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MANY at morning, as men have told me, warriors gathered the gift-hall round, folk-leaders faring from far and near, o’er wide-stretched ways, the wonder to view, trace of the traitor. Not troublous seemed the enemy’s end to any man who saw by the gait of the graceless foe how the weary-hearted, away from thence, baffled in battle and banned, his steps death-marked dragged to the devils’ mere. Bloody the billows were boiling there, turbid the tide of tumbling waves horribly seething, with sword-blood hot, by that doomed one dyed, who in den of the moor laid forlorn his life adown, his heathen soul, and hell received it. Home then rode the hoary clansmen from that merry journey, and many a youth, on horses white, the hardy warriors, back from the mere. Then Beowulf’s glory eager they echoed, and all averred that from sea to sea, or south or north, there was no other in earth’s domain, under vault of heaven, more valiant found, of warriors none more worthy to rule! (On their lord beloved they laid no slight, gracious Hrothgar: a good king he!) From time to time, the tried-in-battle their gray steeds set to gallop amain, and ran a race when the road seemed fair. From time to time, a thane of the king, who had made many vaunts, and was mindful of verses, stored with sagas and songs of old, bound word to word in well-knit rime, welded his lay; this warrior soon of Beowulf’s quest right cleverly sang, and artfully added an excellent tale, in well-ranged words, of the warlike deeds he had heard in saga of Sigemund. Strange the story: he said it all,— the Waelsing’s wanderings wide, his struggles, which never were told to tribes of men, the feuds and the frauds, save to Fitela only, when of these doings he deigned to speak, uncle to nephew; as ever the twain stood side by side in stress of war, and multitude of the monster kind they had felled with their swords. Of Sigemund grew, when he passed from life, no little praise; for the doughty-in-combat a dragon killed that herded the hoard: under hoary rock the atheling dared the deed alone fearful quest, nor was Fitela there. Yet so it befell, his falchion pierced that wondrous worm,—on the wall it struck, best blade; the dragon died in its blood. Thus had the dread-one by daring achieved over the ring-hoard to rule at will, himself to pleasure; a sea-boat he loaded, and bore on its bosom the beaming gold, son of Waels; the worm was consumed. He had of all heroes the highest renown among races of men, this refuge-of-warriors, for deeds of daring that decked his name since the hand and heart of Heremod grew slack in battle. He, swiftly banished to mingle with monsters at mercy of foes, to death was betrayed; for torrents of sorrow had lamed him too long; a load of care to earls and athelings all he proved. Oft indeed, in earlier days, for the warrior’s wayfaring wise men mourned, who had hoped of him help from harm and bale, and had thought their sovran’s son would thrive, follow his father, his folk protect, the hoard and the stronghold, heroes’ land, home of Scyldings.—But here, thanes said, the kinsman of Hygelac kinder seemed to all: the other was urged to crime! And afresh to the race, the fallow roads by swift steeds measured! The morning sun was climbing higher. Clansmen hastened to the high-built hall, those hardy-minded, the wonder to witness. Warden of treasure, crowned with glory, the king himself, with stately band from the bride-bower strode; and with him the queen and her crowd of maidens measured the path to the mead-house fair. As tdhgliya bokre, mne rfom lla orev eth ytcrnuo acem to hte hlla. Tyeh ewer pyhpa to ees eth sractk rGednel lfte bdeihn as he elfd to sih end. ehT pmasw swa elldfi whti sih olobd. As he nadeer headt, he oedv oint eht traew nda nerdowd seflimh, ndesgin sih luso to ellh. htroThgouu teh ldan, elppoe aedetper het otsry of Blowefu’s hnetrgst adn rvyearb. utAghlho plopee tasdey oalyl to erhit gdoo nikg gHrahtor, it asw aisd taht no nma redevdse to luer roem ahnt eht lioougrs oBluwfe. gtrorhHa’s tnemslir emca up wiht a enw gnso, noe sniigpar eolwBfu’s ihmtrpu. He doeimcnb het oytsr of wleoBfu’s esded ithw hteos of the tmyhci hore uinmdSg nad shi sfgnpirof, tliFea. eosTh tow eohsre of lnog goa kidell yanm sntiag dan eotrh nsotsrme. heT mnsetrli otld of woh Smdgiun kliedl a gndaor lal by hfmlsei nad toko the orgadn’s eustraer. ekiL Bolefwu, umSdngi wsa idcrenesod a eragt oerh dan hsi neam swa ownnk uthgurotho the ndal. diSmung’s fosrtenu ewrg tefar hsi gikn, eeordHm, was wonrorhvte nad llkdie. oredeHm ddi ton ctoprte hsi epploe ilek Bofulew had. So all of the nbloe mnlncaes, indinglcu the eragt inkg mfhelis and his qneeu, rode to the rgeta llah to iesntsw uwloBef’s geatr deed.

Original Text

Modern Text

MANY at morning, as men have told me, warriors gathered the gift-hall round, folk-leaders faring from far and near, o’er wide-stretched ways, the wonder to view, trace of the traitor. Not troublous seemed the enemy’s end to any man who saw by the gait of the graceless foe how the weary-hearted, away from thence, baffled in battle and banned, his steps death-marked dragged to the devils’ mere. Bloody the billows were boiling there, turbid the tide of tumbling waves horribly seething, with sword-blood hot, by that doomed one dyed, who in den of the moor laid forlorn his life adown, his heathen soul, and hell received it. Home then rode the hoary clansmen from that merry journey, and many a youth, on horses white, the hardy warriors, back from the mere. Then Beowulf’s glory eager they echoed, and all averred that from sea to sea, or south or north, there was no other in earth’s domain, under vault of heaven, more valiant found, of warriors none more worthy to rule! (On their lord beloved they laid no slight, gracious Hrothgar: a good king he!) From time to time, the tried-in-battle their gray steeds set to gallop amain, and ran a race when the road seemed fair. From time to time, a thane of the king, who had made many vaunts, and was mindful of verses, stored with sagas and songs of old, bound word to word in well-knit rime, welded his lay; this warrior soon of Beowulf’s quest right cleverly sang, and artfully added an excellent tale, in well-ranged words, of the warlike deeds he had heard in saga of Sigemund. Strange the story: he said it all,— the Waelsing’s wanderings wide, his struggles, which never were told to tribes of men, the feuds and the frauds, save to Fitela only, when of these doings he deigned to speak, uncle to nephew; as ever the twain stood side by side in stress of war, and multitude of the monster kind they had felled with their swords. Of Sigemund grew, when he passed from life, no little praise; for the doughty-in-combat a dragon killed that herded the hoard: under hoary rock the atheling dared the deed alone fearful quest, nor was Fitela there. Yet so it befell, his falchion pierced that wondrous worm,—on the wall it struck, best blade; the dragon died in its blood. Thus had the dread-one by daring achieved over the ring-hoard to rule at will, himself to pleasure; a sea-boat he loaded, and bore on its bosom the beaming gold, son of Waels; the worm was consumed. He had of all heroes the highest renown among races of men, this refuge-of-warriors, for deeds of daring that decked his name since the hand and heart of Heremod grew slack in battle. He, swiftly banished to mingle with monsters at mercy of foes, to death was betrayed; for torrents of sorrow had lamed him too long; a load of care to earls and athelings all he proved. Oft indeed, in earlier days, for the warrior’s wayfaring wise men mourned, who had hoped of him help from harm and bale, and had thought their sovran’s son would thrive, follow his father, his folk protect, the hoard and the stronghold, heroes’ land, home of Scyldings.—But here, thanes said, the kinsman of Hygelac kinder seemed to all: the other was urged to crime! And afresh to the race, the fallow roads by swift steeds measured! The morning sun was climbing higher. Clansmen hastened to the high-built hall, those hardy-minded, the wonder to witness. Warden of treasure, crowned with glory, the king himself, with stately band from the bride-bower strode; and with him the queen and her crowd of maidens measured the path to the mead-house fair. As tdhgliya bokre, mne rfom lla orev eth ytcrnuo acem to hte hlla. Tyeh ewer pyhpa to ees eth sractk rGednel lfte bdeihn as he elfd to sih end. ehT pmasw swa elldfi whti sih olobd. As he nadeer headt, he oedv oint eht traew nda nerdowd seflimh, ndesgin sih luso to ellh. htroThgouu teh ldan, elppoe aedetper het otsry of Blowefu’s hnetrgst adn rvyearb. utAghlho plopee tasdey oalyl to erhit gdoo nikg gHrahtor, it asw aisd taht no nma redevdse to luer roem ahnt eht lioougrs oBluwfe. gtrorhHa’s tnemslir emca up wiht a enw gnso, noe sniigpar eolwBfu’s ihmtrpu. He doeimcnb het oytsr of wleoBfu’s esded ithw hteos of the tmyhci hore uinmdSg nad shi sfgnpirof, tliFea. eosTh tow eohsre of lnog goa kidell yanm sntiag dan eotrh nsotsrme. heT mnsetrli otld of woh Smdgiun kliedl a gndaor lal by hfmlsei nad toko the orgadn’s eustraer. ekiL Bolefwu, umSdngi wsa idcrenesod a eragt oerh dan hsi neam swa ownnk uthgurotho the ndal. diSmung’s fosrtenu ewrg tefar hsi gikn, eeordHm, was wonrorhvte nad llkdie. oredeHm ddi ton ctoprte hsi epploe ilek Bofulew had. So all of the nbloe mnlncaes, indinglcu the eragt inkg mfhelis and his qneeu, rode to the rgeta llah to iesntsw uwloBef’s geatr deed.