24 November 2010

The Death of Beowulf with Grummere Translation

Þā ic on hlǣwe   gefrægn hord rēafian,
eald enta geweorc   ānne mannan,
him on bearm hladan   bunan and discas
sylfes dōme,   segn ēac genom,
bēacna beorhtost;   bill ǣr‐gescōd
(ecg wæs īren)   eald‐hlāfordes
þām þāra māðma   mund‐bora wæs
longe hwīle,   līg‐egesan wæg
hātne for horde,   hioro‐weallende,
middel‐nihtum,   oð þæt hē morðre swealt.
Ār wæs on ofoste   eft‐sīðes georn,
frætwum gefyrðred:   hyne fyrwet bræc,
hwæðer collen‐ferð   cwicne gemētte
in þām wong‐stede   Wedra þēoden,
ellen‐sīocne,   þǣr hē hine ǣr forlēt.
Hē þā mid þām māðmum   mǣrne þīoden,
dryhten sīnne   drīorigne fand
ealdres æt ende:   hē hine eft ongon
wæteres weorpan,   oð þæt wordes ord
brēost‐hord þurhbræc.   Bēowulf maðelode,
gomel on giohðe   (gold scēawode):

"Ic þāra frætwa   frēan ealles þanc
wuldur‐cyninge   wordum secge,
ēcum dryhtne,   þē ic hēr on starie,
þæs þe ic mōste   mīnum lēodum
ǣr swylt‐dæge   swylc gestrȳnan.
Nū ic on māðma hord   mīne bebohte
frōde feorh‐lege,   fremmað gē nū
lēoda þearfe;   ne mæg ic hēr leng wesan.
Hātað heaðo‐mǣre   hlǣw gewyrcean,
beorhtne æfter bǣle   æt brimes nosan;
se scel tō gemyndum   mīnum lēodum
hēah hlīfian   on Hrones næsse,
þæt hit sǣ‐līðend   syððan hātan
Bīowulfes biorh,   þā þe brentingas
ofer flōda genipu   feorran drīfað."

Dyde him of healse   hring gyldenne
þīoden þrīst‐hȳdig,   þegne gesealde,
geongum gār‐wigan,   gold‐fāhne helm,
bēah and byrnan,   hēt hyne brūcan well:

"Þū eart ende‐lāf   ūsses cynnes,
Wǣgmundinga;   ealle Wyrd forswēof,
mīne māgas   tō metod‐sceafte,
eorlas on elne:   ic him æfter sceal."

Þæt wæs þām gomelan   gingeste word
brēost‐gehygdum,   ǣr hē bǣl cure,
hāte heaðo‐wylmas:   him of hreðre gewāt
sāwol sēcean   sōð‐fæstra dōm.





Then, I heard, the hill of its hoard was reft,
old work of giants, by one alone;
he burdened his bosom with beakers and plate
at his own good will, and the ensign took,
brightest of beacons. -- The blade of his lord
-- its edge was iron -- had injured deep
one that guarded the golden hoard
many a year and its murder-fire
spread hot round the barrow in horror-billows
at midnight hour, till it met its doom.
Hasted the herald, the hoard so spurred him
his track to retrace; he was troubled by doubt,
high-souled hero, if haply he'd find
alive, where he left him, the lord of Weders,
weakening fast by the wall of the cave.
So he carried the load. His lord and king
he found all bleeding, famous chief
at the lapse of life. The liegeman again
plashed him with water, till point of word
broke through the breast-hoard. Beowulf spake,
sage and sad, as he stared at the gold. --


"For the gold and treasure, to God my thanks,
to the Wielder-of-Wonders, with words I say,
for what I behold, to Heaven's Lord,
for the grace that I give such gifts to my folk
or ever the day of my death be run!
Now I've bartered here for booty of treasure
the last of my life, so look ye well
to the needs of my land! No longer I tarry.
A barrow bid ye the battle-fanned raise
for my ashes. 'Twill shine by the shore of the flood,
to folk of mine memorial fair
on Hrones Headland high uplifted,
that ocean-wanderers oft may hail
Beowulf's Barrow, as back from far
they drive their keels o'er the darkling wave."


From his neck he unclasped the collar of gold,
valorous king, to his vassal gave it
with bright-gold helmet, breastplate, and ring,
to the youthful thane: bade him use them in joy.


"Thou art end and remnant of all our race
the Waegmunding name. For Wyrd hath swept them,
all my line, to the land of doom,
earls in their glory: I after them go."


This word was the last which the wise old man
harbored in heart ere hot death-waves
of balefire he chose. From his bosom fled
his soul to seek the saints' reward.

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