Two more Beowulf translations, just so I feel that I’ve actually accomplished something, rather than simply having fewer blank sheets in my notebook. The first one has now been updated, though I am still working on borrowed time.

“What are ye warriors,
clad in mail, who thus your tall ship
over the sea-road bring to come
here over the waters? I was awhile
a coastguard, keeping seawatch
so that on the Dane’s land no one hostile
with sea force could inflict harm.
Never here more openly have come and gone
shield bearers, nor must you the word of leave
of the war-makers fully know,
my kinsman’s consent. Never have I seen a greater
warrior over this earth than is one of you,
man at arms. That hall-retainer is not
just exalted by weapons. Never may him his looks belie,
matchless appearance! Now I must your
origin know, before you further from here
spy, on the land of the danes
go further. Now ye foreigners,
seafarers, listen to my
plain thought: haste is best
to reveal from whence you have come.”

“…Therefore I now of you
lord of the Bright-Danes, would request,
protector of the Scyldings, as a favor,
that you do not deny me, warrior’s protector,
noble friend of my country, now that I have thus come from afar,
that I may be permitted alone with my warrior band,
his hardy troop of men, to cleanse Heorot.
I have also learned he, that fierce assailant,
in his carelessness cares not for weapons.
I then scorn that–so Hygelac may be of me,
my liege, blithe of mind–
that I bear a sword or a broad shield
yellowwood to battle, but I with grasp [alone] must
grapple with the fiend and contend for life,
foe against foe; there he shall trust in
the lord’s judgement, he whom death takes.
I expect that [which] he wills, if to him[Grendel] victory is allowed
in that battle hall the people of the Geats
he fearlessly devours, as oft he did
the great glory of men. Then you need not my
head to hide, for he would have me
stained with blood, if death takes me;
[Grendel] will bear the corpse off, thinking on the taste,
so eats one who goes unmourning
staining the moor-retreat; now you needn’t about
my life’s sustenance worry longer.
Send to Hygelac, if battle takes me,
the best battlewear that my breast defended,
best garment; that is Hræthl’s leaving,
worked by Weland. Such always the fates as they must!”

The sheer weight of appositives is mind-boggling, isn’t it?

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