Beowulf (Wyatt)/Beowulf 01

I.

Ðā wæs on burgumBēowulf Scyldinga,
lēof lēod-cyning,longe þrāge
55folcum gefrǣge(fæder ellor hwearf,
aldor of earde),oþ þæt him eft onwōc
hēah Healfdene;hēold þenden lifde,
gamol ond gūð-rēouw,glæde Scyldingas.
Ðǣm feower bearnforð gerīmed
60in worold wōcun,weoroda rǣswa
Heorogār, ond Hrōðgārond Hālga til;
hȳrde ic, þæt Elan cwēn[Ongenþēowes wæs][1]
Heaðo-Scilfinges[2]heals-gebedda.
Þā wæs Hrōðgārehere-spēd gyfen,
65wīges weorð-mynd,þæt him his wine-māgas
georne hȳrdon,oðð þæt sēo geogoð gewēox,
mago-driht micel.Him on mōd bearn,
þæt heal-reced[3]hātan wolde,
*medo-ærn micelmen gewyrcean,Fol. 130b.
70þon[n]e yldo bearnǣfre gefrūnon,
ond þǣr on innaneall gedǣlan
geongum ond ealdum,swylc him God sealde,
būton folc-scareond feorum gumena.
Ðā ic wīde gefrægnweorc gebannan
75manigre mǣgþegeond þisne middan-geard,
folc-stede frætwan.Him on fyrste gelomp
ǣdre mid yldum,þæt hit wearð eal gearo,
heal-ærna mǣst;scōp him Heort naman,
sē þe his wordes gewealdwīde hæfde.
80Hē bēot ne ālēh,bēagas dǣlde,
sinc æt symle.Sele hlīfade
hēah ond horn-gēap;heaðo-wylma bād
lāðan līges.Ne wæs hit lenge þā, gēn,
þæt se ecg-heteāþum-swerian[4]
85æfter wæl-nīðewæcnan scolde.
Ðā se ellen‐gǣst[5]earfoðlīce
þrāge geþolode,sē þe in þȳstrum bād,
þæt hē dōgora gehwāmdrēam gehȳrde
hlūdne in healle;þǣr wæs hearpan swēg,
90swutol sang scopes.Sægde sē þe cūþe
frumsceaft fīrafeorran reccan,
*cwæð þæt se Ælmihtigaeorðan worh[te],[6]Fol. 132a.
wlite‐beorhtne wang,swā wæter bebūgeð;
gesette sige‐hrēþigsunnan and mōnan
95lēoman tō lēohteland‐būendum,
ond gefrætwadefoldan scēatas
leomum and lēafum;līf ēac gesceōp
cynna gehwylcum,þāra ðe cwice hwyrfaþ.
Swā ðā driht‐gumandrēamum lifdon
100ēadiglīce,oð ðæt ān ongan
fyrene fre[m]man,fēond on helle;[7]
wæs se grimma gæstGrendel hāten,
mǣre mearc‐stapa,sē þe mōras hēold,
fen ond fæsten;fīfel‐cynnes eard
105won‐sǣli[8] werweardode hwīle,
siþðan him Scyppendforscrifen hæfde.
In Caines cynneþone cwealm gewræc,
ēce Drihten,[9]þæs þe hē Ābel slōg.
Ne gefeah hē þǣere fǣhðe,ac hē hine feor forwræc,
110Metod for þȳ māne,man-cynue fram.
Ðanon untȳdrasealle onwōcon,
eotenas ond ylfeond orcneas,
swylce gī*gantas,þā wið Gode wunnonFol. 132b.
lange þrāge;hē him ðæs lēan forgeald.

  1. 62. MS. ‘hyrde ic ꝥ elan cwen,’ without any lacuna. Grundtvig suggested that elan is the last two syllables of Onelan, Onela being the son of Ongenþeow, and that the name of the princess is lost. The emendation in the text is Ettmüller’s.
  2. 63. MS. ‘heaðo scilfingas.’ For the form gebedda applied to a woman Heyne compares forgenga, applied to Judith’s female attendant, “Judith” 127. See Sievers’ O. E. Grammar, § 278, Note.
  3. 68. Kemble ‘þæt [hē] heal-reced.’
  4. 84. MS. ‘secg hete’; Grain ‘ecg-hete.’ Cf. l. 1738, and Seafarer 70. MS. ‘aþum swerian’: āþum = son-in-law, and Bugge suggested that āðum-swerian is a compound belonging to the same class as the suhtergefæderan of l. 1164, and meaning ‘son-in-law and father-in-law.’ This makes excellent sense of an otherwise difficult passage, the reference being to Ingeld, who married Hrothgar’s daughter Freawaru (l. 2022), and to the events referred to in ll. 2020—69.
  5. 86. Rieger ‘ellor-gǣst,’ adopted by Earle; cf. ll. 807, 1617, &c.
  6. 92. MS. defective at corner.
  7. 101. MS. defective at edge. Earle adopts Bugge’s emendation of healle for helle, because it is “so simple, and gives so much relief”! On the other hand, in l. 142 he adopts Ettmüller’s hel-ðegnes for heal-ðegnes. Both changes are needless.
  8. 105. Almost all editions adopt the usual form won-salig.
  9. 106—8. Sievers:

    forscrifen hæfde
    in Caines cynne(þon[n]e cwealm gewraec
    ēce Drihten),