Beowulf (Wyatt)/Beowulf 14

XIV.

925Hrōðgār maþelode;hē tō healle gēong,
stōd on stapole,geseah stēapne hrōf
golde fāhneond Grendles hond:
“Ðisse ansȳneAl-wealdan þanc
lungre gelimpe.Fela ic lāþes gebād,
930grynna æt Grendle;ā mæg God wyrcan
wunder æfter wundre,wuldres Hyrde.
Ðæt wæs ungēara,þæt ic ǣnigra mē
wēana ne wēndetō wīdan fēore
bōte gebīdan,þonne blōde fāb,
935hūsa sēlestheoro-drēorig stōd;
wēa wīd-scofenwitena gebwylcne,
ðāra þe ne wēndon,þæt hīe wīde-ferhð
lēoda land-geweorclāþum beweredon
*scuccum ond scinnum.Nū scealc hafaðFol. 150b.
940þurb Drihtnes mihtdǣd gefremede,
ðe wē ealleǣr ne meabton
snyttrum besyrwan,Hwæt! þæt secgan mæg
efne swā hwylc mægþa,swā ðone magan cende
æfter gum-cynnum,gyf hēo gyt lyfað,
945þæt hyre eald Metod[1]ēste wǣre
bearn-gebyrdo.Nū ic, Bēowulf, þec,
secg betsta,mē for sunu wylle
frēogan on ferhþe;heald forð tela
nīwe sibbe.Ne bið þē [n]ǣnigra[2] gād
950worolde wilna,þe ic geweald hæbbe.
Ful oft ic for lǣssanlēan teohhode,
hord-weorþunge,hnāhran rince,
sǣmran æt sæcce.Þū þē self hafast
dǣdum gefremed,þæt þīn [dom][3] lyfað
955āwa tō aldre.Al-walda þec
gōde forgylde,swā hē nū gyt dyde!”
Bēowulf maþelode,bearn Ec[g]þēowes:
“Wē þæt ellen-weorcēstum miclum,
feohtan fremedon,frēcne genēðdon
960eafoð uncūþes;ūþe ic swīþor,
þæt ðū hine selfnegesēon mōste,
fēond on frætewumfyl-wērigne.
Ic hine[4] hrædlīce*heardan clammumFol. 151a.
on wæl-beddewrīþan þōhte,
965þæt hē for mund-gripe[5]mīnum scolde
licgean līf-bysig,būtan his līc swice;
ic hine ne mihte,þā Metod nolde,
ganges getwǣman; nō ic him þæs georne astfealh,
feorh-geniðlan;wæs tō fore-mihtig
970fēond on fēþe.Hwæþere hē his folme forlēt
tō līf-wraþelāst weardian,
earm ond eaxle;nō þǣr ǣnige swā þēah
fēa-sceaft gumafrōfre gebohte;
nō þȳ leng leofaðlāð-getēona
975synnum geswenced;ac hyne sār hafað
in d-gripe[6]nearwe befongen,
balwon bendum;ðǣr ābīdan sceal
maga māne fāhmiclan dōmes,
hū him scīr Metodscrīfan wille.”
980Ðā wæs swīgra secgsunu Ec[g]lāfes
on gylp-sprǣcegūð-geweorca,
siþðan æþelingaseorles cræfte
ofer hēanne hrōfhand scēawedon,
fēondes fingras,foran ǣghwylc;
985wæs steda nægla gehwylcstȳle gelīcost,[7]
hǣþenes hand-sporu,*hilde-rinces[8]Fol. 151b.
egl unhēoru;ǣghwylc gecwæð,
þæt him heardra nānhrīnan wolde
īren ǣr-gōd,þæt ðæs āhlǣcan
990blōdge beadu-folmeonberan wolde.

  1. 945. Heyne ‘eald-metod.’ See note on l. 1776.
  2. 949. MS. ‘ænigre.’
  3. 954. Kemble’s emendation. No gap in MS.
  4. 963. MS. ‘him.’
  5. 965. MS. ‘hand gripe.’ Kemble’s emendation is required for the sake of the alliteration.
  6. 976. MS. ‘mid gripe’; Thorpe ‘nīð-gripe’; Bugge ‘nȳd-gripe.’
  7. 984—5. Suggestions too numerous to mention have been made for the emendation of these lines. Heyne adopts a fresh one with each new edition. Sievers considers the second half of l. 984 metrically deficient, and proposes:

    fēondes fingras:foran ǣghwylc wæs
    stīðra næglastȳle gelīcost.

  8. 986. MS. ‘hilde hilde rinces,’ the first hilde being the last word on the page, the second the first word overleaf. In such cases italics in the text seem needless. For hand-sporu see Sievers § 279.