Beowulf (Wyatt)/Beowulf 43

XLIII.

Him ðā gegiredan  Gēata lēode
ād on eorðan  unwāclīcne,
helm[um][1] behongen,  hilde-bordum,
3140beorhtum byrnum,  swā hā bēna wæs;
ālegdon ðā tōmiddes  mǣrne þēoden
hæleð hīofende,  hlāford lēofne.
Ongunnon þā on beorge  bǣl-fȳra mǣst
wīgend weccan;  wud[u]-rēc[2] āstāh
3145sweart ofer swioðole,[3]  swōgende lēg[4]
wōpe bewunden   (wind-blond gelæg),
oð þæt hē ðā bān-hūs  gebrocen hæfde,
hāt on hreðre.  Higum unrōte
mōd-ceare mǣndon  mon-dryhtnes cw[e]alm;[5]
3150swylce gīomor gyd  [6]*[sīo gēo-]mēowle[7]Fol. 198b.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .  [b]unden heorde
. . . sorg-cearig  sǣlSe geneahhe,
þæt hīo hyre : : : : : : : gas  hearde : : : : : de[8]
wæl-fylla wonn   : : : : des egesan
3155hyðo : h : : : : : d.  Heofon rēce swe[a]lg.[9]
Geworhton ðā  Wedra lēode
hl[ǣw][10] on [h]liðe,[11]  sē wæs hēah ond brād,
[wǣ]g-līðendum  wīde g[e]sȳne,[12]
ond betimbredon  on tȳn dagum
3160beadu-rōfes bēcn;  bronda lāfe[13]
wealle beworhton,  swā hyt weorðlīcost
fore-snotre men  findan mihton.
Hī on beorg dydon  bēg ond siglu,
eall swylce hyrsta,  swylce on horde ǣr
3165nīð-hēdige men  genumen hæfdon;
forlēton eorla gestrēon  eorðan healdan,
gold on grēote,  þǣr hit nū gēn lifað
eldum swā unnyt,  swā hi[t ǣro]r wæs.[14]
Þā ymbe hlǣw riodan  hilde-dēore
3170æþelinga bearn  ealra twelfa,
woldon [ceare][15] cwīðan,  kyning mǣnan,
word-gyd wrecan,  ond ymb w[er][16] sprecan;
eahtodan eorl-scipe,  ond his ellen-weorc
duguðum dēmdon,  swā hit ge-dē[fe][17] bið,
3175þæt mon his wine-dryhten  wordum herge,
ferhðum frēoge,  þonne hē forð scile
of līc-haman[18]  [lǣne][19] weorðan.
Swā begnornodon  Gēata lēode
hlāfordes [hry]re,[20]  heorð-genēatas;
3180cwǣdon þæt hē wǣre  wyruld-cyning,
manna mildust  ond mon-[ðw]ǣrust,[21]
lēodum līðost,  ond lof-geornost.

  1. 3139. MS. ‘helm.’ Grein’s emendation.
  2. 3144. Hole in MS.
  3. 3145. MS. ‘swicðole.’ A difficult word. Toller gives two or three instances of swice, swicc (?), “scent, smell.” Skeat suggests “smelling fir-wood,” from O.E. ðol(l), Icel. þollr, “a thole, a peg,” originally “fir-tree.” Grein connects with swaðul (l. 782). See glossary.
  4. MS. ‘let’; Thorpe ‘lēg.’
  5. 3149. MS. torn at foot.
  6. 3150. “Almost all that is legible in this page freshened up in a late hand.”—Z.
  7. 3150—5, I have treated these six mutilated lines in the same way as ll. 2214—20, that is to say, the text is an accurate reproduction of Zupitza’s transliteration of the MS. The only changes are the division into verse-lines, and the addition of length-marks, etc.; the letters in square brackets also are added from Zupitza’s foot-notes. For the most part it is needless to give the foot-notes themselves. The division into lines is not absolutely certain, but again I agree with Bugge, and again I arrived at the same conclusion as he quite independently—that this passage contains six verse-lines and not seven, as in Heyne, Wülcker, etc. For example, Heyne makes two half-lines between egesan and heofon, where, according to Zupitza, there is room in the MS. for only twelve letters. Similarly, Wülcker makes a whole line between wonn and hyðo. Since the rearrangement and renumbering in the text are confirmed by the alliteration and by Bugge’s restoration below, they may be considered proven. This makes the total number of lines in the poem one less—3182 (Wülcker 3183, Heyne 3184).

    With respect to ‘geo-meowle’ Zupitza says: “This reading is confirmed by the word written over meowle, which is neither con nor on, but, without any doubt, (the Latin) auns.”

  8. 3153. “The first two letters after hearde look like on or an, the letter before de may have been e, as the stroke that generally connects e with a following letter is preserved.”—Z.
  9. 3155. Bugge’s reconstruction of this passage (see “Beit.” x. 110—11) is, apart from the last half-line, hardly to be improved upon:
    3150swylce gīomor-gyd  sīo gēo-mēowle æfter Bēowulfe  bunden-heorde

    song sorg-cearig,  sǣde geneahhe,
    þæt hīo hyre hearm-dagas  hearde ondrēde,
    wæl-fylla worn,  wīgendes egesan,

    hȳnðo ond hæft-nyd,  hēof on rīce wealg.

    He adds: “For the whole passage cf. ll. 3016—20. Beowulf’s aged widow (gēo-mēowle) was perhaps Hygd; cf. ll. 2369 ff.

  10. 3157. Zupitza ‘hi : : on liðe,’ and in a foot-note: “I am unable to make out hlæw after leode: the two last letters seem to me to be rather eo.” See l. 3169.
  11. Thorpe ‘hliðe.’
  12. 3158. The remainder of this page is frequently illegible or defective, both at the edges and elsewhere.
  13. 3160. Heyne: “be lāfe—so MS. nach Zupitza.” This is an error; Zupitza has no be.
  14. 3168. Zupitza ‘hi : : : : r.’ Kemble’s emendation.
  15. 3171. Zupitza ‘: : : :’; Grein ‘ceare.’ Possibly the missing word is wōpe, as in “Gen.” 996.
  16. 3172. Zupitza ‘w : :’; Grein ‘wer.’
  17. 3174. Hole in MS.
  18. 3177. Zupitza: “lachaman MS., but there can be little doubt that lac instead of lic is owing only to the late hand.”
  19. Zupitza ‘: : : :’; Kemble ‘lǣne.’
  20. 3179. Zupitza ‘: : : re’; Thorpe ‘hryre.’
  21. 3181. MS. torn at foot.

    For a list of the words and syllables, the vowels of which are marked long in the MS., see the Preface.