from "BEOWULF" - lines 612-660
trans. Louis J. Rodrigues (from Anglo-Saxon)
Ðær wæs hæleþa hleahtor, hlyn swynsode,
word wæron wynsume. Eode Wealhþeow forð,
cwen Hroðgares, cynna gemyndig,
grette goldhroden guman on healle,
ond þa freolic wif ful gesealde
ærest East-Dena eþelwearde,
bæd hine bliðne æt þære beorþege,
leodum leofne; he on lust geþeah
symbel ond seleful, sigerof kyning.
Ymbeode þa ides Helminga
duguþe ond geogoþe dæl æghwylcne,
sincfato sealde, oþ þæt sæl alamp
þæt hio Beowulfe, beaghroden cwen
mode geþungen medoful ætbær;
grette Geata leod, Gode þancode
wisfæst wordum þæs ðe hire se willa gelamp,
þæt heo on ænigne eorl gelyfde
fyrena frofre. He þæt ful geþeah,
wælreow wiga, æt Wealhþeon,
ond þa gyddode guþe gefysed,
Beowulf maþelode, bearn Ecgþeowes:
`Ic þæt hogode, þa ic on holm gestah,
sæbat gesæt mid minra secga gedriht,
þæt ic anunga eowra leoda
willan geworhte, oþðe on wæl crunge
feondgrapum fæst. Ic gefremman sceal
eorlic ellen, oþðe endedæg
on þisse meoduhealle minne gebidan!'
Ðam wife þa word wel licodon,
gilpcwide Geates; eode goldhroden,
freolicu folccwen to hire frean sittan.
řa wæs eft swa ær inne on healle
þryðword sprecen, ðeod on sælum,
sigefolca sweg, oþ þæt semninga
sunu Healfdenes secean wolde
æfenræste; wiste þæm ahlæcan
to þæm heahsele hilde geþinged,
siððan hie sunnan leoht geseon meahton,
oð þe nipende niht ofer ealle,
scaduhelma gesceapu scriðan cwoman
wan under wolcnum. Werod eall aras.
Gegrette þa guma oþerne,
Hroðgar Beowulf, ond him hæl abead,
winærnes geweald, ond þæt word acwæð:
`Næfre ic ænegum men ær alyfde,
siþðan ic hond ond rond hebban mihte,
ðryþærn Dena buton þe nu ða.
Hafa nu ond geheald husa selest,
gemyne mærþo, mægenellen cyð,
waca wiþ wraþum! Ne bið þe wilna gad,
gif þu þæt ellenweorc aldre gedigest.'
There was laughter of warriors, noise resounded,
words were winsome. Wealhtheow went forth,
Hrothgar's queen, mindful of courtesy,
gold-adorned, greeted the men in hall,
and then the noble lady gave the goblet first
to the guardian of the land of the East-Danes,
bade him be joyful at the beer-drinking,
dear to his people; he, victorious king,
partook of feast and hall-cup with pleasure.
Then the lady of the Helmings went round
everywhere, among old and young warriors,
proffered precious cups, until the time came
that she, ring-adorned queen, excellent of mind,
carried the mead-cup to Beowulf.
She greeted the man of the Geats, thanked God
for the fact that her wish had been fulfilled,
that she might count on some eorl
for relief from wicked deeds. He, the warrior
fierce in battle, received the cup from Wealhtheow,
and then spoke, eager for battle;
Beowulf spoke, son of Ecgtheow:
'I resolved, when I set out on the sea,
sat in the sea-boat with my company of men,
that I would fulfil completely
the wish of your people, or fall in death,
held fast in the enemy's grasp. I shall accomplish
a heroic deed of courage, or experience
my last day in this mead-hall!'
These words pleased the lady well,
the Geat's vaunting speech; adorned with gold,
the noble queen of the people went to sit by her lord.
Then again, as before, were brave words spoken
in the hall, the people in happiness,
the sound of victorious people, till soon
the son of Healfdene wished to go to his night's rest;
he knew that a battle had been planned
for the fierce assailant in the lofty hall,
after they could not see the light of the sun,
and darkening night came over all,
when shadowy shapes came stalking,
dark beneath the clouds. The whole company rose.
Then one warrior greeted the other,
Hrothgar Beowulf, and wished him success,
control of the wine-hall, and uttered these words:
'Never before, since I could raise hand and shield,
have I entrusted the mighty hall of the Danes
to any man, except now to thee.
Keep now and protect this best of houses:
think of thy fame, show mighty courage,
watch against foes! Nor shalt thou lack desirable things
if thou survivest that courageous deed with thy life.'

Click here 1 for another translation of this poem.

Transl. copyright © Louis J. Rodrigues 2002 this book
translator's next