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The Project Gutenberg eBook of Beowulf

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Title: Beowulf

Author: Unknown

Editor: James A. Harrison Robert Sharp

Release Date: October 12, 2003 [eBook #9701] [Most recently updated: April 11, 2021]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8

Produced by: Karl Hagen and PG Distributed Proofreaders

START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK BEOWULF

Preface to the Project Gutenberg Edition of Beowulf

This text is a revised and corrected version of the fourth edition of Harrison and Sharp in its entirety. It comes in two basic versions. The base version (available in plain-text and HTML) presents the original text as printed. It preserves the source-text's idiosyncratic use of accented vowels with the exception of y-circumflex (ŷ), which is replaced by y-acute (ý) to fit within the Latin-1 character set. Manifestly unintentional errors in the text have been corrected. In general, this has only been done when the text is internally inconsistent (e.g., a quotation in the glossary does not match the main text). Forms that represent deliberate editorial choice have not been altered, even where they appear wrong. (For example, some of the markings of vowel length do not reflect current scholarly consensus.) In a few instances, quotations in the glossary use the correct vowel length where the main text does not. These have not been altered. Where an uncorrected problem may confuse the reader, I have inserted a note explaining the difficulty, signed KTH. A complete list of the changes made is appended at the end of the file. In order to make the text more useful to modern readers, I have also produced a revised edition (HTML only). The file you are reading is this revised version. Notes from the source text that indicate changes adopted in later editions have been incorporated directly into the text and apparatus. Further, long vowels are indicated with macrons, as is the common practice of most modern editions. Finally, the quantity of some words has been altered to the values currently accepted as correct. Quantities have not been changed when the difference is a matter of editorial interpretation (e.g., gæst vs. gǣst in l. 102, etc.) A list of these altered quantities appears at the end of the list of corrections. Your browser must support the Unicode character set to use this file. To tell if your browser supports the necessary characters, check the table of vowel equivalents below. If you see any empty boxes or question marks in the "revised" columns, you should use the basic version.

Explanation of the Vowel Accenting

In general, Harrison and Sharp use circumflex accents over vowels to mark long vowels. For ash, however, the actual character 'æ' represents the long vowel. Short ash is rendered with a-umlaut (ä). The long diphthongs (ēo, ēa, etc.) are indicated with an acute accent over the second vowel (eó, eá, etc.).

Vowel Equivalents in Different Versions:

Orig. Revised Orig. Revised ä æ Ô Ō Ä Æ û ū æ ǣ Û Ū Æ Ǣ ý ȳ â ā Ý Ȳ Â Ā eá ēa ê ē Eá Ēa Ê Ē eó ēo î ī Eó Ēo Î Ī ié īe ô ō ió īo

End of PG Preface

I. BĒOWULF:

AN ANGLO-SAXON POEM.

II. THE FIGHT AT FINNSBURH:

A FRAGMENT.

WITH TEXT AND GLOSSARY ON THE

BASIS OF M. HEYNE.

EDITED, CORRECTED, AND ENLARGED, BY

JAMES A. HARRISON, LL.D., LITT. D.,

PROFES

— beewolf

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beewolf #3069

II. THE HALL HEOROT.

Þā wæs on burgum Bēowulf Scyldinga,

lēof lēod-cyning, longe þrāge

folcum gefrǣge (fæder ellor hwearf,

aldor of earde), oð þæt him eft onwōc

hēah Healfdene; hēold þenden lifde,

gamol and gūð-rēow, glæde Scyldingas.

Þǣm fēower bearn forð-gerīmed

in worold wōcun, weoroda rǣswan,

Heorogār and Hrōðgār and Hālga til;

hȳrde ic, þat Elan cwēn Ongenþēowes wæs

Heaðoscilfinges heals-gebedde.

Þā wæs Hrōðgāre here-spēd gyfen,

wīges weorð-mynd, þæt him his wine-māgas

georne hȳrdon, oð þæt sēo geogoð gewēox,

mago-driht micel. Him on mōd bearn,

þæt heal-reced hātan wolde,

medo-ærn micel men gewyrcean,

þone yldo bearn ǣfre gefrūnon,

and þǣr on innan eall gedǣlan

geongum and ealdum, swylc him god sealde,

būton folc-scare and feorum gumena.

Þā ic wīde gefrægn weorc gebannan

manigre mǣgðe geond þisne middan-geard,

folc-stede frætwan. Him on fyrste gelomp

ǣdre mid yldum, þæt hit wearð eal gearo,

heal-ærna mǣst; scōp him Heort naman,

sē þe his wordes geweald wīde hæfde.

Hē bēot ne ālēh, bēagas dǣlde,

sinc æt symle. Sele hlīfade

hēah and horn-gēap: heaðo-wylma bād,

lāðan līges; ne wæs hit lenge þā gēn

þæt se ecg-hete āðum-swerian

æfter wæl-nīðe wæcnan scolde.

Þā se ellen-gǣst earfoðlīce

þrāge geþolode, sē þe in þȳstrum bād,

þæt hē dōgora gehwām drēam gehȳrde

hlūdne in healle; þǣr wæs hearpan swēg,

swutol sang scopes. Sægde sē þe cūðe

frum-sceaft fīra feorran reccan,

cwæð þæt se ælmihtiga eorðan worhte,

wlite-beorhtne wang, swā wæter bebūgeð,

gesette sige-hrēðig sunnan and mōnan

lēoman tō lēohte land-būendum,

and gefrætwade foldan scēatas

leomum and lēafum; līf ēac gesceōp

cynna gehwylcum, þāra þe cwice hwyrfað.

Swā þā driht-guman drēamum lifdon

ēadiglīce, oð þæt ān ongan

fyrene fremman, fēond on helle:

wæs se grimma gæst Grendel hāten,

mǣre mearc-stapa, sē þe mōras hēold,

fen and fæsten; fīfel-cynnes eard

won-sǣlig wer weardode hwīle,

siððan him scyppend forscrifen hæfde.

In Caines cynne þone cwealm gewræc,

ēce drihten, þæs þe hē Ābel slōg;

ne gefeah hē þǣre fǣhðe, ac hē hine feor forwræc,

metod for þȳ māne man-cynne fram.

Þanon untȳdras ealle onwōcon,

eotenas and ylfe and orcnēas,

swylce gīgantas, þā wið gode wunnon

lange þrāge; hē him þæs lēan forgeald.

beewolf (edited ) #3067

I. THE PASSING OF SCYLD.

Hwæt! wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum

þēod-cyninga þrym gefrūnon,

hū þā æðelingas ellen fremedon.

Oft Scyld Scēfing sceaðena þrēatum,

monegum mǣgðum meodo-setla oftēah.

Egsode eorl, syððan ǣrest wearð

fēa-sceaft funden: hē þæs frōfre gebād,

wēox under wolcnum, weorð-myndum ðāh,

oð þæt him ǣghwylc þāra ymb-sittendra

ofer hron-rāde hȳran scolde,

gomban gyldan: þæt wæs gōd cyning!

þǣm eafera wæs æfter cenned

geong in geardum, þone god sende

folce tō frōfre; fyren-þearfe ongeat,

þæt hīe ǣr drugon aldor-lēase

lange hwīle. Him þæs līf-frēa,

wuldres wealdend, worold-āre forgeaf;

Bēowulf wæs brēme (blǣd wīde sprang),

Scyldes eafera Scede-landum in.

Swā sceal geong guma, gōde gewyrcean,

fromum feoh-giftum on fæder wine,

þæt hine on ylde eft gewunigen

wil-gesīðas, þonne wīg cume,

lēode gelǣsten: lof-dǣdum sceal

in mǣgða gehwǣre man geþēon.

Him þā Scyld gewāt tō gescæp-hwīle

fela-hrōr fēran on frēan wǣre;

hī hyne þā ætbǣron tō brimes faroðe.

swǣse gesīðas, swā hē selfa bæd,

þenden wordum wēold wine Scyldinga,

lēof land-fruma lange āhte.

Þǣr æt hȳðe stōd hringed-stefna,

īsig and ūtfūs, æðelinges fær;

ā-lēdon þā lēofne þēoden,

bēaga bryttan on bearm scipes,

mǣrne be mæste. Þǣr wæs mādma fela,

of feor-wegum frætwa gelǣded:

ne hȳrde ic cȳmlīcor cēol gegyrwan

hilde-wǣpnum and heaðo-wǣdum,

billum and byrnum; him on bearme læg

mādma mænigo, þā him mid scoldon

on flōdes ǣht feor gewītan.

Nalas hī hine lǣssan lācum tēodan,

þēod-gestrēonum, þonne þā dydon,

þē hine æt frumsceafte forð onsendon

ǣnne ofer ȳðe umbor wesende:

þā gȳt hīe him āsetton segen gyldenne

hēah ofer hēafod, lēton holm beran,

gēafon on gār-secg: him wæs geōmor sefa,

murnende mōd. Men ne cunnon

secgan tō soðe sele-rǣdende,

hæleð under heofenum, hwā þǣm hlæste onfēng.