Beowulf (Wyatt)/Beowulf 24

XXIV.

Bēowulf maþelode,  bearn Ecgþēowes:
“Hwæt! wē þē þās sǣ-lāc,  sunu Healfdenes
lēod Scyldinga,  lustum brōhton
tīres tō tācne,  þe þū hēr tō lōcast.
1655Ic þæt unsōfte  ealdre gedīgde,
wigge under wætere  weorc genēþde
earfoðlice;  ætrihte wæs
gūð getwǣfed,  nymðe mec God scylde.
Ne meahte ic æt hilde  mid Hruntinge
1660wiht gewyrcan,  þēah þæt wǣpen duge;
ac mē geūðe  ylda Waldend,
þæt ic on wāge geseah  wlitig *hangianFol. 166b.
eald sweord ēacen  (oftost wīsode
winigea lēasum),  þæt ic ðȳ wǣpne gebrǣd.
1665Ofslōh ðā æt þǣre sæcce,  þā mē sǣl āgeald,
hūses hyrdas.  Þā þæt hilde-bil
forbarn, brogden mǣl,  swā þæt blōd gesprang,
hātost heaþo-swāta.  Ic þæt hilt þanan
fēondum ætferede,  fyren-dǣda wræc,
1670dēað-cwealm Denigea,  swā hit gedēfe wæs.
Ic hit þē þonne gehāte,  þæt þū on Heorote mōst
sorh-lēas swefan  mid þīnra secga gedryht,
ond þegna gehwylc  þinra lēoda,
duguðe ond iogoþe;  þæt þū him ondrǣdan ne þearft,
1675þēoden Scyldinga,  on þā healfe
aldor-bealu eorliim,  swā þū ǣr dydest.”
Ðā wæs gylden hilt  gamelum rince,
hārum hild-fruman,  on hand gyfen,
enta ǣr-geweorc;  hit on ǣht gehwearf,
1680æfter dēofla hryre,  Denigea frēan,
wundor-smiþa geweorc;  ond[1] þā þās worold ofgeaf
grom-heort guma,  Godes ondsaca,
morðres scyldig,  ond his mōdor ēac,
on geweald gehwearf  worold-cyninga
1685ðǣm sēlestan  be *sǣm twēonum,Fol. 167a.
ðāra þe on Sceden-igge[2]  sceattas dǣlde.
Hrōðgār maðelode,  hylt scēawode,
ealde lāfe,  on ðǣm wæs ōr writen
fyrn-gewinnes,  syðþan flōd ofslōh,
1690gifen gēotende,  gīganta cyn;
frēcne gefērdon;  þæt wæs fremde þēod
ēcean Dryhtne;  him þæs ende-lēan
þurh wæteres wylm  Waldend sealde.
Swā wæs on ðǣm scennum  scīran goldes
1695þurh rūn-stafas  rihte gemearcod,
geseted ond gesǣd,  hwām þæt sweord geworht,
īrena cyst,  ǣrest wǣre,
wreoþen-hilt ond wyrm-fāh.  Ða se wīsa spræc
sunu Healfdenes;  swīgedon ealle:
1700“Þæt, lā! mæg secgan,  sē þe sōð ond riht
fremeð on folce,  feor eal gemon,
eald ēðel-weard,  þæt ðes eorl wǣre[3]
geboren betera.  Blǣd is ārǣred
geond wīd-wegas,  wine mīn Bēowulf,
1705ðīn ofer þēoda gehwylce.  Eal þū hit geþyldum healdest,
mægen mid mōdes snyttrum.  Ic þē sceal mīne gelǣstan
freoðe,[4] swā wit furðum sprǣcon;  ðū scealt tō frōfre weorþan
eal lang-twidig  lēodum þīnum,
*hæleðum tō helpe.  Ne wearð Heremōd swāFol. 167b.
1710eaforum Ecgwelan,  Ār-Scyldingum;
ne gewēox hē him tō willan,  ac tō wæl-fealle
ond tō dēað-cwalum  Deniga lēodum;
brēat bolgen-mōd  bēod-genēatas,
eaxl-gesteallan,  oþ þæt hē āna hwearf,
1715mǣre þēoden,  mon-drēamum from.
Ðeah þe hine mihtig God  mægenes wynnum,
eafeþum, stēpte  ofer ealle men,
forð gefremede,  hwæþere him on ferhþe grēow
brēost-hord blōd-rēow;  nallas bēagas geaf
1720Denum æfter dōme;  drēam-lēas gebād,
þæt hē þæs gewinnes  weorc þrōwade,
lēod-bealo longsum.  Ðū þē lǣr be þon,
gum-cyste ongit;  ic þis gid be þē
āwræc wintrum frōd.  Wundor is tō secganne,
1725hū mihtig God  manna cynne
þurh sīdne sefan  snyttru bryttað,
eard ond eorl-scipe;  hē āh ealra geweald.
Hwīlum hē on lufan  lǣteð hworfan
monnes mōd-geþonc  mǣran cynnes,
1730seleð him on ēþle  eorþan wynne,
tō healdanne  hlēo-burh wera,
*gedēð him swā gewealdene  worolde dǣlas,Fol. 168a.
sīde rīce,  þæt hē his selfa ne mæg
[5]his unsnyttrum  ende geþencean.
1735Wunað hē on wiste;  nō hine wiht dweleð
ādl ne yldo,  ne him inwit-sorh
on sefa[n][6] sweorceð,  ne gesacu ōhwǣr,
ecg-hete, ēoweð,  ac him eal worold[7]
wendeð on willan.  Hē þæt wyrse ne con,[8]

  1. 1681. Müllenhoff and Bugge reject ond as superfluous. It is certainly very unusual at the beginning of a sentence which is only a parallel expansion of what precedes.
  2. 1686. MS. ‘scedenigge,’ in one word.
  3. 1702. Bugge suggests ‘þæt ðē eorl nǣre.’
  4. 1707. Wülcker and Heyne ‘frēode,’ taking that to be the reading of the MS. Zupitza: “I think the MS. has freoðe, not freode; although the left half of the cross stroke in ð has entirely faded, yet the place where it was is discernible, and the right half of it is left.”
  5. 1734. With admirable and shameless audacity Heyne and Wülcker foist in for at the beginning of this line without a word of comment. Cf. l. 942.
  6. 1737. MS. defective at edge; Zupitza ‘sefa[n].’
  7. Grein ‘ne gesaca (adversary) ōhwǣr ecg-hete ēoweð (shows).’ On the whole I prefer to abide by the MS. reading, although examples are wanting of ēowan used intransitively, as its compound oðēowan frequently is.
  8. 1739. The MS. has a stop after con, the usual space with the number XXV, and then a large capital O. But it seems impossible to begin a fresh sentence with oð þæt “until,” as Earle does. Grein makes the break in the middle of l. 1739, Heyne after l. 1744.