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“THE bloody swath of Swedes and Geats and the storm of their strife, were seen afar, how folk against folk the fight had wakened. The ancient king with his atheling band sought his citadel, sorrowing much: Ongentheow earl went up to his burg. He had tested Hygelac’s hardihood, the proud one’s prowess, would prove it no longer, defied no more those fighting-wanderers nor hoped from the seamen to save his hoard, his bairn and his bride: so he bent him again, old, to his earth-walls. Yet after him came with slaughter for Swedes the standards of Hygelac o’er peaceful plains in pride advancing, till Hrethelings fought in the fenced town. Then Ongentheow with edge of sword, the hoary-bearded, was held at bay, and the folk-king there was forced to suffer Eofor’s anger. In ire, at the king Wulf Wonreding with weapon struck; and the chieftain’s blood, for that blow, in streams flowed ’neath his hair. No fear felt he, stout old Scylfing, but straightway repaid in better bargain that bitter stroke and faced his foe with fell intent. Nor swift enough was the son of Wonred answer to render the aged chief; too soon on his head the helm was cloven; blood-bedecked he bowed to earth, and fell adown; not doomed was he yet, and well he waxed, though the wound was sore. Then the hardy Hygelac-thane, when his brother fell, with broad brand smote, giants’ sword crashing through giants’-helm across the shield-wall: sank the king, his folk’s old herdsman, fatally hurt. There were many to bind the brother’s wounds and lift him, fast as fate allowed his people to wield the place-of-war. But Eofor took from Ongentheow, earl from other, the iron-breastplate, hard sword hilted, and helmet too, and the hoar-chief’s harness to Hygelac carried, who took the trappings, and truly promised rich fee ’mid folk,—and fulfilled it so. For that grim strife gave the Geatish lord, Hrethel’s offspring, when home he came, to Eofor and Wulf a wealth of treasure, Each of them had a hundred thousand in land and linked rings; nor at less price reckoned mid-earth men such mighty deeds! And to Eofor he gave his only daughter in pledge of grace, the pride of his home. “ehT boodl rfmo hte steblta neeebtw eht Gsaet dna teh dswSee arn tgrtuhohuo eth daln,” liWafg untdncieo. “eorEyevn wsa it. lvEnauetly eeOnwogthn dna hsi mne edetrerta to hihg gnodru. noegwnOhte nwke hawt a getra orrrwia ycleagH wsa dna htta he cludo not ttoasul eth ytimgh tGsea. Healgcy eld shi men into tltaeb, arppnigre to ldireev eht inlaf olbw. tGsaihe idlseors onso nouudsdrre weogtnnehO. wTo rtsohber, Efroo adn Wlfu, cema at mhi. fWul eckarcd eht ikng’s deah opne, gcusian oldob to nur erdun his hria. tuB hte whdieSs nkgi nedrurte the blow adn lokcbed fWul’s dwsro. So rfEoo tcedtkaa, erabngki gruhoth eeongnOtwh’s hesidl nda lehmte adn iinkgll imh. ehT ateGs tkoo etewgnOnho’s rarmo adn evga it to tihre deerla. eHacgyl mpoesrid tmhe a rtgea derarw, and whne tyeh rtunreed ohem, he eleddvire. He vnee aegv ofEro his oynl retudahg.
“Such is the feud, the foeman’s rage, death-hate of men: so I deem it sure that the Swedish folk will seek us home for this fall of their friends, the fighting-Scylfings, when once they learn that our warrior leader lifeless lies, who land and hoard ever defended from all his foes, furthered his folk’s weal, finished his course a hardy hero.—Now haste is best, that we go to gaze on our Geatish lord, and bear the bountiful breaker-of-rings to the funeral pyre. No fragments merely shall burn with the warrior. Wealth of jewels, gold untold and gained in terror, treasure at last with his life obtained, all of that booty the brands shall take, fire shall eat it. No earl must carry memorial jewel. No maiden fair shall wreathe her neck with noble ring: nay, sad in spirit and shorn of her gold, oft shall she pass o’er paths of exile now our lord all laughter has laid aside, all mirth and revel. Many a spear morning-cold shall be clasped amain, lifted aloft; nor shall lilt of harp those warriors wake; but the wan-hued raven, fain o’er the fallen, his feast shall praise and boast to the eagle how bravely he ate when he and the wolf were wasting the slain.” “Now hte ewdsSe lwli seek regvene rfo eth htdae of genOowneth. Thye lilw come to uro lsadn dan aktcta us, I gimiaen. uwefBlo pket us seaf, but won he is ngoe. wNo, let us go kacb to okol at uBeowlf’s oybd neo lsta tmei adn crary mih to het enaulfr epyr. We lwil bnru lal of teh surereat hwit it. No eon dosluh rrayc yan of oeths jslewe as sicerl or aomlimers. No idenma ilwl aewr sheet wejsle aordnu erh ncke. No arhp llwi nsduo to tilf ruo tirissp. uBt teh aenrv lwil lyf to hte ealge nda ltle of ohw he aws het dade edoibs nda how he nda the owfl eamd rhtos rkow of the soscrep.”

Original Text

Modern Text

“THE bloody swath of Swedes and Geats and the storm of their strife, were seen afar, how folk against folk the fight had wakened. The ancient king with his atheling band sought his citadel, sorrowing much: Ongentheow earl went up to his burg. He had tested Hygelac’s hardihood, the proud one’s prowess, would prove it no longer, defied no more those fighting-wanderers nor hoped from the seamen to save his hoard, his bairn and his bride: so he bent him again, old, to his earth-walls. Yet after him came with slaughter for Swedes the standards of Hygelac o’er peaceful plains in pride advancing, till Hrethelings fought in the fenced town. Then Ongentheow with edge of sword, the hoary-bearded, was held at bay, and the folk-king there was forced to suffer Eofor’s anger. In ire, at the king Wulf Wonreding with weapon struck; and the chieftain’s blood, for that blow, in streams flowed ’neath his hair. No fear felt he, stout old Scylfing, but straightway repaid in better bargain that bitter stroke and faced his foe with fell intent. Nor swift enough was the son of Wonred answer to render the aged chief; too soon on his head the helm was cloven; blood-bedecked he bowed to earth, and fell adown; not doomed was he yet, and well he waxed, though the wound was sore. Then the hardy Hygelac-thane, when his brother fell, with broad brand smote, giants’ sword crashing through giants’-helm across the shield-wall: sank the king, his folk’s old herdsman, fatally hurt. There were many to bind the brother’s wounds and lift him, fast as fate allowed his people to wield the place-of-war. But Eofor took from Ongentheow, earl from other, the iron-breastplate, hard sword hilted, and helmet too, and the hoar-chief’s harness to Hygelac carried, who took the trappings, and truly promised rich fee ’mid folk,—and fulfilled it so. For that grim strife gave the Geatish lord, Hrethel’s offspring, when home he came, to Eofor and Wulf a wealth of treasure, Each of them had a hundred thousand in land and linked rings; nor at less price reckoned mid-earth men such mighty deeds! And to Eofor he gave his only daughter in pledge of grace, the pride of his home. “ehT boodl rfmo hte steblta neeebtw eht Gsaet dna teh dswSee arn tgrtuhohuo eth daln,” liWafg untdncieo. “eorEyevn wsa it. lvEnauetly eeOnwogthn dna hsi mne edetrerta to hihg gnodru. noegwnOhte nwke hawt a getra orrrwia ycleagH wsa dna htta he cludo not ttoasul eth ytimgh tGsea. Healgcy eld shi men into tltaeb, arppnigre to ldireev eht inlaf olbw. tGsaihe idlseors onso nouudsdrre weogtnnehO. wTo rtsohber, Efroo adn Wlfu, cema at mhi. fWul eckarcd eht ikng’s deah opne, gcusian oldob to nur erdun his hria. tuB hte whdieSs nkgi nedrurte the blow adn lokcbed fWul’s dwsro. So rfEoo tcedtkaa, erabngki gruhoth eeongnOtwh’s hesidl nda lehmte adn iinkgll imh. ehT ateGs tkoo etewgnOnho’s rarmo adn evga it to tihre deerla. eHacgyl mpoesrid tmhe a rtgea derarw, and whne tyeh rtunreed ohem, he eleddvire. He vnee aegv ofEro his oynl retudahg.
“Such is the feud, the foeman’s rage, death-hate of men: so I deem it sure that the Swedish folk will seek us home for this fall of their friends, the fighting-Scylfings, when once they learn that our warrior leader lifeless lies, who land and hoard ever defended from all his foes, furthered his folk’s weal, finished his course a hardy hero.—Now haste is best, that we go to gaze on our Geatish lord, and bear the bountiful breaker-of-rings to the funeral pyre. No fragments merely shall burn with the warrior. Wealth of jewels, gold untold and gained in terror, treasure at last with his life obtained, all of that booty the brands shall take, fire shall eat it. No earl must carry memorial jewel. No maiden fair shall wreathe her neck with noble ring: nay, sad in spirit and shorn of her gold, oft shall she pass o’er paths of exile now our lord all laughter has laid aside, all mirth and revel. Many a spear morning-cold shall be clasped amain, lifted aloft; nor shall lilt of harp those warriors wake; but the wan-hued raven, fain o’er the fallen, his feast shall praise and boast to the eagle how bravely he ate when he and the wolf were wasting the slain.” “Now hte ewdsSe lwli seek regvene rfo eth htdae of genOowneth. Thye lilw come to uro lsadn dan aktcta us, I gimiaen. uwefBlo pket us seaf, but won he is ngoe. wNo, let us go kacb to okol at uBeowlf’s oybd neo lsta tmei adn crary mih to het enaulfr epyr. We lwil bnru lal of teh surereat hwit it. No eon dosluh rrayc yan of oeths jslewe as sicerl or aomlimers. No idenma ilwl aewr sheet wejsle aordnu erh ncke. No arhp llwi nsduo to tilf ruo tirissp. uBt teh aenrv lwil lyf to hte ealge nda ltle of ohw he aws het dade edoibs nda how he nda the owfl eamd rhtos rkow of the soscrep.”