it out    over the flood's expanse,
þæt þec ymbsittend    egesan þýwað

  1827

that you neighbouring-tribes    oppress with terror,
swá þec hetende    hwílum dydon

 

as enemies to you    sometimes did,
ic ðé þúsenda    þegna bringe

 

I to you a thousand    thanes will bring,
hæleþa tó helpe.    Ic on Higeláce wát,

 

heroes as help.    I know of Hygelac,
Géata dryhten    þéah ðe hé geong syÿ

 

the lord of the Geats,    though he is young,
folces hyrde·    þæt hé mec fremman wile

  1832

the keeper of the folk,    that he would support me
weordum ond worcum    þæt ic þé wél herige

 

with words and with deeds,    so that I might honour you rightly
ond þé tó géoce    gárholt bere

 

and to you in aid     bring a forest of spears,
mægenes fultum    þaér ðé bið manna þearf.

 

the support of strength,    where you be needful of men.
Gif him þonne Hréþrínc    tó hofum Géata

 

If him, on the other hand, Hrethric    to the Geatish court
geþingeð þéodnes bearn    hé mæg þaér fela

  1837

decides (to go), chieftain's son,    he shall there be able many
fréonda findan·    feorcýþðe béoð

 

friends to find;    distant lands are
sélran gesóhte    þaém þe him selfa déah.'

 

better sought    by one who is powerful himself.'
Hróðgár maþelode    him on andsware:

 

Hrothgar spoke     to him in reply:
'Þé þá wordcwydas     wigtig drihten

 

'To you these sayings of words    the wise Lord
on sefan sende·    ne hýrde ic snotorlícor

  1842

has sent into mind;    I have not heard more intelligently
on swá geongum feore    guman þingian·

 

at such young age    man make a speech;
þú eart mægenes strang    ond on móde fród

 

you are strong in power    and wise in your heart,
wís wordcwida·    wén ic talige

 

judicious word-speaker;    I consider it likely
gif þæt gegangeð    þæt ðe gár nymeð

 

if it happens,    that from you the spear takes,
hild heorugrimme    Hréþles eaferan,

  1847

a horrendous battle    Hrethel's heir,
ádl oþðe íren    ealdor ðínne

 

sickness or iron    your ruler,
folces hyrde    ond þú þín feorh hafast

 

the guardian of the folk,    and you have your life,
þæt þe Saé-Géatas     sélran næbben

 

that the Sea-Geats    could not have better
tó gecéosenne    cyning aénigne

 

by choosing    any other king,
hordweard hæleþa    gyf þú healdan wylt

  1852

hoard-ward of heroes,    if you wish to rule
mága ríce·    mé þín módsefa

 

your kinsman's kingdom.    Your spirit and heart me
lícað leng swá wél,     léofa Béowulf·

 

pleases so well the longer (I know them),    dear Beowulf;
hafast þú geféred     þæt þám folcum sceal

 

you have achieved     that for the folk shall
Géata léodum    ond Gár-Denum

 

the people of the Geats    and the Spear-Danes
sib gemaénum    ond sacu restan,

  1857

in mutual peace,    and strife subside,
inwitníþas,     þé híe aér drugon,

 

hostilities,     which they endured before;
wesan þenden ic wealde    wídan ríces

 

shall be, while I rule    the wide kingdom,
máþmas gemaéne,    manig óþerne

 

wealth in common,    many an other
gódum gegréttan    ofer ganotes bæð·

 

with good things will greet    over the gannet's bath;
sceal hringnaca    ofer heáþu bringan

  1862

the ring-prowed ship shall    bring over the high seas
lác ond luftácen·    ic þá léode wát

 

offerings and tokens of friendship;    I know these nations
gé wið féond gé wið fréond     fæste geworhte

 

both towards foe and towards friend    firmly disposed,
aéghwæs untaéle    ealde wísan.'

 

blameless in everything,    in the ancient manner.'
Ðá gít him eorla hléo     hine gesealde

 

Then again to him the protector of earls    gave to him,
mago Healfdenes    máþmas twelf·

  1867

the son of Half-Dane,    twelve treasures;
hét inne mid þaém lácum    léode swaése

 

he commanded him with these gifts    his own dear nation
sécean on gesyntum,    snúde eft cuman·

 

to seek in safety,    to return quickly;
gecyste þá    cyning æþelum gód,

 

kissed then,    the king the upright noble,
þéoden Scyldinga    ðegn betostan

 

the chieftain of the Scyldings,    the best thane
ond be healse genam·    hruron him téaras

  1872

and took him by the neck;    tears fell from him,
blondenfeaxum·    him wæs béga wén

 

from the silver and gold whiskers;    in him were both thoughts
      **1873-80**
ealdum infródum,    óþres swíðor·

 

old and deeply wise,    the second stronger,
þæt híe seoððan     geséon móston

 

that they afterwards    might meet,
módige on meþle·    wæs him se man tó þon léof

 

brave in a formal summit;    the man was so dear to him
þæt hé þone bréostwylm     forberan ne mehte

  1877

that he the welling of his breast    could not hold back
ac him on hreþre    hygebendum fæst

 

but him in his heart    in firm bounds of thought
æfter déorum men    dyrne langað

 

for the dear man    a remote longing
beorn wið blóde.    Him Béowulf þanan

 

burned in his blood.    Him Beowulf thence,
gúðrinc goldwlanc    græsmoldan træd

 

warrior proud with gold,    trod the grass-mound,
since hrémig·    saégenga bád

  1882

triumphing in treasure.    The sea-goer awaited
ágedfréän     sé þe on ancre rád·

 

its lord and owner,    which rode at its anchor;
þá wæs on gange     gifu Hróðgáres

 

later on the journey was    the gift of Hrothgar
oft geæhted·    þæt wæs án cyning,

 

often praised;    that was one king,
aéghwæs orleahtre    oþ þæt hine yldo benam

 

in everything blameless,    until age deprived him
mægenes wynnum    sé þe oft manegum scód.

  1887

of strength's delights,    a thing which continually harms many.

XXVIII

 

Cwóm þá tó flóde    fela módigra

 

They came than to the flood    full of spirit
hægstealdra·    hringnet baéron

 

of the young warriors;    ring-mail they wore
locene leoðosyrcan·    landweard onfand

 

interlocked limb-shirts;    the land-guard perceived
eftsíð eorla,    swá hé aér dyde·

 

the return of heroes,    as he did before;
nó hé mid hearme    of hliðes nósan

  1892

he did not with insult    from the cliff's promontory
gæstas grétte    ac him tógéanes rád·

 

greet the guests,    but rode towards them,
cwæð þæt wilcuman    Wedera léodum

 

said that welcome     to the people of the Wederas
scaþan scírhame    tó scipe fóron·

 

the fighters with bright covering    he went to the ship;
þá wæs on sande    saégéap naca

 

then was on sand    the sea-curved boat
hladen herewaédum    hringedstefna

  1897

laden with war-garments    the ringed-prow
méarum ond máðmum·    mæst hlífade

 

with horses and treasure;    the mast towered
ofer Hróðgáres    hordgestréonum·

 

over Hrothgar's    hoard-wealth;
hé þaém bátwearde     bunden golde

 

he to the boat-guard     a bound gold
swurd gesealde    þæt hé syðþan wæs

 

sword gave,    so that he afterwards was
on meodubence    máþma þý weorþre

  1902

on the mead-bench    by the treasure the worthier,
yrfeláfe.    Gewát him on nacan

 

by the inherited relic.    Departed him on the ship
dréfan déop wæter·    Dena land ofgeaf·

 

to trouble deep water;    he left the Danes' land;
þá wæs be mæste     merehrægla sum

 

then was by the mast    a mighty sea-garment,
segl sále fæst·    sundwudu þunede·

 

sail fastened by rope;    the sea-beam thundered;
nó þaér wégflotan    wind ofer ýðum

  1907

there the wave-floater was not     (by) wind over the waves
síðes getwaéfde·    saégenga fór·

 

hindered in its venture;    the sea-goers went,
fléat fámigheals    forð ofer ýðe

 

the foamy-necked floated    forth over the waves,
bundenstefna    ofer brimstréamas

 

bound prow    over the ocean-streams,
þæt híe Géata clifu    ongitan meahton

 

until they the Geatish cliffs    could perceive,
cúþe næssas·    céol úp geþrang

  1912

the well-known headlands;    the keel rushed up
lyftgeswenced·    on lande stód.

 

weather-beaten,    rested on the land.
Hraþe wæs æt holme     hýðweard geara

 

Quickly was at the water    the ready harbour-guard,
sé þe aér lange tíd    léofra manna

 

he who already for a long time    for the beloved men
fús æt faroðe    feor wlátode·

 

eager at the current    gazed far;
saélde tó sande    sídfæþme scip

  1917

moored in the sand    the broad-bosomed ship
oncearbendum fæst    þý laés hym ýþa ðrym

 

firm with anchor-bounds,    lest the force of the waves
wudu wynsuman    forwrecan meahte·

 

the winsome timbers    might carry away;
hét þá úp beran    æþelinga gestréon

 

he ordered then to carry up    the nobles' treasure,
frætwe ond faétgold·    næs him feor þanon

 

trappings and gold ornaments;    it was not far thence for them
tó gesécanne    sinces bryttan

  1922

to seek    the giver of treasures
Higelác Hréþling    þaér æt hám wunað

 

Hygelac son of Hrethel,    where he dwelt at home
selfa mid gesíðum    saéwealle néah.

 

himself with his companions    near the sea-wall.
Bold wæs betlíc,    bregoróf cyning

 

The building was splendid,    the king of princely valour,
héähealle,    Hygd swíðe geong

 

the high hall,    Hygd very young,
wís wélþungen    þéah ðe wintra lýt

  1927

wise, well-thriving,    through few winters
under burhlocan    gebiden hæbbe

 

in the walled town    had lived,
Hæreþes dohtor     næs hío hnáh swá þéah

 

Haereth's daughter    was not mean though
né tó gnéað gifa    Géata léodum

 

nor too grudging of gifts    to the people of the Geats,
máþmgestréona.    Mód þrýðo wæg

 

of treasure-wealth.    She showed violent arrogance,
fremu folces cwén,    firen' ondrysne·

  1932

the lusty queen of the folk,    terrible crimes;
naénig þæt dorste    déor genéþan

 

dared not any of    the bold to risk,
swaésra gesíða,    nefne sinfréä·

 

of the dear companions,    except her great lord,
þæt hire an dæges    éagum starede

 

that on her by day    stared with his eyes
ac him wælbende    weotode tealde

 

but for him slaughter-bonds    he might consider prescribed,
handgewriþene·     hraþe seoþðan wæs

  1937

woven by hands;    quickly then was
æfter mundgripe    méce geþinged

 

after seizure    a maiche was appointed,
þæt hit sceádenmaél     scýran  móste,

 

that it, shadow-marked,    was obliged to settle,
cwealmbealu cýðan·    ne bið swylc cwénlic þéaw

 

make known the evil of the death;    such queenly manner is not
idese tó efnanne    þéah ðe hío aénlicu sý·

 

for a lady to perform,    though she be matchless,
þætte freoðuwebbe    féores onsaéce

  1942

that peace-weaver    deprives life,
æfter ligetorne    léofne mannan.

 

owing to a false injury,    of beloved man.
Húru þæt on hóh snod     Hemninges maég·

 

However, it was cut off at the heel     by Hemming's kinsman;
ealodrincende    óðer saédan·

 

the ale-drinkers    further told
þæt hío léodbealewa     laés gefremede

 

that evil for the people she    practised less,
inwitníða     syððan aérest wearð

  1947

malice and enmity,    since she first was
gyfen goldhroden    geongum cempan

 

given, gold-adorned,    to the young champion,
æðelum díore    syððan hío Offan flet

 

of noble ancestry,    when she to Offa's hall
ofer fealone flód    be fæder láre

 

over the dusky flood    by her father's wisdom
síðe gesóhte    ðaér hío syððan well

 

sought in her journey    where she afterwards fully
in gumstóle    góde maére

  1952

on the throne,    for goodness famed,
lífgesceafta    lifigende bréac·

 

the fated span of her life    her living she used well,
híold héahlufan    wið hæleþa brego,

 

held high-love    for the heroes' lord,
ealles moncynnes    míne gefraége

 

of all mankind,    I have heard,
þæs sélestan    bí saém twéonum

 

the finest    between the seas,
eormencynnes·     Forðám Offa wæs

  1957

of the mighty race.    Because Offa was
geofum ond gúðum    gárcéne man

 

in gifts and in war,    a spear-keen man;
wíde geweorðod·    wísdóme héold

 

widely honoured,    ruled in wisdom
éðel sínne·    þonon ongéomor wóc

 

his homeland;    then, exceedingly sad, he arose
hæleðum tó helpe    Heminges maég

 

a help to heroes,    the kinsman of Hemming,
nefa Gármundes    níða cræftig.

  1962

grandson of Garmund,     powerful over strife.

XXVIIII

 

Gewát him ðá se hearda    mid his hondscole

 

Then the hardy man went    with his hand-picked retinue
sylf æfter sande    saéwong tredan

 

himself along the sand    treading the sea-plain,
wíde waroðas·    woruldcandel scán

 

the wide strand;    the world-candle shone,
sigel súðan fús·    hí síð drugon·

 

the sun eagerly from the south;    they had survived the journey,
elne geéodon,    tó ðæs ðe eorla hléo

  1967

strode quickly,    to where the Shield of Heroes,
bonan Ongenþéoes    burgum in innan,

 

--the bane of Ongentheow--      inside his citadel,
geongne gúðcyning    gódne gefrúnon

 

the young war-king,    they heard (that there) the good man
hringas daélan.    Higeláce wæs

 

alloted rings.    To Hygelac was
síð Béowulfes    snúde gecýðed·

 

Beowulf's journey    promptly reported,
þæt ðaér on worðig     wígendra hléo

  1972

that there in enclosed homestead,    the defender of warriors,
lindgestealla    lifigende cwóm

 

shield-companion    (still) living came,
heaðoláces hál    tó hofe gongan·

 

from the war-play unharmed    going to to the court;
hraðe wæs gerýmed    swá se ríca bebéad

 

quickly was cleared,    as the king bade,
féðegestum    flet innanweard·

 

for the visitors on foot    the floor within;
gesæt þá wið sylfne     sé ðá sæcce genæs,

  1977

then he sat down with the same man,    he who had survived the fight,
maég wið maége    syððan mandryhten

 

kinsman with kinsman,    after the liege-lord
þurh hléoðorcwyde    holdne gegrétte

 

through ceremonious speech    his loyal subject had greeted,
méaglum wordum    meoduscencum

 

in emphatic words,    mead-draughts
hwearf geond þæt síde reced    Hæreðes dohtor

 

passed round through that spacious room    Haereth's daughter,
lufode ðá léode·    liðwaége bær

  1982

--she loved the people--    bore goblets
haéum tó handa.    Higelác ongan

 

to the hands of the illustrious ones.    Hygelac began
sínne geseldan    in sele þám héan

 

his hall-companion     in that high hall
fægre fricgcean·    hyne fyrwet bræc

 

to question courteously,    his curiosity burst forth,
hwylce Saé-Géata    síðas waéron:

 

whatever the Sea-Geats'    adventures were:
'Hú lomp éow on láde,     léofa Bíowulf,

  1987

'How fared you on the way,    dear Beowulf,
þá ðú faéringa    feorr gehogodest

 

when you suddenly    resolved far away
sæcce sécean    ofer sealt wæter

 

to seek conflict    over the salt water,
hilde tó Hiorote?    Ac ðú Hróðgáre

 

combat in Heorot?    Moreover, did you Hrothgar's
wídcúðne wéan    wihte gebéttest

 

widely known woes    at all ameliorate,
maérum ðéodne?    Ic ðæs módceare

  1992

for the famed chieftain?    I of this with anxious care of the heart
sorhwylmum séað·    síðe ne trúwode

 

seethed with wellings of sorrow,    I did not trust the venture
léofes mannes·    ic ðé lange bæd

 

of my dear man;    I begged you at length,
þæt ðú þone wælgaést    wihte ne grétte·

 

that you the slaughter-ghast    would not challenge at all,
léte Súð-Dene    sylfe geweorðan

 

let the South-Danes    settle themselves
gúðe wið Grendel·    gode ic þanc secge

  1997

the war with Grendel;    to God I speak thanks,
þæs ðe ic ðé gesundne     geséon móste.'

 

for that I you sound    am permitted to see.'
Bíowulf maðelode    bearn Ecgðíoes:

 

Beowulf spoke,    the son of Edgetheow:
'Þæt is undyrne,    dryhten Higelác,

 

'It is not secret,    lord Hygelac,
micel geméting    monegum fíra·

 

that great meeting,    to many men,
hwylc orleghwíl    uncer Grendles

  2002

what a time of struggle    between the two of us, me and Grendel,
wearð on ðám wange    þaér hé worna fela

 

occurred in that place    where he great multitudes
Sige-Scyldingum    sorge gefremede

 

for the Victory-Scyldings    brought about sorrows,
yrmðe tó aldre·    ic ðæt eall gewræc

 

lifelong misery;    I avenged it all,
swá begylpan þearf    Grendeles mága

 

thus there is need to boast    --of Grendel's kinsmen,
yfel ofer eorðan    úhthlem þone

  2007

evil upon the earth--    of that clash at dawn,
sé ðe lengest leofað    láðan cynnes

 

he who lives the longest    of that hateful race,
fáecne bifongen.    Ic ðaér furðum cwóm

 

enveloped in malice.    I first came there
tó ðám hringsele    Hróðgár grétan·

 

to that ring-hall    to greet Hrothgar;
sóna mé se maéra    mago Healfdenes

 

straightaway to me the famed    kinsman of Half-Dane,
syððan hé módsefan    mínne cúðe

  2012

after he the purpose of the heart    of mine knew,
wið his sylfes sunu    setl getaéhte·

 

with his own sons    he appointed a seat;
weorod wæs on wynne·    ne seah ic wídan feorh

 

The troop was joyful;    I have not seen in my whole life
under heofones hwealf    healsittendra

 

under heaven's vault    a hall-sitters'
medudréam máran.    Hwílum maéru cwén

 

mead-revelry greater.    At times the renowned queen,
friðusibb folca    flet eall geondhwearf·

  2017

the peace-pledge of peoples,    passed over all of the floor,
bædde byre geonge·    oft hío béahwriðan

 

urged on the young boys;    often twisted-rings she
secge sealde    aér híe tó setle géong·

 

gave to the warriors,    before she went to her seat;
hwílum for duguðe    dohtor Hróðgáres

 

from time to time before the band of experienced warriors     Hrothgar's daughter
eorlum on ende    ealuwaége bær

 

to nobles continuously to the end    bore the ale-flagon,
þá ic Fréaware    fletsittende

  2022

those I Freawaru    the ones on the floor
nemnan hýrde    þaér hío nægled sinc

 

I heard name her,    when she the studded cup
hæleðum sealde    Sío geháten is

 

gave to heroes,    she is promised,
geong goldhroden,    gladum suna Fródan·

 

young, gold-adorned,    to gracious son of Froda;
hafað þæs geworden    wine Scyldinga

 

this has arranged    the Friend of the Scyldings,
ríces hyrde    ond þæt raéd talað

  2027

the kingdom's shepherd,    and counsel reckons it
þæt hé mid ðý wífe     wælfaéhða daél

 

that he with this woman    a great part of the slaughter-feuds,
sæcca gesette.    Oft seldan hwaér

 

conflicts will settle.    Very seldom anywhere
æfter léodhryre    lýtle hwíle

 

after the fall of a leader    (even) a little while
bongár búgeð    þéah séo brýd duge.

 

the murderous spear bends down,    though the bride be good.
Mæg þæs þonne ofþyncan    ðéoden Heaðo-Beardna

  2032

This then may displease     the chief of the Heatho-Bards'
ond þegna gehwám    þára léoda

 

and every thane    of that people,
þonne hé mid faémnan    on flett gaëð:

 

when he with the maiden    walks on the floor:
dryhtbearn Dena    duguða biwenede,

 

that the noble sons of the Danes,    her veteran troop, are entertained,
on him gladiað    gomelra láfe

 

on them glisten    ancient heirlooms,
heard ond hringmaél    Heaða-Bearna gestréon

  2037

hard and ring-adorned,    the Heatho-Bards' treasure,
þenden híe ðám waépnum    wealdan móston.

 

so long as they those weapons    were able to wield.

[XXX]

 

Oð ðæt híe forlaéddan    tó ðám lindplegan

 

Until they had led to disaster    in the shield-play
swaése gesíðas    ond hyra sylfra feorh.

 

their dear companions    and their own lives.
Þonne cwið æt béore     sé ðe béahgesyhð

 

Then speaks at the beer-drinking,    he who sees a ring-precious object,
eald æscwiga    sé ðe eall geman

  2042

the old ash-warrior,    he who remembers all
gárcwealm gumena    --him bið grim sefa--

 

the spear-death of men    --in him is a fierce heart--
onginneð géomormód    geongum cempan

 

he begins sad-spirited    in a young champion,
þurh hreðra gehygd    higes cunnian,

 

by the musing of his heart,    to tempt his mind,
wígbealu weccean    ond þæt word ácwyð:

 

to awaken war-horror,    and speaks these words:
"Meaht ðú, mín wine,     méce gecnáwan

  2047

"Can you, my friend,     recognise that maiche,
þone þín fæder    tó gefeohte bær

 

which your father    bore into the fight,
under heregríman    hindeman síðe,

 

under his army-mask    on the last campaign,
dýre íren,    þaér hyne Dene slógon·

 

precious iron,    there the Danes slew him,
wéoldon wælstówe    syððan wiðergyld læg

 

controlled the slaying-field,    when retribution failed,
æfter hæleþa hryre    hwate Scyldungas?

  2052

after the heroes' fall,    the fierce Scyldings?
Nú hér þára banena    byre náthwylces

 

Now here of those slayers    the son of one or other of them,
frætwum hrémig    on flet gaëð·

 

exultant in trappings,    goes across the floor,
morðres gylpeð    ond þone máðþum byreð

 

boasts of murder,    and wears the treasure
þone þe ðú mid rihte    raédan sceoldest."

 

which you by right    ought to possess."
Manað swá ond myndgað     maéla gehwylce

  2057

Thus he incites and reminds     every time
sárum wordum    oð ðæt saél cymeð

 

with grievous words,    until that time comes
þæt se faémnan þegn    fore fæder daédum

 

that the woman's thane    for his father's deeds
æfter billes bite    blódfág swefeð

 

from the bite of a bill-blade    sleeps, stained in blood,
ealdres scyldig·    him se óðer þonan

 

having forfeited life;    him the other thence
losað lifigende·    con him land geare.

  2062

escapes alive,    the land is readily known to him.
Þonne bíoð brocene    on bá healfe

 

Then are broken    on both sides
áðsweorð eorla·    syððan Ingelde

 

the sworn oaths of earls;    then in Ingeld
weallað wælníðas    ond him wíflufan

 

murderous hate will well up     and in him the love of woman
æfter cearwælmum    cólran weorðað·

 

surges of grief    will become cooler;
þý ic Heaðo-Beardna    hyldo ne telge

  2067

Therefore I the Heathobards'    loyalty do not consider,
dryhtsibbe daél    Denum unfaécne,

 

the alliance's portion,    for the Danes untreacherous,
fréondscipe fæstne.    Ic sceal forð sprecan

 

enduring friendship.    I ought speak further
gén ymbe Grendel    þæt ðú geare cunne,

 

again about Grendel,    that you may readily know,
sinces brytta,    tó hwan syððan wearð

 

giver of treasure,    what then happened,
hondraés hæleða    syððan heofones gim

  2072

the hand-fight of heroes    when heaven's gem
glád ofer grundas    gaést yrre cwóm

 

had glided over the earth,    the ireful guest came,
eatol aéfengrom    úser néosan

 

terrible, fierce in the evening    to visit us,
ðaér wé gesunde    sæl weardodon

 

where we, unharmed,    warded the hall,
þaér wæs Hondsciö    hilde onsaége

 

where was for Hondscio    a sinking battle
feorhbealu faégum·    hé fyrmest læg

  2077

deadly evil for the doomed man;    he fell first,
gyrded cempa·    him Grendel wearð

 

the girded champion;    for him Grendel was,
maérum maguþegne    tó múðbonan·

 

the famed thane of distinction,    a slayer by mouth,
léofes mannes    líc eall forswealg·

 

the belovèd man's     body swallowed up completely;
nó ðý aér út ðá gén    ídelhende

 

not the sooner out yet    empty-handed,
bona blódigtóð    bealewa gemyndig

  2082

the slayer bloody-toothed,    wickedness in mind,
of ðám goldsele    gongan wolde

 

from the gold-hall    did he wish to go
ac hé mægnes róf    mín costode·

 

but he, famed for his strength,    tested me,
grápode gearofolm·     glóf hangode

 

gripped with an eager hand;    a pouch hung down
síd ond syllíc    searobendum fæst

 

spacious and strange,    with cleverly-wrought clasps held fast,
sío wæs orðoncum    eall gegyrwed

  2087

it was cunningly    all devised
déofles cræftum    ond dracan fellum·

 

with devil's crafts    and dragon's skins;
hé mec þaér on innan    unsynnigne

 

he me there inside,    guiltless,
díor daédfruma    gedón wolde

 

the daring instigator    wished to stuff,
manigra sumne·    hyt ne mihte swá

 

as one of many;    he could not do so,
syððan ic on yrre    upprihte ástód.

  2092

since I in anger    stood erect.
Tó lang ys tó reccenne    hú ic ðám léodsceaðan

 

It is too long to recount    how I the scourge of the people
yfla gehwylces    hondléan forgeald

 

for each of his evils    paid in hand-requital
þaér ic, þéoden mín,     þíne léode

 

where I, my lord,    your people
weorðode weorcum·    he on weg losade

 

honoured by acts;    he escaped away
lýtle hwíle    lífwynna bréac·

  2097

for a little while,    enjoyed the joy of life;
hwæþre him sío swíðre     swaðe weardade

 

yet from him the right,    a vestige, remainded behind
hand on Hiorte    ond hé héan ðonan

 

hand in Heorot,    and he wretched thence,
módes geómor    meregrund geféoll.

 

gloomy in his heart,    sank into the depths of the mere.
Mé þone wælraés    wine Scildunga

 

To me for the bloody battle     the Friend of the Scyldings
faéttan golde    fela léanode

  2102

with objects of plated gold    in plenty rewarded,
manegum máðmum    syððan mergen cóm

 

many treasures,    when morning came,
ond wé tó symble    geseten hæfdon

 

and we to the feast    had sat down
þaér wæs gidd ond gléo:    gomela Scilding

 

where was song and glee:    old Scylding
felafricgende    feorran rehte·

 

who has heard tell of many things,    from long ago narrated;
hwílum hildedéor    hearpan wynne

  2107

at times this battle-daring one    the harp for pleasure
gomelwudu grétte·    hwílum gyd áwræc

 

the old-wood played;    sometimes recited a song,
sóð ond sárlíc·    hwílum syllíc spell

 

true and tragic;     sometimes strange tales
rehte æfter rihte    rúmheort cyning·

 

he related rightly,    the open-hearted king;
hwílum eft ongan    eldo gebunden

 

at times he began again,    bound in his age,
gomel gúðwiga    gioguðe cwíðan

  2112

the ancient war-soldier,    to mourn for his youth,
hildestrengo·    hreðer inne wéoll

 

his battle-strength;    his heart welled inside,
þonne hé wintrum fród,    worn gemunde.

 

when he, wise in winter,     recalled many things.
Swá wé þaér inne     andlangne dæg

 

So we there inside     a whole long day
níode náman    oð ðæt niht becwóm

 

took pleasure,    until came night
óðer tó yldum·    Þá wæs eft hraðe

  2117

another to men;    then was again swiftly
gearo gyrnwræce    Grendeles módor

 

ready for grief-revenge     Grendel's mother,
síðode sorhfull·    sunu déað fornam,

 

she journeyed full of sorrow;    Death had taken her son,
wíghete Wedra·    wíf unhýre

 

the war-hate of the Wederas;    the horrible woman
hyre bearn gewræc·    beorn ácwealde

 

avenged her child,    killed a warrior
ellenlíce·     þaér wæs Æschere

  2122

savagely;     there was from Æschere,
fródan fyrnwitan    feorh úðgenge.

 

the old, wise lore-counsellor,    life departed.
Nóðer hý hine ne móston     syððan mergen cwóm

 

Nor could they him,    when morning came,
déaðwérigne     Denia léode

 

weary of death    the Danish people
bronde forbærnan    né on baél hladan

 

cremate in fire,    nor lay on the funeral bale,
léofne mannan·    hío þæt líc ætbær

  2127

the beloved man;    she had carried off the corpse
féondes fæðme    under firgenstréam·

 

in fiend's embrace    beneath the mountain stream;
þæt wæs Hróðgáre     hréowa tornost

 

that was for Hrothgar    the most bitter grief
þára þe léodfruman    lange begéate.

 

which the ruler of the people    long had received.
Þá se ðéoden mec     ðíne lífe

 

Then me the chieftain,    by your life,
healsode hréohmód    þæt ic on holma geþring

  2132

implored with troubled mind,    that I in the waters' tumult
eorlscipe efnde·    ealdre genéðde·

 

perform a noble act,    risk life,
maérðo fremede·    hé mé méde gehét.

 

accomplish glory;    he promised me rewards.
Ic ðá ðæs wælmes    þé is wíde cúð

 

Then I the welling waters',    as is widely known,
grimme gryrelícne    grundhyrde fond·

 

wrathful ghastly    guard of the deep found;
þaér unc hwíle wæs    hand gemaéne·

  2137

there a while we were    sharing a hand;
holm heolfre wéoll    ond ic héafde becearf

 

the water welled with gore,    and I cut off the head
in ðám grundsele    Grendeles módor

 

in that deep-hall    of Grendel's mother
éacnum ecgum·    unsófte þonan

 

with mighty edges,    not easily thence
feorh oðferede·    næs ic faége þá gýt

 

I carried off my life;    I was not doomed yet
ac mé eorla hléo    eft gesealde

  2142

but to me the protector of heroes    again gave
máðma menigeo    maga Healfdenes.'

 

many treasures,    the kinsman of Half-Dane.'

XXXI

 

Swá se ðéodkyning    þéawum lyfde·

 

So the king of the people    lived according to proper custom;
nealles ic ðám léanum    forloren hæfde

 

I by no means the gifts     had lost,
mægnes méde    ac hé mé maðma geaf

 

strength's reward,     but he gave me treasures,
sunu Healfdenes    on mínne sylfes dóm

  2147

the son of Half-Dane,    according to my own glory,
ðá ic ðé, beorncyning,    bringan wylle,

 

these I to thee, warrior-king,    wish to bring,
éstum geýwan·    gén is eall æt ðé

 

graciously to offer;    still is all in thee
lissa gelong·    ic lýt hafo

 

dependent upon your favour;    I have few
héafodmága     nefne, Hygelác, ðec.'

 

near kinsmen    except you Hygelac.'
Hét ðá in beran    eafor héafodsegn

  2152

Then he commanded to be brought in    the boar-crested standard,
heaðostéapne helm    háre byrnan

 

the battle-steep helm,    hoar-silver byrnie,
gúðsweord geatolíc·    gyd æfter wræc:

 

the beautiful war-sword;    the tale thereafter uttered:
'Mé ðis hildesceorp     Hróðgár sealde

 

'To me this battle-equipment    Hrothgar gave,
snotra fengel·    sume worde hét

 

the clever ruler;    with some words he ordered,
þæt ic his aérest ðé     ést gesægde·

  2157

that I first you its    legacy relate;
cwæð þæt hyt hæfde     Hiorogár cyning

 

he said it owned    King Heorogar,
léod Scyldunga    lange hwíle·

 

the leader of the Scyldings    a long time;
nó ðý aér suna sínum    syllan wolde

 

no sooner for that to his son    did he wish to give,
hwatum Heorowearde    þéah hé him hold waére

 

to bold Heoroweard,    though he was loyal to him,
bréostgewaédu.     Brúc ealles well.'

  2162

the breast-armour.    Use it all well.'
Hýrde ic þæt þám frætwum    féower méaras

 

I heard that with the treasure    four mares
lungre gelíce    lást weardode

 

swift, all alike,    followed behind,
æppelfealuwe·    hé him ést getéah

 

apple-yellow;     he to him offered the gifts,
méara ond máðma.    Swá sceal maég dön:

 

horses and riches.    So should a kinsman act:
nealles inwitnet    óðrum bregdon

  2167

not at all malice-nets    weave for others,
dyrnum cræfte    déað rénian

 

with hidden arts    contrive death
hondgesteallan.     Hygeláce wæs

 

of hand-companions.    To Hygelac was
níða heardum    nefa swýðe hold

 

in fierce strife    his nephew very loyal,
ond gehwæðer óðrum    hróþra gemyndig·

 

and each the other's    benefit remembered;
hýrde ic þæt hé ðone healsbéah    Hygde gesealde

  2172

I heard that he the neck-ring    gave to Hygd,
wraétlicne wundurmáððum    ðone þe him Wealhðéo geaf

 

the exquisite marvel-jewel,    which Wealhtheow gave him,
ðéodnes dohtor    þrío wicg somod

 

chieftain's daughter,    three horses also
swancor ond sadolbeorht·    hyre syððan wæs

 

supple and bright with saddles;    then was her,
æfter béahðege    bréost geweorðod.

 

after receiving the ring,    breast adorned.
Swá bealdode    bearn Ecgðéowes

  2177

Thus he was bold,    the son of Edgetheow,
guma gúðum cúð    gódum daédum·

 

man famed in war,    for good deeds;
dréah æfter dóme·    nealles druncne slóg

 

he led his life for glory,    never, having drunk, slew
heorðgenéatas·     næs him hréoh sefa

 

his hearth-companions;    a troubled heart was not in him,
ac hé mancynnes    maéste cræfte

 

but he mankind's    greatest strength,
ginfæstan gife    þé him god sealde

  2182

--that ample gift,    which God gave him--
héold hildedéor.    Héan wæs lange

 

he held, battle-daring.    Long had he been abject
swá hyne Géata bearn    gódne ne tealdon

 

so the sons of the Geats    did not reckon him good,
né hyne on medobence    micles wyrðne

 

nor to him on the mead-bench    much honour
drihten wereda    gedón wolde·

 

the commander of the troops    would grant;
swýðe sægdon    þæt hé sléac waére

  2187

they especially said,    that he was slack,
æðeling unfrom·    edwenden cwóm

 

no bold noble;    a turn-around came
tíréadigum menn    torna gehwylces.

 

to the glory-blessed man    for each of these miseries.
Hét ðá eorla hléo    in gefetian,

 

Then the protector of heroes ordered    to be fetched in,
heaðoróf cyning,    Hréðles láfe

 

the war-noble king,    Hrethel's heirloom,
golde gegyrede·    næs mid Géatum ðá

  2192

fitted out in gold;    there was not among the Geats then
sincmáðþum sélra    on sweordes hád·

 

a better precious treasure    in the manner of a sword;
þæt hé on Bíowulfes    bearm álegde

 

that he in Beowulf's    lap layed,
ond him gesealde    seofan þúsendo,

 

and gave him    seven thousand hides of land,
bold ond bregostól.    Him wæs bám samod

 

residence and ruler's seat.    Theirs was both together
on ðám léodscipe    lond gecynde

  2197

in that nation    inherited land,
eard éðelriht,    óðrum swíðor

 

earth by ancestral privelege,    to the second more
síde ríce    þám ðaér sélra wæs.

 

of that broad kingdom    to him who was higher.
Eft þæt geíode    ufaran dógrum

 

After that it came to pass    in later days
hildehlæmmum·     syððan Hygelác læg

 

in battle-clashes,    when Hygelac lay dead,
ond Heardréde    hildeméceas

  2202

and for Heardred     battle-maiches,
under bordhréoðan    tó bonan wurdon

 

under the cover of his shield,    became the instruments of his death,
ðá hyne gesóhtan    on sigeþéode

 

when they sought him out    in the victory-tribe,
hearde hildefrecan    Heaðo-Scilfingas·

 

the fierce battle-ready warriors,    the Battle-Scilfings,
níða genaégdan    nefan Hereríces·

 

with enmity they attacked    the nephew of Hereric;
syððan Béowulfe    braéde ríce

  2207

thereupon to Beowulf    the broad kingdom
on hand gehwearf·    hé gehéold tela

 

passed into his hands;    he ruled well
fiftig wintra    --wæs ðá fród cyning

 

for fifty winters    --then he was a wise king,
eald éþelweard--    oð ðæt ón ongan

 

an old warden of the fatherland--    until one began
deorcum nihtum    draca rícsian

 

in the dark nights,    a dragon to rule,
sé ðe on héaum hofe    hord beweotode

  2212

he who in a high house    watched over a hoard,
stánbeorh stéarcne·    stíg under læg

 

a stark stone barrow;    the path below lay
eldum uncúð.    Þaér on innan gíong

 

unknown to men.    There went inside
niða náthwylc    ond néah geféng

 

a man, I know not which,    and he groped near
haéðnum horde·    hond gewríþenne

 

the heathen hoard,    his hands wrapped round
since fáhne    hé þæt syððan beget

  2217

an ornamented bauble,    he got that afterwards;
þéah ðe hé slaépende     besyred hæfde

 

though he who sleeping    had been tricked
þéofes cræfte·    þæt síe ðíod onfand

 

by thief's cunning;    the people discovered that,
búfolc beorna    þæt hé gebolgen wæs.

 

the neighbouring folk of men,    that he was enraged.

XXXII

 

Nealles næs geweoldum    wyrmhordan cræft

 

He was not at all in control     of the skill of the worm-hoard,
sylfes willum    sé ðe him sáre gesceód

  2222

of his own desire,    he who sorely injured him,
ac for þréanédlan    þéof náthwylces

 

because of dire-distress    a thief of I know not which
hæleða bearna    heteswengeas fléoh

 

sons of men     fled hostile blows,
ærnesþearfe    ond ðaér inne weall

 

in need of a hall    and there within raged,
secg synbysig    sóna onwacade·

 

a man haunted by guilt,    immediately watched over;
þæt géan ðám gyste    gryrebróga stód·

  2227

then against the stranger    stood horror and terror;
hwæðre fyrensceapen    

 

nevertheless upon the wicked one    

 

                                 se faér begeat·

  2230

                                 poured peril.
sincfæt sóhte·    þaér wæs swylcra fela

 

He sought treasure-gold,    there was many such,
in ðám eorðsele     aérgestréona

 

in that earth-hall,    ancient treasures,
swá hý on géardagum    gumena náthwylc

 

as they in former days    some man,
eormenláfe     æþelan cynnes

  2234

this great legacy    of a noble kind,
þanchycgende     þaér gehýdde

 

full of thought,    had hid there
déore máðmas·    ealle híe déað fornam

 

these dear treasures;    all of them Death took
aérran maélum    ond sí án ðá gén

 

in earlier times,    and then were yet one
léoda duguðe    sé ðaér lengest hwearf

 

of the old warriors of that people,    the one who moved about there longest,
weard winegeómor    wénde þæs yldan·

  2239

the friend-grieving warden,    he hoped to delay that much,
þæt hé lýtel fæc     longgestréona

 

so that he for a little while     the long-kept treasure
brúcan móste.    Beorh eallgearo

 

would be able to enjoy.    The barrow all-ready
wunode on wonge    wæterýðum néah

 

occupied the plain    near the water-waves,
níwe be næsse    nearocræftum fæst·

 

new on the headland,    made secure by difficult-craft;
þaér on innan bær     eorlgestréona

  2244

there inside bore    of the treasure of earls
hringa hyrde       handwyrðne daél

 

a hoard of rings    a hand-fashioned share
faéttan goldes·    féa worda cwæð:

 

of plated gold;    some words he spoke:
'Heald þú nú, hrúse,    nú hæleð ne móstan

 

'Now hold you, Earth,    now the heroes cannot
eorla aéhte.    Hwæt, hyt aér on ðé earls' possessions.    Listen, it formerly from you
góde begéaton·    gúðdéað fornam

  2249

was obtained by good men;    war-death has taken away,
feorhbeale frécne    fyrena gehwylcne

 

terrible murder of life,    of crimes each one,
léoda mínra    þá mé ðe þis ofgeaf:

 

my belovèd people,    they gave this up to me:
gesáwon seledréam·    hé náh hwá sweord wege

 

they had seen joy in the hall;    he I have not, who might wield sword
oððe fægrie    faéted waége

 

or make beautiful    this gilded flagon,
dryncfæt déore·    duguð ellor séoc·

  2254

this precious drinking vessel;    the veteran warriors are ill elsewhere;
sceal se hearda helm    hyrstedgolde

 

must the stern helmet    adorned with gold
faétum befeallen·    feormynd swefað

 

stripped of its ornaments;    the burnishers slumbers,
þá ðe beadogríman    býwan sceoldon·

 

they who war-masks    ought to brighten;
gé swylce séo herepád    sío æt hilde gebád

 

also so the army's coats of mail,    which in battle endured
ofer borda gebræc    bite írena

  2259

over the shattering of shield-boards    the bite of iron,
brosnað æfter beorne·    ne mæg byrnan hring

 

decays along with the men;    byrnie's ring may not
æfter wígfruman    wíde féran

 

with war-fighter    fare widely,
hæleðum be healfe·    næs hearpan wyn

 

alongside heroes;    there was not harp's joy,
gomen gléobéames    né gód hafoc

 

delight of glee-wood,    nor good hawk
geond sæl swingeð    né se swifta mearh

  2264

soaring through the hall,    nor swift horse
burhstede béateð·    bealocwealm hafað

 

trampling the courtyard;    baleful death has
fela feorhcynna    forð onsended.'

 

many of my living kin    sent forth.'
Swá giómormód    giohðo maénde

 

Thus sad at heart    in grief he bemoaned
án æfter eallum·    unbliðe hwearf

 

one after all,    unhappily passed
dæges ond nihtes    oð ðæt déaðes wylm

  2269

days and nights,    until the flood of Death
hrán æt heortan.    Hordwynne fond

 

reached to his heart.    Hoard-joy he found,
eald úhtsceaða    opene standan

 

the old twilight-scather,    standing open,
sé ðe byrnende    biorgas séceð

 

he who, burning,    seeks barrows,
nacod níðdraca·    nihtes fléogeð

 

the naked malevolent dragon;    he flies by night,
fýre befangen·    hyne foldbúend

  2274

encircled in fire;    him earth-dwellers
: : : : : : : : : : : :nan.    Hé gesécean sceall

 

………………     He has to seek
hearm on hrúsan    þaér hé haéðen gold

 

harm in the ground,    where he heathen gold
warað wintrum fród·    ne byð him wihte ðý sél.

 

guards, wise in winters;    he is not a bit better for that.
Swá se ðéodsceaða    þréo hund wintra

 

So the people-scather    three hundred winters
héold on hrúsan    hordærna sum

  2279

ruled in the earth    of one of the hoard-halls,
éacencræftig     oð ðæt hyne án ábealch

 

vastly powerful,    until one angered him,
mon on móde:    mandryhtne bær

 

a man in pride:    he bore to his liege-lord
faéted waége·    frioðowaére bæd

 

the gold-adorned cup,    begged peace-truce
hláford sínne·    ðá wæs hord rásod,

 

from his lord;    then was the hoard ransacked,
onboren béaga hord,    béne getíðad

  2284

rings' hoard borne off,    a boon was granted
féasceaftum men·    fréa scéawode

 

to the wretched man;    a lord examined
fíra fyrngeweorc    forman síðe.

 

the ancient work of men    for the first time.
Þá se wyrm onwóc    --wróht wæs geníwad--

 

then the worm awoke,    --quarrel was renewed--
stonc ðá æfter stáne·    stearcheort onfand

 

he sniffed along the stone,    the harsh-hearted one found
féondes fótlást·    hé tó forð gestóp

  2289

the foot-print of his foe;     he too far forward had stepped
dyrnan cræfte    dracan héafde néah.

 

in his stealthy craft    near the dragon's head.
Swá mæg unfaége    éaðe gedígan   Provided that, one not doomed may    easily survive
wéan ond wraécsíð    sé ðe waldendes

 

woe and hardship,    he who the Ruler's
hyldo gehealdeþ.    Hordweard sóhte

 

grace protects.    The hoard-ward sought
georne æfter grunde·    wolde guman findan

  2294

eagerly along the ground,    he wished to find the man,
þone þe him on sweofote    sáre getéode·

 

the one who him in his slumber    had sorely harmed;
hát ond hréohmód    hlaéwum oft ymbehwearf

 

hot and fierce-minded,    he often circled among the mounds
ealne útanweardne    --né ðaér aénig mon

 

all round the outside    --not any man there
on þám wéstenne    hwæðre hilde gefeh

 

in that wilderness,    but he rejoiced in battle,
beadu weorces    --hwílum on beorh æthwearf·

  2299

of battle-work    --sometimes he turned back to the barrow,
sincfæt sóhte·    hé þaét sóna onfand·

 

sought the treasure-cup;    he suddenly discovered,
ðæt hæfde gumena sum    goldes gefandod

 

that a certain man had     distrubed the gold,
héahgestréona·    hordweard onbád

 

the high treasures;    the hoard-ward waited
earfoðlíce    oð ðæt aéfen cwóm·

 

with great difficulty,    until evening came;
wæs ðá gebolgen      beorges hyrde·

  2304

then was enraged    the keeper of the barrow,
wolde se láða    líge forgyldan

 

he wished the injury    to repay with flame,
drincfæt dýre.    Þá wæs dæg sceacen

 

the dear drinking-vessel.    Then the day was departed
wyrme on willan·    nó on wealle læg

 

to the joy of the wyrm;    he did not lie within the wall,
bídan wolde    ac mid baéle fór

 

(nor) wished to wait,    but with bale-fire set forth,
fýre gefýsed·    wæs se fruma egeslíc

  2309

infused with flame;    this beginning was terrible
léodum on lande    swá hyt lungre wearð

 

for the people in the land,    as it soon was
on hyra sincgifan    sáre geendod.

 

upon their treasure-giver     painfully ended.

XXXIII

 

Ðá se gæst ongan    glédum spíwan,

 

Then the demon began    to spew flames,
beorht hofu bærnan·    bryneléoma stód

 

to burn bright houses;    the gleam of fire rose
eldum on andan·    nó ðaér áht cwices

  2314

to the horror of the men;    nor there anything alive
láð lyftfloga    laéfan wolde·

 

the hateful air-flier    wished to leave;
wæs þæs wyrmes wíg    wíde gesýne

 

the war-strength of that wyrm was     widely seen,
nearofáges níð    néan ond feorran·

 

the malice of the darkly cunning one    near and far,
hú se gúðsceaða    Géata léode

 

how the war-scather    the people of the Geats
hatode ond hýnde·    hord eft gescéat

  2319

hated and humiliated;    back to his hoard he shot,
dryhtsele dyrnne    aér dæges hwíle·

 

the hidden lord-hall    ere the time of day;
hæfde landwara    líge befangen

 

the inhabitants of the land had been     seized by flame,
baéle ond bronde·    beorges getrúwode

 

in blaze and in fire;    his barrow he trusted,
wíges ond wealles·    him séo wén geléah.

 

his war-skill and his walls;    him this belief deceived.
Þá wæs Bíowulfe    bróga gecýðed

  2324

Then was to Beowulf    the danger made known
snúde tó sóðe    þæt his sylfes hám

 

quickly in truth,    that his own home,
bolda sélest    brynewylmum mealt

 

the finest of dwellings,    in waves of heat melted,
gifstól Géata·    þæt ðám gódan wæs

 

the throne of the Geats;    that was to the good man
hréow on hreðre    hygesorga maést·

 

a grief in his heart,    of the mind-sorrows the greatest;
wénde se wísa    þæt hé wealdende

  2329

the wise man thought    that he the Ruler
ofer ealde riht    écean dryhtne

 

against ancient law    eternal Lord
bitre gebulge·    bréost innan wéoll

 

had bitterly angered;     inside his breast welled
þéostrum geþoncum    swá him geþýwe ne wæs.

 

with thoughts of gloom,    such was not usual for him.
Hæfde lígdraca    léoda fæsten

 

The fire-drake had    the fortress of the people,
éalond útan    eorðweard ðone

  2334

by the coast-land,    the stronghold
glédum forgrunden·    him ðæs gúðkyning

 

ground down with flames;    him for that the war-king,
Wedera þíoden    wræce leornode·

 

the chief of the Wederas,    studied vengeance;
heht him þá gewyrcean,    wígendra hléo

 

then he ordered to be made for him,    a warriors' protector,
eallírenne,    eorla dryhten,

 

all of iron,    the lord of earls,
wígbord wraétlíc·    wisse hé gearwe

  2339

a wonderous war-board;    he readily knew,
þæt him holtwudu    helpan ne meahte

 

that him tree-wood    could not help,
lind wið líge.     Sceolde líþenddaga

 

linden-wood against fire.    He had to his seafaring-days,
æþeling aérgód    ende gebídan

 

the old, good noble,    abide the end
worulde lífes    ond se wyrm somod

 

of life in the world,    and the wyrm together,
þéah ðe hordwelan    héolde lange.

  2344

though the hoard-wealth    he had held long.
Oferhogode ðá    hringa fengel

 

Then he scorned,    the rings' lord,
þæt hé þone wídflogan     weorode gesóhte

 

that he the wide-flier    would seek out with a troop,
sídan herge·    nó hé him þám sæcce ondréd

 

a large army;    he did not the strife dread for himself,
né him þæs wyrmes wíg    for wiht dyde

 

nor him the wyrm's fire     esteem a bit,
eafoð ond ellen    forðon hé aér fela

  2349

power and courage,    for that he before many,
nearo néðende    níða gedígde

 

narrowly risking,    hostilities survived,
hildehlemma    syððan hé Hróðgáres

 

battle-clashes,    since he Hrothgar's,
sigoréadig secg    sele faélsode

 

--victory-favoured man--    hall cleansed,
ond æt gúðe forgráp    Grendeles maégum

 

and in war overwhelmed    Grendel's race,
láðan cynnes.    Nó þæt laésest wæs

  2354

hateful kind.    Not the least was
hondgemóta     þaér mon Hygelác slóh

 

the hand-to-hand encounter,    where one slew Hygelac,
syððan Géata cyning    gúðe raésum

 

after the Geats' king,    in war's rushes,
fréawine folca    Fréslondum on

 

the lord and friend of the folk,    in Frisia,
Hréðles eafora    hiorodryncum swealt

 

Hrethel's heir,    died in the drink of sword,
bille gebéaten·    þonan Bíowulf cóm

  2359

beaten down by bill-blades.     Then Beowulf came
sylfes cræfte·    sundnytte dréah·

 

by his own strength,    he made use of the sea;
hæfde him on earme    eorla þrítig

 

he had in his arms     thirty warriors'
hildegeatwa    þá hé tó holme stág·

 

battle-gear,    when he mounted the ocean;
nealles Hetware    hrémge þorfton

 

not at all did the Hetwares    had need to be exaulting
féðewíges     þé him foran ongéan

  2364

over the fighting on foot,    who forth against him
linde baéron·    lýt eft becwóm

 

bore linden-wood shields;    few came back
fram þám hildfrecan    hámes níosan.

 

from that warrior    to visit their homes.
Oferswam ðá sioleða bigong    sunu Ecgðéowes

 

He crossed over then the flowing expanse of waters,     the son of of Edgetheow,
earm ánhaga    eft tó léodum

 

wretched and solitary,    back to the people,
þaér him Hygd gebéad    hord ond ríce

  2369

there Hygd bade him    hoard and kingdom,
béagas ond bregostól:    bearne ne trúwode

 

rings and throne:    in her son she did not trust
þæt hé wið ælfylcum     éþelstólas

 

that he against foreign peoples    the ancestral throne
healdan cúðe    ðá wæs Hygelác déad·

 

had the power to hold    when Hygelac was dead;
nó ðý aér féasceafte    findan meahton

 

not the sooner the destitute ones    could find
æt ðám æðelinge    aénige ðinga

  2374

in the noble one     by any means,
þæt hé Heardréde     hláford waére

 

that he to Heardred    would be a lord,
oððe þone cynedóm    cíosan wolde·

 

or the kingdom    wished to accept;
hwæðre hé him on folce     fréondlárum héold

 

yet he to him among the folk    upheld with the counsels of a friend,
éstum mid áre    oð ðæt hé yldra wearð·   graciously in honour,    until he grew older,
Weder-Géatum wéold.    Hyne wræcmæcgas

  2379

ruled the Weder-Geats.    Him banished men
ofer saé sóhtan,    suna Óhteres·

 

from across the sea sought,    sons of Ohthere;
hæfdon hý forhealden    helm Scylfinga

 

they had rebelled against    the Helm of the Scylfings,
þone sélestan    saécyninga

 

the finest    of sea-kings
þára ðe in Swíoríce    sinc brytnade,

 

who there in Sweden    dispensed treasure,
maérne þéoden·    him þæt tó mearce wearð·

  2384

famed chieftain;    to him it became the end;
hé þaér for feorme    feorhwunde hléat

 

there he for his hospitality    received a mortal-wound,
sweordes swengum    sunu Hygeláces

 

from sword's swing,    the son of Hygelac;
ond him eft gewát    Ongenðioes bearn

 

and he went back,    Ongentheow's son
hámes níosan    syððan Heardréd læg·

 

to seek his home,    after Heardred lay dead;
lét ðone bregostól    Bíowulf healdan,

  2389

the throne he let    Beowulf hold,
Géatum wealdan·    þæt wæs gód cyning.

 

to rule the Geats;    that was a good king.

XXXIIII

 

Sé ðæs léodhryres    léan gemunde

 

He for the prince's fall    requital remembered
uferan dógrum·    Éadgilse wearð

 

in later days,    to Eadgils he became
féasceaftum fréond·    folce gestépte

 

a friend in his plight;    with men he supported
ofer saé síde    sunu Óhteres

  2394

over the wide sea    the son of Ohtere,
wigum ond waépnum·    hé gewræc syððan

 

with warriors and weapons;    he had vengeance then
cealdum cearsiðum·    cyning ealdre binéat:

 

in cold grief-bringing ventures,    he deprived the king of his life:
swá hé níða gehwane    genesen hæfde

 

so he each of the enmities    had survived,
slíðra geslyhta,    sunu Ecgðíowes,

 

dire conflicts,    the son of Ecgetheow,
ellenweorca    oð ðone ánne dæg

  2399

deeds of courage,    until the one day,
þé hé wið þám wyrme     gewegan sceolde.

 

when he with the serpent    must struggle.
Gewát þá twelfa sum    torne gebolgen

 

Then he went,    one of twelve, swollen with anger,
dryhten Géata,    dracan scéawian·

 

the lord of the Geats,    to behold the dragon;
hæfde þá gefrúnen    hwanan sío faéhð árás

 

he had heard then    whence this feud arose,
bealoníð biorna:    him tó bearme cwóm

  2404

wicked hostility for men:    to his bosom came
máðþumfæt maére,     þurh ðæs meldan hond·

 

the precious vessel,    through the informer's hand;
sé wæs on ðám ðréate     þreottéoða secg

 

he was in that     group    the thirteenth men,
sé ðæs orleges    ór onstealde

 

he who this strife's    origin brought about,
hæft hygegiómor·    sceolde héan ðonon

 

the gloomy-minded captive;     he was obliged, humbly, thence
wong wísian·    hé ofer willan gíong

  2409

to lead the way to the place;    he went against his will
tó ðæs ðe hé eorðsele    ánne wisse

 

to where the earth-hall he    alone knew,
hlaéw under hrúsan    holmwylme néh

 

the cairn under the ground    near the surging of the sea,
ýðgewinne·     sé wæs innan full

 

the struggle of the waves;    it was full inside
wraétta ond wíra·    weard unhíore

 

of jewels and intricate metal-work;    an unpleasant guard,
gearo gúðfreca    goldmáðmas héold

  2414

ready, eager war-fighter    held golden treasures
eald under eorðan·    næs þæt ýðe céap

 

old under the earth;    that was not an easy bargain,
tó gegangenne    gumena aénigum.

 

to obtain    for any man.
Gesæt ðá on næsse    níðheard cyning·

 

Then on the headland sat    the violence-hard king,
þenden haélo ábéad     heorðgenéatum

 

while prosperity bid    to his hearth-companions,
goldwine Géata·    him wæs geómor sefa

  2419

the gold-friend of the Geats;    in him his heart was sad,
waéfre ond wælfús,    wyrd ungemete néah

 

restless and slaughter-eager,    fate all too near
sé ðone gomelan    grétan sceolde,

 

which the old man    must greet,
sécean sáwle hord,    sundur gedaélan

 

seeking the treasure of his soul,    sever asunder
líf wið líce·    nó þon lange wæs

 

life from limb;    it was not for long then
feorh æþelinges    flaésce bewunden.

  2424

the nobleman's life    would be wound in his flesh.
Bíowulf maþelade    bearn Ecgðéowes:

 

Beowulf spoke,    the son of Edgetheow:
'Fela ic on giogoðe    gúðraésa genæs

 

'In youth I many    war-storms survived,
orleghwíla·    ic þæt eall gemon·

 

in battle-times;    I remember all of that;
ic wæs syfanwintre    þá mec sinca baldor

 

I was seven-winters (old)    when me the lord of treasure,
fréawine folca    æt mínum fæder genam·

  2429

the lord and friend of the folk,    took from my father;
héold mec ond hæfde    Hréðel cyning·

 

held and had me    King Hrethel,
geaf mé sinc ond symbel·    sibbe gemunde·

 

gave me treasure and feast,    recalled kinship;
næs ic him tó life    láðra ówihte

 

I was not by him in life    less in aught,
beorn in burgum    þonne his bearna hwylc

 

a man in citadel,    than each of his own sons,
Herebeald ond Hæðcyn    oððe Hygelác mín.

  2434

Herebeald and Haethcyn    or my Hygelac.
Wæs þám yldestan    ungedéfelice

 

For the eldest was,    unfittingly,
maéges daédum    morþorbed strëd

 

by a kinsman's deeds    a death-bed strewed,
syððan hyne Hæðcyn    of hornbogan

 

when him Haethcyn    from a horn-bow
his fréawine    fláne geswencte·

 

his friend and lord    struck down with an arrow,
miste mercelses    ond his maég ofscét

  2439

missed his mark    and his kinsman shot dead,
bróðor óðerne    blódigan gáre·

 

the one brother the other    with a bloody bolt;
þæt wæs feohléas gefeoht     fyrenum gesyngad,

 

that was an irreparable fight,    grieviously wronged,
hreðre hygeméðe·    sceolde hwæðre swá þéah

 

heart-wearying in the breast;    yet must though
æðeling unwrecen    ealdres linnan.

 

the noble unavenged    be parted from life.
Swá bið geómorlíc    gomelum ceorle

  2444

In the same way it is tragic    for an old  man
tó gebídanne    þæt his byre ríde

 

to abide    that his son rides
giong on galgan:    þonne hé gyd wrece,

 

young on the gallows:    then he utters a dirge,
sárigne sang    þonne his sunu hangað

 

a sorrowing song,    that his son hangs
hrefne tó hróðre    ond hé him helpan ne mæg

 

for the pleasure of the raven,    and he can not him help,
eald ond infród    aénige gefremman·

  2449

old and experienced,    any provide;
symble bið gemyndgad    morna gehwylce

 

ever is reminded    each morning,
eaforan ellorsíð·     óðres ne gýmeð

 

of the other-world journey of his son;    another he heeds not
tó gebídanne    burgum in innan

 

to wait for    within the strongholds,
yrfeweardas    þonne se án hafað

 

guardian of inheritance,    when the one he has
þurh déaðes nýd    daéda gefondad·

  2454

through Death's compulsion    experienced deeds;
gesyhð sorhcearig    on his suna búre

 

he sees, sad and sorrowful,    in his son's dwelling
wínsele wéstne    windge reste

 

a wine-hall wasted,    a wind-swept resting place
réote berofene·    rídend swefað

 

bereft of joy;    the riders sleep,
hæleð in hoðman·    nis þaér hearpan swég

 

heroes hidden in graves;    there is not sound of harp,
gomen in geardum    swylce ðaér iú waéron.

  2459

revelry in the courts,    such as long ago there was.

XXXV

 

Gewíteð þonne on sealman·    sorhléoð gæleð

 

He goes then to his bed,    sings a song of sorrow,
án æfter ánum·    þúhte him eall tó rúm

 

one man on account of one man;    it seemed to him all too roomy,
wongas ond wícstede.    Swá Wedra helm

 

the fields and the dwelling-place.    Thus the Helm of the Wederas
æfter Herebealde    heortan sorge

 

on account of Herebeald    heart's sorrow,
weallinde, wæg:    wihte ne meahte

  2464

welling, endured:    not a whit could he
on ðám feorhbonan    faéghðe gebétan·

 

on that life-slayer    settle a feud;
nó ðý aér hé þone heaðorinc     hatian ne meahte

 

nor the more for that warrior    could he show hatred
láðum daédum    þéah him léof ne wæs·

 

with hostile acts,    though he by him was not loved;
hé ðá mid þaére sorhge    þé him sío sár belamp

 

he then with that sorrow,    which on him that sorely befell,
gumdréam ofgeaf·    godes léoht gecéas·

  2469

he gave over human joys,    choose God's light;
eaferum laéfde    swá déð éadig mon

 

to his heirs he left,    as does a fortunate man,
lond ond léodbyrig    þá hé of lífe gewát.

 

the land and the folk-citadel,    when he departed from life.
Þá wæs synn ond sacu     Swéona ond Géata

 

Then was injury and strife    of the Swedes and the Geats
ofer wíd wæter    wróht gemaéne

 

over the wide water    a quarrel shared,
hereníð hearda    syððan Hréðel swealt

  2474

hard military-spite,    after Hrethel died,
oððe him Ongenðéowes    eaferan waéran

 

and to him Ongentheow's    heirs were
frome fyrdhwate·    fréode ne woldon

 

vigorous and martial;    they did not wish friendship
ofer heafo healdan    ac ymb Hréosnabeorh

 

to hold across the ocean,    but around Hreosnabeorh
eatolne inwitscear    oft gefremedon

 

horrible, malicious raiding    often committed
þæt maégwine    míne gewraécan,

  2479

that kin-friends    of mine avenged,
faéhðe ond fyrene    swá hyt gefraége wæs

 

feud and crime,    as it was famous,
þéah ðe óðer his    ealdre gebohte

 

though one of the two with his    life paid,
heardan céape·    Hæðcynne wearð

 

a hard bargain;    for Hathcyn was,
Géata dryhtne    gúð onsaége.

 

the Geats' lord,    war impending.
Þá ic on morgne gefrægn    maég óðerne

  2484

Then I heard in the morning    that one kinsman the other
billes ecgum    on bonan staélan

 

with bill's edges    took vengeance on the slayer,
þaér Ongenþéow    Eofores níosað·

 

there Ongentheow    is attacked by Eofor;
gúðhelm tóglád·    gomela Scylfing

 

the war-helm slipped asunder,    the agèd Scylfing
hréas heaþoblác·    hond gemunde

 

fell battle-pale.     The hand remembered
faéhðo genóge·    feorhsweng ne oftéah.

  2489

feuds a-plenty,    did not withhold life-blow.
Ic him þá máðmas     þé hé mé sealde

 

I to him the treasures,    which he had given me,
geald æt gúðe    swá mé gifeðe wæs

 

repaid in war,    as was granted to me,
léohtan sweorde·    hé mé lond forgeaf

 

with flashing sword;    he gave me land,
eard éðelwyn·    næs him aénig þearf

 

earth, the joy of homeland;    there was not for him any need,
þæt hé tó Gifðum     oððe tó Gár-Denum

  2494

that he among the Gifthas    or the Spear-Danes
oððe in Swíoríce    sécean þurfe

 

or in the Swedish Kingdom    needed to seek
wyrsan wígfrecan,    weorðe gecýpan:

 

a worse war-eager fighter,     to buy with wealth:
symle ic him on féðan    beforan wolde

 

always, in the foot-troop, I him    wished to go before,
ána on orde    ond swá tó aldre sceall

 

alone in the vanguard,    and thus must I always
sæcce fremman    þenden þis sweord þolað

  2499

act in battle,    while this sword endures
þæt mec aér ond síð    oft gelaéste

 

that which me, early and later,    has often served,
syððan ic for dugeðum    Dæghrefne wearð

 

since I, in front of the legions,    of Daeghrefn was
tó handbonan,    Húga cempan·

 

his slayer by hand,    the champion of the Hugas;
nalles hé ðá frætwe     Fréscyninge

 

in no way the precious ornaments    to the Frisian king,
bréostweorðunge     bringan móste

  2504

breast-adorning,     was he able to bring,
ac in cempan gecrong    cumbles hyrde

 

but rather with his contingent fell    the banner's keeper,
æþeling on elne·    ne wæs ecg bona

 

the noble in courage;    blade's edge was not the killer
ac him hildegráp    heortan wylmas

 

but my battle-grip on him    his heart's beats,
bánhús gebræc.    Nú sceall billes ecg

 

his bone-house, broke.     Now I must with bill's edge,
hond ond heard sweord    ymb hord wígan.'

  2509

hand and hard sword    fight for the hoard.'
Béowulf maðelode    béotwordum spræc

 

Beowulf declared,     spoke vow-words
níehstan síðe:    'Ic genéðde fela

 

for the last time:    'I have risked many
gúða on geogoðe·    gýt ic wylle

 

wars in my youth;    yet I wish,
fród folces weard    faéhðe sécan,

 

old, wise warden of the folk,    to seek vendetta,
maérðum fremman    gif mec se mánsceaða

  2514

to earn renown,    if me that wreaker of evil
of eorðsele    út geséceð.'

 

from his earth-hall    ventures out to greet.' 
Gegrétte ðá    gumena gehwylcne

 

He then saluted    each of the men,
hwate helmberend    hindeman síðe

 

bold helm-bearers     for the final time,
swaése gesíðas:    'Nolde ic sweord beran

 

dear companions:    'I would not bear a sword,
waépen tó wyrme    gif ic wiste hú

  2519

a weapon against the wyrm,    if I knew how
wið ðám áglaécean    elles meahte

 

against the monster    else I might
gylpe wiðgrípan    swá ic gió wið Grendle dyde

 

grapple for glory,    as I did before with Grendel
ac ic ðaér heaðufýres    hátes wéne

 

but I there furious fire's    heat expect,
réðes ond hattres·    forðon ic mé on hafu

 

fierce and poisonous;    therefore I have on me
bord ond byrnan·    nelle ic beorges weard

  2524

shield-board and byrnie;    nor will I from the barrow's guard
oferfléön fótes trem    ac unc sceal

 

flee a foot    but for us it must
weorðan æt wealle    swá unc wyrd getéoð

 

happen at the wall    as Fate allots us,
metod manna gehwæs·    ic eom on móde from

 

the Creator of all men;    I am bold in spirit
þæt ic wið þone gúðflogan     gylp ofersitte.

 

that I against the war-flier    forbear from boast.
Gebíde gé on beorge    byrnum werede

  2529

You, await here on the barrow,    clad in byrnies,
secgas on searwum    hwæðer sél mæge

 

warriors in war-gear,    which better can
æfter wælraése    wunde gedýgan

 

during the slaughter-clash    survive wound
uncer twéga·    nis þæt éower síð

 

of the two of us;    it is not your adventure,
né gemet mannes    nefne mín ánes·

 

nor in the power of men,    save mine alone.'
Wát he wíð áglaécean    eofoðo daéle·

  2534

He knew that against the beast    he would deal out his strength,
eorlscype efne·    'Ic mid elne sceall

 

achieve noble rank;    'I must with courage
gold gegangan    oððe gúð nimeð

 

gain the gold,    or war takes,
feorhbealu frécne    fréan éowerne.'

 

terrible deadly wound,    your lord.'
Árás ðá bí ronde     róf óretta

 

Then he arose by means of his shield,    the bold warrior,
heard under helme·    hiorosercean bær

  2539

severe under his helm,    he wore sword-shirt
under stáncleofu    strengo getrúwode

 

under stone cliffs,    trusted in the strength
ánes mannes·    ne bið swylc earges síð.

 

of a single man;    such is not the coward's way.
Geseah ðá be wealle    sé ðe worna fela

 

He saw then by the wall,    he who a great number,
gumcystum gód    gúða gedígde

 

nobly good,    wars survived,
hildehlemma    þonne hnitan féðan·

  2544

battle-clashes,    when armies collided;
stódan stánbogan,     stréam út þonan

 

it stood by the stone-arch,     a stream out from there
brecan of beorge·    wæs þaére burnan wælm

 

breaking out of the barrow;    there was the brook's surge
heaðofýrum hát·    ne meahte horde néah

 

hot with deadly fire,    he could not near the hoard
unbyrnende    aénige hwíle

 

without burning    for any space of time
déop gedýgan    for dracan lége.

  2549

endure the depths    on account of the dragon's fire.
Lét ðá of bréostum     ðá hé gebolgen wæs

 

Then he let from his breast,    when he was angered,
Weder-Géata léod    word út faran·

 

the Weder-Geat's leader,    a word burst out,
stearcheort styrmde·    stefn in becóm

 

the staunch-hearted one roared;    his voice came in,
heaðotorht hlynnan    under hárne stán·

 

ringing battle-clear    beneath the hoary grey stone;
hete wæs onhréred·    hordweard oncníow

  2554

hate was aroused,    the hoard-guard knew
mannes reorde·    næs ðaér mára fyrst

 

man's voice;    there was not more time
fréode tó friclan·    from aérest cwóm

 

to ask for peace;    first came forth
oruð áglaécean    út of stáne

 

the monster's breath    out of the stone,
hát hildeswát·    hrúse dynede·

 

hot battle-vapour;    the earth thundered;
biorn under beorge    bordrand onswáf

  2559

the warrior below the barrow    swung his shield-boss
wið ðám gryregieste    Géata dryhten·

 

against the terror-guest,    the Geats' lord;
ðá wæs hringbogan    heorte gefýsed

 

then was the ring-coiled one's    heart incited
sæcce tó séceanne·    sweord aér gebraéd

 

to seek strife;    his sword before drew
gód gúðcyning    gomele láfe

 

the good war-king,    ancient heirloom,
ecgum ungléaw·    aéghwæðrum wæs

  2564

imprudent with sword-edges;    was in each
bealohycgendra    bróga fram óðrum·

 

of the harm-intending ones    terror of the other;
stíðmód gestód    wið stéapne rond

 

firm-spirited stood    with his steep bossed-shield
winia bealdor    ðá se wyrm gebéah

 

the brave leader of the friends,    while the serpent coiled
snúde tósomne    hé on searwum bád·

 

together swiftly;    He in war-gear waited;
gewát ðá byrnende    gebogen scríðan,

  2569

went then burning     gliding coiled,
tó gescipe scyndan·    scyld wél gebearg

 

hastening to his destiny;    the shield defended well
lífe ond líce    laéssan hwíle

 

life and body    for a lesser time
maérum þéodne    þonne his myne sóhte·

 

the famed chieftain,    then his mind desired,
ðaér hé þý fyrste    forman dógore

 

where he that time    for the first day
wealdan móste    swá him wyrd ne gescráf

  2574

had to wield it,    as Fate had not decreed for him
hréð æt hilde:    hond úp ábraéd

 

glory in battle:    he raised up his hand,
Géata dryhten·    gryrefáhne slóh

 

the Geatish lord;    the ghastly-hued one he struck
incgeláfe     þæt sío ecg gewác

 

with his ancestoral sword,    so that the edge weakened
brún on báne·    bát unswíðor

 

bright on bone,    bit less fiercely
þonne his ðíodcyning    þearfe hæfde

  2579

than its tribe-king    had need
bysigum gebaéded.    Þá wæs beorges weard

 

driven in distress.    Then the barrow's ward was
æfter heaðuswenge    on hréoum móde·

 

after the war-blow    in a fierce spirit;
wearp wælfýre·    wíde sprungon

 

he spewed slaughter-fire;    widely spread
hildeléoman.     Hréðsigora ne gealp

 

battle-light.    Of war-victory did not boast
goldwine Géata·    gúðbill geswác

  2584

the gold-friend of the Geats;    his war-bill failed,
nacod æt níðe    swá hyt nó sceolde

 

naked in the violence,    as it should not have,
íren aérgód·    ne wæs þæt éðe síð

 

the excellent old iron;    that was not an easy accomplishment,
þæt se maéra    maga Ecgðéowes

 

that the famed    son of Edgetheow
grundwong þone    ofgyfan wolde·

 

this earth    should be willing to give up;
sceolde willan    wíc eardian

  2589

he was obliged to be about to    inhabit a dwelling
elles hwergen·    swá sceal aéghwylc mon

 

elsewhere,    as must every man
álaétan laéndagas.    Næs ðá long tó ðon

 

abandon loaned-days.    It was not long to when
þæt ðá áglaécean     hý eft gemétton:

 

that the fierce enemies    again met each other:
hyrte hyne hordweard·    hreðer aéðme wéoll

 

the hoard-guardian heartened himself,     his breast swelled with breath,
níwan stefne·    nearo ðrówode

  2594

another time;    cruelly suffered,
fýre befongen    sé ðe aér folce wéold.

 

encircled in fire,    he who had once ruled a nation.
Nealles him on héape     handgesteallan

 

Not at all him in a troop     the hand-companions,
æðelinga bearn    ymbe gestódon

 

nobles' sons,    around him stood
hildecystum    ac hý on holt bugon·

 

with valour in battle,    but they sunk to the forest,
ealdre burgan·    hiora in ánum wéoll

  2599

to protect life;    in one of them surged
sefa wið sorgum·    sibb' aéfre ne mæg

 

his heart with sorrows;    kinship can never
wiht onwendan    þám ðe wél þenceð.

 

aught be altered,    in him who thinks properly.

XXXVI

 

Wígláf wæs háten     Wéoxstánes sunu

 

Wiglaf he was called,    son of Weohstan,
léoflíc lindwiga    léod Scylfinga

 

noble shield-fighter,    man of the Scylfings,
maég Ælfheres·    geseah his mondryhten

  2604

kinsman of Ælfhere;    he saw his liege-lord
under heregríman    hát þrówian·

 

under the war-mask    suffering heat;
gemunde ðá ðá áre    þé hé him aér forgeaf

 

he remembered then the honour    that he had given him before,
wícstede weligne    Waégmundinga,

 

lush dwelling-place    of the Waegmundings,
folcrihta gehwylc    swá his fæder áhte·

 

to each folk-rights,    as his father had owned;
ne mihte ðá forhabban·    hond rond geféng

  2609

then he could not hold back,    his hand seized his round shield,
geolwe linde·    gomelswyrd getéah·

 

yellow lindenwood,    he drew his ancient sword;
þæt wæs mid eldum    Éanmundes láf

 

it was among men    the legacy of Eanmund,
suna Óhtere·    þám æt sæcce wearð

 

son of Ohthere;    of him in battle was,
wræcca wineléasum    Wéohstánes bana

 

of the friendless exile,    Weohstan his slayer
méces ecgum    ond his mágum ætbær

  2614

by maiche's edges,    and to his kinsman he brought back
brúnfágne helm    hringde byrnan

 

bright-gleaming helm,    ringed byrnie,
ealdsweord etonisc·    þæt him Onela forgeaf

 

an old ogrish sword;    that to him Onela returned,
his gædelinges    gúðgewaédu

 

his kinsman's    war-garment,
fyrdsearo fúslíc·    nó ymbe ðá faéhðe spræc

 

war-devised clothing;    he did not speak of the feud,
þéah ðe hé his bróðor bearn    ábredwade·

  2619

though he his brother's son    had slain;
hé frætwe gehéold    fela misséra

 

he held the treasures    for many seasons,
bill ond byrnan    oð ðæt his byre mihte

 

bill and byrnie,    until his son could
eorlscipe efnan    swá his aérfæder·

 

accomplish noble deeds    like his old father;
geaf him ðá mid Géatum     gúðgewaéda

 

then, among the Geats, he gave him     war-clothing,
aéghwæs unrím    þá hé of ealdre gewát

  2624

of all kinds, in countless number,    then he went from life,
fród on forðweg.    Þá wæs forma síð

 

wise, on the way forth.    Then was the first time
geongan cempan     þæt hé gúðe raés

 

for the young champion,    that he the rush of war
mid his fréodryhtne    fremman sceolde·

 

with his noble lord    had to perform;
ne gemealt him se módsefa    né his mægenes láf

 

his spirited heart in him did not melt away,    nor the remainder of his strength
gewác æt wíge·    þa se wyrm onfand

  2629

fail in the fight;    then the wyrm had discovered,
syððan híe tógædre     gegán hæfdon.

 

when they together    had come.
Wígláf maðelode·    wordrihta fela

 

Wiglaf spoke,    many proper words
sægde gesíðum    --him wæs sefa geómor--:

 

he said to his companions    --his heart was sad in him--:
'Ic ðæt maél geman     þaér wé medu þégun

 

'I recall that time,     where we partook of mead,
þonne wé gehéton    ússum hláforde

  2634

when we promised    to our lord
in bíorsele    ðé ús ðás béagas geaf

 

in the beer-hall,    he who gave us rings,
þæt wé him ðá gúðgetawa    gyldan woldon

 

that we to him for the war-gear    wished to repay,
gif him þyslicu    þearf gelumpe,

 

if for him such    a need arose,
helmas ond heard sweord.    Ðé hé úsic on herge gecéas

 

with helmets and hard swords.    Because of that he chose us from the army
tó ðyssum síðfate    sylfes willum·

  2639

for this adventure    of his own desire;
onmunde úsic maérða    ond mé þás máðmas geaf

 

he deemed us worthy of renown,    and gave me these treasures,
þé hé úsic gárwígend    góde tealde

 

because he us spear-warriors    considered excellent,
hwate helmberend    þéah ðe hláford ús

 

bold helm-bearers,    though the lord for us
þis ellenweorc    áná áðóhte

 

this valiant work    intended alone
tó gefremmanne,    folces hyrde,

  2644

to perform,    the keeper of the folk,
forðán hé manna maést     maérða gefremede

 

because he of men the most    glories has achieved,
daéda dollícra.    Nú is sé dæg cumen

 

the most audacious deeds.    Now is the day come
þæt úre mandryhten    mægenes behófað

 

that our liege-lord    has need of strength
gódra gúðrinca·    wutun gongan tó

 

of good war-men;    let us go to,
helpan hildfruman    þenden hyt sÿ

  2649

aid the battle-leader,    while the heat lasts,
glédegesa grim.    God wát on mec

 

the fierce fire-terror.    God knows of me
þæt mé is micle léofre     þæt mínne líchaman

 

that to me it is much more agreeable,    that my body
mid mínne goldgyfan    gléd fæðmie·

 

with my gold-giver    the fire embraces;
ne þynceð mé gerysne    þæt wé rondas beren

 

it does not seem proper to me,    that we bear shields
eft tó earde    nemne we aéror mægen

  2654

back to our land,    unless we first can
fáne gefyllan,    feorh ealgian

 

fell the foe,    defend the life
Wedra ðéodnes·    ic wát geare

 

of the chief of the Wederas;    I know well,
þæt naéron ealdgewyrht     þæt hé ána scyle

 

that his deeds of old are not such,    that he alone should
Géata duguðe    gnorn þrówian,

 

of the Geats' retinue    sorrow suffer,
gesígan æt sæcce·    úrum sceal sweord ond helm

  2659

to sink in strife;    for the two of us must sword and helm,
byrne ond byrduscrúd    bám gemaéne.'

 

byrnie and rich shroud    both share.'
Wód þá þurh þone wælréc·    wígheafolan bær

 

Then he waded through the smoke of slaughter,     bore his war-head
fréan on fultum·    féa worda cwæð:

 

to the support of his lord;    a few words he spoke:
'Léofa Bíowulf,    laést eall tela

 

'Dear Beowulf,    carry out all well,
swá ðú on geoguðféore    geára gecwaéde

  2664

as you in youth-life    long ago said,
þæt ðú ne álaéte    be ðé lifigendum

 

that you would not allow,    with you still living,
dóm gedréosan·    scealt nú daédum róf,

 

glory to fail;    you must now in bold deeds,
æðeling anhýdig,    ealle mægene

 

a noble firm in mind,    with all of your strength,
feorh ealgian·    ic ðé fullaéstu.'

 

defend your life;     I shall support you.'
Æfter ðám wordum    wyrm yrre cwóm

  2669

After those words    the wrathful wyrm came,
atol inwitgæst    óðre síðe

 

awful cruel visitor    a second time,
fýrwylmum fáh    fíonda níosian

 

with hostile, gleaming flood of fire    to seek his foes
láðra manna·sydaudio    líg ýðum for·

 

the hated humans;    the flame came forth in waves,
born bord wið rond·    byrne ne meahte

 

burned shield to the boss;    the byrnie could not
geongum gárwigan    géoce gefremman

  2674

to the young spear-fighter    lend support
ac se maga geonga    under his maéges scyld

 

but the young man,    under his kinsman's shield
elne geéode    þá his ágen wæs

 

courageously advanced,    when his own was
glédum forgrunden.    Þá gén gúðcyning

 

consumed by fire.    Then again the war-king
miht gemunde·    mægenstrengo slóh

 

remembered his strength,    with mighty force struck
hildebille    þæt hyt on heafolan stód

  2679

with his battle-bill,    so that it stood in (the serpent's) head
níþe genýded·    Nægling forbærst·

 

driven by violence;   &