Old English

Opening lines 1-11

Hwæt! Wé Gárdena      in géardagum
Listen! We --of the Spear-Danes      in the days of yore,

þéodcyninga      þrym gefrúnon· 
of those clan-kings--      heard of their glory.

hú ðá æþelingas      ellen fremedon. 
how those nobles      performed courageous deeds.

Oft Scyld Scéfing      sceaþena þréatum
Often Scyld, Scef's son,      from enemy hosts                     5

monegum maégþum      meodosetla oftéah·                                                                                                    
from many peoples      seized mead-benches;

egsode Eorle      syððan aérest wearð 
and terrorised the fearsome Heruli      after first he was

féasceaft funden      hé þæs frófre gebád· 
found helpless and destitute,      he then knew recompense for that:-

wéox under wolcnum·      weorðmyndum þáh 
he waxed under the clouds,      throve in honours,

oð þæt him aéghwylc      þára ymbsittendra 
until to him each      of the bordering tribes

ofer hronráde      hýran scolde,                                                                                    
beyond the whale-road      had to submit,                            10

gomban gyldan·      þæt wæs gód cyning.
and yield tribute:-      that was a good king!