Beowulf (Wyatt)/Beowulf 08

VIII.

Unferð[1] maþelode,Ecglāfes bearn,
500þe æt fōtum sætfrēan Scyldinga,
onband beadu-rūne(wæs him Bēowulfes sið,
mōdges mere-faran,micel æf-þunca,
forþon þe hē ne ūþe,þæt ǣnig ōðer man
ǣfre *mǣrða þon māmiddan-geardesFol. 141b.
505gehēdde under heofenumþonne hē sylfa):
“Eart þū se Bēowulf,sē þe wið Brecan wunne,
on sīdne sǣymb sund flite,
ðǣr git for wlencewada cunnedon,
ond for dol-gilpeon dēop wæter
510aldrum nēþdon?Ne inc ǣnig mon,
ne lēof nē lāð,belēan mihte
sorh-fullne sīð,þā git on sund rēon;
þǣr git ēagor-strēamearmum þehton,
mǣton mere-strǣta,mundum brugdon,
515glidon ofer gār-secg;geofon ȳþum wēol,
wintrys wyhn.[2]Git on wæteres ǣht
seofon niht swuncon;hē þē æt sunde oferflāt,
hæfde māre mægen.Þā hine on morgen-tīd
on Heaþo-Rǣmas[3]holm up ætbær;
520ðonon hē gesōhteswǣsne ēðel,[4]
lēof his lēodumlond Brondinga,
freoðo-burh fægere,þǣr hē folc āhte,
burh ond bēagas.*Bēot eal wið þēFol. 142a.
sunu Bēanstānessōðe gelǣste.
525Ðonne wēne ic tō þēwyrsan geþingea,
ðēah þū heaðo-rǣsagehwǣr dohte,
grimre gūðe,gif þū Grendles dearst
niht-longne fyrstnēan bīdan.”
Bēowulf maþelode,bearn Ecgþēowes:
530“Hwæt! þū worn fela,wine mīn Unferð,[5]
bēore druncenymb Brecan sprǣce,
sægdest from his sīðe.Sōð ic talige,
þæt ic mere-strengomāran āhte,
earfeþo[6] on ȳþum,ðonne ǣnig ōþer man.
535Wit þæt gecwǣdoncniht-wesende
ond gebēotedon(wǣron begen þā git
on geogoð-fēore),þæt wit on gār-secg ūt
aldrum nēðdon;ond þæt geæfndon swā.
Hæfdon swurd nacod,þā wit on sund rēon,
540heard on handa;wit unc wið hron-fixas
werian þōhton.Nō hē wiht fram mē
flōd-ȳþum feorflēotan meahte,
hraþor on holme;nō ic fram him wolde.
Ðā wit æt *somneon sǣ wǣronFol. 142b.
545fīf nihta fyrst,oþ þæt unc flōd tōdrāf,
wado weallende;wedera cealdost,
nīpende nihtond norþan wind,
heaðo-grim ondhwearf;[7]hrēo wǣron ȳþa.
Wæs mere-fixamōd onhrēred;
550þǣr mē wið lāðumlīc-syrce mīn,
heard hond-locen,helpe gefremede;
beado-hrægl brōdenon brēostum læg,
golde gegyrwed.Mē tō grunde tēah
fāh fēond-scaða,fæste hæfde
555grim on grāpe;hwæþre mē gyfeþe wearð,
þæt ic āglǣcanorde gerǣhte,
hilde-bille;heaþo-rǣs fornam
mihtig mere-dēorþurh mīne hand.

  1. 499. MS. ‘Hvnferð.’
  2. 515—16. Grein-Wülcker:

    ‘geofon-yðum
    weol wintrys wylm.’

    Other editions needlessly change wylm to wylme or wylmum.
  3. 519. MS. ‘heaþoræmes.’
  4. 520. MS. ‘swæsne · ᛟ ·’ The O.E. name of this runic character was ēðel; hence the character is used here and in l. 913 for the word ēðel.
  5. 530. MS. ‘hun ferð.’ The initial is always h in the MS., although the word always alliterates with vowels.
  6. 534. There is this to be said for the emendation eafeþo, “strength,” that it is a closer parallel to mere-strengo than the reading of the MS.
  7. 548. MS. ‘⁊hwearf’; cf. ‘⁊swarode,’ l. 258. Grein takes hwearf to be an adj., which he glosses ‘versatilis, volubilis,’ and compares Icel. hverfr.