Beowulf eBook

Gareth Hinds
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 112 pages of information about Beowulf.
[1] For the ‘Þaet’ of verse 15, Sievers suggests ‘Þa’ (= which).  If this be accepted, the sentence ‘He had ... afflicted’ will read:  He (i.e. God) had perceived the malice-caused sorrow which they, lordless, had formerly long endured.

    [2] For ‘aldor-lease’ (15) Gr. suggested ‘aldor-ceare’:  He perceived
    their distress, that they formerly had suffered life-sorrow a long

[3] A very difficult passage.  ‘Ahte’ (31) has no object.  H. supplies ‘geweald’ from the context; and our translation is based upon this assumption, though it is far from satisfactory.  Kl. suggests ‘laendagas’ for ‘lange’:  And the beloved land-prince enjoyed (had) his transitory days (i.e. lived).  B. suggests a dislocation; but this is a dangerous doctrine, pushed rather far by that eminent scholar.
[4] The reading of the H.-So. text has been quite closely followed; but some eminent scholars read ‘sele-raedenne’ for ‘sele-raedende.’  If that be adopted, the passage will read:  Men cannot tell us, indeed, the order of Fate, etc. ‘Sele-raedende’ has two things to support it:  (1) v. 1347; (2) it affords a parallel to ‘men’ in v. 50.



{Beowulf succeeds his father Scyld}

          In the boroughs then Beowulf, bairn of the Scyldings,
          Beloved land-prince, for long-lasting season
          Was famed mid the folk (his father departed,
          The prince from his dwelling), till afterward sprang
        5 Great-minded Healfdene; the Danes in his lifetime
          He graciously governed, grim-mooded, aged.

{Healfdene’s birth.}

          Four bairns of his body born in succession
          Woke in the world, war-troopers’ leader
          Heorogar, Hrothgar, and Halga the good;
       10 Heard I that Elan was Ongentheow’s consort,

{He has three sons—­one of them, Hrothgar—­and a daughter named Elan.  Hrothgar becomes a mighty king.}

          The well-beloved bedmate of the War-Scylfing leader. 
          Then glory in battle to Hrothgar was given,
          Waxing of war-fame, that willingly kinsmen
          Obeyed his bidding, till the boys grew to manhood,
       15 A numerous band.  It burned in his spirit
          To urge his folk to found a great building,
          A mead-hall grander than men of the era

{He is eager to build a great hall in which he may feast his retainers}

          Ever had heard of, and in it to share
          With young and old all of the blessings
       20 The Lord had allowed him, save life and retainers. 
          Then the work I find afar was assigned
[4] To many races in middle-earth’s regions,
          To adorn the great folk-hall.  In due time it happened
          Early ’mong men, that ’twas finished entirely,
       25 The greatest of hall-buildings; Heorot he named it

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Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.