Beowulf (Wyatt)/Beowulf 39

[XXXIX.]

Ðā wæs gegongen  guman unfrōdum[1]
earfoðlīce,  þæt hē on eorðan geseah
þone lēofestan  līfes æt ende
blēate gebǣran.  Bona swylce læg,
2825egeslīc eorð-draca  ealdre berēafod,
bealwe gebǣded.  Bēah-hordum leng
wyrm wōh-bogen  wealdan ne mōste,
ac hine[2] īrenna  ecga fornāmon,
hearde, heaðo-scearde  homera lāfe,
2830þæt se wīd-floga  wundum stille
hrēas on hrūsan  hord-ærne nēah;
nalles *æfter lyfte  lācende hwearfFol. 191b.
middel-nihtum,  māðm-ǣhta wlonc
ansȳn ȳwde,  ac hē eorðan gefēoll
2885for ðæs hild-fruman  hond-geweorce.
Hūru þæt on lande  lȳt manna ðāh
mægen-āgendra,  mīne gefrǣge,
þēah ðe hē dǣda gehwæs  dyrstig wǣre,
þæt hē wið attor-sceaðan  oreðe gerǣsde,
2840oððe hring-sele  hondum styrede,
gif hē wæccende  weard onfunde
būon on beorge.  Bīowulfe wearð
dryht-māðma dǣl  dēaðe forgolden;
hæfde ǣghwæðer[3]  ende gefēred
2845lǣnan līfes.  Næs ðā lang tō ðon,
þæt ðā hild-latan  holt ofgēfan,
tydre trēow-logan  tȳne ætsomne,
ðā ne dorston ǣr  dareðum lācan
on hyra man-dryhtnes  miclan þearfe;
2850ac hȳ scamiende  scyldas bǣran,
gūð-gewǣdu,  þǣr se gomela læg;
wlitan on Wī[g]lāf.[4]  Hē gewērgad sæt,
fēðe-cempa,  frēan eaxlum nēah,
wehte hyne wætre;  him wiht ne spēow.[5]
2855Ne meahte hē on eorðan,  ðēah hē ūðe wel,
on ðām frum-gāre  feorh gehealdan,
ne ðæs Wealdendes [willan][6]  wiht oncirran.
Wolde dōm *Godes  dǣdum rǣdanFol. 192a.
gumena gehwylcum,  swā hē nē gēn dēð.
2860Þā wæs æt ðām geongum  grim ondswaru
ēð-begēte,  þām ðe ǣr his elne forlēas.
Wīglāf maðelode,  Weohstānes sunu,
sec[g][7] sārig-ferð  seah on unlēofe:
“Þæt lā! mæg secgan,  sē ðe wyle sōð specan,
2865þæt se mon-dryhten,  sē ēow ðā māðmas geaf,
ēored-geatwe,  þe gē þǣr on standað,
þonne hē on ealu-bence  oft gesealde
heal-sittendum  helm ond byrnan,
þēoden his þegnum,  swylce hē þrȳðlīcost[8]
2870ōwēr feor oððe nēah  findan meahte,
þæt hē gēnunga  gūð-gewǣdu
wrāðe forwurpe,  ðā hyne wīg beget.
Nealles folc-cyning  fyrd-gesteallum
gylpan þorfte;  hwæðre him God ūðe,
2875sigora Waldend,  þæt hē hyne sylfne gewræc
āna mid ecge,  þā him wæs ehies þearf.
Ic him līf-wraðe  lȳtle meahte
ætgifan æt gūðe,  ond ongan swā þēah
ofer mīn gemet  mǣges helpan.
2880Symle wæs þȳ sǣmra,  þonne ic sweorde drep
ferhð-genīðlan;  fȳr unswīðor[9]
wēoll of gewitte.  Wergendra[10] tō lȳt
þrong ymbe þēoden,  þā, hyne sīo *þrāg becwom.Fol. 192b.
Nū[11] sceal sinc-þego  ond swyrd-gifu,
2885eall ēdel-wyn,  ēowrum cynne,
lufen ālicgean;  lond-rihtes mōt
þǣre mǣg-burge  monna ǣghwylc
īdel hweorfan,  syððan æðelingas
feorran gefricgean  flēam ēowerne,
2890dōm-lēasan dǣd.  Dēað bið sēlla
eorla gehwylcum  þonne edwīt-līf.̦”

  1. 2821. MS. ‘gumū unfrodū,’ doubtless another instance of “anticipation”; in l. 158 the MS. has ‘banū folmū,’
  2. 2828. MS. ‘him’; so Heyne and Wülcker. In all other instances forniman governs the accus.
  3. 2844. MS. ‘æghwæðre’; Kemble ‘æghwæðer.’ Grein ‘ǣghwæðre (acc. pl.) ende (nom.).’ But cf. l. 3063; besides, ǣghwæðer is found nowhere else in the pl.
  4. 2852. MS. ‘wilaf.’
  5. 2854. MS. ‘speop.’
  6. 2857. Thorpe reads ‘willan’ for ‘wiht’ (so Wülcker). Heyne’s emendation in text. It is easier to believe that the scribe omitted a word, than that he wrote wiht for willan.
  7. 2863. MS. ‘sec’
  8. 2869. MS. ‘þrydlicost.’
  9. 2881. MS. ‘fyrun (“u altered from a”) swiðor.’ Grein ‘fȳr ran swīðor.’ This makes Beowulf, instead of the dragon, the subject of wæs (2880), and spoils the passage. For “unswīðor,” cf. l. 2578.
  10. 2882. MS. ‘fergendra.’
  11. 2884 MS. ‘hu.’