after speeches, obeyed the wounded
lord, bore [his] coat of mail.
the woven coat of mail, under the roof of the mound.
Beside the seat he, the victorious
young retainer, saw many precious jewels,
glittering gold, close to the ground,
the wonder on the wall, and in the lair of the dragon,
the old nightflier, stood cups,
vessels from men of old, without a polisher,
deprived of ornaments; there were many a helmet,
old and rusty, many arm-rings
of twisted armor--Treasure, gold in the
ground, can easily overpower each
man--hide it who will!--
Also he saw an all-golden banner rest
high over the treasure, the greatest of wonderous things
worked by hand,
woven by skillful hands; a light shone [lit: stood] from it
[so] that he might see the surface of the floor,
look over the ornaments. There was not any
sight of the dragon but the sword that destroyed him.
Then I learned in the cave of a certain man's
plunder of treasure, old giant's handiwork;
cups and dishes of his own choice lay in his lap;
[He] also seized the banner,
the brightest of banners. The sword of the
dear lord [which had] previously injured him--
the sword was iron--was the protector
of the treasure for a long time. Waves of the fire-terror,
welling fiercely, hot for the treasure,
[in the] middle of nights until he died by slaying.
The messenger was in haste, eager for the return,
treasures advanced; curiosity tormented him,
[he was] excited whether the living, the prince of the Wedders,
[could be] found in the place,
deprived of strength, where he previously let go of him.
He [found] the famous prince with treasures,
his lord, bloody still (?)
at the end of his life; he afterwards
began to sprinkle him with sea-water
[lit=throw the sea at him],
until the point the word broke through
the heart. The king spoke:
"Ic ðara frætwa frean ealles ðanc,
ancient in sorrow---he looked at the gold---:
"I say thanks with words to the Lord of all these treasures,
2795 That I here look upon, to the King of Glory,
Eternal Lord, because I am allowed
to gain such as this for my people
before the day of death.
Now I prudently sold my allotted life
2800 For a treasure hoard, still I tend to
the troubles of my people, nor may I long be here.
Command the reknowned in battle to make a barrow
bright on account of funeral fire near the promontory of the sea;
which shall tower lofty on Hronesnesse
2805 as a memorial for my people,
that seafarers afterwards shall call it
the mound of Beowulf, then the ships
from afar will drive over the darkness of the sea."
He put from his neck a golden ring
2810 bold-minded king, made a present to the warrior
to the young spear-fighter, the helmet ornamented with gold,
the crown and corselet, commanded him to use well---
"You are the last one of our people,
of the Waegmundings; Wyrd swept all away
2815 my kinsmen to death,
warriors with courage; I must after them."
That was the last word by the ancient one
with thoughts of the heart, before he tasted the fire,
the hot hostile flames; soul departed from his breast
2820 to visit the glory of the righteous.
Then it was happened to the young man
painfully, that he saw on the ground
the most beloved of life at an end
pitifully borne. The slayer likewise lay,
2825 terrible of of earth-dragons bereft of life,
oppressed by evil. With the ring-hoard
the longest serpent coiled might no longer rule,
but swords of iron destroyed by it,
the strong battle-sharp sword of hammers,
2830 that the far-flier fixed by wounds
fell onto the ground near the treasure-house.
Not at all will it move about flying through the sky
in the middle of the night, proud of the sight
of the treasure it showed, but it fell to earth
2835 because of the deed of strength (handiwork) of the war-chief.
mægenagendra, mine gefræge,
þeah ðe he dæda gehwæs dyrstig wære,
þæt he wið attorsceaðan oreðe geræsde,
deed, that he might rush against the venomous beast of breath, or disturb
the ringhall with his hand, if he found the guarding watching, the
dweller in the hill. The great treasure cam to Beowulf, paid for in
death, each (Beo and Dragon) attained the end of their transitory life.
It was not long, until the cowards left the wood, the frightened
traitors, ten together, they dared not fight with spears in the greatest
need of their lord, but ashamedly bore their shields. the war dress to
where the old king lay, looked at Wiglaf. He sat wearily, the foot
warrior, near the shoulder of the king, and tried to stir him with water;
he did not succeed at all. He could not (do so) on earth though he wished
to very much, to hold the life in the chief, but did not turn the Ruler
in anything at all; the judgment of God willed to control the deeds of
every man, as he still does now.
Then an angry answer was easily obtained from the young man by
those previously bereft of courage. Wiglaf made a speech, the son of
Weohstan, a man sad at heart - he looked at the unloved ones -
"Indeed, that a mna may wish to say the truth, that the
liege-lord gave you treasures, the war dress that you stand there in,
when at the ale-bench he often gave helm and corslet to the hallsitters,
the lord to his thanes, the most splendid as he could find anywhere far
and near; that he straighforward threw away quickly his armor, when
battle came upon him. The king of the folk did not at all need to boast
about his war-comrades, however god granted him, the Lord of victories,
that he might avenge himself, alone with a sword, when courage was
needed. I could give little to save his life in battle, and began to
though (it was) beyond my means to help my kinsman.
[his] fire surged less strongly from his head. A few defenders
thronged forward around the prince, to whom evil times had come.
Now sahll the giving of swords and the receiving of treasures,
All the hereditary estate of your king cease joy/comfort.
2886b Each one of the kinsmen may be allowed the privileges belonging to
the prince, deprived of moving about, when they might ask questions about
your flight, your inglorious deed.
2890b Death is better for each earl than a life of disgrace!"
He commanded when that battlework for an enclosure be announced
up over the steep cliff, where tat band of warriors [should] sit the
whole morning long , sad at heart, the shield bearers, both in
expectations of the last day of death and of the return of the beloved of
2897b They were not at all silent of new stories, he who wan not skillful,
2899 But he faithfully said in the hearing of all:
2900 "Now the joygiver/the lord, the leader of the Weders, the lord of
the Geats, is bound to the deathbed,
He occupies a bed of slaughter, the work of the dragon;
2903 He lies beside him, the old life enemy
with sick wounds; a sword might not [do] any handiwork, any wound in that monster.
2906b Wiglaf, the son of Wichstan, sat over Beowulf
earl over the others dead,
He guards in distress of soul [as] Beowulf and the dragon [go?]
heavenward (or does Wiglaf turn in his distress toward heaven?)
(then what happens with B and the worm?)
2910b Now is the people's expectation of time of war, when under the
Franks and Frisians the fall of kings becomes far and wide.
2913b That hard strife was with the Franks, when Higelac came
to proceed with a naval force (flotilla) into the Frisian land,
where the Franks attacked his in battle and went with courage among a
superior force, that
2918 mhat mailed warrior who should sink to penetrate the band on foot;
no one gave decorated treasures or weapons to the older veteran.
2920b To us was always the kindness of the Merovingians denied.
(The Merovingians' kindness was always denied to us.)
wihte ne wene, ac wæs wide cuð
þætte Ongenðio ealdre besnyðede
in any way, and [it] was widely known
that Ongenthio deprived the life of
2925 Hæthcen[,] son of Hrethel[,] near Ravenswood (a forest in
when for arrogance the Geatish people
first sought out the Swedes.
The wise father of Ohthere, old and terrible,
soon gave a counterblow
2930 [which] cut down the king, rescued his wife,
the aged old woman deprived of her gold,
the mother of Onela and Othere,
and he pursued his life enemies,
until they escaped[,] with difficulty[,]
2935 into Ravenswood without a chief (or lord).
Then a huge army besieged the swords survivors,
wound exhausted, often giving misery (or trouble)
to the distressed company the entire night,
by saying, [that] in the morning they would be cut open by his
2940 sword's edge, [and] many [would hang] on the gallows tree [as]
sport for birds. But help again came
to the sad hearted at day break,
when they heard the sound of Hygelacs
horn and trumpet, where the able/brave people came
2945 in proceeding after his retainers.
That bloody track of Swedes and Geats
was a conflict widely evident [among] men,
how the people among him stired up the fued.
Then he with each of his good kinsmen,
2950 wise, very sad, visited a stronghold,
the noble Ongenthio, turned further away;
having heard of Higelacs valor,
proud prowess, [he did] not trust that the seamen
had the stregnth of resistence to fight with the sea warriors,
2955 to defend his treasure, his sons and wife,
[so they chose to] flee against the inside of
an old earth-wall. Then was pursuit offered
to the Swedish people, Higelacs banners
henceforth overran that field of refuge,
2960 when the Geat people had enclosed onto the encampment.
Driven by the force of edged swords,
the gray haired Ongenthiow was brought to bay,
the king of a people had to submit
to Eafore's judgment.
forth [from] streams (veins) under [the] hair of his head. He wasn't
afraid, nevertheless in this manner [the] aged Scilfing quickly repaid
[for a] worse exchange the slaughter-blow, when [the] king of [the]
people turned there. Nor might the quick son of Wonred give [a]
counter-blow [to the] old man, but he cut through his (son of W.'s)
helmet [and] into [his] head ere that he should fall (stained) [with]
blood, onto [the] ground [he] fell. He wasn't doomed to die yet then,
he recovered nevertheless, [though] the wound reached him. Hygelac's
brother lay low [so the] thane allowed the hard broad sword, that ancient
sword made by giants to break over [his] helmet and protecting shield
made by giants; then [the] king, the folks' guardian fell, [and] was
mortally wounded. Then [there] were many who quickly bound [and] raised
him up since it happened [that] they cleared the battlefield to rule
[it]. Meanwhile [a] man robbed [the] other, seized Ongentheow in [his]
iron corslet and his ornamented helmet together [with his] hard
hilted old sword, [which] he bore to Hygelac. He (this individual)
recieved the treasures and vowed courteously [to?] him leans
(mortgages?) amid [the] people, [the] Geats' lord stood by and was so
repaid. [T]hen Hrethel's sons, Iofore and Wulfe, [returned] home amid
exceeding treasure, [and Hrethel gave] both of them [a] hundred-thousand
lands intertwined [with] precious rings - no man in middleyard need reproach
them since Hygelac then gave Iofore his only daughter, his home-ornament,
[as a] pledge [for] loyalty. [Due to] that, the emnity and the hostility
[of] deadly-hate is men's, [thus] I expected [the] Swedish people to seek
us [now that] our king, who held [our] hoard and riches against our
enemies, [lies] lifeless after [the] heros' death. What benefit is
performed [by the] shield-warriors, and furthermore still nobility
performed. Haste is best now that we bring [the] king of a people
[who] gave us things of value, [to] [the] way to the funeral pyre
[to] behold there.
meltan mid þam modigan, ac þær is maðma hord,
gold unrime grimme geceapod,
ond nu æt siðestan sylfes feore
beagas gebohte. þa sceall brond fretan,
shall melt together with the high spirited one, there is a precious
countless gold grimly traded,
and now at last rings bought with his own life;
then fire shall consume,
3015 fire (shall) cover, not at all shall the earls carry
precious rememberances, nor beautiful women
have on neck ring adornment,
but shall be sad of mind, not bearing gold
tread in foreign country, often not at all once,
3020 now that the army leader gave up laughter,
joy and mirth. Therefore the spear shall,
many a cold morning in hands grasped,
have in hand, not at all shall harp music
wake warriors, but the dark raven
3025 eager over the dead shall speak much,
tell the eagle how he succeeded at the meal,
while he with (or against see note) robbed those slain in battle.'
As the brave man was saying of
hateful tales; nor he lied much in
3030 facts nor words. The host all arose;
were joyless under Earnanaes,
with gushing tears behold the wonderful thing.
They found on the shore lifeless
holding the bed of rest him who gave them rings
3035 in earlier times; There the last day was in
good reach, that the war king,
Wedder prince, died a wonderous death.
First they say the strange creature,
the hateful dragon lying in the field opposite
3040 the dead (one); the fire dragon
was fierce terrible in varigated colors scorched with flames;
it was 50 footmark(s)
long in lying; it held the joyous air
at night, then departed downward after
3045 to inspect the den; it was there in fast death,
it had make his last use of earth caverns.
Cups and pitchers sood by it,
plates heaped and dear swords,
rusty through, as they had remained in there in the
3050 earth's bosom for 1000 winters.
iumonna gold galdre bewunden,
þæt ðam hringsele hrinan ne moste
gumena ænig, nefne god sylfa,
spell so that no man must touch the ringhall, unless God himself--he is
the protector of men--the true king of victories, gave the hoard to whom he
would, to whomever of men seemed fit, to open. Then it was evident that
the undertaking did not profit the man (him) who had wrongfully hidden
the ornaments within, under the wall. The guardian had before slain a
certain man of a few (??); then the battle ws cruelly avenged. It is a
wonder anywhere when a warrior famed for his courage may reach the end of
his life, when a man may no longer dwell amongst his kinsmen inthe mead
house. So it was with Beowulf when he sought a battle (picked a fight)
with the guardian of the cave; he himself did not know through what
action (thurh hwaet) his parting from the world should come. The great
princes who had put it (the treasure or the curse?) there had solemnly
declared that until judgement day the man who plundered the place would
be guilty of sins, restrained (in?) idol-fanes, held fast by the bonds of
hell, tormented by evils, unless the Owner's favor had been shown clearly
before to the one who was greedy for gold (this is acc.pl. in the
glossary, but I can't make it work that way in modern English--perhaps
"unless he had clearly shown the Owner's favor before to the one who was
greedy for gold"?).
Wiglaf, son of Wihstan, spoke: "Often many a man must endure
distress for the sake of one, as has happened to us. We could not
convince our dear prince, the keeper of the kingdom, with any counsel,
that he (should) not attack the grardian of the gold, but let him lie
where he long had been, and remain in his dwellings until the world's
end. He held onto his destiny; the hoard, griomly won, is revealed; that
which impelled him thither was too strongly fated. I was there (therein)
and saw all of it, the precious things of the hall, when it was granted
to me; the journey within under the earthen wall was not permitted at all
gently (peaceably?). Hastily I siezed in my hands a great burden of
treasures from the hoard, and carried it hither to my king.
wise and conscious/ spoke a great many things
ancient in sorrow/ and called to greet you,
bade that you make/ that lofty barrow
after the deeds of the friendly lord (heh?)/ in the place of the pyre
great and famous/ as he was of men
the worthiest warrior/ widely over the earth
as long as he might enjoy the use of the castle-wealth.
Let us now hasten/ to the next journey
to look and to seek/ the heap of precious gems,
the wonder under the wall/ I [will] guide you
that you [might] behold from near[by]
abundant rings and broad gold./ We speedily performed
the preparations for the bier (very liberal translation)
/then we came out
and carried/ our king,
that beloved man, [to] where he shall long remain
in the keeping of the Lord.
The son of Wihstan/ the warrior brave in battle
then called to command / many warriors,
(many) landowners/ that they bring
bale-wood for the chief/ from afar,
towards the good (man): 'Now shall fire consume
(the flame wax dark), the ruler of warriors,
he who often lived through/ the iron shower,
when the storm of arrows/ urged on strengths
[scoc-? shot? shock?] over the shieldwall/ the shaft had use
eager for feathergear/ the arrow followed.'
Indeed the wise/ son of Wihstan
called forth from the troop/ of the king's thanes
seven [al]together/ the best
those certain eight warriors/ went under the enemy's roof;
one, he who went in point/ bore in his hand
It was not decided by lot/ as they plundered that hoard
thereupon without a guardian/ the men beheld
any share/ was situated in the hall,
lying transitory;/ any (of them) mourned little
that they speedily/ carried out
the dear treasure;/ also shoved the dragon,
the wyrm over the wallcliff,/ let the wave take
the guardian of treasures,/ (let) the water embrace (him).
Then [worked? woven?]gold/ was laden in the wain,
a countless number of everything/ bore the prince,
the old warrior/ to Hronesnaes.
The Geatish people/ then made ready in the earth
the funeral pyre for him,/ unweak (=splendid)
behung with helms,/ battle shields,
bright corslets,/ as he requested.
hæleð hiofende, hlaford leofne.
Ongunnon þa on beorge bælfyra mæst
wigend weccan; wudurec astah,
their beloved lord, in the middle.
The warriors then began to kindle, on the cliff,
the greatest of funeral fires; wood-smoke ascended,
3145 black above the flame(s), the roaring fire
mingling with the weeping--the tumult of the winds subsided--
until he (the fire), hot to the heart, had broken
the bones' house. With sad spirits,
they uttered their sorrow of soul, the death of their lord;
3150 likewise, the sorrowful old woman,
with her hair bound up, sang a mournful song
for Beowulf, told earnestly
that she herself sorely dreaded the evil day,
feared a great quantity of slaughter, fear of the warrior,
3155 humiliation and captivity. Heaven swallowed up the smoke.
Then the Weather-Geat people made,
on the cliff, a mound that was high and broad,
for seafarers, visible from far and wide,
and they built in ten days
3160 a monument of the one who was bold in battle, surrounded his ashes
with a wall, as most splendidly as
the very clever men were able to devise it.
Within the barrow, they placed the ring(s) and jewels,
also all the armor, just as from the hoard
3165 hostile men had before taken away.
They let the earth hold the wealth of nobles,
gold in the earth, there still it lies now,
as useless to men as it was before.
Then the children of nobles, twelve men,
3170 brave in battle, rode around the barrow,
wished to express their grief, and to speak of their king,
to recite their elegy, and to talk about the man;
they esteemed his high nobility and praised highly
his courageous deeds--as it is fitting
3175 that a man should praise with words his friendly lord,
that he should love him in his heart, when (his lord) should
be led forth from his body.
So the Geatish people, the hearth companions,
lamented the death of their lord;
3180 They said that he was of earthly kings
the kindest of men, and the gentlest,
the gentlest to his people and most eager for praise.