Beowulf (Wyatt)/Beowulf 06

VI.

Hrōðgār maþelode,helm Scyldinga:
“Ic hine cūðecniht-wesende;
wæs his eald fæder[1]Ecgþēo hāten,
ðǣm tō hām forgeafHrēþel Gēata
375āngan dohtor;is his eafora[2]
heard hēr cumen,sōhte holdne wine.
Ðonne sægdon þæetsǣ-līþende,
þā ðe gif-sceattasGēata[3] fyredon
þyder tō þance,þæt hē þrit*tiges[4]Fol. 138b.
380manna mægen-cræfton his mund-gripe
heaþo-rōf hæbbe.Hine hālig God
for ār-stafumūs onsende,
tō West-Denum,þæs ic wēn hæbbe,
wið Grendles gryre;ic þǣm gōdan sceal
385for his mōd-þræcemādmas bēodan.
Bēo ðū on ofeste,hāt in gān[5]
sēon sibbe-gedrihtsamod ætgædere;
gesaga him ēac wordum,þæt hīe sint wil-cuman
Deniga lēodum.”[Þā wið duru healle
390Wulfgār ēode,][6]word inne ābēad;
“Ēow hēt secgansige-drihten mīn,
aldor Ēast-Dena,þæt hē ēower æþelu can,
ond gē him syndonofer sǣ-wylmas,
heard-hicgende,hider wil-cuman.
395Nū gē mōton ganganin ēowrum gūð-geatawum,[7]
under here-grīman,Hrōðgār gesēon;
lǣtað hilde-bordhēr onbīdan,
wudu, wæl-sceaftas,worda geþinges.”
Ārās þā se rīca,ymb hine rinc manig,
400þrȳðlīc þegna hēap;sume þǣr bidon,
heaðo-rēaf hēoldon,swā him se *hearda bebēad.Fol. 139a.
Snyredon ætsomne,þā secg wīsode,
under Heorotes hrōf;[hyge-rōf ēode,][8]
heard under helme,þæt hē on hēoðe[9] gestōd.
405Bēowulf maðelode(on him byrne scān,
searo-net sēowedsmiþes or-þancum):
“Wæs[10] þū, Hrōðgār, hāl!Ic eom Higelāces
mǣg ond mago-ðegn;hæbbe ic mǣrða fela
ongunnen on geogoþe.Mē wearð Grendles þing
410on mīnre ēþel-tyrfundyrne cūð;
secgað sǣ-līðend,þæt þes[11] sele stande,
reced sēlesta,rinca gehwylcum
īdel ond unnyt,siððan ǣfen-lēoht
under heofenes hador[12]beholen weorþeð.
415Þā mē þæt gelǣrdonlēode mīne,
þā sēlestan,snotere ceorlas,
þēoden Hrōðgār,þæt ic þē sōhte,
forþan hīe mægenes cræftmīn[n]e[13] cūþon;
selfe ofersāwon,ðā ic of searwum cwōm,
420fāh from fēondum,þǣr ic fīfe geband,
ȳðde eotena cyn,ond on ȳðum slōg
niceras nihtes,nearo-þearfe drēah,
wræc *Wedera nīð(wēan āhsodon),Fol. 139b.
forgrand gramum;ond nū wið Grendel sceal,
425wið þām āglǣcan,āna gehēgan
ðing wið þyrse.Ic þē nū ðā,
brego Beorht-Dena,biddan wille,
eodor Scyldinga,ānre bēne,
þæt ðū mē ne forwyrne,wīgendra hlēo,
430frēo-wine folca,nū ic þus feorran cōm,
þæt ic mōte āna[ond][14] mīnra eorla gedryht,
þes hearda hēap,Heorot fǣlsian.
Hæbbe ic ēac geāhsod,þæt se ǣglǣca
for his won-hȳdumwǣpna ne rēcceð;
435ic þæt þonne forhicge,swā mē Higelāc sīe,
mīn mon-drihten,mōdes bliðe,
þæt ic sweord bereoþðe sīdne scyld,
geolo-rand tō gūþe;ac ic mid grāpe sceal
fōn wið fēonde,ond ymb feorh sacan
440lāð wið lāþum;ðǣr gelȳfan sceal
Dryhtnes dōmesē þe hine dēað nimeð.
Wēn ic þæt hē wille,gif hē wealdan mōt,
in þǣm. gūð-seleatena[15] lēode
etan unforhte,swa hē *oft dyde Fol. 140a.
445mægen Hrēð-manna.Nā þū mīnne þearft
hafalan hȳclan,ac hē me habban wile
d[r]ēore fāhne,gif mec dēað nimeð;
byreð blōdig wæl,byrgean þenceð,
eteð ān-gengaunmurnlīce,
450mearcað mōr-hopu;nō ðū ymb mīnes ne þearft
līces feormeleng sorgian.
Onsend Higelāce,gif mec hild nime,
beadu-scrūda betst,þæt mīne brēost wereð,
hrægla sēlest;þæt is Hrædlan[16] lāf,
455Wēlandes geweorc.Gǣð ā wyrd swā hīo scel.”

  1. 373. MS. ‘ealdfæder.’ This compound meaning ‘grandfather, ancestor,’ occurs in the forms ealdfæder, ealdefæder; but its use here is a strain to the meaning of the passage, and we may safely assume that the scribe has run two words into one, as in numerous other instances. Eald fæder makes excellent sense.
  2. 375. MS. ‘eaforan’; Kemble ‘eafora.’
  3. 378. Thorpe ‘Gēatum,’ adopted by Bugge and Earle. The change is not absolutely necessary, because the genitive can have the same meaning, “for the Geats.”
  4. 379. MS. ‘·xxx tiges.’
  5. 386. Heyne reads ‘hāt [hig] in gān’ for metrical reasons (but see “Beiträge” x. 268), and takes sibbe-gedriht (i.e. the Danes) as the object of sēon. But sibbe-gedriht certainly refers to Beowulf’s company, as in l. 729, and is the accus.-subject of in gān sēon. The whole phrase may be rendered “bid the band of warrior-kinsmen go into the presence.” Cf. ll. 396, 347, 365.
  6. 389—90. No gap in MS., though the lack of alliteration seems conclusive as to a defect in the text. The emendation is Grein’s.
  7. 395. Ettmüller ‘gūð-getāwum’; cf. l. 2636, 368. See also Sievers § 43, N. 4, and § 260, N.
  8. 403. No gap in MS.; Grein’s emendation adopted.
  9. 404. Thorpe ‘heo[r]ðe.’
  10. 407. Editors substitute W.S. wes for North, wæs.
  11. 411. MS ‘þæs.’
  12. 414. Heyne and Socin ‘haðor.’ The length of the a is uncertain. Hādor would mean ‘brightness, serenity.’ Grein’s Glossary has: “heaðor, heador, hador (oder ā, ēa?) n. receptaculum; dat. hafað mec on headre Rä. 66³.”
  13. 418. Grein ‘mīn[n]e’; cf. l. 255.
  14. 431—2. MS. ‘ana minra eorla gedryht ⁊ þes’ &c. Grein transposed the ⁊ (ond) from before þes to before minra.
  15. 443. MS. ‘geotena.’
  16. 454. Ettmüller ‘Hrēðlan,’ gen. of Hrēðla = Hrēðel, Beowulf’s maternal grandfather; adopted by Heyne and Earle.