Beowulf (Wyatt)/Beowulf 27

XXVII.

Cwōm þā tō flōde  fela mōdigra
hæg-stealdra;[1]  hring-net bǣron,
1890locene leoðo-syrcan.  Land-weard onfand
eft-sīð eorla,  swā hē ǣr dyde;
nō hē mid hearme  of hliðes nosan
*gæs[tas][2] grētte,  ac him tōgēanes rād,Fol. 171b.
cwæð þæt wilcuman  Wedera lēodum
1895scaþan[3] scīr-hame  tō scipe fōron.
Þā wæs on sande  sǣ-gēap naca
hladen here-wǣdum,  hringed-stefna
mēarum ond māðmum;  mæst hlīfade
ofer Hrōðgāres  hord-gestrēonum.
1900Hē þǣm bāt-wearde  bunden golde
swurd gesealde,  þæt hē syðþan wæs
on meodu-bence  māþme þȳ weorþra,[4]
yrfe-lāfe.  Gewāt him on nacan[5]
drēfan dēop wæter,  Dena land ofgeaf.
1905Þā wæs be mæste  mere-hrægla sum,
segl sāle fæst;  sund-wudu þunede;
nō þǣr wēg-flotan  wind ofer ȳðum
sīðes getwǣfde;  sǣ-genga fōr,
flēat fāmig-heals  forð ofer ȳðe,
1910bunden-stefna  ofer brim-strēamas,
þæt hīe Gēata clifu  ongitan meahton,
cūþe næssas;  cēol ūp geþrang
lyft-geswenced,  on lande stōd.
Hraþe wæs æt *holme  hȳð-weard gearu,[6]Fol. 172a.
1915sē þe ǣr lange tīd  lēofra manna
fūs æt faroð  feor wlātode;
sǣlde tō sande  sīd-fæþme scip
oncer-bendum[7] fæst,  þȳ lǣs hym ȳþa ðrym
wudu wynsuman  forwrecan meahte.
1920Hēt þā ūp beran  æþelinga gestrēon,
frætwe ond fǣt-gold;  næs him feor þanon
tō gesēcanne  sinces bryttan,
Higelāc Hrēþling,  þǣr æt hām wunað[8]
selfa mid gesīðum  sǣ-wealle nēah.
1925Bold wæs betlīc,  brego rōf[9] cyning,
hēa healle,  Hygd swīðe geong,
wīs, wel þungen,  þēah ðe wintra lȳt
under burh-locan  gebiden hæbbe
Hæreþes dohtor;  næs hīo hnāh swā þēah,
1930ne tō gnēað gifa  Gēata lēodum,
maāþm-gestrēona.  Mōd Ðrȳðo wæg,
fremu folces cwēn,  firen ondrysne;[10]
nǣnig þæt dorste  dēor genēþan
swǣsra gesīða,  nefne sīn frēa,[11]
1935þæt hire an dæges[12]  ēagum starede;
ac him wæl-bende  *weotode tealdeFol. 172b.
hand-gewriþene;  hraþe seoþðan wæs
æfter mund-gripe  mēce geþinged,
þæt hit scēaden-mǣl  scȳran mōste,[13]
1940cwealm-bealu cȳðan.  Ne bið swylc cwēnlīc þēaw
idese tō efnanne,  þēah ðe hīo ǣnlicu sȳ,
þætte freoðu-webbe  fēores onsæce[14]
æfter lige-torne  lēofne mannan.
Hūru þæt onhōhsnod[e]  Hemminges[15] mǣg.
1945Ealo-drincende  ōðer sǣdan,
þæt hīo lēod-bealewa  lǣs gefremede,
inwit-nīða,  syððan ǣrest wearð
gyfen gold-hroden  geongum cempan,
æðelum dīore,  syððan hīo Offan flet
1950ofer fealone flōd  be fæder lāre
sīðe gesōhte;  ðǣr hīo syððan well
in gum-stōle,  gōde mǣre,
līf-gesceafta  lifigende brēac,
hīold hēah-lufan  wið hæleþa brego,
1955ealles mon-cynnes,  mīne gefrǣge,
þone[16] sēlestan  bī sǣm twēonum,
eormen-cynnes.  Forðām Offa *wæs,Fol. 173a.
geofum ond gūðum  gār-cēne man,
wīde geweorðod;  wīsdōme hēold
1960ēðel sīnne.  Þonon Ēomǣr[17] wōc
hæleðum tō helpe,  Hem[m]inges mǣg,
nefa Gārmundes,  niða cræftig.

  1. 1888—9. Wülcker and Heyne ‘fela-mōdigra/hæg-stealdra [hēap]’; cf. l. 1637.
  2. 1893. MS. defective at corner. A ‘gæs’ (followed by a blank space); Grundtvig ‘gæs[tas].’
  3. 1895. MS. defective at edge. A ‘scawan’ (so Heyne); B ‘scaþan' (so Zupitza and Wülcker). The first syllable sca- is still perfectly distinct; but the second syllable is missing at the beginning of the next line. The word scawa is not found elsewhere; scaþan occurs with the same meaning as here in l. 1803.
  4. 1902. MS. ‘maþma þy weorþre,’ which Thorpe emended.
  5. 1903. Grein ‘[ȳð-]nacan,’ for the alliteration. Sievers is contented to let on alliterate.
  6. 1914. MS. ‘geara.’
  7. 1918. MS. ‘oncear bendum.’
  8. 1923. Wülcker ‘wunade.’ Sievers regards this and the next line as oratio recta. But cf. the present tenses in ll. 1314, 1928.
  9. 1925. Grundtvig ‘brego-rōf’ (so Heyne).
  10. 1932. Suchier ‘firen-ondrysne.’ We have elision of final e before a vowel in ll. 338 and 442. But perhaps the true explanation of the forms frōfor in l. 698 and firen here will be found in Sievers § 251, N.
  11. 1934. Heyne ‘sin-frea.’ Zupitza transliterates ‘sinfrea’—presumably a misprint for ‘sin-frea’; cf. sin-nihte, l. 161, etc. There is a distinct space between the n and f in the MS.
  12. 1935. Zupitza ‘an-dæges,’ apparently supporting Leo’sān-dæges, “the whole day.” Suchier ‘andǣges’ = andēges, “eye to eye.”
  13. 1939. A most difficult line. Bugge ‘scēaden mǣl’ (so Suchier and Zupitza). Suchier translates (“Beit.” iv. 500 ff.): “damit die Klinge offenbaren möchte, es sei entschieden”; Bugge: “nachdem die Sache entschieden war,” both making scēaden qualify hit. Sievers (“Beit.” x. 313) supports the reading in the text. Heyne ‘sceaðen-mǣl scyran,’ hostile sword decide. The second hand in the MS. begins with mōste.
  14. 1942. Rieger ‘onēce’ (so Suchier).
  15. 1944. MS. ‘on hohsnod hem ninges.’ See “Beiträge” x. 501.
  16. 1956. MS. ‘þæs.’
  17. 1960. MS. ‘geomor’; Bachlechner ‘Eōmǣr’; Grein ‘Eōmor.’