Beowulf (Wyatt)/Beowulf 15

XV.

Ðā wæs hāten hreþeHeort innan-weard
folmum gefrætwod;fela þǣra wæs
wera ond wīfa,þe þæt wīn-reced,
gest-sele, gyredon.Gold-fāg scinon
995web æfter wāgum,wundor-sīona fela
secga gehwylcum,þāra þe on swylc starað.
Wæs þæt beorhte boldtōbrocen swīðe,
eal inne-weardīren-bendum fæst,
heorras tōhlidene;hrōf āna genæs
1000ealles ansund,þā[1] se āglǣca
fyren-dǣdum fāgon flēam gewand,
aldres orwēna.Nō þæt ȳðe byð
tō beflēonne,fremme sē þe wille;
ac gesacan scealsāwl-berendra,
1005nȳde genȳdde,niþða bearna,[2]
grund-būendra,gearwe stōwe,
þǣr his līc-homaleger-bedde fæst
swefeþ æfter symle.Þā wæs sǣl ond mǣl,
þæt tō healle *gangHealfdenes sunu;Fol. 152a.
1010wolde self cyningsymbel þicgan.
Ne gefrægen ic þā mǣgþemāran weorode
ymb hyra sinc-gyfansēl gebǣran.
Bugon þā tō benceblǣd-āgende,[3]
fylle gefǣgon;fægere geþǣgon
1015medo-ful manigmāgas þāra,[4]
swīð-hicgende,on sele þām hēan,
Hrōðgār ond Hrōþulf.Heorot innan wæs
frēondum āfylled;nalles fācen-stafas
Þēod-Scyldingasþenden fremedon.
1020Forgeaf þā Bēowulfebearn[5] Healfdenes
segen gyldennesigores tō lēane,
hroden hilte-cumbor,helm ond byrnan;
mǣre māðþum-sweordmanige gesāwon
beforan beorn beran.Bēowulf geþah
1025ful on flette.Nō hē þǣre feoh-gyfte
for scotenum[6]scamigan ðorfte;
ne gefrægn ic frēondlīcorfēower mādmas
golde gegyredegum-manna fela
in ealo-benceōðrum gesellan.
1030Ymb þæs helmes hrōfhēafod-beorge
wīrum bewundenwala utan heold,[7]
þæt him fēla *lāfe[8]frēcne ne meahtonFol. 152b.
scūr-heard sceþðan,þonne scyld-freca
ongēan gramumgangan scolde.
1035Heht ðā eorla hlēoeahta mēaras
fǣted-hlēoreon flet tēon,
in under eoderas;þāra ānum stōd
sadol searwum fāh,since gewurþad;
þæt wæs hilde-setlhēah-cyninges,
1040ðonne sweorda gelācsunu Healfdenes
efnan wolde;nǣfre on ōre læg
wīd-cūþes wīg,ðonne walu fēollon.
Ond ðā Bēowulfebēga gehwæþ7res
eodor Ingwinaonweald getēah,
1045wicga ond wǣpna;hēt hine wel brūcan.
Swā manlīcemǣere þēoden,
hord-weard hæleþa,heaþo-rǣsas geald
mēarum ond mādmum,swā hȳ nǣfre man lyhð,
sē þe secgan wilesōð ætter rihte.

  1. 1000. MS. ‘þe’
  2. 1002—5. These lines, as given in Holder’s edition, show the principal emendations that have been suggested:

    Nō þæt ȳðe byð
    tō beflēonne(fremme sē þe wille!),
    ac gesēcan scealsāwl-berendra [gehwā],
    nȳde genȳdedniþða bearna.

  3. 1013. Thorkelin A ‘blæd agande,’ B ‘blædagande.’ The MS. now has only blæd left, and de on the next line.
  4. 1014—5. Bugge proposed to put these two lines in parentheses, because of “the difficulty of finding an antecedent for þāra.” Heyne (5th edition) and Earle adopt the suggestion. This can only be on the principle—of two difficulties choose the greater. What a master of the parenthesis-style the “scop” must have been, to keep his hearers waiting for the subject of bugon, past two other finite verbs with a different subject, until four lines lower down! And what is to hinder the antecedent of þāra being implied in blǣd-āgende, in speaking of a court where everyone was doubtless related to everyone else, as in a Scotch clan?
  5. 1020. MS. ‘brand.’
  6. 1026. MS. ‘scotenum’; Grein 2 ‘scoterum’; Wülcker ‘scēotendum,’ for which cf. ll. 703, 1154. Heyne quotes oxenum, nefenum, as examples of similar weak dat. pls.
  7. 1030—1. The MS. has ‘heafod beorge wirum be wunden walan utan heold.’ Ettmüller ‘wala,’ adopted by Grein. If we leave the MS. reading unaltered, there is a choice of difficulties. Either we must take walan as subject and hēafod-beorge as object, with a striking violation of grammatical concord in the verb hēold; or we must (with Heyne and Socin) take hēafod-beorge as a weak fem. noun in the nom. and walan as object, with considerable loss to the sense. The nom. pl. scūr-beorge (“Ruin” 5) also tells against the latter view, which has no support from analogy.
  8. 1032. Thorkelin ‘laf’ (now gone in the MS.). On account of this reading, Bugge (“Beiträge” xii. 92) supports Thorpe’s emendation meahte, confirming it by the form scūr-heard in the next line, and by a reference to Sievers: “der erste halbvers ist nach den untersuchungen Sievers’ (“Beiträge” x. 455) metrisch unrichtig.” It is a curious commentary on this last reason, that Sievers himself quotes the line, with the form lāfe, among the examples of his type A (“Beit.” x. 273).