Wednesday, October 02, 2019



Beowulf 1383-1389 (tr. Seamus Heaney):
Beowulf, son of Ecgtheow, spoke:
"Wise sir, do not grieve. It is always better
to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning.
For every one of us, living in this world
means waiting for our end. Let whoever can
win glory before death. When a warrior is gone,
that will be his best and only bulwark."

Bēowulf maþelode,    bearn Ecgþēowes:
"Ne sorga, snotor guma!    Sēlre bið ǣghwǣm
þæt hē his frēond wrece,    þonne hē fela murne.        1385
Ūre ǣghwylc sceal    ende gebīdan
worolde līfes;    wyrce sē þe mōte
dōmes ǣr dēaþe;    þæt bið driht-guman
unlifgendum    æfter sēlest."
J.R.R. Tolkien's translation:
Beowulf made answer, the son of Ecgtheow: 'Grieve not, O wise one! Better it is for every man that he should avenge his friend than he should much lament. To each one of us shall come in time the end of life in the world; let him who may earn glory ere his death. No better thing can brave knight leave behind when he lies dead.'
E. Talbot Donaldson's translation:
Beowulf spoke, the son of Ecgtheow: "Sorrow not, wise warrior. It is better for a man to avenge his friend than much mourn. Each of us must await his end of the world's life. Let him who may get glory before death: that is best for the warrior after he has gone from life."

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