Beowulf maþelode, bearn Ecgþeowes:
"Hwæt! we þe þas sælac, sunu Healfdenes,
leod Scyldinga, lustum brohton
tires to tacne, þe þu her to locast.
Ic þæt unsofte ealdre gedigde
wigge under wætere, weorc geneþde
earfoðlice; ætrihte wæs
guð getwæfed, nymðe mec god scylde.
Ne meahte ic æt hilde mid Hruntinge
wiht gewyrcan, þeah þæt wæpen duge;
ac me geuðe ylda waldend
þæt ic on wage geseah wlitig hangian
eald sweord eacen (oftost wisode
winigea leasum), þæt ic ðy wæpne gebræd.
Ofsloh ða æt þære sæcce, þa me sæl ageald,
huses hyrdas. þa þæt hildebil
forbarn brogdenmæl, swa þæt blod gesprang,
hatost heaþoswata. Ic þæt hilt þanan
feondum ætferede, fyrendæda wræc,
deaðcwealm Denigea, swa hit gedefe wæs.
Ic hit þe þonne gehate, þæt þu on Heorote most
sorhleas swefan mid þinra secga gedryht
ond þegna gehwylc þinra leoda,
duguðe ond iogoþe, þæt þu him ondrædan ne þearft,
þeoden Scyldinga, on þa healfe,
aldorbealu eorlum, swa þu ær dydest."
ða wæs gylden hilt gamelum rince,
harum hildfruman, on hand gyfen,
enta ærgeweorc; hit on æht gehwearf
æfter deofla hryre Denigea frean,
wundorsmiþa geweorc, ond þa þas worold ofgeaf
gromheort guma, godes ondsaca,
morðres scyldig, ond his modor eac,
on geweald gehwearf woroldcyninga
ðæm selestan be sæm tweonum
ðara þe on Scedenigge sceattas dælde.
Hroðgar maðelode, hylt sceawode,
ealde lafe, on ðæm wæs or writen
fyrngewinnes, syðþan flod ofsloh,
gifen geotende, giganta cyn
(frecne geferdon); þæt wæs fremde þeod
ecean dryhtne; him þæs endelean
þurh wæteres wylm waldend sealde.
Swa wæs on ðæm scennum sciran goldes
þurh runstafas rihte gemearcod,
geseted ond gesæd hwam þæt sweord geworht,
irena cyst, ærest wære,
wreoþenhilt ond wyrmfah. ða se wisa spræc
sunu Healfdenes (swigedon ealle):
"þæt, la, mæg secgan se þe soð ond riht
fremeð on folce, feor eal gemon,
eald weard, þæt ðes eorl wære
geboren betera! Blæd is aræred
geond widwegas, wine min Beowulf,
ðin ofer þeoda gehwylce. Eal þu hit geþyldum healdest,
mægen mid modes snyttrum. Ic þe sceal mine gelæstan
freode, swa wit furðum spræcon. ðu scealt to frofre weorþan
eal langtwidig leodum þinum,
hæleðum to helpe. Ne wearð Heremod swa
eaforum Ecgwelan, Arscyldingum;
ne geweox he him to willan, ac to wælfealle
ond to deaðcwalum Deniga leodum;
breat bolgenmod beodgeneatas,
eaxlgesteallan, oþþæt he ana hwearf,
mære þeoden, mondreamum from.
ðeah þe hine mihtig god mægenes wynnum,
eafeþum stepte, ofer ealle men
forð gefremede, hwæþere him on ferhþe greow
breosthord blodreow. Nallas beagas geaf
Denum æfter dome; dreamleas gebad
þæt he þæs gewinnes weorc þrowade,
leodbealo longsum. ðu þe lær be þon,
gumcyste ongit; ic þis gid be þe
awræc wintrum frod. Wundor is to secganne
hu mihtig god manna cynne
þurh sidne sefan snyttru bryttað,
eard ond eorlscipe; he ah ealra geweald.
Hwilum he on lufan læteð hworfan
monnes modgeþonc mæran cynnes,
seleð him on eþle eorþan wynne
to healdanne, hleoburh wera,
gedeð him swa gewealdene worolde dælas,
side rice, þæt he his selfa ne mæg
for his unsnyttrum ende geþencean.
Wunað he on wiste; no hine wiht dweleð
adl ne yldo, ne him inwitsorh
on sefan sweorceð, ne gesacu ohwær
ecghete eoweð, ac him eal worold
wendeð on willan (he þæt wyrse ne con),
*Beowulf speaks to the *Danes, that his victory was not easy, for *Hrunting, though it was a good sword, was useless to him in the fight. But instead, a sword from the Sovran of Men (God) he had found helped him win the day. So hot were the creatures' blood that the blade had melted away, but he returned with the hilt. But all in *Heorot could rest assured that this foe had been defeated.
With that, he gives the hilt to *Hrothgar and it is cherished by the *Danes as a symbol of their victory over their enemy and his mother as well.
*Hrothgar spoke as he looked over the hilt; engraved with the image of the flood threatening the giant-folk--a race estranged and doomed to destruction by God. He says to have not known any hero with honour as *Beowulf has proven worthy for freeing his people from torment.
And he begins the story of *Heremod, son of *Ecgwela who ruled by slaughter of both enemy and ally. He who ruled by the sword and gave no gold to the worthy and soon lost the approval of his retainers. Learn from his example.
God gives to man the power to rule over others, to amass wealth and repute. But it takes an unguarded soul to over-extend that power.
Select Bibliography :
Anonymous. Beowulf - Verse Intermediate Saxon. Transcribed by Altman, R.I. Public Domain etext obtained via the Online Book Initiative.
Anonymous. Beowulf Gummere, F.B. trans., Eliot, C.W. ed.. Harvard Classics, Vol. 49.: PF Collier & Sons, New York. 1910. Public Domain etext obtained via the Online Book Initiative.