Shield Sheaving
(Translation of Beowulf, lines 1-53).


We of Goredanes' in days of yore,
Of theedkings' thrim heard in our lore,
How the athelings ellen bore.

Oft Shield Sheaving from foeband's stead
From many maiths, meadsettles led,
Left earls in awe. Since erst was poor
Feeshaft foundling, he fared to more,
Waxed under welkins, in worthy labours,
Till ever each and all his neighbours,
Over whaleroad, a-hearing should,
Yield him tribute. That king was good!

Afterwards for him, an heir was meant
Youngling in yards, God hither sent
To folk as frover, feeling their sore,
That they lordless, a long time bore.
The Lord of Life lent to his name,
Woulder's Wieldend, worldwide fame.
Beewolf was bream, broad glory spanned
For Shield's son in the Scandian land.

So shall a young gome by good fare
With fair feegifts, in father's care,
That in his eld, again those stand
Wellwilling friends, when war's at hand
The people last. From lovedeeds, so,
In every maith, shall man grow.

Then Shield went forth at fated tide
From a full life to the lord's side.
They bore him then to the sea's blue
His sweet friends, as he bade them do
When he wielded words, Shieldings' lief,
That long owned the land, leader and chief.
At harbour stood a ringedstem rare
Icey and outfouse, atheling's fare.
Then they laid down their theeden blessed
The lord of rings, in that ship's breast;
Mear one by mast. Many mathoms got
From farways, many fortunes brought.
I heard not dearer keel, dight in deed,
With hildweapons and battleweed,
With bills and byrnies. On his barm
Should go with him many a charm,
On the flood's flow, afar to fare.
They bestowed not less treasures rare
Theedstrains, than those before lent,
That him at fromshaft forth asent,
One over waves, bairn on the brine.
Then yet for him, set a golden sign
High over head. Let the holm heave
Gave to goresedge, with yomer seave
With mourning mood. No men may,
In truth tell us, with knowledge say,
Counsellors in halls, sages soothfast,
Haleths under heaven, who found that last.

what "lo!"

gore "spear"
theed "nation, people", thrim "glory"
atheling "prince", ellen "courage"

Shield Sheaving "Son of Sheaf"
maith "tribe, family", meadsettle "bench in a meadhall"
erst "earliest, first"
feeshaft "destitute"
welkin "cloud, sky"

whaleroad "the sea"

frover "comfort"

woulder "glory", Wieldend "wielding one (God)"
bream "famous"

gome "man"

eld "old age"

maith "tribe, family"

lief "beloved one"

ringedstem "a curve-prowed ship"
outfouse "ready to set out", atheling "prince"
theeden "chief"

mear "famous", mathom "treasure"

hild "war", weed "garment"
bill "sword", byrnie "corslet", barm "bosom or lap"

theedstrains "people's treasure"
fromshaft "beginning", asend "to send away"
bairn "child"

holm "water; ocean"
goresedge "ocean", yomer "sad", seave "heart, spirit"

soothfast "truthful"
haleth "hero", last "load, burden"