Beowulf (Wyatt)/Beowulf 31

XXXI.

Swā se ðēod-kyning  þēawum lyfde;

2145nealles ic ðām lēanum  forloren hæfde,
mægnes mēde,  ac hē mē *[māðma]s[1] geaf,Fol. 177b.
sunu Healfdenes, on [mīn]ne[2] sylfes dōm,
ðā ic ðē, beorn-cyning,  bringan wylle,
ēstum geȳwan.  Gēn is eall ǣt ðē
2150lissa gelong;  ic lȳt hafo
hēafod-māga  nefne, Hygelāc, ðec.”
Hēt ðā in beran  eafor, hēafod-segn,[3]
heaðo-stēapne helm,  hāre byrnan,
gūð-sweord geatolīc,  gyd æfter wræc:
2155“Mē ðis hilde-sceorp  Hrōðgār sealde,
snotra fengel; sume worde hēt,
þæt ic his ǣrest ðē  ēst[4] gesægde;
cwæð þæt hyt hæfde  Hiorogār cyning,
lēod Scyldunga,  lange hwīle;

2160nō ðȳ ǣr suna sīnum  syllan wolde,

hwatum Heorowearde,  þēah hē him hold wǣre,
brēost-gewǣdu.  Brūc ealles well.”
Hȳrde ic, þæt þām frætwum  fēower mēaras
lungre gelīce  lāst weardode,
2165æppel-fealuwe;  hē him ēst getēah
mēara ond māðma.  Swā sceal *mǣg dōn,Fol. 178a.
nealles inwit-net  ōðrum bregdon,
dyrnum cræfte  dēað rēn[ian][5]
hond-gesteallan.  Hygelāce wæs
2170 nīða heardum  nefa swȳðe hold,
ond gehwǣðer ōðrum  hrōþra gemyndig.
Hȳrde ic, þæt hē ðone heals-bēah  Hygde gesealde,
wrætlīcne wundur-māððum,  ðone þe him Wealhðēo geaf,
ðēod[nes] dohtor,  þrīo wicg somod
2175swancor ond sadol-beorht;  hyre syððan wæs,
æfter bēah-ðege,  br[ē]ost geweorðod.
Swā bealdode  bearn Ecgðēowes,
guma gūðum cūð,  gōdum dǣdum,
drēah æfter dōme,  nealles druncne slōg
2180heorð-genēatas;  næs him hrēoh sefa,
ac hē man-cynnes  mǣste cræfte
gin-fæstan gife,  þe him God sealde,
hēold hilde-dēor.  Hēan wæs lange,
swā hyne Gēata bearn  gōdne ne tealdon,
2185ne hyne on medo-bence  micles wyrðne
*drihten wereda  gedōn wolde;Fol. 178b.
swȳðe [wēn]don,[6]  þæt hē slēac wǣre,
aeðeling unfrom.  Edwenden cwōm
tīr-ēadigum menn  torna gehwylces.
2190Hēt ðā eorla hlēo  in gefetian,
heaðo-rōf cyning,  Hrēðles lāfe
golde gegyrede;  næs mid Gēatum ðā
sinc-māðþum sēlra  on sweordes hād;
þæt hē on Bīowulfes  bearm ālegde,
2195ond him gesealde  seofan þūsendo,
bold ond brego-stōl.  Him wæs bām samod
on ðām lēod-scipe  lond gecynde,
eard, ēðel-riht,  ōðrum swīðor
sīde rīce,  þām ðǣr sēlra wæs.
2200Eft þæt geīode  ufaran dōgrum
hilde-hlæmmum,  syððan Hygelāc læg,
ond Hear[dr]ēde[7]  hilde-mēceas
under bord-hrēoðan  tō bonan wurdon,
ðā hyne gesōhtan  on sige-þēode
2205hearde hilde-frecan,  Heaðo-Scilfingas,
nīða genǣgdan  nefan Hererīces—[8]
syððan *Bēowulfe[9]  brāde rīceFol. 179a.
on hand gehwearf.  Hē gehēold tela
fīftig wintra  (wæs ðā frōd cyning,
2210eald ēþel-weard),  oð ðæt ān[10] ongan
deorcum nihtum  draca rīcs[i]an,[11]
sē ðe on hēa[um] hlǣwe  hord[12] beweotode,
stān-beorh stēapne;[13]  stīg under læg
eldum uncūð.  Þǣr on innan gīong
2215[14]niða nāt-hwylc  : : : : : : : gefēng
hǣðnum horde  hond : : : : : : : :
[15]: : : : : since fāh  ne h¯w þæt syððan : : : : :
[16]þ[ēah] ð[e hē] slǣpende  be syre : : : : de
[17]þēofes cræfte  þæt sīe ðīod : : : : :
2220 : : : : folc beorna  þæt hē gebolge[n] wæs.[18]

  1. 2146. MS. defective at corner here and in next line.
  2. 2147. Grundtvig ‘[sīn]ne.’
  3. 2152. Zupitza and most editors ‘eafor-hēafod-segn.’ But, as compounds of three words are as rare in O.E. poetry as compounds of two words are common, it seems better to make two parallels.
  4. 2157. This line has constantly been mangled (see Heyne or Wūlcker) through misreading the ‘est’ of the MS. as eft. Cf. l. 2165.
  5. 2168. MS. defective at edge here and in l. 2174.
  6. 2187. MS. defective at edge. Grein’s emendation; see “Crīst” 309.
  7. 2202. MS. ‘hearede.’ But see l. 2375.
  8. 2206. All editors put a full stop at the close of this line, leaving the sense of “þæt geīode etc.” very lame or very obscure. I take the construction of the passage to be as follows: þæt (l. 2200), as in many other passages in the poem (cf. ll. 1846, 1591), has a forward reference like mod. “this,” and is anticipatory of a substantive clause, which usually begins with a correlative þæt; this substantive clause is contained in ll. 2207—8 (first half), but the conjunction is omitted here, as in l. 2035, perhaps because syððan (2207) is correlative with syððan (2201).
  9. 2207. The folio that begins here (179a) with the word “beowulfe” takes rank with the last folio of all (198b) as the most defective and illegible portions of the MS. Zupitza says: “All that is distinct in the facsimile in fol. 179 has been freshened up by a later hand in the MS.” Sometimes the later hand has altered the original reading, and not for the better; e.g. in l. 2209, wintra has been changed to wintru. Zupitza transliterates the readings of the later hand.
  10. 2210. Later hand ‘ôn.’ Cf. l. 100.
  11. 2211. AB ‘ricsan,’ now gone.
  12. 2212. MS. very indistinct; nothing in AB between hea and hord. Zupitza ‘hea[ðo]-hlæwe,’ and in a foot-note: “what is left of the two letters after hea justifies us in reading them ðo.” As I can assign no satisfactory meaning to heaðo-hlǣwe, I have emended as in the text. Grein suggested ‘hēare hǣðe’ (so Heyne).
  13. 2213. Later hand ‘stearne.’
  14. 2215—2231. Here I have closely followed Zupitza’s transliteration, except in one particular. Much is very doubtful—readings, punctuation, division into lines. Zupitza gives only the lines of the MS., without division into verse lines, except that he marks with an asterisk and numbers every fifth line of the poem. In illegible passages he employs “as many colons as letters seem to have been lost.” I differ from Zupitza, as well as from Grein and Heyne, in the division and numbering of these lines, and with good reason. Between fah ne and þeofes they make two lines and a half, 2217 (2)–2219; I make it one line and a half, as in the text. Zupitza’s arrangement of these two and a half lines (using exactly the number of letter spaces he gives in his transliteration) would be this:

    2217  ne hē æt syððan
    2218 : : : : :  þ[ēah] ð[e hē]
    2219slǣpende be syre  : : : : de

    Compare this with the text and it will be seen that the material, which comfortably fills a line and a half, is hopelessly inadequate for two and a half. On the other hand, in ll. 2229 and 2230 they make the first sceapen conclude the first half of 2229 and the second sceapen come in the first half of 2230. But, besides the improbability of the same word being repeated in two following lines, Zupitza puts forty dots between sceapen and sceapen, and this is certainly below rather than above the number of missing letters, for the first sceapen comes at the beginning (all but a space for four letters) of the last line of fol. 179a in the MS., and the second sceapen closes the first line of fol. 179b (cf. ll. 2295–7, where sāre and ūtan- stand in exactly the same relative positions in two following folios). Hence the arrangement of ll. 2228—30 in the text, which makes my line-numbers again correspond with those of Grein. In this rearrangement I have been anticipated by Bugge (see below), although I arrived at the same conclusion quite independently.

    Innumerable emendations of this passage have been suggested (see Wülcker), of which I give only a very few. I have punctuated only where the connected sense is tolerably certain.

  15. 2217. Zupitza: “fah originally fac, but h written over c.” Heyne 5 ‘fācne’; Wülcker ‘fāhne.’
  16. 2218. Zupitza: “The traces left between þ and slæpende I think justify us in reading þeah ðe he.”" The letters within square brackets here and in ll. 2225, 2227, 2228, 2230, he omits, however, in his transliteration, although suggesting them in foot-notes.

    syre—I do not see any trace of the first letter having ever been f.”—Z.

  17. 2219. Zupitza puts nine colons between ðiod and folc, but it is impossible to say how they are to be divided between this and the next line.
  18. 2220. “n in bolgen faded.”—Z.

    Grein’s reconstruction of ll. 2214 ff. is as follows:

      Þær on innan giong
    2215niða nat-hwylc,  se neodu gefeng
    hæðnum horde:  hond-bollan hwylcne
    since fahne  he þær syððan genam
    readan goldes,  þæt bereafod wearð
    slæpende be fyre  sinces hyrde
    (2220)þeofes cræfte  þæt siððan þeoden onfand,
    2220bealu-leas folc-biorn,  þæt he gebolgen wæs.

    This may be compared with the text. In some respects it is preferable to Bugge’s more recent reconstruction, which I append:

      Þǣr on innan gīong
    2215niðða nāt-hwylc,  nēode tō gefēng
    hǣðnum horde;  hond ætgenam
    sele-ful since fāh;  ne hē þæt syððan āgeaf,
    þēah ðe hē slǣpende  besyrede hyrde
    þēofes cræfte:  þæt se ðīoden onfand,
    2220bȳ-folc beorna,  þæt hē gebolgen wæs.