Beowulf (Wyatt)/Beowulf 03

III.

Swā ðā mǣl-cearemaga Healfdenes
190singala sēað;ne mihte snotor hæleð
wēan onwendan;wæs þæt gewin tō swȳð,
lāþ ond longsum,þe on ðā lēode becōm,
nȳd-wracu nīþ-grim,niht-bealwa mǣst.
Þaet fram hām gefrægnHigelāces þegn,
195gōd mid Gēatum,Grendles dǣda;
sē wæs mon-cynnesmægenes strengest
on þǣm dægeþysses līfes,
æþele ond ēacen.Hēt him ȳð-lidan
gōdne gegyrwan;cwæð, hē gūð-cyning
200ofer swan-rādesēcean wolde,
mǣrne þēoden,þā him wæs manna þearf.
Ðone sīð-fæt himsnotere ceorlas
lȳt-hwon lōgon,*þēah hē him lēof wǣre; Fol. 134b.
hwetton hige-[r]ōfne,[1]hǣl scēawedon.
205Hæfde se gōdaGēata lēoda
cempan gecorone,þāra þe hē cēnoste
findan mihte;fiftena[2] sum
sund-wudu sōhte;secg wīsade,
lagu-cræftig mon,land-gemyrcu.
210Fyrst forð gewāt;flota wæs on ȳðum,
bāt under beorge.Beornas gearwe
on stefn stigon;strēamas wundon
sund wið sande;secgas bǣron
on bearm nacanbeorhte frætwe,
215gūð-searo geatolīc;guman ūt scufon,
weras on wil-sīð,wudu bundenne.
Gewât þā ofer wǣg-holmwinde gefȳsed
flota fāmi-heals[3]fugle gelīcost,
oð þæt ymb an-tīd[4]ōþres dōgores
220wunden-stefnagewaden hæfde,
þæt ðā līðendeland gesāwon,
brim-clifu blīcan,beorgas stēape,
sīde sǣ-næssas;þā wæs sund liden
eoletes æt ende.Þanon up hraðe
225Wedera lēodeon wang stigon,
sǣ-wudu sǣldon;syrcan hrysedon,
gūð-gewǣdo;Gode þancedon,
þæs þe him ȳþ-lādeēaðe wurdon.
*Þā of wealle geseahweard Scildinga,Fol. 135a.
230sē þe holm-clifuhealdan scolde,
beran ofer bolcanbeorhte randas,
fyrd-searu fūslicu;hine fyrwyt bræc
mōd-gehygdum,hwæt þā men wǣron.
Gewāt him þā tō waroðewicge rīdan
235þegn Hrōðgāres,þrymmum cwehte
mægen-wudu mundum,meþel-wordum frægn:
“Hwæt syndon gēsearo-hæbbendra
byrnum werede,þe þus brontne cēol
ofer lagu-strǣtelǣdan cwōmon,
240hider ofer holmas[hringed-stefnan]?[5]
Ic wæs ende-sǣta,ǣg-wearde hēold,
þē on land Denalāðra nǣnig
mid scip-hergesceðþan ne meahte.
Nō hēr cūðlīcorcuman ongunnon
245lind-hæbbende;ne gē lēafnes-word
gūð-fremmendragearwe ne wisson,
māga gemēdu.Nǣfre ic māran geseah
eorla ofer eorþan,ðonne is ēower sum,
secg on searwum;nis þæt seld-guma
250wǣpnum geweorðad,næfne[6] him his wlite lēoge,
ǣnlīc an-sȳn.Nū ic ēower sceal
frum-cyn witan,ǣr gē fyr *heonan,Fol. 135b.
lēas[e][7] scēaweras,on land Dena
furþur fēran.Nū gē feor-būend,
255mere-līðende,mīn[n]e[8] gehȳrað
ān-fealdne geþōht;ofost is sēlest
tō gecȳðanne,hwanan ēowre cyme syndon.”

  1. 204. MS. defective. Zupitza says: “rofne—only the lower part of the first letter left, which may have been r, þ, f, s, or w.”
  2. 207. MS. ‘·XVna.’
  3. 218. Almost all editors read fāmig-heals, but the MS. form must be of significance for the pronunciation.
  4. 219. MS. ‘an tid.’ Grein’s Glossary gives: “ān-tīd f. hora prima?” Cosijn contends for an-tīd = and-tīd or ond-tīd, ‘corresponding time, the same time,’ so that the phrase would mean ‘about the same hour of the second day.’ So Heyne and Socin. Earle thinks “we ought to look rather at the phrase than at the words” (!), and objects to the hyphen. But without it we should expect ‘ymb āne tīd.’
  5. 240—1. MS. ‘hider ofer holmas le wæs’ &c., without gap. Thorkelin and Wülcker read Ic for le, but Zupitza says: “le no doubt, not Ic.” Various suggestions have been made for the missing half-line. That in the text is Wülcker’s. Heyne adopts Ettmüller’s ‘helmas bǣron,’ but this is hardly felicitous after holmas. Bugge’s emendation is ingenious:

    hider ofer holmas?[Hwīle ic on weal]le
    wæs ende-sǣta.

  6. 250. MS. ‘næfre’; Kemble ‘næfne.’
  7. 253. MS. ‘leas’; Ettmüller ‘lēase.’
  8. 255. MS. ‘mine’; Kemble ‘mīnne.’