Beowulf eBook

Gareth Hinds
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 238 pages of information about Beowulf.

          Thou fuddled with beer of Breca hast spoken,
          Hast told of his journey!  A fact I allege it,
       35 That greater strength in the waters I had then,
          Ills in the ocean, than any man else had. 
          We made agreement as the merest of striplings
          Promised each other (both of us then were

{We simply kept an engagement made in early life.}

          Younkers in years) that we yet would adventure
       40 Out on the ocean; it all we accomplished. 
          While swimming the sea-floods, sword-blade unscabbarded
          Boldly we brandished, our bodies expected
          To shield from the sharks.  He sure was unable

{He could not excel me, and I would not excel him.}

          To swim on the waters further than I could,
       45 More swift on the waves, nor would I from him go. 
          Then we two companions stayed in the ocean

{After five days the currents separated us.}

          Five nights together, till the currents did part us,
          The weltering waters, weathers the bleakest,
          And nethermost night, and the north-wind whistled
       50 Fierce in our faces; fell were the billows. 
          The mere fishes’ mood was mightily ruffled: 
          And there against foemen my firm-knotted corslet,
          Hand-jointed, hardy, help did afford me;
          My battle-sark braided, brilliantly gilded,

{A horrible sea-beast attacked me, but I slew him.}

       55 Lay on my bosom.  To the bottom then dragged me,
          A hateful fiend-scather, seized me and held me,
          Grim in his grapple:  ’twas granted me, nathless,
          To pierce the monster with the point of my weapon,
          My obedient blade; battle offcarried
       60 The mighty mere-creature by means of my hand-blow.

[1] It has been plausibly suggested that ‘sieth’ (in 501 and in 353) means ‘arrival.’  If so, translate the bracket:  (the arrival of Beowulf, the brave seafarer, was a source of great chagrin to Unferth, etc.).




          “So ill-meaning enemies often did cause me
          Sorrow the sorest.  I served them, in quittance,

{My dear sword always served me faithfully.}

          With my dear-loved sword, as in sooth it was fitting;
          They missed the pleasure of feasting abundantly,
        5 Ill-doers evil, of eating my body,
          Of surrounding the banquet deep in the ocean;
          But wounded with edges early at morning
          They were stretched a-high on the strand of the ocean,

{I put a stop to the outrages of the sea-monsters.}

Project Gutenberg
Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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