Beowulf (Wyatt)/Beowulf 41

XLI.

Wæs sīo swāt-swaðu  Sw[ē]ona[1] ond Gēata,
wæl-rǣs weora,  wīde gesȳne,
hū ðā folc mid him  fǣhðe tōwehton.
Gewāt him ðā se gōda  mid his gædelingum,
2950frōd, fela-gēomor,  fæsten sēcean,
eorl Ongenþīo  ufor oncirde;
hæfde Higelāces  hilde gefrūnen,
wlonces wīg-cræft;  wiðres ne trūwode,
þæt hē sǣ-mamium  onsacan mihte,
2955hēaðo-līðendum,  hord forstandan,
bearn ond brȳde;  bēah eft þonan
eald under eorð-weall.  Þā wæs ǣht boden
Swēona lēodum,  segn Higelāce[s];[2]
freoðo-wong þone  forð[3] oferēodon,
2960syððan Hrēðlingas  tō hagan þrungon.
Þǣr wearð Ongenðīow  ecgum sweorda,[4]
blonden-fexa,  on bīd wrecen,
þæt se þēod-cyning  ðafian sceolde
Eafores[5] *ānne dōm.  Hyne yrringaFol. 194a.
2965Wulf Wonrēding  wǣpne gerǣhte,
þæt him for swenge  swāt ǣdrum sprong
forð under fexe.  Næs hē forht swā ðēh,
gomela Scilfing,  ac forgeald hraðe
wyrsan wrixle  wæl-hlem þone,
2970syððan ðēod-cyning  þyder oncirde.
Ne meahte se snella  sunu Wonrēdes
ealdum ceorle  ondslyht[6] giofan,
ac hē him on hēafde  helm ǣr gescer,
þæt hē blōde fāh  būgan sceolde,
2975fēoll on foldan;  næs hē fǣge þā git,
ac hē hyne gewyrpte,  þēah ðe him wund hrine.
Lēt se hearda  Higelāces þegn
brād[n]e[7] mēce,  þā his brōðor læg,
eald sweord eotonisc,  entiscne helm
2980brecan ofer bord-weal;  ðā gebēah cyning,
folces hyrde,  wæs in feorh dropen.
Ðā wǣron monige,  þe his mǣg wriðon,
ricone ārǣrdon,  ðā him gerȳmed wearð,
þæt hīe wæl-stōwe  wealdan mōston,
2985þenden rēafode  rinc ōðerne,
nam on Ongenðīo  īren-byrnan,
heard swyrd hilted  ond his helm somod;
hāres hyrste  Higelāce bær.
Hā ð[ām][8] frætwum fēng,  ond him fægre gehēt
2990lēana [for][9] *lēodum,  ond gelǣste[10] swā;Fol. 194b.
geald þone gūð-rǣs  Gēata dryhten,
Hrēðles eafora,  þā hē tō hām becōm,
Iofore ond Wulfe  mid ofer-māðmum,
sealde hiora gehwæðrum  hund þūsenda
2995landes ond locenra beaga;  ne ðorfte him ðā lēan oðwītan
mon on middan-gearde,  syðða[n][11] hīe ðā mǣrða geslōgon;
ond ðā Iofore forgeaf  āngan dohtor,
hām-weorðunge,  hyldo tō wedde.
Þæt ys sīo fǣhðo  ond se fēond-scipe,
3000wæl-nīð wera,  ðæs ðe ic [wēn] hafo,[12]
þē ūs sēceað tō  Swēona lēoda,[13]
syððan hīe gefricgeað  frēan ūserne
ealdor-lēasne,  þone ðe ǣr gehēold
wis hettendum  hord ond rīce
3005æfter hæleSa hryre,  hwate Scilfingas,[14]
folc-rēd fremede,  oððe furður gēn
eorl-scipe efnde.  [15] is ofost betost,
þæt wē þēod-cyning  þǣr scēawian,
ond þone gebringan,  þe ūs bēagas geaf,
3010on ād-fære.  Ne scel ānes hwæt
meltan mid þām mōdigan,  ac þǣr is māðma hord,
gold unrīme,  grimme gecēa[po]d,[16]
ond nū æt sīðestan  sylfes fēore
bēagas [geboh]te;  þā sceall brond fretan,
3015ǣled þeccean,  *nalles eorl weganFol. 195a.
māððum tō gemyndum,  ne mægð scȳne
habban on healse  hring-weorðunge,
ac sceal gēomor-mōd,  golde berēafod,
oft, nalles ǣne,  el-land tredan,
3020nū se here-wīsa  hleahtor ālegde,
gamen ond glēo-drēam.  Forðon sceall gār wesan,
monig morgen-ceald,  mundum bewunden,
hæfen on handa,  nalles hearpan swēg
wīgend weccean,  ac se wonna hrefn
3025fūs ofer fǣgum  fela reordian,
earne secgan  hū him æt ǣte spēow,
þenden hē wið wulf  wæl rēafode.”
Swā se secg hwata[17]  secgende[18] wæs
lāðra spella;  hē ne lēag fela
3030wyrda ne worda.  Weorod eall ārās;
ēodon unblīðe  under Earna næs,
wollen-tēare,  wundur scēawian.
Fundon ðā on sande  sāwul-lēasne
hlim-bed[19] healdan,  þone þe him hringas geaf
3025ǣrran[20] mǣlum;  þā wæs ende-dæg
gōdum gegongen,  þæt se gūð-cyning,
Wedra þēoden,  wundor-dēaðe swealt.
Ǣr hī þǣr gesēgan  syllīcran wiht,
wyrm on wonge  wiðer-ræhtes þǣr
3040lāðne licgean;  wæs se lēg-draca,
grimlīc gryr[e],[21]  *glēdum beswǣled.Fol. 195b.
Sē wæs fīftiges  fōt-gemearces
lang on legere;  lyft-wynne hēold
nihtes hwīlum,  nyðer eft gewāt
3045dennes nīosian;  wæs ðā dēaðe fæst,
hæfde eorð-scrafa  ende genyttod.
Him big stōdan  būnan ond orcas,
discas lāgon  ond dȳre swyrd,
ōmige, þurh-etone,  swā hīe wið eorðan fæðm
3050þūsend wintra  þǣr eardodon;
þonne wæs þæt yrfe  ēacen-cræftig,
īu-monna gold,  galdre bewunden,
þæt ðām hring-sele  hrīnan ne mōste
gumena ǣnig,  nefne God sylfa,
3055sigora Sōð-cyning,  sealde þām ðe hē wolde
(hē is manna gehyld)  hord openian,
efne swā hwylcum manna,  swā him gemet ðūhte.

  1. 2946. MS. ‘swona.’
  2. 2958. Grein and Heyne retain the MS. reading; the latter explains: “Das auf der Flucht entrissene Banner der Schweden kam in Hygelācs Hände.” But it is a far cry from giving chase to the capture of the banner, not to mention the violent zeugma in boden. Bugge supports Kemble’s emendation, adopted in the text: “Das erhobene banner ist das merkmal der verfolgung.”
  3. 2959. MS. ‘ford.’ Heyne thinks freoðo-wong may be a proper name. Would it, in that case, be followed by ðone?
  4. 2961. MS. ‘sweordū.’
  5. 2964. Heyne ‘Eofores.’ But see l. 2757 and note.
  6. 2972. See note on l. 2929.
  7. 2978. MS. ‘brade.’
  8. 2989. MS. defective at corner, here and in the next line.
  9. 2990. A word is missing in the MS. in the first half of this line. B has two dots, Zupitza three. Kemble ‘on.’ For for lēodum cf. “Daniel” 720: “hē for lēodum lygeword gecwæð.”
  10. MS. ‘gelæsta.’
    
  11. 2996. MS. ‘syðða.’
  12. 3000. No gap in MS. Kemble’s emendation. Cf. l. 383.
  13. 3001. Heyne ‘leode.’ For the pl. lēoda see Wulfstan (ed. Napier) 106. 23, and Ps. 71. 10.
  14. 3005. MS. ‘Scildingas.’ Müllenhoff considered this line a careless repetition of l. 2052. It is the easiest way out of the difficulty. Thorpe ‘Scyldingas,’ and in a foot-note: "Hence it would appear that Beowulf, in consequence of the fall of Hrothgar’s race, was called to rule also over the Danes (Scyldings).” The punctuation in the text allows Scylfingas to be taken in apposition with hīe in l. 3002, which is intolerably forced, or parallel with hord ond rīce in l. 3004. I favour the latter interpretation, if the line is to be kept, and can only suppose that the term “Scylfingas” could be applied equally, on the ground of common ancestry, to both Swedes and Geats. See l. 2603, where Wiglaf is called “lēod Scylfinga.”
  15. 3007. MS. ‘meis.’ Kemble’s emendation. Mē is is is a possible reading.
  16. 3012. MS. defective at corner, here and in l. 3014.
  17. 3028. Grein and Zupitza ‘secg-hwata.’
  18. MS. ‘secg gende,’ probably due to “repetition.” But see Sievers § 216, N. 1.
  19. 3034. Grein (after Grimm) ‘hlīn-bed.’ See note on l. 1271.
  20. 3035. MS. ‘ærrun’ (“u altered from a by erasure.”—Z.) Sievers § 304, N. 2.
  21. 3041. MS. defective at corner. Heyne ‘gryre-gæst’ (cf. l. 2560), based on Kölbing’s statement that there is room for from four to six letters on the missing corner. This seems more than doubtful. B ‘gry…”; Zupitza ‘gryr[e]’ simply. It would appear from the facsimile that the corner of the folio was defective from the very first and that certainly not more than one letter is missing. This is confirmed by the fact, that if the corner had been perfect there had been ample space for two or three letters after laðne at the end of the bottom line but one.