Old English




Beowulf arrives at Heorot

lines 320 - 370

V 
Straét wæs stánfáh·      stíg wísode	
The street was paved with stones,      the path guided           320
gumum ætgædere·      gúðbyrne scán	
the men together;      war-byrnie shone 
heard hondlocen      hringíren scír	
harsh, linked by hand,      ring-iron glittering, 
song in searwum·      þá híe tó sele furðum	
they sang in their arms,      as they to the hall straight 
in hyra gryregeatwum      gangan cwómon·	
in their grim gear      came marching; 
setton saéméþe      síde scyldas	
they set down, sea-weary,      their wide shields,                    325
rondas regnhearde      wið þæs recedes weal·	
the rims wondrous-hard      against the wall of the hall, 
bugon þá tó bence·      byrnan hringdon	
and bent down then to a bench;      corslets rang-- 
gúðsearo gumena·      gáras stódon	
the war-clothes of warriors;      spears stood, 
saémanna searo      samod ætgædere	
seamen's weapons,      all together, 
æscholt ufan graég·      wæs se írenþréat	
silvery above a grove of ash;      the iron-clad troop was      330
waépnum gewurþad·      þá ðaér wlonc hæleð	
honoured in weapons;      then a proud noble 
óretmecgas      æfter hæleþum frægn:	
the elite soldiers      asked about the heroes: 
'Hwanon ferigeað gé      faétte scyldas	
'Whence ferry you      plated shields, 
graége syrcan      ond grímhelmas	
steel-hued shirts of mail      and masked-helms, 
heresceafta héap?      Ic eom Hróðgáres	
this host of army-shafts?      I am Hrothgar’s                        335
ár ond ombiht·      ne seah ic elþéodige	
herald and officer;      I have not seen from a foreign land 
þus manige men      módiglícran·	
this many men      looking braver in spirit; 
wén' ic þæt gé for wlenco      nalles for wraécsíðum	
I expect that you from valour,      not from exile, 
ac for higeþrymmum      Hróðgár sóhton.'	
but from greatness of heart      have sought out Hrothgar.' 
Him þá ellenróf      andswarode	
Then him the renowned one      answered                                 340
wlanc Wedera léod      word æfter spræc	
--that proud prince of the Wedera nation--spoke thereafter words, 
heard under helme:      'Wé synt Higeláces	
severe beneath his helmet:      'We are Hygelac's 
béodgenéatas·      Béowulf is mín nama·	
companions at table;      Beowulf  is my name; 
wille ic ásecgan      sunu Healfdenes	
I wish to proclaim to      the son of Half-Dane, 
maérum þéodne      min aérende	
--that famed sovereign--      my errand                                      345
aldre þínum      gif hé ús geunnan wile	
to your lord,      if he wishes to grant us 
þæt wé hine swá gódne      grétan móton.'	
that we him, the virtuous one,      might greet.' 
Wulfgár maþelode      --þæt wæs Wendla léod·	
Wulfgar began to speak      --he was the Wendels' leader, 
wæs his módsefa      manegum gecýðed	
his courage was      well-known to many, 
wíg ond wísdóm--:      'Ic þæs wine Deniga	
war-skill and wisdom--:      'I this from friend of the Danes,    350
fréan Scildinga      frínan wille	
lord of the Scyldings,      will inquire, 
béaga bryttan·      swá þú béna eart·	
from the giver of rings,      --as you are petitioners-- 
þéoden maérne      ymb þínne síð	
from that famed sovereign      about your quest, 
ond þé þá andsware      aédre gecýðan	
and to you the answer      promptly make known 
ðe mé se góda      ágifan þenceð.'	
which to me the virtuous one      sees fit to give.’                    355
Hwearf þá hrædlíce      þaér Hróðgár sæt	
He turned then quickly      to where Hrothgar sat, 
eald ond anhár      mid his eorla gedriht·	
old and very grey,      amid his company of earls; 
éode ellenróf      þæt hé for eaxlum gestód	
he strode grandly      so that he stood by the shoulders 
Deniga fréän:      cúþe hé duguðe þéaw·	
of the Danes' lord:      he knew the custom of veteran-warriors; 
Wulfgár maðelode      tó his winedrihtne:	
Wulfgar made this speech      to his friend and lord:                    360
'Hér syndon geferede      feorran cumene	
'Here have ventured,      come from far away, 
ofer geofenes begang      Géata léode·	
over the expanse of the sea,      men of the Geats; 
þone yldestan      óretmecgas	
the eldest one      of these elite warriors 
Béowulf nemnað·      hý bénan synt	
is called Beowulf;      they are asking 
þæt híe, þéoden min,      wið þé móton	
that they, my lord,      with you might                                           365
wordum wrixlan·      nó ðú him wearne getéoh	
exchange words;      give them not refusal 
ðínra gegncwida,      glædman Hróðgár·	
from your answers,      gracious Hrothgar; 
hý on wíggetáwum      wyrðe þinceað	
they by their war-gear      seem worthy 
eorla geæhtlan·      húru se aldor déah	
of the esteem of nobles;      indeed, the prince is powerful, 
sé þaém heaðorincum      hider wísade.'	
who the warriors      led hither.’                                                    370