Then for Hrothgar a horse was bridled,|
a horse with a braided mane. The wise prince
rode splendidly; the troop of shield-bearers
marched. The spoor was [lit. tracks were]
along the forest-tracks widely seen,
the track over the grounds went straight
over the murky moor, bore the young thane,
lifeless, that best one
of those who with Hrothgar watched over the homeland.
Then the son of princes, he passed over
steep rocky slopes, narrow paths,
a narrow single-file path, an unknown course,
steep bluffs of many nicor-lairs.
He, one of a few wise men,
rode in front, examined the land,
until he suddenly found a mountain-tree,
a joyless wood, leaning
over a hoary stone; water stood under (it),
bloody and churned. For all the Danes,
and for the friendly lord of the Scyldings it was painful in spirit
a suffering for many a thane,
the grief of each of the earls, when [lit. after] they came upon
AEscher's head on that sea-cliff.
The flood boiled with blood -while the folk watched [lit folk watching]-
with hot gore [blood]. The horn sang time and again
the ready warsong. The troop all sat.
Then they saw many of the serpent-kind,
strange sea-drakes, trying to swim in the water [lit. to try swimmings]
and also [saw] on the headlands nicors lying
[such as] often perform in the morning-time
a grievous journey on the sail-road,
[saw] serpents and wild beasts.
(The) men looked at the|
terrible stranger. Beowulf prepared himself
with armor, mourning/caring not at all for (his) life;
the battle corslet drawn by hand should
protect in swimming attempts his
body well-known ( corslet is made/known/proven to protect body)
(so) the hostile grasp might not injure his breast,
the angry malicious grasp (might not) harm his life. (see notes in K)
But the shining helmet protected his head
should the bottoms of lakes be stirred up,
(should) the adorned treasure visit the surging water
the splendid band was encased (in jewels???) so in
days of old the smith made him weapons,
wonderfully made and adorned with boarfigures that
no battleswords (would be) able ever to cut it (meaning this sword).
That was not of further powerful help in the least ( was not of the least
help) that spokesman Hrothgar lent to him in need;
the hilted sword was named Hrunting
that was one of previous treasure;
the sword was of iron, decorated with poisonous stripes,
hardened by blood-shed in battle. Never had it in battle escaped (failed?)
any of the men (whose) hands grasped it,
dared go to the battle place of the hostile one.
It was not the first time that it (meaning the sword)
should perform a courageous deed.
However, Ecglaf's son remembered not the
powerful strength/courage that he spoke of before
when drunk with wine. Then he lent the weapon
to the better warrior; (He) himself dared not
to venture on, to fight with his life under the waves,
perform valor; there he (meaning Unferth) lost glory,
(his) fame for courage. Not so was the other (B),
since/when he had perpared himself for battle.
Beowulf, son of Ecgtheow, spoke (made a speech):
"Think now the famous son of Healfdene,
wise prince, now I am ready for the journey,
generous prince, we who formerly spoke,
if I in distress lose (my) life,
you should (know) that you always were to me
in the place departed of (your) father (know you were always dear to me)."
Comrades, be protectors to my young retainers,|
if I am taken by war;
likewise the treasures, that you gave me,
beloved Hrothgar, send to Hygelac.
When he looks upon the gold, Lord of the Geats,
son of Hraedles, when he looks upon that treasure,
that I found by manly virtue
a good distributor of rings, I enjoyed the most.
And let Unferth have the old heirloom,
the splendid sword the widely known one,
hard of edge; I with Hruntinge will achieve
my glory, or death take me!'
After these words, the man of the Weder-Geats
hastened with zeal---he wished not at all
to remain for an answer; the sea surge received
the warrior. Then was a few days,
ere he was able to perceive the bottom of the mere.
Immediately that he found the expanse of the flood
the sword greedy hound of half-years,
grim and greedy, perceived that someone of the warriors
from above tried the dwelling of the monsters.
She grasped towards him, seized the warrior,
in horrid grasp; not at all it injured him
with its strong body; armor protected him from without,
that she was not able to pierce the coat of mail,
linked armor, with hateful claws.
Then the she-wolf of the sea bore him to the bottom,
the ring prince, to her dwelling,
so he might not---he was not courageous---
of weapons to wield, but many of the monsters
afflicted him in the water, many sea-beasts persecuted him
with battle-tusks broke the coat of mail.
Then the warrior understood,
that he was inside the battle-hall where water
not at all would harm him, the attack of the flood;
he saw firelight, shining light bright shining.
The good one saw then the accursed sea-monster,
the mighty water-witch;
He gave a might rush with the battlesword,|
his hand did not deny the stroke, so that the
ring-sword sung a greedy war-song about her head.
Then the guest (Beowulf) discovered that the bright
war-sword would not bite to harm her life, but the edge
failed the prince in need; it suffered many battles before,
and often cut through a helm, the war-cloth of the fated.
That was the first occasion for the excellent treasure
that it failed to perform his command.(Not sure about that
line). Afterwards he was resolute, and not slow of courage,
the kinsman of Hygelac was mindful of fame. He threw the
artfully wound sword so that it lay upon the earth, firm
and sharp-edged. He trusted in (his) strength, in (his)
might handgrip. So should a man do, if he intends to achieve
enduring glory in battle, he cares nothing for his life.
The prince of battle, now that he was enraged, seized
Grendle's mother by the shoulder (he did not shrink from
the struggle), and battle-brave he flung the deadly foe
so that she fell on the floor. She quickly repaid him his
reward and reached out to grab him in her dread claws. The
strongest of warriors, the footsoldier (Beowulf) stumbled
wearliy so that he fell. She sat upon her guest and drew
wide, bright knife, as she wished to avenge her son, her
only offspring. A woven corslet lay upon his shoulder,
it protected his life against point and edge, and did
not allow (her knife) entry. He would have perished, the
son of Ectheow, warrior of the Geats,under the wide ground,
if that war-corslet, strong battle-net, had not helped him,
and holg god brought about victory. the wise lord, ruler of
heavens, decided rightly, since afterwards he got up.
Then he saw the victorious sword/blade among the other arms,|
the ancient sword made by giants, with its strong edges,
the glory of warriors; that was the best of weapons--
1560 except that it was more than any other man
might be able to carry into battle,
[a sword] good and adorned, the handiwork of giants.
The bold warrior of the Scyldings, he grasped the hilt,
fierce and sword-grim, drew the ring-sword,
1565 despairing of life, struck angrily,
the one who grasped her hard by her neck;
the vertebrae broke; all the sword went through
the body doomed to die; she died on the floor,
the sword was bloody, the man rejoiced in the deed.
1570 The light shined, the light arose from within,
even as if the candle of the skies shines
from heaven. He looked along the building;
Hygelac's thane then turned to the wall,
raised the hard weapon by the hilt [pl.?],
1575 angry and resolute--the sword wasn't useless
to the warrior, but he quickly would
repay to Grendel much of the storm of battle
which he had performed against the West-Danes
much more often than on one occasion,
1580 when he slew the hearth-companions of Hrothgar
in their sleep, devoured fifteen men
of the sleeping Danish people,
and carried out the other such [number of men],
a hideous gift. He paid to him the reward,
1585 fierce champion, until he saw Grendel
lying dead in bed,
the lifeless one, as battle at Heorot
gave harm to him. The corpse spread widely,
since he suffered after the death blow,
1590 the hard sword-stroke, and thus so cut off his head.
þa ðe mid Hroðgare on holm wliton,
þæt wæs yðgeblond eal gemenged,
brim blode fah. Blondenfeaxe,
That they did not expect of this king|
That the famous prince might come to visit again victorious;
When he did not come at the ninth hour of the day
Many of them (gewealth ?) [figured, is the sense of it]
That the seawolf had killed him.
The valiant Scyldings left(gave up); the lord of men goes homeward thence;
The visitors sat sick of heart and stared at the mere.
They wished but not with hope that they might behold
1605 Their friendly lord himself.--Meanwhile after the bloodshed-in-battle
That sword, the battle sword, began to waste away into icicles;
That was one of the strange things
Iit melted more-like ice than bond of fros, when the Father loosens
1610 The waterfetters (icebond), he had the power(control) of
Opportunity ; that is the true God.
The lord of the Weather-Geats took no more treasures from that dwelling-place
Than that head and that shining hilt too, though he swaws many treasures.
1616 The sword had already melted. The damascened sword had burned up.
That hot blood was of that venomous alienspirit who died inside.
He who had lived through the fighting immediately was a-swimming
(He who had lived through) the fall in fight of the foe, swam up through
1620 The large dwelling place, the tossing waves were all cleansed,
When the alien spirit relinquished those lifedays and (left) the
When the stouthearted lord comes swimming to the land of the seafarers;
Then he rejoiced in the seabooty, in theme mighty beurden, ethose things
which he had along with him.
ðryðlic þegna heap, þeodnes gefegon,
þæs þe hi hyne gesundne geseon moston.
ða wæs of þæm hroran helm ond byrne
[The] king's band [of] splendid thanes then went towards him, rejoic[ing]|
[and] thank[ing] God because they [could] (lit:"must") see that he [was]
unharmed> That coat of mail [an] strong helmet [were] (lit: "was")
quickly taken off. [The] lake stagnated, [that] water under the sky
stained [with] [the] blood of slaughter. Royally brave men had fared
thence, travers[ing] [the] walking track (path) rejoic[ing] [in] spirit
[as they made their] way [down the] well known street from that sea
cliff[.] [B]earing Grendel's head, four of the very brave with
difficulty shall labor to carry [the] head on that battle pole--two on
either [end]--towards the gold hall, until presently [they] came to the
hall, their brave[ry] [proven] in war[.] [F]ourteen of the spirited
Geats, [their] lord (aka. Beowulf) with [them], the throng tread
the path near the mead hall. Then comes in [the] thanes' chief, [the]
man daring in deeds adorned [in] glory, brave in battle hero, to greet
Hrothgar. Grendel's head was then borne on the floor of [the] hall [by
the] hair of the head to (the place) where men drank, in the presence of
[the] lady with the noblemen, that terrible [yet] wondrous spectacle,
[the] men [just stared] (lit: "looked on").
Ecgtheowe's son Beowulf [declared] (lit: "made a speech"):
"Behold this sea-booty, Healfdene's son [prince of the] Dans, we
joyously brought you [this] token [of] glory [upon] which you here look.
1655 I hardly survived my life|
in war [battle] under water,
with difficulty; right away was
battle put an end to, God protected me.
At battle I could not achieve anything
1660 with Hrunting, though that weapon good
and I [was] granted [by] the Ruler of men
that I see on a wall a beautiful hanging
sword [both] old [and] mighty (often he guides
the friendless), [and was ] I who drew that weapon.
1665 When I had an opportunity, I then killed him in battle
as the house's guardian. Thereupon that battle sword
a burned up damascened sword, when that blood sprang forth,
[there was] hot bloodshed in battle. I then with that hilt
carried the fiend away, revenged his crime,
1670 of slaughtering Danes, as it was fitting.
I then promise you, that in Heorot you will
sleep free from care, with thy troop of men
and each retainer thy people,
old retainers and youths, that thou [have] no need [to]
fear him (Grendel- I presume),
1675 Lord of the Scyldings. On the half side
the killer of men are done." (this line confused me terribly)
Then was a golden hilt an ancient warrior [and]
old war chief, [was] in [his] hand given,
a giant's ancient work; he came in possession
1680 after the demon's fall [or death], Lord of the Danes,
the smith who makes wonderful things, and since left this
hostile hearted man, God's enemy,
murderous [and] guilty, and his mother also,
in coming to the power [of] the best
1685 earthly kings between the seas
there in the Scandinavia treasures were given.
Hrothgar spoke, examined the hilt,
[an] old hierloom, on them was engraved
[the origin of] ancient strife, when the flood
1690 [of] the rushing ocean, killed the race [of] giants
(terribly attained); was that estranged nation
[to] eternal God; [to] them this final reward
the Ruler [sent] through sea surging [or flooding] waters.
Likewise, on the sword-guards of bright gold it was rightly inscribed|
with runes, set down and told, for whom the sword was first made, the
best of swords, with a twisted hilt and serpentine ornamentation. Then
the wise man, the son of Half-Dane, spoke--all were silent--:
"Indeed, he may say, who brings(?) truth and right among the people,
who recalls allthings of long ago (=feor), an old guardian of the land,
that this warrior was born the better man! Power is exalted throughout
distant regions, my friend Beowulf, your (power) over every people. You
rule it all steadily, (rule) the strenghth with the wisdom of (your)
I shall stand by my friendship to you, as we two just discussed.
You shall prove a source of help to your people for quite a long time, a
help to men/warriors.
Heremod was not so to Ecgwela's retainers, the Ar-Scyldings; he
did not become great (=geweox him) for (=to) delight/joy, but rather for
the slaughter and destruction of the Danish people; enraged, he killed
his table companions, his comrades, until he, the notorious king, turn4d
away alone from the joy of life among men, although almighty God had set
him forth above all men, exalted him with might, withthe joys of
strength. Yet his heart grew bloodthirsty in his breast; he never
(=nalles) gave things of value to the Danes in pursuit of glory; he
existed, joyless, until he suffered the difficulty of the fight (???), an
enduring affliction to the people. You teach yourself from this; learn
munificence! I, old and wise(=frod) with winters, make this speech to
you.It is a wonder to tell (yes, that's a gerund, but I don't know how
else to phrase it) how how mighty God by means of his great mind/spirit
distributes wisdom to mankind, land and rank; he has power over all
monnes modgeþonc mæran cynnes,
Sometimes He allows man's thoughts of famous kin to wander in joy, gives him|
in his native land the joy of earth to rule the fortunes of men, gives him
regions of the world to control, large kingdoms, so that he himself, in his
unwisdom, cannot imagine the end of it. He lives in prosperity, sickness and
old age do not dwell at all with him, evil care does not darken his mind,
contention does not manifest itself anywhere in sword hate (war), but for
him all the world bends to his will; he does not know worse until the part
of pride inside him grows and flourishes when the watchman sleeps, the
guardian of his soul; the sleep is too deep, bound in trouble, the slayer is
very near, who shoots with the bow and wicked arrows. Then he is hit in his
breast, under his protection, with a sharp arrow - he does not know how to
protect himself - with the strange wicked commands of the accursed spirit;
he thinks it too little that which he has enjoyed for a long time, angry in
mind he is niggardly, in his pride he gives no gold plated rings, and he
forgets and neglects his destiny (fate) which God , the ruler of glory,
formerly gave him, a portion of honors. It comes to pass again in the end
that the frail body declines, falls to fate; another takes over who distributes
the treasures recklessly, the lord's old wealth, does not heed the horror.
Guard yourself against this wickedness, dear Beowulf, best of men, and choose
the better course, everlasting good counsel. Shun pride, famous warrior. Now
for a while is the glory of your strength; soon you will be otherwise, disease
or the sword will deprive you of strength, or the fire's grasp, or the
surging of the flood, or attack of the sword, or flying spear, or horrid old
age; or the brightness of your eyes will diminish and grow dim; presently you
will be so that death overcomes you, warrior.
1769 So I rules the Ring Danes 100 half-years|
the world under the sky and protected them against battle
from many tribes throughout this earth
from spears and swords, that I
under heaven's expanse did not consider any my adversary.
Lo, in the native lands came turning back
griefs after joy since Grendle came,
old adversary, my invader;
I then seeking continually carried
great sorrow of soul. Thanks be to the God,
Eternal Lord, that i ever lived to see
that my eyes gaze over the gory head of the old adversary!
Go now to the seat, enjoy the delightful feast
honored by the battle; I shall [do?] a great many things
common treasures, since it is morning."
The Geat was glad at heart, he soon went to seek
out the seat as the prudent one ordered.
there were at all times brave
sitters in the ahall fairly preparing a feast
new again (another feast?). The cover of night lowered
the dark over the retainers. The retainers all arose.
He wished to seek out the bed of the grey heaired,
old Scylding. The Geat well without measure,
reknowned shield-warrior, weary from the voyage
of a far country, desired rest immediately
a hall thane showed the way foreward, all watched
for the propriety the thane's need, which on that
day the sea warriors were wont to have.