Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Beowulf: Chapter 3

So the son of *Healfdene suffered in his days.
*Hygelac of the *Geats heard of the wrath of *Grendel, and his mightiest warrior set sail for *Heorot with fourteen brave warriors to the land of the *Danes.
By the second day at sea, the seafarers approached the cliffs of the headlands. They landed and thanked God for their safe journey. A *Scylding watchman stopped them where they landed and demanded of the armed seafarers where they had come from and why they were there.
Strangers in Anglo Saxon Times:Strangers were a potential for danger in Anglo-Saxon times. They may have affiliations with other clans: harboring a criminal pursued by a powerful clan may place you under their wrath as well. As a result, a full accounting of origins and intentions was very important or else the stranger is a potential threat to peace..
*Hrothgar remembers *Beowulf and his father *Ecgtheow, and because there is recognition, or proof of identity, that *Beowulf and his party are welcome in *Heorot.

Old English Text - Chapter III
Swa ða mælceare maga Healfdenes
190 singala seað, ne mihte snotor hæleð wean onwendan; wæs þæt gewin to swyð, laþ ond longsum, þe on ða leode becom, nydwracu niþgrim, nihtbealwa mæst. þæt fram ham gefrægn Higelaces þegn,
195 god mid Geatum, Grendles dæda; se wæs moncynnes mægenes strengest on þæm dæge þysses lifes, æþele ond eacen. Het him yðlidan godne gegyrwan, cwæð, he guðcyning
200 ofer swanrade secean wolde, mærne þeoden, þa him wæs manna þearf. ðone siðfæt him snotere ceorlas lythwon logon, þeah he him leof wære; hwetton higerofne, hæl sceawedon.
205 Hæfde se goda Geata leoda cempan gecorone þara þe he cenoste findan mihte; XVna sum sundwudu sohte; secg wisade, lagucræftig mon, landgemyrcu.
210 Fyrst forð gewat. Flota wæs on yðum, bat under beorge. Beornas gearwe on stefn stigon; streamas wundon, sund wið sande; secgas bæron on bearm nacan beorhte frætwe,
215 guðsearo geatolic; guman ut scufon, weras on wilsið, wudu bundenne. Gewat þa ofer wægholm, winde gefysed, flota famiheals fugle gelicost, oðþæt ymb antid oþres dogores
220 wundenstefna gewaden hæfde þæt ða liðende land gesawon, brimclifu blican, beorgas steape, side sænæssas; þa wæs sund liden, eoletes æt ende. þanon up hraðe
225 Wedera leode on wang stigon, sæwudu sældon (syrcan hrysedon, guðgewædo), gode þancedon þæs þe him yþlade eaðe wurdon. þa of wealle geseah weard Scildinga,
230 se þe holmclifu healdan scolde, beran ofer bolcan beorhte randas, fyrdsearu fuslicu; hine fyrwyt bræc modgehygdum, hwæt þa men wæron. Gewat him þa to waroðe wicge ridan
235 þegn Hroðgares, þrymmum cwehte mægenwudu mundum, meþelwordum frægn: "Hwæt syndon ge searohæbbendra, byrnum werede, þe þus brontne ceol ofer lagustræte lædan cwomon,
240 hider ofer holmas? ...le wæs endesæta, ægwearde heold, þe on land Dena laðra nænig mid scipherge sceðþan ne meahte. No her cuðlicor cuman ongunnon
245 lindhæbbende; ne ge leafnesword guðfremmendra gearwe ne wisson, maga gemedu. Næfre ic maran geseah eorla ofer eorþan ðonne is eower sum, secg on searwum; nis þæt seldguma,
250 wæpnum geweorðad, næfne him his wlite leoge, ænlic ansyn. Nu ic eower sceal frumcyn witan, ær ge fyr heonan, leassceaweras, on land Dena furþur feran. Nu ge feorbuend,
255 mereliðende, minne gehyrað anfealdne geþoht: Ofost is selest to gecyðanne hwanan eowre cyme syndon."

Modern Text - Chapter III
THUS seethed unceasing the son of Healfdenewith the woe of these days; not wisest menassuaged his sorrow; too sore the anguish,loathly and long, that lay on his folk,most baneful of burdens and bales of the night.
This heard in his home Hygelac's thane,great among Geats, of Grendel's doings.He was the mightiest man of valorin that same day of this our life,stalwart and stately. A stout wave-walkerhe bade make ready. Yon battle-king, said he,far o'er the swan-road he fain would seek,the noble monarch who needed men!The prince's journey by prudent folkwas little blamed, though they loved him dear;they whetted the hero, and hailed good omens.And now the bold one from bands of Geatscomrades chose, the keenest of warriorse'er he could find; with fourteen menthe sea-wood1 he sought, and, sailor proved,led them on to the land's confines.Time had now flown;2 afloat was the ship,boat under bluff. On board they climbed,warriors ready; waves were churningsea with sand; the sailors boreon the breast of the bark their bright array,their mail and weapons: the men pushed off,on its willing way, the well-braced craft.Then moved o'er the waters by might of the windthat bark like a bird with breast of foam,till in season due, on the second day,the curved prow such course had runthat sailors now could see the land,sea-cliffs shining, steep high hills,headlands broad. Their haven was found,their journey ended. Up then quicklythe Weders'3 clansmen climbed ashore,anchored their sea-wood, with armor clashingand gear of battle: God they thankedfor passing in peace o'er the paths of the sea.Now saw from the cliff a Scylding clansman,a warden that watched the water-side,how they bore o'er the gangway glittering shields,war-gear in readiness; wonder seized himto know what manner of men they were.Straight to the strand his steed he rode,Hrothgar's henchman; with hand of mighthe shook his spear, and spake in parley."Who are ye, then, ye armed men,mailed folk, that yon mighty vesselhave urged thus over the ocean ways,here o'er the waters? A warden I,sentinel set o'er the sea-march here,lest any foe to the folk of Daneswith harrying fleet should harm the land.No aliens ever at ease thus bore them,linden-wielders:4 yet word-of-leaveclearly ye lack from clansmen here,my folk's agreement. -- A greater ne'er saw Iof warriors in world than is one of you, --yon hero in harness! No henchman heworthied by weapons, if witness his features,his peerless presence! I pray you, though, tellyour folk and home, lest hence ye faresuspect to wander your way as spiesin Danish land. Now, dwellers afar,ocean-travellers, take from mesimple advice: the sooner the betterI hear of the country whence ye came."
Notes : Chapter 3
1 Ship.

2 That is, since Beowulf selected his ship and led his men to the harbor.

3 One of the auxiliary names of the Geats.

4 Or: Not thus openly ever came warriors hither; yet...

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.

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