ll. 371-389a

Wulfgar has just informed the man himself, Hrothgar, that some boyos have shown up in their shores, but some mighty fine lookin’ boyos if we are being honest with ourselves. Built ta fuck. Here, he realises sure doesn’t he know Beowulf, jaysus, small world isn’t it!

Old English:

Hroðgar maþelode, helm Scyldinga:
Ic hine cuðe cnihtwesende.
Wæs his ealdfæder Ecgþeo haten,
ðæm to ham forgeaf Hreþel Geata
angan dohtor; is his eafora nu
heard her cumen, sohte holdne wine.
ðonne sægdon þæt sæliþende,
þa ðe gifsceattas Geata fyredon
þyder to þance, þæt he XXXtiges
manna mægencræft on his mundgripe
heaþorof hæbbe. Hine halig god
for arstafum us onsende,
to Westdenum, þæs ic wen hæbbe,
wið Grendles gryre. Ic þæm godan sceal
for his modþræce madmas beodan.
Beo ðu on ofeste, hat in gan
seon sibbegedriht samod ætgædere;
gesaga him eac wordum þæt hie sint wilcuman
Deniga leodum.

Translation:

Hrothgar, the Scylding lord, spoke:

“Sure I knew him when he was a boy child*. His old fella was called Ecgtheow. Hrethel the Geat have his only young wan to him and this fine looking lad has come here now, looking for a good friend. Seafarers who would be ferrying shite over from the Geats to pay their respects would be saying as well that he has the strength of feckin’ thirty men in the grip of his hand, he’s some strong fecker, boy. God above, sound lad that he is, has sent him to us, to the West Danes, and you know what I think now, I think he’s after sending him to us to deal with this absolute shambles with Grendel. I’ll have to give the good lad some spondoolies for his bravery. Alright, c’mon there quick lads, and order all of that noble bunch of boyos in together. And sure look, tell them that they’re welcome here in the Danish lands while you’re at it.”

*In Cork, and wider Irish slang, there’s a strange penchant for saying “child” over something a bit less formal. It also reminds me of a phrase my mom’s side of the family (who are from North Cork) sometimes (and apparently, hopefully, ironically) use to find out the sex of a baby: “Is it a boy or a child?” Cause, ya know, tis only worth talking about if ’tis a boy. I might also take this opportunity to defend my use of the word “mom”, which feckin’ Dubs are always saying is an Americanism. It’s actually common in Cork and Kerry, and hails from the pronunciation of Irish mam, which sounds quite like “mom”. So feck off.

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