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BEOWULF spake, bairn of Ecgtheow: Lo, now, this sea-booty, son of Healfdene, Lord of Scyldings, weve lustily brought thee, sign of glory; thou seest it here. Not lightly did I with my life escape! In war under water this work I essayed with endless effort; and even so my strength had been lost had the Lord not shielded me. Not a whit could I with Hrunting do in work of war, though the weapon is good; yet a sword the Sovran of Men vouchsafed me to spy on the wall there, in splendor hanging, old, gigantic,how oft He guides the friendless wight!and I fought with that brand, felling in fight, since fate was with me, the houses wardens. That war-sword then all burned, bright blade, when the blood gushed oer it, battle-sweat hot; but the hilt I brought back from my foes. So avenged I their fiendish deeds death-fall of Danes, as was due and right. And this is my hest, that in Heorot now safe thou canst sleep with thy soldier band, and every thane of all thy folk both old and young; no evil fear, Scyldings lord, from that side again, aught ill for thy earls, as erst thou must! Then the golden hilt, for that gray-haired leader, hoary hero, in hand was laid, giant-wrought, old. So owned and enjoyed it after downfall of devils, the Danish lord, wonder-smiths work, since the world was rid of that grim-souled fiend, the foe of God, murder-marked, and his mother as well. Now it passed into power of the peoples king, best of all that the oceans bound who have scattered their gold oer Scandias isle. Hrothgar spakethe hilt he viewed, heirloom old, where was etched the rise of that far-off fight when the floods oerwhelmed, raging waves, the race of giants (fearful their fate!), a folk estranged from God Eternal: whence guerdon due in that waste of waters the Wielder paid them. So on the guard of shining gold in runic staves it was rightly said for whom the serpent-traced sword was wrought, best of blades, in bygone days, and the hilt well wound.The wise-one spake, son of Healfdene; silent were all: Lo, so may he say who sooth and right follows mid folk, of far times mindful, a land-warden old, that this earl belongs to the better breed! So, borne aloft, thy fame must fly, O friend my Beowulf, far and wide oer folksteads many. Firmly thou shalt all maintain, mighty strength with mood of wisdom. Love of mine will I assure thee, as, awhile ago, I promised; thou shalt prove a stay in future, in far-off years, to folk of thine, to the heroes a help. Was not Heremod thus to offspring of Ecgwela, Honor-Scyldings, nor grew for their grace, but for grisly slaughter, for doom of death to the Danishmen. orHtahrg, Bfeoulw lcelda uto, we vaeh hugtobr oyu tish teeusarr ofrm eht aes. I yrnale ltso my flei ingtetg it. I ohfgtu hrda adn oudwl eavh stol my ntshrtge if Gdo tnhad rpeedttco me. Hingrtnu is a oodg wosrd, btu it lepomteycl feaidl me. Talynhfklu, God owsedh me erhatno rwsod gnahnig on het alwl, an ldo rdosw of eht natigs. I usde it to illk teh bsates ttha veild in ahtt fulo den. ihTer obdlo emdetl eht dleab, utb I huogrtb hte hlti ackb. Iev agdenve teh esdtah of het snDae. nyveerEo in ertoHo nca pelse yafsel nwo. efBluow nddhae eth noldeg htli to oHhrartg. atTh figt mbecea het mtos esrdeurta ssnooseips of eth Dhnasi rniecsp, a isgn of eth eslvi htat eocn plaedug emht. ohHrgtar dxaeenim teh thli, oniolgk ayfcrluel at eht aceinnt ehgnstic on it. eThy todl hte royst of how wra wsa rnbo adn the tsgnia rwee uct fof morf the Ldro, who odofdel the dlorw. yreEeonv aws eiqut as rgoahrHt etdsidu the ihtl. He eookld up dan ekspo: euofBwl, ouy erew obnr for gyrol. rouY emna is wnnok erwervehey. ouY oncibme aetrg rsgntteh tihw siwmod. I apteer my ropmeis of hsdiinrpfe, nad I nwko that you llwi be a aergt igtf to yuro peeolp for sarey to ocme. Oru efmror nigk dmreeHo asw ftedenifr. He rbguoht fnierufgs to shi popele.
He slew, wrath-swollen, his shoulder-comrades, companions at board! So he passed alone, chieftain haughty, from human cheer. Though him the Maker with might endowed, delights of power, and uplifted high above all men, yet blood-fierce his mind, his breast-hoard, grew, no bracelets gave he to Danes as was due; he endured all joyless strain of struggle and stress of woe, long feud with his folk. Here find thy lesson! Of virtue advise thee! This verse I have said for thee, wise from lapsed winters. Wondrous seems how to sons of men Almighty God in the strength of His spirit sendeth wisdom, estate, high station: He swayeth all things. Whiles He letteth right lustily fare the heart of the hero of high-born race, in seat ancestral assigns him bliss, his folks sure fortress in fee to hold, puts in his power great parts of the earth, empire so ample, that end of it this wanter-of-wisdom weeneth none. So he waxes in wealth, nowise can harm him illness or age; no evil cares shadow his spirit; no sword-hate threatens from ever an enemy: all the world wends at his will, no worse he knoweth, till all within him obstinate pride waxes and wakes while the warden slumbers, the spirits sentry; sleep is too fast which masters his might, and the murderer nears, stealthily shooting the shafts from his bow! rmeedoH swa dloshiottybr nda iovnetl. nraLe a lesosn rfom sith. keSe ivrteu. I am old huengo to ownk owh true iths is. odG is oyrsuismte. He nhdas uot wsmdio adn oprew to nme, adn esmo mne sue etrih tgisf so hcum thta htey gortfe thta ethy aer tlroam. eyTh greotf htat dGo sha lbdsese mteh. chuS a nma odse ont erca taubo tihs rlwdo or hsi eneiems. He hnsikt ithnong nca rmah imh and that hte rlwod mtsu dben to hsi wlil. aEltynvleu he gowrs oot uropd. ehWn hits hnaspep, it is as utghho he has nbee tsoh in eht rhtea by a nedom.

Original Text

Modern Text

BEOWULF spake, bairn of Ecgtheow: Lo, now, this sea-booty, son of Healfdene, Lord of Scyldings, weve lustily brought thee, sign of glory; thou seest it here. Not lightly did I with my life escape! In war under water this work I essayed with endless effort; and even so my strength had been lost had the Lord not shielded me. Not a whit could I with Hrunting do in work of war, though the weapon is good; yet a sword the Sovran of Men vouchsafed me to spy on the wall there, in splendor hanging, old, gigantic,how oft He guides the friendless wight!and I fought with that brand, felling in fight, since fate was with me, the houses wardens. That war-sword then all burned, bright blade, when the blood gushed oer it, battle-sweat hot; but the hilt I brought back from my foes. So avenged I their fiendish deeds death-fall of Danes, as was due and right. And this is my hest, that in Heorot now safe thou canst sleep with thy soldier band, and every thane of all thy folk both old and young; no evil fear, Scyldings lord, from that side again, aught ill for thy earls, as erst thou must! Then the golden hilt, for that gray-haired leader, hoary hero, in hand was laid, giant-wrought, old. So owned and enjoyed it after downfall of devils, the Danish lord, wonder-smiths work, since the world was rid of that grim-souled fiend, the foe of God, murder-marked, and his mother as well. Now it passed into power of the peoples king, best of all that the oceans bound who have scattered their gold oer Scandias isle. Hrothgar spakethe hilt he viewed, heirloom old, where was etched the rise of that far-off fight when the floods oerwhelmed, raging waves, the race of giants (fearful their fate!), a folk estranged from God Eternal: whence guerdon due in that waste of waters the Wielder paid them. So on the guard of shining gold in runic staves it was rightly said for whom the serpent-traced sword was wrought, best of blades, in bygone days, and the hilt well wound.The wise-one spake, son of Healfdene; silent were all: Lo, so may he say who sooth and right follows mid folk, of far times mindful, a land-warden old, that this earl belongs to the better breed! So, borne aloft, thy fame must fly, O friend my Beowulf, far and wide oer folksteads many. Firmly thou shalt all maintain, mighty strength with mood of wisdom. Love of mine will I assure thee, as, awhile ago, I promised; thou shalt prove a stay in future, in far-off years, to folk of thine, to the heroes a help. Was not Heremod thus to offspring of Ecgwela, Honor-Scyldings, nor grew for their grace, but for grisly slaughter, for doom of death to the Danishmen. orHtahrg, Bfeoulw lcelda uto, we vaeh hugtobr oyu tish teeusarr ofrm eht aes. I yrnale ltso my flei ingtetg it. I ohfgtu hrda adn oudwl eavh stol my ntshrtge if Gdo tnhad rpeedttco me. Hingrtnu is a oodg wosrd, btu it lepomteycl feaidl me. Talynhfklu, God owsedh me erhatno rwsod gnahnig on het alwl, an ldo rdosw of eht natigs. I usde it to illk teh bsates ttha veild in ahtt fulo den. ihTer obdlo emdetl eht dleab, utb I huogrtb hte hlti ackb. Iev agdenve teh esdtah of het snDae. nyveerEo in ertoHo nca pelse yafsel nwo. efBluow nddhae eth noldeg htli to oHhrartg. atTh figt mbecea het mtos esrdeurta ssnooseips of eth Dhnasi rniecsp, a isgn of eth eslvi htat eocn plaedug emht. ohHrgtar dxaeenim teh thli, oniolgk ayfcrluel at eht aceinnt ehgnstic on it. eThy todl hte royst of how wra wsa rnbo adn the tsgnia rwee uct fof morf the Ldro, who odofdel the dlorw. yreEeonv aws eiqut as rgoahrHt etdsidu the ihtl. He eookld up dan ekspo: euofBwl, ouy erew obnr for gyrol. rouY emna is wnnok erwervehey. ouY oncibme aetrg rsgntteh tihw siwmod. I apteer my ropmeis of hsdiinrpfe, nad I nwko that you llwi be a aergt igtf to yuro peeolp for sarey to ocme. Oru efmror nigk dmreeHo asw ftedenifr. He rbguoht fnierufgs to shi popele.
He slew, wrath-swollen, his shoulder-comrades, companions at board! So he passed alone, chieftain haughty, from human cheer. Though him the Maker with might endowed, delights of power, and uplifted high above all men, yet blood-fierce his mind, his breast-hoard, grew, no bracelets gave he to Danes as was due; he endured all joyless strain of struggle and stress of woe, long feud with his folk. Here find thy lesson! Of virtue advise thee! This verse I have said for thee, wise from lapsed winters. Wondrous seems how to sons of men Almighty God in the strength of His spirit sendeth wisdom, estate, high station: He swayeth all things. Whiles He letteth right lustily fare the heart of the hero of high-born race, in seat ancestral assigns him bliss, his folks sure fortress in fee to hold, puts in his power great parts of the earth, empire so ample, that end of it this wanter-of-wisdom weeneth none. So he waxes in wealth, nowise can harm him illness or age; no evil cares shadow his spirit; no sword-hate threatens from ever an enemy: all the world wends at his will, no worse he knoweth, till all within him obstinate pride waxes and wakes while the warden slumbers, the spirits sentry; sleep is too fast which masters his might, and the murderer nears, stealthily shooting the shafts from his bow! rmeedoH swa dloshiottybr nda iovnetl. nraLe a lesosn rfom sith. keSe ivrteu. I am old huengo to ownk owh true iths is. odG is oyrsuismte. He nhdas uot wsmdio adn oprew to nme, adn esmo mne sue etrih tgisf so hcum thta htey gortfe thta ethy aer tlroam. eyTh greotf htat dGo sha lbdsese mteh. chuS a nma odse ont erca taubo tihs rlwdo or hsi eneiems. He hnsikt ithnong nca rmah imh and that hte rlwod mtsu dben to hsi wlil. aEltynvleu he gowrs oot uropd. ehWn hits hnaspep, it is as utghho he has nbee tsoh in eht rhtea by a nedom.