Transcription and Translation
Hwæt wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum
So the Spear-Danes in olden days
Þēod-cyninga þrym gefrūnon
had brave kings; we have heard
hū ðā æþelingas ellen fremedon
how those princes achieved heroic deeds.
. . .
Oft Scyld Scēfing sceaþena þrēatum
Often Shield Sheafson, scourge of many armies
monegum mǣgþum meodo-setla oftēah
would make off with mead-benches.
... syððan ǣrest wearð fēasceaft funden
... he began a poor foundling,
hē þæs wēox under wolcnum, weorð-myndum þāh
but then grew mighty under heaven, and won fame,
oðþæt him ǣghwylc þāra ymb-sittendra
until everyone from far-off coasts
ofer hron-rāde hȳran scolde
beyond the whale-road owed him loyalty
gomban gyldan. Þæt was gōd cyning!
and yielded tribute. That was a good king!
0:41 — line 26
Him ðā Scyld gewāt tō gescæp-hwīle fela-hrōr fēran ...
When Shield departed at his appointed time, still full of strength ...
Hī hyne þā ætbǣron tō brimes faroðe
they bore him to the brim of the sea,
... wine Scyldinga
that friend of Shieldings.
. . .
Þǣr æt hȳðe stōd hringed-stefna
There at harbor stood, with ringed prow
īsig ond ūt-fūs æþelinges fær
Icy and sail-ready, a prince's vessel.
... him on bearme læg
... they lay on his breast
mādma mænigo þā him mid scoldon
many treasures that with him would
on flōdes ǣht feor gewītan
on the flood's surge depart far off.
1:05 — line 53
Ða wæs on burgum Hroþgar, sunu Healfdenes, lēof lēod-cyning ...
Afterward, Hrothgar kept the forts—the son of Halfdane, beloved king of the people
Ða wæs him here-spēd gyfen
He was given success in battle then,
... hātan wolde medo-ærn micel men gewyrcean
and he willed men to work on a great mead-hall
þone yldo bearn æfre gefrūnon
which the children of men would hear of forever,
heal-ærna mǣst; scōp him Heorot naman
the noblest of halls: he named it Heorot.
. . .
Ða se ellen-gæst earfoðlīce
But meanwhile a monster impatiently
þrāge geþolode, sē þe in þȳstrum bād
sulked: he who in darkness bode,
þæt hē dōgora gehwām drēam gehȳrde
who daily heard the din of feasting
hlūdne in healle; þǣr wæs hearpan swēg
loud in the hall: there was the harp's sound
swutol sang scopes ...
and the bard's clear song.
Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel hāten.
The grim demon was called Grendel.
1:50 — line 105
Gewāt ðā nēosian, syþðan niht becōm, hēan hūses, ...
He went out then, after night fell, toward the detested house,
fand þā ðær inne æþelinga gedriht
and there he found them: a company of nobles
swefan æfter symble
slumbering after their feast
sorge ne cūdon
incapable of sorrow
and human suffering.
2:06 — line 120
The unholy wight,
grim ond grædig, gearo sōna wæs
grim and greedy, soon was upon them,
rēoc ond rēþe, ond on ræste genam þrītig þegna.
savage and cruel, and seized thirty thanes from their beds.
Þanon eft gewāt ... hrēmig tō hām faran
Thence he departed gleefully homeward,
mid þǣre wæl-fylle wīca nēosan
back to his lair with the banquet of corpses.
ac ymb āne niht eft gefremede
And after one night he again committed
more brutal murders.
2:30 — line 144
Swā rīxode ond wið rihte wan
So he ruled, against all sense of right
fyrene ond fǣhðe fela missēra
with violence and viciousness for many seasons:
an eternal war.
sibbe ne wolde wið manna hwone mægenes Deniga.
He wanted no peace with any man of the Danish tribe.