ll. 34-52

Bottom half of 129v
Top of 130r

Old English:

Aledon þa leofne þeoden, 
beaga bryttan, on bearm scipes, 
mærne be mæste. þær wæs madma fela 
of feorwegum, frætwa, gelæded; 
ne hyrde ic cymlicor ceol gegyrwan 
hildewæpnum ond heaðowædum, 
billum ond byrnum; him on bearme læg 
madma mænigo, þa him mid scoldon 
on flodes æht feor gewitan. 
Nalæs hi hine læssan lacum teodan, 
þeodgestreonum, þon þa dydon 
þe hine æt frumsceafte forð onsendon 
ænne ofer yðe umborwesende. 
þa gyt hie him asetton segen geldenne 
heah ofer heafod, leton holm beran, 
geafon on garsecg; him wæs geomor sefa, 
murnende mod. Men ne cunnon 
secgan to soðe, selerædende, 
hæleð under heofenum, hwa þæm hlæste onfeng. 


They then laid down that fine man, pure generous as he was with the rings, down in the bosom of the ship, that legend by the mast. There was trinkets and treasures galore from way over the road brought there.

Never in my life had I heard the likes of it, this class ship, absolutely bate full of battle-weapons and battle-armour, swords and coats of mail. On his chest lay a rakeload of treasure, which would sail off with him in the flood’s grip.

And sure didn’t they go all out with the treasures, those locals, and no bloody less than those at the start,who cast him off into the waves when the poor craytur was just a small fella. And now they set a gold banner way up over his capeen, and let the ocean have him, gave him up to the Spear-Man* himself, their spirits full of misery and their hearts awailin’. There’s not nobody** that knows, from the bais in the halls to the feens under the heavens, who received that load.

*”Spear-man” from OE gar-secg – this appears to be a kenning for the ocean, and may represent some sort of sea deity (perhaps like Neptune or Poseidon), although the term is quite problematic for reasons concerning mythopoeia. Earl Anderson suggests it should be gares-ecg, syncopated to garsecg, and thus “edge of the promontory”. I may add, a certain Frederick Candelaria suggests “narwhal” (as mentioned in Klaeber 4), but I can’t find his article. But, honestly, I could get down with this.

**Just like in Old English, the double negative doesn’t really exist in Irish slang.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s