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Of GoTBic itructiune was the Nobthbbk side, 1 ^ U N i V . 
O'erwrougfat with ornaments of baitMrous pride s \ y . >^ 

Hiere huge Coloases rose, with trophies crown'd, ^-^^ - ^ 
And RoNic characters were graVd around. "^ 

There on huge iron columns, smear'd with blood. 
The horrid forms of Scttuian heroes stood ; 
Mimstbbls and Scalm (their once loud harps unstrung). 
And youths that died, to be by Poets sung. 

Temple cfFame, 







It appears desirable to the Editor of the following work 
to explain in a few words the circumstances which have 
led to its publication in the present form. The attention 
of the late Author had long been directed to the illustra- 
tion of the early history of English Poetry ; and his ap- 
pointment to the professorship of Anglo-Saxon in the Uni- 
versity of Oxford in the year 1809, naturally rendered the 
metrical remains extant in that ancient language objects 
of his more particular investigation. The origin of the 
present volume is to be found in the Terminal Lectures 
which, in virtue of that ofEce, he was called upon to 
deliver: in whatever degree therefore it may be con- 
sidered as forming a valuable accession to this branch of 
letters, it will afford an additional proof of the tendency 
of our Academical Institutions to cherish an enlarged 
spirit of literary inquiry on subjects far remote from those 
peculiar studies, which their opponents have erroneously 
and injuriously represented as forming the sole objects 
of a system stigmatized, — with little practical knowledge 
of its true nature or results,-— as narrow, illiberal, and ex- 

In preparing his materials for these lectures, the Au« 



thor was not contented merely to avail himself of the 
documents already rendered accessible through the me- 
dium of the press by his predecessors in the same path 
of investigation ; but devoted much time to an examina- 
tion of the Manuscript stores of the Bodleian and Cotto- 
nian libraries^ and more than once visited Exeter for 
the express purpose of consulting the valuable collec- 
tion of Saxon poetry bequeathed to the library of that 
cathedral by Bishop Leofric. Some detached portions of 
the original matter thus collected, were from time to time 
conmiunicated to the public through the channel of the 
Archaologiaf British Bibliographer, Sec. 

The pursuits thus fostered by the tenour and opportu- 
nities of Academical life were in 1812 exchanged for 
clerical duties in a country village. These duties, and 
th^ theological studies connected with them, now en- 
grossed, as they justly claimed, his chief attention ; and 
engagements merely literary or scientific were henceforth 
less pursued, than indulged in as affording tii^t change 
of occupation which to active minds is rest, especially 
where early habits and languid physical powers indispose 
for more healthful relaxation. Under these circumstances, 
to which was added a less easy access to our public li- 
braries than had hitherto been enjoyed, the further prose^ 
cution of these favourite researches was long suspended : 
nor was it again resumed, ^otherwise than in the hope of 
rendering subservient to a purpose of parochial useful- 
ness' the profits which might be expected to accrue from 

* The object in question was the erection of a village school. Pro- 
posals for publishing by subscripttoni in aid of that object, ** Illustrations 


the publication of a work, obviously calculated to supply 
a desideratum of no inconsiderable importance in the 
history of the poetical antiquities of our language* In 
this view, the task of enlarging and methodizing his 
materials was recommenced with much ardour : but many 
delays intervened, and the object alluded to had been 
accomplished from the Author's private resources, before 

of the early History of English and French Poetry,** were circulated in 
the autumn of 1817, and an advertisement explaining in detail the con- 
tents of the proposed work inserted in the GewtlemarCt Magazine for 
August in that year. It was originally intended to have intluded not 
only the Saxon specimens now printed, but other unpublished mate- 
rials connected with the earliest period of English poetry, and that of 
the Norman-French schooL 

If any one should consider the mention of the circumstances above 
noticed as devoid of public interest, and therefore standing in need of 
apology, that apology must be found in the feelings of the Editor, which 
Induce him to dwell with peculiar satisfaction on such recollections of 
the spirit in which the late Author regarded the obligations of his pro- 
fession, and endeavoured to render even these relaxations of his leisure 
hours subordinate to the higher purposes which they enforce. Under 
the same influence the Editor cannot refrain from subjoining a private 
memorandum relating to the present work, which is very characteristic 
of this habitual bias of the writer's mind : — it refers to the completion of 
the Analysis, &c. of the poem of Beowulf for the press, " Tandem 
(Deo tempos f copiam ac saltUem suffieientej labor m httne Ubrum tmpen- 
dendus (opere icilicet inUgro diUgenter perlecto^ eompendio ejue AngUce 
exaratOt particuUsque quamplurimii metrice9 ad verbum qud fieri potuU^ 
redditisj absokittu ett^ exeunte mense Octobris A. S. H. 1820. 

2oi x&pts ts iravTWV fMe^ieis, koI navra deiapeis' , 
'AXXa Si Sos fi Aw-o rods' oaiiorep* hr* ipya rpeireffOau** 

It cannot surely be destitute of usefulness to exhibit the consistent 
homage of a powerfiil mind to religious truth in the unsuspected mo- 
ments of its privacy. 



the first sheets were forwarded to the press. The design 
therefore of a publication by subscription was aban- 
doiied : but the work so undertaken was allowed to pro- 
ceed, though very gradually, and only as the occasional 
amusement of leisure hours. Other causes of procrasti- 
nation, not resting with the Author himself, arose from 
the peculiar impediments attending on the typographical 
details of a publication like the present ; and from the 
united operation of these, he had at the time of his sud- 
den decease only corrected the proofs as far as page SO, 
and left in a state of complete preparation for the press 
the transcript of that portion of the work which extends 
to page 163. The ^ask of publication thus devolved on 
the present Editor, who had for this purpose to arrange 
the detached communications to the Archaologia and 
the MS. materials already alluded to ; incorporating , 
them in their proper relative situations, according to his 
conception of the original design, and supplying such 
connecting and illustrative matter as appeared requi- 
site to the end in view. The manner in which he has 
endeavoured to execute this office will be found more 
fully explained in the Advertisements to the Introductory 
Essay and the Appendix. Of the merits of a work pro- 
ceeding from a relative to whom he was bound by so 
many ties, it is not for him to speak : and the difficulty 
of doing so must be increased when the " sacra et major 
imago*^ of the departed is seen invested with a peculiar 
character of sacredness, and magnified in all its propor- 
tions, through the mists of the valley of the shadow of 


N.B. The artidet in UaHct have been added by the Ediior. 

I. Introductory Essay on the Metre of Anglo-Saxon Poetry. 

Advertisement to Etsay page iii 

First Communication to Antiquarian Society [reprinted from 

ArchaoiogiOy vol. xvii.] , v 

Riming Poem, referred to in that Communication xvi 

Second Communication to Antiquarian Society, [reprinted from 

ArchaohgiOf vol. xvii.] xxvii 

Recapitulation of Metrical Lawi xxxvi 

Comparative View of Icelandic and Ancient Teutonic Metres, . . xxxix 

On the Alliterative Metres of the Celtic Nations Ivii 

On the Derivation of the later English Alliterative Metres .... Ixv 

II. Arranged Catalogue qf all the extant remains of Anglo-Saxon 
Poetry 9 with some specimens not noticed in the body of the work, pat' 
ticularly the Poem on the Death ofByrhlnoth, * Ixxvi 

IIL Illustrations of Anglo-Saxon Poetry, as completed for the press 
during the Author's life. 

1. liymns of Caedmon and of Bede page 3 

«. Song of the Traveller 9 

3. Beowulf. (Analysis and Metrical Versions of) 30 

Original Text 88 

Various readings 137 

Notes 167 

(viii) CONTENTS. 

IV. Appendix ; consisting of materials (not arranged during the Au- 
thor's life) but intended for the work, and in part previously published 
in vol. xvii. of the Archaologiay &c. 

AdoertUemtnt page 17i 

I. Battle of Finsborough, 

ItOroductonf Notice 1^^ 

Poem [as published in the British Wtliographer^ vol. iv J 175 

II. Specimens from the Junian Csdmon. 

Introductory Notice ^83 

1. Speech of Satan [reprinted from the notes to Oci&- 

vian^] 1^ 

2. Deluge [from ArchaokgiOy vol. xvii.] 193 

3. Overthrow of the Egyptians in the Red Sea [from 
notes to Octaoian] ^^^ 

III. Specimens frppa the Exeter Manuscript. 

Introductory Notice 1^8 

1. On the Day of Judgement [from MS. Lectures] *. . «14 

2. Hymn of Thanksgiving [Arc/uBohgiOf vol. xvii.] . . . 217 

3. Phoenix [ArcfuBoiogia, vol.xvii.] 224 

4. Gnomic Poem [from MS. Lectures] • • 228 

5. Soul's Complaint [Archaologiaf vol. xvii.] .' 232 

6. Scaldic Poem [from the Author*s MS.] 235 

7. Exiiei Congflamt 244 

8. The Ruined Wall-stone [from the Author's MS.] . 249 

IV. Mfredian Version of Boethius [from MS. Lectures]. 

Introductory Notice 256 

1st Metre. 1st book r 260 

4thMetre. 2nd book ^^ 

9th Metre. 3rd book 265 

V. Norman-Saxon Poem on Death [Archaolcgiaf vol. xvii.] . . 270 

Corrigenda if Addenda (including historical notes on the TraveU 

ler and on Beomdf) 275 

> ** An Analysii of the Nomuin Metzical Romam» of Octavian,*' of which a 
limited impression for private distribution was printed by the late Author. 











It was the intention of the late Author of these Illustra- 
tions to have prefixed to them an Introductory Essay on 
the Metre of the Anglo-Saxon Poetry, in which it was 
designed to have remodelled the substance of some 
earlier communications on the same subject to the So- 
ciety of Antiquaries, and to have extended them by a 
comparative survey of the kindred systems of the most 
ancient Icelandic and Teutonic metres. No progress, 
however, appears to have been made in the execution of 
this plan at the time when his hand was so suddenly 
arrested by death, beyond a rough draft of the general 
heads under which it was to have «been arranged. The 
present Editor may perhaps in some degree, although in 
a manner far inferior, be enabled to supply this deficiency ; 
since the study of these relics of our Saxon ancestors was 

among. those joint pursuits in which it was once his 

a 2 


happiness to indulge with that nearest and most valued 
relative, in earlier or maturer life the guide or associate 
of all his literary inquiries : he believes himself there- 
fore competent to state, with fidelity at least, the views 
which it had been intended to illustrate with regard to 
the several subjects under discussion. In endeavouring 
to discharge this office, he will first reproduce, in its ori- 
ginal form, the Essay in the Archceologia above referred 
to ; a document which must always retain a paramount 
interest, as having first removed, in a clear and satisfac- 
tory manner, the obscurity which previously invested this 
subject. He will then proceed to the other collateral and 
supplemental topics connected with the inquiry. 

The following arrangement of these materials will be 
adopted : — 

1. £ssays, by the late Author, published in the Archaologia : 

1. First Communication to the Antiquarian Society. 

2. Ringing Poem, referred to in that Communication, 
d. Second Communication to the Antiquarian Society. 

II. Addenda, by the Editor : 

1. Recapitulation of the General Laws of Saxon Metre. 
^. Comparative View of the Icelandic and ancient Teu- 
tonic Metres. - 

3. Investigation of the Alliterative Metres of the Celtic 


4. Observations on the Derivation of the later Alliterative 

Metres of the English Poets of the Middle Ages 
from that of the Saxons. 




[^Fram Vol, xvii. of the Arciicolooia.] 
Read before the Ant. Soc. Feb. 25, 1813. 

The contradictory opinions which our ablest philological anti- 
quaries have advanced with respect to the leading characteristics 
by which the poetry of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors was distinguished 
from their prose^ will, I trust, plead my excuse for trespassing upon 
the time of the reader*, by ofiering to his attention a few cursory 
observations on that subject. They are suggested principally by 
the perusal of two very interesting documents contained in the 
Exeter Manuscript, many extracts from which will be found in 
the ensuing pages. 

Hickes, indisputably one of the most learned of those who can 
be said to have examined with a critical eye our Saxon literature, 
appears perhaps no where to so little advantage as in the pages 
which he has dedicated to this topic. Influenced by the desire of 
reducing every thing to some classical standard, a prejudice not 
uncommon in the age in which he wrote, he endeavours, with 
greater zeal than success, to show that the writers whom he was 

' The Editor has substituted in this and other places the phrases ap- 
propriated to a published essay for those which in the original alluded 
to the Society to which the communication was made, and given refer- 
ences to the pages of this, volume instead of those to the Archceologia. 


recommeDding to the world observed the legitimate rules of Latin 
prosody, and measured their feet by syllabic quantity. In making 
so large demands upon the credulity of his readers, he was^ though 
unconsciously, laying the foundation of future scepticism. A later 
author, Mr. Tyrwhitt, justly celebrated for the success of his 
critical researches on many subjects connected both with early 
English and with classical literature, but whose acquaintance with 
the Anglo-Saxon poetry appears to have been derived' principally, 
if not entirely, from the Thesaurus of the illustrious scholar above 
alluded to, — was the first person who ventured openly to dissent 
from lus authority. Startled by the extravagance of Dr. Hickes's 
opinions on this subject, and unconvinced by the arguments ad- 
duced in their support, he advances into the opposite extreme, 
declares that he can discover in the productions of our Saxon 
bards no traces whatever either of a regular metrical system, or 
even of that sJIiteration which had hitherto been r^arded as their 
invariable characteristic, and finally professes himself unable to 
perceive ^'any diBerence between the poetry and the prose of that 
people, further than the employment of a more inflated diction and 
inverted construction of sentence, in that to wluch the former title 
was usually affixed *.'* 

It cannot, I trust, be considered as disrespectful to the memory 
of that accomplished and candid philologist, to suggest that a more 
careful and patient examination of the question would probably 
have induced him to withdraw these unqualified and (I cannot 
but think) inconsiderate assertions. But, in fadt, the plan of that 
work in which he was engaged, relating to the language and veri- 
fication of a much later period, demanded from him nothing more 
than a slight and incidental mention of Anglo-Saxon poetry. Had 
it been otherwise, the humbler efibrts of future labourers in that 
department would probably have been in great measure antici- 
pated, if not rendered wholly unnecessary, by the application of that 

' See the preface to Tyrwhitt's Chaucer. 


critical acuteness and sound judgement which so eminently distin- 
guished the restorer of Chaucer, and the discoverer of Babrias. 

But I hasten to the detail of those circumstances which I cannot 
bat think of sufficient force altogether to invalidate the opinion of 
Mr. Tyrwhttt, and which, unless 1 am much deceived, are calcu- 
lated also to remove much of the obscurity in which the previous 
misapprehensions of Dn Hickes appear to have enveloped one 
portion at least of die subject. 

As tlie question of alliteration (which indeed requires but 8 
short notice) will be more convenientiy treated of after we shati 
have ascertained the existence and nature of that metre of which 
it forms the chief ornament» I shall commence with those topics 
which are in themselves of the greatest extent and interest, and 
shall endeavour to show both that the Anglo-Saxon poetry does 
really differ f]X>m their prose by the usage of metrical divisions, 
and that the general rhythm and cadence of their verse is not alto- 
gether undiscoverable. 

The former, indeed, of these propositions should se^m to require 
no further evidence than the simple comparison of the different 
methods of punctuation observable in the prosaic and poetical 
manuscripts of the Saxons. In the prose we find the single point 
or dot (equivalent both to our comma and semicolon) but spaiingly 
used. In the poetry, on the contrary, which, being written in con- 
tinuous lines, it would otherwise be difficult to distinguish from 
prose, the same mark occurs repeatedly at short intervals, and in 
places where it evidentiy cannot be required in its usual function 
of dividing the sentence into its subordinate clauses ^ The memr 
bers thus included will be found (as far as we are capable of judging 
with respect to the pronunciation of that which we possess as a 
written language only) to have in general a strong similarity gf 

!^ . 

^ Of this the edition of Caedmon, published by the learned Junius, 
will afibrd an accurate specimen ; as also will the Judith printed at the 
end of Thwaites's Heptateuch, a book of somewhat more common oc- 


cadence as well as of length. Should this be deemed inconclusive, 
the question will, 1 thinks be placed beyond the reach of contro- 
versy by the specimens about to be adduced. In both these we 
shall find the poetry broken into similar members, not only by the 
usual mode of rhythmical punctuation, but in the one instance by 
the alternate insertion of lines written in the Ladn language, and 
in the other by the employment of final rime. The former of these 
(although hitherto overlooked by those who have written upon this 
subject) is quoted by Humphrey Wanley in his Catalogue of Anglo- 
Saxon Manuscripts, p. 281. It forms the termination of a highly 
paraphrastic translation of the Phoenix of Lactantius, a short ex- 
tract fi-om the commencement of which is inserted in th^ Appendix 
to this work, p. £24. It is written in lines alternately Anglo-Saxon 
and Latin, and runs thus : 

Hafa'S us aLyfed ^ Nos in vitam eduxit 

Lucis auctor 

"Sst we Motun her utipossemus hie 


God dfledum beGIetan virtutibus acquirere 

Gaudia in ccelo, 

iisBt we Motun uti possemus 

Maxima rejna 

Secan, and ^eSittan acquirere^ et sedere 

Sedibus altis, 

Lifgan in I«isse vivere in mansione 

Imxxcis et pacts, 

A;an Eardinja possidere habitacula 

Alma Isetiitiae 

Brucan Blaed-daja potirifructu diurno 

> The letters on which the alliteration characteristic of Saxon metre de- 
pends, are here and in other places of this Introduction distinguished by an- 
tique capitals; and to render this distinction more prominent, no capitals 
are used in the beginning of the lines, except after a full stop, or in proper 
names. — Ed. 


Blandam & mittem, blando et miii 

^eSeon Sigora frean adspicere gloria Dominum 

Sine fine, 

and him laof sinjan et ei gratias canere 

laaude perenni 

EAdje mid Enjlum, felices cum angdis. 


It will be immediately perceived, that such of these Latin verses 
as are at all consonant to the rules of prosody^ belong either to the 
trochmc or dactylic species, and consist each of two feet. Those 
which are not reducible to this standard seem yet to^be written in 
imitation of it, with the substitution (as was common in the Latin 
poetry of the middle ages) of emphasis for quantity. Thus '^ Sine^ 
fine," " Blandam et^ mittem," and " Alma laB^titiae," may be con- 
sidered respectively as equivalent to a trochaic, an adoniac, and a 
dactylic line ^ It is to a metre of this kind, in which emphasis (as 

' I have thrown into the following note a few more specimens from 
Wanley's Catalogue, ilhistrative of the positions suggested in the text 
The first and second will afibrd also an entertaining example of the 
fondness shown by our Saxon ancestors for introducing into their com- 
positions the few Greek phrases with which they were acquainted. 

Dos me ^eflette Bncratea 

flanctus & Justus Ac he BAlne sceal 

Beom Boca ^leaw Boe^ia 

Bonus auctOT Biddan j^eome 

«••««« Vurh his Modes ^eKind 

#«•««« Micro in cosmo 

ne sceal badi^an ««««•« 
Iiabor quern tenet 

(Wanl. Cat. p. 110. ex MS. Coll. Corp. Ch. Cant. K. 12.) 

Daenne ^eKiltsad Ve abutan ende 

Mundum qui rejit * « « « 

TBteoda VHrym cyninjc saule wine 

Eronum sedentem « « « * 



in all the modern languages of Gothic origin) holds the place of 
quantity, that I would refer the verses of the Anglo-Saxons. They 

jeVnne ^e on life ^ ' Fo on ^ultum . 

AVctor pacis Factor cosmi ^ 

Sibbe ^eSaal^a « « « * 

Salus mundi Daer Eadije 

Ketod se Msera Animse sanctae 

Ma^na virtute Rice Restat 

and se Bo^faesta Bejna caslorum. 

Sununi filius 

(Wanl. Cat p. 147. ex MS. Coll. Corp. Ch. Cant S. 18.) 

The last is entirely in Latin, and appears to be an attempt at rime» 
altjiough the alliteration is, for the most part, preserved. Wanley him- 
self notices its similarity to the Anglo-Saxon metre. 

Olim hdec transtuU , Juva me fBiiserum 

SicuH valuta fUeritis fBiodicum. 

Sed modo Ihrecibus Caream quo Hcevis 

CoMtrictus IPlenmSf Mikimet Hocuis^ 

O Vixirtine Sancte Castusque Vtvam 

Meritis.praclare Niictus jam IF^niam* 

Wanley, p. 189. 

Of the substitution of accent or emphasis for quantity, the following 
wretched lines afford an example, perhaps the more striking, as they 
are written in imitation of a metre to which we are more accustomed. 

Denique composuit pueris hoc stilum rite diverium 
Qui Bata jElfricus Monachus brevisnmtu. 

Qualiter Schokutici valeant resumere fundi 
AUquod initium Latinitatis sibi. 

* It is evident that two alternate Latin lines have here through the negli- 
gence of the scribe been omitted; the sense, alliteration, and analogy of the 
structure prevailmg through the whole composition equally requiring them. 

• Here forty lines of similar structure alternately Saxon and Latin have 
been omitted. The text is often in both languages corrupt. The four lines 
subjoined form the conclusion.— Ed. 


will be found to consist, for the most part, of feet of two or tliree 
syllables each, having the emphasis on the first, and analogous 
therefbce to the trochee or dactyl, sometimes perhaps to the spon- 
dee, of classic metre. 

In the above specimen, the line ^'Deet we motun" evidently 
consists of two trochees,- or a spondee and trochee. " Ead^e mid 
Enjlum/' of a dactyl and trochee. '^ Secan, and ^esittan/' of three 

This appears to have been the fundamental principle of the 
Saxon metrical system. Variety was produced, and the labour of 
versificaUon lessened by the admitting lines of different lengths from 
two to four feet, and frequently by the addition of a syllable extra- 
ordinary, either at the commencement or termination of the verse ; 
a circumstance which we find repeatedly occurring in our own 
poetry, without any such violation of cadence as to alter the cha- 
racter of the metre. The former license is in Saxon the less com- 
mon of the two. 

I think, however, it may be traced in the following instances. 

Du eart^ HseleSa^ Helm, 
And] Beofen^ deman, 

Enjla Ordfruman, 
And| EOrSan tuddor'. 

Lseton^ »fter^ beorjan 
In| blacum^ reafum. 

And ssec, fremedon, 
And| ISaet ne je^lyfdon*. 

Bi/olden on^ ferSe 

Summa^ finjrum^ w»l. 

^ Caedmon, p. 105. * Idem. 


The latter, if it is indeed to be regarded as a license of the same 
kind, and not rather to be referred to another principle» which I 
shall consider immediately, is much more common. Several in- 
stances of it occur in the few lines already quoted. In the follow- 
ing and some similar lines, there appears to be an additional syl- 
lable both at the commencement and termination. 

Wece? and, WreceS 
swa| Wildu, deor. 

Occasionally lines of three or even two syllables occur ; as» 
La'Ses, sprssc. Almijhtne, 

To frofre. Hwaet ^\x eart. 

Nu ic iSus. Mihtum swid. 

Fah wyrm. 

In the former of these cases (and perhaps also wherever a syl- 
lable extraordinary is to be found at the termination of a line) the 
emphasis might be so strongly marked as to render it equivalent to 
two. The latter instance (Fah wyrm) would not offend against the 
general rhythm. 

The following passages from Csedmon will give examples both 
of the longer and shorter kinds of metre *. 

' It has been doubted (see Mr. Bosworth*8 Saxon Grammar^ p. 2^47) 
whether the following extract might not be reduced to lines of the shorter 
structure by bemistichial division; but two reasons seem conclusive 
against such an attempt : — let, the couplets formed by such an arrange- 
ment from the Srd, 7th, 9th and 11th lines as here printed, would be 
destitute of alliteration : — and 2dly, the same alliteral letter obviously 
extends to the couplet to formed of the longer lines. To make this 
clearer, braces have been pla6ed against the alliteral couplets, as the 
extract begins with the last and ends with the &st line of a couplet. — 


^nne^ hsfde he swa^ swi^ne je^worhtne^ 
8wa^ BGhti^QC/ on his^ BSod je'Sohte 1 
he let^ hine swa^ Bficles^ wealdan^ X 
Hehstne to^ him on^ KeofDa^ rice, 1 

Efefde he, Hine swa, bwitne je^worhtnej j 
8wa; Wynlic, "WaBS his, "WaBstin on, heofonum, "I 
•Baet him, com from, Weroda, Dribtne, J 

jjdgLic wies, he iSam, Zieohtum, steorrum,! 
liof, sceolde he, Drihtnes, wyrcean J 

Dyran, sceolde he his, Dreamas on, heofonuro,! 
and, sceolde his, Drihtne, ^ancian, J 

^s, Lenes, "Se he him, on "Sam, laeolite 2e,scerede. 

C»dm. p. 6. 1. 14. 

Unum creaverat adeo potentem, 

adeo pracellentem intellectu, 

dederat ei tarn ingentem pottstatem^ 

proximam ribi in cahrum regno, 

ilium adeo lucidum creaverat, 

adeo latusfuitfructus ejus (vita) in calis, 

qui ad eum vemt a supremo Domino, 

similis erat lucidis stellis, 

gloria debuerat Domini inservire, 

cara habere debuerat gaudia sua in calis, 

et debuerat Domino mo gratias agere, 

pro munere quod ilk ei in luce decreverat. 

Us is, Riht micel. Nobis est tequissimum 

iSast we, Rodera, weard, ut azU custodem 

"Wereda, Wuldor, cininj, exercituum, gloria-regem, 

Wordum, herigen, verbis exaltemus, 

Modum, lufien, animis diligamu^s : 

he is, BC»gna sped, ille est potentissimus, 

Keafod ealra princeps omnium 

Heah jesceafta. excellentium creaturarum. 


I now pass to the second document above alluded to^ as calcu- 
lated to throw some light upon this subject^ from the circumstance 
of its author having superadded the ornament of rime to. that of 
alliteration. This has hitherto escaped the observation of our 
Saxon scholars. Wanley, indeed, (to whom we are indebted for 
the only detailed notice of the £xeter Maouscripty) appears to have 
examined the section in which it is contained with much, less than 
his usual dihgence and accuracy. 

It will perhaps enable us to appretiate more justly the evidence 
deducible from the metrical con8tructi<»i of this poem, if we recall 
what has been said above as to the method of punctuation by which 
ihe Anglo-Saxons were accustomed to distinguish their poetry from 
their prose. The dots or points which they used for this purpose 
may doubtiess, through the negligence of transcribers, have been 
either omitted, or erroneously inserted. In other instances they 
may have perished from the injuries of time, weather, and ill usage. 
Thus the received division of the verse may in many cases become 
questionable, and any theory grounded upon it be represented as 
destitute of proof. Against conclusions drawn from the poem in 
question, it is evident that no such objection can reasonably be 

After a diligent examination, it appears to me that the difierent 
species of verse used in this composition may be thus classed : — 

1. Those which may at first sight be recognised as trochaic or 
dactylic : these are by far the most numerous ; as, 

Glenjed^ hiwum Lisse mid, longum 

Blissa^ bleoum Leoma je^ton^um 

Blostma, hiwum ■ 

Horsce mec^^heredon 

Swi^e ne^ minsade Hilde je^neredon. 

2. Of the trochaic species, with the hypercatalectic syllable ; as, 

Ahte ic^ ealdor^ stol 
Galdor^ wordum^ gol. 


Wees on^ lapi^ stream^i lad 
Bier me| lecSu^ ne bi^ j^ad. 

3, lines of three syllables (similar to those mentioned above) ; 


TiTf weljade 
Bhed^ blissade 

Giddhf hafa'S 

TreoWy "Bra j 
Is to^ traj. 

In this poem, and in all the other metrical compositions of the 
Saxons with which I am acquainted, there are certainly many 
lines which it is beyond my power to reduce to a strict agreement 
with this metrical system ; but these diflSculties are not, I thmk, 
of sufficient frequency or cogency to invalidate those conclusions 
concerning the metre of Anglo-Saxon poetry, which may be drawn 
from the general tenour of its construction. It is probable, too, 
that an onculdvated age was not very fastidious as to the precise 
observation of the rhythmical canons. If the violations of metre 
were not such as grossly to offend in singing or repetition, they 
would scarcely demand any higher degree of correctness ^ 

' The Author has expressed his opinion more fully as to the degree 
of licence allowable in Anglo-Saxon poetry in the following remarks on 
the metrical rules laid down in Rask's Saxon Grammar (as translated 
in Mr. Bosworth's Grammar), which essentially agree with the canons 
four years previously deduced by himself in the above essay, but sup< 
pose a more strict and undeviating regularity of observance. They ar^ 
extracted from a letter to Mr. Bosworth. — " Does not Mr. Rask speak 
on the whole too much as though he was considering an artificially 
constructed system of metre? I suspect that the matter lies completely 
on the surface, and that the good barbarians were content if their verse 
had rhjTthm enough to be sung, and alliteration enough to strike the 
ear at once. The system, if system it may be called, is neither more 
nor less than that of our old ballads, in which the ear is satisfied not by 
the number of syllables^ but h/ the recurrence of the accent^ or ictus, if 
one may call it so. Southey and Coleridge have made good use of 
this [Lstpov a^Mft^av, and the latter, m one of his prefaces, has, if my 
memory serves me, philosophized upon its structure." 



(From the Exeter MS. p. 94.) 

The very extraordinary composition last referred to is here 
presented to the reader in its entire form, in pursuance of the ex- 
pressed intention of the late Author. As, however, no progress to- 
wards the execution of that intention had been made by him» the 
task of translation has devolved on the Editor ; and it is in this 
instance a task of no slight difficulty : for the poet, bound by the 
double fetters of alliteration and rime, has found himself obliged 
to sacrifice sense to sound» to a more than ordinary extent. The 
style is throughout figurative» harsh» and elliptical in the highest 
degree : words occurring in no other Saxon writer, and to be in- 
terpreted therefore only through the medium of an uncertain 
analogy, are frequent ; and more common terms are disguised by 
an unaccustomed variety of spelling. Under these circumstances, 
it must be still more a subject of regret that the light which the 
critical acumen of the late accomplished Author might have thrown 
on this very obscure production has been denied. 

To the brief observations on its metrical structure already given, 
the Editor has only to add the following remarks :— 

1. The rime is frequently double : and the poet, not contented 
with this exhibition of his powers in the accumulation of similar 
sounds, has in one passage (of nine lines) introduced an additional 
rime into the body of every line, thus : — 

Bald Aid "SwiteV ' 
Wtoc foe wri«e« 
Wrath ath smiteS 

so that every letter almdst is fettered by the absurd intricacy of the 


The identical rimes are not confined to the couplet, but extend 
sometimes to eight or ten lines. 

2. The whole style of composition is analogous to the later sy- 
stems of Scaldic metre introduced about the middle of the ninth 
century in the place of the more simple versification of the Edda 
and Foluspa (which is altogether identical with the usual Saxon 
metre). It is probable that the knowledge of these more compli- 
cated systems was introduced among the Saxon poets in the age 
of Canute ; but they do not appear to have found a favourable re- 
ception : the only instance which is extant of a regular imitation 
of them being that now presented to the reader. The following 
specimen from the Hattalykli (Key of Metre) of Snorro Sturleson 
will sufficiently evince the identity : it is> 1 believe, of the species 
called Ruhnenda. 

Lof er flytt forom 
Fyrir ^unnorom 
Ne spurd sporom 
Spioll jram snorom, 8cc. 

(Extracts from the Hattalykli published by Mr. Johnstone, p. 48.) 

From the difficulties above alluded to, the annexed translation 
is necessarily of so loose and conjectural a character that the 
Editor feels some apology requisite for presenting it to the public ; 
but from the great interest of the poem as a metrical relic of so 
unique a character, he was unwilling to suppress the original : and 
he conceived that an interpretation which might at least present 
some clue to the general meaning would be acceptable. The sub- 
ject appears to be an illustration of the transitory nature of human 
enjoyments : this is exhibited by describing the same individual as 
first flourishing in the very acme of pleasure, fame, affluence, and 
power; and then as a spirit tormented by the fires of purgatory, 
and a corpse consumed by worms. The conclusion points out the 
hope of translation, after these purifying pains have accomplished 
their appointed end, to the joys of heaven. 




Me lifes onlah 
Se "Sis leoht onwrah^ 
And "Sast torhte jeteph 
Tillice onwrab. 

Glsed wses ic jUwum, 
denied hiwum, 
Blissa bleoum 
Blostma hiwum. 

Sec^as mec se^on 
Symbel ne alejon 
Feorh-jiefe jefejon. 

Fr»twed waepim 

Wic ofer won^um, 
Wennan jon^um 

liisse mid lonpim 
Leoma ^etonpim^; 

Da wes weestmum aweaht 
World onsprehty 
Under roderum aweaht 
Ra9d msspie ofer "Seaht. 

Giestas jen^don, 
Ger-scype* menjdon. 

He raised me to life 
Who displayed this light. 
And this bright possession 
BountifuUy disclosed. 

Glad was I in glee> 
Adorned with [fair] colours. 
With the hues of bliss 
And the tints of blossoms. 

Men would say concerning me 
Thatperpetually I should not desist 
To rejoice in the gifts [blessings] 

[of life. 
Adorned in its paths 

[Was my] habitation on the earth, 
[So that I might] expect in my 

Favour with long 
Dispensations of light [felicity]; 

Then was I abounding in fruits 
And flourishing in the world. 
Springing up beneath the heavens 
And exceUing in the force of 
— — [counsel. 

Guests came. 
They intermixed in commerce. 

* •Getincje/ eondkioy status. -Lye. 

• 'Ger-scype' is perhaps from the same root with our * gear,' and the 
Saxon 'j^rsumat' treasure; and will then bear the sense I have 
signed it — the procuring of gear, i. e. commerce. 



lisse lenjdon^ 
Luftum jjieagion. 

Scrifen* scrad jlad 
Durh-2;escad inbrad 
W«s on laju streame lad 
Daer me leoUu • ne bi jlad, 
Hslde ic baeaDoe had^ 
Ne waBs me in healle jad 
D»t "BaBr rof weord rad ; 

Oft iter rinc ^ebad 

Bet he in sele saeje^ 



Deynum jeSyhte * . 
Deaden ivaos ic maeren. 

Horsce mec heredon, 
Hilde jeneredon, 
Faejre feredon^ 
Feondon biweredbn. 

Swa mec byht-pefu heold 
Hyjp Dryht befeold ; 

They prolonged my pleasures^ 
And adorned me with luxuries. 

Vestments of joy carefully wrought 
Shed around in breadth 
Were led over the ocean-flood 
Where my vessel miscarried not. 
I held a high state. 
Nor was there in my hall any peer 
Who would utter a haughty 

word there; 
But men often supplicated there 

[For the treasures] which they 

beheld in my court. 
The weighed silver. 

Thence was I powerful, 

Brave warriors obeyed me, 
They delivered me in batUe, 
They fairly supported me, [mies. 
And protected me firom mine ene- 

So faithfully the gifts of hope 
Did the Lord pour into my mind ; 

' ' Scrileny' curare. Lye. I doubt» however, my translation of this and 
the foHowing line, but am unable to substitute one more satisfeu^tory. 

* 'Leo&n,' namgare. Lye. I suppose ']eo%u' to be a substantive 
£ram the same root. 

' Sofine word which might rime with < maejen ' in the next line has 
here been lost from the text. 

^ b2 


Sta'Sol »htum steald, 

Stepe-;oD2um weold. 
Swylce eortSe ol 
Ahte ic ealdor stol ; 
Galdor wordum ;oi, 
Gomel 6ibbe neof ' oil. 

Ac wes ^efest jjdBX, 
Gellende sner, 
Wuniende waer, 
Wil-bec • be sc»r. 

Scealcas w»ron scearpe, 
Scyl W8BS hearpe. 

Hlude hlynede^ 
HleoiSor dynede, 
Swejl-rad swinsade 
SwilSe^ ne minsade. 

' Bur; sele beofode, 
Beorht hiifade ; 
Ellen eacnade, 
Bad eacnade ; 

He established a firm foundation' 
for my possessions» [goings. 
And directed my steps in their 
So in the earth 
I possessed a royal seat ; 
I sang magic strains, [disgrace* 
And grown old in peace I had no 

But I was formerly firm> 


Abiding safely, 

With an abundant stream[of good] 

by my portion. 
My servants were sagacious» 
There was skill in thdr harping. 

It resounded loud. 
The strain re-echoed. 
Melody was heard 
Powerfully, nor did it cease. 

The hall vibrated (at the sound), 
Splendour shone ; 
My spirit expanded. 
My happiness increased ; 

* I have considered 'neof as irregularly formed firom the verb 
'n' abban/ not to have; whence '%u n'aefest.' But I am fiur from 
satisfied widi this conjecture. 

* ' Wil-bec' appears of the same fiiinQy of compounds with 'will- 
bume' and * will-flood/ signifying a welling stream, * Be scser ' may 
mean by my share or portion ; and the image conveyed by this line will 
then be, " The stream of abundance was in my portion :" but in this 
and many other instances I can only ofier my attempts to interpret the 
obscure metaphors of the original poem as possible conjectures. 



Freaum frodade, 
Fromura ^odade, 
Mod msejnade. 
Mine faejnade. 
Treow teljade, 
Tir weljade, 
* « « • 
Blied blissade, 
Gold jearwade. 
Gun bwearfade. 
Sine searwade^. 
Sib nearwadc ; 

From ic wass in (netwum^ 
Freolic in in-jeatwum, 

Wass niin dream dryhUic^ 
Drohtad hybtlic ; 

Foldan ic freo^Sode, 
Folcum ic leoSode ; 
Tif wses min lonje 
Leodum injemonje^ 
Tirum ^etonje 
Teala ^ehonje. 

Nu min hreSer is hieoh, 
Heoh'-si'Sum sceoh, 

I was prudent among princes, 
And successful among the brave, 
Powerful in mind, 
And rejoicing in spirit. 
My tree fiourisbed, 
My sway increased, 

Fruit blessed me. 
Gold was at hand, 
Gems poured around me. 
Silver was artificially wrought. 
My kindred were closely united ; 

t was brave in adornment. 
And graceful in carriage. 

My glory was lordly^ 
My dominion illustrious ; 

I was benevolent to the land, 

I sang lays to the people ; 

My life was long 

Among my nation^ 

My condition in my dominions 

Was happily supported. 

But now my breast is rough, 
Shaken by the season of woe» 

' The defective alliteration shows that a line is here lost. 

* * Searwian' usually occurs in an unfavourable sense, meaning to 
employ artifice: yet, as we find the related terms ' searw* used for a 
machine f and 'searolice' for mechanically^ it may, I think, bear the 
ngnification here assigned. 

' *Heoh' is perhaps used in the place of 'heof/ voe. 'Sceoh,' 
for ' sceoc,' shook ; from ' sceacan.' 



Nyd bys^m neah ; 
Gewited nihtes infleah 

Se »r in dsdge was dyre ; 
Scri^Sed nu deop feor. 

Brond hord jehlowen 
Breostum infor^rowen ; 
Flyhtum to-flowen 
Flah is jeblowen 

Miclum in ^emynde 
Modes jecynde ; 
Grete8 onjrynde 
Grorn ofen pynde. 

Bealo-fiis byrneS, 
Bittre wyrne8 ; 

Wid SI'S onpnne^, 
Sar ne sinne'S ; 
Solium cinniiS 
Blaad bis blinniiSy 
Blisse linna'8, 
Listum linneB ; 
Lustum ne cinneS. 

Dreamas swa her ^edresa'S^ 
Dryht scyre jehreosa'B ; 
Lif her men forleosa-B 
Leahtras oft jeceosa'S ; 

Nigh to stem necessi^ ; 

And he is tormented at the ap- 
proach of night 

Who before in the day waa 
highly esteemed ; 

Deep fire now is wrapt around. 

And the hoard of brands inflamed 
Increasing around his breast ; > 
Flowing in flights ^ 
The dart is blown forth 

Against the haugh^ of soul 
In the disposition of his mind ; 
He lamenteth in the abyss 
Pained in the fiimace of woe. 

The prompt destruction burnetb. 
Bitterly it correcteth him ; 

A wdde journey beginneth. 

Affliction ceaseth not ; 

He exclaimeth in sorrows 

His joy hath ceased. 

His bliss hath declined, 

He is fallen firom his delights ; 

He exclaimetii not in happiness. 

Thus glories here are prostrated. 
And the lordly lot brought low ; 
[So] men here lose their life 
And often choose crimes ; 

^ I apprehend the harsh metaphors of these lines to allude to the 
corrective fires and tortures of purgatory. 



Treow ISraj 

Is to-trajy 

Seo untnime ^ena;. 

Steapum ealole mislSah 

Ond eal etund jcn^S- 

Swa nu world wendeS ; 
Wyrde sendeS, 
And hetes henteS ; 
HflBleSe scynderS, 

Wer cynje witeS, 
Wei jar sliteS, 
Flah mah fliteS, 
Flan man hwiteS, 
Burj sorj biteS ; 
Bald aid ^witeS, 
Wneoftec wri'8a'8, 

WralS a% smit^ ; 

Sin-jrynd sida^S 

S»cre [snaro] fearo jliderS, 

Grom torn jnBfefS> 
Gneft hafalSy 

Searo hwit sola's ' 
Sumur het colaSi 
Fold fela fealleS, 
Feond-scire wealleth, 

A faithful course 

Is withdrawn, [aboundeth. 

And that which hath no firmness 

Thus now the world wendeth ; 
Fate sendeth [men to iheir doom], 
And feuds pursue them ; 
Chieftains oppress, 

War-kings go forth. 
The dart of slaughter pierceth, 
The violent arrow flieth, 
The spear smiteth them, 
Sorrow devoureth the city ; 
The bold man in age decays. 
The season of vengeance tor- 

menteth him, 
And enmity easily assaileth him ; 
The abyss of sin increaseth, 
Sudden treachery glideth in. 

Grim rage grieveth. 
Woe possesseth. 

£very possession is deceitful, 
Summer's heat^groweth cool. 
Many things fall to the ground. 
The portion of strife aboundeth. 

' The construction seems forced, but no other suggests itself. 
* ' SolaV* is perhaps the same with * ssel^/ possessions* 



EorS msejen ealda'S, 
Ellen colaS. 

Earthly power groweth old. 
Courage groweth cold. 

Me "Sffit wyrd jewsef, 
And jebwyrt forjeaf 
ThsBt ic jrofe jraef. 
And "Sfet pimme.jraBf 

This Fate wove for me, 
^nd as decreed assigned it [grief. 
That I should grieve with this 
And the grim grave 

Flean fleesce ne mae; ; 
Don flah hred das^, 

Flesh may not flee ; 

Soon as the rapid day hath flown» 

Nid srapum nimeS 
Don seo neah becymeS ; 

Necessity seizeth in her grasp 
When she cdmeth nigh ; 

Seo me eSles onfonn. 

And mec her heardes on conn. 

Donne lichoma lijeS, 
Lima wyrm iiitefS, 

Ac him wen ne^ 'S^^Z'^^9 
And "Sa wist ^ehyjerS 

She that hath taken me from my 

And here exerciseth me in hard- 
Then the corpse lieth, 
Worms fret the limbs. 
And the worm departeth not. 
And there chooseth its repast 

0%%iBt beo'S 'Sa ban an ; 
And set nyhstan nan 
Nefne se nede tan' 

Until there be bone only left; 

And at the last there is no one 

But that his fate compels [him to 


" * Wen.* * Wen-wyrm/ vermis genus. Lye. 

* A line is here lost. 

' 'Tan' is sometimes used for lot (vide Lye). The line seems 
equivalent with " OWe sio wyrd us nede,'' swe fatum nos compelUt. 
Boeth. 40, 7. 



Balawan herje hlotene. 

Ne bith se hlisa adroren ^ 

lEr tet eadi; ^eSenceS 
He bine % oftor swenceS, 

Byi^efS him & bitran synne, 
Ho^alS to "Siere betran wynne. 

GemoD morSa lisse. 
Her sinden miltsa blisse. 

Hyhtlice in heofona rice. 
Uton nu halpim jelice 

Scyldum byscyrede, 
Scyndum jenerede, 
'VPommum biwerede, 

• • # # « 
Dan* mon cyn mot 
For meotude rot. 

SoSne God ^eseon. 
And aa in sibbe ^efean. 

A prey to that destructive host 

[the worms]. [happiness 

Nor shall he be conversant with 

Ere the blessed one [God] thinketh 
That he hath sufficiently often 
afficted him [for the purpose 
of purgatorial correction]. 
And burieth for him his bitter sin, 
And exalteth to a better joy. 

Remember [therefore] immor- 
Where are merciful blessings. 

Full of hope in heaven's kingdom. 
Ah, may we be like the toints 

Washed from our sins. 
Liberated from condemnation, 
Protected from terror. 

Where mankind shall 
Before their Creator rejoicing. 

Behold the true God, 
And evermore enjoy peace. 

The Exeter MS. contains also some other instances of rime^ not 
indeed used through an entire poem (as in the preceding compo- 
sition), but occasionally introduced. One of these instances occurs 

^ I read this, ** Ne hX se lissa adrohten/' which restores the rime. 
* A line is here lost. 



in that part of the poem on the Phodnix printed in italics in the 
present work, p. 9S6. Anodier (here subjoined) is found in the 
Hymn of which a short analysis is given, p. 215. 

Dset nu manna ^ehwylc 
Cwic "Senden her wana^S 
^eCeosan mot 
swa Helle HierSu 
swa Heofones mserSu ; 
swa Leohte Leoht 
swa 'Sam La'San niht ; 
swa THrymmes THnece, 
swa THrystra wrsece ; 

swa mid Drihten Dream, 
swa mid Deoflum hraem ; 
swa Wite mid WralSum, 
swa VITuldor mid arum; 
swa Iiife swa dea'S ; 
swa him Leofe bi'S. 

That now whosoever among men 
here abideth in life 
X might choose 
either hell fire 
or heaven's joy; 
either the bright light 
or loathsome night ; 
either the majesty of glory, 
or the punishment of audacious 

crimes ; 
either glory with the Lord, 
or groaning with devils ; 
either punishment with wrath, 
or glory with honour; 
either life or death; 
as his will shall be. 





[^From Vol, xvii. of the Arch^solooia.] 
Read before the Ant. Soc., Dec. 9, 181d. 

In the last communication^ I endeavoured to prove that the 
poebcal compositions of the Anglo-Saxons were distinguished 
from their prose by the continual use of a certain definite rhythm ; 
and to investigate, as far as I was able, the metrical structure of 
those venerable and interesting remains. I now proceed to add 
such further remarks on their peculiar characteristics as have been 
suggested to me by an attentive though partial examination of the 
principal works of this description, preserved either in print or in 

With respect to the alliteration systematically adopted by all 
the writers of Anglo-Saxon poetry, littie perhaps can be added to 
the observations of the laborious Hickes. It may however be 
briefly noticed, that our ancestors do not appear to have been 
anxious to construct their alliterative systems with the intricacy or 
variety said to be discoverable in those of the northern Scalds ^ ; 
that tiiey were more partial to the recurrence of consonants than 
vowdfl ; and that they were usually studious of throwing the alii- 

^ This intricacy, however, is to be found only in Scaldic poetry of 
more recent date than the dose of the 9th century. The fomyrdalagt 
at ancient metre, is entirely parallel to the Saxon versification in this 
and every other respect. — Ed. 


teration on the emphatic syllables. I do not recollect any instance 
of an attempt to carry on the same alliteration through a consider- 
able number of Unes together. It seldom, I believe, extends be- 
yond the distich ; and its constant recurrence within this definite 
space would alone, I am convinced, have been sufficient to induce 
Mr. Tyrwhitt, had he given more of his time and attention to the 
subject, to regard it as an index' of a systematic and uniform di- 
vision of the sentence, to which nothing analogous could be dis- 
covered in the prose compositions either of the Anglo-Saxons or 
any other people. In those cases (and they are of extremely rare 
occurrence) where no alliteration can be traced, we may fairly 
conjecture that its absence is owing either to the carelessness of 
the writer, or, which is yet more probable, to the license frequently 
assumed by the transcribers of the middle ages, of substituting for 
the original text such expressions as appeared to themselves more 
poetical or more intelUgible. 

But enough has, I trust, been ofiered upon this subject to dear 
up, in some measure at least, the obscurity in which the haste and 
inaccuracy of one whom, upon any other point of criticism, it 
would be difficult to convict of either, had involved it. 

The general history of Anglo-Saxon poetry, and the character- 
istic features of its diction and composition, have been so ably 
illustrated by the pen of Mr. Turner, as to leave but litde to the 
industry of his successors in that field of literature. 

That genUeman has particularly noticed the constai\t accumula- 
tion of equivalent, or nearly equivalent, words and phrases, which, 
as it generally constitutes the chief and earliest ornament of the 
poetry of rude and illiterate nations, appears in that of our Saxon 
ancestors to have supplied almost entirely the place of those higher 
graces and resources of composition, which are the natural results 
of a more advanced state of civil society, and a more extended 
range of information. There is, however, one peculiarity of con- 
struction occurring in the poetical remains of the Anglo-Saxons, 
which, as &r as my knowledge extends, has not been mentioned 


by any preceding writer ; and which, nevertheless, is so generally 
prevalent in them, as tx) preclude, I think, all supposition of its 
being other than the effect of design. I mean an artificial arrange- 
ment of the several phrases or clauses of which the sentence is con- 
stituted, in a manner somewhat resembling that observed by Bishop 
Lowth in the sacred poetry of the Hebrews, and termed by that 
illustrious scholar Parallelism. 

Of this the following examples will give, perhaps, a better notion ' 
than any explanation. 

Terra tremuit^ 
Etiam casli stillarunt. 
Propter Deum 
Ipse Sinai, 
Propter Deum, 
Deum Israelis. 


Eduxit populum suum cum gaudio, 
Cumjubilo electos suos. 

Quum exiret Israel ex Mgypto, 
Familia Jacobi, a populo barbaro» 

Qui convertit rupem in stagnum aquarum, 
Saxum dliceum infontem aquarum ^. 

Many more examples may be found by referring to the PralL 
Hebb. of Lowth ; but in most, if not in all of them, there is a pa- 
rallelism of the verb, as well as of the other parts of the sentence, 
and the clauses are frequently connected by a conjunction ; cir- 
cumstances seldom observable in the parallelism (if I may be so 
allowed to term it) of the Anglo-Saxon writers. In the following 

" Ps. Ixviii. 9 ; cv. IS ; cxiv. 1,3. I quote from the literal trans- 
lation of Berlin. Upsal, 1805. 




specimens I have marked the corresponding Unes with the same 

*J Da W8BS wuldres weard 
Wolcnum bifenpm 

*) Heah enjla Cyninj 
Ofer hrofas upp 

^) Haligra helm. 

^) Wile hi to eow 
^) Ealles waldend 
^) Cyninj on ceastre 
^) CorBrene lytle 
^) Fym-weorca fnima 

*J Folcjelsedan 
^) In drsema draem. 

Ibi erat gloria Dominus 
Cadis trementibiLs, (disruplis,) 
Alius angelorum Rex 
Super fastigia elevatus 
Sanctorum tutela* 

VuU ilk tanquam oves 
Omnium Dominus 
Rex in civitate (suk) 
Coronam parvam 
Antiquorum operum origo (crea- 

tionis Auctor) 
Gentem ducere 
In gaudiorum gaudium. . 

The foregoing are extracted from the Exeter MS. The poems 
attributed to Ceedmon a£R)rd innmnerable instances of the same 

One paragraph in his description of the Deluge may be rendered 
line for line, and almost word for word, thus : 

*) Betliought him then, our God 
^) Of him that ploughed the wave, 
*) The gracious Lord of Hosts 
^) Of Lamech's pious son, 
^) And of each living soul 
^) He saved amid the floods, 
^) All glorious fount of life, 
^) High o'er the deep abyss. 

A somewhat similar species of apposition may occasionally, 
though I believe very rarely, be observed in the lyric poetry of the 


Grreeks. There is a slight trace of it in a magnificent passage of 
the tenth Olympic of Pindar : 

*YvD 9T€p€f irvpl, irXayau re aih&pov 
BaOvv els o^^ov &Ta$ Uoitray 'EA'N UD'AIN. 

In our own language, the Paradise Regained oii&rs one passage 
of a like construction : 

Where God is prused aright, and godlike men. 
The holiest of holies and his saints. 

In the very few instances in which this figure is to be found in 
classical or in English poetry, it may perhaps be fairly regarded 
(so &r as the term is applicable to any thing connected with 
studied composition) as occiderUaL In the Saxon, on the other 
handy it is too uniformly adopted, and carried to fiur too great an 
extent to be attributed to mere chance. Whether it constituted a 
pcfft of their ori^al poetical mechanism, or whether it was 
adopted, with some little modification, firom the style of those sa- 
cred poems in which it forms so prominent a feature, is a question 
to which it would perhaps be difficult to give even a plausible 
answer. As far as my own obeervation has gone, it appears to 
be most frequently used in those poems the subjects of which are 
drawn from scripture. It might also perhaps be questioned by 
some whether the rhythmical system itself, which it has been the 
otgect of these communications to illustrate, was originally the 
property of our northern ancestors, or whether it was constructed 
by them (after their conversion to Christianity, and consequent 
acquaintance with the general literature of the age) in imitation of 
the shorter trochaic and dactylic metres of the later classical and 
ecclesiastical poets ; the authors most likely to have fiimished the 
writers upon moral and religious topics with their favourite models. 
The resemblance between these and the Anglo-Saxon poems in 


point of rhythm is certainly very considerable ; but there is yet 
little reason to suppose it the effect of imitation. The same metri- 
cal system is certainly to be traced through the whole of that sin- 
gular poem, the Voluspa, which, if we can rely upon the authority 
of the northern editors of their own national poetry, is the earliest 
composition extant in the Icelandic, and was written before tbe 
conversion of that people to Christianity, and consequently while 
they were yet ignorant of the models above alluded to '. 

These poems, too, being probably in most cases composed for 
the instruction and use of unlettered persons, their authors would 
hardly have gone out of their way to choose a metre to which the 
individuals whom they chiefly expected to reap the benefit of their 
pious labours were unaccustomed. 

However this may be with respect to the metre, the systematic 
use of alliteration is a practice entirely of northern or (as it also 
was used by the Welch) of Celtic origin*. The instances of its 
occurrence, collected by Hickes from writers of classical antiquity, 
show by their scantiness that it never could have formed any part 
of the systematic prosody either of the Greeks or Latins. Whether 
it is to be found in that of any other country, I am ignorant'. If 
the Normans brought it with ttiem into France, they lost it (to- 
gether with their original language) at a very early period. In 
this country, though generally superseded by the use of rime, it 
continued occasionally to show itself, even sometimes in company 
with that intruder, at least till the period of the revival of letters. 

* The analogy, or rather the identity, of the Anglo-Saxon metre, 
and the fomyrdalag, or most ancient system of the Icelandic Scalds, 
forms the subject of a subsequent article in this Introduction. — Ed. 

* An analysis of the Celtic metrical systems will be found in a subse- 
quent part of this Introduction. — Ed. 

' It is affirmed in the Hodegus Finmcus, a Grammar of that language 
by Martinius, that the Finlanders have an alliterative metre. They 
may possibly have adopted it from their Gothic neighbours. 



I have subjoined as a specimen, which may somewhat further 
contribute to illustrate this subject^ the descripdon of the Deluge 
from Casdmon, in which I have adopted the following marks : 

The antique letters mark the alliterative consonants or vowels, 
as Fus. 

I marks the supposed division of feet, as Si'S'San,. 

marks a syllable supposed in recitation to have been rendered 
(by the emphasis) equivalent to two, as Tir. 

+ marks a line, the rhythm of which appears doubtful, as 
+ WraM:on arleasra feorh. 

Drihten^ sende 
Rejn from^ Roderum, 
and eaC| Hume let 
Wille^ buman 
on Woruld^ ^rinjan 
of^ JBdra je^waere. 
Ejor^ streamas 
Swearte, Swo^an. 
Sees upjStijon 
ofer^ STea^ weallas. 
BTranj wes and^ reSe 
se &! WsBtrumi "Weold ; 
Wreah and^ 'Seahte 
Bbn/bhlSu^ beam. 
BCddani ^eardes 
Wonnan^ Wseje 
Weraj 8S%el-land 
Hof| Bei^ode. 
Hyje^ teonan^ wrsec 
Hetod onj Monnum. 
Bfere^ swi^i jrap 
OD| Fa^Ci Pole. 

Deus tnisit 
pluviam a ccdo, 
el etiam lati dedit 
fontes scaturientes 
in orbem irmere 
e vend omni . 
ntgn' resonabant. 
Maria ascendebant 
super riparum matda. 
Foriis erai et acer 
qui aquis imperavit; 
tegebat et obruebat' 
Mediant terrain 
luridus Jluctu$ 
hominum patriam 
elevatam vastavit* 
Ammi iniquitatem ulciscebatur 
Creator in homines. 
Marefurens corripuit 
languentem populum^ 



Feowertij^ daja» 
Nibta^ oiSer swilc^ 
Ni'S W8B8| reSe, 
WwU-jrinii Werum. 
"Wuldor^ cyninjes^ y^a 
+ wrsecon^ arleasra^ feorh ' 
of FliSBSCy homan. 
FLod ealle wreab 
Hreoh under^ Heofonum 
Hea, beor^as 
jeond^ Sidne 2^nd, 
and OD| SuDd ahof 
Earce from^ EorSan 
and ^a^ JB^lo^ mid. 
Da^ Sejnade 
Eklfa^ Dribten^ 
SCyppend^ usser| 
%a he ^t^ SCip beleac. 
Si^-San, Wide rad 
Wolcnum^ under 
ofer^ Holmes Hrinc; 
Hot] seleste*^ 
For mid^ Fearme. 
Fcere ne, moston 
Waej^ li^Sendum 
WsBtres, brojan. 
Baeste^ Hrinon 
ac bie^ Hali^^ God 

Qiuidraginta dies, 

nodes rinrnl totidem, 

irafuit gravis, 

strageferox in viros. 

Gloria regis unda 

ulsciscebatur impiorum mentem 

came vestitorum [i. e. hominum.^ 

Fluctus omnes tegebai 

asper sub ccdo 

altos monies 

per latam terram, 

et super undam levabat 

areata a terrd 

et habitatores simuL 

Hoc illijusserat 

ipse Dominus 

Creator noster 

ut earn navem circumeluderet. 

Tunc lati profecta est 

sub codo 

super oceani circuitum 

domus beata. 

Ibat cum habitatoribus. 

Timere non debebant 

undam navigantes 

aqtUB violentiam* 

JEsium tetigerunt, 

sed eos sanctus Deus 

* We should probably read 

HfiSsL wraecoxi ' 
Arleasra feorh 

which perfectly restores the metre. The metrical points seem to have 
been misplaced in the MS. — Ed. 



Ferede sndf nerede. 
Fifteoa; stod 
Deop ofer^ Dunum 
8»! Drence flod, 
Monnes^ elna. 
D»t iS| Maero wyrd^. 
Dam »t| Niehstan 
wsBs^ Nan to ^e/iale 
+ oym'Se heo wffis 
+ abafen on 
+ ^ bean lyft.^ 
Da se^ Ejor-here 
EorSan^ tuddor 
EAll a|Cwealde:* 
buton i$»t| EArcebord 
heold| beofona^ frea. 

p. 31. 

ducebat et seroabat. 

Quindedm stabat 

alta super monies 

maris unda 

hominum cubitus. 

Ille est casus memorabilis. 


erat nemo, in solitudine 

prater Eum qui erat 

efatus in 

alto ceslo (sc. Deum). 

Tunc aquarum agmen 

terra progeniem 

omnem obruit : 

sed earn arcam 

sustinuit call Dominus, 

■ In the printed copy these three lines are thus divided by the U3ual 
pmictaation. I have not at present the opportunity of consulting the 
MS. but should conjecture that the following was their original ar* 

NymVe Beo^ wees a^BCafen 

on Va^ Bean lyft. 








XHE detailed analysis into which the Author of the preceding 
pages has there entered appears to establish on the firmest evidence 
the following canons as the genuine metrical laws of the Anglo- 
Saxon poets : 

L The rhythm is invariably trochaic or dactylic; emphasis, 
however, holding the place of qdantity* 

IL Each line usually consists of two feetS admitting (by a 

' Some discussion has taken place on the continent whether these 
short metrical systems should be regarded as entire lines» orhemistichs 
only ; the remaining half of the alliterative couplet being included, in 
order to complete the full line : i. e. whether we ought to arrange the 
following lines thus : 

Fae^e Feollon 
Feld dynode 
Bec^a Bwate 
lti%Van Bunne up 
on Morten tid 



license familiar to many languages) the occasional introduc- 
tion of a redundant syllable at the beginning or end of the 
line. Instances of the deficiency of a syllable (the line in that 
case containing only three syllables) are also sometimes, though 
▼erjr rarely, found. 

III. Lines of three feet, and in some very rare instances even 
of four feet, are occasionally intermixed with those of the 
regular and shorter metre. 

IV. The lines are associated together in couplets by the allitera- 
tion : when most perfect, this system contains three recur- 

* rences of the same initial letter — ^two in theformer, the third 
in the latter, line of the couplet. Two such recurrences (one 
in each line) are, however, lield sufficient. If the alliteral 

or thus: 

OHad ofer Onmdas 
Ck>des candel beorht 
9 Sees Drihtnes 

<^V&et sio KEiS^e ^esceafl 
Sah to Sede. 

Fse^e feoUon . feld dynode 

Secja swate . sFWan sunne up 

On morjen tid . msere tunc|;ol 

Glad ofer ^rundas . Codes candel beorht 

Eces Drihtnes . oSSset seo seVele ^esceafi 

sah to setle. 

To me the whole question appears to belong to the typographer 
rather than the critic : whichever mode be adopted, the internal struc- 
ture of the verse is altogether unaffected ; and our decision may be 
safely regulated by the convenience of the press. So far as use and 
authority' are concerned, however, these are clearly in fiivour of the 
division into shorter lines : but it must be allowed that the second 
method would have the advantage of rendering the alliteration more 
prominent, and iDustrating the identity of the Saxon metre and that of 
Piers Plowman, which is always thus printed. 


initials are consonaDts, absolute identity is required ; but if 
vowels, every other vowel is regarded as equivalent ^ The 
alliteration must always fall on the accented syllables ; and 
the most perfect disposition appears to be when the last re- 
currence of the similar initial commences the first foot of the 
second line K 

V* The pauses are always at the end of lines ; but frequently 
carried beyond the couplet, falling on the close of the first line 
of the succeeding couplet : thus the monotony which would 
prevail if the pause generally coincided with the close of the 
alliteral system is avoided. 

VI. Terminal rimes are occasionally introduced in some com- 
positions apparendy of a later date, and referable to the Dano- 
Saxon period : these are frequently double. 

^ The intermixture of the less perfect alliteration of vowels» the 
frequent use of two instead of three alliteral sounds, and the shifting 
the place of the last, are absolutely necessary to relieve the monotonous 
effect of this system. 

* In the kindred metre of the Scandinavian Scalds, the alliteral word 
of the second line is called Hojvtstafur^ or Cardinal, being that which 
governs the others ; and these are termed Studlar^ or Auxiliaries. 





The history of Anglo-Saxon poetry may derive still further il* 
lustration from a critical, inquiry into the metrical systems of the 
kindred Gothic tribes ; for we shall find that the peculiar mode of 
▼ersification which has been already analysed was by no means 
confined to one single dialect of the widely extended parent lan- 
guage spoken by the swarms of the northern hive ; but, if not 
originally coextensive with that mighty tongue in all its ramifi- 
cations, at least afibrded the earliest vehicle of poetry in the Scan- 
dinavian and Teutonic as well as in the Anglo-Saxon branch. 
This circumstance claims our attention under a double point of 
view, as at once establishing the high antiquity of the system itself, 
and removing the possibility of doubt with regard to its precise 

In the first place, the common possession of this system by these 
Idndred continental nations at once carries its date backwards at 
least to the middle of the fifth century, the period when our Saxon 
and Anglic ancestors emigrated from their seats on the Elbe, since 
it must have originated while the intercourse of neighbourhood 
&voured its diffusion, and while these several tribes were as yet 
held together as the families of a common race. No historical cir- 
cumstances of a later age than the date assigned can with any show 
of probability be alleged as affording a solution of the fact stated : 
for altiiough much subsequent intercourse did indeed take place be- 
tween the Saxons and tiieir Danish invaders, yet most assuredly we 
cannot suppose it to have been of a nature at all likely to exert any 
literary influence previously to the establishment of the dynasty of 


Canute ; but we find the Saxons in full possession of this metrical 
system not only antecedently to that period, but even in the age of 
Bede(735) and of Caedmon (the latter half of the seventh century), 
Jong before the first keels of the Scandinavian Vikingr" had swept 
our coasts with the storm of their predatory warfare. 

The identity of the metrical system employed by the " Scald" of 
Scandinavia and the Anglo-Saxon " Scop/' besides affording this 
attestation to its antiquity, enables us to ascertain the genuine 
laws of that system with the utmost exactitude ; since it continued 
in common and vernacular use among the poets of the north in the 
age of Snonro ^ the great compiler of the canons of their prosody 
as well as their mythological traditions, in whose Hattalykli, or 
Key of Metres (drawn up about 1230), the rules by which it was 
regulated are recorded with the same minute precision vrith which 
we should find the measures of Pindar Or Horace illustrated by the 
grammarians of Greece or Rome. 

From these sources, as well as from the examination of the very 

* The earliest appearance of Danish pirates on the English coast did 
not take place till 780 ; nor were there any instances of their coming 
in considerable force before 832, or of their even remaining to take up 
winter quarters in the island tiU 854. It is absolutely impossible to 
suppose any fireedom of intercourse between them and the natives till 
Alfred aUowed the rempant of their invading hordes to colonize East 
Anglia in 878 : nor is it likely they could have materially influenced 
our language or literature till the epoch of their ascendancy in the be- 
ginning of the eleventh century. 

^ It cannot indeed be properly said to have become extinct in Ice- 
land even at die present day, although generally superseded by stanzas 
of more modem form, since a poet yet living has translated die Para- 
dise Lost mto diis ancient measure : nor is it the least interesting feature 
m Its history that it should have survived so many revolutions, and that 
the rude adventures of the gods of Asgard should have been sung by 
the ancient Scalds of Scandinavia to the same measure which has thus 
been made the medium of conveying to their descendants the lofty 
stram and awfiil truths of the Miltonic poem. 


copious remains of Scaldic poetry yet extant, we learn that, besides 
those complicated metrical systems which the perverse ingenuity 
of the Scalds of the eleventh century delighted to multiply and 
diversify to an extent almost endless (with equal injury, if modem 
ears and judgement may pronounce, to the harmony of their verse 
and freedom of their composition), their prosody always contiuned 
a metre of much more simple and natural construction, whose 
superior antiquity was attested by the name fomyrdalag, '' the 
ancient lay," its specific distinction. 

The fornyrdalag consists of short verses (generally dipodial, 
trochaics, or adoniacs^), in measure, cadence, and alliteration, com- 
pletely parallel to those of the Anglo-Saxon poetical remains ; so 
that the rules known to have prevailed in the one may without fear 
of mistake be applied to the illustration of the other. 

In this measure the whole of the Edda, and the poetry quoted by 
Snorro Sturleson in the Ynglinga Saga or History of the Ynglingi, 
the earliest dynasty of Norwegian kings, is composed. The first 
traces of the more intricate combinations of assonances do not 
appear till the reign of Harold Harfager (885), in which we find 
them first used by a Scald named Thorbiom HornkloSe. 

A single example will be sufficient to evince this identity of 
metrical system : it is indeed so strikingly obvious that it cannot 
fail to manifest itself at once to every eye and ear accustomed to 
or qualified for such investigaUons. The poem I have selected for 
the purposes of this comparison is the Gudmnar Quida, one of the 
most interesting contained in the Eddaic collection. It may be 
necessary, in order to explain its subject, to premise that it relates 
to the sorrow of Gudrun for the death of her husband Sigurd, 
treacherously murdered by her brother Gunnar. This story bore 
to the cycius of early northern poetry the same relations which the 

' On a carefiil examination of the Edda I find that about two-thirds 
of the poems contained in it consist exclusively of these shorter lines 
of two feet ; in the remainder, lines of three feet are occasionally inter- 
1, and in some few instances predominate. 


crimes and suffering of the houses of Laius and Atreus did to that 
of the Greeks, and has been rendered familiar to the English reader 
interested in this department of literature by the elegant abstracts 
given in Weber's Teutonic and Scandinavian Romances. 

The tone of feeling exhibited in the following extract may re- 
mind the classical reader of a phrase of expressive brevity, ftf/^^oo 4 
Ttarct ioanqiof in which Thucydides describes the sufferings of his 
countrymen before Syracuse : the language of nature and passion 
is the same in the philosophic historian of Athens and the untaught 
Scald of Scandinavia. 

In order to illustrate the close affinity of the Icelandic and Anglo- 
Saxon, I have inserted a literal translation in tlie latter language; 
or, I may rather say, an edition of the same poem in that dialect ; 
for the difierence, for the most part, consists only in the variation 
of spelling. The version thus formed retains the alliteration, and so 
far as a modem ear can judge, the rhythm of a genuine Saxon poem. 

Original Icelandic, Saxon version, 

Ar var "Sat Oudrun ^R ^am ISe Gudrun 

Gordiz at deyia Gearwode dydan 

er hon Sorj'^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^ Soi^fuUe Siet 

yfir SijurSi ; ofer Si^rde ; 

jerSit Hon Hiufra, ne jearcode Heo Beofinj» 

ne Hondom sla, ne Hondum sloh, 

ne Queina um ne ymb Cwanode 

sem Konor a%rar. swa same Cwenas oSre» 

English version. 
It was ere that Gudrun 
Prepared to die 
When she sorrowful sat 
Over Sigurd's [corpse ;] 
She made not showers [of tears]. 
Nor smote she with her hands, 
Nor moaned she for him 
The same as-other women. 



Original Icelandic. 

Genjo larlar, 
AUsnotrir fram, 
%eir er Hardz Hu^ar 
Hana lautto ; 
^Seyji GudruD 
Grata matti, 
sva var hun BIo^uj, 
Mundi hon sprinja. 

Saxon version. 
BOdon "Sa EOrlas, 
XSAl-snottera fruma, 
ISa %e of Heard-Hyje 
Hi laettan woldon ;, 
8wa iSeah Gudrun ' 
Grsetan ne mihte, 
swa wffis beo Modi^e, 
swa Mihte heo to sprinjao. 

. English version. 
There came earls, 
The chief of the wisest. 
Who from her hard state of mind 
Would have dissuaded [let] her; 
Nor yet Gudrun 
Might weep, 
So anguished was she. 
She was nigh to burst. 

Original Icelandic. 
Sato Itrar 
Xarla bru'Sir, 
GuUi bunar, 
fur Oudruno ; 
hver Sajdi ^irra 
Sinn of-trej;a, 
%ann er Bitrastan 

of Bedit hafdi. 

English version. 
There eat illustrious 
Brides [widows] of earls. 

Saxon version. 
Sseton Idesa ^ 
Borla brydas, 
Golde bundene, 
fore Gudrune ; 
SBjhwa SiBc^de i$»rra 
Sine of-treje, 
"Ssne "Se Bittrestan 
Bidod hsfdon. 

' The Saxon having no term of the same etymology and force with 
the Icelandic * itrar/ I have been obliged to substitute {metri causS) 





Boon [adoraed] with gold, 

Before Gudrun; 

Each of them said [recounted] 

Her own afiSiction» 

The bitterest that 

She had abode. 

One relates the loss of several successive husbands, and of all 
her children and brethren ; another had experienced, in addition 
to similar privations, the miseries of slavery. 

Original Icelandic. 
Beyp Gudrun 
Grata matti, 
sva Tar hon MoSu; 
at Mauj dau«an, 
ok Har^Huju^ 
um Hr»r fylkis. 

Saxon version. 
Swa ^ah Gudrun 
GrsBtan ne mihte, 
^wa w»8 beo Modije 
»t Ma^a deaSe, 
eac Beard Hycgiende 
ymb HriBW folc-frean. 

English version. 
Nor yet Gudrun 
Might weep. 
So anguished was she 
For her husband's death. 
And so hard of mind 
Over the corpse of her lord. 

Original Icelandic. 
Da qua% "Sat GuUrond, 
Giuka dottir, 
'' Fa kantu, Fostra, 
&)tt "Su FroB ser, 
Un^o vifi 
AnnspioU bera." 
Vara'Si Hon at Hylia 
um Hner fylkis. 


Saxon version. 
Da ewsB'S ^t Gulrond, 
Giukan dohtor, 
Fea canst %u, Foster, 
^ah "Su Frode sy, 
lun^re wife 
Anspell beran.'' 
Weardode Heo of Hdan 
Hraw folc-frean. 


English version. 
Then quoth GulraQd, 
Giuka's daughter, 
** Few [things] keun'st thou, my fostress, 
Though thou art prudeut, 
To a young wife [widow] 
Counsel to bear." 

[Then] was she ware no longer to conceal 
The corpse of the chief. 

Original Icelandic, . Saxon version, 

Svipti hon blseio Swipte heo %a Sceatas ' 

af SipirSi, of Sijurde, 

ok Vatt Vcngi Wand eac Wsen jas 

fur Vifs kniam : fore Wifes cneowum : 

" Ldttu a laiufan, " Wiita ISu on Xieofan, 

LejSu munn vi% ^rbu^ Iiec^a iSu urn's to mu^ *, 

sem %u Halsa^ir swa iSu ymb Habile ^yt 

Heilan stilU." Halan stiUe.'' 

English version. 
She swept the pall 
Off Sigurd, 
And turned his cheeks 
Before his wife's knees : 
'* Look thou on thy love. 
Lay thou thy mouth to his lips, 
As though thou didst embrace him 
Still alive." 

* From the deficiency of a Saxon form of the Icelandic ' blseio/ this 
word is here substituted, 

* The Saxon has no form of the Icelandic ' jron.' 



Original Icelandic* 
Aleit Gudrun 
Eino sinni ; 

sa hon Daujlinjs skaur 
Dreyra runnai 
Franar sionir 
Fylkis li'Snar, 
Hiorvi skoma. 

English vernan. 
Gudrun looked on 
One moment; 
She saw her warrior's hair 
Running with gore, 
The [once] shining eyes 
Of her lord extinct. 

The breast [the fortress of the soul] of the chief 
Pierced with the sword. 

Saxon version* 
Onwlat Gudrun 
JEne ^%e ; 

jeseah heo Deorlinjes^hsr 
Dreore ymende, 
Freomne ansyn 
Folc-frean ^ehlidenne, 
Hije-beorj' Beretojan 
ecpim to Heawenne. 

Original Icelandic. 
Da Bne Gudrun, 
HauU vi% bolstri, 
Haddr losna^i, 
EDyr ro'Sna'Si, 
en Re^s dropi 
Rann ni^r urn kne. 

Saxon version. 
Da Hnah Gudrun, 
Holen wi% bolstras, 
Heafod-beah lysnade, 
EDeor readode. 
And reepias dropan 
ni^r Am ymb cneowa. 

' Substituted for ' daugling,' there being no Saxon derivative of the 

* The original is her^ obscure, as it contains several dta^ Xjt/^kt¥a^ 
I have employed in the Saxon translation terms at least of similar ap- 
pearance, which will express " the bold glance of the chief closed [in 

^ The compound ' Hije-beorj' is quoted consonant to the rules of 
Saxon analogy. The remaining words of this distich are equivalent in 
sense, though not in etymology, to the Icelandic. 


English version* 
Then Gudrun bowed down^ 
Concealing herself amongst the cushions^ 
Her head-gear loosened^ 
Her cheek reddened. 
And the rain-drops [tears] 
Ran beneath to her knee. 

Since poetry can alone reflect with any degree of truth the 
images of poetry, the Editor has ventured to subjoin a metrical 
imitation, though conscious of having exhibited a very feeble copy 
of a very spirited original. 

By her Sigurd's blood-stained bier 

As, with equal death opprest^ 
Gudrun sat; she shed no tear. 

Her hand she smote not on her breast : 
Word, nor sign, nor act, might show 
The wonted course of woman's woe. 

Sages came, the wisest they. 
But vain the aids from art they borrow : 

Can rhetoric soothe, or reason sway. 
That stem mood of deepest sorrow, 

When the heart to bursting swells. 

Yet no tear its anguish tells i 

Round her press'd a widowed train. 

Sisters they in grief united. 
Calling back long scenes of pain, 

Each her own sad tale recited : 
Vainly thus to wake they try 
The soothing power of sympathy. 


Vainly : for her anguish^ mind» 
Stuna'd beneath that sudden blow^ 

Hardens, to itself con6nedy 
Nor opens to another's woe. 

Hard and cold was Gudrun's soul, 

Nor sigh would rise, nor tear would roll. 

Last did youthful Gulrand speak — 
'' Matrons, though in wisdom old. 

Here, I ween, your skill is weak; 
Age's counsels, all too cold, 

Cannot reach the widow'd heart. 

When youths' strong loves are rent apart.'* 

With hurrying hand from Sigurd's bier 
Swept she then the pall away : 

*' On him thy love look, Gudrun dear, 
To his cold lip thy warm lip lay. 

And round him, as they still could hold 

Thy living lord, thine arms enfold." 

Gudrun tum'd— one hurried glance 
On that much loved form she threw — 

A moment view'd, where murder's lance 
Had pierced the breast to her so true ; 

Saw stiff* with blood those locks of gold. 

And quench'd that eye so bright, so bold. 

She saw, and sank, and low reclined, 
tilid in the couch her throbbing head. 

Her loose veil floated unconiined. 
Her burning cheek was crimson'd red : 

Then, her bursting heart's relief. 

Copious fell the shower of grief. 


With reference to the more complicated and later species of 
Scandinavian metres (introduced at the close of the ninth century), 
it is not necessary to enter here into any length of detail, as they 
have no direct connexion with the Saxon systems. Their essen- 
tial character consists in their containing» besides the aliiteral letters, 
two assonant syllables in each line, differing from terminal rime in 
the circumstance that the assonance was often placed on the 
penultima instead of being restricted to the last syllable; the 
corresponding sound occurring in the first hemistich, whence this 
system has been denominated hemistichial rime. One example 
of this arrangement may serve instar omnium. In that annexed, 
'idn' and 'rodna' in the first line are assonant; 'verpr' and 
'snerpir' in the second; 'jajn' and 'eijnaz' in the third; 
'hitnar' and 'witnir' hi the fourth. Two species of this asso- 
nance were reckoned : — the more perfect, when both consonants 
and vowels corresponded ; this was always employed in the second 
line of each couplet, and was named adalhending, noble and full 
rime: — and the less perfect, when the consonants only correspond- 
ed, employed in the first line» called skothending or snidhending^ 
imperfect or half rime. Of these intricate systems» more than SOQ 
species (differing principally in the collocation of the assonant syl^ 
lables) have been reckoned ; but the following is the most usual, 
form : it is called Draiquadi, proper — with hemistichial rime. 


Vex idn, Vellir rodna, 
Verpr lind, %rimo snet^pfV, 
Fsz gugn, Fylkir eignsz. 
Fair hitnar, sedz vritnir, 
SKekr romf, SBLildir hendaz, 
SKelfr askr jridom raskar^ 
VSLandr gellr, BBynior sundrea, 
BBaka sptor, litaz orfar. 
(Extracts from Snorro's Hattaljfkliy published by Johnstone, p. 34.) 




The strife begins, fields redden. 
Javelins are hurled, the din increases, 
Ground is gained, the monarch conquers, 
The blade grows warm, wolves are sated, 
Bosses ring» shields are bent. 
The hero foe to peace pants with ardour, 
The sword clashes, mails are cleft. 
Spears thunder, shafts are stained. 

Begular final rime was also occasicxially employed. Of this an 
example has been ahready inserted in this work (p. zvii.), for the 
purpose of comparison with a Dano-Saxon riming poem of a unu- 
lar structure. 



As we have already seen that the tribes seated on the mouth of 
the £lbe and those of Scandinavia were in the common possession 
6f the same metrical system (the Fomyrdalag of Scaldic prosody) 
at least as eariy as the fifth century, we might infer with a high 
degree of probability that the species of verse thus proved to have 
been so extensively diffused prevailed likewise in the other cognate 
dialects : nor although riming stanzas obtained in these an early ^, 
decided, and exclusive preference, are we left altogether without 
monuments establishing this inference by direct proof, so far at 
least as regards the dialects of central Germany. The most inter- 
esting of these are — 1. The Weissenbrun Hymn; 2. The Frag- 
ment of the Romance of Hildebrand; 3. The Metrical Harmony 

of the Four Gospels. 


I The paraphrase of the gospel, written in the Eastern Francic dialect by 
OtA-id in 850, is entirely composed in rime, without any trace of alliteratioiu 



Is so called from its discovery in a MS. belonging to the content 
of that place in Franconia, supposed to be of the eighth century. 
It has been published by the Grimms^ 1812, and by Gley, Langat 
€i Literature des Ancient Francs, 8vo. 18 14, p. 155. From itA 
brevity it may be here extracted entire. I have, as in the preceding 
specimen of the Icelandic fomyrdalag^ annexed an Angk>-Saxoti 
version, in order to illustrate still further the close affinity of that 
language with the kindred dialects of the continent : even the alli- 
teration and metrical structure is preserved in this version, and the 
difference between it and the original amounts to litde more tha£i 
a shght variation in the spelling. 

The dialect appears to be of intermediate character betwfeeft 
those used in the higher and lower parts of Germany. 

Original Teutonic* Jnglo-Saxon version. 

DaT chiFiepn ih mit Firahim^ Dj&T jeFrsejen ic mid Firum, 

Kriwizzo meista, Forwisra msstum, 

dat Bro ni was iSflBl Erra ne wes 

noh Uf himil, nan Upheofon, 

noh Paum noh Pereg, nan ^ Beam nan Beoij, 

• • • . ni was» ^ • . . ne wies, 

ni [BTerro] noh heini;, ne STeorra nsenije» 

nob Sunna ni Scein, nan Sunna ne Scan, 

English version* 
This I have heard from men. 
The chief of the elder sages. 
That originally there existed 
No heaven above, 
No tree nor mountain, 
Nor was there .... 
Nor any star. 
No sun shone forth, 

^ The metrical arraogement seems to prove that some words have been 
omitted by the scribe in this distidi. 



Original Teutonic. Anglo-Sajm^ version, 

noh Blano ni liuhta, nan Kona ne leohtode, 

noh der Mareo seo : ne se M»re seo : 

do dar niHITiht ni HITas /Sonne ^Seer noWiht ne W«8 

enteo ni "Wenteo, * ende ne Wende, 

enti do was der Eino and "Sonne waes se Ana 

Almahtico Cot, iElmihti; God, 

BKanno Miltisto, Mannan BCldost, 
tenti [dar warun auh] Hanabe f and ["iSter wsron eac] mani^e 

mit inan mid him 

Cootlihhe Gieista. Oodcundlice GraBtas. 

[Enti] Cot heilac ' ' [Eala] God bali; 

Cot Almahtico, du himil God iElmihti^a, %u heofon 

English version* 
Nor did the' moon give her light. 
Neither the vast sea [existed] : 
Then was there nought 
From end to end [of the universe] ; 
But then existed the one 

Almighty God, 

Most merciful to man, 

And with liim were also many 

God-like spirits. 

Holy God 

Almighty, the heaven 

^ 'Ende ne wende.' I am not aware that any authorities occur for the 
use of this phrase in the AjS. dialect; but as both the constituent words are 
Saxon, and the phrase itself analogous to many .Saxon idioms, it may properly 
be retained. 

* The metre seems to require that the words included between brackets 
should be omitted, and they are unnecessary to the sense : the poetical dic- 
tion is certainly better without them. 

' If it be allowable to consider the conjunction in this line as an error of 
the transcriber for an interjection, the sense will be rendered more consistent 
by annexing this line to the following address* 



Original Teutotiic. 
enti Brda chiworahtos^ 
enti du Mannun 
so Man'ac coot forchipi ; 
forGip mir in dino Canada 
rehta Cralaupa 
enti cotan "WiUeon, 
"W^istom end spahida» 
[enti] craft tiuflun za Widar- 

enti arc za piWisanne, 
enti dinan WiUeon 
za chiWurchanne. 

Anglo-Saxon version. 
and EorSan jewrohtest, 
and "Su Mannum 
swa Manije gode forscipest; 
forGif me in iSinne ^Gerailtsun; 
rihte Oeleafan 
and jode Willan, 
HITisdom and spede*, 
' deofol-crBBft to l/ITitherstan- 

and arj to ^HITiiSerianne, 

and "Sine HITillan 
To jeHITyrceanne. 

English version. 
And the earth thou hast wrought, 
And for men 

Thou providest so many blessings ; 
Do thou bestow on me in thy grace 
A right faith 
And a good will. 
Wisdom and good speed, 
To withstand the craft of the devil. 
And to eschew evil, 
And thy will 
To wofk. 

* The Saxon does not appear to have any traoe of the Teutonic * ^enaden,* 
grace, but expresses ^xapis' generally by ^^ifa.' I have here substituted 
'^emiltsun^/ mercy. 

ft I have been induced to consider the Saxon 'spede * as representing the 
Teutonic 'spahida;' but a friend suggests that the latter term may meao 
* Foresight' So Volu-Spsr-Spae-wife, Scotch. Gley renders it Prudence. 

^ The rhythm and sense would better be improved by the omission of the 

^ I cannot find any Saxon form of ' piwisaune :' ' wi^rian/ however, 
agrees in sense; and if ^ pi-wisanne ' be a compound; may also agree in ety- 
mology with ' wisenne.' 



This fragment is extant in a MS. preserved in the abbey of 
Fulda. Its age is also supposed to be referable to the eighth, or 
early part of the ninth, century. 

It has been repeatedly published^ — ^by Eccard in his Commenia-' 
rius de Rebus Franda Orientalis, torn. I. p. 864; by Weber^ In his 
work on Teutonic Poetry and Romance ; by the Grimms in 18 12 ; 
and lastly by Gley in 1814, p. 147. The Grimms were the first 
to detect its metrical structure and alliteration, the former editors 
having hasuly considered it as prose, although the general style of 
the diction ought to have shown at once their error. They haro 
likewise bestowed more pains on the critical restoration of the 
text, and added a mass of valuable notes in elucidation of the 
language, metre, and the romantic story to which it alludes. 

Hildebrand was one of the heroes of that cyclus of Teutonic 
romance of which Theoderic of Berne formed the central and pro- 
minent character : he was the chosen friend of that monarch, and 
had accompanied him in his thirty years' exile : sharing also in the 
prosperous revolution of his affairs, he returns to his own territory 
and castle, where he encounters suddenly his own son Hathubrand. 
The parties being unknown to each other, a fierce conflict takes 
place between them ; and this forms the subject of the fragment 
in question. 

As the whole of that fragment is inserted in the work of Messrs. 
"Weber and Jamieson above referred tOj and is \berefore readily 
accessible, it will only be necessary in this place to cite a few lines 
in order to exhibit the identity of its metrical structure with that 
of the Scaldic and Saxon fornyrdalag. 

The dialect in which it is written is supposed by some philolo- 
gers to have been that prevalent in the lower parts of Germany ; 
but the Grimms consider it as a mixed dialect, such as would have 
been produced by a Saxon transsriber of a Francic composition, 
and in which the features of the higher German predominate. 


Do tettuo ae JBiist Then let they Srst 

Asckim seritan their ashen spean rush forth 

Scarpen Scurim with sharp showers 

dat ID dem Sciltini stont ; that fell upon their shields; 

do StoptuD toSamaoe, then stept they together, 

Staimbort chludun, the stone axes rung, 

Bewun Harmlico they hewed away harmfully 

Huitte scilti their white shields 

unti im iro Lintun ^ until their linden bucklers 

iMitUlo wurtun. became small. 


This is extant in two MSS.; one supposed to have belonged to 
Canute, preserved in the British Museum (Cotton. MSS, Calig. 
a. 7.), and a second discovered at Bamberg by Mr. Gley in 1794. It 
was originally supposed to be written in the Francic dialect, and as 
such Hickes has given many extracts from it in his Francic Gram- 
mar {Thes. Lingg. Septt 1. 1. p. 101.)* More recent critics have, 
however, pronounced it to be a low German dialect. The follow- 
ing specimen will sufficiently exhibit the metrical and alliterative 
structure of this composition. 

Hv muot Sniumo, Now may readily, 

Sundeono los, loosed from their sins, 

inana; Gest faran, many spirits depart, 

an Godes willeon through God's will 

Viooan aTomid, delivered from punishment, 

* I have followed the authority of Mr. Price in considering the denomina- 
tive Minden' to denote the fA«e^ rather than banner-itaffs formed of ihst 

* Some eitracts have also been published by Nyerup in his SymboUt, by 
tfie GrimmSy and by Radlof in his Specimens of the parables of tbe Sower and 
Ptodig»! Son in the various Teutonic dialects. 



"Se mid trewon wili 
"Wid is "Wini Wirkean, 
endi an HITaldand Crist 
Fasto plobean ; 
%at scalt te Fnime weriSan 
Gumono so huilicon 
so %at Gemo duot. 

[of such as] with true will 
work with their friends, 
and on the Lord Christ 
firmly believe; 
for this -shall be profitable 
to every one of men 

whoso doetli it diligently. 
(Hickes, Gram. Franeo-theotisc. p. 105. in The$.Lingg.Sq)tt. 1. 1.) 





I • 

The metrical system which has been hitherto considered, has 
thus been proved to have existed as an early and common pos- 
session among many, perhaps among most, of the tribes of the 
great Gothic family of nations : and we may advance perhaps an- 
other step^ and pronounce it to have been peculiar to that family. 
Alliteration, indeed» may be traced in the poetry of other lan- 
guages ; but we shall look in vain for a system of versification, of 
which this ornament constituted ^the predominant and almost ex- 
clusive characteristic. 

If we look at those members of the great Indo-European order 
of languages which appear to have received the most early culti- 
vation and polish, the Sanscrit and the Greek, — ^we shall indeed 
find this ornament sometimes occurring ; but merely as inciden- 
tally and very sparingly introduced for the sake of occasional 
effect. The measures of the Sanscrit, though not identical with 
those of the Greek, are yet analogous to them S and entirely de- 
pend on the rhythmical cadence produced by the succession of 
feet of regulated quantity; and the sonorous length of its heroic 
verse presents the most striking opposition to the brevity of the 
Saxon and Scandinavian lines. 

The Latin poetry, from the days of Bnnius, exhibited merely 
the reflection of that of Greece : if we look at the few extant frag- 

' See an essay on Saoscrit metres by Mr. Colebroke in the 0th volume of 
the Asiatic Transactions. 


ments of earlier antiquity and more native growth, we indeed find 
shorter metres and an approximation to the Saxon cadence ; but 
alliteration is entirely wanting. 

Among the Celtic nations, however» this feature is certainly to 
be found intimately interwoven with the fabric of their poetry ; 
but still not as constituting its peculiar predominant and indispen- 
sable characteristic, an office which devolves on rime. While Uiis 
latter is constantiy and strictiy preserved, alliteration is employed 
with much irregularity, and in many instances can scarcely be de- 
tected ; the Scandinavian and Celtic metrical systems difier, there- 
fore, by inverting the relations of each other in these points : botb 
indeed occasionally unite the ornaments of rime and alliteration^ 
but that which is predominant and essential in the former, is sub* 
sidiary and occasional in the latter, and vice versd. Yet to point 
out the analogy which certainly does exist to a certain d^;ree be- 
tween these ancient and original systems of metre, and to mark at 
the same time its precise extent and limits, is a desideratum which 
he who proposes to give an outline, however meagre, of the history 
of alliterative poetry seems bound to attempt supplying. 

The Celtic languages still extant (or at least those languages 
which are usually denominated Celtic by philologists) are reducible 
to two branches (confined to the British isles and opposite coasts 
of France) : 1 . The Hiberno-Scotish, including the Irish, the Gaelic 
of the Scotch Highlands» and the Manks dialects; 2. The Cambror 
British» including the Welsh, Cornish, and Armorican. The di&> 
ference existing between tiiese two principal branches is at least 
as striking as that which distinguishes the Greek from the Latin 
languages ; the particular dialects of either agree as closely as the 
various dialects of Greek : both are clearly and nearly related to 
each other» and may be traced, though mpre remotely yet with equal 
certainty, to the great Indo- European race of tongues. 

Our present concern, however, is not with tiie philological affi- 
nities, but with the metrical systems» of these languages. That of 
the Hiberno-Scotish shall be first examined. 



The early cultivation of poetry in this dialect is incontrovertibly 
ascertained by the testimony of Adamnan, an author of the seventh 
century, who mentions, in his Life of St. Columba, Cronan, a poet 
of the preceding century, qui ex more sus artis cantica modulabit^r 
decantahat ; words which imply the previous familiar and esta- 
blished use of this art. 

Nor are specimens of a very early date wanting, although we 
should reject with Dr. O'Connor, and indeed, with every writer 
who appears to have brought a competent share of impartial crid* 
cism to the inquiry, the claims of the Pseudo Ossianic poems, as 
being alike destitute of adequate external evidence^ and decidedly 
condemned by every species of internal evidence ; whether we re- 
gard their dissimilarity in style, structure, and language, from the 
genuine remains of the most ancient Irish bards^ or the anachro*- 
nisms which, in spite of the extreme and cautious reserve of their 
forger, mark tlie few historical allusions which he has ventured to 

The system of versification exhibited in the genuine relics of 
Irish poetry consists of four-lined stanzas, each line containing 
seven or eight syllables, riming together, either by the sequent lines 
{i.e. the first Une with the second, and the third line with the 
fourth), or by alternate lines (i. e. the second with the fourth). 
The Irish rime, however, (which is called in their grammatical 
treatises Comharda) does not require, like our own, an exact iden- 
tity of consonants as well as vowels, but depends principally on 
the latter ; it being sufficient if the consonants be of the same class : 
thus the words roc, sop, and lot, are considered as riming. 

We find tlie alternate rime alone without any marked allitera- 
tion in the most ancient specimen cited by Dr. O'Connor, (see the 
valuable introductory volume to his promised edition of the Rerum 
Hibemkarum Scripioret, p. 90.)"-«*a Hymn on the Ufe of St. Pa^ 
tricy attributed to Piec, and ascribed on the grounds of the great 


antiquity of its language and the age of the manuscript which con- 
tains it, to the sixth century. The following is the first stanza : 

Genair Patraic i Nemthur Naius est Pairicius JienUurri 

Asseadh adfet hi scelaibh, Ut refertur in narrationibus, 

Macan se mbliadhan decc Juvenisfuit sex armorum et decern 

An tan do breth fo dheraibh. Quando ductus sub vinculis. 

Alliteration is conspicuously found in the productions of the 
ninth and following centuries; and throughout the middle ages 
constituted an essential feature of Irish poetry. It is termed by 
their grammarians Uaim. 

The following specimen is from an h'lstorical poem written about 
the year 1057 : 

Ro ionnarb a Bhrathair Bras Expulsit suumfratrem Bras 
Britus tar muirNiochtNamhnasy Britus ultra mare Ictium dictum, 
Ro ghabh Briotus Albain Ain 'Possedit Britus Albaniam illus^ 

Go roinn Fiaghnach Fothudiun. Usque ad Jines Venatoris Fothu^ 


Here it will be observed that each line contains two alliteral words ; 
and such is the general disposition. 


The earliest poems extant in this language are in the Welch 
dialect; which appears to have prevailed also among the Cumbrian 
and Strath Cluyd Britons. 

They are ascribed to Aneurin, Taliesin, Llywarch Hen, and 
Meriin, a constellation of bards said to have flourished in the sixth 
century *. 

* The body of Welsh poetiy, from the 6th to the close of the 14th cen- 
ry, has been printed in the first volume of the Myvyrian Archaiology of 


Many of these are preserved in MSS. appearing to be of the 
twelfth century; and they are familiarly quoted by a series of 
muthors from the tenth century downwards: so that their claim to 
an antiquity at least exceeding that period seems incontrovertibly 
established (see Turner's Vindication of the Wekh Bards) : yet 
they must have been very early interpolated; for in the oldest 
Welsh MS. extant (the Black Book of Caermarthen, written in 
the twelfth century) we find a poem entitled Hdanau neu Bor^^ 
chellenau, ascribed to Merlin in the sixth century, in which Nor- 
mandy is mentioned — a palpable anachronism. 

From the sixth to the twelfth century, but few poetical names 
are preserved ; but in the latter, a large assemblage, among which 
those of Gwalchmai and Cyndellu are the most distinguished, 
occur ; and from this period^ the dates of the Welsh poetical com- 
positions are ascertained with as much precisign as those of any 
other language. 

The metrical systems of the bards of the sixth and of the twelfth 
centuries seem essentially the same ; yet the latter present a di- 
stinctive character sufficienUy obvious and striking in their greater 
degree of complication. The metrical ornaments which I am about 
to enumerate, though common to both, are yet used with a much 
more sparing hand by the former. 

These metrical ornaments are four : 

1. The Terminal Rime. 

2. The Internal Rime. 

3. The Alliteration. 

4. The Cyrch, or supplemental foot. 

Wales (London, 1801.). The public spirit of the individuals whose labour 
and expense has thus preserved the most interesting relics of their primsval 
language deserves high praise ; but the poetical antiquary will often^ while 
consulting this volume, have occasion to regret the entire absence of the 
spirit of sound criticism. 


1. The Terminal l{tme.--Thi« \% essentid to Welsh poetry» and 
never absent, though in the earlier specimens (e.g. several of the 
compositions of Taliesin) few or no traces of the other ornaments 
appear. The rime often continues the same through a succession 
of eight or ten lines, sometimes through an entire poem ; but in the 
lines aflected by the Cyrch, or supplemental foot (prcsendy to be 
described), the rime falls on the foot preceding the Cyrch. 

2. The Internal AJme.-^Besides the terminal rime, the same 
line often contains two or three other riming syllables within iu 
dompass ; thus in the Oododin of Aneurin (ascribed to the tixth 
century) : 

Owyr a aeth ChtraeM Fedsne/A TeAArm 

PFurf FFrwy tlilat&it oedd Cam nas Cymhwylltm. 

3. Alliteration. — ^This feature, though occasionally dispensed 
with altogether, or but sparingly introduced in some of the earlier 
compositions, was yet in others carried to the greatest excess : thus 
in the foregoing distich we have two G*8, two F's, two FF*8, and 
CAM and CYM. 

In some of the later systems, by a further refinement, the series 
of consonants in the first and last half of the line must correspond 
letter for letter : e.g. 

bwrw Arthur bhub aruthur bhu 

This, however, seems uncommon, and is never practised by the 
earlier bards. 

4. The CyrcA.— The system thus named is applied in the fol- 
lowing manner. The general terminal rime, instead of falling od 
the last syllable of the line, is thrown back on the penultimate, 
antepenultimate, or some preceding syllable ; and the supplemexi- 


tal foot or syllable thus superadded after the terminal rime con* 
Btitutes the Cyrch. This Cyrch generally requires a corresponding 
sound, either by rime or alliteration^ in the course of the next line, 
generally in its middle : thus a new fetter is introduced. 

The Song of the Cuckoo, attributed to Uywarch Hen in the 
sixth century, and preserved in the Black Book, a M S. of the 
twelfth, exhibits specimens of this system in every stanza. One 
of these will suffice : the cyrch and its rime in the next line are 
printed in italics* 

Gorciste ar vryn aerwyn — ry mryd 

A hevyd ni'm cychwyn 

Byr vy n'haith difalth vy nhyddyn. 

In general, however, the cyrch is but sparingly used in the poems 
attributed to that age ; and, when introduced, has frequently no 
corresponding sound in the next line. 

In the fourteenth century these incumbrances of poetry were 
augmented to their extreme degree : thus in the Elegy to Myfanwy 
Vechan (written soon after 1300) there occurs a series of forty-six 
lines, all having ' ad' for thdr terminal rime. Of these, each un- 
even line is cyrchic, so that an additional rime is introduced ; and 
this is twice repeated in the next line. Besides these, we have the 
internal rime of the first or uneven line of each distich ; so that 
each distich contains three sets of rimes — the terminal, the cyrchic, 
and the internal : and one of these sets (the cyrchic) is a triplet : 

Mireinwawr drefawr dra fo brad im dwyn 
Gwrando fy nghwyn irwyn freuddywydiad. 

Here we find 1 . brad and freuddywydiad — terminal rimes, 

£. dwyn, nghwyn, frwyn — cyrchic rimes, 
3. mireinwawr, drefawr-^internal rimes, 

that is to say, seven rimes in a distich of only twelve words ; more 
than half the words being doomed to this incessant chime : besides 


all which we have two sets of alliteration^ extending always to two 
and sometimes to three corresponding iniUals in each line : 1. dre- 
fawr dra; 2. frwyn freuddywydiad. To have written poetry under 
these barbarous restraints must clearly have been impossible ; and 
it gives us no mean idea of the flexibility of the language that it 
could have been forced to submit to them, and yet have retained 
any semblance of meaning. 

The Rimes omits and entrelacies of the Provengaux were a 
light and easy bondage compared to this Egyptian drudgery : nor 
are the distortions of Indian jugglers more wonderfully unnatural 
and unpleasing. The reader^ however, may be amused with the 
following eulogium on these systems, pronounced by the Editors of 
the Myoyrian Archeology : — '' Our versification attained such a 
degree of perfection by regular and progressive improvements, that 
no language, ancient or modem, ever yet attained to : our system 
includes not only all the varieties of verse that has [have] yet been 
produced in all known languages, but also a number equally great 
of such constructed verse as we have neither seen nor heard of in 
any country or in any tongue ; and yet these latter ones are by far 
the most beautiful and musical that we have." 

Welsh poetry has lines of various length, from four to ten syl- 
lables, and stanzas of many difierent forms ^ 

It has ah^ady been observed by the late Author that the Fins 
are said by one of their grammarians to possess an alliterative 
metre ; but it seems probable that this has been borrowed from 
tlieir Gothic neighbours. 

■ The best account of the laws of Welsh metre is to be foimd in Rhees*s 
Lingua Cymraca InstUtaiones, London, 1592. The Irish Grammar in Uwyd s 
Archdtologia Britannica may be consulted for those of that language. 






Having in the preceding observations attempted to trace the 
metrical system of the Saxon poets to that early period in which it 
was the common vehicle of song among the various tribes of the 
great Teutonic race^ it remains to pursue its later fortunes ; and 
thus we shall perceive that the same system which our ancestors 
brought with them in their war-ships from the banks of the Elbe, 
in the fifth century, continued, in partial practice at least, among 
their descendants as late as the sixteenth ; extending over a period 
of more than a thousand years, and not entirely extinguished till 
the fiill revival of classical literature had taught the ear, accustomed 
to purer models, to condemn such recurrences of the same letter as 

The excellent dissertation ot Bishop Percy (prefixed to the 3rd 
book of vol. ii. of his Relics of^Engluh Poetry) has indeed in a 
great degree exhausted this subject, and must be familiar to every 
reader interested in such inquiries : but in tracing the history of 
this metrical system during what may be called the period of trans- 
ition of our language fix>m the middle of the twdfUi century, when 
it ceased to be pure Saxon, to the latter half of the fourteenth, 
when the English of Chaucer and Wicclif was established, some 
interesting links may be added to the chain which he has ex- 

It vrill be necessary to premise, that throughout the whole 
period from the eleventh to the sixteenth century the alliterative 


metre was practised both in its genuine and ancient form> unat- 
tended by rime, and also blended with riming stanzas of various 
descriptions. We have already seen this tendency to association 
with rime manifesting itself before the Norman conquest in several of 
the compositions contained in the Exeter MS. (see above, p. xviii.) 
In these it may have been derived firom the influence of the Danish 
Scalds ; and the new forms of metre subsequently borrowed from 
the Norman minstrels blended with the same facility vrith this an- 
cient ornament. 

I first propose to give a series of specimens, chronologically ar- 
ranged, of the unrimed alliterative metre, the genuine descendant 
of An^o-Saxon verse; and afterwards to exhibit a few instances of 
the combination of alliteration with riming stanzas. 

The last specimen in the Appendix to this volume afibrds an 
example of this metre at the latest period in which our language 
could be considered as genuine Saxon, and should be referred 
probably to the earlier part of the reign of Henry IL Towards 
the dose of that reign the history of our vernacular poetry presents 
us with the £i^Ush translation, by the monk Layamon, of the Brut, 
a metrical history of Britain chiefly compiled from the tales of 
Oeoffi^y of Monmouth, and originally composed in Norman- 
French by Wace. Layamon's translation was probably written 
about 1180: the language is still Saxon, both as to its verbal 
substance and grammatical forms ; still retaining the inflected cases 
of its nouns, and rejecting the use of prepositions to denote these 
relations : but its orthography is so much corrupted as already to 
give it the character of a distinct dialect '. The author frequently 
employs rime, but still more generally retains alliteration» although 

> The principal grammatical distinctions between the Saxon and Nonnan 
English consist in the loss of case and gender by the nouns, and the conse- 
quent employment of prepositions to denote the relations of nouns in con- 
struction : the verb also having lost the infinitive termination, the prepo- 
sition to is used as the sign of that mood. All these changes were effected 
before the period of Robert of Bninne,, whose Chronicle was probably com- 


certainly in a less studied and regular manner than was agreeable to 
Saxon practice. It is, however, sufficiently obvious and complete 

pleted in 1280 : but in Layamon, a century earlier, we find the nouns de- 
clined as in Saxon : e. g. 

Ucminatroe, The king. Sax. Se cyn^« 
Genitive. Tbas kinges. Dass cyn^es. 

Datioe^ Than kmge. Dam cynj. 

AccuMOtvoe, Than kinge. Done cyn^. 

' Queen ' b in like manner declined : e. g. 

NomhuUisDe. Tha quene. ^ax. Deo cwen. 

Gen, 4* Dot. There quene. Dsre cwene. 

Accutatvoe. Tha quene. Da cwen. 

Thus also we have 'There behge cnihtent sunnen/ The $oni of the high 
hmghJtt; Sax. Dsera hea^-cnihta {or hea;^-cnihtena) suna« I cannot, how- 
ever, find any trace of the Saxon dadve plural in ' um.' These examples are 
all taken firom the short extract printed by Mr. Ellis in his Specimens of 
Early English Poets. It' is somewhat amusing to observe the numerous and 
gross mistakes into which that accomplished and usually accurate scholar 
has been led, in his attempt to interpret these few lines, by his imperfect 
acquaintance with Saxon. In one place, where the poet relates that the 
men (wepmen, Sax. waepmen) sat by themselves at meat, and the women 
(wifmen) also by themselves ; he has made absolute nonsense, by supposing 
' wepmen' to be synonymous with 'wifmen,' and translating both toomen. 

With reference to the subject of this note, we may add, that the style of 
the Saxon Chronicle continues tolerably pure till about 1090 ; that after that 
year we seldom find the ancient dative plural in ' urn ' used ; ' an * ' en ' or ' on ' 
being generally substituted. In other respects, however, the variation (though 
gradually increasing) is not very striking till the death of Henry I. anno 1135. 
But the subsequent reign of Stephen is written in a dialect veiy nearly as 
corrupt as that nf Layamon. 

About the same period with Layamon, a volume of metrical Homilies bear- 
ing the tide ' Ormdum^ was probably compoied. It is interesting, as ex- 
hibiting a species of blank verse destitute alike of rime and alliteration. The 
rhythm appears to be that of the common ballad metre. 

In summer time when leaves grow green, 

And blossoms deck the tree, O, ' 
King Edward would a-hunting ride 

Some pastime for to see, O. 

The spelling presents the language in its most disguised and corrupted form: 


I*. • 


in the following specimen, which relates to the happy state of 
Britain in the days of Arthur. 

(Layamon. About 1 1 80.) 
Da hafde JBnjlene Ard THEN bad the English earth 

%at Alrebezte hereward ; 
and %is Iieodisce vole sec 
Iieofvest 'San kinje. 
Da Wifinen hehje iboren 
"Sa IfV^uneden a ISissen londe 
hafden iQUeSen alle 
on heore QUides soiSe 
"Sat nan Laverd taken nolde 
inne ^issere Iieode 
Never Nsenne chnit 

that most excellent ruler; 

and the people of this nation also 

were most beloved by the king. 

Then the women highly bom 

who dwelt in this land 

had all declared 

on their words' truth 

that none would take for her lord 

in this people 

any knight whomsoever 
(Neore he Noht swa wdl idiht) (ne were he nought so well dight) 
bute he iCostned weoren except he were tried 

Vrie inne Corope, thrice in the camp, 

and his oht Scipen icudde, and knew how to acquire esteem', 

and ifonded hine Seolve ; and had proved himself; 

Every barbarous and unsightly combination of double letters seems to have 
been studiously affected. 

On the third day it befell 
Uppo ^ Vridde daj^ bHammp 
That in the land of Gallilu 
Datt i Se land o£P Galile 
And it tooi prepared in a toaon 
And itt wass ^anrkedd in an tun 
And Chritft mother Mary 

as some ofthegoepelt declare^ 
swa summ Ve ^oddspell kiSeV^ 
there wa$ a bridal prepared; 

wass an bridale jarrkedd ; 
that wag Cana named: 
Vatt wass Cana jefaatenn: 
at that bridaPs seat^ 
And Cristess moderr Mar;^e wass att tatt bridaless saete, 
And Chritt woi infoited to that haute with his disciples, 
And Crist was dopped tfll Vatt huss wiV his laming cnihhtessy 
And their wine was drank so that there was not then any more. 
And te^^re win wass drunken swa Vat taer nass Va na mare. 

Wanley^p. 69. 

^ < Ebt • or ' aeht/ Sax. 


Baldeliche he mitte {Senne ;a boldly might he then go 

nen him Brude : take to himself a bride : 

for "Ser Hke tuhtle fipom this same requirement 

cnihtes weoren Ohte. knights were esteemed, [ducted, 

Da.WifmeD "Wei idone^ Then were the women well con- 

and ^ better bi'Witene : and then were the better (people) 


iSa weoren i Brutene then were in Britain 

Blisaen iooje. blisses enough. 

Towards the close of this century (the twelfth) Giraldus Cam- 
brensis remarks, in his description of Walesj that the English as 
well as the Welsh employed alliteradon in every polished compo- 
sition (ffi anmi sermone exqumto). His English example is 

Gkxl is toOether 

Gammen and wisdom. 

Thirteenth century^ — ^To this century we may with certainty 
refer several compositions in which alliteration is blended with 
rime,~-of which specimens will hereafter be given. In the genuine 
Saxon metre without rime we find a Romance on the subject of 
Sir Tristram, of which Mr. Price (who considers it as having 
better pretensions to be regarded as the composition of Thomas of 
Erceldoune than the poem attributed to him by Sir Walter Scott) 
has inserted a specimen in his edition of Warton's History of En- 
glish Poetry^ vol. i. p. 187« Its language clearly refers it to this 

ForSi an Aunter in Erde, 

I Atde to shawe 

'Sat a Belli m Sight 

Sum me men hit holden ; 

and an Outrage Awenture, 

of Arthures wonderes» 

if ye wyl Lysten this Iiaye 

bot on Idtel quile. 



I apprehend that the alliterative romance of Alexander, of whicb 
a portion is appended to the magniBcent MS. of the Roman 
d* Alexandre preserved in the Bodleian, and another copy appears 
to be extant in the Ashmole (see Warton's Hiitcry of English 
Poetry, sect. 10«), belongcTto the latter part of this century; and 
far from being an imitation of the style adopted in the Vision of 
Piers Plowman, was rather one of its earlier exemplars. 

Fourteenth century. — ^The celebrated componucxi last mentioned 
appears to have been written about the middle of this century 
[136£]. It is sufficiendy familiar to antiquarian readers, but I 
shall transcribe a few hnes, dividing them at the csesural pause, in 
order to facilitate their metrical qpmparison with their Saxon pro- 

Ich Wente forB Wyde 

where Walkynje myn one 

in a Wylde Wyldemesse 

by a Wode syde 

Blisse of %e Briddes 

aByde me made, 

and under a Lvnde in a Launde 

lienede ich a stounde 

to IdiSen here Laies 

and here Xaoveliche notes ; 

MurSe of here Murye Mou'Ses 

Made me to slepe 

and Merveilousliche me Mette 

a Myddes al iSat blisse. 

It is obvious that the general principle of the metrical construe* 
tion in these lines is identical with that of the Scaldic/omyrda/og. 
and its Saxon sister ; but I think a slight change of rhythm is per- 
ceptible. In the Saxon, a trochaic character is predominant In 
the vision of Piers Plowman there is a prevailing tendency to an 
anap»stic cadence^ but this has probably arisen not from any in- 


tention on the part of the poet, but from the natural tendencies Of 
the dialect in which he wrote. Any one may easily convince him- 
self of this by attempting to write a few lines in modem English 
on the model of- the Saxon metre : he will find himself constantly 
falling into the same deviations which characterize the above spe- 
cimen ; he will scarcely be able to confine himself to the few sylla- 
bles of his original, but will lengthen his lines by placing un- 
accented monosyllables at. the beginning; and an anapaestic cha- 
racter willy in spite of his efforts, intrude itself. The causes of 
this are to be found in the difference of a dialect which possesses 
inflected cases, and one in which the nouns are indeclinable. In 
Sason every monosyllabic root gave rise, by its inflections, to a * 
trochaic foot ; but the number of trochaic words in English is 
comparatively very small, while the great stock of the language is 
iambic or anapeestic : and, as a second consequence proceeding 
from the same cause, the necessity of expressing the relations of 
case by prepositions presses these unemphatic monosyllables into 
the line, and generally in such positions as (when combined with 
the use of the article, which the English poet cannot, in the same 
degree as his Saxon predecessor, dispense with) to increase this 
anapsBstic tendency, and to prevent the due compression of the verse. 
It is true, indeed, that the licenses above alluded to are fi^uently 
found even in the purest Saxon remains ; but then jn these the 
quanti^ of perfect trochaic or adoniac verses is always suffidendy 
prominent to impart a general and marked character to the whole. 
Since the metrical structure and rhythm of all the subsequent 
compositions in this spedes of verse till the period of its entire dis- 
use are altogetb^ similar to those of the above extract, and speci-* 
aiens of them may be at once referred to in the w^U known essay 
of Bishop Percy, I shall here subjoin merely a chronological list 
of them. 

Piers Plowman's Crede ..--.- After 1384. 

Christ crowned King, Sec. Cited by Percy about 1420. 

Fight of Flodden Field 1513. 


Dunbar's Twa Marriit Weinen • - - About 1530. 
Scotch Prophecies put together after the accession of James I. 
of England. 1603.^ 

Of these, I shall only insert a few lines from the conclusion of 
Dunbar's *'Twa Marriit Wemen," as a specimen of this metre in 
its latest form*. 

While that the Day did up-Dawn 

and Dew Danked flouris, 
the llCorrow BSild was and Bleek, 

the Mavis did sing, 
and all r^BIoved the BSist, 

and the Mead smdled : 
silver SHouris down SHook 

as the SBeen cristal, 
and birdis SHouted in the SIXaw 

with their SHrill notis ; 
the Golden GIdttering GLeam 

so Gliadden'd their heartis, 
they made a GXaoiious GLee 

among the Green boughis : 

I Most of these were probably composed in the Northern counties, since 
from the following lines of Chaucer it seems to have fallen into desuetude in 
the Southern districts : — 

*' But tnisteth wel I am a Sotheme man, 
I cannot geste rem ram ruf by my letter.^ 

The author of Piers Plowman himself lived on the borders of Shropshire 
and Worcestershire, and his dialect is strongly tinctured with Northern 

* This specimen is divested from the strange accumulation of letters which 
disguised the Scotch orthography at that period, in order to render the ele- 
gance of die description more generally perceptible. It will be observed diat 
the alliteration extends through four of the hemistichial divisions, as here 


the Soft South of the Swyre ^ 

and Sound of the Streamis, ' 
the Sweet Savour of the Sward 

and Singing of fbwlis, 
might Comfort any Creature 

of the Kin of Adam, 
and Kindle again his Courage 

though it were Cold slokned. 

The conjoint usage of alliteration and rime may he very briefly 
discussed. In the first stage of the EngUsh language during the 
thirteenth century it appears to have been extremely prevalent, 
and is found in many of the compositions cited by Warton as be- 
longing to that epoch ; and more especially in those of a decidedly 
lyrical character. Thus : 

ICH was in one Sunnie dale 
in one Suwe dizele hale, 
i-Berde ich Bold grete tale 
an Hule and one ni^Ugale, Sic. 

{New Ed.) V. i. p. 28. 

Earliest EngUsh Love-^ong. 
ICH*ot a Burde in Boure Bryht 
that fiilly Semly is on Syht, 
BSenskful Blaiden of Myht 
Feir ant Fre to Fonde, tic. p. £8. 

ICHOT a Burde in a Bour ase Beryl so Bryht, 
ase Saphyr in Selver Semly on Syht, &c. p. 34. 

The south wind blowing softly from the hills? 



Ia£NT£N ys come with Love to toune^ 
with Blosmen ant with Briddes roune» 

that al this Blisse Bryngeth ; 
Dayes ezes in this Dales 
Notes suete of Nyhtegales 

Uch foul Song Singeth. p. Si* 

Many other examples in a ^eat variety of difierent stanzas may 
be found on turning to the part of Warton's History of English 
Poetry above cited. The poetry of Scotland affords umilar spe- 
cimens as late as the sixteenth century. 

< The above instances depart entirely from the rhythm of the ori- 
ginal Saxon, being accommodated to stanzas of Norman construc- 
tion : but rime was occasionally added to the genuine descendant 
of that stocky which, from the celebrity of that satire^ is usually 
designated as the metre of Piers Plowman. The Scotch romance 
of Sir Gawain affords an example of this in the fourteenth cen- 

In the tyme of Arthur - an Aunter betydde 
by the Tumwathelan - as the boke Telles 
whan he to Carlele was Comen - and Conqueror kydd 
vrith Dukes and Dussiperes - that with the Dere Dwelles 
to Hunt at the Herdes - that longe had ben Hydde 
on a Day thei hem Deight - to the Depe Delles 
to Pall of the Femailes - in Forest and Frydde 
Fayre by the Firmysthamis - in Frithes and Felles 
thus to Wode am thei Went - the Wlonkest in Wedes 

both the Kyng and the Kwene 

and all the Douchti by Dene 

sir Gawayn Gayest on Orene 

dame Gaynour he ledes. 


The satire on the reformation under Edward VI. exhibits a 
similar metrical arrangement in ^tbe middle of the sixteenth cen- 

In December, when the Dayes - Draw to be short, 

after November, when the Nights - wax Noysome and long, 

as I Past by a Place - Privily at a Port 

I Saw one Sit by himself - making a Song* 

' Percji^s Reliqties, ii. 134. 







*^^ The Editor has annexed the following Catalogue, in the 
belief that it must contribute to the interest and utility of the pre- 
sent work, as an introductory manual to the study of Anglo-Saxon 
poetry, to place before its readers a synoptical view of all the ma- 
terials which time has spared in this department of literature. For 
this purpose a classification according to the subjects of the se- 
veral poems appeared to afibrd the most convenient arrangement 
From a survey of this list it will be seen that specimens of every 
style have been introduced in these Illustrations, and that no im- 
portant work has been left without due notice. 

Full and complete critical editions of the whole of these remains, 
with translations, are yet indeed desiderata in our literature ; and 
it is perhaps scarcely creditable to our national feeling that these 
monuments of the parent speech of Englishmen should so long 
have been neglected ; while in most continental states similar re- 
miuns, in no degree of superior interest, have been presented to 
the public with every requisite illustration. But a better spirit 
appears to be now arising. While these pages have been passing 
through the press, an edition of Beowulf has been promised, by a 
writer who in his republication of Warton's History of English 
Poetry has proved that the philological antiquary will find nothing 


wanting in any work which he may undertake. An edition, with 
a translation, of Alfred's Boethius has 'been still more recendy 
announced ; and the Editor of these pages hopes shortly to bring 
the Caedmonian paraphrase in a similar manner before the public. 
The whole of the Exeter Manuscript, together with the remaining 
minor poetry of the Saxons, might easily be comprised in another 
single volume ; and if this were accomplished, their entire corpus 
poeticum would be rendered generally accessible. The wishes of 
a Soutiiey for such a consummation have been recentiy and warmly 
expressed ; and such wishes are always likely to promote their own 
realization. If the present work may (by rendering the subject 
more familiar to the reading public) contribute in any degree to 
the same end, its purpose will be sufficientiy answered. 

I. Naerative PovntT, osrivsd fbom HisToaicAL OR Teaditional 


The History of Beowulf. MS. Cotton. Yitellius A. 15. Printed widi 
Latin translation and notes by Thorkelin. Copenhagen» 1815. 
Analysed in the present volume, p. 90. 

Fragment on the Battle of Finsborough. MS. Lambeth. Printed by 
Hickes in Thes. Lingg. Septt, without translation. With transla- 
tion in the present volume, p. 179. The original MS. appears to be 
now mislaid. 

Fragment on the Death of Beorhtnoth. MS. Cotton. Otho A. 12. 

Printed by Heame in the Appendix to his edition of /oAaiuiw coi^ 

fraltru Qkutamensis Chrankan^ without translation. A translation 

is subjoined to the present Catalogue. The original MS. perished 

in the fire which consumed a part of this collection. 

%* The allusions contained in one of the poems of the Exeter 
MS. (see p. 2d5 of this volume) to the stories of Weiand and of 


Theoderic of Berae, render it probable that these heroes of the 
Edda and of the cydus of Teutonic romance, were also celebrated 
in Saxon poetry. 

The slaughter of the dragon by Sigurdr, or Sigmund, another 
cardinal event in that cydus, is also alluded to in Beowulf in a 
manner which shows it to have been familiar. 

tlhaucer enumerates the adventures of Wade and his boat, a 
fiction also of the same sdiool (see Wilkina Saga), among the 
romances of price : so that we have probably lost a Saxon poem 
on this subject. 

The romance of Horn Childe, published by Ritson in his col- 
lection, is evidently derived firom a Saxon original (see p. 237 of 
the present work). And the same remark may be extended to 
the romance of Haveloke (long supposed to be lost, bufr recently 
discovered by Mr. Madden among the MS. stores of the Bodleian), . 
and to that of Attla king of East Anglia. 

II. Narrative Poetry d£rivei> from Scriptural Sources. 

The History of Judith, a firagment. MS. Cotton. Vitellius A. 15. 
Printed at the close of Thwaites's edition of the Saxon Heptateuch. 
Oxon 1699, without a translation. Turner (History of the Anglo- 
Saxons) has translated several specimens, amounting to about one 
half the composition. He juardy observes, that as the outline only 
of the story is borrowed, it deserves to rank as an x>riginal narrative 

Paraphrase of Crenesis, the Exodus, the History of Daniel, &c. ascribed 
to Csedmon. MS. Bibl. Bodl. Junius 11. Printed by Junius, Am- 
sterdam, 1655, without translation. For an account and specimens 
of this work, see p. 183 of the present volume ^ 

^ Hie Editor of this volume is how engaged in preparing a new edition 
with a translation and notes. . 


III. Nabbatiye Poetry founded on the Lives op Saints. 

Life and Passion of St. Juliana. Exeter MS. Book VII. Never pub- 

VisionB of the Hermit Guthlac. Exeter MS. Books IV. and V. 
Never published. 

IV. Hymns and other minor Sacred Poems. 

A great part of the Exeter MS. consists of poetry of this description, 
which may more properly be classed as poetical reflections on va« 
rious sacred subjects than as hymns, in the strict sense of that word. 
These compositions have never been published; but some speci- 
mens are inserted in the present volume. See account of the Exeter 
MS. p. 198, &c. 

The Cotton. MS. Julius A. 2. cpntains some metrical prayers printed 
by Junius at the close of his edition of the Caedmonian paraphrase. 
Others are found. Corpus Christi Cant S. 18. printed in Wanley's 
Catalogues p. 147. 

Metrical paraphrases of the Lord's Prayer, &c. occur in the following 
MSS. — Bibl. Bodl. Junius 121. printed in Wanley's Catalogue, p. 48 
(together with the Creed) ; and Corpus Christi Cant. S. 18. printed 
in Wanley's Catalogue, p. 147 (together with doxology) ; also in 
Book X. of the Exeter MS. not printed. Another metrical version 
of the doxology has been printed by Hickes (5ax. Gramm. Thes. 
Lingg. Septt. t. i. p. 179) from the MS. cited at the head of this 
article (Junius 121), which formerly belonged to the church of Wor- 

A Poem on the Fasts of the Church, in which they are historically, de- 
duced from Jewish institution. Cotton. MSS. Otho B. 2. Not 

^ One of these affords the mixture of Latin and Saxon verses quoted in 
the Introductory Essay on Saxon Metre, p. ix. 


A Poem on the Day of Judgement, translated from^ede *• MSS. of 
Corpus Christi Cant S. 18 (before referred to for prayers). 

V. Odes and Epitaphs. 

*^* The Saxon Chronicle contains the only specimens which 
can be referred to these classes : these are aU printed from several 
MSS. in the late edition of that inestimable document by Ingram 
— London, 1829, and are as foUow. 

Ode on the Battle of Brunanburh. A.D. 988. p. 141.* 

^ Th^ first lines of this translation merit insertion^ as affording a veiy fa- 
vourable specimen of the descriptive powers of Saxon poetry. 

Hw£T in ana sect Thus in a solitary seat 

Innan bearwe Within a bower 


Mid helme bcASeht Overspread with elms 

Holte to middes, In the midst of a wood, 

Dfler Va waeter human Where the water brooks 

Swe^don and umon Murmured and ran 

On middan jehfle^ey Through the midst of the enclosure, 

Eal swa ic secje ; [It befel me] even as I relate ; 

Eac Ver wyn wyrta There also the flowers of delight 

Weoxon and bleowon, €rrew and blossomed, 

Innon Vam jemonje Scattered around 

On aenlicum won^e ; Through that beauteous plain ; 

And Ka wudu beanuw But then the branches of the wood 

Wajedon and swejdon Waved and rustled 

Durh winda ^ryne ; Through the windy blast ; 

Wolcn waes ^ehrered, The sky was disturbed, 

And min earme mod And my saddened soul 

Eal W8»B jedrefed. Was all agitated. 

These lines contain an expansion of the following distich of Bede: 

Inter Jiorigtraifacundi ceipUii herbat, 
Flamine ventonim resonasUHnu undiqve ramu. 

* This very interesting composition has been repeatedly translated :-^y 
Henry of Huntingdon and Gibson, into Latin ; by Warton, from Gibson's 
Latin into English ; and from the original Saxon into that language by Turner 


Ode on the Victories of Edmund ^theling. A.D. ^42. p. 146.^ 
Ode on the Coronation of Kinjf Edgar. A.D. 9.73. p. 158. 
Elegy on the Death of King Edgar. A.D. 975. p. 160. 
Elegy on the Death of King Edward. A.D. 1065. p. Z55. 

VI. Elegiac Poetry. 

The Exile's Complaint in the Exeter MS., printed in this volumei 
p. 224, alibrds the only specimen approaching to the character of the 
Elegiac ballad. 

Many of the Metres of Boethius translated by Alfred (MSS. Cott. 
Otho A. 6. printed by Rawlinson, 1698) are of the Elegiac class. 
See a specimen m this volume, p. 260. 

VII. MoKAL AND Didactic Poetry. 

The Boethian Metres translated by Alfred (see List article) afford ex« 
amples of these styles. Specimens are given in p. 269, &c. of the 
present volume. 

(Hkiary cf the Anglo^SaxcHu); Ingram (Saxon ChromeU); and Bosworth 
(Saxon Grammar). But the most recent and by far the most accurate version 
is that of Mr. Price, inserted in his late edition of Warton*8 HiUory of English 
Poetry: this is illustrated by a very valuable critical apparatus of philological 
notes. Henshall also furnished what he calls a transladon to Mr. Ellis's 
Speamens of Early English Poets ; but this, being constructed according to 
the very whimsical views of etymology entertained by that antiquary, ex- 
hibits much such a reflection of the original as the dbtordng mirrors em- 
ployed in optical experiments present of natural objects : almost every word is 
grossly mistranslated. The metrical version, however, which is inserted in the 
samo»oallection, of this poem into old English of the fourteenth century, is 
generally accurate, and may be cited as a striking example of successful imi- 
tation, not of the language only, but of the style and inequalities of compo- 
sition whidi marked our poetry in the age of Chaucer. 

* The character of king Edwy (p. 151 ), though printed metrically in 
Mr. Ingram's edition, appears to the present writer entirely destitute of 
every feature of Anglo-Saxon poetry. The same observation applies to the re* 



The Gnomic Poems in Book IX. of the Exeter MS. (see the accomit 
of that MS. p. 204, &c. of this volume) may be classed here. Also 
the following. ' 

The Address of the Departed Soul to the Body. Exeter MS. BookX. 
See p. 2d2 of this volume. ' 

The Poem on Death. Bibl. Bodl. N£. F. 4. \%. Extracted in this 
volume, p. 270. 

The Allegorical Poem on the Phoenix, forming Book VI. of the Exeter 
MS. (see p. 224 of this volume) : and the similar Allegories on the 
Panther and Whale at the close of Book IX. of that MS. (toalysed 
p. 207, 208.) 

The Proverbs of Alfred. MSS. Cott. Galba A. XIX. This, how- 
ever, is a corrupt and modernized version of Richard the First's time. 
Printed in Spelman*s Life of Alfred. 


Song of the Traveller. Exeter MS. Book IX. Printed in the present 
volume, p. 9, &c. 

Dialogue of Solomon and Satumus ^ MSS. of Corpus Christi College, 

flections on the capture of archbishop ^lphage by the Danes (p. 188), aud to 
the paragraph relating to the imprisonment of Alfred iEthelingby Godwin 
(p. 208). The appearances of rime which occur in thb last composition seem 
accidental; and^ as will be seen on reference to the passage in question, are 
often produced by an arbitrary division in the middle of words adopted by 
the editor: e.g. 

Nu is to jelyfaime 

To %?an leo&n 

Code. %et hi blissi- 

-on bliVe mid Criste. 

> The Editor has not himself enjoyed an opportunity of consulting the Cam- 
bridge MSS.; but they appear to belong to the qhss of traditional stories con- 
cerning the interchange of questions and solutions on points of abstruse science. 


S S. 16. mixed with Runic characters. A shorter piece 
OB the same subject occurs in the same collection of MSS. S. 2 ; 
and a prose version is among the Cotton MSS. Vitellius A. 15. 

supposed to have taken place between the Wisest of Kings and those who en- 
deavoured to examine or profit by the depth of his knowledge. These stories, 
derived probably from the authentic statemei^ of the visit of the queen of 
Sheba, were current in the East before the Chrisdan era. Josephus men- 
tions an intercourse of tliis kind as having subsbted between Solomon and 
Hiram king of Tyre, who was assisted by a youth named Abdaemon, or, ac- 
cording to others, by Abdimus the son of Abdsmon. Menander, a transia» 
tor of Tyrian antiquities from Phflsnician into Greek, and Dion are cited by 
Josephus as his authorities for these tales. They appear to have become 
subsequently very widely diffused under many different forms: one of these, 
— ^in which Solomon is represented as holding discourse with Marculfus or 
Morolf, a deformed and .£sop-like dwarf, and his wife, — became extensively 
popular in Europe during the middle ages. It is alluded to by William of 
Tyre in the twelfth century, and many versions of it are extant both in the 
Latin an(\ German languages. The Saxon compositions cited in the text 
preserve probably a somewhat earlier modification of a fiction similar in sub- 
stance: in these the interrogator is named Satumus. Wanley {Catalogue, 
p. 114) thus quotes the commencement of the copy extant in S. d. of the 
Corpus Christi MSS., which appears to be an extract only: 

Saturnus cwfleV, Saturnus quoth, 

Hwaet ic ijlanda Thus have I 

Eallra hsbbe Of all the islands 

Boca on byrjed ; Tasted [studied] the books ; 

Durh sebrejV sta&a, Through the art of letters, 

Lar crseflas onlocen To examine the learned skill 

lihia and Greca, Of the Libyans and Greeks, 

Swylce eac istoriam And likewise the history 

Indea rices ; Of the Indian kingdom ; 

Me Va treahteraa The interpreters 

Tala wisedon Have instructed me in these tales 

On Vam micelan bee. In the great book» 

The Editor has received, through the kindness of Mr. Shelford of Corpus 
Qiristi College (Cambridge), a transcript from a portion of the MS. of the 



JBnigmatical Poems. Exeter MS. Book X. See p. 2X9 of this volume. 

Poetical explanation of the characters of the Runic alphabet, printed by 
Hickes {Thes. Lmgg, Septt, t. i. p. 135) without translation : also 
recently on the continent with a German translation, which is very 
incorrect, in Grimm's treatise on Runic letters. Cotton MSS. Otho 
B. X. — ^Each Runic letter has a significant name : thus H stands 
for hail, S for sail, &c. The various objects which thus give deno- 
mination to the characters are each in the poem described in a sepa^ 

dialogue of Solomon and Satumus contained in the red book of Derby. He 
is thus enabled to lay before the reader the following specimen from diat 


Salomon cwae^, Solomon quoth, 

Lyde hwile A little while 

Leaf beoV prene ; Shall the leaf be green ; 

Dofi hit eft fealewia^, Then eftsoons it groweth yellow, 

Fealle^ oS eor%an. It ^eth on the earth, 

And forweo^jpiaV, Decayeth, 

WeorVaV to duste : And tumeth to dust: 

Swa 9oi& ^^feallath Even thus fall 

Dae^e fyrene, The wicked in death, 

^r lanje Iseste^ ; Ere they long endure ; [crimes 

LisiaV him in mane They heap up to themselves by 

Hyda^ heah jestreon, And conceal mighty treasures, 

Healda^ ^eome They greedily preserve them 

On faestenne. In their secure recesses, 

Feondum towillan ; According to the will of die fiends ; 

And wena^, wanho jan, And yet ween, desdtute of reflecdon, 

Dcet hie wille Wuldor-Cining That die King of Glory 

iEhnihtij God The Ahnighty God 

Ece ^ehiran. The Eternal will listen to them. 

The prose version (Cotton MSS. A. Vitellius XV.) begins thus : *'TheB 
quoth Satumus to Solomon, ' Declare to me where God sat when he wrcNig^t 
the heavens and the earth/ ' I answer thee — He sat^ver the wings of the 
winds."' A series of questions concerning the six day84>f creadon follow^ 
We here learn many curious pardculars concerning the formation of Adam. 
His name, it appears, was derived from the four angels^ Archoz, Dux, Aro- 


rate stanza ; some of which are very obscure. It is evident that the 
Runes intermixed in several Saxon MSS. (e. g. the Exeter MS., 
Beowulf, &c.) are used not as alphabetical letters, but as monographs 
denoting entire words. 

Poem on the Site of Durham, and Relics preserved there. MSS. Cot- 
ton. Vitellius D. 20. Printed by Hickes, Thes. Lingg. Septt. t i. 
p. 178. 

Metrical Pre&ces, &c. to various works : viz. to Alfred's Boethius 
(Cott. Otho A. 6. printed in this volume, p. 257) ; to Alfred's Ver- 
sion of Gregory De Cura Pastorali (Bibl. Bodl. Hatton 88. printed 

cholem, and Minsymbrie. His essence was compounded of eight ingredients, 
one pound of each being taken : viz. earth for his flesh, fire for the heat of 
his blood, wind for his breathy doud for the fickleness of his disposition, , 
grace for his reason, blossoms for the various colours of his eyes, dew for his 
sweat, and salt for his tears. We are also told of what age he was at his 
creation ; how many inches tall ; how many years he spent in Paradise before 
his fall ; and for how many afler his death he was sentenced to remain in 
infernal punbhments. A variety of questions with regard to the chronology 
of the lives of the patriarchs, &c. are then disposed of : in the course of 
which we are told that the names of the wives of Noah, Cham, and Japbet^ 
vrere Dalila, Itareata, and Catafluvia; or, according to others, OUa, Oliioa, 
and Ollibania. The tears shed by Moses when he threw the broken tables of 
the law into the sea are assigned as the reason why it has remained salt ever 
since. It is mentioned^ en pattantf that the sun rises at a city named laiaca, 
and set» at another called Garita* Much of this matter savours strongly of 
rabbinical origin; yet some allusions to the Virgin and the Apostles indicate 
a Christian author. 

It would be important to compare this MS. with that of Corpus Christi 
S. 16 ; for since Runic characters are intermingled as monographs in the 
latter, the collation would probably enable us to ascertain the exact value and 
force of those characters when so employed, and assist in deciphering the 
passages in the Eieter MS. in which they are in like manner introduced. 

With reference to the subject of this note, we may further observe that 
Ibe answers of Sidrac the philosopher to the questions of king Boccus on va- 
rious theological, metaphysical, and physical topics, — a favourite composition 
in the middle ages,— exhibit a close parallel, both in matter and structure, to 
these dialogues of Solomon, though the interlocutors are different. 


in Wanley's Cat p. 70) ; to a treatise ascribed to St Basil (BibL Bodl. 
Hatton. 100. printed in Wanley's Cat p. 72) ; to Aldhelm De Laude 
Virgmum (MSS. Corpus Christi Cant K. 12. Wanley's Cat p. 1 1 0) ; 
Address of transcriber of Bede's History to reader (Corpus Cbristi 
Cant. S 2. Wanley's Cat p. 114) ; Prayer for transcriber of Decretals 
(MSS. Cott Claud. A. 3. Wanl. Cat p. 226). 

Saxon Calendar. MSS. Cotton. Tib. B. I. Printed by Hickes, Tkes. 

^i^g* Septt, t. i. p. 203. 

%* With regard to the chronological arrangement of these re- 
mains, little can be offered. 

The Hymn of Caedmon, preserved in Alfred's translation of Bede's 
History, must be dated about 670. The question as to the antiquity 
of the Biblical Paraphrase, ascribed to the same author by Junius, is 
discussed at p. 183. 

The Dying Hymn of Bede is to be referred to the year 735. 

The £lfiredian version of Boetfaius must have been written b^ore 901. 

The poetry in the Saxon Chronicle assignable to the various dates an- 
nexed to die respeotive compositions in this Catalogue, between 934 
and 1065. 

The Poem on the Death of Byrhtnoth seems to have been written soon 
after the event which took place — 991. 

The other compositions afford no probable criterion for deter- 
mining their age ; and the language and style of the earliest spe- 
cimen of Saxon poetry, the Hymn of Caedmon, resembles so closely 
those of the latest specimens that no evidence which deserves re- 
hance can be deduced from that source. 



The Editor is induced to append a translation of this fragment as a note 
to the preceding Catalogue, because he conceives its merit to be such as to 
render any collection of Saxon poetry imperfect in which it should not be 
included, and because these Illustrations contain no other adequate example 
of the attempts of our Saxon writers to paint the pomp and circumstance of 
war; for the fragment on the Fight of Finsburgh is too brief and mutilated 
to afford a fair specimen for that purpose. 

He has not inserted the original Saxon, in the understanding that it is the 
intention of Mr. Price (to whose kindness he is mdebted for the transcript 
whence the following version is made) to publish it critically in the work 
on Saxon Poetry which he has announced in his very valuable Edition of 
Walton's History of English Poetry. The learning and acuteness of that 
able philologist and antiquary will doubtless clear away the difEculties which 
have in a few instances reduced the present translator to the necessity of 
circuitous and conjectural interpretation. 

The poem itself is remarkably free from the tautology and repetitions which 
too often impart a feeble and puerile character to the compositions of our 
Saxon writers; and the language, while remote from the inflation and tur« 
gidily to which a false taste sometimes seduced them, frequently presents 
poetical phrases and figures of considerable happiness and effect : such as 
when speaking of the clash of arms it is said, ** the baqberk sang a song of 
terrors.** Thb relic, which is unfortunately a fragment only, mutilated both 
at the beginning and conclusion, forms a portion of an historical poem cele- 

■ The name (like moit Sftxon appellatiyes) is variously spelt. In the poem it stands 
I Byvhtnoth, wiiich I have usually followed. The Ely Chronide read» Britfanotb, 
i does the Saxon Chronicle. And Beorhtnoth is found in other authoritiesp 


brating the warlike exploits and death of Byrhtnoth, alderman of Northum- 
brian in an engagement against the Danish invaders, A.D. 991. It consti- 
tutes a battle-piece of spirited execution, mixed with short speeches from the 
principal warriors, conceived with much force, variety, and character : the 
death of the hero is also very graphically described. The whole approximates 
much more nearly than could have been expected, in the general features of 
its composition, ^ the war scenes of Homer. If names like Byrhtnoth and 
Godric could be substituted for Patroclus and Menelaus, it might be almost 
literally translated into a cento of lines from the great fathei< and fountain of 
poetry ; and, as it is, it reads very like a version from one of the military 
narratives of the lUad, excepting its want of the characteristic similes '. The 
hero Byrhtnoth b mentipned at length in the chronicles of the church of Ely, 
to which he had been a very considerable benefactor, a topic of eulogy much 
insisted upon in these monastic records, and which may possibly also account 
for his name having thus escaped the list said to be buried in tlie night of 
oblivion — carent quia Vote Sacro ; hence, perhaps, we may suspect that a 
cowl covered the head of our unknown poet, and that his lines were written 
in one of those scriptoria of which our antiquaries still admire the delightful 
and inspiring situation among the recesses and long-drawn vaults of the 
cloister's studious pale in our conventual ruins. 

I subjoin the narrative of the Chronicler as a useful illustration, although 
it does not entirely agree in its ciraimstances with those of the poem. 

'^This Brithnoth was tlie noblest and bravest chief of the Northumbrians. 
He was eloquent in speech, of robust strength, and of commanding stature; 
ever alert in military exploits against the enemies of the realm, and even above 
measure animated by a eourageous disdain of danger and of death ; and above 
all he honoured the holy church and its minitterg, and applied to their use the whole 
of hit patrimony : but he devoted his life, through its entire course, to the de- 
fence of the liberties of his country; being wholly engrossed with the desire 
rather to die than suffer a single injury offered to his native land to pass un- 
revenged : for in that age frequent irruptions of the Danish pirates, disem* 
barking on different points of the coast, heavily afflicted England ; and all the 
chieilains of the neighbouring provinces, relying on the known loyalQr and 
fidelity of Bridinoth, had pledged themselves to serve beneath his victorious 
banner; conceiving that, under such a general, the pnbUc defence against the 
enemy would be more securely established. When, therefore, at a certain time 

' It may be mora^particuUrly compared with the battle in which Patroclus ftlL— 
Iliad IL and P. 


they had effected a secret landing at Meldon ^, he advanced to the spot with 
an aimed force at the first intelligence^ and put nearly all to the sword upon 
a bridge across the river; but a few having with difiBculQr escaped to their 
shipsy carried back thfs news to their own country. And when Brithnoth 
after his victory had speedily returned to Northumberlandy the Danes, in- 
censed to the last degree at the tidings, refitted their fleet, and sent a second 
expedition, under Anna and Guthmund the son of Stettan, to Meldon, to re- 
venge the slaughter of their first army. Having gdned the port, when they had 
learnt that Brithnoth had been the author of their former defeat, they sent to 
inform him that they had landed in order to avenge it, and that they should 
rank him among cowards if he declined an engagement Incited to indignation 
at the message, Brithnoth agsun collected his former comrades, and, led on 
by the hope of victory and an over confidence, marched with but few followers 
to the war; hurrying forwards, lest his delay should enable the invaders to 
occupy a single foot's breadth of the country. Thus, having first commended 
himself to the prayers of the holy brethren, he hastened to the presence of 
the enemy ; and immediately on hb arrival, undeterred by the small numbers 
of his own troops, and undaunted by their great superiority, he commenced 
his attack. At length on the last day of the series of combats which ensued, 
he anticipated, firom the scanty relics of his forces, his own approaching 
death ; yet he maintained the fight with undiminished resolution, and, after 
an immense slaughter of the enemy, had nearly put them to a complete rout ; 
but at last, animated by the paucity of his followers, they rallied, and, form- 
ing a solid wedge, rushed with their whole mass against him, and, after great 
efforts, cut off his head in the fight; which, on their retreat thence, they 
carried back with them into their own country. But the abbot of Ely, on 
learning the issue of the battle, proceeded to the field, and having discovered 
his body, had it borne to his church, and there honourably interred, replacing 
the head by a round mass of wax. Long after in these our days, the corpse 
was recognised by this indication, and placed among the other benefiictors of 
the monastery with due honours. This pious and brave warrior flourished 
in tiie reigns of Edgar, Edward the Martyr, and Ethelrcd, and died in the 
thirteenth year of the last monarch, 991 firom the incarnation of our Lord.** 

The original poem contuns 690 lines. I have omitted in my translation 
the first SO of these, which, from the mutilation of the beginning of the fiag- 

> .' M«ldiiiie,* Ckron, Sax, Maldon in Esaex is conodBrad •• having been the 
fcene of action. 


meaty are rendered ia 9ome places obscure, as containing allusions to circum* 
stances which do not appear in the remaining part of the narrative. 

Translation of the Fragment. 

Then B^htnoth began to train his bands.: he instructed the warriors in 
their array and discipline, how they should stand, how guide dieir,ste^ : he 
bade that they should hold their shields right forwajrd with firm grasp, and 
should not fear ought. Soon as he had arrayed his eager troops, he alighted 
amid his favourite band, the retainers of his household, whom he knew the 
most faithful of all. 

Meanwhile, the herald of the Vikings stood in his station : stoutly, he 
called forth ; and, advancing opposite, spake in these words to proclaim the 
threatenings of the pirate host, their embassy to the earl : — ** The seamen 
bold send me to thee; they bid me say that thou must deliver to them forth- 
with thy treasures for thy safety ' : better is it for you that ye should buy off 
this war&re with tribute than that we should wage so hard a conflict It 
boots not that we should slay each other: if ye will assent to this, we will 
ratify a peace with gold. If thou who art the chieflain assentest to this 
counsel, so mayst thou preserve thy people by giving to the men of the sea 
even at their own arbitration, treasures for their friendship, and obtain peace 
from us : then will we with our booty repair again to our ships, and hold 
truce with you.'' 

Byrhtnoth spake.. He uprsused his buckler, he shook hb slender javelin; 
stern and resolute he uttered hb words, and gave him answer: — ''Hear, 
thou mariner, what this people sayeth : they will for tribute bestow on you 
their weapons — ^the edge of their spears, their ancient swords, and arms of 
war, which shall not avail you in the fight Herald of the men of ocean ! 
deliver to thy people a message in return — a declaration of high indignation. 
Say that here stand undaunted an earl with his retainera, who will defend 
thb land, the domain of my sovereign Ethelred, his people, and hb territory ; 
and the heathen shall perish in the conflict I deem it too dastardly that ye 
should retire with your booty to your ships without joining in battle, since ye 
have advanced thus far into our land, nor shall ye so sofUy win our treasures ; 

■ The Saxon Cammide inlbniis vs tlimt in thia year (991) the practice of buyfaig 
off tfacw piratical enemtet by tribute wai first adopted. 




but point and edge shall first detennine between us in the grim game of war 
ere we give you tribute." 

He bade them seiase their shields, and the warriors to march till all stood 
by the side of the sestuary; but the hosts could not engage with each olStiu 
for the water, since the fipod had come flowing in after the ebb, and th^ 
streaming tide separated them; they thought the interval too long before 
they might mingle their weapons together : the army of the £ast>Saxons and 
the host of the ashen ship begirt with their throngs the river, nor could any 
of them wound his enemy unless through the arrow's flight he achieved his 
fall: the flood retired ; then stood there ready many Vikings of the flee^ 
eager for the fight Then the chief, the defbnce of his soldiers, commanded 
a warrior hardy in battle and prompt in spirit, to establish a bridge ' : his 
name was Wulfstan; he was the son of Ceola; he with his firanca* shot the 
foremost man that with the most courage stept upon the bridge. With 
Wulfstan stood two dauntless champions, ^fere and Maccus, both high«- 
souled warriors ; they would not turn in flight firom the ford, but resolutely 
defended it against the foe so long as they might wield their weapons. At 
length they perceived and beheld with joy that ^^the beams of the bridge 
were firmly placed ^J* 

Then began the invading host to move: they gave orders to advance, to 
cross the ford, and lead their troops onwards. The earl meanwhile, in the 
haughtiness of his soul, yidded firee permission to many of the hostile bands 
to gain the land unmolested. And thus did the son of Byrhthelm shout 
across the cold river: — ^^^ Warriors, listen I Free space is allowed you : come 
then speedily over to us : advance as men to the battle : God alone can know 
which of us is destined to remain masters of the field of slaughtei^*' 

Then the wolves of slau^ter advanced across the waters ; unimpeded the 
host of the Vikings passed over the river and its dear stream ; the seamen 
carried their shields to the land, and bore their linden bucklers : there against 
these fierce ones Byrhtnoth with his warriors stood prepared: he bade his 

> ** To establish a bridge,'* brieve healdan ; literally, to defend the bridge : but, if 
I undentand the narratiye correctly, Wulfstan appears to have been commissioned 
to cover the construction of a bridge for the passage of the Danish army across the 
sntuary, as soon as the ebb of the tide rendered such a work practicable. The sestuary 
of the river Bkckwater at llaldon in Easez appear^ to have been the scene of action. 

* Rranca is evidently the name of a sort of javelin. It occurs also in the Cad- 
monian parap h rase. 

* I have thus translated * t^at hi fSmt brieve- weandos bitene fundon ;* but I suspect 
an error in the transcript. 


hand raise with the shields the fence of war, and maintain- themselves firmly 
against their enemies. 

The conflict then drew mgh—the glory of the chteftaint ^ The hour was 
come when the fated warriors should &11. Shouts arose— the ravens con- 
gregated — and the eagle greedy of its food — ^a ay w^s on the earth. They 
darted from their hands many a stout spear — ^the sharpened arrows flew — 
the bows were busy — the buckler received the weapon*s point— bitter was the 
fight — warriors fell on either side— the youths lay slain. 

Wulfmser was wounded-^he sought rest from the battle : the kinsman of 
Byrhtnothy his sister's son, was severely mangled with the battl&«xe ; but 
for this, fit recompense was returned to the Vikings. I heard that Edward 
^slew Anna with his stout sword ; he stinted not his blow till the fated war- 
rior fell at his feet: for this his chief conferred thanks on his chamberlain^ 
whom he retained in his lodge *. So clamoured, stem of mind, the youths in 
Cfae conflict; anxious were they who might first take life from the ^eath- 
doomed foes, and prove his weapons in the fight The carnage fell on die 
earth, yet stood they steadfast. Byrhtnoth arrayed them : he bade that each 
youth who would victoriously fight against the Danes should bend his soul 
to the war. 

Then the [Danish] chiefbain rabed up his weapon, his buckler for his de- 
fence, and stept forth against that lord. The earl with equal eagerness ad- 
vanced against the carl ; either meditated evil against the other. The sea 
chief then sped a southern^ dart, so that the lord of the army was wounded : 
he manceuvred with his shield that the shaft burst, and the spear sprang 
back and recoiled: the chief was incensed, and pierced with his dart tlie 
exulting Viking who had given him that wound. Skilful was the hero : he 
caused his franca to traverse the neck of the youth : he directed his hand 
so that with sudden destruction he might reach his life: then speedily he 
shot off another so that his msul was pierced, and he was wounded in the 
breast through its ringed chains; and the javelm's point stood in his heart. 
Then was the earl blithe : the stem warrior laughed, and uttered thanks to 
his Creator for the work of that day which the Lord had given him. 

But then some one of the enemies let fly a dart from his hand, which 

> The origiiial is 'tfa was fohte neh . tir at ^etohte.' The conclnding phnse 
occurs also in Judith, p. 24. L 19 : ' Ge dom a^on . tir set tohtan.* I hate adopted 
Lye's explanation of 'tobta,' but I am not satis6ed with it 

* ' fStaa burffene fSa. he byre hasfde.' 

' ' Su^eme pa.* I cannot comprehend the reason of this epithet 



transiixed the noble thane of Ethelred : there stood by his side a youth not 
ftilly grown, a boy in the field, the son of Wulfstan, Wulimer the young ; 
he eagerly plucked from the chief the bloody weapon, and sent it to speed 
again on its destructive joamey : the dart passed on till it laid on the earth 
him who had too surely reached his lord. 

Hien a treacherous soldier approached the earl to plunder from the chief- 
tain his gems, his vestments, and his rings, and his ornamented sword ; but 
Byrhtnoth drew from its sheath hb battle^ae, broad and brown of edge, and 
smote him on his corslet: very eagerly the pirate left him, when he felt the 
force of the chiefbdn's arm. But at that moment hb large hilted sword 
drooped to the earth — ^he could no longer hold his hard glaive, nor wield his 
weapon; yet the hoary warrior still endeavoured to utter his commands : he 
bade the warlike youths, his brave companions, march forwards. Then might 
he no longer stand firmly on his feet. 

He looked to heaven. — ** I thank thee. Lord of the nations, for all the pro- 
sperity i^ch I have experienced on earth : now have I, O mild Creator, the 
utmost need that thou shouldest grant grace to my spirit, that my soul may 
proceed to thee, into thy keeping, O Lord of angels, that it may take its de- 
parture in peace. . I am a suppliant to thee that the destruction of hell may 
not overwhelm it." 

Then the heathen bands mangled his corse, and with him both the youths 
that stood by his side, iElfnoth and Wulfmsr ; for both fell, and sold their lives 
on the fidlen body of their lord. Then fled from the fight those that durst 
no longer abide. Godric, son of Odda, was foremost to desert the battle and 
that good lord who had often bestowed on him many a field ; for he had 
ever shared the possessions which his chieftain owned • • • i. Yet though 
it were thus, ignominious he fled, and his brother with him, both Godrie 
and Godwy withdrew; ^ey maintained not the fight, they hurried from the 
conflict, they sought the woods, they fled to the fortress, they sheltered their 
lives * * * **. It had indeed been somecredit to them to have then remem- 
bered all the benefits which he in bounty had conferred upon them ; but, as 
Ofia reminded them on a former day when he had met them in the hall of 
council, ^' many there spoke boldly, who durst not abide in peril." 

' * He ^eop Vone coh . fSe ahte his hlaford . on tTam ^eraedum.' I have omitted 
the last line, and doubt my construction of the two former. 

' ' Hyra f eore burton . and mmina maSon . hit aeni^ maeV were . pt hi tfa ^ear- 
nun^a . ealle ^emundon . iSe he him to du^otfe . ^edon baeficle.* I hare omitted in 
the translation the line in italics^ and place it here with the context that the whole 
pMMge may be subjected to the rerision of any reader acqnaipted with the language. 



Thus did the chiefbin of the host, the earl of. the royal Ethebad, fall, and 
all his domestic retainers beheld their lord lying a corpse; yet widiout delay 
dioae brave vassals and dauntless warriors stept eagerly forwards ; all but 
thbse twaui desired iedther to avenge their beloved leader or to lose their lives. 

To this Aliwincy a warrior young in years, oioouraged them : speaking 
these wordSy die son of Alfric gave utterance to his bold spirit :«-^' Let us 
now remember die seasons when we heretofore conversed over our mead^ups^ 
and our warriors, assembled in the hall, raised their boast around the benches. 
Now in the fierce oonflict it may well be seen who is truly brave : there will 
I before you all give proof of my noble blood, thai I atn sprung from a high 
)f Cretan race^^Ealhelm was the progenitor of my ancesu^r named; a skilful 
chief was he, and prosperous in the world ; nor shall the thanes of this 
people reproach me that I sou^t a shelter from the conflict, now that my 
chieftain lieth mangled in the fight — ^to me the heaviest of affiiction»-**for 
he was bodi my kinsman and my lord." Then stept he fordi : he meditated 
vengeance, and strove to reach with his spear some one of the seafaring 
host, and lay him prostrate on the field with his weapon, when he had thus 
cheered his friends and comrades. 

Then spake Ofia, and shook his ashen shaft:— '^ How seasonably, O Alf- 
wine, hast thou exhorted all our warriors now our chieftain lieth low*->our 
earl on the earth : needftil is it for all that each of us should animate every 
fellow warrior to maintain the conflict so long as he may keep and hold his 
weapons, his hard batde-axe, his dart, and his good sword. Oodric the coward 
ton of Odda hath betrayed all of us ; for many a man mistakes his flight 
(unce he rode on so spirited a courser in the fight) as though it had been 
our lord: and theftefore is our host dispersed here over the field, and the line 
of their shields broken : pernicious is his example, so many hath it turned 
to flight*' 

: Leofisuna spake, and nused up hb linden buckler of defence : he answered 
that warrior«-^I give thee my pledge that I will not fly one footstep hence ; 
but forwards will I advance, to avenge in the fight my beloved chief. It 
shall not need that die steadfast warriors should reproach me in their dis- 
course for my untteeuUnesi; that now my lord hath fidlen I riiould flee 
homewards chieftainless from the fight ; but the weapons, the edge, and the 
iron, shall receive me.** He rushed forth ftill of rage ; firmly he fought; he 
disdained flight. 

Dunnere spake: no sluggish carl was he; he brandished his dart, he 
shouted loudly over all the host, he bade that every warrior should avenge 
Byrhtnoth : " That man,^ said he, ''may not quail nor be solicitous for his 
life diat thinketh to avenge his lord among the people.'* 



Then ruahed tbey forth : they recked not for their lives: stoutly began the 
vassal tnun to fight; wrathfully bearing their weapons^ they supplicated God 
that they might avenge their betoved chief, and wreak their fnry on their 
fi>emen. An koiiiage^ (escaped from the enemy) fiercely essayed to aid them. 
He was of an hardy race among the Northumbrians, the son of Ecglafe» 
iEscferth was his name. He quailed not in the game of #ar; he poured 
forth his arrows abundantly : sometimes he shot on the buckler, sometime^ 
he pierced the warrior; he ever hovered around them, and sore wounds did 
he deal so long as he could wield his weapons. 

Then yet stood in die array Edward the tall chief, prompt and strenuous : 
be vowed in haugh^ words *'that he would not yield a foot*S breadth of 
earth, nor turn his back in flight, since his superior lay dead.'^ He broke 
through the wall of shields, and fou^t against the foe until be had worthily 
avenged his lord, liberal in largess, on the men of the sea before he himself 
fell among the slaughtered. The same did^theric hb noble comrade, eager 
and impetuous, the brother of Sebyrht: stoutly he fought, and very niany 
others : they clove the bucklers ; keen were they : they burst the covering of 
the shields; and the hauberk sang a strain of terror*. 

Then did Offit smite the mariner host in the fight till they fell on the 
earth; yet that kinsman of Godda found there his grave : Ofia himself was 
suddenly cut down in the conflict. Nevertheless he had redeemed his pledge 
to his chiefbain, which he before had promised to his dispenser of gems, 
that they should both ride together to the burgh,' unharmed to their homes, 
or that both should together fall among the host in the place of slaughter 
expiring with wounds. — ^He lay, like a faithfiil attendant, nigh his lord. 

Then was there crashing of bucklers. The mariners marched on, harassed 
in the fight The dart oft pierced through the tenement of life in those pre- 
destined to slaughter, for which end it had sped. 

Wistan Thurstan's son fought agamst these bands : he was included in the 
destruction of these three ; for Wigeline's son kdd him among the slaugh- 
tered. There was a stem meeting : the warriors stood firm in the fights- 
fighting they sunk, oppressed with wounds : the carnage fell on the earth. 
Oswald and Eadwold, two brothers, arrayed meanwhile their kindred war- 
riors : they exhorted them in their harangues that they should in that hour 
of need endure with no faint spirit the encounter of weapons. 

> • Him M ^ywl on^an . ^romlioe fylstao.' Hostage is the only senie in which 
the word ' ^uel * occurs ; yet it is difficult to reconcile this sense to the conteit I 
haTe endeavoured to do so by incorporating in my version the conjecture (hat be 
might have escaped during the battle ftt>m the hands of the Danes. 

• ' And seo byme sang . -jryre leo5a sum.' 


Byihtwold spoke: he was aa aged vassal: he raised his shield, he bran- 
dished his ashen spear ; he full boldly eihorted the warriors :<*-^ Our spirit 
shall be the hardier ; our heart shall be the keener ; our soul shall be the 
greater, the more our forces diminish. Here lieth our chiefy all mangled— 
the brave one in the dust : ever may he lament his shame that thinketh to 
fly from this play of 'weapons. Old am I in life, yet wiU I not stir hence ; 
but I think to lie by the side of my lord— by that much loved man.'' 

And in like manner Godric the son of Ethelgar cheered them all on to the 
conflict Oft he poure^forth his darts, and sped the death-spear against the 
pirates : so did he rush foremost on that people; he hewed and slaughtered 
them till tbey fell in the fight. This was not the same Godric who had 
before fled from the war. 



Slnslo^ajTon $oetrp. 








Whether the adventurous companions of Hengist and Horsa 
brought with them into our island any tincture of letters we cannot 
at present ascertain. If they had any, it probably consisted in part 
of those traditional songs which are almost uniformly found to con* 
stitute the earliest spedes of tx)etryy of learning, and of history 
among nations emerging from a state of barbarism. The earliest 
mention, however, of Saxon poetry which antiquaries have been 
able to discover occurs in the fourtii book of Bede's Ecclesiastical 
History. The twenty-fourth chapter of that book is occupied by 
an account of the poetical talents and exemplary piety of Csedmon, 
a monk of the Abbey of Streoneshalh in Nortiiumbria, whose ge- 
nius, supematurally, as it was believed, restricted to the treatment 
of scriptural and devotional subjects, appeared, when so employed, 
litde short of actual inspiration in the eyes, not only of his more 
unlearned cotemporaries, but in those of the venerable historian 
himself ;-*the rather, perhaps, as he seems to have been nearly if poti 



aitogether destitute of the advantages of human learakig. Bede's 
account of this extraordinary man, although tinged with the credu^ 
lity of his age, is interesting, both* as it presents a curious trait of 
ancient manners, and contains a translation of the -earltest compo- 
sition attributed to him. To Alfred we are further indebted for 
the preservation of the original. Csedmon (says Bede) was to an 
advanced period of life* so totally ignorant of verse, that being ac^ 
cidentally present at a feast where the guests sang in th^r tura 
latitia causd, so soon as he saw the harp ' approach himself he 
quitted the table abruptly and retired to his own home. In the 
course of the ensuing night he dreamt that a stranger accosted and 
requested him to sing : he pleaded his inability, adding that on ac- 
count of that inability he had retired from his friend's table. " You 
have the power," shordy replied the stranger. " What, then,** asked 
the cowherd, (for Caedmon's occupation was no other,) " would you 
have me sing ?*' " The Creation," returned the stranger : and Caed- 
mon found himself immediately enabled to compose and sing a short 
poem on that subject, which, on waking, he frilly retained in his 
memory. A circumstance so remarkable could not long be con- 
cealed from the superiors of the monastery) in whose service he 
seems to have been employed ; and after some frirther trial of his 
powers he was persuaded to adopt their habit and dedicate himself 
entirely to {he composition of religious poetry. Being instructed 
at length by his brethren in the history of the scriptures and the 
doctrines of Christianity, (which his want of learning, we may sup- 
pose, prevented him frx>m studying in the only languages in which 
they were then to be found) he versified the whole of their more 
important contents, with a success which defied, according to Bede, 

' Ad tempera proveciioris etatu. 

* These songs must have been in the vernacular tongue; and as the singing 
and accompanying them on the harp is noticed as so general an accomplish^ 
tnetit, the art and uses of poetry must long before this period have become 
femiliar to our ancestors. 


all future compedtion. *^ Ei quidem et alii posi iilum in gente Afh 
glomm reKgiosa poematafacere tentabant, sed nullus ei mquiparari 
potuit* Namqtie ipse non homimbtUy Tieque per hamnem institti^ 
tns, canendi artem didicit, sed divinitus adjutus gratis catiendi do- 
tmm accepit!* 

The Hymn above alluded to, or at least so much of it as the poet 
composed in his sleep, is subjoined. It will scarcely be thought 
to merit the prases bestowed on it by the lustorian. 

Nu we sceolon heri^ean 
Heofon-rices weard, 
Metodes mihte. 
And lus mod-jeSanc^ 
Weorc wuldor Fasder. 
Swa he wundra jehwss, 
£c9 Drihten, 
Qrd onsteald. 
He «rest scop 
EorSan beamum 
Heofon to rofe^ 
Hali; Scippend* 
9a middanjeard 
Moncynnes weard* 
Ece Drihten, 
Tinim foldan 
Frea ehnihtij. 




Nunc debemus celebrare 

Creataris potentiam, 

Et gtu consilium. 

Opus gloriasi Patris * . 

/to ille mirabilium mgutorumt 

JEtemus Daminus, 

Principium stabilivit. 

Ille primus creavit 


Calum infamicem, 

Sanctus Creator. 

Turn mediam ierrlim 

Humani generis' habitaculum 

Mtemus Dominus 


Firis terram 

Rector ommpotens. 

' Or it may be rendered g^ortoti opens pater. This line affords us an early ;inp 
stance of that absence of inflection and of connecting particles whidi renders 
die Saxon poetiy highly obtoure and difficult of construction. 

* It will be peroeived diat this and the fifth line are differently rendered in 
the Latin and English translations. The. readec will have frequentr oppor- 
tunities of observing that the elliptical construction of Saxon poeliy renders 
it thus ambiguouK. 


Now should we all ^ heaven's guardian King exalt,. 

The power and counsels of our Maker's will. 

Father of glorious works, eternal Lord, 

He finom of old stablish'd the origin 

Of every varied wonder. First he shaped. 

For us the sons of earth, heaven's canopy. 

Holy Creator. Next this middle realm, 

This earth) the bounteous guardian of manUlnd, 

The everlasting Lord, for mortab framed. 

Ruler omnipotent'* 

In this fragment we may readily trace (as it has ahready been ob- 
served by Mr. Turner) that simple mechanism which by the accu- 
mulation of parallel expressions has expanded to the length of eigh- 
teen lines the mere proposiuon. '' Let us praise God the maker x>f 

^ The words printed in Italics are such as do not occur in the original. 

* Wanley has giv^n, {Cat, MSS, SepUnt. p. 287«) from a manuscript whicli 
he believed to be of the 8th century, a copy of this hymn differing materially 
from the common text both in its orthography and in the grammatical form 
of some words. — ^It mns thus : 

Nu scylun herjan Elda bamum 

Hefaen ricaes vard, Heben til hrofe, 

Metudss nuBcti, Hale^ Scepen. 

End his mod jidanc. * Tha middun ^eard 

Verc vuldur Fadur. Moncynnaes vard. 

Sue he vundra jihuaes, £ci Diyctin, 

EdDrictin, ^ftertiadse, 

Ora stelids. Fimm foldu. 

He serist soopa Frea allmectij. 

Wanley himself however has some doubt whether the hand-writing of this 
addition (for such it is) be coeval with that of the entire MS. There appears to 
me strong ground for thinking it the work of the 11th or 1^ century, and of 
an inexperienced scribe. ^Scop' and ^Scyppend' (l.Oand 13) seem much more 
analogous than ^Scopa' and 'Scepen/ and the same remarkable substitution 
of <e fore is found in MS. Bodley 343, sirppbsed by Wanley to be written in 
the reign of Heniy II. 'Ora' for 'ord' must be a mistake either of tlie 
transcriber or printer. 


heaven and earth/' The firagment itself has been repeatedly pub- 
lishedy and upon this account among others it would hanlly have 
been entitled to so much of our lime, had it not been the earliest 
specimen of our poetry extant, and the only well authenticated r&- 
main of one who has had the fortune to be regarded as the Saxon 

After all, it has been questioned, whether the poem, as we now . 
possess it, is not to be regarded rather as a retranslatioti by Alfred 
from the Ladn of Bede, than as the original efiiision of Csedmon^. 
Although there appears no very plausible reason in favour of this 
supposition, its direct refutation would be no easy task, and most 
readers would, in all probability, wish to be spared the discussion. 
There is extant however, one short fragment of Saxon Poetry the 
age and authenticity of which are beyond dispute, and which may 
&irly be regarded as belonging to the same sera of our language and 
yersification. It has not (so far as I am aware) been as yet noticed 
by any of our poetical antiquaries, although it boasts no less an au- 
thor than the venerable Bede, and cannot therefore on a fiedr com- 
putation have been written more than sixty years after the works 
of Caedmon himself. This fragment, more interesting, it must be 
confessed, from its antiquity than from any pretensions to poetical 
merit, is to be found in the simple and affecting narrative of the 
historian's last moments, addressed to Cuthwine by his friend axkl 

' See lingard's Antiquities of the Saxon Church. But popular as the poems 
of Cxdmon appear to have been, it is scarcely probable that this, which, from 
the circumstancea said to have attended its production, must have been 
esteemed among the most valuable, should have been totally lost in the age of 
Alfred : — ^if it were then extant, the royal translator would no doubt have 
preferred inserting the original to paraphrasing the Latin of Bede. It may be 
urged also that the Saxon and Latin resemble each other so closely, as to 
countenance the belief that the latter is a literal transUtion of the former. — 
Had Alfred copied from Bede, we may reasonably suppose that his version 
would have been more paraphrastic. &uch at least is uniformly the case in his 
translation of the Boethian metres. 


disciple .Cuthbert.-r-'' As he felt his end approaching, hejrepeated/'' 
says this'writery '' many passages of holy scripture; and, asiie was 
learnedin our poetry, spoke also some tlungs in the English lai^uage, 
for died compo^ng the foUomng speech in English he siud with 
great compunction ^ ''-« 

For "Sam neodfere Ante necessarium exitum 

Naenij wyrSe^S Nemo extat 

Donees snottra Comilii prudentior 

Donne him 'Searfe sy, Quam sibi opus sit, 

To jehi jjene, 5 Ad cogitandum, 

IEt his heonan-;^an2e, Ante decessum suum, 

Hw»t his jasta, Qualiter anima sua, 

Godes other yrdes, Pro bono aut malo^ 

^fter dea^Se heonan Post mortis exitum ' 

Demed wurSe. 10 Judicanda siV'. 

Whether or no these lines were composed by him (as Cutlibert 
should seem to affirm) upon his death-bed, there can be no doubt 
Uiat they are the production of Bcde himself. They resemble closely 
both in their metrical and grammatical structure the specimens at- 
tributed to authors of a later date, and it may therefore be safely 
affirmed that our vernacular poetry had assumed as early as the year 
73d the form and character which it preserved with Uttle or no al- 
teration, until the establishment of the Norman dynasty produced a 
correspondent change in our language and versification. 

* ^^ MuUa de scnpturis sacriSf et in noUrA qtwque lingud, hoc est AngUcan&y tU 
erut dochu in nostris carmimhusj nonntdla dixU : nam et tunc hoc dictum JngUco 
sermone conqnmens multihn compunctut akbatJ* See the whole letter in Bede's 
EecL Hist. ed. Smith, p. 792. 

* I h&ve adopted, as much as possible, the translation of Cuthbert The 
general meaning of the lines (of which it would be absurd to attempt any poe- 
tical version) appears to he that ^ No man living reflects, before his death, 
with greater a&xietjr than is necessary upon his future judgement** 


In a review of Anglo-Saxon poetry the Hymns of Csedmon and 
Bede appeared to demand the first place^ as being, with the single 
exceptipa perhaps of Alfred's version of Boethijius^y the only com- 
positions of which the age is clearly ascertained. The poem which 
follows, now; pu))lished for the first time^ owes its origin in all pro- 
bability to a period yet more remote, and to an author of a very 
difierent cast, a Scald or Minstrel by profession. As it preserves the 
only contemporary picture on record (at least m Saxon poetry *) of 
such a character, and contains a singular enumeration of many 
tribes and sovereigns whose very existence, in some cases, has now 
no other memorial, it appeared desirable to submit the whole to 
the antiquarian student. To the lover of poetry it has perhaps but 
little that will recommend it. For the greater part it exhibits 
scarcely more than a dry catalogue of names, enlivened by a few al» 
lusions to traditionary^ history, which, from the absence of all col- 
lateral documents, are highly obscure; and the more intelligible re- 
lation of Us own success in commanding the applause and muni- 
ficence of kings and nobles. 

This remarkable composition is preserved in a manuscript vo- 
lume of Saxon poetry given by Bishop Leofric to the cathedral 
church of Exeter about the time of the Norman conquest. This 
valuable relique (to which the present collection is largely indebted, 

111 I I-- 1 I -- ■ ip- —I. ■ -g- r — - - -, ■ — - _.. . _ - — ■■ 

^ The poetry also which occurs in the Saxon Chronicle was probably written 
by peraons contempoiary with the events celebrated. 

* The adventures of the unfortunate Gunnlaug at the court of Ethelred and 
other monaicfasy are not uxilike those of our bard. See Gunnlatfg*s Snga^ p. 97. 
and Turner's Anglo-Saxons, v. i. p. 418. 


and which will hereafter be designated as the Exeter Manuscript) 
consists of various poems chiefly on.religious or moral subjects. 
The Song of the Traveller (as I have Ventured to name it), which 
forms one of the few exceptions to this rule, occurs towards the 
end of the MS. and seems to have no connection with the articles 
preceding or following it. The hand-writing of the MS. appears 
but little if at all anterior to the age of Leofric The reasons which 
induce the Editor to assign to the poem a date considerably earlier 
will be more easily appreciated when the reader shall have beeil 
made possessed of its contents. In the English version or rather 
paraphrase which follows, the Editor, while he has endeavoured to 
deviate as litde as possible from the sense of the original, has ven- 
tured to dispense vnth that closeness of imitation which it has, in 
most other cases, been his wish to observe, but which in this in- 
stance, if at all practicable, would scarcely have compensated for 
the extreme jejuneness and barbarity of the Poet's historical and 
geographical nomenclature ^. 

WiD SI'S ma^lade, Longum iter narraxnt, 

Word-hord onleac Ferborum copiam reseravit 

Se "Se maeste Ille quiplurima 

MeertSa ofer eorSan Mirabilia de terra 


Folca jeond-ferde 5 PopuHs, iterfadens 

Of "Be flette je^Sah. {Promt) a domo, intellexerat. 

Mynelicne ma^S-Sum* Amicis verbis 

Hine from Myrjinjum Ilium a Myrgingis 

^ It may here be stated that this s^ingular poem ocairs at die commence- 
ment of the 9th book or section of the Exeter MS. which has been described 
by "Wanley (Oa, MSS. Sax, p. 281) as consisting chiefly of senigraas. His 
usual industry and accuracy seem here to have forsaken him; for the section 
in question contains litde or nothing to which that name can, by any licence 
whatever, be applied. 

* This line may perhaps belong to the preceding clause in connection with 
* Word-hord onleac.' 



ifiiSele onwocon'^ 

He mid EalUnlde, 10 

Webban forman 

Si^SehreS cynin^es 

Ham jesohte, 

Eastan of On^le, 15 


WraSes waerlo^an^ 

On^on iSa worn sprecan. 

'' Fela ic monna jefrse^ 
MaB2;8um wealdan. 20 

Sceai iSeoda jehwylc 
Beawum li^an, 
£orl seAer o^rum 
£i$le nedan, 

Se % hU 'Seoden-stol. 25 

•GeSeon wile. 
Bara wss wala 
Hwile selast, 
And Alexandreas 
Ealra ricost 30 

Monna cynnes. 
And he m»st j^e'Sah 

Nobiles exdtarunt i - 
Ilk cum Eaihilda 
Fido amore 
UxareprimA i 
SitArediprincqns i 
Domtsm qtuuivit ' 
Ex ofitnU ab Ai^lis 

{Propter) iram ivfidam i 
Incepit tunc popuhim adloqui* 

^* Multoi ego homims lum 

Patenter dominari* 

Debet populus quisque 

(Secundum) mores (suos)vivere, 

Dux pro aliis 

Nobilis curam capere, 

Qui yu$ solium 

Vigere ctqnat» 

Ilhrumfuit divitiis 


Alexander J et 

Omnium ditissimus 

Humani generis, 

Et illeplurimum viguit 

^ I am doubtful as to the sense of this clause^ It may however imply that 
the nobles of his own country had encouraged him to travel, as appears to 
h^ve been the case with Gunnlaug. See Gtmn. Sag, p. 06. and the note 66, 

* It is to be regretted that the construction of those passages which I have 
marked with ?, and which relate evidently to the personal history of the hard, 
is more highly obscure than that of any others in the poem. The sense here 
attributed to ^Webban forman SiVehreV cyninjes' is purely conjectural. 
The apparent purport of the last paragraph does not agree with what is after- 
iTdurds said m praise of Hermanric. 



Bara "Se ic ofer foldan 
GefrsBjQ heebbe* 
MiLai weold Hunum. 
Eormanric Gotum. 
Becca Baningum» 
Burjendum Gifica'* 
Casere weold Creacum. 
And Celic Finnum. 
Hagena Holm-nGum. 
And Henden Glommum '• 
Witta weold Swsefum. 
Wada Helsihjum^ 
Meaca Myrpnjum. 
Mearchealf Hundinpim*. 
Deodric weold Froncum. 
Dyle Rondin^um ? 
Breoca Brondinpun ^. 
Billinj Wemum. 
Oswine weold Eowura*. 
And » Ytum Gefwulf. 

{Ex) Ii$ quos ego per terrain 

Celebratot audivi. 
35 Attila imperavit Hunnis. 

Hermanricus Gothis, 

Becca Bamngis ^ i 

Burgundis Gifica* 

Casar imperavit Grati$. 
40 £it Celic Finnis. 

Hagena Holmiensibus. 

Et Henden Glomnds. 

Witta imperavit Sueds. 

Wada Helsingis» 
45 Meaca Myrgingis ? 

Marculphus Hundingjit ? 

Theodoricus imperaxxt Francis 

Thyh Ronding^* i 

Breoca Brondingis i 
50 Billing Farinis. 

Oswine imperavit Eoais. 

Et Ytis i Gefwulf. 

^ I have added notes of interrogation to the names of tribes of which I aiu 
unable to find any other mention. 

* The name of Gifica stands at the head of the succession of Burgundian 
kings. Nothing appears to be known of his age or actions. ' 

' The Glommi were a Sorabic tribe, v. WmsU Antiguitates MttnicaSaxotikat, 
p. 136 : e Cronico Ditmari4 

* ^^ Halsingaland chitas maxima Scritqfinnonim,^ — ^Adam Bremens. The 
Helsingians are enumerated among the people conquered by Reg^er Lodbrog; 
see his well known Death-song. 

* See the story of Helgo Hundingicida in Saxo Grammadcus : but diese 
Hundingi appear to have been rather a fimiily than a people. 

* Quare if Rudigni. 

* Inhabitants of Brandenberg or Brondey. Vide Thurkelin tn indke ad 
Beowulf tub voce. ' Eoland. 

' There is a Liothida ( g, d, popultu Ida) mentioned by Jomandes, c. X 

p. 613. 



Tivi&Ac WaMing 

Fresna cyntie. 

Sijehere lenjest 55 

Sffi Denum weolde. 

Hnaef Hocinpim*. 

Helm Wulfinjum'. 

Wald Woinjum*. 

Wod Dyrinjum 60 

SaeferS Sycjum *. 

Sweom Onjend^Seow. 

Sceafthere Ymbrum. 

Sceafa Lon^beardum. 

Hunhset Werum. 65 

And Holen Wrosnum*. 

Hin^weald wies haten 

Here-farena cyninj. 

Offa weold Onjle. 

Alewih Denum. 70 

Se w»s "Sara monna 

Mod^ast ealra. 

NohwsB'Sre he ofer Offioi 

Eorlscype fremede, 

Ac Offa jesloj, 75 

JErest monna, 

Firmis Walding ' 
Frisonum generi. 
Sigehere diutissime 
Dams maritimis imperavii. 
Hnaf Hocingis i 
Helm Wulfingis. 
Wald Woir^s ? 
Wod Thyringis. 
Saferth Sycgis. 
Sueis Ongendtkeow.^ 
Sceafthere Ymbris. 
Sceafa Lof^obardis. 
HunJuBi Weris ? 
Et Holen Wromis i 
Hingweald erat appeUaius 
Bellatorum rex. 
Offa imperavU Anglii. 
Alewih Dams* 
Illefuit hominum 
Fortissimus omnium* 
Nullibi tile 9uper Offam 
Principatum obtinuU, 
Sed Offa constituit, 
Primus homnwfn, 

' The construction of this sentence is not dear. The name of Fin occurs as 
that of a king of the Fresnarcynne in Beowulf. But if we here make Fin the 
proper name, there will remain a greater difficulty in rendering the other 

* Of the names already known , the nearest in sound are Osi and Chauci. 
^ Or Ylfin£^, a Norwegian tribe, v. Thorkelin ad Beowulf, p. S6& 

^ Quere if the Boil. Among the names of Scandinavian tribes given by Jor- 
nandes (cap. 3), there occurs one not very di8siniilart-*Vagoth. 

* Sictona. v. Grotium, 104, (pTeef.) 

^ Can these Wrosni be the Borussi \ 



Cniht wesende 
Cynerica msest. 
NsBoi; efen--eald 
Him eoiiscype 
Maran onarette 
Ane sweorde. 
Merce ^emserde 

Bi fifel dore, 
Heoldon forS si'SSan 
Enjle and Swaefe^ 
Swa hit Ofia "gsAoi* 
HroVwulf and HroSjar 
Heoldon lenjest 
Sibbe 8Bt somne 
Sttfator faedran 
Si««an hi forwracon 
Wicinja cynn 
And in^eldes 
Ord forbi2dan 
Forheowan »t Heorote 
HeaSo 'beardna iSrym. 

Swa ic ^eond ferde fela 
Fremdra londa 
Geond pnnejrund. 
Godes and yfles 
Bnr ic cunnode 

Juvetds cum esiet 

Regnum maximum. 

Nemo aquavus 
80 Illo prindpatum 

Majorem erexU 

Proprio erne. 

lAmitem desigtuUum 

Contra Myrgingos. 
85 Ad quinque urbium tramitum, 

Habueruni ex eo tempore 

Angli et Suevij 

Uti eum Offa constituit* 

Hrothwulfus et Hrotkgarm 
go Habuerunt diutisnme 

Pacem inter se (simul) 

Consanguinei a patre 

Ex quo uUumem sumsere 

{A) Wicingorum genere 
95 Etpervicada 

Ifdtium contuderunt 

Obtruncarunt ad Heorote 

Exceborum hominum potestC'- 

Ita egoperagravi mulias 
100 Exteras regUmes 

Per amplam terram. 

Bonum ac malum 

In iis cognovi 

' I am notcertain whether I am justified in translating ^beardna' as though 
it were written 'beoma.' This passage showsthebard to have been acquainted 
with Scaldic traditions. Hrothwulf b mentioned in the poem of Beowulf f» 
standing in the same relationship to Hrothgar. Heorot b celebrated ia the 
same poem as the palace or metropolb of Hrothgar. 



Cnosle bidoeled. 

Freomse^um feor 105 

Fol^ade wide '• 

ForSon ic msB^ unjan and secjan. 

Spell m»nan 

Fore men^o in meodu healle, 

Hu me cjne ^ode 1 10 

Cystum dohton. 

Ic wns mid Hunum, 

And mid HredgoiSum^ 

Mid Sweom and mid Geatum, 

And mid SuiS-Denmn. 115 

Mid Wenlum ic waes and mid 

And mid Wicingmn* 
Mid GefSum ic wes and mid 

And mid Gefflepim*. 
Mid Enjlum ic wses and mid 

Sweiiim, 120 

And mid iEnenum*. 
Mid Seaxum ic w«s and Sycpma, 
And mid sweord werum. 
Mid Hionmn* ic woes and mid 

And mid healSo Reommn 125 
And mid Browendum, 

Generi (httmano) datum. 
A cognatis procul 
Secutus sum late i 
Idcirco possum canere et loqui, 
Narrationem prqferre [auld, 
Coram homihibus in hydromelU 
Quomodo m€ reges bom 
Donis dilaverint. 
Fui cum HunmSf 
JEi cum Hredgothis, 
Cum Suets et cum Geatis, 
Et cum Dams Meridionalibus* 
Cum Vinulis eram et cum Fa- 

Et cum Wicingis. 
Cum Gepidis fui et cum Fe- 

Et cum Geftegis. 
Cum Anglisfui et Suetis, 

Et cum Aniems^ 

Cum Saxisfui et Sycgis i 

Et cum ghdiariis. 

Cum Hronis fui et Dams, 

Et cum summis Romants. 
Cum Thyringfs fui 
Et cum JactUatoribus i 

' If my Gonstniction is rights there is a singular ellipse of the aecusative 
after 'foljade.' Can 'fol^ian' mean simply to go or travel? 

* Reidgoti inhabited the present Jutland. See Edda Snorrmiis, tub Mtio. 
' Ldhi^itants of Gafleberg ? * Inhabitants of £nen ? 

* 'Htones nss' is mentioned in Beowulf. 



And mid Burgendum. 


Et cum Burgundis* 

Dser ic beah jefSeah, 

Ibi ego armillufiorvi 

Me "SKre Gu^Shere foi^eaf 


Quas miki Gudhere dedii 

Giaedlicne ma^^um, 

.L<tto ammo 

Sondes to leane. 


Carminis in premium. 

Nses "Sffit soene cynin;* 

Non est ilk segnis rex. 

Mid Froncum ic vnss and mid 

Cum Francis fui ac FrisOs, 


And mid Frumtin^um. 


Et cum Frumtingis ? 

Mid Rupim ic wies and 


Cum Rugjiisfui ac Giomm^s, 


And nud Rumwalum ^ 

Et cum Rumwalis {Romanis). 

Swylce ic wses on Eatule 

Simvlfui in AaUa 

Mid iElfwine, 

Cum Mlfmno, 

Se haefde moncynnes 


Ille habuit hcmihum 

Mine jefreeje 


Leohtest bond 

Fadllimam manum 

Lofes to wyrcenne, 

Benevolentiam exhibere, 

Heortan wihneaweste 

Cor largissim^m 

Hrinja jedales. 


Annulorum distribuiione, 

Beoibtra bea^a, 

Fulgentium armitlarum, 

Beam Eadwines. 

Filius Eadwini. 

Mid Sercynpmi ic "wms 

Cum Sercyngis ? fui 

And mid Serinjum. 

Et cum Seringis i 

Mid Creacum ic wss and 


Cum Gracisjui et cum Fin 




And mid Casier^, 

Et cum Casare, 

Se the wihbui^a 

Qui urbis tplendida 

Ge weald ahte 

Imperium habet 

Wiolane and wilna 

Gazas etpotentiam 

And walaMiices. 



Et divitias regm. 

, . " . - . - • ■ 

« r .... 

^ On the application of this name to the Romans see Chneru Germ, 
lib. 1. p. 79. 



Mid Scottum ic waes and mid 

And mid Scridefinnum.* 
Mid lid-wicinjum* ic wses and 

mid Leomum^, 
And mid Lonjbeardum. 
Mid hae^num and mid liseleSum, 
And mid Hundinpim. l6l 

Mid Israhelum ic waes 
And mid Eicsyrinjum. 
Mid Ebreum and mid Indeum, 
And mid E^ptum. l6.5 

Mid Moidum ic wass «nd mid 

And mid Myrjinjum and Mof- 

dinjum *, 
And on^end Myrpnjum 
And mid Amo^in jum ® ? 
Mid East-Dyrinjum ic wsbs 170 
And mid Eolum, 
And mid Istum 
And Iduminjum. 
And ic W8es wi'S Eormanric ' 
Ealle &a;;e* 175 

Cum Scotisfui ac Pictis, 

Et cum Scritqfinms. 

Cum Lidwicingis fui ac Xeo» 


Et cum Lofigobardis. [nis^ i 

Cum Pagards fui ac Christian 

Et cum Hundingis i 

Cum Israelitis fui 

Et cum Assyriis ; 

Cum Hebrais ac Indis, . 

Et cum JEgyptiis. 

Cum Medisfui ac Persis, 

Et cum Myrgingis et Mofdin^ 

gis ? 
Et iterum Myrgingis 
Et cum Amothingis ? 
Cum Thyringisorientalibusfui 
Et cum Eolis, 
Et cum Mstii$ 
Et Idumais, 

Et ego fui cum Hermanrico 
Omfii (Jottgo ?) tempore. 

' See JomandcMf p. 740. 

* The inhabitants of Armorica. See Chron. Saxon, p. 88. The name may 
possibly be derived from Mid/ ship, and 'wicinj,' war-king (vikingr, Isl.). 

* Can these be the Lemovii of Tacitus ? 

^ ' Hsle^ ' is used for a man or hero. As it is here opposed to Heathens^ I 
liave ventuied to translate it Christians* 

* Keysler mentions an altar discovered at Niewmayen dedicated ^* Matribia ' 
Mopateruibut,** who appear (like the Matres Gallaka^ Trevira, Sueba and 
odiers) to have been local tutelary deities. See Keysler, Ant, Sept. 439. 

^ Othingi (if the text be correct) are mentioned by Jomandcs, c* 3, 
' This passage has scarcely the air of a forgery. 




Daer me Gotena cyninj 

Gode dohte, 

Se me beaj forjeaf, 

Burpiv'arena fruma. 

On "Sam siex hund waes 180 

Smaetes joldes jescyred 

Sceatta-scillinj rime. 

Done ic Eadjilse 

On oeht selde 

Minum hleodryhtne 185 

Da ic to ISam bicwom 

Leofum to leane. 

Daes "Be he me lond forjeaf 

Mines feder eiSel 

Frea Myrjinja. 190 

And me %a Ealhilde 

O^rne forgeaf 

Dryht-cwen duju^Se 

Dohtor Eadwines. 

Hyre lof len jde 1 95 

Geond lond fela. 

Don ic be sonje 

Secjan sceolde 

Hwaer is under swejle selast 

Disse jold-hrodene cwen 200 

Giefe bryttian. 

Don wit scilling sciran 

Reorde for uncrum 

Sije dryhtne 

Son J ahofan * 205 . 

Hlude bi hearpan *, 

lilic miAi Gotthorum rex 


Qui rnihi armillam dedii, 

Civiam princeps, 

In earn sexcenti erant 

Auri obryzati impemi 

SceaUa-scillingi numero. 

Hanc ego Eadgilso 

In possessionem dedi 

Meo patramff 

Ubi ego ad eum adveneram, 

Amoris in gratiam* 

Quoniam tile mihi terram dedit 

Mea patria 

Dominus Myrgingonm. 

Et me tunc Ealhilda 

Alid (terra) donavit 

Regina benefica 

Filia Eadwini. 

Ejus amor duravit 

Per multas terras. 

Igitur ego in carmine 

Dicere debeo 

Qualis est sub calo optima 

Ilia auro omata regina 

In muneribus impertiendis. 

Ubi obpretium splendidum 

Lingud ante tiostram 

Illustrem prindpeni 

Cantilaiam elev&runt 

Clare ad citharam, 

^oT^hiheaTiiaiiycUkardludebarU.* This competition of bards ^witsciUiiig 
sciran/ appears to have been common among the Gothic as among the Grc- 



Hi^oSor swlnsade. 

Bon moni^e men 

Modum wlonce 

Wordum sprecan, fi 10 

Da "Se wel cu^San, 

Dset hk mefire song 

Sellan ne hyrdcm. 

Donan ic ealne jeond hweaif 

iB^l Gotena. 215 

Sohte ic a silSa 

Da seiestan 

Det wtes in weanid 


He&an sohte ic and Beadecan 

And Herelingas, 

Emeican? sohte ic and Fridlan, 

And East Gotan, 

Fnxlne and godne 

Faeder unwenes * 925 

Seccan sohte ic and Beccan, 

^ Seafolan and Deodric, 

HeaSoric and Sifecan, 

HlilSe and Inc^enVeow^ 

Cantus sonuit. 

Tunc multi homines 


Verbis edixerunt, 

Qui beneperiti erant, 

Qttod ills nunquam carmen 

Pulchrius audiverani. 

Jnde ego oninem peragravi 

Patriam Gothorum. 

Quasivi postea 


Qui erat in pugna 


Hethcan peiii ac Beadecan 

Et Hereiingas (Herulas I), 

Emerean quasivi et Friediam 

Et Gothiam Orientalem^ 

Sene ac bono 

Patre inscio ? 

Seccan quasivi et Beccan 

Seafolan et Tkeodoricum^ 

Heathoricum et Sifecan 

Hlithum et Imigentheoomm^ 

cian tribes. Hesiod describes himself as victor in a contest of this kind at 
Chalcis (E^flC,655,). And a remarkable one which took place between Gurnir 
laug and Rafn will be found in Gunn. Saga, p. 112. 

' The constructioa is here also obscure; ^unwen' usually means uoknoifrA 
or unexpected. 

' I am indebted to Messrs. Taylor for pointing put die identity of this name 
with that of Saefbjl preserved in the genealogy of JElh. (see Cbnm, Sax, p. 20.) 
Elsa, 1. 230 and Withergield^ 1. 245, are not very unlike Esla ^andfalher of 
Cerdic, and Wihtjib^ father of Hengist and Horsa, — ^See Chron, Sar, pp. 1.9 
2|iid 15. — ^These persons (if they ever had a real eustence) may very well bav^ 
been cotttcinjKrdries and flourished about the year 44Q. 




Eadwine sohtc ic and Eisan, 230 

£gel-muiid and Uungar^ 

And ?a wloncan jedryht 

WVS Myrjinja. 

Wulfhere sohte ic 

And Wyrmhere fill oft* 235 

D«r wij ne alse^ 

Bonne hreada here 

Heardum sweordilm 

Ymb wistla wudu 

Werjan sceoldon S40 

Ealdre e'Sel-stol • 

^tlan leodum. 

Rse^here sohte ic and Rondliere 

Rumstan and Gislhere, 

Witherjield and Freo'Beric 245 

Wudjan and Haman 

Ne waeron ^Saet jesi"Sa 

Da sfiBmestan • 

©eahte ich y a nihst^ 

!Nemnan sceolde. 250 

Ful oft of "Sam • 

Heape bwynende . 

Fleaj jiellende 

Gar on jrome "Seode 

Eadwinum qudMtvi et Ehatif 
Egelmundum et Hungarum^ 
Et impatidum dominum 
Myrgingorum *. 
Wulfherum quHEsivi 
Et Wyrmherum sapimme» 
Ibi (vel illorum) bellvm non 
Tuncferox exercituB [desiit, 
Duris ensibus 
Circa sonant em clypeum 
Defendere gestiebant 
Antiquam regni sedem 
Contra Attila populum. 
Rathhere quteshi et Rondhere, 
Rumstan et Gislhere, 
Withergield et Fredericwn 
Wudgam et Hamam 
Non erant illi comites 

m, »m . A.M. m 

Nominare debeam* 
Sape ah illis 
Exercitus pugnans 
Fugit vociferans, 
Telum inferocem populitm 

' or Contra Myrgingos. 

• Whether the * Ealdre c^cl-stor be Rome, or the empire of Wulftierc 
and Wyrmhere themselves, must be lefl to conjecture. 

•Saemre deterior (see Lye). 

* The whole of thb clause is obscure, and of the present line as it stands I 
can make no sense. If we suppose '^Seahte' tx> be an error of the pen for 
*fette,* it might be rendered Quoi ego ultmot (or tandem). If 'Veahte' be 
the genuine reading, it must either mean thought (subst), or be the past 
tense of ' Vccan' to cover, but in neither case can I make sense of it 



Wraeccan iJa weoldan 255 

Wundnan -gcAde * 
- Wenim and wifum 
Wudjaand Hama', 
Swa ic 'Sset symle onfond, 
On Beer ferinje, fi60 

Ddst se bi'S ledfast 
Lond buendum, 
Se "Se hym God syle^ 
Gumena rice 

To jehealdenne, ^5 

Benden he her leofa'S. 
Swa scriiSende 
Gesqeapum hweorfa'S 
Gleomen jumena 
Geond grunda fela, 270 

Bearfe secja^S, 
Done word sprecd'S^ 
SuB oiS^ NortS. 
Sumne jemeta* 

Gy8Sa jleawne 275 

Geofiim unhneawne, 
Se "Se fore du^u'Se 
Wile dom arsran, 
Eorbcipe sefhan^ 

OV^ 'Sset eai sceace^ 280 

Leoht et lifsomod : 

Exercere cum rolmrint. 

Vulneratos rependehaut 

Firos et faminas 

Wudga et Hama. 

Ita ego id s^e inrem 

In itinere, 

Quod ille est carissimns 

Terra incolis 

Cui Deus addidit 

Hominum imperium 


Quum ille eos habeat caros, 

Ita commeantes 

Cum cantilenisferuntur 

Bardi hominum 

Per terras muhas, 

Necessilatem dicunt, 

Gratias agunt, 

E Meridie simul ac Borea, 

Simul (eos) repturieratur 

Ob cantilenas pulcras 

Muneribus immensis, 

Ille qui ante nobiles 

Vultjudicium (suum) extoUerej^ 

Dignitatem sustinere, 

Velqui omnia diHlribuit 

Facilis et lotus animi 

^The construction here also is difficult. 'Wundnan ^o^dc' is I suspect 
translated erroneously in the text: it is one oi the usual paraphrases for brace- 
lets or collarsy aurum tortum. The whole paragraph might perhaps be ren- 
dered &r/ie ab Ulu,ejcercitupugmuUe, volabai ttridulum tclum infcrocem populum 
eitorquere cum voluerint tortum aurum virU etfcaninis : or, could * wraeccan ' bear 
such a sense, rependert tarn gettiebant would be preferable. 


Lof sc jewyrccS Amorem tile operatur 

Hafa% under heofondm Habet sub calo 

Heah f»stne dom :• " 284 Stabilem famam (existimad^^ 


In phrase that spoke a poet's .souly 
His treasured lore he 'gan unfold ; 

He that had wander'd far and wide. 
The Bard his toils and traveb told* 

From Mergia sprung of noble race, 
He left the hall that gave him birth } 

And many a wondrous sight had seen, 
Long roaming o'er the peopled earth. 

For he with love and service true, 
In fsdr Alhilda's princely train. 

From Anglia's eastern limits sought 
A Gothic monarch's rich domain. 

He that of Hermanric had known 
The liberal hand, the warrior pride^ 

Tuned to the list'ning crowd his song, 
And told his travels far and wide. 

Full many a monarch have I known 
In peace and wealth his sceptre bear ; 

Each land its native law shall own, 

And he that seeks a lasting throne 
Must make the people's weal his care. 

First in riches and renown. 


Of all that bore ad earthly crown. 
The Macedonian monarch shone. 
Theudric the warlike Frank ohefA, 
Sceafa the Lombard sceptre sway'd ; 
The savage Hun to ^tia^ bow'd, 
To Celic the rude Finnish crowd. 
Longest o'er the northern main 
Sigehere led the pirate Dane ; 
Where Denmark's midland realms extend. 
She saw her sons to Elwy bend. 
That homage Ofia scom'd to pay. 
While Anglia own'd his' royal sway; 
He, in manhood's earliest pride. 
Spread his rightful empire wide. 
Brave was Elwy, — but the days 
That witnessed Ofia's warrior praise 
Knew not prince or potentate 
That rear'd so high his prosperous state. 
Suevia's sons, and Myrgia's lord, 
Bow'd to Ofia's conquering sword. 
Saw his high will their bounds ordain^ 
Where five fsdr cities stud the plain. 
Nor trespass since on Anglia's rich domain. 

Link'd by the bands of kindred blood, 
Hrothgar and Hrothwulf s fiiendsliip stood. 

Nor time could quell its generous glow. 
Since first they crush'd the sea-king's pride, 
When Hertha saw them, side by side. 
Stem fierce rebellion's rising tide, 

And lay the sons of slaughter low. 
Through many a realm 'twas mine to scan 
The weal and woe that's dealt to man. 




Weary and long has been my way, 
But I full well, where mead flows free. 
May boast amid my minstrelsy, 
And tell how kings with ample fSee 

Have paid and cheer'd the wanderer's lay* 
I've sought the Hun's ferocious band. 
And the high Roman's- peerless land; 
Have seen the pirate sea-king's farce, 
Sped o'er Franconia's realms my course, 
And joumey'd where Elbe hastes to lave 
Thuringia with his earliest wave ; 
Have sou^t tlie Saxon and the Dane, 
The Rugian's isle, the Swede's domain ', 
Bach land our northern seas embrace 
Has been the wanderer's resting-plaoe. 
With gift that well the song repaid 
Burgundia's realm my steps delay'd ; 
When princely Guthere's ready praise 
Waited on my vaiied lays ; 
And soon the Bard's reward was told 
In bracelets of the ruddy gold. 

Far o'er Italia's fair and fertile soil 

My course was sped witli Elf^-ine's faithful band ; 

And Edwin's son well recompensed tlie toil. 
For large bis soul, and liberal was his hand. 
A guest I've shared the minstrel's lot, 
Witli Jute and Angle, Pict and Scot, 
The state of Grsecia's sons have known. 
Where Csesar holds his lofty throne ; 
The' imperial city's towering mien. 
Her wealth, her power, her pomp have seen. 

Well may I tell the garb, the port, the face 

Of many a Western, many an Eastern race ; 


From him-tbat o'er the' Egyptian desert roves, 
Or shelter'd-rests on Idumsan groves, 
To him who bows beneath the Persian's sway, 
Or dwelU where Ganges courts the rising day. 

Long was the time, and joyous all. 

Spent in Hermanric's high hall ; 

And well, full well, where'er he strays, 

The Bard his grateful voice may raise. 

In Hermanric's exhaustless praise. 

Well may he sing from land to land 

The Gothic monarch's bounteous hand : 

No common gift was his ; to frame 

The bracelet that he bad me claim. 

Six hundred scillings full were told. 

Sailings of the virgin gold. 

The Bard his home regain'd, and soon 

Edgils bore that precious boon : 

And Edgils, Mei^a's noble thane, 

Repsdd the gift with rich domain. 

Noble was Edgils' gift, yet more 

Alhilda added to the store; 

Edwin's daughter, bounteous queen. 

Unchanged through many a varying scene. 

The Bard has blest her fostering love. 

And still, where'er condemn'd to rove. 

Well may he sing that matchless dame, 

Of all that bear a royal name. 

First to dispense, with bounty free. 

To grateful vassals land and fee. 

'Twas when great^Edgils bad tlie minstrel throng 
For high reward assay the rival song,— 
Sweet arose the vocal strain, 
And sweet the harp's responsive tone ; 


But soon confess'd each Usteoing thane^ 

The lay that pleased was mine alone. 
I traversed then the Goth's domain, 

And dwelt in Hermanric's high bower; 
Of all that hold an earthly reign. 

Best in arms, and first in power* 
The time would fail me, should I sing 
Of every thane and every king 
That in my wanderings far and long 
Has loved my harp and paid my song ; 
Ere Myrgia saw the Bard again 
Return to swell her Edwin's train. 

Full oft the battle-field I sought. 
Where Wulfhere, leagued v^th Wyrmheee^ fought 
'Gainst ^da's lawless sons contending. 
Their ancient seat of power defending ; 
Where loud and long the temper'd sword 
Rung on the rounded target boards 
Befits it too my song should name 
Wudga and Hama's warrior fame : 
Strong in tlieir brotherhood they bore 

Dismay and death around. 
Where routed foes in wild uproar 

Or fled, or strewM the reeking ground ; 
And wreathed gold, and kingly spoils 
Repidd fiill well their gallant toil. 
So sped the Bard, by kings and heroes Sought, 
And vnde as o'er the nations still he roved. 
One constant truth his long experience taught, 
" WJio loves his people is alone beloved." 

' *wudu' in the original ; — *rond' is a common expression in A. S. poetry 
for a shield or target. 


Thufl north and south where'er they roam. 
The sons of song still find a home. 
Speak unreproved their wants^ and raise 
Their grateful lay of thanks and praise. 
For still the chief, who seeks to grace 
By &irest fame his pride of placei 
Withholds not from the sacred Bard 
His wdl-eam'd praise and high reward* 
But free of handy and large of soul. 
Where'er extends his wide controul, 
Unnumber'd gifts his princely love proclaim, 
Unnumbered voices raise to Heaven his princely name'. 

> The tone of this flattering picture of the honours paid by theGodiic tribes 
to the Muses and their votaries, will remind the classical reader of that in 
which the early bards of Greece were accustomed to speak of themselves, 
their pretensions, and their rewards. (Conf. Homer. Odyss, de Phemio et De» 
modocof 1. 1. and 8. Hetiod. Epya, 1. 656. and Find, Olymp, I. I. 24.) Other 
times and other manners at length sorely reduced the estimation and pride of 
the minstrel. (See Percy's BeligueSfVoL 1. pref. p. xlix. andlii.) Of the state of 
degradation which in later days was the lot of those who followed this unpn^ 
Stable trade, the following rimes (preserved in one of the Ashmolean MSS.) 
afford a melancholy specimen. They are the production of Richard Sheale, 
the author of the older ballad of Chevy Chace (see Percys ReL vol. 1. p. 2. and 
British Bibliographery vol. 3. p. 3).. 

Now for the good chear that Y have had heare, 

I gyve you hartte thanks, with bowyng off my shankes. 

£>esyr}iig you be pelycyon to graunte me suche commissioni 

Becaus my name ys Sheale, that both by meate & meal6 

To you I maye resorte, sum tymc to mye cumforte. 

For I perseive here at all tymu is good chere. 

Both ale wyne & beere, as hit dothe nowe apere. 

I perseve wythoute fable ye kcpe a good table, 

Some tyme I ^vyll be your geste, or els I were a beaste, 

Rnowynge off your mynde, y ff I wolde not be so kynde, 

Sumtyme to tast youre cuppe, & wytb you dyne & suppe. 


The reader, being now in possession of the entire poem, will be 
enabled to decide for himself the question of its age and authenti- 
city. If the whole be not fictitious, (a supposition hardly to be re- 
conciled with its minuteness of personal detail and \^ant of poetical 
interest,) the Editor is inclined to refer its original composition to 
the middle of the 5th century, and, of course, to a Continental writer. 
The bard declarear himself to have been present at the contest of the 
Huns with some of the Gothic tribes, (distinguishing the Huns as 
the people of Attila,) to have visited Hermanric king of the Goths, 
and Gu there king of Burgundy. Now Atula died in 453, Her- 
manric son of Samson reigned over tlie Visigoths in Italy about 
460, and the contemporary monarch of the Burgundians appears to 
have been Gunderic, a name easily confounded with, or corrupted 
into, that of Guthere. It may be added that neither Charlemagne 
nor any of his more noted predecessors appear in his list of kings. 
It might also perhaps be argued, from the number of obscure or 
forgotten tribes particularized by name, tliat the poem was com- 

I can be contente, yf hit be oute of Lente, 

A peace of byffe to take, mye honger to aslake. 

-Bothe mutton & veile ys goode for Rycharde Sheale. 

Thogge I look so grave, I were a veri knave 

Yf I wolde thynke skome, ethar even or mome, 

Beyng in hongar, of fresshe samon or konger. 

I desyre youe alwaye, marke what I do saye, 

Althogge I be a ranger, to tayk me as no straager. 

I ctfn a yonge begynner, & when I tayk a dynner, 

I can fynde yn my hart wyth my frende to ta^k a part 

Of such as God shal sende, & thus I mayk an ende; 

Now farewel, good myn oste, I thanke youe for yowre coste, 

Untyll another tyme, & thus do I ende my ryme. 

R. Sheale. 

Tlie lover of early poetry may compare these widi the exquisite farewell of 
tlie minstrel commencing " Now Enes and buirdes bolde and blytke,^ published 
by Ritson from the Vernon MSS. (Ancmt Sangi, p. 44.) 


posed before the various subdivisions of the Gothic race had co- 
alesced into larger empires. 

Whether or no this date be correctljr assigned, there appears little 
doubt but that the writer must have been a native of the Continent. 
He speaks of his own countrymen the Myrjinjes, the Angles^and 
the Suevi, as having been for some time cantertnini, which could 
not have been the case in England, of which country one might at 
first sight, fix)m the similarity of the words Myrjinjes and Myrcas 
{Mercians), have suspected, him to be a native. Who these Myr- 
jinjes, however, were, is more than can perhaps, in the present 
state of our knowledge as to the history and geography of those dark 
and turbulent ages, be readily decided. Can they be the Marsigni 
of Tacitus ? The same obscurity rests on the Baninjes, Rondinjes, 
Hocinjes, Frumtinjes, and many other tribes mentioned in the 
course of the poem : but this difficulty is common even to the pro- 
fessedly historical documents of the same period; No andquary has 
yet been found capable of throwing light on the names of the ^^ge7<- 
tt$ btllicomsinuRy* said by Jomandes* to have been subdued by 
the great Hermanric. 

That the poem, however, as here given, is the unaltered produc- 
tion of a bard of the 5th century, it is by no means intended to 
affirm. Although every thing conspires to fix its original composi« 
tion to that period, it is doubtless, in its present state, more safe to 
regard it as a translation or rifaccimento of an earlier work. 

Cap. 23. 




Xhis singular production^ ixidepeDdently of ita value as ranking 
among the most perfect specimens of the language and veraficatioii 
of our ancestors, ofiers an interest ewlusively its own« It i» no» 
questionably the earliest compo^tion of ^e heroic kirid extant in 
any language of modem, or rather of barbarouS| Europe. The osAy 
copy known to exist is preserved in a manuscript apparently of the 
tenth^century, one of the number fortunately rescued from the fir» 
which consumed so great a part of the Cottonian library, and now 
deposited with the other remains of that magnificent coUectioo in 
the British Museum^ With the exception of fome trifling injuries, 
sustained probably at the Ume of that event, it is perfect and legible 

It was first noticed by H. Wanley^as fiirbackas the year 1705. 
He states with truth that its subject is the exploits of Beowulft 
although he is mistaken, in adding that they were performed in battle 
agsunst the petty monarchs {regaloi) of Sweden. From the time 
of Wanlcy I am not aware that it was examined by any of our 
Saxon andquaries until Mr. S. Turner made some pfetty copious 
extracts from the opening cantos, a literal translation from which he 
has inserted in the Essays attached to his learned and valuable history 
of the Anglo-Saxons'. As it will readily be perceived by every one 

* Bib. Cot. VUeUiui A. 

* In the Catalogue of Saxon MSS. which forms the 3d vol. of Hickes's Tkt>* 
iourm LU. Septent, p. 218. * Vol. 2. p. 294 of the quarto edition. 


acquunted with that able work, that Mr. Turner's view of tlie poem 
does not altogether coincide with that contained in the present abs- 
tract*^ the writer is anxious to account for his difierence from a 
friend whose opinion on subjects of this nature is not lightly to be 
questioned, and to the general accuracy and extent of whose re- 
searches he feels himself, in common with every lover of our national 
antiquities, most deeply indebted. No imputation can, in fact, at» 
tach to the acuteness or industry of Mr. Turner. He was deceived 
by an accident, the transposition of a single leaf in the MS., which 
for some years laid the present Editor (who had made for his own 
use a faithful transcript of the part analysed by Mr. Turner) under 
a nearly similar mistake as to the subject of the poem*: a mistake 
at length rectified by the labours of an eminent foreign scholar, to 
whom we owe the first and only edition of the entire work. This ap- 
pearedfix>m the press of Copenhagen in the year 1815, and contains^ 
together with the original, a Latin translation nearly literal ; a preface, 
and two copious indices, (constructed on such a plan as partly to 
supply the absence of notes,) from the pen of 6. J. Thorkelin, a 
name already celebrated in the annals of Northern literature. It had 
long (he states) been the wish of Arnas Magnusen, Suhm, and 
ether learned and patriotic Danes, to obtain the publication, or the 
transcription at least, of a document so evidendy connected with 
the early history of their country, and possessing such unquestiooR 


' Mr. Turner represents Beowulf as the enemy of Hrothgar. It will be seen 
that the object of his expedition was to ussist that monarch against the attacks 
of a puwerful and mysterious aggressor. 

* The leaf in question now stands as part of the firsts iHiereas it in real&tj 
belongs to the 11th canto. Had Mr. Ts object rendered it necessary for him 
to carry his examination as far as this point, he would doubtless at once have 
perceived the deficiency in the former, and the redundancy in the latter. But 
as it was fully sufficient for his purpose to extract a part only of the commenoe- 
roent^ he was naturally misled not merely as to the argument of the poon, 
but also as to the constmction of many passages, which, without a general 
nodoQofits drifl, are nearly unintelligible. 


abk claims to a high antiquity. Circumstances however^ which 
are not clearly explained, prevented the accomplishment of their 
wishes until the year 1786, when ThorkeUn^ then on an antiquarian 
visit to tliis country, made a faithful copy of the whole. This, with 
a translation and commentary which had cost him much labour and 
expense, was ready for publication in the year 1807^ when the 
whole was unhappily destroyed, together with great part of his lite- 
rary and personal property, during the siege of Copenhagen by the 
British forces. 

The encouragement however of some powerful friends, induced 
the literary veteran to recommence the task of preparing the work 
for the press, a task performed under many disadvantages in the 
edition above mentioned. The Saxon scholar must not therefore 
be surprised or displeased if he discover numberiess inaccuracies 
both in the text and version of Thorkelin,.nor the more general 
reader feel disappointed if he finds himself able to collect from the 
latter no more than a vague and superficial outline of the story* 
L^perfect as*the publication certainly is, it is still a very valuable 
accession to our limited stock, of information in this branch of our 
national antiquities. 

Such is the literary hbtory of this ancient poem. Before we pro- 
ceed to examine into its age^ origin, or contents, it appears neces- 
sary to state, that for the purpose of making the present abstract,* 
the text has been throughout carefully collated with the original ma- 
nuscript, and the translation of Thorkelin revised with all the dili- 
gence of which the Editor is capable. 

The manuscript is, as was before stated, apparentiy of the 10th 
century ; to the earlier part of which the late Mr. Astie was inclined 
to attribute it. Whether the poem itself be, in its present dress, 
of a higher antiquity than this, we have no evidence external or in- 
ternal which might enable us to pronounce. In the opinion of 
Thorkelin, it was originally written in the language of Denmark by 
an author cotemporary and personally acquainted widi his heroes, 
the chief of whom, Begwulf, he supix>ses to be the same with Boc 


or Bous son of Odin^ said by Saxo Grammaticus to have fallen in 
batde widi Hother about the year 340 ^ 

Thorkelin fiirther conceives that the present translation may pos- 
sibly have been executed by or at the command of the illustrious 
Alfred. It is witli some diffidence^ and not till after an attentive 
eitamination, that the present editor ventures to doubt^ with a single 
exception, the whole of these conjectures. The only point in which 
Thorkelin's hypothesis appears to him to be borne out by tlie lan- 
guage and aspect of the poem, is the probability that it may be a 
translation or rifacciraento of some earlier work. The writer speaks 
of his story as one of ancient days, and more than once appeals for 
his authority either to popular tradition or to some previously exist- 
ing document. Whatever was his age, it is evident tliat he was a 
Christian, a circumstance which has perhaps rendered his work less 
frequent in allusions to the customs and superstitions of his pagan 
ancestors, and consequently somewhat less interesting to the poetical 
antiquary than if it had been the production of a mind Acquainted 

* Saxo GrammaticuSy H. D. lib. 3. p. 46. There appears, however, to be no 
amilarity in the fortunes or family of- the two chief^^ins. The resemblance 
which the name of Boe possesses to the first syllable of that of Beowulf is 
but precarious ground for assuming that it designates the same person. It is 
eitraordinary that Thorkelin has deprived our hero in another place of the 
first syllable also of his name. In the course of the poem one Hrothwulf is^ 
incidentally mentioned, whom he pronounces, upon no discoverable grounds 
to be the same with Beowulf. The notion that the writer was cotemporary ' 
with his hero seems to be grounded on a misconstruction of some passages of 
the work, and is in effect contradicted by tlie general tenor of its language, 
and the highly marvellous tinge which is given to various par& uf the story : 
such colouring, though in a traditionary tale we might naturally expect to find 
it, would scarcely be ventured on by a cotemporary. The supposition concern- 
ing Alfred is purely gratuitous. Upon the whole, — ^yet without the remotest 
wish of detracting from the obligation which the learned septuagenarian has 
conferred on the literature both of our own and of his native country, — one 
cannot but regret that the task of publishing and illustrating this valuable 
remnant of antiquity had not fallen into the hands of one more intimately 
versed in the genius and construction of our Saxon Poetry. 




only witli tliat wild and picturesque mythology which forms so pe- 
culiar and attractive a feature of the earlier productions of the Scan- 
dinavian muse. 

It remains only to add, that the poem of Beowulf has been placed 
thus early in the present volume, under the impression that it was 
(as Thorkelin conjectures) translated or modernized, in the Dano- 
Saxon period of our history, from an original of much higher anti- 
quity. The internal evidence of its language, and the structure of 
its sentences, in which it much resembles the poems attributed to 
Casdmon, would appear to justify our attribuUng it, in its pre- 
sent form, to the same sera which produced those singular compo- 
sitions ^ 

That its phraseology and allusions are frequently less intelligible 
may be readily accounted for by the greater obscurity of the sub- 
ject*, an obscurity which the editor is anxious to plead in extenu- 
ation of the errors which will doubtless be found in his own at- 
tempts to render this interesting relique of antiquity more generally 

' About A.D, 700, if we agree with Junius; if with Hickes^ about 900. (See 
the article on Caedmon below.) 

* It may be added that the original MS. does not appear to have been eze- 
\nited with the usual accuracy and neatness of the Saxon transcribers. 

' In order to preserve the narrative uninterrupted, those portions of the 
original which have been selected as best fitted for the purpose of illustration, 
^ill be found at the end of the abstract; they are chieBy such as, in the abs- 
tract itself, are rendered into blank verse. In compliance with the wish of 
some antiquarian friends, the collation of Thorkelin's edition with the ori- 
ginal MS. is subjoined. 



List ! we have learnt a tale of other years^ 
Of kings and warrior Danes, a wondrous tale^ 
How sethelings bore them in the brunt of war* 

Thus the poet announces what has now so entirely indeed be- 
come *^ a tale of other years/' that litde or no light can be drawn 
eveniirom the copious stores of Scaldic literature for the illustration 
of either the personages or events which it commemorates. 

The introduction is occupied by the praises of Scefing, a chief- 
tain of the Scylding family, (who appears to have been the founder 
of a kingdom in the western part of Denmark,) and of his son and 
successor Beowulf. The embarkation of the former on a piratical 
e:q>edition is then detailed at some length. In this expedition (if I 
righdy understand the text) himself and his companions were taken 
or lost at sea. 


Beowulf now ascended the throne of his father, and was after a 
long and prosperous reign succeeded by his son Healfdene, who 
became the father of three sons and a daughter (Elan), given in mar- 
riage to a chieftain of the Scylfings. Of his three sons, Heorogar, 
Hrothgar, and Halgatil, the eldest appears to have died before him- 
self, the second (Hrothgar) succeeded to the throne, and is repre- 
sented as being at the period of the present story much advanced 
in years. Soon after his accession to the royal dignity he had em- 
pbyed himself, we are told, in the erection of a splendid palace or 



hall (named Hcorot or Heort) for the reception and entertainment 
of his friends and companions in war. 

A hall of mead, such as for space and state 
The elder time ne'er boasted ; there with free 
An<J princely hand he might dispense to all 
(Save the rude crowd and men of evil minds) 
The good he held from Heaven. That gallant work, 
Full well I wot, through many a land was known 
Of festal halls the brightest and the best. 
Hertha its name, — for so the monarch will'd 
Whose word was power ; beneath that echoing roof 
His bidden guests he honoured, dealing oft 
Bracelet and ring of the pure silver wrought, 
Fit gift for high and pr'mcely festival. 

But this exhibition of royal munificence was destined to become 

the cause of much bloodshed and misery. 

• . •- .' 

For one stranger foe. 
Gloomy and forceful, long with deep despite 
Heard from his dark abode day after day 
Their joyous revelry : for oft uprose, 
Loud ringing through those bowers, the harp's glad voice ; 
And oft the bard, whose memory's treasured store 
Was of the days and generations past, 
Waked the sweet song ; " Of Him who first outspread 
And compass'd with the waves earth's lovely face ; 
The' Almighty one : how, glorious in his might. 
The Ughts of Heaven far-beaming, sun, and moon. 
He set on high for man — for man adom'd 
Earth's various climes with forest, fruit, and flower. 
Quickening to life each form of things that be." 
Thus fared the chieftains in their day of bliss 
Right gallantly, till that foul and hateful fiend 


Wreaked on them his sad vengeance ; that fierce spirit 
Roaming the marches in his lonely might — 
The ,Greqdel— he that by the Fifel tribe 
Fastness and fen-land held and dark morass^ 
Unholy wanderer. 

This evil and mysterious enemy, who is elsewhere described as a 
magician (helruna), as possessed of more than human strength and 
stature, and as invulnerable to all weapons of earthly mould, ''was," 
the poet continues, *' of the progeny of Cain, who were exiled in 
consequence of the sin of their ancestor ; a wicked and gigantic race, 
of whom came the Jutes, Ylfes, and Orcneas." Grendel himself 
was, it seems, a Jute, one of those earlier inhabitants of the Cim- 
bric Chersonese, whom the hatped and perhaps in some oases the 
fear of the later Gothic settlers had invested with many terrific and 
supernatural attributes. 

CANTO 11. 

This is chiefly occupied with a detail of the nightly ravages com- 
mitted by the Grendel on the court of Hrothgar. At lus first visit 
to Heort he is stated to have destroyed thirty of its slumbering and 
unsuspicious inhabitants. From tliis time he continued to wage an 
implacable warfare against the objects of his revenge and envy. No 
champion could be found of sufiicient strength to contend against 
him ; nor was there any hope, adds the poet, of removing his en- 
mity by fee or ransom. Even that which appears to have been the 
last resource of the monarch and his despsdring courtiers — an appeal 
to their false deities — was unavailing. The canto terminates with 
some reflections on their superstition, which (with the reference 
made to Cain in the one preceding) sufficienUy prove the translator^ 
if not the original author, to have been a Christian. 



So on the breast of Halfdane's prudent son 
Continual sorrow prey'd ; nor wist he still 
What might avail to quell his fiendish foe : 
For all too strong was that oppressor's hand. 
Loathsome and dark, that long witli hateful force 
Wreak'd on the Dane his nighdy work of blood. 

Such tidings of the Grendel and his deeds 
The Goths' high chief, the thane of Higelac, learnt ; 
He that was strongest of the sons of men. 
And soon that noble soldier bad array 
A goodly ship of strength. The hero spoke 
His brave intent, far o'er the sea-bird's path 
To seek the monarch at his hour of need. 

Full swift address'd them to that enterprise 
His loved associates. Of the Gothic race 
Thrice five bold champions chose the daundess chief, 
Keenest in fight beyond their fellows known. 

They sought the bark ; a wary pilot first. 
Well in his seacraft skill'd, each landmark taught. 

And now the chief delay'd not, for their vessel 
Was on the waters ; by the seargirt cliffs 
She floated, while the ready warriors plied 
Near the tide-beaten sands the well poised oar. — 
Deep ill her hold all the bright gear of war, 
Armour and arms, were stow'd, as fitted best 
The willing purpose of their way. — And now 
By favouring winds propell'd, e'en as a bird 
She cut the waves that foam'd around her prow. 
Thus ere the second day had closed upon them— ^ 
So swift they swept the deep — the eager host 


Saw the bright cUfis and lengtlien'd headlands rise. 
And knew in that steep shore their destined port. 

Soon on the beach the men of Northern sires 
Descending, bless'd the power that sped their way, 
And moor'd their bark, and donn'd their glittering mail. 

Nor was it Icmg, ere he who held in charge 
To guard each inlet of the rocky coast, 
The Scylding's warden, from his tower descried 
The prompt and well trained band in fair array 
Bearing their bright shields onwards. Then arose 
Care in his heart, and question, who might be 
That stranger host; and straight he flew to horse 
And sought the shore, and high uplifted shook 
His herald staflT, and thus in solemn guise 
Bespoke them : " Whence and what ye are, declare, 
Who thus in airms o'er ocean's wat^ path 
llave ui^ed to Denmark's coasts your rapid keeK 
'Tis mine, the warden of the seas, to hold 
With loyal care these outposts for the Dane, 

Lest pirate force assail them. * * . * 


And sure, methinks, mine eyes ne'er yet beheld 
A chief of nobler port than him that l^ads you ; 
No stranger (if his bright and beauteous aspect 
BeUes him not) to the proud garb of war. 
Nor in its toils unhonour'd. Speak ye then. 
Ere yet your furthermarch explore our realm. 
Or friend or foe, your names and kindred speak. . 
Hear, ye far»faring tenants of the wave. 
My full and dear demand— soonest werei best • 
To ^ve me answer — ^whence and what ye are.'' 




Him answering straight, the chieftsdn freely oped 
The treasury of his speech : " Our race and blood 
Is of the Goth, and Higelac our lord : 
My sire was known of no ignoble Une, 
(Well may he live in wise men's memories,) 
Ecgtheow his name ; full many a winter's tide 
Pass'd o'er him, ere he left this nether earth. 
In peace and truth we come to seek thy prince^ 
Halfdane's illustrious son, with profier'd aid 
To shield his people. Thou hast judged us falsely ; 
For matters of high import have we sought 
(Nor would conceal our quest) the royal Dane. 
Thyself mayst judge, since haply thou hast known 
For true or false, the traveller's sad report : 
Men tell us that some foul and fiendish foe 
At nightfall wages in the Scylding's bower 
Uncouth and horrible war. In this his need 
With no unfriendly purpose have we come, 
If aught perchance we may devise of skill 
Or force to aid thy loved and honour'd lord. 
Should he return whose baleful outrage calls 
For swift and sure revenge. So may the care 
That ceaseless racks thy master's breast be stiU'd, 
And (that oppi*essor's malice timely crush'd) 
The festal mansion of thy nobles stand 
Once more secure in peaceful majesty." 
* He spoke. The warden then (as best beseem'd 
One conscious of high charge, in work and word 
Fearless and prudent) the stout thane replied : 
" Since now I know ye for the Scylding's friends. 
Go forth, arm'd and caparison'd as ye hst — 

BEOWULF. . 41 

Go forth : but first (such caution ye may guess 
The chance of pirate warfare soothly prompts) 
Emptied of all her stores your new pitch'd bark 
Draw upwards to the sands; there she may rest, 
Till o'er the ocean streams she speed agsdn, 
Her arch'd neck proudly bearing to your home.*' 

Having received this permission, and secured their vessel, they 
commenced their march towards Heort, whither the news of tbdr 
arrival had preceded them, and appears at first to have excited some 
suspicions in the mind of Hrothgar. 


The bidden way those bold companions trod 

Was of the \yell hewn stone. On each man's breast 

The Strong forged vest of war resplendent blazed; 

Loud rang the linked mail, as'in their pride 

They bore them onwards to fair Hertha's bower. 

There by its lofty wall their ample shields. 

Stout in the storm of bucklers, they reposed. 

And bow'd them to their seats. Together piled 

Stood the bold seaman's weapons, haft of ash 

And head of glittering steel. And soon upspoke 

A sturdy chief, and sought the warriors' quest : 

" Speak whence ye^ come, and wherefore, thus in arms, 

With shield, and sark of mail, and frowning helm : 

The' attendant guard of Hrothgar bids you speak. 

Since ne'er beheld we yet of stranger tribe 

So proud array and warlike. Well I ken 

With high intent and friendly ye have sought 

The hall of Hrothgar, nought of secret feud 

Or open insult purposing." Him anon 

The' undaunted chieftain answ^d; from beneath 


His crested helm the leader of that host 
Spoke gallantly : ^' The trusty thanes are we 
Of Higelac, and Beowulf is my name : 
Mine errand will I show to your high lord^ 
Halfdane's illustrious son, if he permit 
. Our loyal greeting." Thus he shortly spake ; 
And Wulfgar (he of the VendeUc race 
Chiefest for wisdom as for valour known) 
Quick answer gave : ** To Denmark's generous lord, 
The princely Scylding, will I straight unfold 
The purpose of your journey, and anon- 
Such answer as his goodness deigns, return." 
He spoke, and nought delaying sped his steps 
Where Hrothgar sat amid his banded earls, 
Reverend €md bald with years. Full nigh his side 
The hero stood ; and soon the m<march knew 
That faithful thane, and his svrift message heard. 

The messenger's oration briefly announces the arrival of the 
strangers and the name of their leader, urging their dignified and 
warlike appearance as an inducement to the aged monarch to gra- 
tify them by his favourable reception. 


« I knew Beowulf well (answered Hrothgar) while he was yet a 
child, — ^the son of that Ecgtheow to whom the king of the Goths 
gave his ow» daughter in marriage. Travellers have since related 
to me that he has the strength of thirty men. Doubtless Heaven 
has sent him to our assistance, and 1 am resolved to proflfer him a 
noble recompense if he will undertake to deliver us firom the attacks 
of the Grendel. Hasten, tiierefore, to invite into our palace him and 
his companions, and bid them welcome to the people of Denmark.' 

Wulfgar having delivered this s^swer, Beowulf and ^ part of his 


companions are innnediately admitted to the presence of Hrothgar^ 
whom Beowulf is represented as addressing (in a manner not un- 
characteristic of the age^ or unlike that of the Homeric heroes) with 
the commendation of his own prowess, and the expressions of his 
readiness to undertake the proposed contest. 

" Thou Hrothgar, hail ! 
I am the thane and kin of Higelac ; 
One that have mastered in my day of youth 
Full many a deed of gallant enterprise. 
And now in mine own country have I heard 
Bruited by loud report the Grenders wrong : 
For strangers told, that, soon as evening's light 
Beneath Heaven's vault sought its deep hiding-place. 
Thy princely bower all emptied of its guests 
Stood useless. Then this valiant band and wise, 
Counseird that I should seek thee at thy need ; 
For they best knew my prowess, they had seen me. 
What time I came deep dyed in hostile gore 
From dread and perilous war ; then in one night 
With hardy grasp I quell'd five savage Jutes, 
And plunged them howling in the ocean wave. 
And now with Grendel, with that guilty one. 
Fiend though he be, alone will I assay 
The mortal strife. 

" I have heard 
That that foul miscreant's dark and stubborn flesh 
Recks not the force of arms : — such I forswear, 
Nor sword nor bumish'd shield of ample round 
Ask for the war ; all weaponless, hand to hand 
(So may great Higelac's smile repay my toil) 
Beowulf will grapple with this nightly foe. 
There, as Heaven's righteous judgement shall award. 
One of us faUs« 


*' Should that fate be mine. 
Give to its earthy grave my blood^tain'd corse. 
Raise high the mound, where many a passer by 
(Within the trench that circling marks the plain) 
May swell with pious hand the stony mass 
Unsorrowing — ^litde need with long parade 
Of tears to grace the banquet of the dead. 
But this, the gorgeous mail that guards my breast, 
By Wdand's art high tempered, duly send 
To royal Higelac. Now, betide what may." 


Hrothgar in answer, after expressing hisgratificationat so timely 
a prospect of assistance, and his recollection of Beowulf's father, 
recapitulates the injuries he has sufiered from the unconquerable 
violence of the Grendel. 

" " Full oft my gallant thanes. 

Fired by the generous mead, have rashly dared 
With trenchant blade await the Grenders force. 
Then was this kingly hall ere dawn of day 
Staih'd with man's Ufe-blood, fresh on every bench 
The gore steam'd horribly. So lost our state 
Many a true liegeman ; a sad death overtook them. 
But ye, brave warriors, haste ye to the feast, 
And in the hall of wassel as ye list 
Be seated." 

The heroes accordingly repair to the hall, and join in the festivity 
and copious libations of the Danish nobles. 


Hunferth the son o( Eglaf, who is elsewhere described as the 
orator of Hrothgar, jealous of the pro^ivess of Beowulf, and warmed 


by liquor^ attacks him in a strain of sarcastic raillery on his piratical 
exploits, and prophesies that he will find in the Grendel a less trac- 
table enemy tiian any he has yet encountered. Beowulf answers in 
a mild and dignified manner, recounts (perhaps as a kind of set-ofi* 
against the charge of piracy) his exploits in the destruction of cer- 
tain ferocious sea monsters, and concludes by insinuating that had 
the courage and strength of Hunferth been equal to his vanity, the 
Scylding had long ago been freed fit>m the assaults of Grendel. 
Their conversation is now terminated by the entrance of Hrothgar 
and his queen Wealtheowa. The latter bears round with her own 
hand the mead-cup ; and in ofiering it to Beowulf expresses her gra- 
titude to Heaven and her confidence in his valour. The hero shordy 
answers, that fi'om the time he embarked on the expedition he had 
fully made up his mind to deliver them fix)m their unnatural enemy 
or to fall in the contest. Their festivities continued until the mo- 
narch (having previously saluted Beowulf, and committed to him 
in form the charge and defence of his palace for the night) retired 
to his chamber. 


Beowulf, after die departure of Hrothgar, delivers die whole of 
his armour and weapons to his attendant; expresses in a short speech 
his conviction that against the Grendel they would be useless, and 
his acquiescence in whatsoever the will of Heaven should destine 
as the result of their contest, and retires to the couch prepared fur 

And round their chief that seaman band 
Sought each his bed ; but none was there whose soul 
Thought to revisit thence his country's soil, 
Kindred or fiiends, or town that gave them birth ; 
For well they knew that in that festal hall 
Full many a gallant Dane the murderer's grasp 
Had done to death. 



But Heaven had decreed at length to release the subjects of the 
good Hrothgar from their insatiable oppressor. The night drew 
on, and every soul in the palace slept — ^save one. 

CANTO xr. 

When on the moor beneatli the hill of mists 
The Grendel came — a heaven-abandon'd wretch; — 
The fqul assassin thought in that high hall 
To gorge some human prey. Onwards he pass'd 
In darkness, till right near he might behold 
That princely bower, the nobles* golden seat 
Rich deck'd with many a mead-cup. Was not that 
His first foul errand to the Scylding's courts : 
^ But never yet had he encountered tliere 

With mightier man or bolder. Soon he reach'd, 
A joyless guest, that hall ; soon, unopposed, 
With giant arm fierce in his wrath dash'd down 
Her iron-banded gates ; and now he trod 
Her chequer'd floor, angry of soul he moved, 
A fiendish foe ; and flamelike, as he strode. 
Shot from his eyes a sad and hideous light. 
There might he see the heroes at Uieir rest — 
A band of brothers. Then his heart was glad, 
Tor sooth he thought, or ere the morrow dawn'd, 
From each man's corpse to drain the blood of hfe. 
UnhaUow'd miscreant ! 

Finn of soul meanwhile 
The thane of Higelac watch'd, full fein to prove 
How that foul fiend would fare beneath his grasp. 
Nor long delay tlie murderer brook'd ; for still 
In other days light efibrt had it cost 
To slay the uncautious warrior in his sleep. 
To crush the yielding bones, and from each vein 


Draw the warm current. So he soon had reft 
Body and limb (his foul repast) of Kfe^ 

Now strode he onward^ and with slaughterous hand 
Pounced on the wary chief. He swift uprose 
(Nor reckless of his aim nor weak of grasp) 
And dash'd to that fair floor the' astounded foe. 
Soon found that base one^ that in the' elder time 
(Since first he roam'd the waste) he ne'er might cope 
With sterner soul or hand of hardier grasp. 
Care was upon his heart and sudden dread ; 
Fain would he seek his own unhallow'd den, 
And shroud himself in darkness, for he met 
Such welcome as of old he wist not there. 
Nor less bethought him of his evening pledge 
The gallant thane of Higelac : firm he stood, 
And seized the monster. Yet he might not triumph, 
His hold was loosen'd, and the Jute was free. 
Swift rush'd the hero forwards, all his care 
Lest the dark murderer scape, and wing his flight 
To fen and fastness. Soon again he felt 
Beneath that grasp of power, that he had bent 
In evil lime his steps to Hrothgar's home. 
Loud was the din, and fierce the champion's rage. 
And keen the struggle. Ye had marvell'd then 
How that fair hall might stand the furious shock 
Unlevel'd with the plain ; — ^nor had it stood, 
But that the well Avrought iron's massy force 
Banded it round, and held it all compact. 
Then from its base uptom full many a couch 
Splendid witli gold, the mead-carouser's seat. 
Fell, where they bore them in their angry mood. 
Little the Scylding dreamt, when for his state 
He bad upraise that goodly edifice, 
That art or force of mortal, save perchance 



The sudden burst of all-destroying flame, 
Might work such havoc there. Now louder rung 
The sounds of war, aghast and anxious stood 
On tower and castled wall the listening Dane : 
They heard that heaven-detested miscreant howl 
Sore wailing. No triumphant strain he raised 
Whom he the strongest of tlie sons of men 
Still with unloosened grasp victorious held. 


The hero, resolutely bent on destroying his fiendish antagonist, 
" whose life (adds the poet with a remarkable simplicity of phrase) 
he thought of no use to any one," continued to press his advantage, 
and, although unarmed, (for he had not forgotten that the Grenders 
flesh was invulnerable by earthly weapons) proved ere long that his 
bodily strength alone was sufficient for his purpose. 

Soon the dark wanderer's ample shoulder bore 
A gaping wound, each starting sinew crack'd. 
And from its socket loosed the strong-knit joint.— 
The victory was with Beowulf, and the foe 
Howhng and sick at heart fled as he might, 
To seek beneath the mountain shroud of mist 
His joyless home ; for well he knew the day 
Of death was on him, and his doom was seal'd. 

Thus were the injuries of Hrothgar avenged, and the arm and 
hand of the aggressor remained with the conqueror ad evidence of 
his triumph. 


No sooner had the morning dawned, than the multitude impa- 
tiently crowded to assure themselves of the Grendel's defeat. He 
had hunself in the mean time regained his obscure and inaccessible 

B£OWULF. 49 

hiding-place, where the loss of blood soon terminated his guilty ez' 
istence, and his heathen soul (adds the poet, forgetting apparently 
for the moment that all his heroes were equally heathen) was con- 
veyed to the infernal regions. . The nobles now commenced their 
rejoicings for this unexpected event, some by horseracing, some by 
recounting the feats of the conqueror, and others by listening to 
the song of the bard ; who is introduced as briefly recapitulating 
the achievements of some hero whose name is not mentioned. 
These appear to have consisted in the destruction of a dragon, and 
the attainment of a treasure of which the superstition of the age 
regarded those animals as the constant guardians. The subject of 
his song is little more than barely indicated, and the passage is very 
obscure. It was now full day, and the king, accompanied by his 
queen, and the whole of his cortige, entered the hall which had be- 
come the scene of Beowulf's triumph. 


Hrothgar having ascended his throne, and assured himself by a 
perspnal inspection of the Grendel's arm that his people was de- 
livered from all chance c^ future molestation, expresses lus gratitude 
to Heaven, and declares his intention of aldopting the successful 
warrior as his own son. Beowulf answers in a strain of much self- 
complacency, enlarging on the difficulty he had encountered, and 
the certainty of the Grendel's having received such injury as it was 
impossible for him to survive. " When (continues the poet) the ^m 
of Eglaf had ceased from the praises of his own heroic enterpriser 
tfie chieftains hung up in the hall the hand of the Grendel ; on each 
finger was a nsul hke steel, the hand-spur of the heathen." Loud 
and reiterated expressions of prsdse and astonishment accompanied, 
as might be expected, this gratifying exhibition. 



The monarch orders Heort (every part of which, with the excep- 
tion of the roof, bore testimony to the violence of the late contest) 
to be prepared for the festival. Hangings wondrously embroidered 
with gold soon covered the walls, and the guests male and female, 
now free from all apprehension of future assault, assembled in un- 
usual numbers. The king himself with his kinsman Hrotiiwulf pre- 
sided at the banquet, nor had a larger or a wortiiier assemblage ever 
graced his presence. After the mead-cup had fireely circulated, 
Hrothgar presents to Beowulf the spear, the golden-hilted sword, 
the hehnet, and the breast-plate of his father Halfdane. '' Little 
need had the champion to disdain such recompense, fqr never were 
four worthier gifts dispensed fh)m the secret treasuries of the king." 
To these, however, were soon added eight well-fed mares, each 
equipped with a splendid war saddle, such as the king himself used 
*' in the play ofsttordsJ 




Hrothgar proceeds to recompense not only the companions of 
Beowulf's expedition, but those also of his own subjects who had 
suflered from the incursions of the Grendel. Their festivities are 
again enhvened by the song of the bard. Its subject, though de- 
tailed somewhat more at length than that which occurs in the 13th 
canto, is yet obscure. It appears chiefly, nowever, to relate to a 
successful expedition of Halfdane against the Frisians, a Finnish 
tribe, in which their metropolis was taken and their queen Hilder- 
burgh made prisoner. 

The tale was told, the gleeman's song was hush'd : 
Then rose from many a couch the sound of joy ; 
From cups of wondrous mould the' attendant band 


Dealt the bright wine. — Then came Waeltheowa foj- th, 

In golden pomp of bracelet and of crown. 

Stately she moved to where the kinsmen sat 

Of brother's bloody and brethren still in love ; 

Hrothgar with Hrothulf join'd, and at their feet 

Hunferth the lordly Scylding's orator. 

Men knew him for a braggart of his tongue, 

Haughty and high of speech, but never yet 

Fdt in the play of arms his ready aid. 

Then spoke the queen : " Receive, my noble liege, 

This brimming cup, and, as thy state demands. 

Pledge the brave Goths with mild and gladsome words, 

Not thoughtless of such gifts as use to wait 

In this bright bower on friend and stranger gi^est. 

Now is the champion near, who, if aright 

I learn thy rumour'd purpose, soon shall bear 

The name and honours of great Hrothgar's son.'^ 

• The remainder of the speech is somewhat obscure. It appears 
(if I understand its purport rightly) to be strangely deficient both 
in morality and courtesy. 

'* Hertha is ransom'd, our bright bower of gold ; 
Quaff then while yet thou mayst the plenteous cup. 
And leave the toil of empire to tliy friends, 
For thou must hence ere long to Heaven's high king. 
Well know I our good Hrotliwulf : — if 'tis thine 
To quit, while he survive, this nether world. 
His power will guard our offspring's rising state." 
She spoke, and sought the mead-bench; there her sons 
Hrethric and Hrothmund, with a gallant train 
Of noble youths, in gay assembly sate ; 
And near that royal pair, the victor Dane. 

£ 2 



Fresh gifts were now prepared for Beowulf; two rich armlets of 
gold, and the most splendid collar ^ver manufactured fiom the 
same precious metal. This ornament had formerly been the pro- 
perty of HigelaCy the nephew of Swerting a noble Goth, and on 
his death (which happened in battle against the Frisii) had become 
the property of Hrothgar. These the queen presents with her own 

" Wear these (she cried), since thou hast in the fight 
So borne thyself, that wide as ocean rolls 
Round our wind-beaten cliffs his brimming waves, 
All gallant souls shall speak thy eulogy." 

She further bespeaks his protection and kindness for her children, 
and commends the union and fidelity by which the nobles of her 
own court were at all times distinguished. The feast continued 
until late in the evening, when a part of the company retired to their 
chambers, and others, as was their custom, prepared to sleep in 
the hall itself, which was fitted up for the purpose ** with bed and 
bolster/* each man having his shield at his head, and his helmet, 
breast-plate and spear placed on a rack or shelf above him. 


The inmates of Heorote had anticipated no further intrusion on 
their slumbers ; they were however mistaken, and one of them was 
destined to pay with his life the forfeit of his ill-timed security. 
Although their ancient enemy was no longer capable of annoying 
them, there was yet left one more of the savage and murderous 
ztanderers of the desert^ — the mother of GrendeL This fiendish 
and evil-minded uoman, intent upon avenging the defeat and death 
of her son, quitted her retreat at nightfall and soon forced her way 



into the midst of the hall. The mischief she did was of small ex- 
tent, * for her power," adds the poet, " was, in comparison to that* 
of her son's, as the force of women when they engage in batde 
is to that of men.'' The warriors too, aroused from their sleep, 
equipped themselves with such weapons as were nearest at hand ; 
and their aggressor no sooner found them on the alert, than she 
hastened to consult her safety in flight.. She seized however on one, 
the favourite of Hrothgar, and retreated with her prey unhurt, for 
Beowulf was not there. 

The ne^vs of this outrage soon reached the ears of Hrothgar ; nor 
was Beowulf long unacquainted with it, or slow in assembling his 
companions, and repairing at their head to the presence-chamber. 


Beowulf making the customary salutations and inquiries after 
the healdi of the monarch, 

" Speak not of health or joy (the Scylding cried), 
Fresh sorrow is upon us ; — he is dead 
Whose arm and counsels long upheld our state, 
^schere, the brother of our Yrmenlafe." 

After a short eulogy on the fidelity and liberality of the deceased, 
he proceeds to inform Beowulf that his subjects constandy reported 
themselves to have seen Grendel roaming the moors in company 
with another being of his own savage and mysterious nature, bear- 
ing the form and features of a woman ; that tradition was silent as 
to their parentage, but that their habitation was to be found at the 
distance of no more than a single mile from Heorote. 

There that foul spirit, howling as the wolves, 
Holds, by the perilous passage of the fen. 
Rude crag^ and trackless steep, his dark abode» 
There from the headlong cliff rolls arrowy down 



. The fiery stream^ whose wild and wondrous waves 
The frequent and fast-rooted wood o'erhangs, 
Shrouding them e'en as with the warrior's helm. 
There nightly mayst thou see a sight of dread, 
The flood of Uving flame. 

The remainder of the descripUon is less intelligible, but seems to 
imply that this unholy ground was further guarded by storm and 
hurricane, and that they who dared to approach it seldom failed to 
pay dear for their temerity, unless they avoided the hounds of Gren- 
del by a timely flight. This speech (the monarch adds) is directed 
to thee alone. 

" Thou know'st 
That path of dread, and canst unerring track 
The felon to his hold. Go, if thou dare ; 
And shouldst thou turn victorious from that quest, ' 
Rich fee of high-wrought gold, choicest that decks 
Our ancient treasury, yet again awaits thee." 


" Grieve not, my liege," Ecgtheow's brave son replied, 

*' Best counsel his, who seeks by swift revenge 

To grace the memory of the friend he mourns. 

Or soon or late one doom involves us all. 

Work then who may ere that his destined day 

Such deeds as Heaven's high judgement shall approve. 

Rise, noble Hrothgar, let us instant track 

The fiend's unholy footstep. Here I swear 

She finds not refuge, nor in earth's deep caves, 

Nor in the forest's covert, nor the' abyss 

Of foaming ocean, fly she where she list. 

So by the sorrows thou hast proved this day, 

I pledge me to thy service." 


At these welcome words the monarch leaped from his throne, 
and, returning thanks to the powers which had pro\ided him with 
such a chs^pion, commanded his steed to be immediately harnessed, 
and with a chosen band prepared to escort Beowulf to the G ren- 
ders territory. 

And now the heroes trod 
The mountain pass, a steep and uncouth way 
By cliff and cavem'd rock that housed witliin 
The monsters of the flood : before them sped 
Four chosen guides and tracked the' uncertain road. 
Now paused they sudden where the pine-grove clad 
The hoar rock's brow, a dark and joyless shade. 
Troublous and blood-stain'd roU'd the stream below. 
Sorrow and dread were on the Scylding's host, 
In each man's breast deep working ; for they saw 
On that rude cliff young -ffischere's mangled head. 
Now blew the signal horn, and the stout thanes 
Address'd themselves to battle ; for that strand 
Was held by many a fell and uncouth foe. 
Monster, and worm, and dragon of the deep. 

After a sharp contest, in which many of these extraordinary par- 
tisans of the Grendel were destroyed and dragged to shorej^Beo- 
^A'ulf prepared to plunge into the flood in quest of the female ma- 

Now arm'd in proof, and resolute to dare 
The terrors of that sea-flood, stood the Dane. 
Bright was the helm, and of no vulgar price, 
That deck'd his head ; for there the workman's art 
In days of old had wrought a wondrous charm. 
The savage boar's rude semblance : so nor brand 
Nor battle blade might harm the warrior's life* 


Scarcely less valuable was his good sword " Hrunting^^' 

Treasured from of old, • 
The armory's pride ; high temper'd was the blade. 
In herbs of strange and magic virtue steep'd ; 
Ne'er in the brunt of batde had it fail'd 
His hand who durst essay the champion's path 
i Of dread and danger ; nor was' this, I wene, 

Its first proud work of conquest and of fame. 

In thus equipping himself, Beowulf was assisted by Hunferth 
(the orator celebrated in canto 8.), who we are told had now for- 
gotten his drunken insolence, and readily lent his hand to gird an- 
other with the sword which he had little taste for wielding him- 


Then spoke the venturous Goth. " Forget not now. 
Illustrious son of Healfdene, royal Dane, 
Prudent of soul, of gift and largess free, 
Forget not, now that Beowulf stands prepared ■ 
Fpr this high enterprise, thine evening pledge 
That, should my life be forfeit to thy need. 
My memory finds in thee a father's care. 
And this my faithful band a patron's aid. 
Then what of gift thy bounty hath bestow'd 
To royal Higelac send : so may the Goth, 
When that rich treasure meets his wondering eye. 
Learn that his champion found no niggard boon 
At Hrothgar's princely hand : that prize be his. 
But th^s my sword, whose keenly-temper'd edge 
Of wondrous mold and ancient, long hath served me. 
Let Hunferth bear, fit guerdon of his fame. 
For me, if death forbid not, Hrunting speeds 
This work of just revenge." The hero spoke. 


Nor waited answer, but impetuous brayed 
The whelming surge. 

The female who had for ages held undisputed possession of these 
domains, soon perceived that some " creature of earth" had invaded 
them. She seized and dragged himy encumbered as he was by his 
armour, " to the bottom/* says the original, ** of thejlood.*' In his 
way he was attacked by many of her attendant monsters, but to his 
astonishment escaped without injury, both from these^ and from 
the destructive element which surrounded him. He was now in 
the regions 

where the fire-flood shed 
Its deep and hvid light. 

Here he attempted to make a stand, but found that even his good 
sword Hrunting, which had never yet deceived him in battle, 
availed no more against the mother than it would have done agidnst 
the son. He threw the weapon from him in anger, and, relying on 
the strength of his arm alone, grappled with his unnatural adversary. 
The contest was long and doubtful ; but at length the Grendel, ex- 
tricating herself from his grasp, aimed at his heart so powerful a 
blow of her frilchion, as must ine\'itably have terminated his exist- 
ence, had it not been resisted by the temper of his breast^plate, and 
the protecting arm of that power which had hitherto befriended his 
efibrts in the cause of justice. 


Then spied he mid the treasures of that realm 

A wondrous brand and vast ; keen was the blade. 

For Jutes had forged it in the days of old. 

He saw and mark'd its power ; — no feebler hand 

In the stem play of battle had sufficed 

To wield its giant fabric, — but the Goth 

Full lighdy seized the hilt. 


His opponent quickly discovered that the chances were no longer 
in her favour : despairing of success and even of life, she made one 
more ferocious effort ; but Beowulf was now in possession of no 
ordinary weapon, and he used it with no ordinary ppwer. At a 
single stroke he cut through the " ringed bones " of her neck, and 

Through the frail mantle of the quivering flesh 
Drove with continuous wound. She to the dust 
Fell headlong, — and, its work of slaughter done, 
The gallant sword dropp'd fast a gory dew. 
Instant, as tliough heaven's glorious torch had shone. 
Light was upon the gloom, — all radiant light 
From that dark mansion's inmost cave burst forth. 
With hardier grasp the thane of Higelac press'd 
His weapon's hilt, and furious in his might 
Paced the wide confines of the Grendel's hold. 

His object was the destruction of the miscreant himself. He found 
him, however (as might have been anticipated), already lifeless. 
Desirous of presenting Hrothgar with some memorial of his victory, 
he proceeded to sever the monster's head from his body, which was 
readily accomplished by a second blow of the Jutish weapon. T^^^ 
effusion of blood caused by this double slaughter soon copiously 
tinged the waters of the torrent; and the apprehens'^ons which 
Hrothgar and his suite had all along entertained for his safety, led 
them immediately to the painful conclusion that their champion 
had fallen. Hrothgar, sick at heart, returned to his palace for the 
purpose of presiding, as was his custom, at the banquet of his 
nobles ; but the faithful companions of Beowulf yet lingered on the 
i^trand — 

Long had they gazed 
Upon that whelming wave, and now they saw 
(Yet scarce their hearts gave credence to the sight) 
Their chief himself restored : fresh wonders straight 


Held them intent, for that stout sword of proof, 

Its warrior task fulfill'd, dropp'd to the ground 

(So work'd the venom of the felon's blood) 

A molten mass,--ev'n as the icicle, 

When He, whose will the varying seasons own, 

Looseth the frosty fetters tliat enchain 

The watry waste, maker and sire of all. 

Beowulf thus lost no inconsiderable part of his trophy ; for, with 
the exception of this wonder-working weapon" and the head of 
Grendel, he had brought off, we are told, nothing from the cavern. 
The waves of the torrent, which had opposed such a formidable bar- 
rier to his entrance, now subsided to so perfect a calm as readily to 
admit of his swimming, encumb.ered as he was, to the bank on 
which his friends had taken their station. Their expressions of 
congratulation and thankfulness to Heaven were unbounded. They 
soon relieved him both from his accoutrements (which had suffered 
much in the contest, and were thoroughly drenched by tlie water), 
and from that more ponderous memorial of his victory, the Grendel's 
head, — which, when slung from the shaft of a spear, was with dif- 
ficulty supported by four of the strongest men. In this state they 
proceeded homewards, and, after greeting the delighted monarch, 
displayed their hideous trophy in the banqueting-hall to the great 
admiration, as the bard informs us, of the assembled chieftains and 
their ladies. 


Then Beowulf spoke : " In sign of honour due, 
Great son of Halfdene, lo, we bring thee here 
A seaman's offering, no unjoyous sight 
To thee and to the Scyldings' ancient folk. 
This stem and forceful miscreant did I quell, 
And now beneath the waters have I waged 
Unequal war; — but victory crowns the right." 


He proceeds to acknowledge that, unless Heaven had befriended 
him by.throwii:^ in his way the Jutidi sword, the preternatural 
strength of his adversai^ had left him but little hope of success. He 
briefly recapitulates the more remarkable events of the contest, and 
" Thus," he concludes, 

" have I redeem'd my pledge 
That thou, with all the liegemen of thy states 
Thanes, nobles, gallant youth, and honour'd age, 
Shouldst rest secure in Hertha^s joyous bower." 

The golden hilt belonging to the weapon, which had been so 
strangely fused by the Grendel's blood, was now delivered to Hroth- 
gar, and found upon examination to contain the name of the person 
for whose use it was first destined, and otlier documents (unless I 
have erred in my construction of the original, which is here some- 
what obscure) purporting to be scarcely more recent than the period 
when "the race of giants" was destroyed by the Flood. Hrothgar 
now addresses Beowulf in a speech of considerable length, passing 
from the congratulations and thanks due to his achievement, to a 
strain of moral reflection on the uncertainty of human power and 
prosperity, which, though somewhat prolonged, is yet strikingly in 
character with the age and situation of one who having in his 
younger days seen all his enterprises crowned with success, and 
anticipated a reign of glory and independence, now finds himself at 
the end of his career indebted to a stranger for the protection of his 
metropolis and person. He concludes by applying his reflections 
to the present and future fortunes of himself and his champion. 

'^ Chieftain ! give place not to presumptuous thought. 
Now is thy prowess in its flower of prime; 
But the day comes, when pain, or slow disease. 
Or the fire's ravening force, or whelming flood. 
Or battle blade, or arrow's deadly flight. 


Or hateful age^ or the more sudden stroke 
That dims and quells at once our mortal sights 
Shall rack thy hearty and bow thee to thy doom ; 
Conquering the conqueror. So full many a year 
Under high heaven did Hrothgar hold this realra^ 
And spread from land to land his warrior sway. 
Right little dreamt I in that hour of pride 
That aught might rise beneath yon firmament, 
Of power to work me sorrow or annoy. 
Then came that fell destroyer, strong to wreak 
His ancient feud, and ceaseless care was mine/' 


He now dismisses the warrior to bis couch, whoy fatigued with 
the labours of the day, and possibly also with the Nestorian elo- 
quence of the monarch, gladly, we are told, complies with the pro- 
posal. After retiring therefore amidst the congratulations of the 
nobles assembled in Herote, he dept soundly with his companions 
until " the raven announced the dawn of the ensuing day. Impa- 
tient to return homewards, they rose at hisearUest song; and every 
thing being arranged for their journey, Beowul/, having first pre- 
sented the orator Hunferth with his good sword Hrunting, proceeds 
to take his leave of Hrothgar. 


Beowulf^ in bidding farewell to Hrothgar, declares himself amply 
satisfied widi his treatment and remuneration; profiers, in the event 
of any similar emergency, the assistance of himself and a thousand 
tried and trusty followers, and answers for his sovereign's readiness 
to forward at all times "by word and work" the wishes of his host. 
" Never yet (returns Hrothgar) did I meet with such wisdom joined 
to such youth and strength. Assuredly, should disease or war de- 


prive them of their present monarch, and no heirs be left of his 
family, the Gothic people would act most wisely in placing Beowulf 
on their throne." He concludes with a grateful encomium on the 
friendliness and good faith of Higelac and his subjects. Yetfurdser 
gifts, the number of which (twelve) is stated, though their nature 
is left undescribed, are bestowed on the -Goths. The good king 
then embraced '' the best of champions," and tears gushed from his 
eyesL^for, old as he was, he despaired of ever again seeing him, and 
** tlie feelings of his breast were such as could not be stifled." 
Beowulf, with his companions, now departed, rich in treasure, for 
the spot where his vessel lay at anchor; and as they journeyed, every 
tongue was occupied witli the praise of Hrothgar's munificence. 


Now to the sea-flood came that high-bom host, 
A gallant trsun, and every limb encased 
In sark of netted mail. Them soon espied. 
True to his charge, the warder of die coast. 
Nor deem'd he fitting from his hold of strengtli 
By sign alone to hail the parting guests ; 
Onwards he rode, and bad diem freely seek. 
With kindliest greeting sped, the Gothic shore. 
Then soon their ship her gold-enwreathed prow 
Gave proudly to the waters, laden deep 
With warlike gear, steeds, arms, and treasured gold. 
The choicest meed of Hrothgar's ample store. 
But first, in payment of the warder's care^ 
The generous chieftain gave a noble brand 
Radiant with gold, such as in after time 
Might grace him joyous in the feast of pead ; 
Then sought his bark, and o'er the watery deep 


Drove gallantly, and lost the Danic strand. 
Well was their mast caparison'd, I wis. 
With its sea-harness, sail, and corded line. 
The heroes sat within, and favouring gales 
Bore on her way the traveller of the sea. 
Pair sped the courser of the waves, — the spray 
Foam'd sparkling round her arch'd and golden neck. 
So piass'd she the deep flood, till full in sight 
Their native cli0s and well-known headlands rose ; 
Then sated widi the breeze stood close for shore. 
Espied them soon the warder of that port. 
He that had waited long in anxious hope 
Their glad return. He hail'd, and quick to land 
Drew and secured by the' anchor's well curved grasp 
That bark of noble freightage, — lest or wind 
Or briny wave her goodly timbers mar. 
And now they bad unlade her golden store, 
Armour, and cup, and chain : nor far the way 
Ere they might reach the bower of Higelac, 
Hrethel's illustrious son. Bright was the hall 
Where mid his banded thanes the monarch sate. 
Youthful in days, in treasured wisdom old. 

The remainder of this Canto is occupied by a digression, intro- 
duced with sufficient abruptness, in which the poet relates, or rather 
alludes to, the wickedness and cruelty of the daughter of Hasreth, 
who, if I understand the passage rightly, ajjpears to have been llige- 
lac's queen. The whole is extremely obscure. 


" The torch of the world was shining from the south," says the 
bard, when Beowulf with his train reached the palace of Higelac. 


Here a repast was speedily prepared, of which these heroes alone, 
and the immediate c&rtige of the monarch, were allowed to partake. 
It was scarcely dispatched when Higdac, who could no longer re- 
press his curiosity, questioned his champion as to the event of the 
expedition; premising that he had himself entertained the most 
painful apprehensions of its failure, and had always exhorted Beo- 
wulf to let the Danes fight tlieir own battles. Beowulf replies in 
a set speech, first briefly stating that he had destroyed both the 
Grendel and his mother ; then, after dilating on the excellence of 
Hrothgar*s government and the happiness of his court, proceeds to 
relate in detail the whole of his adventure. This is not done (as 
the critics have objected to the poems of the Homeric age) by simple 
repetition of the former narrative, but the whole is compressed, and 
the diction varied with sufficient artifice. As, however, the matter 
(with the exception of tliose parts which relate to the personal 
history of Hrothgar and his family, and which are very obscure) is 
already known to the reader, 1 have extracted only a single specimen, 
which afibrds a pleasing and characteristic picture of the accom- 
plishments and bearing of the good Hrothgar. 

The morrow rose, and all 
Were gatber'd to the banquet. — Mirth was there 
And loud rejoicing ; — nor did Hrothgar scorn 
To mingle with our speech, now questioning, 
With wise intent and word, his stranger guests 
Of men and things afar ; — tlien would he wake •" 
The harp's sweet melody, and sing meanwhile 
Some lay of truth and sorrow, or recount 
In well imagined phrase the lofty tale. 
Then spoke that hoary warrior of his youth. 
And his youth's race of valour and of arms. 
What heart but warm'd as the time-honour'd man 
Bespoke our listening train ? So joyous pass'd 
The livelong day. 


The narrative of Beowulf extmds neariy to the middle of the 
99th Canto. We are then informed that the hero made over the 
more valuable of Hrothgar's presents to his own sovereign^ who in 
return confers on him a splendid ornament or order of knighthood, 
and a fief or principality containing seven thousand vassab. In 
process of time, yet further gifts and honours viexe heaped upon 
him; and after the death of Higeliac and his son Hearede, who 
appear both to ha\e fallen in battle, he was called to fill the throne 
of the Scylfings. 

The narrative, which it has thus been attempted to analyse, of 
BeowulPs successftil expedition against the Grendd, occupies 
nearly two-thirds of the manuscript ; and, had the poet terminated 
his labours at this point, his composition would have added to the 
other qualifications which entitie it in some degree to the name of 
Epic, that of unity of plan ; a praise seldom perhaps to be con- 
ceded to the earlier and more barbarous efibrts of the heroic muse. 
He proceeds however^ without interruption or apology, to the de- 
tails of an adventure in which the same hero, fifty years after his 
devation to the throne, was destined to engage, as might naturally 
be anticipated, with far other success. Until this period he had 
reigned prosperous and victorious, but at last 

the ranger of the darksome night. 
The Fire-drake came. 

This unwelcome intruder (as far as we can gather from the firag- 
ments of the poem, much of which is here unfortunately oblite- 
rated,) had his den in a mount or barrow of stone, situated on a 
rocky eminence unexplored by the foot of man. Here (in strict con- 
formity to the general tenor of Scaldic fiction) he is said to have 
watched over the accumulated treasures of former ages. In the 
exercise of this trust he had conducted himself peaceably for mor^ 



than '' three hundred winters,^ until in evil hour he was provoked 
to exchange it for the less harmless occupation of ravaging the ter- 
ritory, and devottiing the subjects of the good Beoveulf* 


The Manuscript is at the commencement of this Canto much 
damaged, and what remains is consequently obscure. As we pro- 
ceed, we find the aged monarch bewailing the condition to which 
the devastations of the monster have reduced his capital and its in- 
habitants. ^^ They can no longer/^ he complains, ''array themselves 
for battle, or enjoy the sounds of music, or exercise their good hawks 
and merles beyond the limits of the palace." The poet now returns 
XQ the immediate cause of the dragon's anger. He had (as it ap- 
pears above) contented himself for many years with quietly watch- 
ing over his '' hoard of heathen gold," until some unhappy traveller 
having discovered his retreat, reported its valuable contents to the 
BK>narch. It was inconsequence, during the slumbem of ite inh»- 
bitant, pillaged of a part of its treasures, and its interior, '' the work 
of men in times long past," disclosed to the wondering eyes of the 
populace.' When '' the worm awoke," perceiving that bia desolate 
abode had been visited by hostile fooitsteps, he first repeatisdly tra* 
V)«rsed its outward boundary in quest of the duressor. Disap- 
pointed in his search, he returned for the purpose of ascertaimng die 
extent of the depredations committed on his treasury; and at ni^t- 
fall proceeded, '^ breathing fire and destruction," to take an exem- 
plary revenge on his troublesome neighbours. '^ Thus," adds the 
poet, ^ the banning of the fray was fatal to the people, as its ter- 
mination was afterwards to their prince.' 



The dragon having once commenced his ravages, no ^' living 
creature" which fell in his way had power to escape or expose 


hiat. After spoiling and depopulating &e country, he pursued his 
way to the metropolis itself| where the palace of Beowulf expe- 
rienced the utmost severity of his vei^ance. With no common 
feelings of sorrow and indignation the Goth learned that the most 
splendid of his macisions wias ^^ mdted in the whdming flame." 
His resolution was soon taken^ and he command^ his armour to 
be prepared, especially (says the bard) a breast-plate entirely of 
iron; for he was well awam that a shield con^x>8ed of wood could 
avail but little for his' protection against the fiery breath of his new 
antagonist. Thus prepared, he looked forward to the event of the 
enterprize with but little apprehension : for many and severe were 
tiie contests in which he* bad been victorious since his expedition 
against the Grendel. Here the poet takes the opportunity of di- 
gressing to a recapitulation of the various fortunes and achieve- 
ments of his hero. This, like other digressions already noticed, be- 
ing rather a series of allusionf than a distinct and connected nar- 
rative of facts, is in most parts lughly obscure. 

So had Ecgtheow's son 
In many a fray the foes presumption quell'd, 
Stem in the woric of valour, till the day 
When that foul worm provok'd him to the war. 
Now chose the indignant Goth twelve trusty thanes, 
And bad diem track the monster to his lair* 
Swift at his bidding sped they to the bark^ v 

Ample her bulk, and fitted well to hold 
Treasure or arms in store. Full thirty chie& 

Wereof that train. 

The sea-wave bore them till they might descry , 

A lonely earth-mound ; hoar and drear it rose 
Beneath a mountain's shdter, and within 
Were wond'rous sights and strange. Relentless first 
And greedy of the fight, its guardian sat 

o'er countless heaps of the heathen gold. 


Not cheaply to be won were entrance there. 
High on the headland sat the royal Goth 
Generous and sdll undaunted, whilst he bad 
The loved companions of hb home farewell. 
Sorrow was on their souls, for he was near. 
Vengeful, and thirsting for the blood of man» 
That with no friendly greeting should salute 
Their aged lord, disparting life from hmb. 

Then spoke the son of Ecgtheow. " Many and dread 
The battle-fray^ and well remember'd all, 
Beowulf encountered in his day of youth. 
Scarce had I told seven winters, when my Uege, 
Auspicious, call'd me from a parent's care. 
So Hrethel had and held me for his own, 
And gave me food and fee. He kept his pledge ; 
Nor was there aught in which he deem'd me less 
Than his own royal ofispring, Heribald, 
And Hasthcyn, and my loved lord Higelac." 

The narrative old monarch proceeds to state that, of these three 
sons of Hrethel, the eldest, Heribald, was accidentally killed in a 
fray by the hand of his own brother Haethcyn. He adds some 
moral reflections on the crime of murder, and the unhappy state 
of the parent whose child, by incurring such guilt, has subjected 
himself to the extreme severity of the law. These reflections extend 
to the beginning of 


In which Beowulf resumes his narration. Hrethel, he informs 
his audience, wanted either the power or the will to avenge the 
ii2urder of Heribald upon one equally neai: to him in blood and 
love. The grief excited by these misfortunes soon terminated his 
life. After his death a war arose between his subjects on the one 


side, and the Sueones and Frisii (if I understand the poet aright) 
on the other ; in the course of which Ongentheow, king of the 
Sueones^ and his son Othere, made repeated predatory inroads into 
the territory of the Scylfings. In this war Hsethcyn fell, and Beo- 
wulf first signalized himself as the champion of his country. He 
now concludes with repeating at some length his resolution to de^ 
liver his people from the incursions of the dragon or to die in the 

attempt, and forbidding tus nobles to join in the combat. 


An dauntless then, and stem beneath his shield. 
The hero rose, and toward the rocky diff 
Bore gallantly in helm and mail of proof. 
In one man's strength (not such the coward's art) 
Confiding. Now that fabric might he spy. 
He that so oft had in the crash of arms 
Done goodly service. 

Firm rose the stone-wrought vault, a living stream 
Burst from the barrow, red with ceaseless flame 
That torrent glow'd ; nor liv'd there soul of man 
Might tempt the dread abyss, nor feel its rage. 
So watch'd the Fire-drake o'er his hoard — ^and now 
. Deep from his labouring breast the indignant Goth 
Gave utterance to the war-cry. Loud and clear 
Beneath the hoar stone rung the deafening sound, 
And strife uprose :— the watcher of the gold 
Had mark'd the voice of man. First from his lur 
Shaking firm earth, and vomiting as he strode 
A foul and fiery blast, the monster came. 
Yet stood beneath the barrow's lofty side 
The Goths' unshaken champion, and opposed 
To that infuriate foe his full orb'd shield. 
Then the good war-kmg bared his trenchant blade. 
Tried was its edge of old, the stranger's dread 
And keen to work the foul aggressor's woe. 


After some struggles. 

The kbgly Goth 
Rear'd high his hahd, and smote the grisly foe. 
But the dark steel upon the unyielding mail 
Fell impotent, nor serv'd its master's need 
Mow at his utmost peril. Nor less that stroke 
To maddening mood the barrow's warder rous'd. 
Out burst the flame of strife, the blaze of war 
Beam'd horribly ; still no triumph won the Goth, 
Still faird his keen brand in the unequal fray, 
(So wonted not that tried and trusty steel.) 
Now ikin would Ecgtheow's gallant son retreat, 
And change that batde-plwi for tower and town. 

Again they met — again with freshened strength 
Forth from his breast the unconquer'd monster pour'd 
That pestilent breath. Encompassed by its flame^ 
Sad jeopardy and new the x^hieftain held. 

His attendants foreseeing and dreading the unpropitious issue of 
such a contest, had pardy betaken themselves to flight, and pardy 
remained irresolute and inactive speotators of their monarch's dan- 


In this conjuncture we are introduced to an entirely new cha- 
racter, Wiglaf, the son of Weostaa or Wihtstan^of the race of the 
Scylfings and of filEhere. 

He saw his lord, 
Beneath the batde-helm, sore prest ^d faint* 
Then thought he on the honours that he held 
By Beowulf's kingly gift, he and, his sire, 


The rich domaiD, and feud, and ample right* 
Long unconcerned he stood not, but did on 
His gUttering shield, and girt his ancient sword, 
That blade the son of Othere bare of old. 

Never yet 
For his Uege lord that gallant youth had dared 
The fray of arms, but his soul melted not. 
Nor fail'd his might in battle. 

Before, however, he proceeds to the attack, he addresses to his 
fearfiil companions (somewhat, it should seem, inopportunely) 
** many a word and true." • 

** Well I remember (cried the inchgnant youth) 
When in his bower we quaflTd the generous mead 
And shared his bounty, chain, and ring of gold. 
What word we pledged to him our bounteous lord : 
Vow'd we not that, if danger should betide. 
Our arms should work our quittance i'^ 

After saying much to the same purpose, and declaring his owi^ rea- 
diness to sacrifice his life for his sovereign, 

He donn'd 
The warrior helm, and thro^ the deadly steam 
Pressed to his master's ud and shortly spoke. 
'' Now, much loved lord, think of thine eariy youth. 
How thou didst pledge thyself, while life was thine, 
To woik the doom of justice. Now great Beowulf, 
Now fearless cluef, thy faitliful thane is nigh/' 

The accesuon of so formidable an opponei\t, naturally provoked 
a yet fiercer attack on the part of the dragon. The contest which 
followed is but obscurely and confiisedly described, the' poet evi- 
dently wanting the power, or perhaps rather the means, of convey- 


ing a clear and intelli^ble picture of a struggle in which three 
veral combatants were engaged at once. We learn, however, that 
after both this and the succeeding onset, the event was still doubt- 


Having gained both confidence and breathing time from the ex- 
ertions of lus youthful ally, 

Once more the Goth, 
Recaird to sense and power, drew quickly forth 
The shrewd and biting blade, untried as yet. 
That o'er his corslet hung — the Sea-Danes' seax. 

The glorious Goth struck lustily : — ^he hath smote 
Full on the breast, and pierc'd his loathsome foe. 
And work'd the vengeance of his kingly heart. 

Thus the heroes were left victorious; but to the eider this triumph 
was destined speedily to prove fatal. The wound inflicted by the 
dragon began, from the moment it was received, to bum and swell ; 
and it was now evident that the poison had reached the vitals of 
Beowulf. His faithful champion, seating him on a wall finom whence 
he could admire the size and solidity of the dragon's earthy man- 
sion, administers copious draughts of water, and inquires as to his 
health and feelings. Beowulf answers under the conviction that his 
earthly labours have reached tiieir termination. Afier expressing 
a wish to bequeath to Wiglaf, as to his son, the royal armour in 
which he was clad, he proceeds : 

** I have held 
Full fif^ years this people for mine own. 
Nor lives there king or chieflain who has dared 
In warlike guise to trespass on our bounds. 


Or bid U8 to the batde. I have run 
My destin'd course, and well and uprightly 
Maintain'd mine own ; with no man have I sought 
Unjust or fraudfiil strife ; to no man sworn 
Unrighteous oath. Wounded and sick at heart 
Still have^I joy in this, whene'er his power 
Part life and limb, the great Creator^s doom 
Of guile or bloodshed holds me still assoiled." 

He now commissions Wiglaf to lose no time in exploring the 
den of their fallen antagonist, and makiilg a fiill report of its con- 


Then heard I that the son of Wihstan bore 
(So bad the fainting king, his wounded lord) 
Armour and arms beneath that vaulted cave. 
Within its deep recess the gallant thane 
Victorious now, saw freely as he p&ss'd. 
Heaped by each wall, fair ring and treasured store, 
^And gold that strew'd in j^st'ning heaps the ground. 
And cups and bowls, of the olden time and men 
Sole monuments, 'Hiere, reft of its crested pride, 
Lay many an helm, all canker'd now with age ; 
And many an armlet work'd with artist skill. 
Soon might he ken, high o'er that ancient hoard, 
Strange forms all rich with gold ; no common craft 
Of handy-work had traced each wond'rous shape. 
Or charm'd it to its station. There they stood 
Fast lock'd, and beaming all with ceaseless light 
So might he well descry throughout that realm. 
The spoil and triumph of his lord's revenge. 

Having laden himself with as much of these treamiree as he could 


carry, he returns and 6ods his master dying. The application of 
water somewhat revives him, and the words once mcHe ''broke 
from the treasury of his breast." 

'' Old am I now, but in my youth have won 

And shar'd the treasured gold. Now, thanks be thine 

Eternal Father, glorious Lord of all ! 

Thanks from thy creature's lips, for that Ins eye 

Hath seen these hoarded spoils ; for that his hand. 

Ere yet thy doom o'ertake him, hath atchieved 

To his lov'd people's weal this rich bequest 

And now. 
Short while I tarry here — ^when I am gone, 
Bid them upon yon headland's summit rear 
A lofty mound, by Rona's sea-girt cliff; 
So shall my people hold to after times 
Their chieftain's memory, and the mariners 
That drive afar to sea, oft as they pass, 
Shall point to BeowulTs tomb." He spoke, and drew 
From his reverend neck, and to that generous youth 
Bequeath'd, the golden collar of his state. 
And gorgeous helm, and ring, and corslet bright 
Added — ^not reckless whom he named his heir. 
And bad him bear them well and prosp'rously ; 
'' For thou alone art left of all our kin. 
JThe voice of Heaiv'n to their eternal doom, 
Save thee, hath sunmion'd all the Scylding's race ; 
And, lo ! I join my fathers." 

Such were the dying reflections and commands of the aged Beo- 



Wiglaf was now left to sorrow over the remains of one whom 
he loved and reverenced beyond all earthly friends* His first care, 
however, was to preclude all possibility of the dragon's revival, by 
separating the head from his body. The poet, after dilating some- 
what tediously on the loss of Beowulf, and the benefits accruing to 
the Danish community from the destruction of their venomous op- 
pressor, turns to the unworthy followers who had (as has been 
stated) fled fix)m the first prospect of ihdr monarch's defeat and 
danger* These had betaken themselves to the covert of a neigh- 
bouring forest, whence they now at length ventured to issue, ten in 
a body. With shan^ in their countenances they approached the 
spot where their more honourable companion sat weeping over the 
body of him, for the preservation of whose life he had in vain ex- 
posed his own. Wiglaf receives them with a sorrowful and angry 
countenance, and at length gives vent to his feelings in a string of 
bitter and well merited reproaches, intermingled vrith expressions 
of regret for the tardiness and failure of his own efibrts in his master^s 
behalf, and (if I understand the passage rightly) with some threats 
of disgrace or punishment from the assembly of the people. (Lond- 


Then l/Tiglaf bade them o'er the high cfifiTbear 
That wond'rous tale and sad, to where in arms 
Assembled earl and chief that livdc^ng day. 
Not without care and deep suspense, had sate 
Expectant still of their lov'd lord's return. 
But now the warder of the headland tower 
No longer might keep silence :— -dear he spoke, 
That all might learn :— << The monarch of the Goth, 


The pride and liege lord of our eastern folk. 
Lies low on earth, and sleeps the sleep of death. 
Slain by the Fire- drake's vengeance ;— «at his side 
Sleeps too that foul destroyer, mute and quell'd 
By Beowulf's native seax ; for on that hard 
And scale-clad frame, the sword-blade fell in vain. 


O'er his dead lord the champion Wiglaf sits, 
Wihstan's illustrious heir." 

From this introduction, the warden or herald is made to digress 
into a narrative of nearly 200 lines, relating chiefly to the previous 
fortunes of the Scylding race and its sovereigns. This, like most 
other episodes of the same nature (more than one of which has been 
ahieady noticed), is extremely obscure, and extends to the middle of 


Here the warden having finished his long and apparently ill*timed 
digression by expressing a dread lest the Sueones should seize this 
opportunity of wreaking an ancient feud on the east Danes, letunis 
to the immediate object of his communication. 

" Best were it now that, with what speed we may. 
We seek, and bear our slaughtered monarch home. 
Long since by proud gifts of the wreathed gold 
He pledged us to his service ; now he leaves 
To his lov'd people's need, uncounted hoaids. 
The vanquish'd monster's spoil. 
Soon shall the bickering flame play round his limbs. 
Nor earl, at that sad time, in warlike gear, 
Nor high*bqm maid in golden sheen may stand. 
The wreathing chdn gracing her lovely neck. 
All, e'en the stranger guest, shall walk in grief. 


For he that led your power and ruled your state 
No more to laughter lives or mortal joy. 

No harp shall wake to mirth our warrior train. 
But the wan raven hastinjj to his meal 
Scream oft and loud ; and the shrill eaglet tell, 
How with his fellow wolf, full goi^d of blood. 
He sped him at the death-feast." 

This oration (for the truth of which the bard pledges himself) 
being finished, the train of nobles repair to the fatal spot, where 
they discover (under Amauces) the remains of their brave sovereign^ 
and of the now harmless Fire-drake. The latter were found to eit- 
tend ' 

Long as he lay 
Pull fifty measured feet 

They next admired the '' vessels, cups, dishes," and ancient wea- 
pons which had fiimished the treasury of this wondrous animal. 
These (adds the poet) had thus remuned in the bosom of the earth 
for a thousand winters, secured by the force of strong enchant- 
ments from all human depredation, until the power whose hands 
dloDe dispense victory and riches, saw fit to open for man the long 
concealed possessions of the dead. 


In examining more closely the domain of their ancient enemy, 
the nobles discovered the remuns of those who had in former times 
ventured to trace the same unhappy road as their monarch, and had 
faUen an easy sacrifice to the enraged monster. They named a pool 
or lake near the spot where Beowulf had fallen, the King's Mere. 
Wiglaf now addresses himself to the assembly. He begins by re- 
gretting that the feithful thanes of Beowulf had not, in the first in- 


stance, attempted to dissuade him finom so hazardous an enterprize. 
He then expatiates on the riches of the dragon's treasury, and assures 
them that their monai'ch had lived to behold and to rejoice in the 
quantity and magoificenoe of the spculs* . He finishes by advising 
that after having surveyed and taken measures for securing so pre- 
cious an acquisition, they should prepare for the obsequies of Beo- 
lyulf a barrow, of extent and h^ght proportionable to his rank and 
merits. Having dispatched .some of the party ta cbtsinfrom afar 
the wood necessary for the funeral pile, he commissions eight thanes, 
accompanied by soldiers bearing torches, to enter the den and bring 
out, together with the valuables yet unremoved, the human reliques 
mentioned in the beginning of the Canto. 

CANTO XUn, and last. 

Much of which is unfortunately obliterated, commences thus : — 

Then worked the .Gothic folk that earth-raia'd tomb 
Unwearied. High they hung the kingly helm 
And corslet bright, and blade of warrior steel : 
So had himself besoi^ight them : — ^in the midst 
The sorrowing chieftains placed their long-lov'd lor^. 
Then on the barrow's steep they bad aspire 
The funeral flame. High roll*d the wreathed smoke. 
The winds of heav'n were hush'd till the keen fire 
Had burst the bony tenement of the breast. 
Then sad at heart they moum'd their master's fate. 
In joyless stnuns, e'en as a woman mourns. 

Then rear'd his people near the ocean flood 
An ample tower, conspicuous from afar 
To the sea-ranger. High it stood, and broad ; 
Nor ceas'd for ten days space (so bad their chief) . 
The beacon's fire ; ten days the well S&i flame ^ 
Rose by that wall. 

B£OWU£F* 79 

They then cast into the tomb a part of the golden ornaments 
which they had removed boax the treasury of the dragon, ** which 
remain still in the earth (adds the poetp if I understand him rightly) 
as useless as they were in the custody of th^ former guardian/' 
This done, they naturally occupied themsdves for, some time in re- 
counting the many valiant and generous actions wluch bad signa- 
lized the long and useful life of their monarch* 

So moum'd the Dane, so ^y who wont to share 
Counsel and canvarse with th^r aged lord. 
And fondly told, bow of all earthly kings 
Mildest in bearing, boldest in the fray, 
He sought and won the meed of deathless fame. 

I have thus attempted (and it has indeed been a task of much 
greater di£Bcul^ than might at first be ima^ned) to present a faith- 
ful analysis of this singular and interesting poem. It b not, perhaps, 
too much to add, that as a specimen of language andcomposition, 
as a picture of manners and opinions, and in some measure even as 
an historical document, it possesses claims upon the notice of the 
scholar and the antiquary far beyond those which can be ad« 
vanced by any other relique, hitherto discovered, of the same age 
and description. Such remarks as appeared calculated to explain 
or illustrate particular passages being subjoined in the form of notes, 
I have but a few observations to oflfer on the character of the 

It can hardly have escaped notice that the Scandinavian bard, 
in the general style and complexion of his poetry, approaches much 
more nearly to the father of the Grecian epic, than to the ro- 
mancerB of the middle ages. If 1 mistake not, this similarity will 
readily be traced in the simplidty of his plan, in the air of proba- 
bility given to all its details, even where the subject may be termed 


supernatural ; in the length and tone of the speeches introduced, 
and in their frequent digression to matters of contemporary or pre- 
vious history. 

It may be observed too that the Song of Beowulf, espedally in 
its latter Cantos, a£R>rds an additional argument, if any such were 
wanting after the labours of Per<7 and Ellis, against the theory 
which would attribute to the fictions of romance a Saracenic ori^. 
The dragon furnished with wings and breathing flame, the sword 
which melts at the touch of the Jutish blood, the unearthly light 
which pervades the cave of the Grendel, and beams from the ma^c 
statues presiding over that of the Fire-drake, had they occurred in 
a poem of later date, would in all probability have been considered 
by the eminent author of that theory as undoubted importations of 
the crusaders. But the opinions of Warton, even when erroneous, 
were not taken up without apparent grounds. The fictions in ques- 
tion do assuredly bear, if it may be so termed, an oriental rather 
than a northern aspect ; and the solution of this phenomenon will 
be most successfully sought for in the hyppthesis more recently sug- 
gested by those continental scholars, who, regarding the Gothic 
and the Sanscrit as cognate dialects, and identifying the character 
and worship of Odin with that of Buddha, claim for the whole of 
the Scandinavian mythology, an Asiatic origin of far more remote 
and mysterious antiquity. 

It may perhaps be thought scarcely worth while to ofier any 
opinion on the poetical merits of our author. In some it may even 
excite a smile to hear a production so little resembling the purer 
models of classical antiquity dignified by the name of poetiy, or 
considered as an object of criticism. We are all, I am fully con- 
scious, liable not unfrequently to be misled by a natural preposses- 
sion in &vour of that upon which we have employed any consider- 
able portion of our time and labour. From this prepossession I do 
not pretend to be exempt ; but I still apprehend that he who makes 
due allowance for the barbarisms and obscurity of the language (an 
obscurity much increased by our still imperfect knowledge of its 


poetical construction and vocabulary) and for the shackles of a me- 
trical system at once of extreme diiSculty, and, to our ears at least, 
totally destitute of harmony and expression, will find that Beowulf 
presents many of those which have in all ages been admitted as the 
genuine elements of poetic composition. 

The plan (as it has been already stated) is sufficiendy simple. 
The characters, as far as they are developed, are well sustained, 
and their speeches usually natural and well appropriated. Th^ 
narrative is by no means so encumbered with repetitions as that of 
the reputed Cssdmon ; nor is the style S9 ambitious and inflated. 
Over the almost un'mtelligible rhapsodies of the £dda (for these 
are the fairest points of comparison) it possesses a decided supe- 
riority ; nor are there many among the metrical romances of the 
more polished Normans, with which it may not fairiy abide a com- 

If we except perhaps the frequency and length of the digressions, 
the only considerable oflence against the received canons of the 
heroic muse is to be found in the extraordinary interval of time 
which elapses between the first and last exploits of the hero. 

After all, it is as an antiquarian document that Beowulf has 
the most indisputable claim upon our attention ; a claim so pow- 
erful, that I cannot close this imperfect abstract without expressing 
a wi^h that some one competent to the task may be induced to re- 
publish the whole in such a manner as to render it fiilly accessible 
to the general reader. 





Ilwffit we ' Gar-Dena 
In jear-dapim 
©eod cyninja* 
Drym ^^runon, 
Hu -Sa ^'Selinjas 
Ellen fremodon. 

Page 35, line 1. 

Jliquid no8 de Bdlkorum Dano- 
In diebtu antiquis [rum 

Popularium regum 
. Glorid accepimm, 
Quomodo tunc principes 
FirttUe valtierint. 

Daet heal-reced 
Hatan wolde, 
Medo (em micel. 
Men jewyrcean, 
Done yldo beam 
JSfre ^efhinon ; 
And 'Saer on innan 

Canto I. [p. 36, L 3.] 

Iste domum aidicam 

Jubere voluit, 

Hydromelis aulam magnam, 

Homines adificare, 


Semper cekbrarunt ; 

Et ibi intui 

' Hwaet we. There b a little abruptness, if not obscurity, in dib sentence ; 
the same use of ^ Hwxt' will be found in Canto 24^ 1. 3. It somewhat resem- 
bles the H oii| of Hesiod. (AoiTif Hpax.) 

* Deed cynin^a. These are the ' Dod kongr' of the northern historians. 
The small independent mbnarchs who or'ginally possessed the peninsula of 
Jutland. (See Sf^/bnm, 103.) 



Eall jedslan 
Geonjum and ealdum, 
Swylce him God sealde, 
Buton folc-scare 
And feorum jumena. 
Tha ic wide jefraepi 
Weorc jebannan 
Mani^re mie^Se 
Geond "Sisne middan-^eard^ 
Folcstede frastwan 
Him on fyrste ^elomp 
Mdve mid yidum 
Thet hit wear^ eal^earo 
Heal-flBTDa masst. 
Scop him Heort ' naman 
Se the his wordes ^eweald 
Wide hefde. 
He beotne' aleh, 
Beajas dselde, 
Sine »t symle. 
Sele hlifade. 


Da 86 ellen jsest 


Ora je jeSolode, 

Se ISe in iSystrum bad, 

Omnia dUtribuere 

JujUoribus ac seniaribut, 

Tanquam ipsi Dens concesserai, 

Prater popuK turbam 

Etpravos {v, peregrinos) homines. 

Hoc lath iniellexi 

Opus celebrari 

In multis reg^onibus 

Per hunc mediunH>rbem. 

Damicilium adornare 

Ei primum obtigit 

Facile inter homines 

It a ut esset omnino perfecta 

Aularum maxima. 

Finxit ei " Hertha** nomen 

Quijubendi potestatem 

Lati habuit. 

(Ibi) invitaios coHocavit, 

Annulos disiribuit, 

Aurum in symposio. 

Aula resonabat. 

36, 1. 17.] 

Id patens spiritus 


Diu sustirnierat, 

Is' qui in tenebris degebat. 

* Heort. Thorkelin's translation of this name seems to be the most plau- 
sible. It is also spelt * Heorot * and ' Heorute,' and might be translated Cotf 
qutui ^ delieutJ' It will be seen that while in the metrical translations * Her- 
tha' is used, the original ' Heort' is retained in the prose abstract 

* I have oonsidered 'beotne' (with Thoricelin) as irregularly formed from 
' biddan/ If ' aleh ' be formed, as I apprehend, from * alicjan/ coUocamt will 
be a closer translation than Thorkelin's «roqnf . 




Daet he dojora jehwam 
Dream jehyrde 
Hludne in healle. 
Desr wffis hearpan swej, 
Swutol sang scopes.' 
Ssejde se "Se cu*Se 
Frumsceaft fira 
Feorran reccan. 
Cwae? "JSaet se Almihti^a 
EorSan ' we . • • 
Wlite beorhtne wanj 
Swa wflBter bebuje?. 
Gesette sije-hre-Bij 
Sunnan and monan, 
Leoman to leohte 
Landbuendum ; 
And ^efrsetwade 
Foldan sceatas 
Leomum and leafum ; 
Lif eac ^esceop 
Cynna jehwylcum 
Dara "Se cwice hwyrfa'5. 
Swa "Sa dribt>guman 
Dreamum lyfdou 
OS -BBBt an onjan 
Fjrrene fremman 
Feond on belle ; 
Wees se jrimma jrost 
Grendel ' haten, 
M»re mearostapa. 

Quod die qudvis 
Gaudium audiret 
Sonorum in aulA. 
^Ibi erat ciihara vox, 
Suavis canlus Poeta. 
Dixit is qui mmt 
Orig^nem hofninum 
E longinquo narrare. 
Cecinit ut Omrtipotens 
Terram (creaverit?), 
Lucidi splendentem campum 
Quacunque aqua circuniflmt, 
Posuit glorid valens 
Solem ac lunam, 
RadHs lucem dare 
Terricolis ; 
Et exomavit 
Terra regiones 
Arboribus acfoliis ; 
Fitam porro indidit 
Generi cuilibet \tur. 

Eorum qui vivi (in terr&) versan- 
Ita nobiles 
In gaudiis degebant 

Donee unus incepti 
Scelera patrare 
Inimicus ex inferis ; 
Erat teter spirilus 
Grendel nominatus, 
Magnus limitum accola 

* * we.' Probably * weorhte * or 'worhte.' 

* Grendel is a name applied by Caedmon to Satan. 



Se "Se moras heold 
Fen and fasten 
Fifel cynnes *. 

Swa "Sa m»l ceare 
Maga Healfdenes 
Singala sea^. 
Ne mihte snotor baeleth 
Wean onwendan. 

W»s that jewin to swyB 
La^ and longsum. 
The on "Sa leode becom, 
Nyd-wracu m'^grim, 
Niht-bealwa msest. 
ThaBt iram ham jefiraepi 
Hijelaces ^Sejn 
God mid Geatum 
Grendles dseda. 
Se wses moncynnes 
Maegenes strenjest 
On ««m dajje 
Thysses lifes, 
^thele and eacen. 
Het him yS lidan 
Godne jejyrwan, 
Cweth he ju^J-cynin; 

Out deserta tenuii 
Paludes et recessus 
Populi quinque urbes habitatUis. 

in. [p. 38.] 

Sic tunc euro afupia 

Filium Halfdeni 

Ctmtinuo coquebat. 

Nihil valuit prudem heros 

Calamitatem avertere.' 

Erat helium istud mtnis durum 

Exitiale ac longum, 

Quodpopulo supervenit, 

Viokntia terribiliSf 

Noctumorum malorum maximum. 

Hoc dami resdvit 

Higelaci satrapa 

Fortis inter Gothos 

Grendelis acta. 

Is erat ex humano genere 

Robore prestantissimus 

Illo tenure . 

Hujus vita, 

Nobilis et (honore) auctus. 

Jussit sibi JluctAs fuivigatcrem 

Prastantem instrui. [ (navem) 

Dixit te belli arbitrum 

* Fifel cynnes. The five petty kingdoms of Denmark seem to be designated 
by this name. It might have been remarked above in the Song of the Tn^ 
veller, p. 14. 1. 85, that 'Fifel dore' probably meant the Danish frontier. 
' Fifel stream/ {Boetiut^ p.. 188. col. 8. L 33.) which Lye leaves uninterpreted, 
may mean the Danish sea. Alfred (if I understand the passage rightly) says 
that no fleet which ever navigated that *'ttream,^ was equal in mimber to the 
Grecian armament against Troy. 



Ofer swan rade 

Secean wolde 

Merne iSeoden 

Tha him wsss manna %earf. 

Thone si'Sfbt him 

Snotere ceorlas 

Lyt hwon loj^on 

Deah ^ him leof wtere. 

Hw^tton hije forne, 

Hael sceawedon. 

Hefde se joda 

Geata leoda 

Cempan secorene, 

Dara "Se he cenoste 

Fmdan mihte, 

Fijfiena sum. 

Sund-wudu sohte. 

Secj wisade 

Laju-crefti; mon 

Land jemyrcu. 

Fyrst for? jewat, 

Flota W8SS on ydiim. 

Bat under beorje. 

Beornas ^earwe 

On stefii ' sti^on ; 

Streamas wundon 

Sund wiV sande. 

Sec^as baeron 

On beann n^can 

Beorbte fratwe, 

Gu'S-searo jeatolic 

Trans cygni viam (mare) 

Quierere velle 

Ultistrem regemy (Hrodganim,) 

Ubi ei esset hominum opus. 

Istud navigium ei 

Prudentes assecla 

Cito imtruxerunty 

Cbn/um its carus esset* 

Exacuebant atdmos, 

Omen captabani, 

Uabuit (secum) bonus ilk 

E Gothica stirpe 

Herons selectos, 

Ex iis quos acerrimos 

Invenire posset, 

Quindecim aliquos. [bani. 

Maritimum lignum (navem)|>e/e- 

Rector monstrabat 

Pelagi gnarus vir 

Terra limites (v. signa). 

Princeps egressus est, 

Cymba erat in undis, 

Navigium sub rupibus. 

Comites prwnpti 

In proram ascendebamt ; 

Aquam sulcabant 

Marejuxta littus. 


In sinum (navis) vacuum 

Ludda gestamina, 

Arma bellica 

1 or ad mandatum — but shortly after ' wunden stefna' is evidently used for 
the curved prow. 

Guman utscufon 
Weras on wilsi'S. 
Wudu bundenne 
Gewat "Sa ofer wie^holm 
Flota fami; heals 
Fugle jelicost ; 
OS iSffit ymb an tid 
OSres dogores 
Wunden stefiia 
Gewaden haefde 
D»t & liiSende 
Land ^^sawon^ 
Brim-difu Uican, 
Beoijas steape, 
Side siB-nsessas* 
Da W8B8 sund liden 
' Eoletes »t ende. 
Danon up hraSe 
Wedera leode 
On wan; stijon, 
SsO'Wudu ssldon, 
Syrcan hrysedon^ 
Code "Sancedon 
D»s ISe him yS-lade 
EaSe wurdon. 
Tha of wealle ^eseah 
Weard Scyldingay 


'Homines deducebant 
Vifi in iter sponte suscq^tum* 
Lignum tortum 
Discessit tunc mper mare 
Fento propulsa, 
Navisprora spumante 
Axn simillipia ; 
Donee intra spatium 
Diei secunda 
(Ita) na:cig&rat 
Ut euntes 
Terram viderent, 
Maritimos clivos coruscare, 
Monies arduos, 
Magna promontoria. 
Tunc erat mare superatum 
• ••••• adjinenu 

\ Twnc alacriter 
Molica gens 
In terram ascendebat, 
Navem adligabantf 
Loricas quatiebant, 
Festes bellicas. 
Deo gratias agebant - 
Quod hoc eis via 
Prospera obt^isset. 
Tunc (eos) a muro adspexit 
Custos Scyldingjif 


1 Eoletes. This word does not occur in Lye. '£a* is water, and 'ealete ' 
may possibly have meant (as Thorkelin renders it) iftn^rif, or rather natHga- 



Se the holm-clifii 
Healdan scolde, 
Beran ofer bolcan 
Beorhte randas 
Fyrd-searo fiislicu. 
Hine fyrwyt bnec 
Mod jehyjdum 
Hwaet tha men wsBron. 
Gewat him "Sa to waroSe 
Wicje ridan 
Dejn Hrodjares, 
Drymmum cwehte 
Maejeii-wudu mundum ; 
MeBel wordum fhejn : 
" Hw»t syndon je 
Searo hiebbendra, 
Bymum werde, 
De "Sua brotne ceol 
Ofer lapi stmte 
Liedan cwomon 
HiiSer ofer hoknas ? 
Ic thses ende-saeta 
JB^wearde heold 
Daet on land Dena 
La'Sra nseni; 
Mid scip hei^e 

SceS^an ne meahte. 

* * * * 

Nsefre ic maran jeseah 
Eorla ofer eorSan 
Donne is eower sum, 
Secjon searwum. 
Hin 'Soet seld ;uma, 
Wsepnum jeweorSad, 

Is qui clivos littorales 

Gestare super terram 
Lucidos clypeo$ 
Exerdtum imtructum alacrem. 
Ilium cura distrahebat 
Ammo sollidto 
Quinam homines essent» 
' Acdnxit se ad exerdtum 
Per viam equitare 
Minister Hrodgari, 
Ante turmam concussU 
Poientia lignum manibus ; 
Facundis verbis locutus est : 
'' Quifuim estis ^ 
Arma gerentes, 
Loricis induti, 
Qui ita appulsam navim 
Super undarum isquor 
Hue super Jluctus If 
Ego hosce limites 
Liltoris custos teneo . 
Vt in terram Dam 
Hostile nihil 
Navali impetu 


« « « * 

Nunquam ego majorem vidi 

Ducem super terram 

Quam est vester, quicunque sii, 

Militari spede. 

Non rard est tile vir 

Armis drcumdatus, 



Nefipe him his wlite leoje ' 
JEdHc ansyn. 
Nu ic eower sceal 
Fnimcyn witan, 
Mr je fyr heonan 
Leas scea-wera» 
On land Dena 
FurSur feran. 
Nu je feor-buend 
Mere lidende 
Mine jehyra'S 
Anfealdne jeSoht. 
Ofost is selest 
To jecyBanne 
Hwanan eowre 
Cyme syndon." 

Him se yldesta 
Werodes wisa 
Word hold onieac» 
** We synt pimcymies 
Geata leode, 
And Higelaces 
Heor% jeneatas. 
WoBs myn fteder 
Folcum jecySed, 
^thele ordfruma, 
Gebad wintra worn 
^r he on we; hwurfe 
Gamol of jeaidum. 

Nunquam gus pukra potest fdl- 

Eximia fades* [jkre 

Nunc ego vestram cupio 

Originem noscere, 

Antequam procul hiiic 

Sinam speaUatores 

In terram Danicam 

Ulterius progredi. 

Nunc vosperegrini 

Maris viaiores 

Meam audUe 

Simplicem sententiam. 

Celerrimum est potissimum 



(Hue) venistis" 

IV. {p. 40.} 

Illi senior 


Exercitus dux 

Orationis thesaurum reserabat* 

** Nos sumus ortu 

Gothica gens, 

Et Higelaci 

Familiares ministri. 

Erat pater meus 

Viris cognituSf 

Nobilis gentis auctor, 

Egtheow fiominatus. 

Vixit hiemes multos 

Antequam discederet 

Senex e terra* 

' literally " his good looks cannot belie him/ 



Hine jearwe ^eojian 

Witena wel hwylc 

Wide jeond eorSan. 

We "Burh holdne hi je 

Hlafbrd Sinne 

Sunu Healfdenes 

Secean cwomon^ 

Leod jebyr^ean. 

Wes ISu us lare na jod. 

Habba'S we to th»ni maeran 

Micel aerende 

Denipi frean. 

Ne Bceal %8Br dyme sum wesan, 

Daes ic wene "Su wa^t 

Gif hit is swa we so^ce 

Secean hyrdon, 

Dffit mid Scyldingum 

Scek^ ic nat hwylc 

Deogol dsed-hata 

Deorcum nihtum 

EaweS ISurh e^san 

UnculSne nilS 

HynSu and hrafyl. 

Ic «aes Hro-Bgar maej 

Durh rumne sefan 

Rsed jelaran 

Hu he frod * . • . jod 

Feond ofer-swydeth, 

Gyf him edwendan 

^fre scolde. 

Bealuwa bisiju 

Bot eft cuman. 

Eum facile recordabUur 

Sapient^ qums 

Lot i per terram. 

Nosjido ammo 

Daminum tuum 

Filium Healfdeni 

Qiiuesitum vemmus, 

Populum defensuri. 

Fuiiti nobis corgeciura vixaquus* 

Habemus nos cum principeXpxo) 

Magnum «egotium 

(Cum) Danorum rege. 

Non ibi occulium aliquid erit, 

Quoniam nupicor te scire 

Si ita sit tanquam nos sani 

Narrari audivimus, 

Quod contra Scyldingos 

Inimicus nesdo quis 

Occulta odia 

Tenebrosis noctibus 

Exercet per terrorem 

Insolilam viol&Uiam 

Vim ac rapinam* 

^0 Ale Hro^aro possum 

Per amnd cogitationes 

Consilium docere 

Quomodo is sapiens • . prudens 

Inimicum super et, 

Si revertatur 


Injuriam necesse est 

Uliio consequatur. 

* . . . probably 'and' is erased. 



And "Sa cear wylmas 
Ck>ljran wurSa'S. 
OSSe ^ asySVan 
EarfofS iSra^e 
Drea nj9 fola^, 
Benden ^ser wuna'S 
On heah stede 
Husa selest." 
Weard ma'Sdode 
Baer on wicje sset 
Ombeht unforbt. 
• JE^ hw8B"Bres sceal 
Scearp scyldwi^a 
Gescad witan 
Worda and worca 
Se & wd 'SenceS. 
*' Ic "BaBt jehyre 
Biet "Sis 18 hold weorod 
Frean Scyldinga. 
Gewita'S forS beran 
Waepen and jewsedu. 
Ic eow wisije, 
Swilc ic maju-'Sejnas 
Mine hate, 
Wi-B feonda jehwone 
Flotan eoweme 
Niw tyrwydne 

Et tunc cum asius 


Ex quo 

Dura sorte 

Pcmam nequitia aohky 

Dum numeat 

In alio sUu 


Cusios locutus est 

Qui in vid sedebai 

Mimsier impavidus. 

Quaquaversus debet 

Jeer bellator 

Prudenter exphrare 

Verba et qctiones 

Qui bene (rem) perpendit. 

** jE^o id audio 

Quod hie est arnica cokors 

Regi Scjfldingo. 

Progressi efferte 

Arma et apparatum (bellicum). 


Tanquam condves 


Contra imndcum quemxis 

Navem vestram 

Nuperpice obductam 

' Here and elsewhere the usage of advert» and particles is not veiy intelli- 
gible, perhaps not always accurate. In these cases I have endeavoured to 
give as nearly as I could what I apprehend to be the general sense of the 


< I know not whether this and the next four Une^ are to be re^ed as the 
sententious observation of ihc author, or as the oommenoement of the wanU 
er*s speech 



Nacan on saode 
Arum healdan, 
OiSiSsteft byre8 
Ofer laju streamas 
Leofiie mannan, 
Wudu wunden-bals 
To weder mearce. 

Facuam ad littus 

Rends appellere, (v. tit iuio coUo^ 

Donee rursusftrat [care) 

Super pelagi undas 

Caros homines, 

Lignum torti colli 

Ad limiies JEolicos. 

Strset wes stan-fah, 
Sti; wisode 
Gumum mt jpAsx^. 
Gu'S byme scan, 
Heard, hand locen ; 
Hrin; ii'en scir 
Sonj in searwum, 
Da he to sele furSum 
In hyra jryre jeatwum 
Gan^an cwomon. 
Setton semethe 
Side Bcyldas, 
Rondas re^hearde, 
Wi"? iSaes recedes weal : 
Bujon ISa to bence, 
Byraan hrin^don 
Gu«-Bea^o gumena, 
Garas stodon 
Ssemanna searo 
Samod et gte^ere, 
^so-holt u£eui jne; 
Wses se iren "Sreat 
WsBpnum jewurSad ^ 

[p. 41,1. 11.] 

Semita erai lapidibus constraia, 

Via itidicaia 

Viris simul (euntibus). 

Belli loricafulsit 

Dura, manu conficia ; 

Annulusferri spletididus 

Sonuit in armis, 

Dum ad autam propius 

In bellicis omamentis 

Eundo accedebanU 

Posuere und 

Latos clypeos. 

Scuta pluvid (telorum) dura. 

Ad auUeparietem : 

IncurvabatU se ad sedilia, 

Loricas concusserufU 

Bellica hominum ornamenta. 

Tela stabant 

Naularum gestamina 

Und coUecta, 

Fraxinum super glaucam 

{Imposita) erai chalybis noxa 

In telis conqncua* 

^ Waes, &c. or erat chalybea acia in teiisfobrkata. 



Da '8«r wlonc hasleS 
Oret mecjas 
^fter hseleSum firaepi 
'* Hwanon ferigea-B 
Gefette ' scjfldas, 
Greece syrcan 
And jrim helmas, 
Heresceafta heap ? 
Ic eom Hro^gares 
Ar and ombiht; 
Ne seah ic eliSeodije 
Dus manije men 

Wen ic "Jtet je for wlenco, 
Nalles for wnsc^si'Sum, 
Ac for bije ^rymmum 
Hrothgar sohton." 
Him ISa ellen-rof 
Andswarode wlanc . 
Word sefter spnec 
Heard under helme. 
** We synt Hijelaces 
Beod ^eneatas*. 
Beowulf is min nama. 
Wille ic asecjan 
Sunu Healfdenes 
Menim "Seodne 
Min erende 

Ibi tunc tnr intrepidm 

Heroes sodas 

De viris (seipsis ?) inierrogavit 

'' Undenam apportastis 

• •••«• chfpeoSf 

Glaucas loricas 

Ac torvas galecUf 

Telorum multitudinem ? ^ 

Ego sum Hrothgari 

Nuncius ac minister; 

Nunquam vidi exteros 

Tot viros 

Magis superbientes. 

Novi vos neque ob ihsolentiam, 

Neque ob vindictamf 

Sed ob gravia negotia 

Hrothgarum quarere.^* 

Eum tunc Heros 

Excepit intrqndus 

JEoUciE gentis ; 

Ferbum retuUt 

Fortis sub galed* 

'^ Nos sumus Higelaco 

Fide adsfricti. 

Beomilfest mihi nomen. 

Volo exponere 

Filio Healfdeni 

Illustri domino 

Meum negotium 

* Geibtte. The sense of this word is obscure. ' Fetian * signifies adducert^ 
acehre ; and ^ feV a vessel. It may mean congregatoi clypeo$, or clypeos quasi 
ad voiis inttar corpta obtegentes; but I confess that neither of these senses ap- 
pears satisfoctory. 



Aldre 'Sinum 
Gif he us geunnan wile 
Daet we hine swa ^odne 
Gietan mohton/' 
WuUjar maSelode 
Bset W8es Wendla leod. 
Wees his mod-sefa 
Mane^m jecySed 
Wij and wisdom. 
'* Ic "Bies vnne Deni^a 
Frean Scyldinja 
Frinan wille 
Beaja bryttan^ 
Swa %u. beoa eart 
Deoden mserne 
Ymb 'Sinne silS. 
And 'Se "Sa andsware 
Mdre -gdcy^San 
De me se joda 
Apfan ^SenceS." 
Hwearf "Sa hrsedlice 
Deer Hro'Sjar sost 
Eald and unhar^ 
' Mid his eorla jedriht 
. Eode elien-rof 
De he for eaxlum ^^tod 
Denija frean. 
Cu& he dujuiSe iSeaw. 


*' WiBs "Bu, HroiSjary hal : 
Ic eom 
Mas; and ma^o-^Se^n. 
Habbe ic m»rSa fela 

' R^ vestro 
Si permUtere velit 
Ut nas eum bemvole 
. Widfgar locutus est 
Qui erat egente Fendelicd. 
Erat prudentta ejus 
MuHU cogfdta 
Virtus ac sapientia. 
'^ J^o igitur amicum Danorum 
Regem Scyldingam 
AnmUorum largitoremy 
Quanam sit petiiio tua 
Regi illustri 
De itinere tuo* 
Ac tibi respansum 
Citd referam 
Quod mihi benevoltu iUe 
Reddere digneturJ^ 
RecepU se extemplo 
Eo quo sedebat Hrodgarus 
Senex et capittis desiituhis. 
Cum ducum comitatu* 
Ibat hetos 

Donee ad latus staret 
Damd regjis. 
Novii iUefddem ndtnsirum- 

[p. 43, 1. 6.] 

Salvus esiOf Ilrodgare : 
1^0 sum Higelaci 
Cognatus ac satrapa. 
Ego splendida miilta 



On^uimen on jeo^oSe. 
Me weard Grendles ^iii; 
On minre eSel-tyrf 
Undyrae cuiS. 
SecpX seli^Send 
Boot iS«B sele stande, 
Reced aelesta, 
Idd and unnyt, 
Sj^iSan «fen leoht 
Under heofones liador 
Beholen weorSed. 
Da me ^t ^elserdon 
Leode mine 
Da selestan 
Snotere ceorkls, 
Deoden HroS^r, 
Deet ic % sohte : 
ForSan hie msjenes cneft 
Mine (ni^n ; 
Selfe ofisrsawon 
Daic of searwum cwom 
Fah from feondum ; 
Dter ic fife jeband 
Y%de Eotene cyn 

And on y^um alo;: 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

And nu wi'S Grendel sceal 

Wi%%am aglascan 
Ana ^ehejan 

Dinj with Dyrse. 

# # # * 
Haebbe ic eac jeabsod 


For his won hyduiu 

W«pna ne r«cceB. - 


Miki erat Grendelis injuria 


Palam cogmta. 

Jiunt fuwigat.,res 

Quod luec aula stetf 

Habitatio pulcerrimaf 

riris quibums 

Vacua et imUilis, 

Ex quo vespertina lux 

Sub cctli conoexo 

Abscondita tit* 

Turn me admonuerunt 

Populares mei 


Sagaces viri. 

Rex HrodgarCf 

UH te quarerem': 

Quoniam illi roboris pollentiam 

Meam noverant ; 

Ipri viderant 

Quum e certamine redirtm^ 

Discolor ab ifdmicis; 

Ubi ego quinque constrinxi 

Facili Jutis editos 

Et in undis ocddi : 
« * * ♦ 
Et nunc cum Grendele 

Cum illo scelesto 

Solus inibo 

Certarnen cum Thyrso^ 

* * * * 
Audioi etiam 

Quod infandus ille 

Pro cute squaUdi 

Tela mhilifacit. 



tc %8et 'Sonne forhic^e, 
(Swa me Hijelac sie 
Min mondrihten 
Modes bli'Se) 
Biet ic sweord bere 
OS-Se sidne scyld 
Geolo-rand to yi'Se. 
And ic mid prape sceal 
Fon wi-B feonde. 
And ymb feorh sacan 
La% wis lalSum ; 
Daer * jelyfan sceal 
Dryhtnes dome 

Se "Se bine dea'S nimeS. 

* * * « 

Gifmecdea«nimeS, . 
ByreS blodi; wiel, 
Byrjean '8enceB, 
EceS an^en^a 
Mearca'S morhopu. 
Nq "Su ymb mines ne ^Searft 
Idces foerme 
Len; soipan. 
Onsend Higelace 
(Gif mec hild nime) 
Beadu-scruda betst 
D»t mine breost were'S, 
Hras^la select, 
Det is hrssdlan laf 
Welandes jeweorc. 
Geth awyrd swa hio seel. 

Eo igiiur illud respuop 

(Ita mihi Higelactufit 

Domimu mens 

Animi propUitis) 

Ut ensemgeram 

AtU latum clypeum {jntgnam. 

Flavutn {splendidum) orbem in 

jitque ego fnanuscorreptume{9o]k) 

Agam contra hostem, 

Ac pro vita decertabo 

Savus cum uffoo ; 

Ibi decemet 

Dei judicium 

Utrum mors abstulerit* ^ 

* * * * 

Si me mors auferaty 

Sepelito crueniatum corpus^ 

Tumulare memento^ 

Augeat viator (sc.tumulum meum) 

Sine lacrymis. 

Imignite campum dreulo. • 

'Non tu in mei necesseesi 

Cadaveris nanOs (p. epulis funt^ 

Diu lugere. [bribua mds) 

Mitte Higelaco 

{Si me bellum auferat) 

Apparatvm Martium optimum 

Quod pectus meum gerit, 

Gesiamen prastantissinwm. 

Id est e spoliis conservatum 

fVelandi opus. 

Acddat quid (fatum) veUt» 

' jelyfan is literally permittere, I doubt my construction of ibc wliole 



VIL £p. 44, 1. 16.] 

Fill oft jebeotedoD 
Beore dnincne 
Oferealo waoje 
Oret miBCjas, 
D»t hie in beor-sde 
Bidan woldon 
Grendles guiSe 
Mid gryrum ecja. 
Don w«8 %eos medo*heal 
On morgen tid 
Driht-sele dfeor fah, 
Don dee; Uxte, 
Eal benc-ISeln 
Blode bestymed, 
Heall heora dreore. 
Ahte ic holdra "Sy ]m$ 
Deorre dupi^ 
De "Sa dea'S foraam. 
Site nu to symle. 
And on sele-meoto 
Si2e-hreV secgBLp 
Swa %in sefa bwette. 

And hyne ymb monij 
Sndlic 8»-rinc 
Sele reste j^ebeah. 
Nasni; heora -Sohte 
D»t he ^noo scolde 
Eft earS luftin 

Sape ndnati sunt 

Cerevuio ebrii 

In ^mpotio 

Heroes sotiif 

Uti in auldfeMvA 

Exspeciare vellent 

Grendelis impetum 

SavA acie (armati). 

Turn erat hac hydromelU aula 

Tempore matutino 

Regia sedes cruot e tincta^ 

Quum dies illuceretf 

Omnia scamna 

Sanguine perfusa, 

let] Aula illorum cade. 

Possedifortium eo minut 

Coras virtutes 

Quos Mors abstulit. 

Assideas nunc mensa, 

Et in aula epularum 

Heros fortUudine illustris, 

Prout animus inducat 

(v. Quo aninmm acuas). 


X. ^[p. 45, 1. «6.] 

Ac circa eumfrequens 
Alacer nauta 
Quietis sedem occupavit. 
Nmo eorum exspedavit 
Quod indefuiurus esset 
Jierum terram diteetam 




Folce ©"S^Se freoburh 
Daer be afieded wns. 
Ac hie heefdoD jefrunen 
D»t hie er to fela rnides 
In 'Sffim winsele 
W»l-dea* fornam 
Deni^ea leode. 

Vnquam quttreret 
Gentem aut urbem 
In qu& educatm euH. 
Atqui resciverant 
Quod oUm ntnUs muUos 
In e& symporii aul& 
FioUnta mors abshUtrei 
Danica gentis. 

XL [p. 46,1. 5.] 

Da com on more 
Under mist hleo8um 
Grendel ^onjan. 
Codes yrre b»r, 
Mynte se man-sca'Sa 
Manna cynnes 
Sumne besyrwan 
In sele ISam bean. 
Wod under wolcnum 
To '8«8 *Se he win-reced 
Gold-sele ^umena 
Gearwost wisse 
Fettum fabne ; 
Ne wees ^t forma siiS 
Diet he HroVjc^res 
Ham jesobte. 
Nssfre be on aidor dajum 
Mr ne si'SiSan 
Heardran b»le 
Heal-^Sejnes fand. 
Com "Sa to recede 
Rinc silSian 
Dreamum bedaeled, 

Turn venit in camjmm 
Sub nebularum mimiibus 
Grendel gradiens. 
Dei iramferebat, 
Credebat hominum inmicus 
Generis kumani 
Aliquem se illaqueare 
In auld ea excelsA. 
Ibat sub nubibus 
Donee odes gaudii 
Auratam aulam hondnum 
In promptu aspicerit 
Crateribus splendidum ; 
Non erat id primum tempus 
Quod ille Hrodgari 
Domum quasiverat. 
munquam ille antiquitus 
Neque prius neque posiea 
Fortiores duces 
Aula thanos invenit. 
Venit tunc adpalatium 
Homo gradiens 
Gaudio orbatus, 



Duni sona on am 

Fyr-bendum imt 

Sy'S^D he hire folmuoi^ . 

Onbread «a bealo-hydi^ 

Da he bol^en waes, 

Recedes mulian. 

Ra*Se efter "Son 

On fapie flor • 

Feond treddode, 

Eode yrre mod, 

Him of eagumstod 

Li^je jeiicoBt 
Leoht mifiejer. 

Geseah he in> recede 

Rinca manije 
Swefan sibbe-jedriht, 
Samod mi gsedere 
Majo-rinca heap. 
Da his mod ahloj;, 
Mynte %et he gedtelde 
iEr '80D das; cwome 
Atol ajiffica 
Anra ^ehwilces 
Lif wiiS lice ; 
Da him alumpen wns 
Wist-fylle wenne, 
Wes wyrd ISajen 
D»t lie ma moste 
Manna cynnes 
Dic^ean ofer 15a niht. 

In ostium did incurrit 
Mepaguli$ fnunitum 
man Exinde ilk numibus . . . 
Disrupit tunc nutleoolus, 
Quum iratus esset 
Facili exinde 

Super lucidum pavimerUum 
Hostis incesrit, 
Ibat incenms ammo, 
Illi ex oculis stetit 
FlamnuB simllimum 

Fidit in palatio 
Homines multos 

Domdre agmen sodum, 

Simul un& 

O^natorum multitudfnem. 

Turn animus efus gaudebat, 

Sperabat dissodare 

Antequam dies adesset 

Fadus latro 


Fitam a eorpore ; 

Tunc illi accidit 

Epularum spes, 

Fortunam (suam) eoprovectam esse 

Quod plures posset 

Humani generis 

Forare e& nocte. 

* Possibly we should read ^on innan' introrsum, 

H 2 



Dryd-swjrB beheoM 
Mss^ Hijelaces 
Hu se man 8ca%a 
Under fier-gripum 
Gefiiran wolde. 
Ne "Sa se ajlasca 
Yldan ^hte, 
Ac he ^efenj^ 
Hra%e forman si%e 
Slependne rinc« 
Slat unwearnum, 
Bat banlocan, 
Blod edrum dranc 
Syn-snasdum swealh 
Sona hefde 
Eal jefeormod 
Fet and folma. 
Forth near et-stop, 
Nam iSa mid handa 
He ^elSihti^ne 
Rinc on neste : 
Rffihte on^ean, 
Feond mid foime 
He onfen; hrathe 
Inwit iSancum 
And wiiS earn jessst* 
Sona %8et onfunde 
Fyrena' hyrde 
Daet he ne mette 
Middan ^eardes 

Animostu expectabai 

Cognatus Higelaci 

Quomodo inimicus koffuman 

Sub complexu stibito 

Se haberet. 

Nihil jam illefadut 

Morandum duxii, 

Veriim ceperat 

FaciU olim / 

Dormientes viros,^ 

Occiderat ex improviio, 

Momarderat ossium clausira, 

Sanguinem vem$ exsuxerai 

Frustim deglutiverat 


E vitd destituto (corpore) 

Ommno epulatus erai 

Pedes nianusque. 

Propius accesdtj 

xlrripuit tunc manibm 

Non inopinantem 

Firum in cubicuh : 

Porrexii se exadverso,{Beowulfut) 

Hoitem manu 

Arripuit celeriter 

Fraude pracog}tatA 

Ft in pavimentum dgedt, 

Mox id incenit 

SceUrum cusios 

Quod non expertusfuerai 

MedicB terra 

This appears a harsh figure/ but 1 translate it literally. 



EorSan sceatta 
On elran men 
Mund-pipe maran. 
He on mode wearS 
Forht on ferhiSe 
No "Sy 8?r fram meahte. 
Hyje w»8 him 
Hin fus wolde 
On heolster fieon, 
Secan deofla jednej. 
Ne wiBs his drohUxS th»r 
Swylce he on ealder dapim 
JEr gemette. 
Gemunde tha se goda 
Mae; Hijelace» • 
iEfen spnece. « 
Uplan; astod. 
And him fbste wi^fen;» 
Fmpras burston. 
Eoten wses utweard. 
Eorl furSur stop, 
Mynte se mera 
Hwsr he meahte 
Swa widre ^ewindan 
And on we; thanon 
Fleon on fen hopu. 
Wiste his finjra ^eweald 
On prames p-apum 
Th«t he waes jeocor. 
Si's %8et se hearm-scatha 
Tha to Heorute aieah. 
Dryht-sele dynede : 
Denum eailum wearth 

In orbh regionibus ' 
Falidiores homines 
Man&s complexu acriores. 
Ille in ammo erat 
Territus inpectore 
Nequaquam effugerepc^uit. 
Curafuii illi 
Praceps vellei 
In tenebras/ugere, 
Quarere damonum sedem. 
Nonfuit gus conversatio ibi 
Qualem antiquities 
Unquam incenerat. 
Meminit tuncfortis ille 
Socius Higelaci 
Vespertim sermonis. 
Erectus stelit, 
Et earn validi arripuit* 
Digiti defecerunt* 
Jutus evasit» 
Dux instabat, 
Observabat heros 
Qud po^it (Grendel) 
Locorum se recipere 
Et e vid exinde 
Fugere inpaludis latebras. 
Ostendebat ejus digitarum vis 
In bellico complexu 
Quod ille erat liolentior. 
Ex quo exitialis iste 
Tunc ad Heorot accesserat. 
Regia aula strepuit: 
Dams omnibus erat 



Ceaster buenduin 
Cenra ^^hwylcum 
Eorlum ealw^ scerwen. 
Yrre wseron b^^ 
ReSe ren-wearSas. 
Reced hlynsode, 
Dst wes wundor micel 
Daet se winsele 
Wii^hfl&fde hea^ deorum, 
Dast he on brusan ne feci 
FflBjer fold-bold. 
Ac iSe lies foste wara 
lonan and utan 
Iren bendum 
Searo 'Soncum beamiiSod. 
Der fram sylle abeax 
Medu-benc monij 
(Mine ^efraei^e) 
Golde jerejnad 
Beer tha jranian wunnon. 
Bass ne wendon aer 
Witan Scyldinja 
Daet hit amid jemete 
Manna aeni; 
Hetlic and ban-faj 
Tobrecan meahte, 
Listrum tolucan, 
NymlSe lijes faelSm 

Civitatem imoleniibiu 
Hominibus sitigulis 
Ducibus cerevmum ablatum. 
Irati erant ambo 
Feroces agilesque. 
Jula personuit, 
Erat illud mirum masimi 
Restiterit magnis/eris, 
Jdeo ut non in iemtm mere 
Fulcra regjums aula* 
Quin ea obfimuUa erat 
Intra et extra 
Ferreis repaguUs 
SoUrti ingenio fabricata, 
Ibi efulcimento inclmtvU 
Hydramelis tedes multa 
{Quod audiviy 
Auro oblita 

Qud turn immidtid cptcnml. 
Id non exspectabant antea 
Optimates Scyldingorum 
Quod earn in congressu 
Homnum qui^fnam 
Inimicus et lethiferus 
Disrumpere posset, 
MachifuUiottibus divellere, 
Nisijlamma vis 

> My translation here is probably incorrect The only sense it will bear 
iSy that the beer-vessels in the hall were destroyed or overturned, and their 
contents spilled in the contest — a circumstance which would hardly be men- 
tioned by a poet however rude. 



Swal^e on sw«.iSiile. 
> Swej upasta;» 
Niwe jeneahhe. 

Nord-Denum stod 
Atelic ejesa 
Anra jehwUcum 
9ara the of wealle 
Wop jehyrdoiiy 
Giyre kolSjalan 
Godes andsacan 
Sijeleasne sao;» 
Sar wunijean 
Helle bsefton ; 
Heold bine to fseste 
Se "Se manna wees 
Mae^ene strei^est 
On "Sflem daege 
IMsses lyfes. 

La%lic sar ^ebed 
Atol tejUecay 
Him on eazle wearS 
Syndohl sweotol, 
Seonowe onsprunjoni 
Byrston ban-locan. 
Beowulfe wearB 
GulSbreS gyfeBe. 
Scolde Grendel ^nan 

Decoraret subito. 

Sonus ascendit* 

De novo corripuiu {se* Beomulfus 

Dams Borealibui erai 

Eorum qui e muro 
Ejulatum audiverunt, 
Horridum cantusn 
Dei inimico (edi^n) 
Triuvy^hi expers nulos, 
Graviter ejuhre 
Stygium capiioum; 
Tenuit eum mnris arcti 
Ctai homhsum erat 
Robore prastaniissimm 
In illis diebus 
Hujus viia^ 

XII. [p. 48, 1. 16.] 

Tetrum xndnus experiebatur 
Fasdus hostiSf 
Ei in kumero erat 
Cicatrix manifesta, 
Nervi dissiliebani, 
Disruptasunt ossium eommitturm. 
Beowulf erat 
Victoria coneessa. 
Gestiebat Grendel inde 

» or. Vox Uerum correpii («. GrendeUs\ or, lUrum abund^. The passage 
is obscure. 



Feorb seoc fleon 
Under fen hleolSa 
Secean winleas wic. 
Wiste "Be geoii[ior 
BoBt his aldres wses 
Ende 'ssgoajjesif 
Dogera dsB^-rim. 

Animi atger avfugtrt 

Sub paludes rmmtium 

Qu4erere illatabilem domum, 

Navit certiits 

Quod sibi vita 

linis ingrueret, 

Dierum numerus (ezpletus). 

XVII. [p. 50, subjine.] 

Leo% W898 asungen 
Gleomannes jy^. 
Gamen eft astah, 
Beorbtaede benc-swej, 
Byrelas seldon 
Win of wunder fatum. 
Da cwom Weal%eo forB, 
Gan under ^Idnum bea^e, 
£>ar "Sa jodan 
Twejen sston 
Subter ^eftederan. 
Da jyt wiea hiera 
Sib 89t 2»derey 
JEjhwylc o%ruin trywe. 
Swylc iSefir Hunferd 
Dyle aet fotum saet 
Frcan Scyldbja- 
Gehwylc hiora 
His ferhiSc treowde, 
Det he haefde mod micel 
Deah iSe he bis majum 
Mflsre arftest 
JEt ecja ^elc^um. 
SprsBC 9a 
Ides Scyldinja, 

Carmen decaniatum/uerat 


Laiitia max increbuit, 

Emicuit sedilium vox, 

Pocittatore$ obtulere ^ ' 

Finum e spedom crateribu»* 

Turn egressa est WeaUheoa^ 

Incedebat sub aureis omainentis. 

Qui boni 

Duo sedebant 


Adkuc erat eis 

Concordia inter se, 

InvicemJideUbus. ' 

Simul ibi Hunferd 

Orator ad pedes sedebai 

Regis Scyldir^. 

Unusquisque eorum 

Animum ejus novit, 

Quod habuerit qnritum elatum 

Etsi sociis 

Nunquam prasidiojirmo est 

In acierum ludo* 

Turn locuta est 

Uxor Scyldingi. 



'' Onfoh %i88Uin kHe, 
Freo drihten min, 
Sinces brytta, 
Du on selum waes 
Gold-wine jumena. 
And to Geatum kpmc 
Mildum wordum. 
Swa sceal man don. 
Beo wiV Greatas gised 
Geofena ^emyndi; 
Nean and feorran. 
fKi nu hafasty 
He man sasjde, 
Deet 1$u for suna wolde 
Hereric hebban. 
Heorotis jefbisod 
Beah-sele beorhta* 
Bruc iSenden "Su mote 
Manijra roeda. 
And %inum ma^um l»f 
Folc and rice ; 
Bonne %u forS scyle 
MetoS sceaft seon. 
Ic minne can 
Glsdne Hro«ulf» 
But he %a jeo^olSe wile 
Arum bealdan, 
G,f «u «nr «omie he, 
Wine Scyldinja ! 
Worold oflaetest*' 
Hwearf i$a bi bence 
Ber byre byre vneroa, 
HreCric and HroiJmundi 
And hcrieSa beam 

** Accipe hoc pocultmiy 
Care Domine mi, 
Auri largitor, 
Tu in aulA sis 
lAberalis hominibus, 
Et Gothos adloquert 
Propitio sermone* 
Ita debet homofacere. 
Sis erga Gothos largus 
Donorum memor 
Procul ac prope. 
Nunc habes, 
(Prout) mihi referunt. 
Quern tu infilii (loco) velis 
Fictorem habere. 
* Hertha est liberata, 
ArmiUarum sedes pulcra* 
Fruere dum potueris 
Multis opibus, 
Et tuis cognatis relinquas 
Populumac ri^iim(curandum); 
Quum tu hinc abeas 
Creatorem visurus. 
Ego meum novi 
Bonum Hrothulfum, 
Quod illejuventutem velit 
Prasidio tueri, 
Si tuprius quamille, 
XJare Scyldinga ! 
Terram derelinquas.^* 
Ibat tuncjuxta scamna 
Quajilii gus erant, 
Hrethric et Hrothmund, 
Et nobilium nati 



Giogo^ »t jsedere* 
Dser 86 "godn, sset 
Beowulf Geata 
Be «®m 2ebro«rum tw»m. 


*^ Ic "Se ^s lean ^eman. 
Hafast "Su ^efered, 
Det iSe feor and neah 
Ealne wide ferh'S 
Weras ehtijad. 
Efne swa side 
Swa S89 bebujeV 
Windejeard weallas.** 

Juvenes und. 
Ibi bonus sedebai 
Beowulf Gothus 
Juxtafratres duo$* 

[p. 32, 1. 9.] 

" Tibi hanc mercedem affero* 
Tu id conseoitus es, 
Ut te longi latique 
Omnes elatioris anifni 
Viri pradicent. 
Fel ubicunque 
Oceanus circundaf 
Vento obvia praeipdia.^* 

XX- [p. 53,1-14.] 

HroSjar malSelode 

Helm Scyldinja, 

*^ Ne frin %u «fter saelum, 

Sorh 18 jeniwod 

Deni^ea leodum. 

Deed is ^scbere 


Yldre bro^r, 

Min runwita 

And min nedbora 

Eaxl ^estealla/* 

Hrotkgar locifiuB est 

Rex Scyldinga, 

** Ne roges de sabUe, 

Luctus renovatus est 

Danorum genti. 

Mortuus eht Mscherus 


Frater natu major, 

ConsiUarius meus 

Ac minister 

Lateris comes.^ 

[p. 53, 1. 27.] 

Hie dyjel lond 
WarijeaiJ wulf hleoSu 
Windi^e naessas 

Hie tenebrosam sedem 
Custodii lupinos montes 
Ventosa promontoria 



* Frecne fen-^elad 
Ber fyr^en stream 
Under nsessa jeniiSu 
NiiSer ^ewiteS 
Flod under foldan ; 
Nis "Set feor heonan 
Mil ^emearces^ 
DaBt 86 mere standeS ; 
Ofer "Ssm honpaK 
Hrinde bearwas, 
Wudu wyrtum feat 
TVseter ofer helmalS. 
Bnr mse; nihta jewhem 
Ni'S-wundor seon 
Fyr on flode. 

'' Nu is se rsd ^dan; 
Eft »t "Be anum. 
Ear%-ptne const 
Frecne stowe 
Der %u findan mibt 
Fda sinnigne secj. 
Sec jif "Bu dyrre ; 
Ic iSe %a fehiSe 
Feo leani^e 
Bald jestreonum 
Swa ic er dyde 
Wundun ^olde 
Gyf *u of wej cymest." 

Horridas paludes 

UU igneumflvmen 

Subter promontorii cUvos 

Irtfra ruit . 

Fluvius mb terrd ; 

Non est ilk (locus) procul abhine 

Mille passuunij 

Ubi palus sita est ; 

Super earn pendent 

Antiqua (corticosa) nemora, 

Sylva radicibusjirma 

Aquam obtegit» 

Ibi potest nocte qudvis 

Partentosum miraculum 

Ignis mperfluvium. 

(p. 54, 1. 10.] 

'' Nunc est sermo attinens 
Prqfecto ad te solum» 
Terra latebram nosti 
Horridam mansionem 
Cbid tu imenirepotes 
Multos nefandos homines. 
(I) pete si audeas; 
Igo tibipro hdcpugnd 
Mercedem rependam 
Antiquis gazis ^ 

Torto euro (<c. armillis) 
Modo tu ex itinere isto redeas. 


1 or» Ssnm unpentj if ' fenjelad ' be written for ' fengda^^/ (from ' fenjeP 



XXL [p. 54, 1.18.] 

Beowulf ma'6elode 
Beam ^jtheowes. 
'' Ne sor^a, snotor ^uma! 
Seire bi% sejhwsm 
DaBt he bis ireond wrece 
Oonne he fela mume. 
Ure sejhwhylc sceal 
£nde jebidan 
Worolde lifes, 
Wyrce se iSe mote 
Domes oer dea^ 
Daet biiS driht jumena 
^fter selest. 
Aris, rices weard, 
13tonhra%e ferani 
Grendles majan 
6an; sceawijan, 
Ic hit iSe jehate 
No he on helm losaiS 
Ne on foldan fieSm 
Ne on fyrgen holt 
Ne on jyfenes piind. 
Gan 'Saer he wille. 
Dis dojor "Su 
GeSyld hafa 
Weana jehwylces» 
Swa ic iSe wene to." 

Beowulf locuius est 

Natus JEcgtheowo. 

" Ne doleas, vir prudent ! 

Melius evenit unicuique 

Uti ilk amicum ulsdscatur 

Quern multum lugeat. 

Nostrum qtdsque debet 

Finem expectare 

Terrestris vitttp 

Operetur qui potest 

Judicium ante mortem 

Quod sit ah hominum Rege (se. 

Mortuis ^ \J^^ 

Postea optimum. 

Surge, regni custos, 

Foras confestim ito, 

Grendelis cognati 

Festigia indicato, 

Ego id tiki spondeo 

Non Hie in presidium aufugiet 

Neque in terra sinum 

Neque in ign^m nemus 

Neque in paludis abyssum. 

Fugiat quo velit. 

Hodie tu 


Mala quavis, 

Ita tibi spondeo " 

[p. 55, 1. 6.] 

Ofereode %a 
JEiSelinja beam 

Superabat tunc 
Nobilium soboles 



Steap stan-hli'So, 
* Stije nearwe, 
Enjean waiSas 
Uncu% jelad, 
Neowle naessasy 
Nicor-buaa fela. 
He feara sum 
Beforan jen^de 
Wisra manna 
Won; Bceawian ; 
OS "tet he fariRga 
Fyi^en beamas 
Ofisr harne stan 
HIeonian funde, 
Wynleasne wudu. 
Waster understod 
Dreori; and jedrefed, 
Denum eallum wses 
Winum Scyldin^a 
V/eorce on mode 
To 2«^Uanne| 
Bejne monepimi 
OncyS eorla -geHxwrnm, 
SyiSSan ^sceres 
On "Sam holmcfife 
Hafelan metton. 
Flod blode weot 
Folc to 8»2on 
Hatan heolire. 

Arduos saxorum cUvotp 
Semiid arcti, 
Afigu$to itinere 
Ignotam viam, 
Pradpiiia promontoria, 
Monstrorum damos muUat. 
Ille quatuor aliquos 
Pra se mint 
Pmdentes viras 
Uli viam indicareni; 
Donee ille subitd 
Sh/lvesiria robora 
Super canam rupem 
Impendere invenitp 
Injucundum nemius. 
Aqua subiusjacebat 
Lugubris et iurbidui. 
Danis omnibus was 
Amicis Styldingi 
Labor in ammo 
Thanis multis, 
Insolitus satrapa euique, 
Posiquam JEscheri 
In Uttoris anfractu 
Caput invenerunt* 
Flucius sar^uine astuabai 
Populo adqnciente 
Calido tabo. 

' The apposition so characteristic of Saxon poetiy would perhaps be better 
preserved by continuing the accusative. 

SetiiitcM otetofHp 
Anguitum iter. 


anglo-Aaxon poetrt. 

Hom^stundum song, 
Fuslic iiihton leod, 
FeSa eal ^esaet. 
Gesawon "Sa »fter watere 
Wyrm cynnes fela, 
Sellice saB-dracan 
Sund cunnian ; 
Swylce on naes hleoiSum 
Nicras tic^ean. 

Ccmua interim sofmeruni, 
Prompti pugnabat 'popuha, 
Aciem universam ifi^rujceruni. 
Fidebant tumjuxta undas 
Serpentes multos^ 
Mirabiles maris d^acones 
Littus cusiodire ; 
Pariter in promontorii elici$ 

[p. 55, 1. 25.] 

Ac 86 bwita helm 
Hafelan werede 
Se the mere jnmdas 
Menjan scolde^ 
Secan sund ^eblandi 
Since jeweorSad 
Befongen firea-wrasnum, 
Swa hyne fymda^um 
Worhte waepna smi^) 
Wundrum teode» 
Besette swynlicum 
Thaet hyne syS^an 
Ne brond ne beado luecas 
Bitan ne meahton. 
Ntes 'Saet ISonne msetost 
Mae^en fultuma 
Daet him on "Searfe lab 
Dyle HixySgares ; 
Wees iSaem hfl&fibHnece 
Hnindng nakna, 
Dst W898 anforan 
Eald jestreona. 

Et ille candidam gaUam 

Capiie gerebat 

Qui palvdiB abyno 


Teniaret aquor, 

Argento spUndidA 

Circumcinctm hricA, 

Quam itti antiquitiU 

Fabricaverat armorumfab^r, 


Omaverat aprorumfarmis 

Uti earn olim 

Neque ensis neque atdis teium 

Mordere posset. 

Non erai id turn mimmum 

rirtiiiis auxilinm 

Quod ei in opus {hocce) imposmt 

Orator Hrodgari; 

Fuit ensi manubriato 

Hrunting nomen, 

Qui fuit primus 

Veieris gaza. 



Ec; waes iren 

Ater tanum fab, 

Ahyrded bealSo swate. 

Nsefre hit »t hilde ne swac 

Manna aenipim 

Bara ISe hit mid munchim be- 

Se *Se gryre si^s 
Oegan dorstei 
Folc Htede fara. 
Ntes tet forma silS 
Boot hit ellen weorc 
^fiian scolde. 

jicies eratferrea^ 

Feneno vegetabili tincta, 

Indurata poterUi liquere. 

Nunquam ea in bellofefellit 

Firum uUum 

Eorvm qui earn manUms geut' 

Qui terribiles via$ (belli) 
Ire aunu eti, 
Castrense iter. 

Non erat illudprimum tempu» 
Quo illud heroicum opus 
Patrare deberet. 

XXIl. [p. 56, L 14.] 

Beowulf ma'Selode 
Beam JEjtheowes : 
'' GeSenc nu se mmra 
Ma^a HeaUdenes 
Snottra fennel, 
Nu ic eom si'Ses fiis, 
Gold-wine ^umcna, 
Hw89t wit jeospnecon ; 
Gif icet^Searfe 
Binre scolde 
Aldre linnan, 
But "Su me awore 
ForS ^ewitenum 
On fiodder stsele, 
W»8 'Su mundbora 
Minum majo "Qe^num 
Hond jesellumi 

Beowulf loquebatur 

Filius JEgtheowi : 

** Reminiscere nunc ittmtrit 

Nate Healfdano 

Prudens rex, 

Quumjam sim itineri acdnctus, 

Liberalis amice hondnum, 

Quod verbis egimus ; 

(Scilicet) modo ad necessitaiem 


Fita destitutusfuerOf 

Quod tu mihi esses 


In patris loco. 

Sis tu protector 

Meorum commHitonum 

Menu iodatomm, 

Gif mec hild nime. 
Swylce "Su ISa madmas 
De "Su me seldest, 
HroCgare leofa ! 


Si me bellum abiiuieriim 
Porro tu gazas 
Qua$ mihi dedM, 
Hrodgare amice ! 

Higelace onsend. Higelaco mittas. 

Mse^.'ScHme on^em jold onptan Potest ex eo auro inteliigere 

Geata dryhten 

Geseon sunu hnedles 

Donne he on Vet sine stanvB 

Boot ic jumcystum 

Godne funde 

Bea^a biyttan* 

' Breac "Son moste 

And %u HunferS last 

Ealde lafe, 

Wraetlic waej-sweord, 

Wid-cu%ne man 

Heard-ec; habban. 

Ic me mid Hruntinge 

Dom jewyrce, 

OSiSe mec dea% niiQeS." 

JEhsr tem worduro 

Weder«Geata leod 

Efste mid elne 

Nalas andsware . 

Bidan wolde. 

Brim wylm onfen; 

Hilde rince. 

Gothorum rex 

Videre iUico 

Quum istud argentum ifi^exerit 

Quod ego thesauris 

lAberaUm invenerim 

^nmdorum largUorem* 

Et tu Hunferdo concedas 
Antiquum xiijMjXMyy 
Benefabricatum emem» 
Praclaro homitd 
Acie durum habendum. 
E^o mihi cum Hruntingo 
Judicium ex$equar, 
Aut me mors auferet.^* 
Post hoc verba . 
Molo-Gothus dux 
Alacer virtute 
Nullum responsum 
Exspeetare xoluit. 
Fluctus spumans excepit 
Mavortium virum. 

• The constmction of this line is very obscure. It might peihape be ren- 
dered Fmers dum potsu, if the context would admit of such an interpro- 



Fyr leoht ^eseah 
' Blacne leoman 
Beoiiite scinan. 

Gcaeah Sa on searwum 
Si^e-ead bil, 
Eald sweord Eotenisc 
Ecjum «yhtij, 
Wijena sweord. 
Mynd "SaBt wsepna-cyst ; 
Buton hit waes maere 
Bon «ni; mon o'Ser 
To beadu lace 
£t-lxBran meahte, 
God and ^eatolic 
Gijanta jeweorc ; 
He s^fen; "Sa fetel hilt. 

Ban-hrin^as brec ; 
Bil eal %urh wod 
FaBjne flsesc homan. 
Heo on flet j^ecronj. 
Sweord wm swattj^ 
Secj weorce jefeh. 
Lixte se leoma^ 
Leoht innestody 
Efiie swa of hefoe 
Hadre scineS 

[p. 57, 1.11.] 

Ignis lumen vidit 
PuTpureis radiis 
Clarum coruscate. 

XXIIL 0.24.] 

Conspexit tunc inter arma 
. Gladium facile victorem, 
Feterem ensem Juticum 
Acie validum, 
Bellatorum ensem. 
Observabat telum istud ; 
VerUm majus erat 
Qudm quod alius quispiam 
Ad pugna ludum 
^erre posset, 
Bonum ac eximium 
Giganteum opus ; 
Arripuit tunc capulum. 

[p. 5B, 1. 5.] 

Ossium anmdosfregit ; 
Telum per omnem penetra/cit 
Moribundam camem. 
Ilia in pavimentum corruit. 
Ensis erat cruentus. 
Militate opus perftctum. 
Effulgebat lumen, 
Lux intus stetit, 
Non aliter qudm cum a calo 
Lucidus splendet 

* * Blaca fyr,' Caedm. 80. 15. ' Blao-cm* /ycAnt»— * blecan' jwfiicnc— Bleak 
(the fish) ; all, apj|>arently, denominated in that spirit of contrast, not unusual 
in language, which applies the same term to opposites. 



Rodores candel. 
He sefter recede wlat, 
Hwearf "Sa be wealle 
Wepen hafenade 
Heard be hiltum 
Hijelaces ^e^n 
Yrre and annednes. 


.... On mere staredon; 
Wiston and ne wendon 
Dset hie heora wine drihten 
Selfhe jesawon. 
Da •Beet sweord onjan • 
^fter hea% swate 
Hilde pcelum 
Wij-bil wanian. 
Dst w»8 wundra sum, 
Dset hit eal jemealt 
Ise ^elicost 
Donne forstes bend 
Feeder onleteS, 
OnwindeS w»l-rapas 
Se jeweald hafiet'S 
SsBla and maela, 
Dset is BO'S metod. 

Mtheris lampas, 
Illeper odes gradiebatur, 
Incemtjuxta muros 
Emem tenens 
Fartiter a capulo 
Higelaci minister 
Ir& ac consiantid (sc. Iratus ei 
constam anind). 

58, 1. «9.] 

In mare itUuebantur; 

Agnaverunt, ac non exudate- 

Quodamicum ducem [rant, 


Turn ensis ille incqnt 

Post ingentem cadem 

Belli stUliddio' 

Telum deficere. 

Id erat mirum aliquod. 

Quod amnis liquefactus est 

Gladd simillimus 

Quum pruime vinculum 

Pater resolvit, 

ExpUcat aquarumfunes 

Qui arbitrium habet 

Locarum et ten^orum. 

Is est verus Creator. 


Beowulf ma'Selode 
Beam ^jtheowes 
^^ Hwaet we %e %aes sss-lac, 

Sunu HealfdaneSi 

[p. 59, 1. 25.] 

Beowulf Igcutus est 

Mlius Mctheowi. 

*^ Aliquid nos tibi hoc marinum 

(sc. nautarum) munus, 
Fili Healfdenif 

Leod Scyldinja, 
Lustum brohtoo • 
l^res to tacne, 
De "Su her to-Iocast. 
Ic "Sast unsofte 
Ealdre ^edijde ; 
Wijje under wetere 
Weorc ^eneSde 
^t rihte wes 
Gu« " jetwaefed." 


Ic hit ISe iSonne jehate 
Dset "Su on Heorote most 
Sorh-leas swefan 
Mid "Sinra secja jedryht 
And iSejna jehwj^lc 
Dinra- leoda. 


" Oferhyda ne jym. 

Mere cempa ! 

Nu is ^ines maejnes blied 

Ane hwile. 

Eft aona biiS 

D»t Sec adl oS'Se ecj 

EafoSes • jetwaefeB, 

OBiJe fyres fen j, 

0%Se flodes wylm, 

05i5e pripe meces^ 


Rex ScyUinga, 
hubenter qfferimus 
Fkiorue in signum, 
Quod hh aspids. 
Ego hunc inamcamm 
Mortalem si^Kravi ; 
Mavortium sub undd 
Opus peregi 
PuffM exUum habuit" 

60, 1. 6.] 

Ego id tibi tunc vovi 
Quod tu in Herthd 
Doloris expers dormires 
Cum tuo nobilium comiiaiu 
Et thanis singulis 
Tui populi, 

[p. 60, 1. «?.] 

Arrogantiam ftejoveas, 
Illustris heros! 
Nunc est roboris tuijhs 
Certo tempore. 
Moxpostea erit 
Ut te out morbus aui emis 
Vita (corde) privabit, 
. Aut ignis violentia, 
Aut torrentis unda, 
Aut ictus gladii. 


' I have given to ' jetwsefed ' the only sense which appears to be autho- 
rized by the context. Lye gives none but defkere. 
^ I have again been obliged to ghre a conjectural translation of * jetwsfeV/ ^ 

I 2 



OSBe jares fliht, 
0««e atol yldo, 
0%'Se catena bearhtm 
ForsitelS and forsworceS 
SemniDja hii : 
Dffit %ec dryht-juma 
DeaiS oferswydefi, 
Swa ic hring Dena 
Hund missera 
Weold under wolcnum, 
And hi; wi^e beleac 
Manijum miejSa 
Geond %ysne miS'San-^ard 
-^sciim and ecjum. 
BtDt ic me snipie 
Under swejles b^onjje 
Sacan ne tealde ; 
Hwast me "Sses on eSle 
Edwendan cwom; 
Gym ddder jomene 
Seo'S'San Grendel weariS 
Eald jewinna, 
Injenja min. 
Ic "Saere scene 
Sinjales we; 
Mod ceare micle." 

AtU sagittiE vohtttts, 

Aut tetra senectus, 

Aut octdarum ades 

Ohstracta et obseurata 

Subitd erit: 

(Ita) ut te principem (licet) 

Mors exsuperet. 

Ita ego gent em Danorum * 

MvUos atmos 

JRexi sub adoy 

Et potens bello obsedi 

Multas gentes 

Per banc terram 

Clypeis et ensibus. 

Ita ut mihi quempiam 

Sub atlijirmamento 

Nocere vix crederem ; 

Quale mihi hk in patrid 


Inhians viris 

Ex quo Grendel ingruebat 

Antiquus hostis, 

Incursor meus. 

Ego propter, hoc malum 

Ck}fUinud tuli 

AninU curam ingeniem** 

Geast inne swef^ 
0% iSet hrefn blaca 
Heofones wynne 
BliS-heort bodode 
Coman beorht. 

[p. 61, 1. 16.] 

Hospes intus dormiitp 
Donee corvus niger 
Call delicias 
Lotus annuntiaret 
AdesH lucem. 



XXVII. [p. 62, 1.14.] 

Cwom 'Sa to flode 
Fda modi^ra 
HsB^-stealdra bring/ 
Net beroa locene 
Land-weard onfand 
£iWi« eorla 
Swa be 8Br dyde. 
No be mid beanne 
Of bliiSes nosan 
GflBsne grette, 
Ac bim tpjeanes rad, 
Cw8B% tbsBt wilcuman 
Wedera leodum 
Scawan scir bame. 
To scipe foron. 
Da w»s onsande 
Se jeap naca 
Hladen bere^waedum, 
Hrin^ed stefiia 
Mearam and ma«inuin, 
Maest blifade 
Ofer HroS^ares 
Hord jestreonum. 
He ^Sem bat^wearde 
Bunden jolde 
Swurd jesealdey 
D»t he sySSan wes 
On meodo bence 
Ma'Sma ^y weorSre 
Yrfe lafe. 
Gewat him on nacani 

Vemt tunc ad mare 


NMUum turma, 

Rete (loricam) gerebani concate* 

Membrii indtuium. [naium 

Littoris custas a^pexit 

Reditum duds 

UiipriiU aipexerat (adventum). 

Nan tile injuriasi 

E clim pramantario 

Ho9pite$ sabUapit, 

Sed equitavii okriam, 

Alloquebatur gratulabundus 

JEolicos viros 

(Quod) revUereni terrampatriam 

Nacem petebant. 

Tumjmt immma 

Mart curva ratis 

Onusta fttiUiari apparatu, 

Tort a prora 

Equis ac dioitm (gravida). 

Mains elevatus est 

Super Hrodgari 

Cumulatos thesauras. 

Hk (Beowulfiis) navium custodi 

Capulo deaurato 

Ensem tradidit, 

Qui postea esset 

In hydromelis cubili 

Omamentorum pretioiissimus 

Haredibus relinquendus. 

Ascendebat navem. 



Drefen deop waeteri 
Dena land o^eaf. 
Da W8S3 be mteste 
Mere hrssjia sum 
Sejl sale fest. 
Sund-wudu wunedey 
No ^$®r we^-flotan 
Wind ofer y^um 
Si^es ^etwsefde. 
Siejenja forfleat 
Fami; heals 
FortJ ofer ybe, 
Bunden steiha 
Ofer brim atreamas ; 
Diet hi Geata difu 
Onptan meahton^ 
Cu^ nsessas. 
Ceol upjc^ranj 
Lyft jeswenc'ed, 
On lande stod. 
Hrs'Se wses «t holme 
HyS-weard jeara, 
Se "Be aer lange Ud 
Leofra manna 
Fus st-faro^ 
Feor wlatx)de. 
Sfldlde to sande 
Sid-fiaedme scip 
Oncear bendum fiest, 
Dylffis hym }iSa "Srym 
Wudu wynsuman 
Forwrecan meahte. 
Het "Sa utberan 
^Selinja jestxeon 

Sulcabant ahum aquor, 

Danorum terram reliquerunt. 

Ibi erat ad malum ' 

Marina supellex 

Velum funibus canstrictum. 

Maris lignum (cymba) natabat 

Neque tunc maris sulcatorem 

Ventus super undas 

Itinere destituit. ^ 

Maris viator gradiebatur 

Spumante collo . 


TortA prord 

Per oceani aquora ; 

Ita ut Gothicas rupes 

Attif^ere possentp 

Nota pramontoria. 

Carina contendebat 

Vento fatigata. 

In terr& stetit. 

Citd adfuit ad mare 

Portiis custos alacer, 

Is qui longo priits tempore 

Amicorum hominum 

Avidus adventum 

E longinquo exspeetaverat. 

Appropinquaeit littori 

Graviter onerafa navis 

Anchorte morsibus relenta, 

Ne earn undarum concursus 

(Lignum dilectum) 

Disrumpere possit. 

Jussit tunc efferri (Beowulfus) 

Nobiles gazas 



Fr»twe and fet jold. 
Naes him feor ^anon 
To jesecanne 
Sinces bryttao 
Hijelac HrerSling, 
Der »t ham wunaS 
Sdfa mid jesiiSum 
S»-wealle neah. 
Bold wes bedic 
Brejo rof cynin; 
HyjB &wi%e ^eon; 
Wis wel iSungen 
Deah %e wintra lyt 

OmamenJta ac vasa aurea. 
Neque procul inde erat 
Quo quarereni 
Argenii largitarem 
Higelacum Hrethlingamf 
Qui domi versabatur 
Ipse inter sodas 
Maris litlusjuxta. 
Aula erat splendida 
MagnaninU regis 
AUum palaiium. 
Meditabatur nmltiimjuvems 
SapicHtid bene instrtictus 
Etsi amds minor. 

Gomela Scyldin; 
Fela fiicjende 
Feorran rehtlice. 
Hwilum hilde deor 
Hearpan wynne 
Gomel wudu jrette, 

Hwilum jyd awnec 
So% and sarlic, 
Hwilum syllic spell 
Rehte sfter rihte 
Rumheort cynui; ; 
Hwilum eft onjan 
Eldo jebunden 
Gomel gu'S-wi^a 
Geo^ulSe cwidan 
Hilde strenjo. 
HreSer inne weoll 

XXVni. [p. 64, 1.20.] 

Grandamis Scyldinga 

Multa interrogans (interfuit) 

De hnginquis soUrter. 

Nunc heros carus 

Cithara obUctationem 

Senex lignum tangebat, ( sc. ci- 

thar& ludebat) 
Nunc earthen moUtus est 
Verum ac luctuosum, 
Nunc mirabilemfabulam 
Rite recitavit 
Magnanimus rex ; 
Nunc iterum incepit 
Senectute devinctus 
Longavus bellator 
Juventutis (sua^) narrare 
Bellicam virtutem. 
Pectus intusfervebat 



Donne he Montrum frod 
Wpm jeminde, 
Swa we 'Saerinne 
Andlanpie daej 
Mode naznan. 


Swa be ni'Sa ^ehwane 
Genesen haefde 
Sli'Sra jeslyhta 
Sunu ^cjthiowes 
Ellen weorcsL, 
OS $one anne dae; 
De he wi-S 'Sam wyrme 
Gewejan scolde. 
Gewat "Sa Xllta sum 
Torne ^eboljen 
Dryhten Geata 
Dracan sceawiaa 


Hsefde tha jefhinen 
Hwanan sio Mx6 aras^ 
Bealo ni'S bioma. 
Him to bearme cwom 
Ma'SSum-fieet masre 
Durh fss maeldap bond. 
Se wees on %am Create 
Threotteo. . . . 

* * * , * 
Sceolde bean "Sonon 
Wonj wisian, 
He ofer willan ^ionji 
To 'Sees "Se he eorS sele 
Anne wisse, 
Hlaew under hrusan, 

Quum ilk anms prcveetus 
MuUa manorubat. 
It a nos intfis 
Per longam diem 
Animo oblectabcmur. 

[p. 67, 1. 18.] 

Ita inimicituz cujusvis 


Duros cof^licttu 

Hlitu JEcgthiowi 

Viriuiis operas 

Usque ad ilium diem 

Quo contra serperUem 

Decertaturus esset. 

SelegU tunc duodedm aliquos 

Ird accensus 

Rex Gothorum 

Serpentem uti mfmttrareni. 

Intelkxerat nemp^ 

Unde ifguria haeee tsmt exortOf 

Exitiosa lis hominibus* 

nii in navem advenire 

Thesaurorum pas maximum 

Ad signum manu ^atum» 

Erat in ed turmA 

Manus triginta virorum. 

* * # # 
Accingebat se exinde ad altum 
JSquor invisendum, 
Urtdas pertratmbatf 
Usque dum terrestrem domum 
Solitariam conspiceret, 
Tumulum sub monte, 



Holm wylme neh 
Y'S jewiDne. 
Se waes innan full 
Wrwtta and * wira. 
Weord unhiore 
Gearo ju'S-freca heold 
Bald under eoriSan. 
Nis 'Saet jSe. ceap 
To ^ejanjenne 
Gumena aenijuin. 
Geaeet "Sa on nassse 
NiS-beard cyninj, 
Benden h»lo ahead 
HeorS j^eneotum 
Goldwine Geatum. 
Him W80S jeomor sefa : 
Wiefre and wselfua 
WyrS un^emete neah 
Se % iSone ^omelan 
Gretan sceolde, 
Secean sawle hord, 
Sundur ^edaelan 
Lif wHS lice. 

• * • • 
Beowulf malSelode 
Beam ^cjtheowes : 
^ Fela ic on po^oSe 
Gul^rBBsa ^ensss 
Orle; bwila, 
Ic tet eal jemoD. 

Maris fluctm propter 


lUafuit intus plena 

Mirabilwm opemm et ' nequiiiu" 

Custos utvm [rum, 

Fromptus bellator 

Auri thesauros tenebat 

Veteres sub terrd. 

Nan erat idfaeik inceptum 


Homini ctnvis. 

Sedebat tunc in promontorio 

Bello strenuus rex, 

Dum valediceret 

Foci sodis 

Rex munificus Gothorum. 

Ei erat nuestus anintus: 

Acer ac cadis avidus 

Erat hostis prcpe 

etui senem 


Invaderet animi sedeni, 

Et divideret 

Vitam a corpore. 

« « • .« 
Beomulf loquebaiur 
Filius Mcgth€09fi: 
'' Multas ego injuventute 
Belli impetus sustinui 
Faiales horas, 
Ego id omne mernwi* 

' * Wira.' Thorkelin translates this simply rerum. My own rendering b 
like hisi conjectural : — ^* wir^ian/ or 'wirian/ signifies makdicert* 



Ic w»s syfan wintra 
Da mec sinca baldor 
Frea-wine folca • 
^t minum fasder jenam. 
Heold mec and hsfde 
HreSel cyninj ; 
Geaf me sine and symbeL 
Sibbe ^emunde ; 
Naes ic him to life 
LalSra owihte 
Beorn in burjum 
Donne his bearna hwylc 
Herebald and H»^yn 
©•SSe Hijelac min." 

Eram septenms 
Quum me rex munificus 
Dilectus populo 
A patre meo excepit. 
Habuit me ac tenuit 
Hrethel rex ; 

Dedit mihi aurum etepuUa. 
Adoptionem meminit ; 
* Neque eram ei per vitam 
Inferior in re ulld habitus 
Puer in palatio 

Qudm liberorumsuorum quisquam 
Herebald et Hatluyn 
Vel Higelacus mem" 

XXXV. [p. 69, 1.9.] 

Ares tha bi ronde 

Rof oretta, 

Heard under helme 

Hioro sercean baer 

Under stan cleofu, 

Strenjo jetruwode 

Anes mannes, 

(Ne bi* swylce earjes siiS). 

Oeseah "Sa be wealle 

Se "Se woma fela 

Gumcystum jod 

Qu^a ^edijde 

Hilde hlemma 

Donne hnitan feSan. 

Stodan stanbojan, 

Stream ut iSbnan 

Brecan of beorje, 

Waes ^Jaere human welm 

Surgebat tunc sub clypeo 
Illustris heroSf 
Strenutis sub galed 
Sub rupis clivum, 
Virtuti confisus 
Unius hominis (sui nempe), 
{Non est talis ignavi mos)» 
Videbat tunc ad murwn 
Ilk qui magna numero 
Armis bonus 
Certamina tentaverat 

Quum concurrerent phalanges. 
Stabant lapideifomices, 
Fiumen insuper 
Exundabat e rape, 
Erat is igneus latex 



HeaiSo fyrum hat, 
Ne meahte horde neah 
JEnrgQ hwile 
Deop ^edijaa 
For dracan le^e. 
Let %a of breostum 
Da he ^ebol^en wees 
Weder Geata leod 
Word utfaran. 
Stearc-heort styrmde, 
Stefn in becom 
HeaiSo torht hlynnan 
Under hame stan. 
Hete W8BS onhrered. 
Hord-weard oncniow 
Mannes reorde. 
Nies thst mara fyrst 
Freode to friclan. 
Frod lerest cwom 
Oru% ajlscean 
Ut of stane. 
Hal hilde swat 
Hruse dynede. 
Beom under beorge 
Bora-rand onswaf 
WH5 ^5am jryre jaeste 
Geata dryhten. 

• ' • • • 
Sweord asr jebraod 
God ju^Scyninj 
Gomele lafe. 
Ecjum unjlaw 
^jwaeiSruin wses 

Ingentibusjlammis calef actus, 

Neque poterat aliquia thesaurum 

JFlammA intaciut [prope 

Ullo tempore 

Abysmm penetrare 

Propter draconis incuhationem. 

Sinebat tunc e pectore 

Quum iratus esset 

JEoh-Gothorum rex 

Vocem erumpere. 

Fortis ardtni Sisviebat, 

Vox intro missa est 

Summd claritate resonam 

Sub cano lapide. 

Inimicitia erat excitata. 

Thesauri custos agnovit 

Mortalis vocem, 

Neque fuit diu priusquam 

Avidi appeteret. 

Senex primitm venit 

Ilalitu infractus 

E lapide. 

Terra tremuit. 
Heros sub monte 
Clypeum obcertebat 
Contra torvum hostem 
Gothorum rex. 

• • • « 
Gladium pritU dtd extulit 
Bonus dux 
Antiquities relictum. 
Acie immitis 



Bealo bycjendra, 
Broj^a fram aSrum. 
Sti'Smod ^estod 
Wi'S steapne rond 
Winia baldor. 

Hond upabrsed 
Geata dryhten^ 
Gryre fahne floh 
(Inc jelafe) 
Daet sio ecj jewac 
Brun on bane ; 
Bat unswi^r, 
Donne his 'Siod-cyninj 
Dearfe hsefde 
Bysijum jebeded. 
Da w»s beor^es weard 
^fter heaiSu swen^e 
On hreoum mode. 
Wearp w«l fyre. 
Wide spruDjon 
Hilde leoman hreS. 
Sijora ne ;ea]p . 
Gold wine Geata. 
Gu%-bil jeswac 
Nacod »t niiSe, 
Swa hit ne sceolde 
Iren «ra^od. 
Ne W8B& iSset eSe silS 
D»t se maera 
Maja £c2;Seowes 
Grundwon; «one 

Injuriam moUentAus, 
Terror contra alioi. 
lirmus animi stetit 
Sub alio clypeo 
Princeps bellicosus^ 

[p. 70, 1. 2.] 

Manum extendebat 
Gothorum princeps, 
Horridum inimicum percussit, 
Meo auditu, 

Ita ut acies obtunderetur 
Nigra contra ossa ; 
Telum impotens, 
Ubi dominus ejus 
Opus haberet 
Necessitate cornpulsus. 
Tunc fait montis custos 
Post ingentem impetum 
Feroci animo. 
Extulit sefatalis ignis, 
Lati erupit 
Belli jubar savum. 
Victoriam nonjactabat 
JRex* muniftcus Gothorum, 
Telum bellicum defedt 
Nudum inpugnd, 
Tanquam minimi debuerat 
Ferrum olim strenuum. 
Neque erat longum,ante» 
quam illustris 
Filius Ecgtheomi 
Regionem illam 



Ofjyfan iivolde, 
Sceolde wiUan 
Wic eardian 
Elles hwerjen. 

• • • • 
Naes %a Ion; to ^n 
D»t iSa ajliecean 
Hy sft jemetton. 
Hyrte hyne bord-weard, 
HreSer serine weoU 
Niwan steine. 
Nearo ^rowode 
Se ISe »r folce weold. 

Mviare vellet, 
Vellet avidi 
Intra urbem versari 
Alio 86 recipere. 

• • • • 
Neqtte erat diu priusquam 
Infausto omine 
Iterum concurretur* 
Refecerat se thesauri cuiios, 
Pectus astuabat 
Renovato ululatu* 
Angustias pasius est 
Igne correptut 
Qui olim populo imperabat. 

XXXVL [p. 70, 1.26.] 

Geseah his mondryhten 
Under here^riman 
Hat 'Srowian. 
Gemunde %a %a are 
De be him er foi^eaf, 
Wicstede welipie, 
Wae; mundin^ay 
Folc-rihta jehwylc, 
Swa his fsder ahte. 
Ne mibte ISa forhabban, 
Hond-rond jefenj, 
Geolwe linde, 
Gomel swyrd jeteah 
D»t wees mid eldum 
Ean mundeslaf 
Suna Ob'Serea. 

Fidebat [ Wiglaf ] damnum suum 

Sub casside 

Injuriam pati. 

Recordabatur tunc honoris 

Quern ei oUm largitusfuerat, 

Domicilia pukra, 

Viarum arbitrium^ 

Jus populare unumquodqutf 

Tanquam pater ejus possiderat. 

Nott patuit tunc se reprimere, 

Clypeum arripuit, 

Flavam tiliam, 

Antiquum ensem acdngebatur 

Qui erat a senioribus 

Unicum prasidium 

lilio Ohtheri. 



Da wses forma si's 
Geon^an cempan 
D»t he ^u'Se-ra&s 
Mid his freo-dryhtne 
Fremman sceolde. . 
Ne ^emealt him 
Se mod sefa. 
Ne his m^rj^vk^ laf 
Gewac et wi^e. 

Id erat primum tempiu 
Juveni heroi 
Quo belli impetum 
Cum domino sua 
Non defecit ei 
Atiimosum pectus, 
Neque vires 
DeftierwU in pugnd. 

[p. 71,1. 12.] 

** Ic %«t m»l jeman 

D»r we medu ^e^on, 

Donne we jeheton 

Ussum hlaforde 

In biorsele, 

De us %as beajas ^eaf. 

Diet we him %a pi^etawa 

Gyldan woldan^ 

G if him 'Syslicu 

Dearf jelumpe, 

Helmas and heard sweord, 

De he usic on herje jeceaSi 

To ^yssum siSfete 

Sylfes wiUum/' ^ 

'^ Ego illud tempos memini 
Quo nos hydromelefruebamur^ 
Turn poUicebamur 
Domino nostro 
In ceremsii auld^ 
Quoniam nobis armiUas dederai, 
Qudd hoc ei bellico apparatu 
Siquafido eum hnjusmodi 
Necessitas opprimeret, 
Galeis et duro ense, 
Quoniam nos in bellum elegit. 
In hanc expeditionem 
Proprio arbitrio.** 

[p. 71, 1. «0.] 

Wo% iSa "Surh "Sonne wael-rsec, Perrupit tunc cadis nubem, 

Wi; heafolan b»r Bellicam galeam tulit 

Frean on fultum. Principi in auxiUum. 

Fea worda cwaffS. Paucis locutus est. 

« Leofa Beowulf, " Dilecte Beowulf e, 

Laest eall tela, Recordare omnia riti. 



Swa ^u on ^eo^^ feore 
Geara ^ecwsede 
Dast %u ne alaste 
Be ISe bfijeDdum 
Dom jedreosan. 
Scealt Du deduiD rof 
^'Selin; anhydi; 
EaUe imBjene , 
Feorh ealpani 
Ic "Se full-ffistu. 

Ut injuventute 

Olim spondebas 

Te nunquam tardaturum 

Per vita curriculum 

Ultionem exsequi. 

Debes nunc gestis praclare 

Princeps imperterriie 

Totis viribus 

Animam defendere, 

Ego tibi devotus (adsum ?). 

XXXV IL [p. 72,1. 8.] 

Da jen sylf cyninj 
Geweold his ^ewitte. 
Wiel-seaxe ^bread 
Biter and beadu-scearpi 
D»t he on byrnan was;* 
Forwrat Wedra helm 
Wyrm on middan, 
Feond jefyldan 
Ferh ellen wraec. 

Tunc iierum ipse rex 
Potens animi /actus est. 
BeUicam seaxem extulit 
Acrem et in pugn& acutamy 
Quam propter hricam gessit. 
Vrgebat JEolicorum princeps 
Serpentem in medio, 
Inimicum ut conficeret 
Animi virtutem exercebat. 

Ic ^Sas leode heold 
Fifti; wintra. 
Nibs se folc-cyninj 
Ymbe sittendra 
Mm^ %ara 
De mec juV-winum 
Gretan dorste, 
Ejesan ^Seon. 
Ic on earSe bad 
Msel jesceafta. 

[p. 72, 1. 26.] 

Ego hunc populum tenui 

Quinq'dagifUa hiernes. 

Non erat popuU rex 

E vicinis 


Qui me beUico impetu 

Salutare atwis sit, 

Metu afficere* 

Ego in terrd vixi 

Tempore prastituto. 



Heold miD tela. 

Ne sohte searo ni^as, 

Ne me swor fela 

A& on uniiht. 

Ic 'Se» ealles mas; 

Feorh-bennum seoc 

Gefean habban. 

ForSain me witan ne 'Searf 

Waldend fira 

MorSor bealo ma^a, 

Donne min sceace% 

liifof lice. 

Tenui meum rUh 

Nee quasivi lites injusias, 

Necjuravi sepe 


Ego propter hoc omma possum 

Lethali vulnere teger 

Gaudium habere, 

Ideo mihi objicere nequit 

Creator hominum 

Homkidii noxam, 

Quum fnea separatur 

Vita a corpore. 

XXXVIII. [p. 73, 1. 12.] 

Da ic snude jefrs^ 
Sunu Wihstanes, 
Mftet word-^wyBum, 
Wundum diyhtne 
Hyran heaiSo eiocum, 
Hrinjnet beran 
Bro^dne ' beado sserces 
Under beor^es hrof. 
Geseah iSa si^e hreSijy 
Da he bi sesse jeonjy 
Majofie^n modij 
Ma'SSum si^la 
Fealo ^old jUtnian 

Grunde jeten^e, 
Wundur on wealle, 
And %8Br wyrmes den 

Turn confestim resdvi 
Filium fVikstani, 
Juxta mandatum, 
Vulnerato dpmino 
Obtempordsse graviter tegroto, 
Annulatam loricam gestdsse 
Formidabilem belli vestem 
Intra arcis tectum. 
Vidit tunc vktoruB compos, 
Ubi ad stationem devemt, 
Commilito animosus 
Pretiosa signa 
Multa auro micare 
Mirabilia ad murum, 
Et serpentis cubile 

1 < Brojdoe/ I have constnied this word as if derived from * broja,' «frror. 
It may possibly have some other signification, of which I am not aware. 



Ealdes uht-flojan ; 
Orcas stondan, 
Fym-manna fatu^ 
Feormend lease. 
llyrBtum behrorene 
B»r waes helm monij 
Eald and omi;, 
Earm-bea;^ fela 
Searwum jesealed. 
Sine ea'Se rxm^ 
Grold on jrunde 
Gumcynnes je^woDe 
Hyde se 15e wylle. 
Swylce he sionnan ^eseab 
Se^n eall jylden 
Heah ofer horde 
Hond-wundra maest 
Gelooen leoiSo croftum^ 
Of 'Sam leoman stod 
DsBt he iSonerprund^won; 
Onjeatan mihte, 
WnBce pond-wlitan. 

Ceteris aligeri; 

Vicfit crateras siare, 

Priscarum homnum vasa, 

Antiquas reUquias, 

Omamentis privata 

Ihi erat galea muUa 

Fetus et rubiginosa, 

ArmilUe frequences 

Arte elaborata. 

Thesaurus hie facile posset 

Divitias in terrd 

Generis cujuscunque 


Absccndat qui velit. 

Praterea mox vidit 

Signa passim inauraia 

Alti super thesaurum 

Manu exsculptamiracula maxima 

Affixa magicis artibus, 

Ab eis lumen jactabatur 

Ita ut amnem regionem 

Oculis usurpare liceret, 

Ultianem suam contemplari. 

[p. 74, 1. 4.] 

" Gomel, on jiojolSe 

Gold sceawode ; 
Ic ^Sara fretwa 
Frean ealles %anc 
Wuldur Cyninje 
Wordum secje 
Ecum Dryhtnei 

** Senex hodie» olim juvenis cum 

Aurum distribui; 
Ego propter hosce thesauros 
Moderatori omnium gratias 
Gloria Regi 
Verbis reddo 
Mtemo Domino, ' 



De ic her onstarie. 
Does "Se ic moste 
Minum leodum 
^r swylt dfeje 
Swylc jestrynaii. 
Nu ic on maiSitiii hord 
Minne bebobte 
Fnxle feorh leje. 
Fremma'S jfinsk 
Leoda ^Seaife. 
Ne maej ic her Ittij wesan. 
Bala's bea^ mmre 
Hlew jewyrcean 
Beorbtne sefter htdh 
JEi brimes noMin, 
Se 8cel to jeotyiiduni 
Minum leodmn: 
Heah Mifian 
On Hronea aassew 
Dffit hit Mrii'Send 
Sy^^an hatan 
Biowulfes biorfa. 
Da iSe ^oitinsas ' 
Ofer floda jenipu 
Feorran drife-S/* 
Dyde him of healse 
Hrin; ^Idenne 
Dioden "SryslSydij, 
Dejne jesealde 
GeoDjam jarwijan^ 

Quo$ (tbesauros sc.) hie aspieio, 

Qudd potui 

Populo meo 

Ante mortis diem 

Talia adipisd. 

Nunc ego in gazoplnflacktm 

Spolia mea 

Prudens animi reponam. 

Exphbunt postea 

Populi necesntatem. 

Non ego A)c diu morahor, 

Jubete ut ingeniem 

Tumulum adificent 

Lucidum post rogum 

Ad maris promaniorium. 

Is in mottumentum 


JUi se extollit 

In HronessuemA. 

Ita ut eum namgatores 

Exinde nommabam 

Beomdfi tumulum, 

Ubi Brentingi 

Super fluctuum caliginem 

Longi impellunt" 

Detraxit coUo 

Annulum aureum 

Monarcha prudens, 

Thano suo tradidit 

Juveni bellatori, 

' Inhabitants of Brand^y ? * BroncKnja-Iand* is mentioned in the course 
of the poem, and ' Brondmjes ' in^the Song of the Traveller. Sec p. 12. 



Gold fiibne helm 
Beah aiid byman, 
Het hine hrucan weH. 
<< Du eart enddaf 
Usses cyimes 
Wte; mundinja ; 
Ealle wyrd forspeof 
Mine ixiajas 
To metod-sceafte 
Eorias on elne ; 
Ic him ssfter sceal.** 

Heht -Sa tet hea& weorc 
To hajan biodan 
Up ofer ec^clif. 
Dfer "Sast eorl weorod 
Morjen lonpie dae; 
Mod pomor saet 
Bord haebbende. 
• Beja on wenum 
Ende do^ores 
And eftcymes 
Leofes monnes. 
Lyt swijode 
Niwra spella 

Auro insignem galeam 
Armillam ac hricam, 
Jussit feliciter uii. 
'' Tu es ultimus 
Nostri generis 
Fluct^ potentium ; 
Omnesfatum prmripuit 
Meos cognatos 
Ad Creatorem 
Duces virtute tnsignes; 
Ego post eo8 cogor.*^ 

XL. [p. 75, 1. 23.] 

Jussit tunc grave illud negotium 


Trans promontorii divas. 

Ibi nobilis ilk camiiatus 

Toto die antemeridiano 

Meatus ammi sedebat 

Clypeis instructus. 

. • .in exspectaiione 

Fifds diei 

Bt reditus 

Amati viri* 

Parum silebat 

Nova nuntia 

' or urhem, literally, locum teptum. 

* ' Be^a.* I caiuiot satisfy fnysetf as to the meaning of ibis word. Thorke- 
lin connects it with the former line (which violates the metre and allitera- 
tion), and construes it hrachio. Its usual meaning is a bow, a ring, or cir- 
clet, (any thing bent). Can it be used metaphorically (as corona in Latin) for 
an assembly or crowd ? Lye gives ' 6e^,' from a Cambridge MS, of St. Mat- 
thew, invenit. This would also make sense of the passage. 




Se "Se nms ^eraV, 
Ac he so'SUce 
Sse^de ofer ealle : 
" Nu is wil^eofa 
Wedra leoda 
Diyhten Geata 
Dea^-bedde fasst, 
Wuna-S wael-reste 
Wynnes dfledum. 
Hym oH efii lijeS 
Ealdor jewinna 
Siex bennum seoc ; 
Sweorde ne meabte 
On '6am ajlsecean 
^nije "Sinja 
Wunde jewyrcean. 
Ofer Beowulfe, 
Byre Wijhstanes, 
Eorl ofer oVrum 

Is qui promontorium. tenebat, 

At aperii 

Dixit coram ammbut : 

'' Nunc e$t munificus. 

JEolica gentU 

Rex Gotharum 

Lecto mortis ^i^ixus, 

Jacet cade sopitus 


Simul cum eojacet 

Antiquus hostis (Draco) 

Seaxi vulntre confectus ; 

Ensis non potuit 

In eum ir^andum 

UUo mode 

Fulnus infligere. 

Wiglafus sedet 

Super Beowuljum, 

Filius fVihstanif 

Dux super alium 

Fit& privatum»*^ 

XLI. [p. 76, 1. 190 

'' Me is ofost betost 

Det we Deod-cynin; 
Der sceawian 
And "Sone jebrinjan 
De us beajas jeaf 
On aV ftere. 

* * * * 
Ac 6«r is ma^ma herd, 

'' MiU videtur celerrimum op- 

Ut nos populi regem 
Ibi intueamur 
Et tunc dedttcamus 
Qui nobis armillas dedit 
In obsequium juramento conjtr- 


* * * * 
Et ibi est thesaurus. 



Gold unrime 
Griimne ' jecea . . . d 
And Du »t aiSestan 
Sylfi» feore 
Bea^as * • • . te. 
Da sceal brond fretan 
JEled ISeccean. 
Nalles Eorl we^an 
MuWSum to jemyndum, 
Ne miejS scyne 
Habban on healse 
Hiiii; weorSunje ; 
Ac sceal ^eomor mod 
Golde bereafod ; 
'Oft nalles lene 
Elland tredan. 
Nu se herewisa 
Hleahtor alejde 
Gamen and jleodream. 
^ ForSon sceall ^arwesan 
Moni; moreen 
Ceald mundum bewunden 
H»fen on handa. 
Nalles hearpan swe; 

Aurum innumerabile 
Tetri • •• . (Draconis) 
Et nunc subjine 
Vita sua 


Nunc eumjlamma devoraUi 

Ignis involvet. 

Neque Dux arma 

Luct^ in memoriam, 

Neque virgoformosa 

Gestabit in collo 

MoMe pretiosum ; 

Sed erii masta animi 

Aurum exuta ; 

Neque minus (ritu lugentis) 

Hospes incedei. 

Nunc bellator princeps 

Latitiam deposuit 

Hilatitatem et gaudium. 

Ergo telum erit 

MuUo mane 

Friges manibus constrictum 

Ekvatum in dextrd. 

Neque cithara vox 

• Perhaps * ^ecearfod/ obtruneatL 

• Perhaps ' jifte/<fcrftt. 

' I am by no means clear that I haye given correctly even the general 
sense of this distich. Thorkelin*s Sape tola extd vagabUur has, however, no 
intelligible reference to the context. 

^ These four lines are somewhat obscure, and I am by no means certain 
that I have rendered them correctly. Can they refer to the human or gladia- 
torial sacrifices which are thought by some to have accompanied the funeral 
rites of the pagan Northmen ? Sec Cittoerii Gtrm. AiU, lib. 1. c. 53. Edda Sam. 
vol. 2. pag. S41 & ^83. 



Wi^end wecccan. 
Ac se wonnalwefii 
Fus ofer fias^um 
Fela reordian. 
Eaime secjan 
Hu hkn sBtaots speow 
Denden he wi'S wulf 
Wael reafode. 

» • » * 
Se wees fiftijea 
Fot ^emearces 
Lon; on le2ere« 

Militem excUabit* 

Sed ater corvut 

Alacer tuper iBOfiAoiidn 

Frequens obarepet. 

Aquila dicet 

Ut in convivio aiU eesserit 

Ubi cum lupo 

Cedem depavit!^ , 

• * # # 
1$ (Draco) erat qumqun^kUa 
Pedum mensurA 
Longus in cubili» 

XLIIL [p. 78, 1.15.] 

Him ^a jejhredan 
Geata leode 
Ad on eorSan 
Helm behonjen, 
Hilde bordum, 
Beorhtum byrnum, 
Swa he bena wsss. 
Alejdon "Sa to middes 
Masrae "Seoden^ 
Hsele9 faiolende 
Hlaford leofne. 
Onjunnon "Sa on beorje 
Biel-fyra msnt 
Wijend weccan. 
Wud wrec astah 
Sweart ^ of swic ^le« 

Illi (Beowulfo) tunc erexeruni 
Gothica gem 
Twnulum in terrd 

Galeam suspendebant, 
Bellicum' clypeum, 
Splendidam loricam, 

Collocabant tunc in medio 
Magnum principem, 
MiUtes h^entes 
Domiman dilectum» 
Inceperunt tunc in tumulo 
Ignem rogi mojimum 
MiUtes excitare. 
Ligmjumus ascendit 
Ater ....... 

' ^ofswicVole/ Of these words Icaii make nothing inteltigibk;norcan Icon- 



* # # « 

Wind blond jelse; 
OS tot he "Sa banhus 
Gebrocen bsefde 
Hat on hreSre. 
Hijum unrote 
Mod.ceare msendon 
Mondryhtnes cwslm. 
Swylce pomorjyd 
. • • . at meowle 

* * * * 
Heofon rece seal; 
Geweorhdon %a 
Wedra leode. 

... seo on lide 

Se wfes hea and brad, 


Wide to syne. 

And been bredon 

On tyn dajum, 

Beadu rofis 

Been bronda 

Be wealle beworhton. 

* * » # » 
Swa bejnornodon 

Geata leode 

• * • # 
Fentus quiescebai 
Donee osseam domum 
Color in pectore, 
Mente trisies 
Jmmo solliciti h^ebtmt 
Regis necem» 
Tanquam naniis 
. mulier. 

• • . . 

* * * * 
AUum iedifieium 
Exstruebant itatim 
Molica gem* 
. • • illud ad mare 
Erat altum ac latum, 
Lati videndum. 
Et ignem ampliabant 
Per decern die$, 
Jtum principis 
Ignem pyra 
Ad murum erigebant. 

» • * • 
Ita lugebani 
Gathica gens 

strue to my own satisfaction the two lines which follow tiiem in the original,— 
they arc therefore omitted. A trifling alteration would give ' Swcart of swio- 
tole.' Niger e claro {igne sc.)y which would be sufficiendy in the character of 
Saxon phraseology. But we are as yet too scantily acquainted with the lan- 
guage, espedally with its poetical forms, to venture unhesitatingly upon 
conjectural emendation. Were it aUowable, I should be disposed to read in 
the next line ' brond ' for * blond/ and to render it VetOus pyre ittcubiut. 



Hlafordes • . • re . • 
Cw80&n iSet be wasre 
Worold cyninpies 
Mannum mildusti 
And mond nerust^ 
Leodum liVost, 
And leof jeornost. 

Princes (interitum i) . . 
Dicebant, quod erdt 
E mundi regibus 
Hominibus mitissimus, 
Et manu fortissifnus, 
Et amorU cupidissimus. 






Page. line. 

3 1 far Hw»t wegar 

read f Hw»t we Gar-Dena. 



. wolcnum. 

4 1 


t Gomban. 





. • ase. 












• • • • nna. 






T . • • rme* 

5 4 


t gescaep. 

> In this Collation, some few readingSi in which Thorkelin has corrected 
the oversights of the original scribe, are omitted. Some variations, so trifling 
as not in any way to affect the sense (as Halfdene for Healfdene, Med for 
Mid, kc,)f are unnoticed. Such readings as appear more materially to affect 
the sense, are distinguished by the mark f . Any attempt to restore the metre^ 
and to correct the version throughout^ would have eiceeded the bounds, and 
involved much discussion foreign to the purpose of the present work* Thi» 
must be left to the labours of the Saxop scholar. It is evident, however, diat 
without a more correct text than that of Thorkelin, those labours must be 
hopeless. The wish of supplying that deficiency, may perhaps i4x>logise for 
the occupying, by this Collation, so large a space of a work strictly dedicated 
to other purposes. 



Page^ line. 

5 8 for waro^Se read 

10 bad 

6 9 Na Iffis 

12 Donne 

13 Da 

18 ge'Senne 

19 Hea — heofod 

2 1 Geofon — gars»; 

7 6 Fsedor 

8 aft. 

1 1 Gamul — ju'8 reouw 

15 wocon 

16 Weorada 

19 %®t Elan 

20 Scyfinjas 

23 Here sped jywen 

24 worSmynd 

8 I OS«e 

9 jefiimon 

12 Geonjom 
26 VHs 

9 2 Sint 
7 IffiDge 

'-— wielne 

26 worh 

27 wpng 
10 1 ^ebujeS 

2 hnBrfii; 

19 Gr»ndel 

20 M»re stapa 


10 r 

n u 






• • enne d. 

Heab — heafod. 

Geafon — garsecj. 


+ Gamo — Gu^Sreow. 



1» elan. 

+ Here-sped jjfen. 


j? him his wiae.magas< 

CHS'S !f . . . 35Cweox. 



t Sine. 

10 — w»l-nHSe. 

we . . 
t Maere mearc-stspa. 

, BEOWULF. 139 




25 for weardode read t weardode hwile. 



r — jewrsecte 

• . . jewraec 


+ Ece Drihten. 



t Untydras. 



















t onuhtan (conspicua). 


rOrsendles gud 

15 t Grendles gud-cr»ft (insidia). 










Fyrst acymb 

r2 first 

\s Ac ymb. 













20 t Ne ISoer naspig witena 



Wenan Borfte 



Beorhtre bote 
To banum folmum 






13 t gif-stol (gratia sedem). 

\Stol — 










Godne hie hum 


G . • • • ie hum . . • e. 






t Wa bi« iSwm (Fit illis). 



;axon poetrt. 





26ybr seccian 

Ttad seoean. 




se&% {ewi%igha£)* 

















• • • b. 



# • ^ • # 












Fann heals 

t Famig-heais. 








Brun clif 

Brim (?)-clifu 






Wie ^eiidan 

t Wicje ridan. 



\verde. ' 


And wearde 




Lid hebbende 

t Lind bsebbende. 






scyld esta 

t Se yldesta. 











Halge diged 

Hal gediged. 


Seo modo 

t Seomode (maneAot). 






t ScioDon. 




I I have added the letters (NX) to such errata as are noticed in 
Dr.ThorkeUn*8 list. That list is, however, for the most part, more inoor- 
rect than even his text. 







26 fw vfcs 

rtad t waes. 
















fere ge ad 







f— • Da 

LLaes wrec 7 Nalles -— ^ wnec. 






f driht 


24 t drihtne. 








Wordin ne 

t Wordinne. * 



t in eowrum. 



t rica. 







t nihtes. 



1* wriBc. 




t Freo-wine. 



t ne rBBCceS. 










t furiSum. 










t sceadan. 








* I have preserved this reading of the MS.^ though probably corrupt. The 
distich which contains it has, in its present state, no alliteration. It is pos* 
sible that two lines may have been omitted by the scribe. 








1.3 far unto 


nu to. 










t dealde. 

























* Swaesne 

t Swassne «^ (tAe JKtimc ah- 
breviatumfor e5el.) 



Wyrs ange 


t Wyrsan gethingia. 

















Niceras ni 


t Nicras nigene, {Monstra nth 




t Gehyrde. 




t Hleahtor. 









weal hreon 

t Wealh-Beow. 





t Feond. 




t anhere. 



t Wne. 



"Se he. 





' There is evidendy a word wanting here to fill up die metre, for whicli in 
the MS. there is a space of about three letters vacant, and the cypher^ 








10 for rine 


t rinc. 







6 t — sidieferdi. 





"SsF» be 



{olmmn-^ttnd lacuna t folmutn . . . man. 

of ifgo tierM. 


Bred %a beab 

Onbrasd bealo. 



Da he. 










a mVS 











19 heold. 


to f»ste. 










t billa nan. 



selic homa 

t 86 lichoma. 




dohl. (N. T.) 


Seo now 


























t fitela. 







t dome. 







^ (eBel). Scyldinga 



Med ostic genist 

t Medo-stig gemaet. 







18 for Masg ISah ose read 

MtegSa hose. 


















sprecce ^ 





f him. 






Intert after 3. f 4 Ealles unsund. 






• • • • 



FeohgtAe. (N. T ) 



' Wisum 




sceSe an* 


















Hlaw elan 




Nesian fieondpln 

Neosian fineondum. 





















Wind weaid 


























. line. 


16 /or A «e 

read Are. 










— inwit unne 

in wicun. 



Ne wees. 










t Unlifigendne. 


snoter abad 

snotera bad. 



alfwealda (MS. /leiyeriin). 






Haw elan ferodon, f Hafelan wen^on. 



t «se. 




. t sine. 



























t reota*. 


EarS git ne con 

t EarSgitne const. 


Wundini goldi 

Wundun golde. 










Niton husa 

t Nicor-husa {momtrorum ha* 


— fea ras um 

t feara sum {quatuor aUquos). 






On tyS 

t OncyS {ignoius). 



t Hafelan. 


Cun man 

Cunnian (?) 







26 for Incras read 

f Niceras. 















't' wrasnum* 


23 ^ 




nedor ste 

t ne dorste, (turn audebai). 


Driht scyre 

t Driht-scype, ( Virtutem). 













aerm gestod . 

er iDgescod. 


Hal anlice 

Halan . . • lice. 






wyr cenne 

wyrgenne. (N.T.) 




















Fyf cyne 



gestod 1 















t rapas. 









— hyne 

— hi hyne. 


of. hroran. 








t wneSIic. 







, line. 


20 for iSiiina sasga 

rtad "Sinra secga. 









stede nigge 

t ste • . deniga. 







eald. -5^ (ethel) > 










modge "Son. 


















t starige. 












12 , 










Agen (0 





















Ongeh'Seoes, (Oiigen^Aeoirt). 




. . i??5an, (q. if SyB^San). 







' The Editor is indebted to Mr. Price for pointing out the value of this 
Rune here and elsewhere occurring. 













19 fw r Fyra hwylce rtad Fyra hwylce . . 

20 I 

19 grim ... fa 

4 Dyre 

5 after Dene imert 

17 f(yr M«le 
19 — «a9t 
26 after mgende 
28 far oro cene 










On sylfes 




. . . sySBan 




sincma'Sm %\xm 


OIS "Sffit ongan 

— — on hea 












lacuna nulla. 
grim sefa (f) 
Dyre iren. 

{"Slogon weoldon 
.Waektowe syBBan. 


— "Saet s®l. 

Ia4Mna nulla. 

brocene (?) 

t S«l. 




Niode (?) 

t geSring. 

fege. (N.T.) 

On . . ne sylfes (myne?) 

Die (?) 

sealde. (N.T.) 

serend (?) 
t Hyre syB^an. 


t Hean. 
t sincma^S'Bum. 
t hlammum. 

OBBe . . on ongan 

on hea • 1 . | . (heaclifii?) 




Page. line. 

166 1 for Thsr on innan giong read Th»r on innan giong 

2 2 NiiSa nat . • . hs^nuni. 

3 Ni^a nat 3 Horde bond . . . sine fo. 

4 ... hsthnum horde 

5 Hond • • . . 

6 Since fah 

10 ..••••... . r . . "S . . • % 

12 sie — — sie . ^ . . . 

16 weoldum geweoldum. 

18 ..rege 1 fi^ie geceod (f) 

19 Sceod J 

24 %ea . • • 

26 Weall Wea • . secg syn . . sig. 

167 2 ^ Dst %ani D»t . . . ISam. 

4 sceapen sceapi8J[i (f) 

5 Defe. 

7 t Sine set (symle f) 

1^ «^^^^ \ geardagum. 

12 Gum J 

24 ^5»r ^s. 

168 14 hi hit. 

22 Dramna hiwa Dream • • ah hwa. 

{^fter beor . in 
Ne m»g byman bring 
iEfter ^gfruman. 

13 heals sines t healf . . . nses. 

14 Hear wan t Hearpan. 
170 2 stea^asece* Sceapa 

Opene standum 
FeSe bymende 
Beorgas seceS. 
J2 wihte . wihte d . . . 



Page. line. 
170 13 
































Hie lacuna incidit, f * Tribus litteris; quod supra 
que X V versibus * notavimus. 
respondet absend- 

" 'f ' W89ge. 




— selst 


. . . Geatwa 


forht alden 


t .... on swefbd. 

gifan. (N.T.) 
t ■ ham. 


— . . . ISend. 

}20 ■ holme . . ig 

Lacuna nulla* 
. . . feBe (?) 

— forh ealden. 


Dum — 


No . . Don 

■ bestred 
— — — hea^S cyn 




Ma'5'Sum — 





■ be . . stied. 
t ' Hea'Bcyn, {nam. pro^ 


+ — hodman 

Nis -Saer («on «0- 


. wicatede. 

Weal linde 



t Weallende. 

Hreofha^ (Rafiiis f) 

Eato . . . 



Page. line. 

186 8 /or 


187 24 

188 12 

189 9 

190 1 


191 21 












200 18 

201 3 


203 2 




read Eard eiSel. 

gecysan \ 



— hatres 

— scyre 
Stod on 

■ fricean 

— gescire styndan 

■ gewat 




— battres. 

— scype. 




— gescipe scyndan. 

■ ten. 

Hwy— (?) 
"f -^— - wiga. 

t onela. 

+ Gewac. 

+ — geheton. 

The he. 
t Sceal urum f . 

^ waga 





Uram sceal 

— — bord 

WKbyrnerond t 8 Bord . . . rond byme. 

— • beawolan sto$ ■ heafolan stod. 


t Biteran. 

— eorles 
and cendum 

Hea wolan 



— — bleace 

Gund drogen 


■ I 

— ^ eorl. 

t Heafolan. 

+ Gedrogen 


Ba W8BS. 












17 /or 






be areafi3d readf 
oDofostic t*— 
fest — 

— holdoD 


— forbogde 
onof ostic 


— sceapte 



— on c^oste. 

— aeft(?) 

— -— hlodoD. 

— for horde, 
on ofoBte. 


-— aceafte. 

— — soeawede 
■ ■ ■ lyfde 

t Gingeste. 
t sceatede. 



12 WsBccende wearS 

13 Dryht ma^oia dsslde* 

14 A«e 

24 — "Sa reSum 

20 — gebete 

2 — eow 

14 Londdrihtes 

24 — edwic 

10 Wi«er 

18 ■ gehnsegduni 

26 •— syS&ui 

7 — — hreVlic 

10 i^ jpalc 

11 fwfficcende 

12 Weard oofunde 

13 BuoD on beorge 

14 Biowulfiss wearS 

15 Dryht maiSma dsal 

t — dareSum. 

t — b^gete. 

t — eored. 

t Londrihtes. (N.T.) 

t — edwit. 

t Niwra. 

t gehnaegdon, 

■ asyBiSap, 
t UremgiHretUsJUiiu). 
— galg. 



Page. line. 

218 1 2 /or Freofor read Frofor. 

220 8 Swa t Swat. (N.T.) 

27 Hares byrste f f^ersus aliunde iUatus (p.pag. 

221, 1.24) deestmMS''. 

221 24 Harres Hares. 

26 t Lacuna prarsus nulla. 


222 1 

" 24 

223 7 

224 7 


225 1 

227 24 

229 12 


230 3 

231 16 

• . • • 



Leana leodum 
■— nawo 






■ laB .... 

— — — mit 
• • ■ . 




— — torne 


— brondum 

t Leana .... leodum. 

— — locenra. 

t geslogon. 

■ bafo. 

t Folcred. 
f — _- ofost betost. 

gecpa . . . d (gecearfod f). 

t Lacuna nulla. 


t reordian. 

t — • he wi*, 

Weorod. (N.T.) 

— — la'Sne . . 
t Diope. 

■ mid • . ge. 

. ut . 
t Cyning minum. 
t Lacuna nulla. 

Is and. 
t — welan. 

t genoge. 

corthre (?) 


gegiredan. (N.T.) 
— bordum. 


Page. line. 

233 7 for Beet rtad t Bael. 

1 1 Swongende Swogende. 
13 — brond — blond. 
201 — »— giomorgyd 20 ^omoigyd 

21 J under f .... at meowle .... under 

23 Secg Seiig. 

24 neah *\ 

25 Dot bio byre I 24 f Neabbes tet bio byre 

26 J 25 gas. 

27 gas J 

28 -— wa . . . — — w»l. 

234 1 ... YUa Ylla. 

2 bafda — — b . . a . d. 

>6t,. seo onlide. 

7 J 

17 t iMcana iterum nulla. 

18 Snotre F . . • Snotre. 

235 3 ■ lifa« ■ lififB . . 

4 t Lacuna nulla. 

5 *— 1«— — bi ■ ■ ■ bi • • • 

6 t Lacuna nulla. 

7 blef blsf. 

9 iEtbeling iBtbeling ..... 

10 t Lacuna nulla. 

12 t Lacuna nulla. 

13 ... Lacuna tribufs tantvm lir 

teris respandens. « 

19 Lacuna nulla. 

21 gen l^j«. 

22 . . . . bi« J ^ 

236 2 «— ^ lac baman f *-^ licbaman. 
6 — -•— — ■ ■ . . • re. 

9 ■■■ cyning — — cyningnes. 


Page. line. 

236 10 for Monne rtad Mannum. 
13 leof lof.> 

1 The Saxon scholar, especially if he refer to the original MS., will, I fear, 
discover that the present Collation needs in many places both additions and 
corrections. It will however, I trust, afford a text sufficiently futhfiil for every 
essential purpose. Much must still be left to hb own conjectural skill, parti- 
cularly in the interpretation of those expressions which, though printed and 
indeed finequently written as separate words, are in fact compounds (as ' sige- 
hreSig,' p^ 10; ^ on-uhtan,' ^gud-cneft,' p. 13. &c.). This circumstance has 
frequentiy escaped the notice of Thorkelin. It will be necessary also in many 
cases, even before an attempt is made to translate a passage, that it should 
be restored to its real metrical arrangement This will require a proper at- 
tention to the alliteration, and an ear practised in the rhythm of Saxon verse. 
It is needless to point out the numberless instances in which T)iorkelin has 
failed from inattention to the peculiarities of collocation, especially the Par 
rallelism, as I have ventu^ to term it, by which the poetical diction of our 
ancestors was distinguished. 



Page 35. Warrior Danes. The country of our hero afibrds ad- 
ditional grounds for ascribing the poem, in its present dress, to the 
Dano-Sazon period of our history ; perhaps to one of the bards 
who are known to have graced the court, and shared the patr(»age 
of the munificent Canute. In earlier times, the exploits of a Danish 
chieftain would scarcely have been a popular subject. That the 
fiction however was, in its ori^nal form, of an antiqui^ conside- 
rably more remote, I am still disposed to believe ; for the following 
among otlier reasons : 1 . The poet displays a very intimate know, 
ledge of the history of Jutland during its division into five prind- 
palities (Fif-el), that is, before the eighth century. £. He refers 
to a northern superstition (see p. 55, and note) as old as the age of 
Tacitus. 3. If any weight be allowed to the arguments advanced 
in favour of the antiquity of " The Song of the Traveller/' Hroth- 
gar and Hrothwulf must have flourished before the middle of the 
fifth century ; and without the intervention of poetical tradition 
(evidently the earliest species of northern history), it can haxxlly be 
supposed that their memory should have reached the era of Canute. 
It might be objected, that upon the hypothesis of Beowulf's having 
actually existed about the year 450, a very considerable length of 
time must have been required before his adventures would assume 
the fabulous character, which they wear in the poem. That a pe- 
riod, however, far short of five ^r six centuries would be amply 
sufficient for this purpose, is proved by the analogy of numberiess 
«imilar fictions ; those, for instance, concerning Regner Lodbrog, 
and our own Richard the First. 4. The language of the poem, in 
its present dress, is nearly identical with that of the Exeter Manu- 
script (expressly stated in Bishop Leofric's deed of gift to be En- 

BEOWULF. - 157 

glish). Yet its materiab are evidently Danish. Can it be shown 
that the Danes and Anglo-Saxons of the tenth and eleventh century 
employed precisely the same dialect i (yet see the Essay on the 
Danish Tongue annexed to'Gunnlaug^s Saga). On these grounds 
I am inclined to attribute the original Beowulf to the eighth, if not 
the seventh century. After all, many may be rather disposed to 
regard the whole story as the mere creature of the Scald's imagi- 
nation, and to doubt whether there be any tenable grounds for 
ascribing to it an antiquity higher than that of the only manuscript 
in which it is extant. It may here be mentioned, that after careful 
examination, I would refer that manuscript to the eleventh rather 
than, vrith Astie and Thorkelin, to the tenth century. 

P. 35* Scaldic literature. It has been often remarked, that the 
traditional documents relating to the early history of Denmark are 
far less numerous than those which illustrate the neighbouring pro- 
vinces of Sweden and Norway. The Tale of Beowulf evidendy 
belongs to a class perfectly distinct from the mythical or mythico- 
historical cyclus oi the Eddie muse. (See Preface to the 2nd vol. 
of S»mund's Edda.) 

Scefing. I have here ventured to deviate, perhaps rashly, from 
the version of Thorkelin. llie original has ' Oft Scyld Scefing' 
which he renders Stq^ Scyldus Scefides* A Scyld, however, or 
Skiold (see Saxo Grammaticus, p. 5), is so constantly placed at 
the head of the Danish genealogies, that 1 have considered the word 
' Scyld * in this passage as equivalent to ' Scylding,' and * Scefing,' 
as his descendant. 

Beowulf. It should be noticed that this elder Beowulf appears 
to have no connection with the hero of the poem. 

Scjflfings. Skelfr (says the prose Edda) was the name of a war 
king (Qericonungr). His posterity are called Scylfings, and live on 
the shores of the Baltic. (Thorkelin, in Ind., who supposes them 
to be the Sueones of Tacitus.) 

P. 36. Heorot. See a description and plate of one of these an- 


cient mead-balls in Crumdaug^s Saga, p. l64. Thorkelin cbnjeo 
tures it to have occupied the site of the present Hioring in the 
district of Aarlborg. 

Of him who first cutspread. Thorkelin has noticed the simila* 
rity which the song of lopas in Virgil {JEn. i. 740^) ofiers to that 
of the Danish bard, as a proof that the original author of Beowulf 
might have been a Pagan. The writer^ however^ or translator of 
the poem in its present form, was evidently a Christian, and pro- 
bably omitted or modified many traces of heathen superstition. 
The coincidence, however, is very remarkable ; unless we suppose 
the translator to have been acquainted with Roman literature, 
which is not very probable. 

P. 37. The GrendeL The explanation ^ven of this name by 
Thorkelin seems forced. He apprehends that the Saxon translator 
mistook the original Loki (the evil spirit of the Edda, from Loki, 
ignis) for Loka, crates, and rendered it therefore by Grendel (crates, 
repaguhim, A.S., v. Lye, in voce Grendl). If etymology were a safe 
ground, I should be rather disposed to regard the word as signifying 
originally ''die Captive or Prisoner/' whence it might readily come 
to be used as a synonyme for the evil spirit, and transGerred, as the 
term fiend and others, to all beings supposed to partake of his nature. 

Helruna. From ' helan,' celare (whence Hell,) and ' runa,' Ht- 
tera, seems to afford the most plausible elymology of the cele- 
brated Alrunse. See Keysler 37 1» 8cc. and others. These powerfiil 
Runes are enumerated in the Brynhildar Quida {Edda, vol. 2. 

p. 195-6-7). 

lutes Ylfes and Orcneas. Eotenes, the Jotna of the Volu-spa, 
and the Ettins of bur early romancers and ballad-writers (see Scott's 
Sir Tristrem 344, and Jamieson's Sc. D. in voce ' Eyttin'). I have 
translated Jutes and Geates, Goths, on the authority of Thoricelio. 
The Ylfes, our own Elves, are the Alfr of Eddie mythology — the 
remains also, in the opinion of the northern antiquaries (see Alfir in 
the Glossary to Edda, vol. 2), of some other abori^al tribe. The 
Orcneas I do not recollect to have met with elsewhere under this 

. BEOWULF* 159 

disreputable cfiaracter. Can they be the early inhabitants of the 
Orkney Islands ? Orendel evidently belongs to the same class of 
semi-mythological personages as the Polyphemus, and the Cacus 

and the IIiTvoicafiirriic (see Plutarch* in F. 7^.) of classical 
antiquity. In later ages, a Highlander, an American Indian, or 
even a runaway N^ro, have assumed^ in the eyes of their more 
civilized neighbours, the same aspect of terror and mystery. 

P. 39' Whence and what. G)mpare Horn. Odyss. F. 71. 

^Q ^€iyo<, rcviec ece ; irotfey irXeTO' vypa KcXevOa ; 
^U ri Kara irpn^cv, i} /iai^cScci^ aXaXticOe 
Ola re Xi|cViipec virecp oka ; roc y aXooii^rai 
^v)^ac vrapOefievoij kckov aXXoSairoTai <^€povrec. 

Soonest were best. Compare Odyss. 6. 548« 

Tff yvp fifiie m JcevOe votifioffi KepBaXeourw, 
''O/TTi KB 9 eipfa/Mi' (fuiaOai Se <re jcaXXcoM e^iv. / 
Elir' ouofA o,rri <re icecOi icaXeov finmip re warrip re, 
"AXXoi ff oi Kara acv Kai oi irepu^aieraovac. 

Etire 8e fioc yacay re reriv Sii/ioy re iroXcv re' 

P. 41. Cf the well hewn stone. Thus Homer characterizes 
Athens as evpvayviay and describes the Ayopn of the Phsdacians 
as being 

Pvroiffi \ae99i Karwpvyeea^ apapvta. Od. Z. ^7* 

P* 42. Vendelic race. This tribe occupied, in the reign of Charle- 
magne, the northern extremity of Jutland (see D'Anville's Map). 

P. 43. Homeric heroes. Compare Odyss. I. 19* 

Ei/A OSvaevc AaeprcaSiic, oc vraai SoXocffiy 
• AjifOpi»nroi<n /ilXoi, icai fiev jcXeoc ovpavov ucei. 

P. 44. Unsorrowing. It is said by Pomp. Mela, that the Get» 
rejoiced rather than mourned at the death of their friends (see 


Keyaler, 132). 1 have met with the expression of a similar feeling 
in some other Northern remains^ but have lost the feference. It 
would be indeed a natural result of the belief that all who fell in 
battle were immediately received into Valhalla. 

44. By WelancPs art. Compare Odyss. H. 03. Of the tradi- 
tions concerning Wdand more will be said in a succeeding ar- 

P. 44. Hunferth. This mode of trying the courage and talent 
of a stranger seems to have been not uncommon in the ruder ages. 
The behaviour of the son of Alcinous to Ulysses {Odyss. 6. laO») 
is much in the same character. Thorkelin (Ind. v. ' Contentiones') 
refers to Gunnlaug*s Saga, p. 71» and the note attached. Though 
Hunferth's own courage is stated to be problematical, he does not 
appear to have been regarded in the same contemptible light with 
the Homeric Thersites. Beowulf himself, as we shall see here- 
after, presents him with a sword. Thus Sinfioth (see Handings- 
bana. Edda^ vol. %. p. 73,) is prused for a like talent. 

£r svara kunni h responsa callebat 

Or vi% au'Slinga Et cum nobiUbus 

OrSom scipta. Ferborum ahercationem. 

His^^^tiig with Gudmund is a curious and much coarser speci- 
men in its kind than that of Hunferth. 

[Additional Note by the Editor. 

P. 49* The subject of his So9^ is little more than barely tnii- 
catedn A Danish critic, Mr. Grundtvig, has with much sagacity 
pointed out, in the song thus briefly recited, an allusion to the 
achievements of one of the principal heroes of the cycle of romance 
common to the Edda and Folsunga Saga of the North, and the Ni* 
belungen pf early German poetry. The story here recorded really 
relates to Sigmund Waelsing — the father of the Eddaic Sigurdr 
Volsungr — to whom, according to that version of the story, the 


slaughter of the, dragon ascribed by the Saxon poet to the parent 
is transferred. The corrupt text of ThprkeUn, who reads (p. 68) 

Daet he framsige 
Munde secgan, 
instead of i 

S»t he fram Sigemunde 
Secgan hyr 

at first concealed this allusion, and rendered the whole passage un- 
intelligible. I refer to the equally amusing and learned Preface to 
the new edition of Warton^s History of English Poetry, p. 94, for 
some further and interesting observations on this passage. 

P. 50. Frisians, a Finnish tnbe. Thus' in The Song of the 
Traveller we have ' Finfolc Fresna cynne.* (p. 13. 1, 2.) It should 
however be stated, that the obscurity which pervades the whole of 
this episode is considerable ; and that Thorkelin (perhaps with jus- 
tice) considers the term ' Fm ' as the proper, and not the generic 
name of the Frisian leader. 

[Addendum by the Editor. Thorkelin is undoubtedly right in 
considering Fin as a proper name. The passage cited fiom The 
Song of the Traveller ought to be read ' Fm Folcwalding, Fresna 
cynne.' 'Fin, the son of Folcwald (who also is mentioned in 
Beowulf as ' Folcwalda *), ruled over tiie Frisian race.' The in- 
genious scholar who has conducted the new edition of Walton's 
History of English Poetry has satisfactorily proved Uie subject of 
this episode to be identical witii that of the fragment on the battie 
of Fmsburh (published in the Appendix to the present work). 
He remarks tiiat in Beowulf the actors are Fm, Hnaf, Hengest, 
Guthlaf and Oslaf. In the fragment the same names occur, with 
the substitution of Ordlaf for Oslaf; the scene in either piece is 
Finnesham or Finnesburh, the residence of tiie before-mentioned 
Fm— who, as we have seen, is also mentioned in The Song of the 




TraveUer. He considers it probable that id these lines we have an 
allusion to the founder of the kingdom of Kent, and not to a purely 
fabulous personage of the same name ; and he inquires whether 
Fin may have been a Ce'.t, and whether the GaeUc anUquanes 
can connect him with any Er^ sovereign bearing this name. But 
I must confess myself far from satisfied of an identity which seems 
to have nothing beyond a mere Appellative, so likely from its den- 
vauon to have been commdh, to support it; nor can I concur in 
thechaUenge thrown out to GaeUc antiquaries, wl»o assuredly can 
'connect together many more persons and things than were ever so 

united in sober history.] , . m i 

P. 51. Hr<ahgarmth Hrothulf. See The Song of the Travel- 

ler D. 14» 1« 89. 

T.di. The most splendid collar. This is described as ' Bro- 
singa mene' (q.d. a blazing or bright coUar), the Eddie name for 
the necklace of Freya. If 1 understand the passage, the ornament 
in question is said to have belonged formerly to Hermanrio-to have 
been given afterwaids by Beowulf to Higelac, and worn by hiin for 
the last time when he fell in battie with the Frisians. It is described 
as set with precious stones (Eorclan-stanas). 

P. 52. Evil-minded woman. The original expression is stronger 
and more remarkable, 'ga/fosn-minded' ^alja-mod). 

P. 55. Monsters of the Flood. Orig. ' Niceras'— the Neckar and 
Nicker of later fabulists. (See Keysler, 261, and Jamieson's Diet. 
art. Nicneoen.) Thorkelin regards them as sea-horses or nags. 

55. The savage boar's rude semblance. Thus at p.85, ed. Thork. 
in describing the army of the Scylding, the poet tells us 

W«es k8 jesyne Eratfadlis vim 

Swat-feh syrce, Sat^uine modem lorica, 

Swin ealjylden Aser auro obductus 

Eofer iren heard. Super /errum (galeam) <2uniiii. 

This appears to have been among tlie earliest superstitions of the 
Gothic tribes. «* Mdtrem De^m venerantut ; insigne st^Stitio- 


nisfcfmas Aprarum gestant ; Id pro armU omnique tutelA securum 
Dea aJtorem etiam iuter hottes prastat" Tacit M. 6. de MsHis. 
(See Keysier, 1 dS^O? and the Glossary to Edda, vol. 1 , under HildU 
svini.) In the Saga of Hrolfe Kraka, the traitor Adils.has an en» 
chaoted boeor for his de&nce, and an amulet in the form of a ring 
named -Soya-Gris (Sweden's Boar)« 

[Here the copy transcribed by the late Author for the press ter* 
minated : but there r^ere also extant some scattered references indi- 
cating the subjects which he had further intended to illustrate. 
These have been thrown together by the Editor into the following 
additional notes^ 

P. 56. His good sword HrurUing. We may compare with this 
description that preserved by Snorro of the sword presented to the 
young Haco by king Athelstan (Harald Harfagets Saga, c. 43). 
It had a handle of gold, and an edge so keenly tempered that it 
could cleave a millstone with ease ; whence it was named ' Quern 

P. 57. A wondrous brand. The well-known Tyrfing, reclaimed 
by the adventurous Hervor from her father's sepulchre, was a 
weapon resembling this in its history and properties. See Her^ 
varar Saga. 

P. 62. Gold'Cnareathed prow. One of the most remarkable ves- 
sels of Northern romance was that bestowed by the enchantress 
Brana (whosestory resembles that of Medea) on Halfdan. (See 
Halfdans Saga,c. 12, in Nordiska Kiampa Dater.) ''Then/' said 
Brana, '' that ship will I give thee, Halfdan. I have spent the 
winter in its construction^t shall convey tiiee with a fevouraUe 
breeze wherever thou wouldest sail — ^it is a dragon-shaped bark, 
and shall be called Skranti." 

p. 65. The fire-drake came. This race of reptiles, formed 
doubtless by a poetical exaggeration of the real attributes of the 

If 2 


larger serpents inhabiting southern Asia (the cradle at once of the 
original colonists of Europe and of the original materials of those 
fictions which subsequent ages have but re-produced under varied 
combinations), has ever constituted a prominent feature in romantic 
narrative. The names by which it is described in the present poem 
are *Wyrm' and ' Draca/ with the compounds 'Fir-draca' (the 
fire-drake), ' Eorth-draca' (the earth-drake), * Eorth-scrafa' (the 
digger of the earth) ; and the epithets derived from its imputed 
habits, ' hordes weard * (the guardian of the treasure), and ' beorges 
weard' (the guardian of the mountain). Names evidentiy derived 
from the same roots are found in all the Teutonic dialects, and in- 
deed in most of that larger group of cognate languages which has 
been denominated Indo-European. Thus we have the Icelandic 
*Ormr'and 'Dreka,' the German 'Wurm' and 'Drach,* tiie 
Latin ' Vermis' and ' Draco,' the Greek ' SpaicwM,* the Celtic 
* Draig'— and the Persian ' Kirim/ Nor were the names alone of 
tiiese monsters identical. The fictions of classical arid Gothic an- 
tiquity agree equally in their general attributes, and parbdularly in 
that (more remarkable, perhaps, because underived from any na- 
tural reference to their actually existing prototypes) which assigns 
to them the custody of hidden treasures. This is obvious in the 
dragon-guardians of the golden fleece, and of the fruit of the Hes- 
perids^; Indeed, the idea was proverbially familiar ; thus Martial 
(lib. 12. £p. 45.) reproaches a miser in the following terms, 

Incubasque gaza 
Vt magnus draco quern canurU poetit 
Custodem Scytkicifuisie luci. 

And Phedrus puts a similar application (lib. 4. pab. 19*) into the 
mouth of the fox, who, in dig^ng its earth, 

Perotmt ad draconis spetuncam ultimam, 
Custodiebat qui thesauros abditos. 

The griffons watching the gold ravished from them by the Arimaspt 


is a tale .of the same class. In the romantic fictions of Persia com- 
bats between heroes and dragons often occur. In the wars of that 
nation with the Roman empire we read of the * Persici dracones ' 
among its military standards : hence in the lower ages of the 
empire they were adopted by the Romans themselves^ and thus 
probably introduced among the Britons, whose Pendragon is said 
to have derived his title from their use. 

Belzoni found a similar tradition, of a serpent watching over an 
hoarded treasure, prevalent near the cataracts of the Nile at As- 

But it 18 in the school of Northern fiction that these traits are 
most prominently developed, and in this quarter Saxo Grammati- 
cus (lib. 9) has especially localized it. 

Insula nonlonge est pramollibus edita dims \ 
Cottibus ara tegens et opinut conscia pradtE ; 
Hie tenet eximium, monlis possessor, acervum 
Implicitus gyris Serpens, crebrisque reflexus 
Orbibus et cauda sinuosa volumina ducens, 
MuUiplicesqite agitans spiras virusque prof undent* 

The story of the slaughter of one of these animals (or rather of 
Fafiier transformed into that shape) by Sigmund the Wslsing, has 
been already mentioned as the subject of the song introduced by 
the Scop in Canto X[V. of this poem. This adventure, as. trans- 
ferred to his descendant Sigurdr Volsungr, constitutes the founda- 
tion of the principal cyclus of romantic story contained in the Edda. 
In the Sigurdar Quida will be found a description of the con- 
flict of the hero and the monster — of his den and of its treasures, — 
among which were the helm of terror (£gishialmr) — resembling 
in the panic it struck into adversaries, no less than in name, die 
classical 8Bgis,*-a golden cuirass, and the sword Hrotta. 

There is a considerable similarity, in the close of the career of 
Beowulf by the agency of one of these monsters^ to the death of the 
Emperor Otnit, as recorded in the German Heldenbuck, who in 


like manner» after a long courae of beroical achievemento, was in- 
duced, by th» dreadful ravages committed upon his sulgecU by a 
brood of dragons^ to reassume his arms (notwithstanding the earnest 
remonstrances of his friends) in a war of eaitenniaation against 
them. He succeeded in his object, but sacrificed his own life to 
its accomplishment. 

P. 74. The mariners 

That drive afar to sea, oft as they pass 
Still point to BeowulPs tomb. 

Compare Uiad H. 86. 

ZtUfxa T€ 01 '^ewTWJiv enn trXarei EAAncnrovTy. 
Kai «roT€ Tfc evtrtftn kcX o\piyovbfv avOputirtov, 
N}}i iroXvjcX^fSc irXewv eirc oivoira irovTov' 
AvSp'oc fJiev ToSe S^^a iraXai KarareOviitiTOQ. 

And Odyssey Q. 80. 

Weyap Koi afivfiova rvfiPou 
Xevo/uei» *Apy€iu)v lepoQ ^paroc AiyjiiiraufP 
Aktp em irpov^ovffp eirl irXarci "EXXif^nrorry, 
fie K€v rriX€(j>avfiQ €K 7rovTO<f>iv avipamv em* 

P^ 78. Having dispatched some of the party to obtain from fmr 
the' wood necessary for the funeral pile. Thus Homer lUai 

♦. 1 10. 

dTap Kp€wv ' AyafACfivtov 

Ovpriac T forpwe Kai avepaCy a^e/iev vXijv, 

Ilai^ToOcv — — IC.T.X. 

The whole subsequent narrative of the obsequies of Beowulf^ 
and especially the description of the constructioa of his tumulus, 
will remind the olassical jreader of the similar rites as paid to Pa« 
troclus, /7. i^ ; to Hector, //. Q ; and to Achilles, Odyssey Q. 


Indeed, in no part of thdr customs is that family resemblance 
which pervades ahnost all the European tribes, and connects them 
with those of India, more decidedly marked than in those which 
relate to the last honours paid by surviving piety to the dead. The 
SrifXat of Greece, and the monumental stones of Scandinavia (see 
Keysler), — alike illustrate the conspicuous tower reared over the 
remains of the hero of the present poem : and we find the practice 
of committing arms and treasures to the same tomb with their 
transitory possessor (here instanced in the burial of a portion of the 
dragon's hoard) equaUy prevalent in Hellas (see the account of 
Periander the Corinthian, Herodot. Terpsichore 92), in Scythia 
(Herodot. Melpomene 71), in Gaul (Caesar fi.G. 6. 19)> and 
in most of the ancient European tribes. (See also for many similar 
examples in the North, the History of Snorro Sturleson.) Indeed, 
the community of feeling on this point extended so far, that we 
find the sacrifice of widows on the funeral piles of their husbands 
recommended in Scandinavia no less than in India. Thus in the 
Eddaic narratives of the Volsungr heroes, Brynhillda is recorded 
as so devoting herself to the manes of Sigurdr. Bartholinus 1. 2. 
c. 10 & 13, may be consulted on these subjects. 

The practice of burning the dead appears to have continued 
among the Gothic tribes until their conversion to Christianity. It 
it estpressly forbidden to the continental Saxons by an ordinance of 
Charlemagne yet extant. 





W tklhf, the precedipg page^ were paaaiog throu|^ tiie prew, the 
hand of death imposed ^n abrupt termination at pooe on tbeee lir 
terary. relaxations of an active leisure, and on those pursuits ft 
higher mQpient and. graver character which occupied^ as .they di^ 
mapded, the more serious attention of the Author. Had the d^iga 
of the present work been completed, according to his original inteur 
tion^.a valuable manual of the poetry of the mother dialect of .the 
English language would, have been added to .the stock qf our literar 
ture, and a greater degree of attention than it has yet excited Q»ig)tf 
have been called forth towards asMbject claiming» ajt least, no meax» 
d^^cee.o^philological. interest, md recommended to the student of 
this country by those asspciatioos whiqh bind nations, no less than 
individuals, to their ancestry. For the.esepution of the retraining 
portions of these ** Iltustratioos/' the materials collected were large 
and original, consisting more especially of transcripts from the MS* 
volume of Saxon Poems bequeathed by Bishop Leofric to his ca*- 
thedral church of Exeter ; but these were for the most part unac- 
companied by translation or comment, and fonned in their actual 
state only the rough MSS., from whence characteristic specimens 
would have been by a subsequent examination selected. Had the 
individual, upon whom the melancholy but yet gratifying task df 
editing these remains has devolved, been more highly qualified than 
he could feel himself to be for such a task, he would yet have de« 
dined an undertaking which must have issued in the compilation 
of a new work of his own, and deprived, in some measure, the pre- 


sent volume of its most appropriate character» as a simple memorial 
of its accomplished author. He has therefore considered himself 
as precluded from any attempt to complete the whole design, and 
restricted to the object of arranging such of its scattered fragments 
as were extant, in a state sufficiently prepared for immediate pub- 
lication. Of these many have already been printed in the volumes 
of the Archaologia as communications to the Antiquarian Society. 
But it seemed desirable to collect these separate papers together, 
and thus to present a connected view of the contributions made to 
this single branch of literature by a departed scholar, remarkable 
for the extent and variety of attainments, which at the very period 
when they might have promised to be most productive, were sud- 
denly arrested in their course ; and yet more happily remarkable 
for the due subordination of them all to objects and pursuits which 
alone could not be thus interrupted. 

In arranging these fragments it is the desire of the Editor to pre- 
serve, as far as possible, the composition of the Author without 
alteration or addition. They will, however, be disposed under tiie 
heads which they would have naturally occupied in the develop- 
ment of the original design ; and such brief introductory notices 
will be prefixed, as may show the relative bearing of each, and ex« 
hibit a general outiine of that design, accompanied by specimens 
of the several parts. In this form, the utility of the woi^, as a 
guide to the study of Saxon poetry, wiU, in a considerable degree, 
remain ; although the higher interest, which the taste of the author, 
could it have been exerted in the full illustration of the subjects 
thus nakedly indicated, was so well calculated to impart to them^ 
is indeed irremediably lost. 


No. I. 



This fragment claims the next place to Beowulf, not only as 
having constituted a porUon of a similar historical romance, but 
because the very action to which it relates forms the subject of one 
of thie songs introduced by the minstrel of Hrothgar in that poem. 
(See the end of the l6th and beginning of the 17th Canto» and the 
Notes.) The history to which it refers appears to be (so far as it 
can be collected from these sources, which are not without 
considerable obscurity) that of a war between the Danish Scgrld- 
ings then subject to Healfdane, and led by his thane flengest, 
and the Frisian Eotens or Jutes, whose king Fin the son of Folc- 
wald is besieged in his royal city, called from himself Finsham or 

In the poem of Beowulf the minstrel commences his song on this 
subject by describing the grief of Hitdeburh, who seems to have 
been the queen of Fin, and whose son Hn»f had been slain in a 
battle issuing in the defeat of her husband, and followed by an 
inglorious treaty, in which he was obliged to surrender half his 
dominions, and pay ample tribute. The queen obtains leave to 
celebrate the obsequies of her son ; and according to the custom of 
the age commits his body to the flames. It should further appear 
that the tenxu of this treaty were violated by Fm ; for we find that 


after the interval of a winter, when the sea was again fit for navi- 
gation, Hengest undertook a second expedition against the city of 
Fin, who fell in its defence, his queen being led captive to Den- 
mark in the victor's train. 

The present Fragment appears to^elate to the event of this se- 
cond expedition, and describes the final attack of Finsburh, aft^a 
defence protracted through five days. 

It was discovered by the celebrated Hickes, on a single leaf 
bound up with a MS. volume of Homilies preserved in the Arcbie- 
piscopal Library of Lambeth, whence he transcribed and pub- 
Ushed it in the first volume of his TAes. Ling. Septentr, p. 19^, 
without a translation. 

It was republished in the present form, with a literal Latin and 
metrical English version, as a communication from the author of 
these lUustraUons to the Bibliographia Brilannica. 

At that time, however, the author had enjoyed no opportunity 
x)f consulting the parallel narrative recorded in the poem of Beo- 
wulf ; and the imperfection «nd consequent obscurity of the frag- 
ment itself, in its unillustrated state, led bim erroneously to con- 
sider Hengest as a Saxon chieftain, and the wounded leader meo^ 
tioned in the concluding lines as having been the general of the 
invaders; whereas it seems almost certain that J<*in himsdf, the 
king of the besieged city, must be the party meant. The editor 
has therefore been induced to make the few substitutions pointed 
out in the notes ; and in one or two other lines has altered " our 
chief to ** the chief/' with the same view. 
• If the editor is not deceived, the firagment in the Exetmr MS. 
describing a ruined city once the abode of the Eotens, entirdy de- 
solated by war and fire, probably retatea to tb6 same destruction 
of Fmsburh. This firagment is included among thespecimeDs ex- 
tracted firom the MS. m question in a subaequent article of this 

' In the present fragment (accordii^ to the translator's ooncepfion 
of its nutaning)) the commander of the beiieging army isDopreseoted 



as addressing and receiving an answer from the leader stationed 
at the principal gate of the fortificaUon, in a manner which ooay 
faintly remind the reader of -some of the dialogues which Homer has 
occasionally put into the mouths of his contending heroes; 

• # * * 
- - - nas byma^5 
Nsfire hleo^rode 
Da hearo jeonj cyninj. 
' Ne iSis ne daja'S eastim, 
■ Ne herdraca ne fleojeB, 
Ne hit '"Bisse healle^ 
Homas ne byma'8. 
Ac her forVbera'S, 
Fu^elas sinja'S, 
Gylle8 jrasjhama, 
Gu'B-wudu hlynneB, 
Scyld scefte *oiicwy8. 
Nu scyneS 'Ses mona 
Wa^l under wolcnum. 
Nu arisalS wea-dseda. 

« * *' « 
- - -: accendit 
Nunquam clamavit 
Exerciiusjuvenis rex. 
Neque elucescit (dies) ab oriente, 
Nee belli drdco volatf 
Nee exercitm aula, 
Pinnacula cLcceMiit. 
Sed exercitus egrediiur, 
Folucres cant ant, 
Strepit cicada. 
Belli trabs resonat, 
Clypeo cuspis-alliditur. 
Nuncfulget luna 
Errans sub nubibus. 
Nunc surgunt dohris acta. 

'* ^ . M . 

^ The exact meaning of the whole of this first clause is somewhat obscure. 
Its general purport, however, appears to be either thai no warlike demonstra- 
tions were made during the daytime, or that the army, while preparing for 
and marching to its boctumal attack (the sun not having yet appeared in the 
east), proceeded at first silendy and without violence. 

* The metaphor, by which the arrow is described in this line, may remind 
the classical reader of a sigfiilar expression in the splendid passage which 
.Sschylus has put into the mouth of Apollo in his Eumenidet: L 170. 

' In thu and in all other places where the article does not appear to be 
properly demonMtral^tte, I have omitted to translate it. 

^ This word I appvehend to be compounded of * on/ tufer, and ' cwedan/ 
dkert, somre. It will then mean sounds vpms. 



De "Sisne folces niiS 
Fremman wiUa«. 

Ac onwacni^eaiS nu 
Wi^end mine. 
HabbalS eowre landa, 
Hie ^eaiS on ellen, 
WindaiS on orde, 
WesaiS on mode. 
Da arras maeni; 
Goldhladen 'Sejn; 
Gyrde hine bis swurde. 
Da to dura eodon 
Drihdice cempan 
SijeferS and Eaha, 
Hyra sword ^etu^on^ 
And set oSrum durum 
Ordlaf and GuiSlaf, 
And densest sylfe 
Hwearf bim on laste. 
Da jyt Garulf 
Gu^re styrode, 
D®t be swa freolic feorh 
Forman si^Se 
To "Sere healle durum. 
Hyrsta ne bieran. 
^ Nu hyt ni'Sa beard 
Any man wolde. 
Ac be fnsgck ofer eal 

Qua htffuspapuU immiciiia 

Perficere debet. 

Sed expergi$citur nunc 

Bellator meui. 

Habet veUram terram, 

Alti graditur in virtuUf 

Versatur in principatu. 

Sapiens est in consilio» 

Tunc surgebat plurimus 

Juro omatus ductor; 

Accinxit sibi gladium. 

Tune ad fores ibant 

Nobiles bellatores 

Sigeferih et Eaha, 

Sibigladium accinxemni, 

Et ad alias port as 

Ordlaf et GutUaf, 

Et Hengist ipse 

Ferebat se gressu. 

Tunc etiam Garulfus 

Gutherum exdtabatp 

{Ita) tit ille adeoprcmptus tret 

Primo tempore {vel primo in looo) 

Ad aula portas. 

Ornament a non gerebani. 

Nunc (jdicere) hocpralium grate 

Quispiam vellet. 

Sed ille rogabat super omnes 

Elatd voce (palam) 

1 I have ventured to supply the word dieere in the Latin, and to give the 
passage a turn somewhat different in the Eoglish translation. Possib^ I 
may have been mistaken in both. 



^ Deonnod hseleSy 

HWa %a duru heolde. 

^' SijeferS is min nama," cweS 

*' Ic eom * Secjena leod 
^ Wrecten wide GO'S. 
F»la ic weuna ^ebad 
Heordra hilda. 

* Be 18 jyt herwitod. 
SwflBrSer iiu sylf to me 

* Seoean wylle ?" 
Da W8B8 on healle 
Wiel-slihta ^ehlyn, 
Genumon handa, 
Banhelm berstan, 
BuruhiSelu dynede. 
0% »t itere juiSe 
Garulf jecranj, 
£alra anrest 

Jmattis (carus animi) dux 

QuU portam teneret. 

" Sigeferth est ndhi nomen,^' t»* 

** Ego 9um Saxonkipapuli 
Defensor lati noius. 
Multos ego lahores pertuK 
Difficilium praliorum. 
Hoc est adkuc exerdtui fwtum. _ 
Tune ipse me 
Quarere cupisV* 
Tuncfiiit in auld 
BeUica stragis tumultus, 
Clypei concavi lignum 
Arripiebant manibus, 
Ossa cranii (gdlem)Jindebant, 
Arcis tecta resonahant» 
Donee in bello 
Garulfus ocddtt. 
Omnium excellentisHnnus 
Terr am tncotentiumf 

' I have both hue and in the English considered the word * Deonnod' 
merely as an epithet. It may, however, be a proper name. 

* * Secjena leod ' will hardly bear die interpretation of the text : it should 
rather be translated ' of the host of the soldiers.' There seems to be no autho- 
rity for connecting the Saxons with 'the subject of this poem ; the tribes oon- 
<:emed were, as' we learn from Beowulf, on one side Danish ScyldingSy on 
the other Frisian Jutes.*-£D. 

' This word does not occur in Lye*s Dictionary. It probably signifies cAobh 
jnon, from * wrecan,' exereere, defendere, — * Weuna»' in the next line, is in the 
same predicament I have supposed it to be derived from the same root 
^th * winnan' and * wonian/ laborare, dejkere, 

* Weuna ' is probably an error for * weana,' o^fioiu.—- Ed. 

^ I am by no means certun that my translation of this line b correct. 

* The word * seoean ' here is somewhat ambiguous ; it may signify either 
to attack f or to yield to. 




Gu'Slafes siinu, 

Ymbe hyne godra fbla 

Hwearflacra hner*. 

Hnefen wandrode 

Sweart and sealo brun. 

Swurd leoma stod, 

Swylce eal Finnsburuh 

Fyreau wmre. 

Ne ^efineju ic 

N»fre wurBlicor 

Ml wera bilde. 

Sisti; sijebeorna 

Sel 'jebeerann, 

Ne nefre swa noc hwitDe medo 

Sel forjyldan. 

Donne 'hn»fe pildan. 

His hae^stealdas. 

Hi; fuhton fif daps, 

Swa hyra nan ne feol 


Ac bi; %a duru heoldon. 

Da pwatliini ^wund haeleS 

On was; janpn ; 


Circa ilium fortes multi 

Caduci mariebantur. 

Corvus vagabatur 

Niger et $alici$ instarfoscus. 

Gladii coruscatio comtitit 

Tanqtiam omnis Finsburga 

Accensa esset. 

Non audivi ego 

Unquam spectaUnliarem 

In hello pugnam, 

Sexaginta victoria Jilii 

Pro auld stabant, 

Nunquam adeo ulld ex parte medi 

Aulam (ut) traderent. 

Tuncjuvenes auro omati. 

Ejus {sdL Hengisti) primariij 

Pugnabant quinque dies, 

Ita ut eohim nemo caderet 


Sed illi adhuc portam tenebant. 

Tunc accingebat se vulneratusdux 

Infogam (viam) recipere; 

* The gramm^Ltical construction of these lines requires that ^ hraer' should 
be considered as a substantive governing the preceding genidves. It is pro- 
bably an error of transcription for * hnew/ which will make the sense, * aronnd 
him was the corpse of many a brave fallen warricM'.' — £d. 

* From * ^ehGOT^axk/ servare. I am uncertain as to the exact oonstnictioa» 
though not as to the general purport, of the next line. 

' ' Hneef ' appears from Beowulf to be the proper name of the son of Hil- 
deburh slain in the first batde there recorded. I cannot, however, substitute 
a version satisfactory to myself for that in the text-r-En. 

^ This is given by Lye as the participle of 'wuHdan/ to wcnmL It ap- 
pears rather to be the participle of * wunlan,' Uanguart t^fiei, from wluch 
the secondary verb 'wundan' is derived. 



Saede "Sset his byme 
Abrocen w»re 
* Here sceorpum hror, 
And eac wara his helm iSyrl. 

Da hine sona fnsffi, 
Folces hyrde 
Hu "Sa wijend hyra 
Wunda jenaeson. 
OSVe hwDffSer 'Saora hyssa 
• • • • 

Dixit quod ejus lorica 
Fracta erat 

Exercitus acutis (telis) caduca 
Et etiam erat efus galea pene- 

Tunc illi citd quterehant 
PopuK pastorem 
Quomodo tunc duceM mum 
Fulneribus levarent. 
Aut ubi sua - - - 

• • • • 


The sun had dimVd the eastern sky ;-^ 
But not by day the youthful band 

May hear their leader's battle cry. 
Nor yet, on Fmsburg's fatal strand. 

The warrior'a winged serpent fly : 
Pauses from blood the foeman's hand. 
Nor strives he yet to fire yon hall's proud canopy. 

Sweetly sung the birds of night, 
The wakeful cricket chirrup'd loud. 

And now the moon, serenely bright, 
Was seen beneath the wandering cloud. 

Then roused him swift the deadly foe. 

To deeds of slaughter and of woe. 

' The construction of this line is somewhat obscure. 


Now beneath the javelin's stroke 

The buckler's massy circle rung. 
Anon the chains of slumber broke 
That chieftain great and good, 
He whose high prsuse fills every tongue. 
First in valour as in blood, 
The matchless Hengist to the battle woke. 

Uprose in that eventful tide 

Full many a warrior brave. 
And don'd his armour's golden pride. 

And girt his glittering glaive. 
At the high hall's portal wide, 

Foremost of the noble band, 

Sigvart and iEha proudly stand. 
Where other pass the foe might find, 
Ordlaf watch'd with Guthlaf join'd. 
Garulf next vnih fiery speed 
Roused Guthere fi'om the slumberer's bed. 
No care of dress their steps dela/d. 
Each grasp'd in haste his shining blade. 
And fierce the brother warriors flew 
To guard the hall's high avenue. 
He that prides him in the fight. 
Had joy'd to see that gallant sight. 

And now in accents loud 
The foeman's chieftain bold and proud 
Sought what thane or battle lord 
At the high gate kept watch and ward. 

'' Sigvart is here/' the champion cried, 

** Sigvart oft in battle tried. 


Known to all the warrior train 
Where spreads the ' Frisian's wide domain. 
Now, chieftain, turn thee to the fight,! 
Or yield thee to the ^ Jutish might/' 

Soon the tented halls among 
Loud the din of slaughter rung ; 
Closer now each hostile band 
Grasps the shidd with eager band. 
And many a chief is doomed to feel 
Through helm and head the griding steeL 
FuBt in that disastrous plain 
Guthlaf's valiant son was slain. 
Where Garulf lies untimely dead 
Many a fated hero bled. 

There to seek his destined food, 
The dark and willow pinion'd raven stood : 

And far around that field of blood 
The sword's dread radiance beam'd to heaven. 
It seem'd as though that mom had given 

All Finsburg to the ravening flame* 

Ne'er heard I yet of fight might claim 
A nobler or a sadder name. 

At the high hall a chosen band. 

Leaders brave that shine afiu*, 
Full sixty sons of victory stand 

In all the golden pomp of war : 
Little think they to forgo 
The hall of mead for that proud foe. 

' I have here substituted Frisian's for < Saxon's/ '^ ^^^ ^ render it con- 
sistent with the real narrative* — En. 
* Substituted for ' Saxon.'— Ed. 


Five Uve-long days the Vatde's sound 

Was heard by Fiosburg's eaitii-raised mound. 

Yet undiminish'd and unquellM 

That hero band the portal lield. 

Till bleeding from the ^ Scylding'a blade 

«The City's lord his fear betray'd, 

And told, in accents of desfwdr. 

How broken helm aod corslet reft 

Defencele&s to the stroke had left 

His head and bosom bare. 
Then sought the vanquished * train relief 
And safety for their wounded chief. 

> Substituted for ^ Saxon.'— £d. 

* Substituted for ^our foeman's lord/— Eo. 

^ Substituted for 'foe/— Ed. 


No. II. 


The account handed down in Bedels Ecclesiastical History, of 
the ancient Saxon poet Ceedmon, and the undoubted fragment 
of his composition there preserved to us, have ahready been fiiUy 
noticed in the beginning of this work : — ^the poems which form the 
present article are of a more problematical character. They con- 
stitute a metrical paraphrase of the Book of Genesis and some 
other parts of the Old Testament, extant in a MS« of the tenth 
century, preserved in the Bodleian library^, but unfortunately 
destitute of the author's name. Junius, who published at Amster- 
dam, in 1655, an edition of this work (which has since become of 
the greatest rarity), was, from the identity of the subjects with 
those which we know, upon the authority of Bede, to have occu- 
pied Ciedmon's muse, induced to ascribe it without hesitation to 
that autlior; and it may be added, in support of his opinion, that 
the internal evidence, arising from a comparison of the undoubted 
fragment as before given and the Paraphrase in question, is, so far 
as it goes, favourable*; the same poetical ornaments and form of 

^ Junius XI. a snudl folio on parchment^ with several illuminations, from 
which a series of eDgraving» on copper was made some years since, the ori- 
ginal plates being now in the possession of Mr. Ellis of the British Museum. 
The MS. is in two different bands — the first portion i^^paiently of the dose 
of the tenth century, the latter of the eleventh. 

* It will be remembered that this fragment consists only of eighteen short 
u We have the following epidiets of the Deity, all of frequent occurrence 


construction being common to both : yet it must at the same 6me 
be acknowledged, that there exists so high a d^ee of uniformity in 
these respects throughout the great mass of Saxon poetry, that the 
aiigument cannot be considered as decisive ; for oa similar grounds 
we should also be led to ascribe the greater part of the Exeter MS. 
atid very many other Saxon poems (without any ancient authori^ 
for so doing) to the same claimant : and the style even in Beowulf 
(which, from the subject, must in all probability be referred to the 
Dano*Saxon period, and therefore be placed three or four cen- 
turies later than the age of Cedmon,) exhibits the same general 

in ibe pantphrase — ^Heofon rices weard, £oe Drihten^ Halij Scippend, Mod- 
^mies weaid, Frea ^Imihtij. Indeed, there is scarcely a single phrase that 
is not common to both the compositions, and the same identity prevails in 
their whole stmcture^. The exordium of the Paraphrase conveys exacdy 
the same thought as the Hymn cited by Bede, clothed nearly in the veiy 
same expressions. 

Us is riht micel Nolnt eti maxmt aquum 

Diet we rodera weard, Odorum custodem. 

Wereda wuldor Cininj, Populorum glorumam JZ^em, 

Wordum herijen, VerU» ceiebrart^ 

Modum lufien; Animk 

He is magna sped, lUe velpoUniUms at^tanaU» ai, 

Heafod ealra Cfqnd omnium 

Heah jesceafta,' Quotquoi eseeUo iwU creata, 

Frea a:lnuhti2. Kector omn^otens. 

NsDS him fruma lefre Nonjtut ei jninc^kan unpum 

Orjeworden, JntigiMt progemtum^ 

Ne nu ende cymV Neque dehmcfim aderit 

Boean Drihtnes. .Mterno Doadno. 

Us 18 much right that we heavoi's guardian Lord, 
The King in gloiy o'er his hosts supreme, 
Praise with our lips, and in our hearts adore. 
Source of all power, of all his noblest works 
Himself the nobler head, Almighty Prince I 
To him beginning none of days was wrought 
Before, nor change nor end approacheth nigh 
The' eternal Ruler's ever-during sway. 


features. Hickes and Wanley have, oh these grounds, dissented 
from the opinion of Jumus, and are rather willing to ascribe these 
pixxluctions to some unknown Dano-Sazon Scald» than to the 
father of Anglo-Saxon poetry. Their negative, however, does not 
appear to be better supported than his affirmative ; for the distinc» 
tion which they both assign between the pure and Dano-Saxon 
styles is assuredly one rather of individual genius, or of particular 
classes of poetry, than of the schoob of difierent ages. It consists 
in the absence of poetical ornament and dictionl When an author, 
from the nature of his subject, (as Alfred in his version of the moral 
and philosophical poetry of Boethius,) or from his incapacity for any 
thing better, writes in a style little elevated above the ordinary tenour 
of prose, they select him as one of the spring-heads of the ''pure 
well of Saxon undefiled." Thus a tedious description of Durham, 
which has nothing of poetry excepting the metrical arrangement, 
is pnused as genuine and sterUng ; but if the bard should attempt 
the inveruons and figures of a loftier strain, he is immediately set 
down as a Dano-Saxon. Since, however, the fragment of the ge- 
nuine CsMlmon possesses, in a high degree, the same characteristic 
features, their conclusions rest on an assumption which ap- 
pears to be untenable. As we learn from Bede that Ced- 
mon was the head of an extensive school of imitators, who adopted 
him as their great model, should we not rather infer that-the pecu- 
liarities in question were derived from that source, and always 
mark the compositions in which they occur, if not as those of Csed- 
mon himself, at least as those of the Cssdmonian school? 

The question, therefore, whether the Bodleian MS* exhibits the 
genuine remains of the great head of that school, or of some one 
among its later disciples, must be considered as undecided, and, 
unless some mbre perfect copy should be discovered (an event not 
to be hoped for), incapable perhaps of decision, except in so far as 
the merit of many portions of the Paraphrase, and especially of the 
narrative of the fall of our first parents, may induce us rather to 
incline to the former opinion. 


The contents of the MS., which has given occancm to these re- 
marks, may be thus briefly analysed : 

1 . The first portion, after an exordium of thanksgiving to the 
great Creator, relates the fall of a portion of the angelic host» and 
theilesign of the Deity to replemsh the void thus occasioned in his 
creation by a better and boUer race ;— the consequent production 
of this earthly system by tiie successive operations of six days is then 
closely, yet not without the addition of poetical ornament, para-» 
phrased fi-om the first chapter of Genens. But a chasm in the MS. 
has interrupted the narrative at the close of the third day's work. 
It recommences with the formation of Eve, and a description of 
Paradise, being again mutilated in the prohibitory charge which 
was made the test of obedience to its inhabitants. This occupies 
the first five pages of the Junian edition, and may be considered as 

2. The paraphrast then enters upon what seems originally to 
have formed a distinct narrative, having for its subject th^ fall of 
man, ushered in by a repetition (but more in detail) of ihe circum- 

, stances abready introduced in the exordium ^, of the pride, rebellion, 
and punishment of Satan and his powers ; and, with a resemblance 
to Milton so remarkable that much of this portion might be almost 
literally translated by a cento of lines from that great poet, he 
introduces us to the debates of the fallen angels, and ascribes to th^r 
prince a speech of much spirit and character, although injured by 
the repetitions common to the poetry of a rude period. In this, 

* Another Northern work, the ^pecuhim Regale, written in the Icelandic 
dialect by an uncertain author, probably about the latter half of the twdfth 
century, contains a prose account of the fallen angels and temptation of 
Adam, which may be compared with this of Csedmon. In the earlier yan 
the resemblance is considerable, especially in the speech ascribed to Satan; 
but afterwards the likeness ceases, for Satan -b described as accompanied by 
personifications of the principal vices— envy, hatred, fraud, avarice, ambitioo, 
voluptuousness, &c. 


Satan, after indignant murmurs at his hie, exhorts his compaaionsi 
by tbe memory of past benefits, to aid in soothing his pains by pro« 
curing that vengeance against the new favourites of Heaven^ which 
the fiery fetters bound indissolubly upon his own limbs (but, as it 
should aeem, upon his alone) deprived him of the possibility of at* 
tempting in person. One of the associate fiends (as may be ga* 
thbred from the context^ for the MS. is here again mutilated) 
accepts the task, and under the disguise of the serpent becomes 
the tempter^ of our first paronts, widi whom he enters upon a long 
dudogue, representing himself as an emissary from -the Deity, com- 
missioned tochaii^ them to partakeof the tree of death. Adam re. 
fuses lo credit his pretensions; but Eve ^elds to his threats of the 
vengeance of Heaven, provoked by the incredulity with whidi its 
messenger had been received ; and to the comidiments which he 
adrcntly insinuates to her own superior prudence— a quality, how- 
ever, in which the poet more than hints his opinion of her deficiency : 
—the fiend casts over her a magical delusion, by which he induces 
her to beheve at the moment when she has eaten the forbidden 
fruit, that all her faculties are expanded, that a celestial light shines 
around her, and that her sphere of vision is so enlarged as to pene- 
trate throughout the universe, even to the throne where the Deity 
sittetb» in the south-eastern regions > of the heavens, encircled by 

^ This distinction between Satan and the Tempter I cannot trace to any 
older source whence the paraphrast may be supposed to have borrowed it ; 
possibly it may have been suggested by die phrase ^ Satan and the Old Ser* 
pent," occurring in the Revelations. ^ 

* Can the direction of Christian churches towards this point of the com- 
pass have led to this singular localization of the throne of Deity ? As opposed 
to it, we find the rebel angels described by our poet as ioteqding to eieot a 
rival seat of power in the north-west. The idea which attributes, the north 
to thb latter purpose is very conunoo, and perhaps derived from receiving li- 
teraUy a figurative passage in Isaiah, xiv. 12, To this Milton alludes, P. JL 
V. 689, ^' Where we possess the quarters of the north.'' But the addition of 
the west is, I believe, peculiar to the Saxon paraphrast. Bishop Newton's 
note on the passage above cited in his edition of Milton, oommenoes with a 
naivete suffidendy amusing : ** Some have thought that Milton intended, but 
I dare say he was above mtending here, a reflection on Scotland/' 


his aogeU. HerrepresentatioDs and persuasidns succeed in sbakiDg 
the resolution of her husband ; and the tempter prepares to return 
to his prince, exulting in the triumphant revenge which he is about 
to carry back as an alleviation to the torments of hell. The miseiy 
and remorse of Adam, and the judgement of the Dtitj, are then 
briefly described. This portion of the paraphrase (which here, in- 
deed, rather claims the title of an original poem) extends from the 
5th to the 24th page of the printed edition. From the awkward- 
ness of its connection with the narrative of the creation, die repe- 
tition of the story of the fallen angels, and the change of metre ob- 
servable near its commencement S as well as finom the contrast 
which it exhibits to the meagre style of much of the following pa- 
raphrase, it seems to have formed originally a distinct compoation, 
which perhaps the paraphrast of a later age has worked up into 
his &bric. Its form and character is remarkably dramatic ; and if 
we had any reasons for supposing tiiat representations of scriptural 
histories analogous to the mysteries of a later period were tii^i 
known, we might almost believe it to have tieen written with tiiat 

S. The subsequent histories of Cain and Abel, and of the pa- 
triarchs, both before and after the flood, to the close of the life of 
Abraham, are regularly narrated in almost literal and undeccffated 
versions of the scriptural accounts ^ ; the only attempts to intno- 
duce ornaments of a more poetical character occurring in the nar- 
rative of tiie Deluge, and of the battie of the kings against Sodom. 
This portion terminates in the 63rd page of the printed edition. 

* See the spedmens of the longer Casdmonian lines in the Introductoiy 
Essay on Saxon Metre. 

* For example, ''Of that race was Cainan/ next after Enos, die supreme 
ruler, the protector, and instructor; he had even 70 winters ere a son arose 
to him; then was in die land an heir begotten to the race of Cainan,Malahd 
was. he named; after that» 840 winters, die son of Enos increased with men 
the nwnber of his progeny. He had in all 900 winters, and 10 ^so i^iea 
he departed this world.^ 


4. By ao' abrupt transition, the paraphrast passes at once from 
Abraham to Moses, and records the miracles wroi^ht upcm the 
land of Egypt^ and the overthrow of Pharaoh's host in the Red Sea. 
In this party which extends to p. 7^^ the style again becomes more 

5. Hence by another hasty advance, in which the fortunes of 
the Israelites from the age of Moses to that of Daniel are slightly 
alluded to in a &w lines, apparently added for the purpose of .afr 
fording a connecdng link between two compositions originally de- 
tached, we are conducted to a paraphrase of the contents of the 
first live chapters of the latter prophet, including also the apocryphal 
Song of the Three Children, extending to page 92, and ending 
abruptly in the middle of the speech of Daniel to Bdshazzar. Here 
the older hand-writing of the MSnCeases, the following portion 
being of a diflferent and more modern, though still ancient cha- 

6. This appended part consists of an entirely distinct poem^ the 
principal subject of which is the triumphant entrance into Hades by 
Christ, familiarly known in the middle ages under the title of the 
Harrowing of Hell. But this is introduced by several long harangues 
of Satan and his angels, reproaching themselves and each other 
with their crime and its consequent punishment, so little connected 
with the sequel or with each other, and so inartificially thrown to- 
gether, as rather to resemble an accumulation of detached frag- 
ments than any regular design. After these speeches, the poet 
digresses to the moral inference that man may acquire, by his con- 
duct, either joy with the angels above, or torment in the society of 
these fiends — expatiating on either alternative. He then proceeds to 
statethatthe knowledge that Christ should descend to Hell to redeem 
his people, was an especial cause of grief to Lucifer. The dread of 
the fiends, and the joy of the captive spirits of men, at the accom- 
plishment of that grf at event, are next described. While the victo- 
rious Redeemer prepares to lead forth his ransomed saints, £ve 
addresses him, bewailing the consequences of her transgression. 



and eupplicating his aid to deliver henelf and her offipring^ sinoe 
for that purpose he had, fix>m her daughter Maiy^ assumed the 
nature of man* Christ having accoinpUshed this ddiverance, in 
turn recapitulates what he had endured and done for that purpose. 
His severisd appearances to his disciples after his resurrection, the 
institution of baptism, and his ascension, briefly follow ; and tiie 
consideration of his present station at the right hand of the Eternal 
Father, is made to introduce that of his future and final judgement. 
By an abrupt and singular transition, the poet having described the 
hymns of the glorified spirits in heaven to th^r Lord, turns back 
to his temptation, with the observation, ''This is tiie same Lord who 
died and endured tempta^on for us.'' With this, and die return of 
die baffled Tempter to his prison-house, the MS. concludes. 




" Is "Sass esnja styde, 
(Ungelic swi%e 
Dam odrum 
De we ser cu'Son 
Hean on heofon rice) 
De me min hearra onla; i 
Deah we hine 
For "Sam alwaldan 
A^an ne moston, 
Romijan ures rices. 
Nsef^ he ^Seah 

'' Estne hk imquus locus, 

{Dissimilis valde 

Hits aliis 

Qua nos olim nonimus 

Alti in calorum regno) 

Quo me mem Dominus detruiit*^ 

Siquidem nos eos 

Per Ulum omnipotentem 

Possidere non debemuSf 

Coacti cedere e regno nostro. 

Non ilk siqtddem 


Riht ^edoD, 

Bat he us hef 'S befidled 

Fyre to botme 

Helle 'Saere hatluiy 

Heofon rice benumea. 

Hafa% hit •gemeaxcod 

Mid mancynne 

To jeaettaone. 

Det me is sorja ni»sty 

Det Adam sceal, 

De wes of eorSan ^^worht» 

MiDoe stroDjUcan 

Stol behealdan, 

Wesan him on wynne, 

And we %is wite %olien, 

Hearm on %isse helle. 

Wa la ! ahte ic 

Minra handa jeweald, 

And moste ane tid 

Ute weorSan, 

Wesan ane winter stunde. 

Donne ic mid «is werode— 
Ac lic^a^S me ymbe 
Iren benda, 
RideS racentan sal. 
Ic eom ricesleas ! 
Habba'S me swa hearde 
HeUe clommas 
Festie befanjen. 
Her is fjr micel 
U£em and neoSone, 
Ic a ne jeseah 
La'Sran landscipe. 




Qudd ilk nos oppressit 

Igne in abysso 

Gehenna hujus (orridi, 

{Et) calorum regnum abstulSt, 

lllud designavit 

Humano generi 

In possessionem. 

Hoc ndhi est dolor maximus, 

Qudd Adamus debet 

Quifuit e terrdfabricatus' 


Sedem possidere, 

Fore ilium in gaudio, 

Et nos banc vindictdm pati 

Patnam in hoc inferno* 

Me miserum! si habuerim 

Mearum manuum potentiam, 

Et possem in aliquid temporis 

Hinc evadere, 

Sit (licet) unum {tantum) hyber* 

num tempm. 
Tunc ego cum hoc exercitu-^ 
Sedjacet circum me 
Ferrea catena, 
Deprimit vinculorum nexus. 
Sum regno destitutus ! 
Tenent me adeo validi 
Gehenna vincula 
Fortiter obstringendo* 
Hie est ignis multus, 
Supri et infrd, 
Ego nunquam vidi 
Tetrius spectaculum. 


Li; ne aswama'S Flamma non languescU 

H&t ofer helle. . Torrida super Gehennam, 

Me habba'S hrinja jespon;, MM annulis canstructa 

Sli'S hearda sal Mcrdadbus catena 

SiiSes amyrred/' Gressus impedicU»* 

'< Is this the hateful place (Unlike indeed 
Those seats we once in heaven^s high kingdom knew) 
To which the conqueror chains me, never more. 
Expelled by him, the' Almighty one, to gain 
That realm ! How hath he wrong'd us of our right» 
That the dread flames of this infernal gulf 
Pours full upon us, and denies us heaven ! 
That heaven» alas, he destines to receive 
The sons of men : 'tis this that grieves me most, 
That Adam, he the earthbom, should possess 
My glorious seat; that he should live in joy, 
And we in hell's avenging horrors pine. 
O that my hands were free, that I might hence 
But for a time» but for a winter's day ! 
Then with this host : but that these knotted chains 
Encompass» that tliese iron bands press on me. 
O ! I am kingdomless ; hell's fetters cUng 
Hard on each limb : above» beneath, the flame 
Fierce rages : sight more horrible mine eyes 
Ne'er yet have witness'd. O'er these scorching deeps 
The fire no respite knows : the strong forged chain, 
With ever-biting links, forbids my course." 




As the original of this passage is printed as a specimen of the 
metrical structure of Saxon poetry in the Introductory Essay on 
that subject, it is unnecessary to repeat it in this place. 

The Lord sent rain from heaven, and, o*er the land 
Wide wasting, bad the whelming torrents nish« 
Dark from the' abyss, with hideous roar burst forth 
Tlie' imprisoned waters. Oc^an heav'd his tide 
High o'er its wonted limits. Strong was he 
And mighty in his wrath, that on the plains 
Pour'd that avenging stream, and swept to death, 
Wide through the realms of earth, a sinful race. 

Now o'er each dwelling-place of man the wave 
Spread desolation, for the Lord fulfiU'd 
His anger upon mortals. Fifty days. 
And fifty nights continuous that dark flood. 
Fear-struck and fainting, drove them to their doom. 
Vengeance and death in all their terrors raged. 
The heaven-commission'd waters on all flesh 
Work'd the dread punishment of lawless lust. 

Fearful and wild where'er beneath the sky 
Earth spreads her ample confines, the swift stream 
O'er-tower^d the mountains, and, secure meanwhile. 
With all her inmates bore the sacred bark. 

Sped by the power that bad creation rise. 
So sweU'd the flood that soon its buoyant load 
The watery waste encompass'd ; — fearless then 
Of hunger or of harm they rode at large 
Beneath heaven's canopy ; — the billow's rage 



* Touch'd not that feted vessel— for their Lord 
Was with them still — the Holy one preserved them. 
Full fifteen cuhits o'er the mountain heights 
The sea-flood rose and drank the force of man.* 
Wondrous and awful was that work of wrath. 

' They were cut off from men, and none was near them. 
Save Him that reigns above ;— all else on earth 
The whelming host of waters covered wide. 
That ark alone the' Almighty one upheld. 




[Page 72.] 

FOLC wfles afasred, Populuifuitpavefactus, 

Flod ejsa becwom. Fluctus terribilis supervenii cos. 

Castas jeomre ^ Spiritu$ murmuranies 

Geofon dea'Se-hweop. Dabant mortiB-nlulatum, 

Wseron beorh-hli<Su Erant tumuhrum apices 

Blode-bestemed. Sanguine funiantes. 

Holm heolfi:^ spaw. Mare cruorem evomehat» 

Hream wsds on ySum. Lamentatio erai super undas. 

' The poetical feeling of the Translator has here, I fear, seduced him into 
an incoirect version ; the original '^ fiftena stod. deop ofer dumim. «r drtnet 
fiod, numnet elna^ is simply — ^^ the drenching sea-flood stood fifteen ells deep 
over the hillsi" monnes elna is the usual name for this measure* — Ed. 

a Noah and his famUy — ^Tbe abruptness or the transition here b vay 



W»ter wepoaful 
Wadlmist astah. 
Waeron Egypte 
Eft OD-cyrde^ 
Flugon forhtijeQcle, 
F»r ODjetoD. 
WoldoD here blea^ 
Hamas findan^ 
Gylp wearS gnomra ; 

Him ODjeD ;enap 
Atol yBa jewealc, 
NaD "Ser aeni; becwom 
Heroes to hame. 
Ac behindan beleac 
Wyrd mid-wsBje. 
DsBr »r wtejas la^on 
Mere modjode : 
Mse^en w»8 adrenced. 
Streamas stodon, 
Stonn up-jewat 
Heah to heofonum* 
Here wopa masst. 
Lathe! cyrmdon- 
Lyft up jeswearc 
Faepim stsfnum. 

Gyllende gryre 
Gar-sec; wedde 
Up ateab on sleap* 

' Aqud armcTum pien& 
Gurgitis caligo oriebatur. 
Erant ^gypti 
Retrd versi, 
Fugiebant parfidi, 
Timorempemtits senserunt* 
Vellet exercitus lubenter 
Damum reparare, 
Superbia eorum erai dgectior 

facta ; 
IUo8 iterum corripuii 
TerribilUfluctuum volutatio, 
Neque inde ulli redibani 
Bellatores domum. 
Sedpone occludebat eos 
Faium in medio cursu. ^ 

Vbi modd viafuerat aperia 
Marefurtbat : 
Jgmen submersum est» 
Fluctus ascendebant, 
Tempestas exoria est 
Altl in cedes. 
Exercitus JUbat multunif 
Mceror! clamabant 
Usque ad aera tenebromim 
Languidis vocibus» 

Fremens korribUe 
Oeeani violentiafurebat 
Experrecta e sornno. 

* The meaning of this line is not very clear, nor is the editor confident 
that his 0¥m translation is correct. AguA iangvam lacrymarum pUnA was sug- 
gested by a friend, and is adopted in the English. 

O 2 


E^esan stodon, Terrores ejus assurgebant, 

Weollon wsel'beDDa, Volvebantur cadavera hom i n u m. 

Wit-rod jefeol, Supplkii virga incidebat in eos, 

(Heah of heofoDum {Alti in calls 

Hand weorc Godes) Manuum opus Dei) 

Fami; bosma Spumanti in sinu 

Flodwearde slob, > Fluctuum custos obruebat eos, 

Unhleowan wee;.. Immitis undo. 

The heathen stood aghast : fierce raged the flood» 
And wuling spirits gave the shriek of death. 
The blood streamed fresh on each man's destined grave ; 
The sea foam'd gore; screams were amid the waves. 
As though the waters wept : darkling uprose 
The whirlpool mists : Egypt was backwards tum'd ; 
Dismay'd they fled ; fear struck their inmost soul. 
How fall'n their boasting now ! how would they Joy 
Once more to reach their home ; but that foul surf. 
Swift rolling in its force, o'erwhelm'd their pride. 
That none retum'd of all the warrior train. 
Midways Jehovah stay'd their mad career : 
Where lay their path, there raged the ocean wave. 
Low sunk the host ; the streams ascended high. 
And high as heaven uprose the vengeful storm. 
Loud wept the warriors ; fix>m each dying tongue 
The shriek of woe pierced the cloud-darken'd air. 

Mad ocean raged ; forth from his slumbers roused. 
In all his terrors, stood the King of floods : 
With horrid din he chased the warrior host: 
Corpse rolling upon corpse, the' unpitying wave 
(So work'd tlie will of heaven's Almighty Lord) 
Deep in its foaming bosom held their pride. 


Another specimen of Saxon narrative poetry, derived from a . 
Scriptural source, is preserved in the Cottonian Library, Yitel- 
lius X., and has been published by Mr. Thwaite, appended to 
bis edition of the Heptateuch. This is in its present state a firag- 
ment only, comprising the concluding section of a regular poem 
which has originally extended through ten sections* The subject 
is founded on the apocryphal history of Judith ; which has afforded 
however the outline only, the whole colouring and filling up hav. 
ing been supplied by the imagination of the poet. In style it 
gready resembles those portions of the Junian Cssdmon in which 
the character of a servile paraphrast is exchanged for a bolder 
strain of original invention, — as in the description of the &llen an- 
gels, 8cc. The part still extant describes the feast and death of 
Holofemes, the escape of Judith, and the victory achieved by her 
countrymen over the As^syrians. Mr. Turner, to whom Anglo- 
Saxon literature is so much indebted, has already presented the 
public with, a literal EngUsh version of the most interesting pas- 
sages which remain, including, indeed, not less than two-thirds of 
the whole firagment. (See History of the Anglo-Saxon»^ It can- 
not therefore be necessary to enter more fully upon the subject in 
the present work* 


No, III: 



This MS. h&s already been generally described in tbe iotro- 
ductaon to tbe Song of tbe Traveller^ one of tbe most aingular 
poems contained in it^ printed in tbe earlier part of tbis Tolume; 
it bad been intended by tbe Autbor of tbese Illustradons to have 
given, in tbe course of tbem, very copious extracts frosa other por- 
tions of this ancient collection, and be bad prepared extenstve tran- 
scripts for tbis purpose, especially from tbe latter paita of tbe 
volume» which have been passed over by Wanley in his analytical 
Catatogtie of Saxon MSS. writh a very vague and incorrect nottce. 
Under these circumstances tbe Editor was of opinioa that he 
should perform an acceptable service to the Saxon antiquary in 
presenting some account of tbe results aiising from this more cai^ 
ful re-examinaUon of a relic so interesting ; and he has inserted it 
in tbis place as forming an appropriate introduction to the fol- 
lowing specimens selected from the MS. itself. 

The MS. in question is a folio of middle size, distinguished by 
tbe clearness and beauty of its characters. It formed a part of 
the donations of Bishop Leofric (between tbe years 1046 and 1073} 
to the library of his cathedral at Exeter, and appears to have been 
the volume which he designates, in a Catalogue^ still extant of tbe 


1 This Catalogue is reprinted below, from the copy given by Wanley, as 
affording an interesting view of a conventual library at that period. It has 




books which he thus bestowed, as ^ I mycel JSoglisc boc be j&- 
bwylcum ^injum on leoSwkan jeworht,^' ** One large English 
book coDcerniog miscellaneous subjects composed in verse/' It 
is at present mutilated both at the banning and end, and has been 

now (in consequence, probably, of the dispersion of monastic property after 
the Reformation) found its way to the Bodleian, as have some other parts 
of the good Bishop's literary donation; others are preserved in the li- 
brary of Bennett College, Cambridge; while a few only remain in the pos- 
session of the Chapter of Exeter. It will be seen that the contents were 
chiefly of a liturgical nature, with portions of the Scriptures, Commentaries 
on them, Homilies, &c. Persius b the only poetical, and Porphyry the only 
philosophical writer of classical antiqui^. Of the later period we have 
Boethiu8| Sedulius, Prudentius, and Orosius. 


■ • 


• • 



FuUe Msessebec 
Pistel bee - 
Fulle sanj bee 
Niht sanj 

Ad te levavi - 

S Perfect Missals 
1 Copy of the Collects. 
S Copies of the Epistles. 
8 Entire Antiphonaria. 
1 Night-song, perhaps the Complin* 
Ihe service thus beginning. 
1 Troparium. 




• • • 



• • 








Se Sriddan Saltere swa man sin^V Psalter of St. Jerome ? 

on Rome 
Ymneras • • • < 
Deorwyi^ Bletsin; boc - 
oftJrc - - - - < 
Englisc Xies-boc - 

Sumer Raedinj boc 
Winter Rsdinj boc 
Regula Canonicorum 
Canon on Lflsden • 
Scrift boc on Enjlisc 

% Collections of Hymns. 

1 Benedicdonal of great value. 

3 Ditto. 

1 Saxon Gospels. 

8 Lessons for the Summer Service. 

1 Ditto for the Winter. 

1 Rule of St Benedict? 

History of Martyrs. 
1 Canons in Latin. 

• .1 Saxon Confessionalt 
Ful Spel boc Wintres and Sumeres 1 Complete collection of Homilies for 

Winter and Summer. 
Boetki boc on EngUic - - Saxon tramlation of Boethiut. 
i. Mycel £ng}isc boc, &c - - The poetical MS. above described. 

It is added, that he found in the church, at his accession, only a Capitulary» 


bound up with a few leaves of a very difiereot nature, cootaimi^a 
list of the benefactions of Leofiric to the see, and several l^gal 
deeds, such as attestations of the purchase or manumission of vil- 
leins, of bequests of lands, Sue. 

The poetical MS. itself is divided into ten books, and these are 
again subdivided into shorter sections. 

The First Book> which is imperfect in the ccxmneocenient. 

and old and decayed copies of the Epbtles, Lessons, Night>80Dg and Missal; 
and that he introduced the following Latin books : 

Liber Pastoral» (Gregorii I. Pap»). 

L. Dialbgorum [ejusdem Gregorii]. 

L. iv. Prophetarum. 

L. Boetii de Consolatione. 

Isagoge Porphyrii. 

L. Passionalis. 

li. Prosperi. 

L. Prudentii Psychomachias, 

L. Prudentii Hynmorum. 

L. Prudentii de Martyribus» 

L. Ezechielb Prophet». 

Cantica Canticorum. 

L. Esaiae Prophets. 

L. Isidori Etymologiarunu 

Passiones Apostolorum. 

Expositio Bed» super Evangelium Lues. 

Exposido Beds super Apocalypsin. 

Expositio Beds super vii. Epistolas Canonicas. 

L. Isidori de Novo et Veteri Testamento. 

L. Isidori de Miraculis XRL 

L. Oserii (forte Orosii). 

L. Machabaoorum. 

L. Persii. 

L. SeduliL 

L. Aratoris. 

Diadema Monachorum. 

Gloss Statii. 

L. Oflkialis Amalarii. 


:ontatn8 five poems, which appear to be correctly deecribed in Wan- 
ey's Catalogue, and which principally relate to the nativity of our 
Saviouri and the praises of bis virgin mother : the third of these is 
entitled by Wanley, Poema rive Hymnus maximi de J3. V. Marid. 
This is, however, a very loose and inaccih^te description of its real 
contents. The following account d it is extracted from the Lec- 
tures delivered by the late author of this work as Ahglo-Saxon 
Professor in the University of Oxford. ** It is in hot a diahgue 
between the Virgin Mary and Joseph, imitated probably from 
some of those apocryphal writings current in the middle ages un- 
der thetities of the Life, or the Gospel, of the Virgin. The dialogue 
commences with an address of the Virgin to Joseph, expressing 
her fears lest she should be subjected by tiie rigour of tiie Jewish 
law to the punishment of an adulteress ; and thean swer of Joseph 
is occupied, pardy by the assurance of his steady belief in her pu- 
rity, and other expressions calculated to remove her distress ; and 
pardy, by prayer and thanksgiving to the power which had so sig- 
nally favoured himself and his lineage. It vrill be readily agreed 
that this subject, from its sacred and mysterious nature, is ill 
adapted to the purposes of poetry. The general absence of taste 
and refinement which characterized the age in which the poem was 
originally written, may fairly be pleaded in defence of its audior; 
but in the present day no such excuse could well be discovered 
for a translator. Indeed, I should have felt disposed to have passed 
over the poem without notice, had not the dramatic form in which 
it is written rendered it an object of some curiosity. Dialogues 
of this kind were probably in our own country, as in Greece, the 
earliest and rudest species of the drama; and that here preserved 
is unquestionably by many years the most ancient spedmen of this 
kind of poetry existing in our native language ^" A copy of the 
entire poem is among the transcripts of the author. 

' The reader, however, is desired to remember the remarks of the editor 
on the dramatic form of parts of the Junian Cedmon. 


. The Second Book contains-^ 

1. A Poem on the Nativity. (I4th leaf.) 

2. (loth leaf.) A Poem on the Day of Judgement, as staled by 
Wanley : or, rather, A desonpUon of the enhance of the saints into 
the gbry of heaven. Entirely transcribed by the author. An abs- 
tract of it is given among the following specimens. 

S. (l6thleaf.) An Hymn of Thanka^ving for the general Mer- 
cies of God. Transcribed ; and full extracts given in this collection. 

4. (I8th leaf.) Described by Wanley as Poema de ChrisH In- 
camationtf appears rather to be the sequel of the former poem, 
since it begins abruptly, '< Thus the mighty God, the King of aU 
things, with unsparing gifts guardeth in wisdom the prc^eny of 
Earth." The poet then compares the Deity to the sun, and his 
. Church to the moon, and dwells on the persecutions through which 
it had passed. From this topic he proceeds, with little apparent 
connexion, to cite Canticles ii. B^ ^The voice of my beloved I be- 
hold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains," &c.i This is mysti- 
cally applied to our Saviour : the^r^t leap is all^orized as his in- 
carnation ; tiie second, his nativity ; the third, his cruofixiiMi ; the 
fourth, his burial ; ihe^h, his descent to hell ; the sisth, his ascen- 
sion. Hence the poet infers that we ought, in like manner, to leap 
from excellence to excellence, till yve ascend also into heaven : and 
as we have on the one hand the hope of salvation and the spiritual 
ud of the Deity to encourage us, and on the other are beset by the 
assaults.of devils and the dangers of hell, we should hold oundves 
accordingly on our guard^^— An entire copy is among the tran- 

^ This mystical interpretation of the above text seems to have been in high 
favour with the Saxon theologians; for we find it also in a Homily preserved 
in Trinity College Cambridge, and quoted by Hickes, Tket. T. 1. p. 168 : ' fet 
seid Sea Salomon Ve wise, and Vus queV :' Ecce venit salieru in numtUnu et 
transUieni coUes. SepUm igitur yt Ua dkam taUus dedii; e ado in Virgims vte- 
rum — inde in prMepium-''mde in crucem^^-mde in upukbnan-^^-wdein tR^mm 
— inde in mundum, et Mnc in caUtm, 


5. ( 19th leaf.) A Poem on the Day of Judgement, in part of 
which, several Runic characters are introduced^obviously as mono- 
grammaUc cyphers, each denoting an entire word, either the same 
with that which gave its name to the respective letters of the Ru- 
nic alphabet or some one of similar sound* Stfch appears to have 
been the general use of these characters when intioduoedjnto 
Saxon poetry, of which the cypher repreaenting Ethd (country, as 
detected by the sagacity of Mr. Pric^) in the MS. of Beowulf (See 
the Various Readings of that poem inserted in the present work), 
afibrds a good example. Hickes has engraved a fao-simile of this 
part of the £zeter MS. in the Pre&ce to his Icelandic Gram- 
mar. Thes. lAng. VeL S$pt^ torn. 2. 

Th£ Thjbd Book (extending from Uie 20th to the S2nd leaf) 
contains, according to Wanley, a series of seven poems concerning 
the i)ay of Judgement No transcripts were made firom tins 

TH£ Fourth Book (extending from the 32nd to the 44th leaO 
is descnbed by Wanley as treating of the joys prepared by God for 
those that love him ; together mth a poetical narrative of the Ce- 
lestial Visions of St. Quthlac the anchorite. No transcripts were 
made from it. 

TH£ Fifth Book (extending from the 44dito the 55th leaf) 
Qcmlaios, according to Wanley, nine sections, treating of the Cn^ 
ation and Fall of Man ; of the above-mentioned St. Guthlac; and of 
the Jhree Holy Children, Anamas^ Azarias^ and Mishael; and Ne- 
buchadnezzar. The Song of the Three Children agrees, with the 
€»c^tion of a few verbal diflferenoes, with the versiofli contained in 
the Juman C^dmon, p. 81. No transcripts were made from this 
book, excepting a collation of the two capiea of the Song of the 
Holy Children. 

The Sixth Book (from leaf 55 to 65) consists of a paraphrase 
of the poem on the Phoenix, attributed to Lactantius, here converted 
into an allegory of the Resurrection. It conasta of seven sections. 


A transcript was made of the first of these; of which an analysis 
and extracts will be found among the following specimens. 

The Seventh Book relates the Passion of St. Juliana» in the 
time of Maximian ; in seven sections, extending from leaf 65 to 78. 
No transcripts were made. 

The £iohth ^ook (leaf 7B to 84) is, according to Wanley» a 
metrical Homilji treating on the doctrines of Theology, in four sec- 
tions. No extracts were made. 

The ninth Book is dismissed by Wanley with the brief ob- 
servation that it is ''/erd totus in anigmatiinu :" a description, how- 
ever, which does not correctiy apply to any part of it, and which 
could have been suggested only by the obscurity and difficulty of 
its actual contents. These (which were entirely transcribed by 
the late author) are 

1 . (leaf 84.) The Song of the Traveller : printed in the beginning 
of this work. 

2. On tiie various fortunes of men. '' When parents have edu- 
cated the child, God alone foresees what shall befall the adult 
Some a premature death shall cut off; dther tiie wolf, die hoaiy 
wanderer of the heath, shall devour them, or feimine consume, or 
weapons' of war, or a fall from the lofty trees of the forest, or 
tiie perils of foreign enterprise^ or (as is added, not very poetically 
to Miis jUi- of casualties) the crooked gallows shall end their days ; 
and some shall perish in the drunken broils of tiie mead-bendi ; 
while to others Providence shall assign an old age of happness 
after a youth of adversity. So are the vicissitudes of human afiin 
regulated. And tiius also in the gifts of intellect : some excel in 
learning ; others, by skill in working golden ornaments, obtain broad 
lands from thw prince ; — some strike their harps before the reve- 
lers at the beer-bench, or at the feet of their lord ; others can train 
the wild hawk. So God distributes various gifts to each, and 
claims the grateful praise of all.'' 

3. (leaf 88.) This and the following poems consist of a 


of maxims and descriptions, thrown leather with little or no con- 
nexion, in the manner of die gnomic poetry of the Greeks ; or, to 
use a more &miliar illustratiioni resembling the motft miscellaneous 
chapters of the Book of Proverbs. It is obvious that such compo- 
sitions are not susceptible of regular analysis. The present poem 
commences^ however, with an introduction which may claim some 
notice ; the minstrel here demands that those whom he addresses 
should exchange ^Ovith him the words of wisdom, and unfold thdr 
hidden knowledge, as the condition upon wluch he is to impart 
his own, since Gleemen ought thus to discourse in alternate 
songs. He then proceeds with many detached axioms on the power 
of the Creator, the life and death of man, the vicissitudes of events, 
the necessity of education, 8cc. 

4. (leaf 90.) Another poem of similar character. — Extracts from 
this are ^ven among the specimens annexed, which will suflBciently 
illustrate the general style of this class of compositions. After the 
passages there translated, one occurs of rather more poetical merit 
than usual : " Dear is the welcome of the wife when the fleet 
standeth [at anchor] ; his ship is returned, and her husband to his 
home. She leadeth him in, washeth his sea-stained dres^, and 
giveth him new garments. Thus greeteth him his love, mild, on 
the land." . The minstrel adds, however, that this is not always the 
case; for some ladies love the strange man, when tiieir own " d^' 
parteth far, and is long in the path of the ships." Towards the 
conduaon is found the following allusion to the ancient mythology 
of the North : 

HsB^num synne Sin to the Heathens 

Woden worhte weos. Woden was made. 

5. (leaf 91.) Another gnomic poem; on the advantages of friend- 
ship, the diversity of taste and talents, the benefit of brotherly af- 
fection, 8cc. It concludes by tracing the origin of discord to the 
homicide of Cain. 

6. (leaf 92.) Must be referred to the same class with the former; 
but it possesses a much greater simplicity of subject and merit of 


execution, as will appear fix>m the following condensed translatioD : 
^* Wilt thou interrogate die far-travelled stranger, and brood over 
diat he tells thee of the wide creation. Instruction belongeth to 
them who through wisdom comprehend the universe in their breast^ 
--^who have examined the races of man and said the secret runes, 
and through the minstrel's craft declare it in their lays. Longer 
could I tell thee of the Creator's power than thou, thoa^ 
skilful of mind, couldest grasp in thy thought. Is indeed thy 
might exceeding strong ? Yet this is not in the capacity of man, 
that moYCth on the earth, that he should investigate the high woik 
of his Maker further than he permitteth. Hear and reflect how in 
the creation he framed the heaven and earth, the sea's wide abyss, 
and those bright creatures that now in their multitudes rear and 
elevate, through his hand, their holy increase;— «o all things 
obey the strong imposition of his voice. Through his migh^ 
mind he ordained to the stars their varied course. So in their 
splendour they carry forth to the world the power of their Lord 
and the glory of his works, shining his praise : steadfastly through 
the long ages they perform the eternal word which issued fix>m his 
throne who conducteth and comprehendeth all hi^ creatures in his 
bosom — so wide his spirit and miraculous influence extend. Thus 
that bright luminary» wonderfully constituted, cometh each mom 
over the misty hills, to speed over the ways, advancing with the 
day-spring from the east, radiant and lovely» to the tribes of men^ 
and to every thing that liveth. When it should descend, it pro- 
ceedeth in glory fortii on the western sky, till at even it reacheth 
the ocean's abyss ; and twilight and night succeed. The lustre of 
the sky, and brightness of the heaven fadeth, while the star jour- 
neyeth through the creation of God beneath the bosom of the earth. 
But no man liveth» of knowledge equal to this, that he should in- 
vestigate by his own skill how the gold-bright sun fereth throagh 
the deep, in that wan cloud beneath the accumulation of the waters, 
or how the dwellers on earth can again enjoy its light, after it hath 
turned away over the ocean's* brink. So hath he, who well had 



power, contraated day with night, deep with high, the sky with the 
sea-streams, the land with the waters, earth with ocean, fire with 
the waves. This work doth not decay, but holdetb well, and 
standeth firmly fast, compacted with mighty bands of strength by 
the same power and majesty which raised up earth and heaven." 
A few lines of inferior merit, on the jbys of heaven and the means 
of obtaining them, are added. 

7. (leaf 94.) Is a poem remarkable chiefly for its metrical struc- 
ture, possessing throughout the ornament of final rimes, fi'equently 
double, superadded to a very strict observance of alliteration. On 
this account, as an unique specimen ^ this language, the whole of 
It is printed in the Introductory Essay on Saxon Metre. The 
subject is extremely obscure, since the sense everywhere labours 
beneath the complicated jingle of the metrical fetters which the 
minstrel has chosen to forge for himself. The whole range of Saxon 
poetry, difficult as it often is, presents nothing which resists all or- 
dinary, processes of interpretation with equal obstinacy. It is ex- 
pressed in the first person, and begins by describing the speaker as 
having been once in a state of great prosperity, detailed with the 
usual accumulation of parallel images : with these, others of actual 
wretchedness are afterwards contrasted, and (if I understand the 
composition rightly) tliese are uttered in the character of a sufierer 
in puigatory, who moralizes on the destruction which thus closes 
on all earthly greatness, but expresses a hope of final happiness in 
the heavens. 

8. (leaf 95.) This and die following poem belong to the class of 
moralizations in which the middle ages so much delighted, and by 
which a typical sense was extracted firom almost every object of na- 
ture orfiction. Thus in the sixth book of this MS. we have already 
seen the Phoenix employed as an allegorical illustration of the Re- 
surrection. The subject here selected to und^go a similar process 
is the Panther, '' an animal," according to the minstrel, " whose skin 
is spotted with all the hues of Joseph's tunic ; it is gentle to all good 
creatures, and an enemy to dragons alone. After its food, it seeks 


a secret resting-place in the caves of the mountains, and tliere 
slumbers through three nights: when it awakens on the third 
morning, it rises full of spirit, and utters a voice of melody ; after 
which it breathes forth an odour of sweetness exceeding the most 
delicious blossoms or fruits and the choicest perfumes. Thus the 
Lord is a foe to the serpent alone, the author of evil ; and thus risiE^ 
after three nights from the grave» he diffused around the gifts of 
his spirit.'* The supposed perfume of the Panther is mentioned by 
most of die ancient and classical writers who have named that 
animal ; but I am ignorant of the source whence these additional 
particulars of its natural histgry were derived. 

9. (leaf 96.) Is a similar moralization on the Whale. ** This 
monster of the deep resembles in appearance the rude and barren 
rock; so that incautious mariners cast their anchor in its nde, dis- 
embark, and kindle thw fire, when it suddenly plunges and over- 
whelms them amidst the waves. And in like manner does the fiend 
entice mankind by deceptive appearances to their destruction. 
The whale has another stratagem to satisfy its hunger : it opens its 
enormous jaws and emits an agreeable odour, which allures die 
other fish to swim into them. Thus also does our spiritual enemy, 
by the gratifications of sense, entrap the souls of men in his infer* 
ual prison." 

10. (leaf 97*) A short religious poem of thirty lines. The in- 
vitations and promises of God are thus introduced : ^* I heard the 
word that the Ruler of glory spake, proclaimed by a bird wonder- 
fully fmJ* This probably is intended as a mystical designation of 
the Holy Spirit. 

Book the Tenth and last. 

1 • (leaf 98.) The Address of the departed Soul to the Body : firom 
which an extract is given among the following specimens. 

2. (leaf 101 .) A Scaldic poem, containing allusions to the Ustories 
of Weland and of Theodric of Berne: also published among the 

The remainder of the volume, about thirty leaves, is principally 


occupied (the exceptions will presently be stated) with various 
adDigmata, for the most part so extremely obscure that they might 
suffice to damp the perseverance of a Saxon CEdipus far more 
kemi than the present Editor : the language and style, indeed» ap- 
pear intentionally clouded by the introduction of many unusual 
expressions, for which it would be vain to consult tbe extant dic- 
tionaries, and in fixing the sense of which we are, from the nature 
of such compositions, deprived of the assistance generally to be 
derived from the context. Lest, however, the reproach which an 
omisfflon of much the same importance on the part of an early 
editor of Chaucer has drawn from his successors {Taniamne rem 
tarn negUgenter\ should be repeated on this occasion, the follow- 
ing specimens are subjoined, as illustrating the general nature of 
these riddles of the olden time. 


One of the longest of these (beginning Hwilum ic ^^wite. swa 
ne wena% men. under ySa je^rasc. eorSan secan. garsecges ^nind) 
appears to relate to the sun, which is described as ^'sometimes 
plunging below the foaming waves, and pursuing its course be- 
neath the habitations of men ; sometimes soaring over the sea 
agitated with storms, while tbe surges break over the borders of the 
land, and the vessel, full of despairing mariners, is tossed on their 
surface ; sometimes passing through the clouds, while the thunder 
roars around, and God shooteth forth his sharp and fiery darts.'' 
iUter these descriptions, which are so extended as to distract the 
attention from the prindpal subject, and in themselves of very diffi- 
cult interpretation, the whole is thus summed up : 

Hwilum under eorSan, Sometimes beneath the earth, 

Hwilum ySa sceal Sometimes beneath the waves 


Heali under hni^an ; Deeply descend ; 

Hwilum holm ufan Sometimes above the sea * 

Streamas styrje; And the streams I move§ 

Hwilum sti^e up Sometimes I ascend 


Wolcn fare : The heaven in my course 

Wreje wide fere I wander a wide journey 

Swift and 8wi% feorm. Swift and very firm. 

Sa^a hwnt ic hatte ; Say what I am named ; 

OSSe hwa mec rsre Or who ezdteth me 

Don ic restan ne mot? When I may not rest? 

lOS^ hwa mec steCfie Or who stayedi me 

Bon ic still beom i When I should be still i 

Others of the fenigmata appear to relate to the Christian Churdi, 
according to the opinion of Hickes^ who has inserted transcripts 
from some of them in the beginning of his Icelandic Grammar, on 
account of the Runic characters, which are interspersed in them 
in several places, and certainly stand for entire words, of which 
they are the initial letters. His opinion is formed from the attri- 
butes ascribed to their mysterious subject ; such as, being appointed 
by Christ to encounter warfare ; speaking in many tongues ; giving 
wisdom to the simple; rejoicing in persecution; found by the 
worthy ; and received by those who are washed in the laver, Su:. : 
but they even exceed the usual obscurity of these productions. 

The ensuing examples will probably more than satisfy the reader 
as to those of a miscellaneous character. 

(Leaf 108.) 

Is ^is middan jeard This mid earth 

Missenlicum Is in various 

Wisum jewlit^gad, Fashions adorned, 

Wmtum jefnetwad. And with wonders decorated. 

Si'Sum sellic ic seah I saw a thing strange in its ways 

Searo hweor&n, Curiously to move, 

Grindan wilS peoto Revolving with clamour 

Giellende faran. And stridulously proceeding. 

Nsefde sellicu wiht This wonderful thing had not 



Syne ne folme, 

Exie ne eannas ; 

Sceal on anam fet 

Searo ceap swifan^ 

Swi-JJe feran 

Farau ofer feldas. 

Hasfde fela ribba; 

MolS w»8 on middan ; 

Moncynne nyt ; 

Fere foddar-wdan 

Folc-8cipe dreogsS. 

Wist m wijeB, 

And werum pddeS 

Gaful ^eara jehwam. 

Daos iSe piman 


And heane rece. 

6if 'Su conne wisworda jjie9W, 

HwsBt sio wiht sie i 

Sinews nor limbs. 

Shoulders nor arms ; 

On its feet alone must 

The curious creature revolve, 

Stoutly proceed 

And fare over the fields. 

It had many ribs ; 

Its mouth viras in the midst ; 

It is tiseful to mankind : 

The carriage of die wealth of food 

It performedi for the people. 

It carrieth in provisions. 

And yieldeth to men 

The tribute of eveiy year. 

If thou understandest the skill of 

wise words. 
What may this thing be i 

Unless this be a waggon or cart, the editor must confess himself 
not sufficiently " skilful in wise words '* to decypher its occult ailu* 
sions. « 

WsBr sset tet wine 
Mid his wifa 
And his twe^en suna 
And his twa dohtor. 
Swa se ^esweostor 
And hyre suna twejen ; 
Freolicu frum beam 
Faeder wibs ^esrinne 

A man sat at wine 
With his wife 
And his two sons 
And his two daughters, 
Also his sister 
And her two sons ; 
The noble patriarch 
And father was there 



Dara sd^elinja «jhwao^eres. 
Mid earn and nefa. 
Ealra wieroo fife 
Eorla and idesa 

Of each one of these men. 
With the uncle and nephews. 
In all there were five 
Of men and women 

There sitting* 

Adam> Eve, two of their sons, and one daughter, appear to be the 
five persons intended. Eve being reckoned in the several relations 
which may be attributed to her (as the wife, the sister, and the 
daughter of Adam), the apparent excess of numbers and com- 
plication of kindred admit a ready explanation. 

Ic eom mare ISon 
Does middanjeard, 
Lssse "Son hond wyrm ; 
Leohtre «on mona, 
Swiftre ISon sunne ; 
Sfes sind ealle 
Flodas on feeSmum ; 
And "Sas foldan 
Bearm jrene wonjas ; 
Grundum ic hrine, 
Helle under hnije ; 
Heofenes ofer stije, 
Wuldres eBel ; 
Wide r»ce 
Ofer enjla eard. 
Eorthan jefylle, 
Ealdne middanjeard. 
And mere streamas 
Side, mid mec sdftim. 

I am greater than 

This mid earth. 

Less than a worm ; 

Lighter than the moon. 

Swifter than the sun $ 

All the seas. 

The floods, are in my embrace^ 

And the lap of this earth. 

The green plains; 

I touch the abysses, 

I descend beneath hell ; 

1 ascend above the heavens. 

The abode of glory ; 

I reach widely 

Over the country of the angeb. 

I fill the globe. 

The ancient mid earth. 

And the sea streams 

Wide, with myself. 

Saja hwet ic hatte. 

Say what I am named. 


The omnipresent power of the Deity, comprehending at once 
the most minute and most vast portions of his creationi is obviously 
here intended. 

The obscurity attaching itself to much of this part of tlie MS. 
will be rendered most conspicuous by the following specimen 
of corrupt Latini^, which appears absolutely umntelligible. 

Mirum videtur mhi — luput ab agno (enetur — 

Obcurrit agmu et capit viscera lupir^ 

Dum starem et mirarem vidi gloriam magnamr^ 

Dm lupi statites ex tertium tribvl 

nil pedes habebant cum septem acculis^ videbant. 

It seeps probable that the two first lines may be intended for 
accentual hexameters: the fourth line is apparently corrupted; the 
contraction beginning it is perhaps diversi. 

Intermixed with these «nigmata, we find towards the latter part 
of the volume other poems, religious and miscellaneous. 

1. The first of these is the complaint of an exile separated firom 
his lord, beginning '' Ic %is ped wrece.'' As being in a style of 
which there is perhaps scarcely another original Saxon example 
extant, it has appeared to the editor to claim publication ; and he 
has therefore added it to the following specimens, 

£• «^t ^elimpan sceal," 8cc. — ^A poem on the duty of reflecting 
on the destruction of the world by fire, the torments of hell, general 
retribution, 8lc» 

S. « Wille «onne foi^eldan jsesta Dryhten."— A continuatiolU>f 

the same sulgect 

4. " Aje mec se «hnihta God." — ^A prayer for pardon. 

5. " On^unnon him onuhton, se^cunde ma^,'* The Marys 
went at dawn to search the sepulchre where the body of our Lord 

> ita MS. 


had been deposited ; but they found hira noX, for he had desoeaded 
to liberate the captive souk in hell. St* John (the Baptist) had 
previously declared to those captives the{Ht)nu8e of Chnsttoeflfect 
their deliverance ; and, while closing his address to them, beholds 
the ftilfibnentiof that which be had prodfidmed in the triumphant 
entrance of the Redeemer. Adam then congratulates Eve, and 
breaks forth into exclamations of praise to Christy to Gabrid who 
announced, to Mary who bore him, to Jerusalem, to Jordan, Sue. 

6. " Wei bi"8 "8am eorle.** — Charity covereth a multitude of ans, 

7. ** Saja me hwaet "Saer. weorudes wsere."— A short and muti- 
lated fragment on the destruction of Pharoah's host in the Red Sea. 

6. Metrical paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer. 

9. " Gefeoh nu on ferSe, and to frofre ^eSeoh. Dryhtne Vmum" 
—A short poem on religious comfort. 

After this^ from the 122nd page, tiie MS. is much mutilated to 
the end : the subjects appear to be principally aenigmatical; but their 
obscurity is rendered hopeless, from the imperfect state in which 
they occur. One of these fragments, however, is of a descriptive 
nature, the subject being a ruined city. As it possesses more dian 
ordinary merit, it has been selected ibr publication among the fol- 
lowing specimens. 



Book n. Section 2. 
{From the late Authot^s MS, Lectures on Anglo-Saxon Poetry.) 

The general subject of this poem has been accuratdy stated by 
Wanley : he has omitted, however, to mention that it appears to 
be a fragment of some larger composition ; for it commences thus 



abruptly mtb what I should apprehend to be a song of the atten- 
dant angels : 

^ Thus in glad triumph o'er the' setherial vault 
To Zion's holy towers, with this fair pomp 
Of Heaven's all-glorious sons we bear our Lord. 

The poet now appears to return to his narrative. 

* Him first and noblest and his regal state 
They see, apd gaze with rapture. Instant now - 
He bids each nation of the peopled earth, 
A eountiess host, to judgement, that each soul 
May taste the portion of her eartiily deeds. 

The next paragraph affording a good example of the peculiar 
construction of the Anglo-Saxon poetical sentence, I have rendered 
it line for line into a Latin dimeter Iambic» 

' Ws mid Vyslice 
Dreate willa^ 
Ofer heofona sehlidu 
Hlaford fer^an 
To Veere beorhtan byrij; 
Mid Vas bliKan jedryt 
Ealra si^e-beania* 

* Diet seleste and ee^este 
Ihege her onstariaVi 
And in firofire jeseoV 
Frsetwum bliean. 
WQe eft swa Veah 

Side herje. 
And %ft jieAecaaxi 
Dssda ^ehwyloe 
Dara Via jefiremedon 
Folc under rodenim. 

No9 etM hujutmodi 

TViumpAo vo^umtw 

Siiper cHeU tecta 


Ad iUam splendidam cwitaiem 

Cum hdc htlari turmd 

Omntum vktorue fUorunu 

lUum primum et nobiUtsimum 
IIU hie miuenhtrf 
Et cum sokUio vident 
OmamentU caruscare. 
VuU cantinuo tamen 
Terra genie* 
Ipse convocare 
ImmeMom (kUam) canmamy 
Et tuncjudkare 
Defactii quibusque 
lUu qnuie fecerunt 
Homines sub coelo. 


' Sedebai ilUcJUius 
TremerUe calif andce. 
Rex angelorwn aUimmus 
Supra athemfasiigium, 
Tutela devote ff^^gUf 
Tunc aucta spesjidelium. 
In urbe sanctA gaudium 
Pnesente tandem JUio. 

I shall add only a few of the lines immediately following tins 
passage in English. 

' Then went they forth to Zion : he their Lord^ 
High in that city of hb holiness, 
Heals every soitow ; there might they behold 
Full face to face their Saviour and their God. 
The crowd of mourners there forgot thdr pain. 


* Da wses wuldres weard 
Wolcnum bifenjum, 
Heah eaglia cynin^ 
Ofer hro&8 upp, 
Hali^ra hehor 
Hyht wfies jeniwad» 
Blis in burpmiy 
Durh Vaes beomei cyme. 

Gewitan him & jonsan DiscedebatU tme ire 

To Hienisalem ; In Hierosoh/mam; 

HeeleV hyje-rofe Sanat (iOe) nuignankmu 

In Va, hal^an bur; In ed $ancid cwiiaie 

Geomor mode ; Tristiiiam ; 

Donan hi God nyhst ExtndeUUDewnproxkman 

tJpstiseDde Remrrectmn 

EapuB sejun» . OcuUs vident, 

Hyra wilpfim. Iptarum henrfaetorem. 

Deer waes wofes hrin; lUic erat lamenkOioms drcubu 

Torne bitolden» Ird amM^ 



And love glowed quickenidg at their inmost soul 

Responsive to thdr master's : there abide 

In that fair citadel the glorious chiefs 

Of them whom Qod hath called, faithful knovim 

The servants of his justice. So decreed 

Ere yet he rose from earth thor heavenly King. 

The remainder of the poem is almost wholly occupied with 
nearly similar descriptions of the joy of the angeb and the spirits 
of the just at the presence of the Redeemer ; mention is then made 
of the delivery of the wicked to the custody of demons ; and the 
author concludes with admonishing his hearers to reflect upon the 
eternity of happiness or misery which the Almighty had placed at 
their choice. 



P. 16. Book II. Section 3. 

This, which appears far superior in. point of poetical merit to 
the preceding specimen, is erroneously described by Wanley as 

Wass sec treow lufu 
Hat at heortan, 
Hreder innan weoll 
Beam breost sefii. 
Bidon ealle Vaere 
Degaaa SrymfuDe 
Deodnes ^ehata 
In Veere torhtan byrig, 
Tyr riht Vajen ; 
Swa himself bibead 
Swejles agend 
JEt Von upstije. 

Erai itte venu amor 
Ferveni tn corde^ 
Velocius ceituabat iiUu» 
H(M^a$U amnes UUc 
Ductores glofiosi 
Dommi electomm 
In ed ghriosd cMiatet 
Deijutti nwmtri; 
CceU possessor 
Priusguam resurrexit. 


Catmen de mundi creatine. It is, in feet, a hymn or ode of thanks- 
giving ; and the creation is mentioned only towards its conuneoce- 
ment as one topic of admiration and gratitude. I have in this in- 
stance deviated from the method hitherto observed, and adopted 
for my translation the form of the irr^ular ode : by this means I 
have been enabled to preserve more faithfully than I could perhaps 
have done in blank verse the abrupt transitions of the oripnal : by 
not confining the metre to the stated recurrence of any particular 
system, the regularity of construction (if that indeed be essential to 
the ode) has been sacrificed to the desire of presenting, as far as it 
was in my power, a faithful transcript of die original. 

^ Befits it well that man should raise 
To Heaven the song of thanks and praise. 
For all the g^fts a bounteous God 
From age to age hath still bestow'd. 

The kindly seasons' tempered reign, 

The plenteous store, the rich domain 

Of this mid-earth's extended plain. 
All that his creatures' wants could crave, 
His boundless power and mercy gave. 

D^T n tSaes wyr%e Hoc est operce prethm 

Deet & wex^Seode Ut kumamim gem» 

Secjan DryVne %onc Dicat Domino graUas • 

DupiVa ;ehwylcre (Ob) beneJScia singula 

De us siV and sbt Qtue nobis nunc et oUm 

Simla sefiremede, Sape tnlvfi^, 

Durh monijfealdra Per muUipUcis 

Maepoa ^eryno ; PotestoHs mysteriitm ; 

He us set pefed lUe nobis cibumaMidUt 

And cehta-sped, Et possessionum gaxaSf 

Welan ofer wid lend, DvMas super latam ternnn. 

And weder VKe. Et tempestatem mitem. 

Under swe^les hleo, Sub cceli umbracuhf 

Sunne and Mona, Sol et Lwuif 


Noblest of yon bright thun that sparkle high, 

Beneath the vaulted sky^ 

The Sun by day^ the silvered Moon by night. 

Twin fires of heaven, dispenseybr Man thmr useful light. 

Where'er on earth lus lot be sped. 

For Man the clouds their richness shed. 

In gentler dews descend, or opening pour 

Wide o'er the land th^r fertilisdng shower. 

From these subjects of praise and gratitude, the poet rises to the 
sublimer topic of our redemption. *The turn of the following pas- 
sage in this part of the hymn is by no means devoid of spirit. 
" The Saviour (says the bard) delivered us from the anger of the 

' Not such the doom 
Our sorrowing fathers heard of old. 
The doom that in dread accents told 
Of Heaven's avenging might, and woe, and wrath to come. 
^^Lo I have set thee on earth's stubborn soil 
With grief and stem necessity to strive. 

iE^Seiast tunjla, , NobiUmma sidera^ 

Eallum scinaVy Omnihu nitent^ 

Heofon candelle, CceU lampades^ 

Hsle^um on eorVan. VWti in terra. 

Dreose^ deaw, CadU ros^ 

And ren du^u^ Et pluvia bona 

WeecaV to feorh nere Excitatur longe laiique 

Fira cynne, Humano generic 

lecaS eorS welan. Auget terrce dkniias, 

Se )Se nr sunken Out olim cecinii 

Durh yme hyje Per kaium anknum 

iEldum to sor^e: Seniaribus (homimbus) in dolorem : 

«'IcVecofer ''EgoUwper 

Eoi^San jeworhte ; Terramfeci ; 

On Vaere Su scealt Ineddehes 



To wear thy days in unavailiug toil. 

The ceaseless sport of torturing fiends to live. 
Thence to thy dust to tunii the worm's repast. 
And dwell where penal flames through endless ages last'' 

The subject is continued through the greater part of the poem. 
In one passage the mission of our Saviour is metaphorically de- 
scribed as the flight of a bird. 

^ Wing'd by Heaven's eternal might» 
Swift he sped his eagle flight. 
Borne by the Spirif s checkless force. 
Strong he shaped his onward course. 
To the foes of God alone 
Dark was the course, the flight unknown. 

The conclusion of this poem will periiaps be found to possess 
sufficient merit to apologize for transcribing it at length. It will 

YrmVum lif^an, 
Wunian in ^ewinne, 
And wraece dreojan 
Feondum to hro^r, 
Fus leoV^alan : 
And to Veere ilcan 
Scealt eft ^eweorVan 
Wyrmum a^eallen. 
Donan wites fyr 
Of Veere eor^hn 
Scealt eft ^esecan." 
Hwfiet us Vis.seVelin; 
Y)?re ^efiremede. 

In ««re zodeundan 
Gssstes Btrenz^u 
Wees Vses fillies flyht, 
Feondum on eoiVan 
Dyme and dejol. 

• ■ • • 

(In) miserus otoere, 
Fersari tn laborilnUf 
(A) diabolis m pectarCf 
Pron^tii hamkmm kmrncts 
Et m eandem {tertam) 
Dehes cito retnerti 
Verfmbu8 teatwrvre* 
Tunc pognce ignem 
Ex hdc terrd (amoiut) 
Debes cUd juarere" 
Quam (malMctionem) 
Procul fecit (avertit). 



SpirMs potentid 
Erat hifus alMs volaiutf 
(Ab) tfttmic» m terrd 
OccuUtts et abscandiiut. 



doubtless remind the classical reader of the exquisite choral song 
of Sophocles^, commencing. IloXXot tu Scum: and the fine moral 
reflection with which it terminates would not have disgraced the 
composition even of the most philosophic poet of antiquity. 

• Thrice holy He, 
The Spirit Son of Deity ! 
He call'd from nothing into birth 
Each fair production of the teeming earth; 
He bids the faithful and the just aspire 
To join in endless bliss heaven's angel choir. 
His love bestows on human kind 
Each varied excellence of mind. 
To some his Spirit-gift afibrds 
The power and mastery of words : 
So may tiie vriser sons of earth proclaim. 
In speech and measured song, the glories of his name. 

' Se % world jescopy 
Codes gffiflt-sunu, 
And us jiefe sealde 
Uppe mid en^lum 
Bee sta^Selas. 
And eac monijfealde 
Modes sny ttru 
Seow and sette 
Geond sefim momuu 
Sumum. wordla^Se 
Wise sendeK 
On his modes gemynd» 
Durh his mufSes zseatf 
£^e onjiet. 
Se mae; eal fela 
Singan and secj^an 
Dam biS snyttru^-craeft 
Bifolen on fer^.. 

SophocHs Antigane. 


lUe home terram creamt^ 
Dei tpkituaUs JUiaSy 
Et nobu dona dmgnaioit 
Stiprd cum angelis 
Mtemoi tedes. 
Et etiam muUipUcem 
Anmi prudeniuxm 
InsevU et potuit 
In pectorOnu honmum. 
NonnuUis orationis vocem 
Sapientem nuttU 
In ipwrum antmt mentemy 
Per spiriium oris ejug, 
NobUem itUeWgentiam, 
Hoc possunt univern 
Canere et prcedkafe 
Qwbus eit toleriia 
Imlta in aiumo» 



Some the tuneful hand may ply, 
And loud befotte the list^nkig throng 
Wake the ^ad harp to harmony, 
Or bid the trump of joy its swelling note prolong. 

To these he gave Heaven's righteous laws to scan, 

Or trace the courses of the starry host ; 
To these the writer's learned tcAl to plan ; 

To these the battle's pride and victm^s boast, 
Where in the well-fought field the war-troop pour 
Full on the wall of shields the arrow's flickering shower. 
Some can speed the dart afar. 
Some forge the steely blade of war. 

Sum msej finjrum wd 
Hlude fore hsleSum 
Hearpan stir^an, 
Gleobeam ^retan. 

Sum mse^ j^^^^^^ 
Reccan ryhte ae. 
Sum mse^ ryne tuo^la 
Sec^an side jesoeail. 
Sum msej learolice 
Word cwide writan. 
Sumum wi^es sped 
Giefed set ^uVe, 
Don ^arjetruin 
Ofer scild-hreadan 
Sceotend sendeK 
Flacor flangeweorc. 
Sum msej fromlice 
Ofer sealtne sae 
Sund-wudu drifan, 
Hreran holm-Vnece. 
Sum mae^ heanne beam 
Stseljne jestijan. 
Sum mae^ styled aweord 
W«pen lewyrcan. 

SonoTom anU s^ibiks 

Qitharatn excitare^ 

Oisudu tubam v^re. 

NonnuUi posiumt cKotnam 

Panderejustam legem* 

NanmdU posswU cunum astranam 

Dicere laQ constiMut»* 

NannulU possimt delete 

Verhum dictum tcribere. 

Quibiudam victarue poientimn 

DedU in hetto^ 


Super clypeorum tesMidiiiee 

Jacularu nUttk 

Volucrem ULgittm operam, 

Aliqui possufUfortUer 

Super salsmn mare^ . 

Pelagi lignum [noocm] agere, 

(Ut) attingai oceam tAm» 

Aliqui potsunt (Mm idmm 

ChaUfbe praientum attoUere^ 

Aliqui posnuUferreum enum 



Some o'er ocean's stormy tide 

The swift-wing'd ship can fearless guide. 

Some in sweet and solemn lays 
The (ull-toned voice of melody can raise. 
So Heaven's high Lord each ^ft of strength or sense 
Vouchsafes to man, impartial to dispense : 
And of the power that from his Spirit flows 
On each a share, on none the whole bestows ; 
Lest favour'd thus beyond their mortal state, 
Their pride involve them in the sinner's fate. 

Sum con won^a bejon^ AUqui potsunt ora exercere 

We^ wid pelle. ekud voce. 

Swa se Waldend ns Uipaie Regnator nobis 

God-beam on pmndum DeiJUkts in terrd 

His jiefe bryttad. Ipriiu dona 

Nyle he senium anum Nohnt ipse aUqms 

Ealle ^efyUan Pemtils replere 

Gaestes snyttru, Spiriius prudentidy 

Dy lees him pelp sceVe Ne illos arrogantia perdat 

Durh his anes crsft Per propriam artem 

Ofer oKre ford. Stg[>er alios homines* 

It will be seen that I have not entirely translated the passage 

Sum con wonja bejon^ 
We^as wid gielle. 

bideed I do not clearly perceive its construction, unless wonga w^as 
are to be taken together as " the way or passage of the mouth." 



Leaf 55. Book VI. Section 1. 

This poem is remarkable as being a translation or rather para- 
phrase of a Latin original still in existence ; the '' Plutnix" (attri* 
.buted by some to Lactantius^ and printed at the end of the Va- 
riorum edition of Claudian) commencing 

*^ Est locus in primofelix Orienie reimotusJ* 

Its Anglo-Saxon imitator has converted the clasucal tale of the 
eastern bird into an allegory of the resurrection. Many other 
fables of the heathen mythology were similarly applied and inter- 
preted in a religious sense by the authors of the middle ^es. Of 
this the celebrated Gata Romanorum afford more than one ex- 
ample. And we find in the catalogue of the books formerly be- 
stowed by Humphrey Duke of Gloucester upon the library which 
he founded in this university, the whole of Ovid's Metamorphoses 
thus ^'moralized/* as the ^vriters of those days expressed it. . 

This taste for all^orizing the beautiful fictions of classical poetry 
was perhaps first introduced by the later fathers of the christian 
church. The one now under consideration, as it is among the 
most obvious, so it was probably among the earliest applicadons 
of this nature. ** Doceat (says St. Ambrose as quoted in the Speen- 
lum Naturale of Vincent of Beauvais) nos hac avis exemplo resur* 
rectionem credere, qua sine exemplo et sine ratioms praceptione sibi 
insignia resurrectionis insiaurat" The Saxon Paraphrast has £ar 
exceeded his original in prolixity, a fault perhaps almost insepara- 
ble from the poetical system adopted by our ancestors. The pre- 
sent extract is taken from the commencement of the poem, and 
exhibits a description of the island which the Phoenix was sup- 
posed to inhabit. The paraphrast has by no means scrupulously 
followed the succession of ideas of his original. 



* Oft have I heard that eastward^ far from hence, 
The noblest land that song may tell of lies. 
Not by the countless host of men that hold 
This middle earth» that country may be known. 
Heaven hath removed it from the sinner's eye. 
Fair is that land» with every pleasure blest ; 
In the sea's bosom» rich of odorous sweets» 
The lonely islet stands. Divine was he, 
And wondrous in his sovereign intellect» 
The Artificer that gave that land its place. 
There to bis righteous servants stand unveil'd 

1 HsBBE ic gefiru^en 
DsBtte is feor beonan 
East-dselum on 
' lEXeiast londa 
Firum ^efrseje. 
Nis se foldan-sceat 
Ofer middan^eard 
Mon^um ;^ef8ere 
Folc a^endra ; 
Ac he afyrred is 
Dorh Meotudes meaht 
Man firem^ndum. 
Wlitij is se won^ 
Ball wynnum jeblissad ; 
In roVam sae-^eatum 
Foldan stencum 
^nlic is ^aet i^lond. 
JEMe se Wyrhta, 
Modi^ meahtum spedi^, 
Se Va moldan jesette : 
Dm his oft open 

Qudd est procul hinc 
In oriente qucedam 
NobiUsnma regio 
Vtris cognita {vtl celebrata). 
Nan eff ea terra plaga 
Per medium orbem 
MuUis frequeniata 
PopuU (terram) possidentis ; 
Sed ilia remota est 
Per Creataris potentiam 
Ah inique facieniibus. 
Splendida est ea regio 
Omnibus deliciis heata ; 
.In rubro oceani sinu 
Terrce odoribus 
Sola est ea insula* 
Nobilis (fuit) Opifex^ 
InteUectuali potentid alacriSf 
Qui earn regionem ttatuit : 
lUic est scepe reclusum 




Id clearest light the joys of heaven's domain. 

BeauCeous in sooth that land beneath the sky 

Spreads its green woodlands i there nor rain, nor snow. 

Nor the frost's fetters, nor the blast of Sxe, 

Nor hail swift falling, nor the hoary rime* 

Nor the sun's parching heat, nor winter's cold. 

May ought intrude ; but firm amid the wave, 

SuU clad in verdure, stands that blessed realm* 

Nor hill nor mountain there, nor stony cliff 

(Such steeps as those our earthly mansion bears). 

High towering rise ; nor upland's long ascent, 

Eadpun tojeanes 

Onhllden hleoVra 

Wyn heofbn rices. 

Huru Vset is wynsum wonj^, 

Wealdas ^rene» 

Scane under roderum. 

No msB;^ ^ser ren» ne snaw» 

Neforstes freest^ 

N^fy^^s hUxBtf 

Ne hcegles hryre^ 

Ne hrimes dryre^ 

Ne mnnan hatu^ 

Ne sin ceUdUf 

Ne warm weder, 

Ne winter scur. 

Ac se won; seomaV 

Eadi^ on sund 

Blostmum ^eblowen. 

Beorjas ^ser ne muntas 

Steape ne stonda^, 

Ne stan-difu 


Swa her mid us, 

Sanctis obviam 

Revelatum clare 

Gaudium ccelestis regnu 

Ver^ ea est lata regia^ 

Syhis virescenSf 

Pulchra sub coelo. [enU mx, 

Neque potest (dominari) iUie 

Neque hyemis gelu^ 

Neque ignis afflatus, 

Neque grandinis impetut^ 

Neque pruince rigor, 

Neque soUs ardor y 

Neque noxiumfrigus, 

Neque torrida tempestas, 

Neque hyemis imber. 

Sed regio permanet 

Beaia in oceano 

FloscuUs germinans. 

(Nee) coUes tbi nee monUs 

Prcecipites stanty 

Neque saxorum cUci 

Ardm assurgunt, 

(Sicuti Kk apud nosj 


Nor dell, nor vale is there, nor rocky cave. 
Mars not that blessed isle unseemly ought, 
But full of joys it flowereth under heaven. 

The whole poem occupies ten leaves, and is divided into sec- 
tions ; the first of these (the only one which my time permitted me 
to transcribe) contains about one hundred and seventy verses, and 
ends thus. 

Dser se halja stenc 
Wuna^S geond wyn lond 
Dset onwended ne bi% 
JEfre to ealdre 
JEr ^5on endije 
Frod fym jeweorc 
Se hit frym^ jescop. 

Illic sanctus odor 
Pervadk gondii ierram, 
Qius accessa non est 
Unquam hominibus 
Primquamfiniat (Phoenix) 
Provectior atate opus 
Qua prima fabricavit. 

Exclusively of its general value as a specimen of the poetical 
language of our forefathers, and the curious circumstance of its 
having been drawn from a source which, though not of the purest 

Ne dene, ne dalu, 

Ne dun-scrafu, 

Hlaewas, ne hlincas, 

Ne &er hleona^ 
Oo unsme^.wiht. 
Ac se sB^ele fold 
WridaV under wolcnum 
Wynnum jeblowen. 

Neque vaUis, neque comoaUiSy 
Neque montium spektnca, 
(Neque) tumuli^ nee aggeres^ 
Neque ilH inest (incumbit)- 
UUa aspera res. 
Sed nobiUs regio 
Germmat sub ccelo 
OaudOs sctUurtens, 

It will immediately be perceived that in the Imes printed in italics the 
ithor has, besides the usual alliteration which is still carefully observed, 
opted the additional ornament of rime, a circumstance of by no means 
mmon occurrence in Anglo-Saxon Poetry. Mr. Turner has adduced a 
V examples of it, but 1 know of no source which would afford so many, or 
such length, as the Exeter MS, The principal of these are given in the 
trodoc^iy Essay on Saxon metre. 



age, roust yet be considered as classical ^, this long composidoo 
probably contains but little that would be interesting to the anti- 
quary*. This, however^ the very slight inspection which I was 
enabled to give the remaining sections certainly does not authorize 
me to affirm from my own knowledge. 



Book IX, Section 4. 

As a specimen of this class I have to offer the following part- 
phrase of a part of the fourth poem of the ninth book, whicb, 
though not altogether literal, will yet perhaps serve to convey a 
pretty accurate idea of the general tenor of the composition. 

^ Again shall summer shine, again 
Shall winter weave his icy chain ; 

1 This was seldom directly the case with the poetiy of the middle ages. 
The Boethius of Alfred is a splendid exception ; and a singular one of kter 
date (about 1900) occurs in the Digby MS. noticed by Warton (MS. I>igb. 86). 
It is entitled Le Begret de Maximitn, and appears to be an English trainlir 
tion from a French paraphrase (for it is too loose and inaccurate to be called 
strictly a version) of an Elegy by Maximianus, falsely attributed by itsearikr 
editors to Cornelius Gallus. 

* It might perhaps be added that the concluding lines of the poem are 
written alternately in Saxon and Latin (as may be seen by reference to Was- 
ley's Catalogue). This has been employed in the Introduction to the presen: 
volume^ as serving in part to determine the nature of the metrical system 
adopted by our ancestors. 

' FoRST sceal freosan ; Pruina concreicet; 

Fyr wudu meltan ; Ignis lignum dMsoloet ; 

Eor^ jrowan ; Terra vigescet ; 

Is brycjian ; Glades confringetur; 



Still shall fire's rapacious power 
The forest's goodly growth devour ; 
Still for commerce, or for war. 
The wave shall bear thy keel afar. 
But One through all their varied range 
Bids matter rise and seasons change ; 
One reigns supreme in heaven and earthy 
The God who gave creation birth. 

Deep the gulph that hides the dead. 
Long and dark the way they tread ; 
The wealth that swell'd their earthly pride 
Kindred or strangers shall divide ; 
While breathless in the silent tomb 
They wait the last dread day of doom. 

Waeter helm we^an, 
Wundrum lucan 
EoiVan ci^as ; 
An sceal anbindan 
FoTstes fetre, 
Fela meahtij God. 
Winter sceal jeweorpan ; 
Weder eft cuman; 
Sumor swe^Ie hat ; 
Sund unstille. 

Deep deada wse; 
Dyme biV lenjest ; 
Helen sceal in eeled * 
Yrfe ;^ed8eled 
Deades monnes ; 
Doro hX Be last. 

Aqua fuxvem (ulmum) subvehet^ 
Mir^ ut includat 
Terra frucUu ; 
Unu8 exolvet 
PrmMs calenasy 
Maxime potens Deut, 
Hyenu discedet ; 
Tempestas rurnu veniet; 
^stwui aether calidui erit; 
Mare irrequietmn. 

AUa erit morinbrvm via 
Tenehrosa et bmgissima ; 

Possessiones dispartientur 
Defuncti hominis ; 
Judicium erit uUimum. 

I cannot satisfac^ly explain this line. 



The king shall woo some royal fistir. 
His sceptre and his bed to share ; 
« In bracelets bright atid cups of gold 

Her ample dowry shall be told : 
Botli beloved and praised ^all be. 
For liberal hand and largess free* 

The indefatigable Hickes has noticed in the chapter on Saxcm 
poetry inserted in his Thesiaurus the resemblance which the 
above composition bears to the lines appended to the Metrical 
Calendar or Menology, which he has printed with a literal trans- 
lation. From this poem a few extracts are here subjoined as 
further illustrating this class of compositions, the character of wbidi 
cannot be better expr^sed than in the words of Hickes himself:— 
'' In eo mores hominum, afiectus animantium, et inanimatorum 
natursB^ res itidem aliiis generis civiles, ethical; theologicse descri- 
buntur in gnomis et sententiis oo-tivSeroi^.'' ** Absque omni plan^ 
connexu/' he adds^ in a repetition of nearly the same character in- 
troduced some few pages after the former. I have selected &om 
different parts of this poem a few of the more striking paragraphs. 

* « « 

> Whebe holds the king his seat of power^ 
The work of earth's industrious sons, 
Far is seen the strong-walled tower, 
A mighty mass of welLknit stones. • 

Cyninj sceal mid ceape 
Cwene ;^ebic^an, 
Bunum and bea^^um ; 
Bu scealon «rest 
Geofum ^od wesan. 

' Gtning sceal rice healdan; 
Ceastra beo^ feorran ^esyne» 
OrVanc enta jeweorc 
Da ^e on Visse eorVan syndon 
Wrsetlic weall stana jeweorc. 

Rex cum pretio 

Reginam redimetp 

Vasts et armilUs ; - 

Ambo e^wnxt 

Muneribus se largos prastabiaU* 

Gtibemabit rex regnum ; 
Urbes e hnginquo spectahuntur, 
Ingeniosa gigantum opera 
{Qui in hdc terrd degwU) 
Moenibus affabre factis. 


Loudest rolls the thunder's voice. 
Swiftest flies the wind's light breeze. 
Purest far are heaven's high joys, 
Firmest stands what Heaven decrees. 

Good with evil, young with old. 
Darkness still shaU strive with light ; 
Armed host vnth fiseman bold 
Still shall wage unceasing fight. 

The man of pure and guileless httart 
Yields soonest to the traitor's art ; 
But he whose long-protracted age 
Hath taught him to beware is sage. 

Wind by^ on lyfte swiflust, FerUus in acre est ocysstmunh 
Donar by* &ajum hladast, Tonitrusfragor est maxim^ sanorus^ 
Drymmas syndan Cristas myccle,/n^«i* est ntajestas Chriiti^ 
Wyrd by* swiVost» Fatum estfortissimwn. 

God sceal wyV yfele, Bontm adoersut mahmf 

Geo^o* sceal wi* ylde, Jwoentus adoersui senectwnf 

Lif sceal wi* deaVe, FUa amtra mortem^ 

Leoht sceal wi* Vystrum, Lux contra tenehrMf 

Fyrd wi* fyrde, ExercUus adversus exercUum^ 

Feond wi* oVnun, Inimkui contra tmmtctfffi, 

LaVwTSlaVe, Qtd o^ contra quern odio habuerli, 

Ymb land sacan, Ubique contendent 

Synne stselan. Et temper se ohfirmabimU 

So* hi* swicolost, Ferus facillim^ dedpUwr, 

And ^omol snoterost Et senex $apientissimus 

Fyru jearum frod Anteactis annis prudens 

Se *e ser fda jebide*. Qui pridem muUa est expertus. 




Book X. Section 1. Leaf 98. 

This may be regarded as the prototype (in our own language at 
least) of a very numerous tribe of poems, the title of which will be 
well remembered by all those who are conversant with our earlier 
literature; ^* Dialogas inter Corpus et Animam,** 

The composiuon immediately under our consideration is, how- 
ever, scarcely entitled to the name of a dialogue. It consists ody 
of a short exordium and one speech^ in which the soul is repre- 
sented as upbraiding the body with the sins to which it was acces- 
sory djiiring their union. As no part of the composition appears 
to possess any peculiar claims to the merit of poeucal beauty, I 
have translated only a few hues from its commencement. Tbey 
contain (if I have rightly interpreted the passage, which is some- 
what obscure) one singular instance of the iK>pular superstitions of 
their age, relating to the time during which the soul was permitted 
to revisit the earth after its separation from the body. 

> Befits it well that man should deeply weigh 
His soul's last journey ; how he then may fare ' 
When death comes on him, and breaks short in twain 

^ HuRu Vaes behofa^ 
Hsele^ aejhwylc 
Dset he his sawle-si^ 
Sylfa bewiti^e, 
Hu ^t biV deoplic. 
Donne se deaV cyme^, 
AsundraV ^a sibbe 

Maxinie hoc oportet 

Mortalium unumquemque 

Ut tile ejus aniinue iter 

Secum meditetur^ 

Quam illud sit longinjuum (altmn). 

Qtmm mors advenit^ 

Abrumpit copulam 


The bond that held his flesh ftnd spirit liuk'd : 
Long is it thence ere at the hand of Heaven 
The spirit shall reap or joy or punishment» 
E'en as she did in this her earthly frame. 
For ere the seventh night of death hath past, 

Da 9e ser somad Qud oUmjuncta 

Wseron lie and sawle* Fuerunt carpus et anima. 

Lon^ hX aiVSBn Diu est exinde 

Dset so ^sst nimeV Quod spiritus acctpit 

Mt Gode sylfum Apud Deum ipsum 

Swa wite swa wuldor, Aut pcenam aut glortam^ 

Swa him in worulde aer, Sicut ipsi in mundo priuSf 

Mfde %8Bt eorV&ety « Etiam (in) illo vase terrestrif 

JEr jeworhte. OUm factum est. 

Sceal se jsest cuman, Spiritus veniet 

Geh^um' hremi^y (In) statione quenduSf 

Syle ymb seofon nOity . ■ circiter (post) septimanam^ 

' The sense of this clause is by no means clear to me. The word i * jyh^um/ 
which occurs once in Csdmon (p. 74, 1. 4,) is supposed by Lye (Suppl.) to be 
derived from * je-hyht,' refugium, ' Giht,' or * jyte/ however, appears in 
the compounds ' ^ebed-pht,' bed-time^--* sunjiht,' the solstice — ^^te-sal/ 
an apartment. Its signification in these compounds and in the passage of 
Csedmon above mentioned seems to be tempus^ mansio, or static» If '^eh- 
%?um' be taken in the latter of these senses, it may be understood as con- 
strued in the Latin version ; if in the former, it may signify aliguando» 
Should the word ' ^eht,' or '^ht,' be allowed to have signified time (as it 
must if ' ^ebed-gyht ' be correcdy translated conticinium — vid. Lye in wee\ 
it will afford us a more plausible etymology of the adverb Tet than the one 
proposed by Mr. Home Tooke. The derivative adverbs ' gates' (existing in 
algates) and 'gehVum * will then appear to b^ formed from the oblique cases 
by the same analogy as 'whiles' and 'whilom' from * hwil,' tempos. The 
old Teutonic 'Zit,* tempos {p\d, Schilter's Glossary in voce) may be derived 
from the same source. The following word, 'hremig,* I have ventured to 
render qoerrdos^ or stridulus (from ' hrem,' voct/era), rather than eomposy as 
Lye has given it. The only meaning I can discover for ' syle ' is basis (Jwh' 
damentum, ' syll '). I suspect it in this place to be a mistake of the tran- 
scriber for 'sylf or 'sylfe.' 



Ghastly and shrieking shall that spirit come, 
The soul to find its body. Restless thus 
(Unless high Heaven first work the end of all tbings) 
An hundred years thrice told the shade shall roam. 
With chilling voice that sad and mournM ghost 
Upbraids its kmdred earth : '^ Thou hapless dust. 
How fares it with thee now i how dost thou waste, 
A foul and earthy mass ? Full little erst 
Thy thoughts were of that journey which the soul. 
Driven from her fleshly tenement, is doom'd to! 

Sawle findan 

Done lichoman, 

De heo asr lon^e was;, 

Dreo hund wintra, 

Butan ser wyrce 

Ece Dryhten 

^lmihti^ God 

Endc woTulde. 

CleopaV ^onne swa cearful 

Caldan reorde, 

SpriceS ^rimlice 

Gffist to ^am duste: 

" Dru;u ^u dreorja, 

To hwon dreahtest 9u me ? 

^or^an fylnes 

Eal forweomasty 

Lames jelicnes. 

Ly t ¥u ^e^htes to won 

Dinne sawle si^ 

Si^$San wurde 

SiWan heo of lichoman 

Lseded wsere. 

Hwaet wite Wi me werja " 

AtUma ad inveniendum ^ 

Quod iUa nuper habUabaif 
ccc hyemeSf 
Nisi prius constituat 
JEtemus Dominus 
Omnipotens Deus 
Ftnem orbis. 

Clamat tunc adeo misera 
Frigidd lingudy 
AUoquitur korrens 
Anima pulverem : 
" Pulvis tu infeliXf 
Quo agis me? 
^errend putredipe 
Omnino marcesciSf 
Lind similitudine, 
Paritm pnecepisti expectatione 
Tuum spirit&s^iter 
Quofuturum esset 
Quum Hie (spiritus) e corpon 
Eductus foret, 
Ut pumes me imque ! 

* I am by no means satisfied with the construction of this lios^ or the 
clause following it. 


To what sad fate, O wretche<) food of worms. 
Hast thou ^educed me ! Litde thoughtest thou 
How long and dreary was my destined way," 

This extract constitutes about one-sixth part of the poem. The 
remainder is occupied by a tissue of similar reproaches, and ap* 
pears^ upon the whole, to exhibit but little of imagination, and 
none of those traces of popular opinions or customs which occa- 
sionally stamp an additional value on the remains of our ancient 

It terminates thus, at the 100th leaf of the MS. 

DsBt maej ssjhwylcum 
Men to jemyndum 
Mod snotterra. 

Id detent (possunt) omnind 
Homines in mentem (revoeare) 
Animi prudentes. 

Hwsst VvL hum 


Lyt ^eiVohtes 

Hu Vis is Ion; hider.** 

Quam tu verh 
Vermxwm esca 
ParUm cogiUuti 
Qudm sit longum Adc." 



Book X. Sect S. Leaf 100. 

This poem is chieiy remarkable from its allusions to the my- 
thological and mytho^historical narratives which have been incor- 
porated into the Icelandic Edda ; and more especially as fully 
attesting the popular estimation in which Weland, the Vulcan of 
Northern mythology, was held by our ancestors long after their 
conversion to Christianity; and proving also the antiquity and 


general diffusion not only of a belief in bis existence and attributes, 
but even of the details of his wild and singular history K 
. This history, as contained in the Volundar Quida of S»mund's 
Edda (without the recent publication of which the Exeter Frag- 

> [NaU by the Editor.] 

The audior of these Hlustrations had detected also an allusion to the same 
mythological personage in a passage of King Alfred's translation of die 
Boethian metres, which moreover affords an amusing example of the igno- 
rance of Roman historians then generally prevalent. The royal paraphrase, 
finding (in the 7th metre of the 2nd book) the following reflection on the in- 
stability of human glory, 

Uhi nuncjidelis otsa Fabriciijacent f 

afforded, by his entire ignorance of the fiune of the ** faithful legate," a new 
instance in support of the truth which the poet was labouring to establish, 
ttie uncertainly of earthly reputation; and considering hb name ^parendy 
as designating, according to its etymology, a smith, transfers it to the most 
illustrious character of that profession with whose stoiy he was conversant, 
the Vulcan of the North : — 

Hwsr sint nu ^Sss wisan Where are now the wise 

^ Welandes ban, Weland's bones, 

Dss joldsmiVes The goldsmith 

De wss ^eo mserost. That was formerly most illustrious. 
P. 163. 

The Saxon lexicographer Lye is strangely embarrassed by this passage, 
and endeavours to make out of 'Weland ' an epithet referring to the travels of 
Fabricius to the court of Pyrrhus, as if agreeing with ' wealland ' pertgri' 

The same error is also found in the prose translation of the passage, where 
it stands 

Hwsr sint nu %ffis Welondes ban.*— P. 43. 

Geofirey of Monmouth has even introduced this Grothic artificer into the 
cyclus of Celdc fiction, where he mentions 

Pocida qua tculpnt Guielandut in vrbe Sigeni. 

Another allusion to him occurs in Hoveden, f. 444, who says, that when 
Geofirey of Plantagenet was knighted, they brought him an ancient sword 


ment must have remained as unintelligible to us as it was to 
H, Wanley, who terms it an aenigma,) runs briefly thus. — Weland 
was one of three brothers settled in Ulfdale, and married to Val- 
kyri» or war-nymphs, if they may so be termed. After a reiudence 

from the ro3ral treasure, the workmanship of Galan, the most excellent of all 

In the local traditions of the Vale of the White Horse, his memory is still 
preserved in the legends attached to the cairn or cromlech called Wayland 
Smith, recently introduced to such general nodce by the author of Kenil- 

But one of the fullest references which early English literature presents to 
his story, occurs in the more modem version of the romance of Horachilde, 
where maiden Rimenild gives her lover Horn a sword, of which she says, 

It is the make [mate] of Miming, 
Of all swerdes it is king. 
And WELAND it wrought, 
Bitterfer it hight. 

BitwiC» Romanceetf vol. iii. p. 995. 

This will afford additional ground for referring that romance to a Saxon or 
Danish, and not to a Norman origin. Bishop Percy's assertion, indeed, that 
it appears of genuine English growth, though denied with equal confidence 
and ignorance by Ritson, is supported by internal evidence which no one 
capable of understanding it can reject. The above reference to Northern 
mythology, strongly as it indicates such an origin, is corroborated by many 
other circumstances tending even more forcibly to establish the same fact* 
Thus in all the three versions of this romance (that is to say, the two English 
and one French version, which has idly been supposed to be the original), 
although every one of them varies materially from the rest, both in incidents 
and names, yet in none of them is any name given to any character which is 
not purely Saxon — a circumstance not to be paralleled in any other romance; 
a mixture, greater or less, of French names occurring in them all. Thus 
even in Sir Tristram, Blanchefleure, Triaroour, Gouvemail, Florentine, and 
others, are to be found, though that romance is remarkably free firom such 
misnomers, and generally does ascribe Celtic names to its Celtic heroes. 
Secondly, the language of the earlier English version of Homchilde is in its 
essence purely Saxon. In the whole course of the romance scarcely more than 
two words (to arrifoe, and * on reme* for on oan) are referable to the Norman- 


of QiDe years, these females were constrained by fate to leave their 
husbands, and disappeared. Two of the brothers departed in 
search of their respective partners ; but Weland reoiained at home, 
employed in the curious arts of his profession» and had forged 700 
rings or plates of gold, when Nidudr, a king of Nericia, allured by 
the fame of his riches, beset his dwelling with an armed force, and 
after some acts of plunder and insult, was induced by the advice of 
his queen to incapacitate him for active revenge, by the cruel pro- 
cess of cutting asunder the sinews of the knee joint. Thus 
maimed, he was conveyed to a small island, and forced to work 
for the benefit of his captors. In this solitude he revenged himself 
by secretly murdering the youthful sons of Midudr, whom he had 

French; but the slightest acquaintance with romances really translated finom 
the French will satisfy any one of the liberality with which the English 
minstrels borrowed not only the materials but the very words of the original, 
especially when to do so would help to furnish out a rime. Even Sir Tris- 
tram, which exhibits the nearest approach to the purity of this version of 
Horn, has often such words as belami, bonair, battayle, aventures, brodie, 
conseil, delit, desire, deraie, dioul, &c. &c. 

The phenomena presented by the three versions of Homchilde seem to indi- 
cate that the story had become so popular as to form the subject of several dif- 
ferent romances even in tlie Saxon times, for each bears the marks of imme- 
diate derivation from a Saxon original ; and yet there are material variations 
in the manner of telling the story in each. The earlier English and the 
French bear the greatest resemblance, but the later English differs widely 
from both. In the two former, the scene is laid in the kingdoms of Suthene, 
Estness, and Westness, of which it would not be easy to ascertain the locality, 
and in Ireland; but in the later version we find ourselves on terra firma iu 
several districts of Yorkshire, Northumberland, Wales, &c. : and the incur- 
sions of Saracens in the former are described as invasions of Danes and 
Irish in the latter; which, though certainly more modem in its present form, 
may claim from these circumstances, as well as the reference to Weland, to 
be considered as the more correct representation of a genuine Saxon originaL 

In Sir Tristram, also, we findu few lingering traces of Gothic traditions 
in the usage of the term 'dwerg' for dwarf, and in the mention of caverns 
irrought in the old times by the Eotenes. 


decoyed into his dwelling by the promise of golden ornaments. 
He then presented to the father their skulls set in, gold, and fa« 
shioned into drinking cups : to their mother, gems produced from 
their eyes ; and to their sister Bodhilda, an ornament for the breast 
made from their teeth. Soon after the unconscious relatives had 
received these Thyestean presents, the virgin Bodhilda, having 
broken a golden bracelet, visits the artificer and entreats him to 
repair it. Either by drugs or magic arts (for the poeni is in parts 
not only obscure but mutilated) he seems to have cast her into a 
profound sleep, and to have added to the other particulars of his 
barbarous revenge the violation of her person. This accomplished, 
he enters the palace of Nidudr by the aid of v^ings, and hovering 
over the presence-chamber of the monarch, reveals to him (after 
having extorted a promise that Bodhilda shall sufier no injury at 
the hands of himself o,r queen) the untimely fate of their oflTspring. 
He then vanishes. — I have entered thus fully into an abstract of 
the Volundar Quida, because a knowledge of its in)port is requi- 
site to the understanding the Saxon, or rather Danish bard ; and 
because, from the very recent publication of this part of the Edda, 
it may not yet be generally known to those who have not made 
a peculiar study of Northern antiquities. I now pass to the com- 
position immediately before us. 

It appears to be a species of rude song, De infortunm illm* 
trium virorum, composed for the purpose of alleviating the sorrows 
of the vvriter himself. It is divided by a species of burden into 
paragraphs of unequal length, each containing a separate example. 
The first and second of these relate (as I have said) to the adven- 
tures of Weland and Bodhilda. After what has been premised, 
their getieral purport will be readily understood. It is not, how- 
ever, without diflBdence that I offer a translation, which I have en- 
deavoured to make as Uteral as possible. Some passages are so 
obscure as to render it highly probable that I may have misunder- 
stood them. 



Weland bim bewurman 

Wneces cunnade^ 
Anhydi; eorl 
Earfo'Sa drea;* 
Hasfde bim to ^esi'S^ 
Soije and lonja^. 
Winter cealde, 
Wraece wean oft onfoad, 
Si'S'San bine Ni^bad 
On nede lejde 
Swoncre seono bende 
Oosyllan mon. 
D»s ofer eode 
Disses 8wa m®;. 

Beadobilde ne woss 
Hyre bro&a dea'B 
On sefan swa sar 

Welandus sibi afdmum it^amr 

Exilio (v. injuria) sensit, 
Pervicax dux 
Difficultatem periulit* 
Habuit sibi in comites 
Dolorem ac solittuUnem, 

Exilii dolorem sape expertusest. 
Ex quo eum Nithadus 
Nece^tate obsirinxit 
Debilem nervorum arlicuht 
Infelicem kominem. 
Hoc ille superavit 
In hoc tuum tanquam pales 

Bodhilda non erat 
Fratrum mors 
Inpectore tarn molesta 

E'EN Weland felt, ibe strong and stern, 
His soul with wrongs indignant bum, 
Doomed tbrough tbe winter's nigbt to bear 
A wretcbed exile's lot of care. 
Companion bad tbe Alf-king none 
Save grief and solitude alone, 
"Wbat time by false Nidudr' 
Tbe mangled sinews' torturing smart 
Had laid tbe bapless artist low. 
In dread extremity of woe. 
Yet bore he this, and thou mayst bear 
Tbe grief that all of earth must sliare. 



Swa hyre sylfre Vioj; 

Dset beo ^earoUce 

Onpeten b»fde 

Dast heo eacen w«s. 

lE^ire ne meahte 

Brifte ^^ncan 

Hu ymb ^&mt sceolde, 
fksB ofereode, 
Disses swa maaj. 

Quim propria cur a ; 

Qudd ea $tatim 


Se gravidam este. 

Nunquam patuit 

Aucia (scil./fl^u) cargieere 

Qmnu)do id evenisset^ Sfc. 

The mutability of human affairs is further illustrated by the ex- 
ample of the kings of the Goths (Geates Fri^e) ^ whom he states to 

* The Editor has judg^ it best to insert at length from the original die 
CQDcluding stanzas of this singular composition. In the first of these stanzas 
there appears to be a clear allusion to the thirty-two years' exile of Iheodric 
(the celebrated Dietrich of Berne, of Teutonic historical romance); but since 
Msringaburg seems to have been the proper city of that monarch, the text 
is probably corrupt : perhaps * ne ' has dropt out, and we should render the 
passage ^Theodric did not possess,'' i.e. was deprived of the possession of 

We Vast matV hilde 
Mon^e jefru^non, 
Wurdon jrundlease,. 

Geates firi^e, 

Daet hi sec sor; lufa 

Slaep ealle binom, 

DasB ofereode, &c. 
i>rihti2 wintra 
Mfieriosa bur; ; 
Dset wses monejum cuV. 

Dees ofereode, &c. 
We zeaacoion 
Wylfenne ^e^ht ; 

This reward of many a conteat 

Have we heard, 

How they became deprived of their 

The chiefii of the Goths, 
So that from them the desire of grief 
All sleep removed. 

Theodric possessed 
Thirty winters 
Maeringaburg ; 
This was known to many. 

We have learned 
Wolf-like council ; 



have lost their territory by the continual wars of Theoderic and of 
Hermanric, both heroes of the second or mythico-historical period, 
as it has been termed, of the Eddie fictions. In the sequel we find 
depicted at somewhat greater length the misfortunes and son'owsof 
a bard, probably (as has been before somewhat too hastily perhaps 
asserted) of the author himself. " He ritteth/* we are told, '* be- 
reaved of joy, his breast labouring with care, and thinketh with 
himself that his portion of hardships is endless. Then may he 
reflect how the allwise Lord worketh abundant changes through- 
out the world, exhibiting to many among men honour and the fruit 
of prudence, and to others the portion of woe. This may I affirm 

Ahte wide folc 
Gotena rices ; 
Daet wses prim cynin^ ; 
Sst see; moni; 
Sorjum jebunden 
Wean on wenan, 
Wijsete ^eneahhe 
Dset^aes cynerices 
Ofercumen wsere. 

Dses ofereode, &c. 
SiteV sor^ cearij 
Sslum bidseled, 
On sefim sweonceS, 
Sylfum VenceV 
Daet sy endeleas 
EarfoVa deal. 
Ms; Von ^eVencBsa 
Daet ^eond Vas worulde 
Witij Dryhten 

WendeV 'j^^^^^^^ « 
Eorle monepim 
Are ^esceaweV 
Wishcne blaed, 
Sumum weana dsel. 
Dset ic by me sylfiim 

He possessed the wide nadona 
Of the Gothic dominion ; 
He was a stem monarch ; 
Many a soldier sat 
Bound with sorrows 
To meditate on his woes, 
Because the many warlike seats 
Of that kingdom 
Were overcome. 

Translated in ike text .-—but the 
Editor is rather inclined to con- 
sider the first fourteen lines as 
a continuation of the subject of 
the preceding stanza, referring 
them to ** Many a soldier ** ss 
their nominative. They de- 
scribe, in his opinion, the re- 
flections of the Gothic waii j on 
on the vicissitudes of the contest 
between Theoderic and Edrmaih 
ric: the transition to the per- 
sonal affiiirs of the poet does 
not take place until the fifteendi 


(he proceeds — and I preserve the original transition from the third 
to the first person), this may I affirm firom my own experience : 
Once was I bard to the high Dane, beloved by my lord; my 
name was Deor ; many a winter had I an excellent following, and 
a faithful chieftain, until Heorrenda, a crafty foe, deprived me of 
the lordship or freedom (londriht) that the glory of chieftains had 
bestowed on me/' 

The interest of these references to the Scaldic mythology will 
perhaps be better estimated if we consider that the remarkable 
volume which contains them has to boast of an antiquity, on the 
lowest allowance, three centuries higher than that of the oldest 
MS. extant of the Eddie poems, and coteval at least with their 
collection or composition (if ever indeed they were so collected or 
composed) by Soemund the Wise. This much we must allow, both 
to these singular remains and to the Song of the Traveller inserted 
in an earlier portion of this collection, even though we should assign 
their origin to the age of Leofric. The MS. is, however, very pos- 
sibly still older; for the latter part of its contents are scarcely such 
as the prelate would have procured to be transcribed for the use 
of a collegiate library. If, however, the transcript was made at his 

Secjai^^ wille, 
D«t ic hwile wses 
Heo Deninja scop, 
Dryhthe dyre, 
Me wses Deor nama ; 
Ahte ic feht wintra 
FoljaS tilne, 
Holdne hlaford; 
CfSSe %st Heorrenda, 
Nu leoV craeftij men, 
Lond riht je)^, 
i>aet me eorla Ueo 
JEt ^esealde. 

Daes ofereode, &c. 



direction^ it is reasonable to suppose that the poems selected for 
the purpose would be such as already enjoyed some degree of 
reputation ; the productions» perhaps, of some of those Scalds who 
are known to have graced the court and shared in the patronage of 
the munificent Canute. To this period (if I may be permitted to 
venture the hypothesis), I should be disposed to attribute the com- 
position or the remodelling of these, and of the Danish Epic which 
has occupied so large a space in the earlier pages of the present 
work. The reference of both poems to Danish antiquity, and the 
occurrence of Runic letters in the Exeter MS* seem to -countenance 
this opinion. If any one should be disposed to attribute the com- 
position of our [Sundered bard to an earlier day» we have however 
seen that the name and occupation of Wfdand were not uokoowo 
to Alfred. 



Leaf 115. 

[Inserted by th^ Edxtor,'\ 

The Editor has, in the present instance^ been induced to de- 
viate from the rule he had prescribed to himself, of confining these 
Illustrations to th^ materials prepared by the late Author^, by two 
reasons ;^-First, the extreme scarcity of compositions of an el^ac 
character, such as the subjoined poem, in the Saxon language: the 
translations from the Boethian metres afibrd, perhaps, the only 
other instance ; and the following lines may therefore be coosidertd 
as an unique specimen of an original attempt of this kind by an 

1 The Author had himself been compelled to leave diis portion of tbe 
Exeter MS. unexamined, but had expressed in one of the papers leftbefaind 
him bis desire that this task should be completed ; a desire which the fidhor» 
during a subsequent visit to Exeter» endeavoured to acoooi|rfi^ 


Anglo-Saxon Scop« The style will be found closely to resemble 
that which the royal paraphrast of Boethius has adopted, in its ex- 
treme simplicity, or, as Hickes considers it, purity; a fact affording 
confirmation to the views previously advanced, that this style was 
chosen as being better accommodated to subjects of a moral or 
elegiac nature than the grandiloquism of the Caedmonian school. 

The second reason, which exerted still more influence over the 
Editor's determination, was the ^pearance which this poem pre- 
sents of allusion to the adventures and misfortunes of some hero 
once familiar to the Scaldic Muse : he was anxious, therefore, to 
submit it to that part of the literary public interested in such in- 
quiries, in the hope that some one more conversant with the cycle 
of early Northern poetry and romance than himself may trace it to 
its original dependence and source, and discover in it, as in the 
preceding instances of the Fight of Finsborough and the History of 
Weland, one of those interesting links which connect the remains 
of Anglo-Saxon literature with that of theif^ Continental brethren 
of the same great family of nations ^ 

It is aUnost needless to observe that this poem contains the la- 
mentation of some faithful and attached attendant, whose locd had 
quitted his country, apparently in consequence of the treachery of 
his kindred, which had also been exerted to separate from him this 
humble friend, who had vainly endeavoured to trace and follow his 
footsteps in distant lands. His situation and feelings are expressed 
with more pathos, and his lonely retreat amidst the woods exhibits 
more power of description, than can be usually found m Saxon 

IC «is jied wrece I SET forth this lay 

Bi me, ful jeomorre. Concerning myself, full sad. 

* Is it not probable that it is connected with the histoiy of the faithful 
Hildebrand, who is recorded in the Wilkina Saga to have wandered in many 
countries, after the expulsion of his thief, Theoderic of Bern, from his king- 
dom by the treason of his uncle Ermanric^ 



Minre sylfre si^. 
Ic %8et secjan mae; 
Hwaet ic yrm'Sa jebad 
Si'S'San ic upaweoz, 
Niwes o%%e ealdes. 
No ma "Soii nu ^ 
A ic wite won 
Minra wrec si^a «rest ; 
Ad in hlaford ^ewat 
Heonan of leodum 
Ofer yiSa jelac; 
Hffifde ic wbt ceare 
HwsBr min leod ihima 
Londes wtere ; 
Da ic me feran jewat, 
Folja'S secan, 

Wineleas wrecca for; 

Minre wea 'Searfe onpmnonj 

Dost tes monnes 

Magas hycjan 

Durh tyrne ^e'Soht 

DsBt by toda&lden unc, 

Dost wity ^ewidost 

In woruid rice, 

Lifdcxi la% licost ; 

And mec lonjade 

Hat mec blaford min 

Her heard niman ; 

Ahte ic leofra lyt 

On %is8um londstede, 

Holdra freonda. 

And my own journeying». 
I may declare 

What calamities I have abode 
Since I grew up, 
Recently or of old. 
No man hath experienced tbelike; 
But I reckon the privations (^first; 
Of my own exiled wanderings the 
My lord departed 
Hence from his people 
Over the expanse of the waves; 
I bad some care 
Where my chieftain 
In the lands might be ; 
Then I departed on my jouroey^ 
To seek my following (t\f. the 
chief to whose train 1 belonged), 
A friendless exile's travel ; [gao. 
The necessities of my sorrows be- 
,, Because this man's 
Kindred plotted 
Through malevolent counsel 
That they should separate us. 
That we, far remote 
In the regions of the worid. 
Should live most afflicted ; 
This weary state 
My lord hath ordained me 
Here in hardship to endure; 
I have few dear to me 
In this country, 
[Few] fiuthful friends. 

' I read this line, ** Nan man 96ne nam.*' 



For "Son is min hyje jeomor: 
Da ic me ful j^masc 

Ne monnan funde 
Hyje ^eomome. 
Mod un'Sendne ^, 
MorBor bycjende. 
BlHSe ^ebaero, 
Ful oft wit beotedon 
Dset unc ne ^edeelde 
Nemne dea'S ana owiht elles. 
Eft is 'Sest on hworfan ; 
Is nu swa hit no waere, 
Freondscipe uncer : 
Seal* is feor jeneah 
Mines fela leofan 
FaBh«a dreojan. 
Heht mec man wunian 
On wuda bearwa. 
Under ac treo. 
In "Sam eorS scraefe ; 
Cald is "Sis eorS sele ; 
Eal ic eom of lonjad ; 
Sindon dena dimme ; 
Duna up bean ; 
Bitre burj-tanes ', 

Therefore is my mind sad : 

So that, as a perfect mate to me 

(t. e. a full rival in affliction) 
I can find no man 
[So] unhappy. 
Sad in mind, 
Debilitated in spirit, 
And intent on thoughts of death. 
Blithe in our bearing, 
Full oft we two promised 
That nothing should separate us 
Save death alone. 
But this is reversed ; [been^ 

And now, as though it had never 
Is our friendship become : 
Afar off is it the lot 
Of my well-beloved 
T9 endure enmity. 
I am compelled to sojourn 
In woodland bowers. 
Beneath the oak-tree. 
In this earthy cavern ; 
Cold is this earthy mansion ; 
I am all wearied out ; 
Dark are the dells. 
And steep the mountsuns ; 
A horrid dwelling among branches. 

' unVeond, non vigerUf from ^ un ' and ' Vean *. 

* I am far from satisfied with my translatioQ of this passage, in which I 
have supposed * seal ' to be the same with ' sael/ time or occasion^ and interpreted 
it as the destiny imposed by actual circumstances. 

' burj-tanes. — I can find no etymon for this term, excepting ' burj/ a city 
or residence, and ' tana/ a branch; and I have rendered it accordingly. 



Brerum beweaxne ; 
Wic wynnaleas. 
Ful oft mec her wnfSe 
Bejeat from si« frcan : 


Leof li^ende 

Le^er weardia% ; 

Don ic on uhtan 

Ana ;anj;e 

Under ac treo 

Geond %as eorS scrafa : 

Dear ic sittan mot 

Summor lanjne dm^ 

Dsr ic wepan ma^; 

Mine wrsec siiSas 

Earfo'Sa fela ; 

ForSon ic »fre ne meBj 

Daere mod ceare 

Minre ^erestanne, ' 

Ealles %8BS lonja 

Dses mec on %is8um life bejeat. 

Ascyle jeon; man 

Wesan jeomor mod, 

Heard heartan jeSoht, 
Swylc habban sceal 
Bli& jebaero ; 
£ac "Son breost ceare 

Sin-sorpia jedrea; ; 
Sy »t him sylfum ^elonj 
Eal his worulde wyn ; 
Sy ful wide fah 

Overgrown with briars ; 

A joyless abode. 

Here full oft adversity 

Hath overtaken me fit«n the 
journey of my lord : 

My friends are in the earth ; 

Those beloved in life 

The sepulchre guardeth ; 

Then I around 

In solitude wander 

Under the oak-tree 

By this earth-cave : 

There must I sit 

The summer long day. 

There may I weep 

My exiled wanderii^ 

Of many troubles ; 

Therefore I can never 

From the care 

Of my mind, rest. 

From all the weariness [life. 

That hath come upon me in this 

Let the young man strip off 

To be sad of mind (i. e. in anti- 
cipation of sorrow)» 

Hardhearted thoughts. 

The same that shall [now] have 

A blithe bearing ; 

[Shall hereafter] also [have] in the 
care of his breast [rows; 

The endurance of constant sor- 

[Although] long may abide with 

All his worldly joy ; [him 

And distant be the foe 



Feorres folc-londes ; 
Dast min fireond siteiS 
Under stan hli-Su, 
Storme behrimed. 
(Wine weri; mod) 
Wstre beflowen 
On dreorsele; 
DreojeS se min wine 
Micle mod ceare. 
He ^emon to oft 
Wynlicran wic. 
Wa bi« «am» 
Be sceal of Ian joSe 
Leofes abidan. 

Of the far country ; 
In which my friend sitteth 
Beneath the stony mountain, 
Hoary with the ^torm. 

(Mycompanion weary in hisspirit) 
The waters streaming 
Around his dreary abode ; 
This my friend suffereth 
Great sorrow of mind. 
And remembereth too often 
His happier home. 
Woe shall be to them 
That shall to length 
Of Ufe abide. 




Leaf 123. 

This specimen was left by the late Author of these Illustrations 
in a very imperfect state of preparation : the Latin translation had 

> I conceive the author here returns to the moral reflections commenced in 
the lines '' Ascyle jeonj man,'' &c., which were, with much natural feeling, 
interrupted by the remembrance of his friend's exile and sorrows, suggested 
by the mention of a &r country; the passage from *' Dst min freond siteS ^ 
to *^ Wynlicran wic " being parenthetical. The general tenor of these moral 
reflections appears to be, '^ Let not the young presume in their prosperous for- 
tune, for whosoever shall attain to length of days is destined also to the en- 
durance of ilL" 


not received any revision, consisting only of scanty notes in pencil 
on the margin of his transcript ; and the few first lines of the metri- 
cal version were alone completed. The Editor was unwilling, how- 
ever, to suppress a firagment of so much interest, and so superior, 
both in picturesque description and in the tone of moral feeling 
which pervades it, to the great mass of Saxon poetry : be has there- 
fore ventured, although altogether unpractised in poetical compo- 
sition, to fill up the chasms of the metrical version; distinguisbiog, 
however, his own rude attempts by the Italic character. 

The reader will be reminded, in the contrast between past 
grandeur and actual desolation thus presented by the ancient Scald, 
of the more elaborate delineation of a modem author, the cele- 
brated description of Dinevor Castle in Dyer's "Grongar Hill;' 
but a still more interesting parallel, because drawn from the poetry 
of a period equally remote and imperfectly civilized, will be found 
among the early bards of Wales, in Llywarch Hen's Elegy on Urien 
Reged— " Yr aelwyd hon," 8cc. 

This hearth— deserted by the shout — 

More habitual on its floor 

Was the mead, and the talking of the mead-drinkers. 

This hearth — will it not be covered with netties i 

While its defender was alive 

More accustomed there was the needy stranger. 

This hearth— -will it not be covered with sod i 
In the Ufetime of Owun and Elphin 
Its cauldron boiled the prey. 

This hearth — will it not be covered with hoary fungi ? 

More accustomed around its viands 

The brave ones dauntiess in die sword stroke. 


This hearth — ^will it not be covered with spreading brambles i 

Blazing logs were upon \t. 

And the accustomed gifts of Reged. 

This hearth — will it not be covered with thorns ? 
More accustomed to it the assembled ring 
Of Owain's companions. 

This hearth — will it not be covered with ants f 
More accustomed the bright torches 
And blameless societies. 

This hearth — will it not be turned up by swine i 
More accustomed the clamour of men, 
And circling horns of the banquet. 

This buttress here — and that one there — 

More accustomed around them 

An army's clamour, and the path of melody. 

It has appeared to the Editor that some connexion may exist 
between the subject of the present specimen and the history of 
Finsborough already detailed in a former article of this Appendix, 
since both cities were under the dominion of the Jutes, and both 
appear to have perished by a similar catastrophe. 


Rear'd and wrought full workmanly 
By earth's old giant progeny 
The wall-stone proudly stood. It fell 
When bower, and hall, and citadel. 
And lofty roof, and barrier gate. 
And tower and turret bow'd to fate. 


And wrapt in flame and drench'd in gore 
The lofty burgh might stand no more* 
Beneath the Jutes' long vadish'd reign. 
Her masters ruled the subject plain ; 
But they have mouldered side by side — 
The vassal crowd, the chieftairCs pride ; 
And hard the grasp ofeartKs embrace^ 
That shrouds for ever all the race. 
So fade they, countless and unknown^ 
The generations that are gone^ 

Fair rose her towers in spiry height, 
From bower of pride and palace bright, 
Echoif^ with shout of warriors free, 
And the gay mead-halPs revelry ; 
Till Fate^s stem hour and Slaughter's day 
Swept in one ruin all away. 
And husKd in common silence all, 
War-shout and voice of festival. 
Their towers of strength are humbled low. 
Their halls of mirth waste ruins now. 
That seem to mourn, so sad and drear. 
Their mastertf bloodrstairid sepulchre- 
The purple bower of regal state, 
Roofless and stained and desolate, 
Is scarce from meaner relics known. 
The fragments of the shattered town» 
There store of heroes, rich as bold. 
Elate of soul, and bright with gold. 
Donned the proud garb of war that shone 
With silvery band and precious stone: 

> Here some mutilated lines of the original, which appear to mention 
Rsghar or Rsgnar and Beadfah as ancient kings of the city, are omitted. 



So marcVd they once in gorgeous train 
In that high seat of wide domain, 
Howjirmhf stood in massy proof 
The marble vault and fretted roof, 
Till, alUresistless in its force. 
The fiery torrent roWd its course. 
And the red wave and glowing flood 
Wrapt all beneath its bosom broad. 

Wb^TLIC is 'Sis wealstan 
Wyrde jebrwcon. 
Bur; stede burston, 
Brosnad enta jeweorc ; 
Hrofas sind ^ehrorene, 
Hreos jetorras^ 
1 Hrim-jeat-berofen ; 
Hiim on lime^ 

Scearde scur beor^e, 

Scorene jedrorene» 
^Ido uDder Eotene* 
EorS prap hafa'S 
Waldend wyrhtan 
Forweorone jeleorene. 
Heard pipe hrusan ; 
OiS bund cnea 
WerBeoda ^ewitan. 
Oft "Sees woe; jebad 
Rseshar and Readfah 
Rice »fter olSrum 

123. last line. 

Affabre factum est hoc adifif 
Fato disruptum, [cium 

Vrbium sedes corruunt, 
Pereunt gigantum opera ; 
Tecta sunt devastata, 
Turres ruituri, 
Amplis portis prioati ; 
Fuligo est super caleem [i.e. calce 

obductos parietes"], 
Erasa est urbs pulcra, 
Direpta et sanguine petfiisa. 
Qua blimfuit sub Jutis. 
Terra amplexus tenet 
Principes operariosque, 
Extinctos mortuosque, 
Duro telluris compressu; 
Donee centum genera 
Hominum discesserunt. 

> Forsan pro * rum^eaty' porta am^. 



Ofstonden under stormum 

Steap jeap ^edrea 

• « • • • 

[flic Codex 
Beorht wseron burh reeced, 
Burn-sele moni^e, 
Heah bom jestreon ; 

Here swej micel ; 
Meodo-heall moDi;, 
* ^^ [man f] dreama ful. 
QS'Se iSst onwende 
Wyrd seo swySe ; 
Crunjon walo wide, 
Cwoman wol-dajas, 
Swylt eal fomom 
Secj-rof wera ; 
Wurdon hyra wijsteal 
Westen sta^olas^ 
Brosnade beorjsteal. 
Betende crun^on 
Hergaa to hrusan. 
ForSon ISas hofa dreorjiaiS ; 
And "Siea teafor ^eapu, 
Tijelum sceadeS, 
Hrost bea^as-rof 
Hryre Wonj jecronj, 
Gebrocen to beorjum. 
Der hi beom monig, 
Gliedmod and ^pld beorht. 

• • • • « 
hiulcus est.'] 

Splendida erant urbis tedifida^ 
Mdes permultitt 
AUU pinms arnata (vel potius 

Altumerat comu postessionum 

ExercitHs vox magna ; 
Medi aula plurima, 
Hominum gaudii plena. 
Donee supervenerit 
Fatum asperum ; 
Occubuerunt strage laid, 
Venerunt pralii dies, 
ExUium omnes rapuit 
Bello claros heroas; 
Erant eorum propugnacula 
Deserta sedes, 
Dinita ufbis statio. 
Praliati occubuerunt 
Milites in terram. 
Ergo hoc habitatio luget; 
Et, hac purpurea (regalis damus) 
Tegulis divulsis, [prona, 

Cubiculum annuliferi herois 
Ruina in campum prolapsa esij 
Inter urbis fragmenta. 
Ibijuvenis multus, 
LatiAs animo et auro lucens. 

> This Rune, which represents the letter M| b named Man^ and here ap- 
pears to stand for that name. 


Gleoina ^efrsetwed, Splendidi omatus, 

Wlonc and winjal, Audax, et gaudio gestiens, 

Wi^-bjrstum scan, Indusiis bellidsfulsit, 

Seah on sync on sylfor^ Prospexitfnetallum,argentufnque, 

On searo pmmas, Pulcrasque gemmas, 

On ead on seht, JDivitiaSf possessionesque. 

On eorcan stan. Et lapides pretiosos. 

On "Sas beorhtan bur; In hdc splendidd civitaie 

Bradan rices Lati regni 

Stan hofu stodan ; LapideifotTiices stabant ; 

Stream bate wearp Flumen igneum invasit 

Widan wylme, Lato astu, 

Weal eal befenj; Murum totum occupavit 

Beorbtan bosme. Lucido sinu. 

D»r "Sa balSu wnron 

Hat on breSre . • , 4 • • . . 

Det W8BS hySelic. 

Leton "Son jeoton « • 

[Catera Codicis mutilatione desunt.'] 


No. IV. 






Althoctoh it is possible that Alfred may not have found 
leisure to compose or translate all the works attributed to him 
by Bale and other antiquaries, there is yet unquestionable au- 
thority for his having enriched our language with a version of the 
well-known treatise of Boethius De Omsolatione Philasapkia. 
William of Malmesbury not only relates the £ic(, but describes 
the manner in which the illustrious author was enabled to sur- 
mount the various difficulties of his original»— -difficulties both of 
style and matter, which must otherwise have formed a considerable 
bar to the labours of one who had applied himself only at an ad- 
vanced age to the study of the Latin language, and who could 
scarcely be expected to have brought to his task a competent 
knowledge of the philosophical tenets of Grecian antiquity. Asser 
(it appears from this testimony) first interpreted or paraphrased 
the work, to which Alfred afterwards gave an English dress. The 
celebrated Junius transcribed this version from a manuscript in 
the Bodleian Library, adding the various readings of one yet 

earlier ' (if I understand him rightiy) in the Cottonian. This tran- 

*^^— ^""'^— — •— ^^■^'^— "^^^™—^— ^*-^^"^—^^*" ' ' ■ I ■ — ^— — ^— 

' " melioris nota" 



script was afterwards published in the year I698 by C. Rawlin- 
son, of Queen's College, Oxford, without any attempt at commen- 
tary or explanation. ' 

The variations of the two manuscripts are for the most part 
very trifling. In one instance, however, there is a remarkable dif« 
ference. The metrical parts in the one (the Bodleian MS.) being 
translated into prose, while in the other they are rendered very 
paraphrasdcally and elaborately into verse. The lines given in 
the note below > constitute the evidence on which this metrical 

' Dus Alfred us 
Eald spell reahte, 
Cynin; West Sexna, 
Crsfl meldode 
LeoVwyrhta list. 
Him wss lust micel 
Dst he ^iossum leodum 
LeoV spellode 
Monnum myr^en, 
Mislice cwidas, 
Dy leas selinje 
Selflicne sec; 
Donne he swelces lyt 
Gym^ for his Jlilpe» 
Ic sceal ^iet sprecan, 
Fon on fitte, 
Folc cuVne rsd 
HseleVum secjean ; 
Hliste se Ve wille. 

/to Aifredut nobis 
Antiquum opus exposuit. 
Rex Saxonum Occidentaliuah 
Artem prodidit 
Scientiam poeticam* 
IlUJuit volupe imprimis 
Quod hisce populis 
Carmen enarraret 
Hommibus jucundum, 
Miscettanea verha^ 
Ne tadium 

FroprxcB laudis mentumem 
Quandoquidem ipse ita par<^ 
Efferre studuit in ostentatUmem^ 
Ego tamen prcedicabot 
Recvpiam me in cantilenamf 
Monitum popiUo cognitum 
Vtris dicere; 
Audiat qui velii. 

The Idth and following lines appear to allude to the modest manner 
in which the royal paraphrast, in the close of his own prose introduc- 
tion, had apologized for the probable defects of his version. " Not- 
withstanding," says his encomiast, *^ he thus modesdy suppressed his 
own praises, yet I will proclaim them aloud in my lay, as being uni- 
▼erudly admitted through his nation." 


version is attributed to tbe royal paraphrast; they are in the ori- 
ginal MS. subjoined to the prose introduction. 

The style of these £lfredian versions is distinguished from that 
of the Csddtnunian school by its great simplicity of diction, and the 
absence of those poetical phrases which are ^o characteristic of tbe 
latter, and which appear to have been in the same common use 
with its followers as the expressions /3Ii} UpiifLOMf-^xetret ^pipx xai 
x«ri ^]bi)y,— axajXflerov irtip,-— «roijx^a kx&Vf and the bke^ were with 
Homer and his imitators. 

The inferences which Hickes has deduced from this difference 
of styles against tbe antiquity of the supposed Caedmoman le- 
mains have been already stated and considered.* 

It is not however to be concluded, from what has been raeor 
tioned as to the absence of particular expressions of a poetical na- 
ture, that the language of Alfred is either prosaic or destitute of 
ornament. We should not be justified in attributing these defects 
to £uripides simply because we do not find in him the laboured 
and unusual phraseology of ^schylus ; and the diflerence betweea 
the works of Alfred and the reputed Csedmon is nearly of tlus na- 
ture. It is possible» too» that the learned monarch having a clas- 
sical model before his eyes, and wishing to make his translation as 
generally useful as possible» may have abstained purposely from a 
mode of composition which frequently offended against the rules 
of good taste, and was occasionally so obscure as to oS&r rather 
enigmas than metaphors. His philosophical genius must have 
shown him the defects of this inflated style, and its evident impro- 
priety for the uses of moral and didactic poetry. In general, his 
taste appears to have led him to tiie use of the simplest language. 
Thus in metaphorical passages, where even we should probab\y 
adopt language somewhat elevated above common use (though not 
strained to tbe absurd height of the Islandic phraseology), he is 
content with the most obvious and simple. Thus where we should 

' Vide p. 185. 


speak of the gale^ of adverse fortune, and the storms of care> he 
scruples not to use the terms—" Rain of sorrows," and " Wind of 
trouble." In this and some other respects his diction is less highly 
laboured, and perhaps in a purer taste, than that of his original. 

The work in (}ue»tion has hitherto been- called a translation of 
the Boethian Metres. Its execution, however, by no means cor- 
responds with our nouons of the fidelity expected from one who 
should profess to render an ancient author into any modern lan- 
guage. Alfred frequently omits whole sentences together^ and yet 
more firequently expands to an almost immoderate length those 
which he selects for imitation* 

This latter practice he might certainly be in a manner con- 
strained to adopt by the e^ctreme conciseness of bis originals, a 
conciseness which renders many parts of them almost incoinpre- 
hensible to persons not previously acquunted with the philosophi- 
cal principles of their author. Both in lus interpretation of these, 
and even of passages in which the sense is to us infinitely more ob- 
vious, he must doubdesa have been influenced by the wish of 
rendering them as intelligible as possible to the persons for whose 
information and improvement they were intended,^persons whom 
he must have well known to be. destitute both of Uterature and phi- 
losophy. Thus, where Boethius simply has 

Tibi serviat ultima Thute, 

The paraphrast has 

Thule, that isle that rears 
Its head &r westward to the ocean-wave, 
Whose summer knows no night, or winter day. 

In another passage he illustrates the supposed situation and im- 
mobility of the earth, with respect to the moveable heaven which 
was believed to surround it, by the position of the yolk in the centre 
of tlie egg. 

For the former practice it will not perhaps be so easy to find an 
apology, the parts omitted being frequently such as no translator 

S 2 


would have rejected, either on the score of obscurity, or want of 
poetical beauty. 

The Metres of Boethius may perhaps be divided, with reference 
to their subjects, into the elegiac, the didactic, and the theological. 
It has been attempted to translate one example in each style, and 
these three specimens will suffice to give a tolerably accurate no- 
Uon oT the general manner in which the royal paraphrast has exe- 
cuted his task. 

CjRiilKJ qui quondam studio Jlorente peregi, 

Flebilis, heu, mastos cogor inire modos. 
Ecce mihi lacera dictant scribenda Camena ; 

Et verts elegijktibus ora figant. 
Has saltern nullus potuit pervincere terror, 

Ne nostrum comites prosequerentur iter, 
Gloriafelids olim viridisquejuventa 

SokUur mossti nunc meafata senis. 
Venit enim properatd malts inopina senectus, 

Et dolor atatemjussit inesse suam, 
Intempestivifundttntur vertice cani, 

Et tremit effbUo corpore laxa cutis. 
Mors kominumfelix, qua se nee dukibus annis 

Imerity et mortis sape vocaia venit. 
Eheu, qudm surdd miseros averiitur aure, 

Etflentes oculos claudere sava negat! 
Dum levibus malefida boftis fortune faveret, 

Peni caput tristis merserat hora meum. 
Nunc quiafallacem mutavit nubila vultum, 

Protrahit ingratas impia vita moras. 
Quid mefelicem totiesjactastis, amid P 

Qui cecidit, stabili non erat ille gradu. 

I, THAT in happier days attuned to joy 
The frequent voice, now sad and woe-begone, 
A captive wretch, must sigh and sing of sorrow. 
Sore has that sorrow marr'd the poet*fire. 



That wont of old^ while pleasure yet was minei 
To breathe so fair and free the genuine lay. ' 

Now my mind wanders oft, the choicer phrase 
Mingling perchance with rude and uncouth speech. 
Once the world's wealth was mine : blind that I was 
And senseless ! it hath lured me to my fall. 
And left. me in this dark and loathsome cell 
B^eft of hope and comfort. Vain delights ! 
Since thus ye have deserted me, my soul 
Henceforth shall know you, faithless as ye are ! 
How could ye tell me once, ye flattering friends. 
That I was bom to bliss i False was that word, 
For human joys are frail^ and short of stay. 

Hw^T ic lioiSa fela 

Lustlice ^eo 
Sane on saelum, 
Nu sceal siofijende, 
Wope jewsejed, 
Wreccea ^iomor, 
Sin^an sarcwidas. 
Me 'Sios siccetunj 
HafoiS aisled ISes ^eocsa, 
Dat ic ISa ^ed ne mas; 
Gefe^ean swa ffe^e, 
Deah ic fela ^io %a 
Sette soS cwida, 
Donne ic on sielum w»s. 
Oft ic nu miscyrre 
CuSe sprece 
And "Seah uncu'Sre. 
JEt hwilum fond me 
Das woruld s»l%a : 

Wei hwsBs blindne ; 
On %]s dimme hoi 
Dysine forlseddon. 
And me %a berypton 
Rssdes and frofre. 
For heora untreowum, 
De ic him sefre betst 
Truwian sceolde, 
Hi me towendon 
Heora bacu bitere. 
And heora blisse from. 
Forhwam wolde -gd, 
Weoruld frynd mine, 
Secjan 0%^ sinjan 
Doet ic jessBllic mon 
W»re on weorulde? 
Ne synt %a word soiS. 
Nu "Sa ^essel'Sa ne majon 
Simle jewunigan. 

It will be immediately perceived that Alfred has omitted many 
of the lines, and not given very scrupulously the sense of others. 


The (second specimen, which may be regarded as of a didactic 
nature, is the 4th metre of the 2nd book. 

QuiSQUis vokt perennem 

QuUus ponere sedem, 
Stabtlisque me sonori 

Stemiflatibus Euri, 
Etftuctibus minantGn 

Curat spemerejHmtum, • 

Montis cacumen alti, 

Bibulat viiet arenas. 
lUud pretervus Auster 

Jhth viribus urget ; 
Ha pendulum soluta 

Pondus ferre recusant. 
Fugiens periculosam 

Sortem sedis amarne, 
Humili domum memento 

Certtisjigere saxo. 
Quuzmvis tonet minis 

Miscens aqtu>ra ventus, 
Tu conditu^ quieti, 

Felix robore valli, 
N Duces serenus ovum, 

Ridens tetheris iras. 

The introduction of Alfred has been preserved. He has in se- 
veral cases prefixed a few lines of similar import. 

Once more the Goddess, as she wont, exchanged 
Her speech for song ; and thus she sweetly told 
Of truth and virtue. " Never yet I heard 
Of mortal, that might fix his high-roof 'd hall 
Unshaken on the mountain's topmost brow : 
Nor have I known among the sons of earth 
Him that might harbour in a heart of pride 
Wisdom and wisdom's works. Say, hast thou seen 


Him that could rear upon the fleeting eand 

His lasting tower of strength ? So fares the man 

That wisdom's goodly fabric fain would raise 

Where the foul brood of earth-bom appetite» 

O'erspread the soul ; e'ea as that sand shall drink 

The rain of heavePi so the insatiate rage 

Of this world's wealth drinks dry the golden shower. 

Nor cools its thirst withal. Short space endures 

The pile that crowns the mountain ; the wild wind 

Sweeps by, and it is gone : rear it on sand 

SwoU'n by the rain, that treacherous soil forsakes 

Its tottering base. So falls the soul of man. 

Devious and driven from her true place of rest, 

When the rude gales of passion and the flood 

Of worldly care and vain solicitude 

Relentless press on her. What man would find 

The joy that knows not &ilure or deceit, 

Swift let him fly the world's delusive pomp. 

There for his soul her secret cell to work. 

Where he may find some lowly comer-stone 

That ne'er may ftul him, though the unpitying storm 

Rage round it, and the ceaseless blast assail. 

E'en such a man»on in its humble state 

The Almighty One disdains not to regard ; 

And wisdom enters there a willing guest. 

There shelter'd may he taste a life of bliss 

That knows nor fear nor failure. For the wise. 

Reckless alike of earthly good or harm. 

Place not their hope in aught save that which lasts 

When the world's wealth hath perish'd. Thus uphdd 

By the great Source of Good« they shape their course.^ 

In vain the stormy cares of life assail them, 

In vain the rude blast and the whelming sui^e 

Sweep to destruction all their earthly gpod«" 



Da ODjon se Wisdom, 
His jewunan, 
Fyljan jlio wordum» 
Gol jyd 9bBi spelle, 
Sonj; 8o% cwida, 
Sumne %a ^eta. 
Cwie^ he ne herde 
Dat on heane munt 
Monna «ni; 
Meahte asettan 
Healle hrof feeste : 
Ne iSearf eac beleSa nan 
Wenan ^s weorces, 
Dset he Wisdom mssje 
Wis ofermetta 
iEfre jemen^an. 
Herdes "Su sefre 
Daette «ni; mon 
On sond beorjas 
Settan meahte 
F»8te healle. 
Ne msej eac fira nan 
Wisdom Umbran 
Doer &Br wonild jitsun; 
Beor; oferbrsedeS ; 
Baru sond willa® 
Ren forsweljan, 
Swa de% ricra nu 
Gnindleas ptsun; 
Gilpes and »hta 
GedrinceS to dryjjum 
Dreosendne welan. 
And ^ah i$«8 iSearfan 

Ne bi% ISurst aceled. 
Ne mae; hsleSa ^^waem 
Hus on munte 
Lanje ^^Isstan : 
ForSsem him lunp^ on 
Swift wind swapeS : 
Ne bi% sond ik>n ma 
WilS micelne ren 
Manna senium» 
Huses hirde, 
Ac hit hreosan wile 
Si^an sond lefter rene. 
Swa bio% anra ^ehwaes 
Monna Mod se&n 
Miclum awejede. 
Of hiora stede styrede, 
Donne he strong dreceV 
Wind under wolcnum, 
Woruld earfoCa; 
OS'Se hit 6ft se reiSa 
Ren onhrereS 
Sumes ymbhojan 
Un^emet ^emen. 
Ac se 'Se "Sa ecan 
A jan wille, 
SoSan jesselSa, 
He sceal swi%e flion 
Disse worulde wlite ; 
Wyrce him siiSSan 
His Modes hus, 
Dser he mseje findan 
EaSmetta stan, 
Uni; metfestne, 



Grundweal jearone, 
Se to jlidan ne iSearf, 
Deah hit wecje wind 
Woruld earfoiSay 
OS^e ymbhojena 
Ormete ren. 
ForSaem on %tere dene 
Drihten selfa 
Dara eadmetta 
fiardfeest wuni^a'S ; 
Der se Wisdom a^ 
WunalS on jemyndum. 
ForiSon orsoij lif 
Ealnij Iseda-S, 
Woruld men wise, 
Buton wendivje, 
Donne he eall forsih'S 
EorSlicu jood 
And eac 'Sara yfela 
Orsorh wunaSi 
Hopa? to %am ecum 

De "Saer sefter cuma'S. 
Hine ^onne sejbwonan 
^Imihti; Good 
Simle ^ehealdeS. 
Modes jesel^um, 
Durh metodes jife, 
Deah hine se wind 
Woruld earfoSa - 
Swi^Be swence, 
And hine sinjale 
Gemen ^le, 
Donne him jrimme 
On woruld s»l%a 
Wind wra"Be blaweSi 
Deah "Se hine 
Ealne; se ymbho^a 
Dyssa woruld ssellSa 
WralSe drecce. 

The third specimen which I have selected is a part of 'the 
well-known Address to Jthe Deity, contained in the third book of 
tlie original. The translation of Alfred is in this case highly para- 

O QUiperpetud mundum ratione gubermis, 
Terrarum calique Satar, qui tenipus ab avo 
Irejubes, stabilisqve manens da% cuncta moveri ; 
Quern non externa pepuleruntjingere causa 
MalerioiJluUantis opus ; veriim irmta summi 
Forma bom^ lioore carens : Tu cuncta superno 
Ducts ab exemph, pukrum pulcerrimtu ipse 


Mvndum mente gerens,simUque in imagine fmwans, 
Perfectasquejuben» perfectum absolvere paries : 
Tu numerii elementa ligas, ut/rigorajlammis, 
Arida canveniani liquidis, ne purior ignis 
Evolet, aui mersas deducant pandera terras : 
Tu triplicis mediam natures cuncta moventem 
Connectens animam, per consona membra resobis. 
Qua ctim secta duos motum ghmeravit in orbes, 
In senuet reditura meat,mentemque profundam 
Circuity et simili canvertii imagine calum : 
Tu causis animas paribus, vitasque minores 
ProvehiSf et levibus sublimes curribus aptans. 
In codum terramque seris, quas lege benign& 
Ad te conversas redueifacis igne reverti* 
Da, Pater f augustam menti conscendere sedem ; 
Dafontem lustrare boni ; da luce repertd 
In te conspicuos animi defigere visus : 
Disjice terrena nebulas et pondera molis, 
Atque tuo splendare mica : Tu namque serenum, 
Tu requies tranquilla piis : te cemere, finis ; 
Principium, vector, dux, seniita, terminus idem, 

O THOU> whose works in mut6 amazement bold 
Earth's wisest sons, all glorious and all great, 
Eternal Lord ! how well and wondrously. 
Seen or unseen, thy creatures hast thou shaped, 
With gentle sway and sovereign intellect 
Y/ ielding at will this beauteous universe ! 
To this our middle earth, from first to last. 
The seasons, that now pass and now return. 
In good and seemly order thou hast dealt. 
Thou wisely guidest, as thy pleasure wills. 
Thy creatures ever moving,*— still thyself 
Immoveable ;-^for none exist before thee, 


Greater or mightier or equal know». 

No need compellecl thee — for thou canst not need — 

To frame thtne universal work ; but all 

Of thine own power and pleasure hast thou made. 

The world and all its wonders ; since to thee 

Nought could they yield of profit or of praise. 

Who deems aright^ what can he deem the whole 

But one great ofispring of eternal goodness i 

Thine own-^for goodness and thyself are one. 

And nought is good without thee. 

Seek we to learn what that thy goodness is ? 

Almighty goodness ; ever one with thee. 

It hath no semblance of our mortal nature ; 

For all we taste or know of good on earth 

From thee alone proceeds, in thee alone 

By envy unalloyed ; for none can move 

Envy, where none is equal : and what mind 

Save thine, the all-wise One, could in one vast thought 

Sum up the form and substance of all good i 

Eala min Drihten, Mssjne and cr»fte. 

DsDt iSu eart selmihti; ! Du iSysne middan j^ard, 

Micel modilic From fruman «rest 
MaerBum jefiwje . ForB oB ende. 

And unindorlic Tidum to-daeldes : 

Witena ^efawylcum ! Swa hit ^etsBsost wses 

HwstBu, ece God, Endebyrdes, 

Ealra ^esoeafta Det hi aejhwsD^er 

Wundorlice wel jesceope, Ge arfaraB 

Unjesewenlicra^ Ge eftcuma'S. 
And eac swa same ^esewenlicra ; Du Be unstilla 

Softe wealdest Apia jesceafta 

Scirra jesceafta To Binum wiUan 

Mid ^esceadmsum Wblice astyrest ; 



And %e self wunaest 

Swi-Be stille» 

Unanwendeodlica ; 

ForS simle 

Nis nan mihti^ra, 

Ne nan mserra, 

Ne ^eond ealle "Sa ^esceaft, 

Efnlica Bin : 

Ne "Se seni; ned Bearf, 

Nobs aefire jiet 

Eaira Bara weorca 

De ^w ^eworlit hafast ; 

Ac mid Binum willan 

Du hit worhtes eall, 

And mid anwalde 

Dinum ajenum 

Weorulde jeworhtest, 

And wuhta jehwaet; 

Deab Be noeneju 

Ned Bearf waere 

Eallra Bara maerBa. 

Is ^5at micel jecynd 

Dines joodes^ 

DencB ymb se Be wile ; 

For Bon bit is eall an, 
.Elces Bincjes, 
Du and Bat Bin jood : 
Hit is Bin ajen ; 
ForBsem hit his utan 
Ne com^ auht to Be* 
Ac ic jeorne wat 
Daet "Bin ^oodnes is 
^Imihti; jood, 
Eall mid *Be selfum : 
Hit is un^elic 
Urum jecynde ; 
Us is utan cymen 
Eall Ba we babbaB 
Gooda on jrundum 
From Gode selfum. 
Neft "Bu to {enejum 
And an jenumenne ; 
ForSamBe nan ^in; 
Nis Bin ^elica : 
Ne huru eni; slcrsefti^re : 
ForBasm Bu eal ^pod 
Anes ^eBeahte 
Dines ^eBohtest. 

Although the poems from which these extracts have been made 
cannot, strictly speaking, be considered as original works, and 
though from their nature we cannot expect to gather from them 
any material information vdth respect to the manners or opinions 
of the age in which they were written, they have still many claiaas 
upon our attention . To say nothing of the interest which they must 
naturally derive from the rank, the virtues, and the abilities of their 
illustrious author, the style in which they are wriiten is in all pro- 
bability that which was at the Ume of their production esteemed 


the purest and most correct form of our language. In the eyes of 
the curious they will possibly obtain an additiona( value, as being 
by some centuries the earliest translation extant of a classical 
author into any European language, and if the opinion of Hickes 
be well founded, nearly the earliest of Anglo-Saxon Poetry. 

Further specimens of Alfred's Boethius may be found in the 
first volume of Hickes's Thesaurus, and in the second of Mr. Tur- 
ner's Anglo-Saxon History. Nor is the edition of the whole work, 
published by Mr. Kawlinson at the latter end of the seventeenth 
century, a book of rare occurrence. 





This inedited fragment of Anglo-Saxon poetry occurs towards 
the conclusion of a manuscript volume of Homilies contained in 
the Bodleian Library^ and supposed by Wanley (who notices it in 
bis Catalogue affixed to Hickes's Thesaurus, page 15,) to have been 
written about the time of King Henry the Second. 

This short composition appears to present a specimen, not alto- 
gether uninteresting, of our language and poetry, at the latest pe- 
riod at which they could fairly be denominated Saxon, and wiQ 
therefore properly form the concluding article of this Appendix. 
Productions of this asra are not (either in print or in manuscript) 
of very frequent occurrence. 

The metre in which this poem is written is evidently the allite- 
ratiye one, universally adopted by the Anglo-Saxon writers of 
verse. Its rhythm appears, like that of its prototypes, to resemble 
the Trochaic or Dactylic measures of the Ancients, subsdtuUog 
however, as in all modern languages, emphasis in the place of 
quantity. It ^ems to me that it is inferior in regularity both of 
numbers and alliteration to the earlier specimens of Saxon poetry 
preserved to us by the labours of Hickes and Junius. This, among 
other reasons, would induce me to place the time of its composi- 
tion lower than the »ra of the Norman Conquest. 



MS. Bodl. 343. 

" De wes bold jebyld 
Er "Su iboren were ; 
De wes mold imynt 
Er "Su of moder come. 
De bit nes do idiht, 
Ne "Seo deopnes imeten ; 
Nes til iloced, 
Hu Ion J hit ^Se were. 
Nil me "Se brinjae-S 
Wer "Su beon scealt^ 
Nu me sceal %e meten 
And "Sa mold seo-S^a : 
Ne bi'S no "Sine lius 
Healice itimbred, 
Hit bi'S unheh and lab ; 
Donne iSu bist Serinne, 
De helewajes beoS laje, 
Sidwajes unbeje. 

TiBlfuit domus exstructa 
Priusquam natus es ; 
Tibifuit tellus parata 
Priusquam e maire venistL 
Celsitudo non est constituta, 
Neque altitudo mensurata ; 
Non est obserata 
{Qudm diu iibifuerit) 
Donee ego teferam 
Vbi manere debes, 
Donee ego te metiar, 
Et cubile ierrenum. 
Nequaquam est tiia domtis 
Alti adificata^ 
Est ea non alta ac humilis; , 
Vbi es inttts, 

Spatium a calce humile est, 
A latere non altum. 

Death speaks. 

For thee was a house built 
Ere thou wert born, 
For thee was a mould shapen 
Ere thou of {fhy) mother earnest. 
Its height is not determined. 
Nor its depth measured, 
Nor is it closed up 
(However long it may be) 
Untill I thee bring 

Where thou shalt remain, 
Untill I shall measure thee 
And the sod of earth. 
Thy house is not 
Highly built (timbered), 
It is unhigh and low ; 
When thou^rt in it 
The heel-ways are low. 
The side-ways unhigh. 



©e rof bi^5 ybild 
Deie brost full neb, 
Swa %u scealt id mold 
Winnen ful cald, 
Dimme and ^ deorcae. 
^ Det clen fulset on hod. 
Dureleas is 'Seel bus, 
And deorc hit is wi%innen ; 
Dssr "Su bist fest bidyte, 
And DselS hefS Sa cae^e. 
La'Slic is "Saet eorS bus, 
Andjrim inne to wunien. 
Der "Su scealt wunien. 
And wurmes "Se to-dele9. 
Dus "Su bist ileyd. 
And ladest "Sine fronden. 

Fastigium e$t exstrucium 
Pectus tuumjuxta, 
Ila debes in terr& 
Habitare valdefrigidi, 
Obscurd et tenebrosa. 

Janud caret domtis ea, 

Et obscurum est intits; 

Illic es arcti detenttu, 

Et Mors habet clavem. 

Odiosa est ea domus terrea, 

Et tristis ad intits habitandum. 

Illic debes versarif 

Et vermes partientur te. 

It a j aces, 

Et linquis amicos tuos, 

The roof is built 
Thy breast full nigh ; 
So thou shalt in earth 
Dwell full cold, 
Dim, and dark. 
That clean putrefies .... 
Doorless is that house, 
And dark it is within ; 

There thou art fast detained. 
And Death holds the key. < 
Loathly is that earth-house. 
And grim to dwell in ; 
There thou shalt dwell 
And worms shall share thee. 
Thus thou art laid 
And leavest thy friends ; 

> * DeoTCse/ This word in writings of an earlier date is uniformly spelt 
* deorc/ or * deorce/ The substitution indeed of the a for the quiescent e, ap- 
pears not to have prevailed till after the Conquest. This will show that the 
copy of Caedmon*s hymn given by Wanley (page 387 of his Catalogue) b 
not, as some have supposed, more pure in its orthography than those pub* 
Ibbed in Hickes and in Alfred's Bede. 

* Of the signification of the last two words in this line I am entirely ig- 



Nefst "Su nenne freond 
Be "Se wjlle faren to. 
Diet lefre wule lokien 
Hu "Se "SeDt hus ^ like, 
Det sfre undoo 
Be wule "Sa dure 
And "Se aefter haten ; 
For sone in bist ladlic. 
And lad to iseonne. 

Habes nullum amicum 

Qttt te velit adire, 

Qui unquam spectatum veniet 

Quomodo tibi domus ea arrideat, 

Qui unquam reserard 

Tibi poterit januam 

Et te quanre ; 

Citd enim ts odiosus, 

Et teter ad inspiciendum. 

Thou hast no friend 
That will come to thee. 
Who will ever inquire 
How that house liketh thee. 
Who shall ever open 

For thee the door 

And seek thee. 

For soon thou becomest loathly, 

And hateful to look upon. 



Additional Notes to the Song of the Traveller. 

\* The Editor is indebted for the following obteroatums to Mr. Price, well 
knouH to the literary and antiquarian world from Ati excellent repnbUcatian of 
Wartan^s History, 

P. 12. Breoca Brondinjum.] Along account of this person is to be found 
in Beowulf, cantos viii. and ix. Mr. Turner considers the whole narration as 
referring to some piratical expeditions of Beowulf; but at that early period 
of Northern history such an occupation would have been as littie dbgraceful 
to the.herq, as Thucydides chose to infer it had been in the days of Ulysses. 
It is rather a tale of rash and fool-hardy enterprize (dol jilpe), as Uunfettii 
y^ properly terms it, and whose address to Beowulf makes express mention 
of Breoca's name : 

Eart Vu se Beowulf 

Se Ve wiV Breccan wunne 

On sidne s». P. 40. £d. Thork. 

The following passage will supply us with anotiier name in the Traveller's 

Da hine (sc. Brecca) on mor3en tid Swssne v^ (e%de) 

On HedSo-R^emis ' Leof his leodum 

Holm up act baer Lond Brondin^a. 
Donon he sohte P. 41. £d. Thork. 

P. 13. Finfolc Walding.] Here we ought to read Fin Folcwalding; that is. 
Fin the son of Folc-wald, or, as he is called in Beowulf, Folcwalda p. 83. [See 
the additional notes to Beowulf, where he is traced as the great-grandfather 



of Woden.— Ed.] The Traveller's Song has thrown con^dcrable light on this 
obscure part of Beowulf. 

P. 13. Hneaf Hocinjum.] The same episode above alluded to omtains 
the name of Hncaf, son of Hildeburh, and apparently married to Holinga, 
IIoce*s daughter. The latter may be presumed to 'have given name to the 

Ibid. Wald Woinjum.] Of tlie chief I have no recollection ; but hb people 
are noticed among the foes of the Weder-Geat, whose attacks might be ex- 
pected after Beowulfs death. 

Us waes a sy^Van 

Mere Wiohmjas 

Milts[e] unxyfeWe. P. 316. Ed. Thork. 

.Ibid. Sweom Onjcnd^Soow.] Of Ongend^eowkingoftheSweoSyaloDgand 
circumstantial account is given in the dirge over Beowulfs dead body. He 
was a prince of the Scylfing race, husband of Ela (Hrothgar's sister); and he 
fell by the hands of Wulf and lofor in a battle against Higelac 

Ibid. Offa weold Onjle.] The wisdom and power of Offa arc spoken of in 
V the very obscure outline given of the early history of Higelac's queen ^ — 
Beowulf, p. 147. Ed. Thork. 

P. 14. Hro^wulf and HroWjar.] This passage, while it confirms the gCDcral 

1 The Editor venturei, with much diffidence, to dissent from Mr. ftioe (« «ril 
as from the Author of these lUustratioiis, and from Thorkelin) in the infeapretaooB 
of the very obscure passage referred to ; which does not appear to him to r o nt a m 
any statement that the daughter of Hsretfa was married to Higelac^ but lalfacr dat 
he had been himself placed under constraint by the violence of that vingo. " Be 
was,** says the poet (if I interpret rightly), ** wise and eminent, altfaou^ be my 
indeed for a few years have endured under the shelter of his dty the daughter of 
Hseieth.** — " VHb welt^un^en . fSeeih fSe wintra lyt . imder buifa locan • jelnte 
hsbbe . Hseret^es dohtor.*' During the wars which ensued after the slaiigjbter of 
his elder by his second brother, this heroine may perhaps have taken anna» and ar- 
quired such an ascendancy as to drive him to immure himself in eome strong boU. 
<burh loca*. We are then told that she abused her power by her profosaon and 
arrogance ; and in the Jieigfat of her pride would not permit any one so mudi as to 
gaze on her, but punished such temerity by instantly hewing the oSeoder in piecci 
^th her own hand and sword ;— «n accomplishment (as the bard remarks) *< not alea- 
gether feminine nor becoming a damsel, however exquisite her charms nu^n be.'* 
In order to tame these excesses, it was proposed that she should be married to 


accuracy of Ilrothgar's history in Beowulf, throws some light on an obscure 
digression made by the hero in narrating his adventures to Higelac. But in 
the Traveller's Song we must consider "injieldes" to be a proper name; 
as is clear from the context^ and confirmed by the following passage in Beo- 
wulf ^ 

* .... San Injelde 

WeallaV wadniVas. P. 155. Ed.Thork. 

These are the only passages having a direct connexion with, or receiving 
illustration from, the narrative of Beowulf. But several of .the remaining 
names are either the same vriih those occurring in the great Northern epic 
cyclus, or bear a strong resemblance to them; and it is by no means impro- 
bable that they have furnished the minstrels of a later time with appellations 
for Aeir heroes : for nothing is more satisfactorily impressed upon my mind, 
than that the legal doctrine of uses, especially that part of it called ^'shifting 
uses,** though only known in Westminster Hall within these few centuries, 
has been constantly acted upon in all traditionaiy matters. For when tradi- 
tion made ^^ a feoffment in fee" of certain marvellous deeds and attributes to 
any popular hero, it was always with a proviso ^ that the right and properQr 
therein should cease as to the said hero, and go over to a stranger,'' upon 
the said stranger becoming the favourite of the day. Hence the extraordi- 
naiy fictions relative to Attila, Theoderic, and Ermanric, which, contradictory 
as they are to the real stoiy of their reigns, still contain a certun admixture 
of well known circumstances. But to return. 

The name of Ermanric b once incidentally mentioned in Beowulf, but it 
can hardly be in allusion to the Ermanric of the present poem. 

joung champion ; and she was accordingly (we are not infonned how her own con- 
tent was obtained, which must apparently have been an achievement of tome delicacy 
and difficalty) shipped off on a matrimonial voya^ by her fiither's advice, to the 
court of- Offa, "where in the royal aeat and in great prosperity she ei\}qyed every 
happiness of life, and was constant to the love of the ruler of men :'* whence it 
appears that she was the wife of Offh and not of Higdac. From the remaining lines 
it should further seem that she became instrumental in increasiDg the power of the 
former monarch. 

The poet rather hints at than states these circumstances, as being then familiar to 
the penons he addressed; and hence his brief allusions are almost unintelligible to 
us who are deprived of the clue which a knowledge of the story of Offa would supply. 
Hie references in the Traveller's Song and Beowulf indicate that it must once have 
been popular ; and it may still perhaps be recovered, like the romance'of Haveloke 
and the tales of Wade and his Boat.— En. 


Nsnijne ic under swejle Brosinja^mene 

Saelran byrde Sigle and sine fst 

Hord-xnaVmum hsleSa [He 9urh] searo-nrSas fealh 

$j%^an Hama atwsej Eormenrices 

To Here-byrhtan byrir Geceas ecne raed. p. 91-2. £d. Thork. 

I mfer this for two reasons : — first, because tbe Brisinga-mene, the well- 
known attribute of the Northern Queen of Love (Freyia), could only have 
been bestowed upon a mortal hero in fictitious history; and secondly» tbe 
elder Ermanricy both in real and fabulous story, was wounded by, and was 
the destroyer of, a certain Ammo or Hamo. The deadi of Ennanric in the 
Edda and WUkma^Saga is obviously taken from the narrative of Jomaades, 
who states that the Gothic king, having caused a Roxolan woman named 
Sanielh (Svanhilda) to be torn in pieces by wild horses, as a punishment for 
the defection of her husband, he was attacked and sorely wounded by her 
brothers Sarus and Ammius (Saurli and Hamtheir, Edda and FoZnmga 
Sagii), A MS. of Jomandes, of the twelfth century (cited by Peringski^d in 
his notes to Cocfdai Vita Theoderici Regis, p. 277), contains the following note 
at the close : — ** Cum Hittoriographut narrei Emianricum Gcikorum rtgem, 
mtdtis regibta dominantem, tempore VaUntiniam et Vdkntis regnaue, et a duobm 
fratribus, Saro et Ammio, quos cof^icimus eotdem esse giu vulgariter SareUo d 
Hamtdiech dicunttir, valneratum in primordio egresmnis Hunnonan fer Msteti- 
dem paludemJ* In the fabulous narrative, Saurli, Hamtheir, and SvanhSda, 
are the children of Gudrunr, Sigurdr's widow, who we know was onoe the 
possessor of Andvar's ring ; and if we are allowed to assume tiiat Hama re- 
ceived the Brosinga-roen from her, we should advance one step nearer in 
the resemblance between the Gotliic and Grecian mythos, and have a perfect 
Counterpart to the necklace of Eriphyle, both in the effects and origin of this 
mysterious ornament. When the Theft>an annals tell us that Cadmus and 
Hermione proceeded into niyrium, and there became transformed into ser- 
pents, we have no difficulty in translating this into their apotheosis. But how 
did Hermione dispose of her necklace } Nobis tota res mera tenebrg, etfiUdo- 
rem wtem exspectcanus, 

Bicca may have supplied the Volsunga Saga and Saxo witii their insidious 
Bike. Gifica is obviously the Gibicus of the Burgundian Laws ; the Gibicfao 
of the Latin metrical romance De primi expeditione AttiUe. The same £ible 
may have borrowed its Hagene, who was sent by Gibicho as a hostage to 
Attila, from the Hagena-Holmricum of the Traveller's Song. It is a well- 
known name in the great Northern cyclus. Witta will recall the memory of 
Wittich, Weland's son ; and Wada is the name of We]and*s father. Accord- 


ing to the WilkinnrSaga, Wade lived in Sealadd, \A which and the a4ioiniiig 
countiy the Helsings have left a record of their residence in Helsingborg^ 
Helsingor, and Helsbge. Sigehere is obviously the Danish Siggdr ; and 
Scea& the same name with Scef the fisither of S^rld (Beowulf» p. 1.). The 
Wenla may be the Wendla-leod of Beowulf (p. 38), where we also find the 
Geftha: \ 

Nfles him sni^ Searf 

Det he to GtfVum 

QfSSe to Gar-Denum, &c p. 186. £d. Thork. 

The Wineda are a Sdavonian race who succeeded the Wendla>leod in the 
occupation of " Wynt-land.'^ Guth-here is the Gundicar of Prosper Aqui- 
tanus (p. 745), who fell in the contest against the Huns. The term in the 
text is no oomiption, but a translation of the Burgundian name, and which 
in the Laws is written Gundaharius or Gunther* The story of Ealhhild b 
not clearly before us. It is evident that she visited Ermanric*s court; and 
as the Traveller says that he was in Italy with i£lfwin the son of Edwiui who 
was therefore Ealhhild's brodier, we may assume that their object was a 
matrimonial alliance. From Ae circumstance of her presenting the bard 
with a ring (for so I interpret the passage) at the same time that he received 
another from Ermanric, it may be presumed that she was married to this 
monarch. In &e Wilkina-Saga we are told that Odilia was married to Sifka, 
Ermanric's chief counsellor^ and that her chastity was violated by the Gothic 
king during her husband's absence. Has this been taken from Ealhhild's 
histoiy, and was she marri^ to one of £rmanric*s courtiers? It is a little 
remarkable^ that in the opening of the Traveller's Song Ermanric b called ^ a 
wrath-ful warlock.'' Still I incline to Aink that she was wedded to Ermanric. 
In Beowulf we have a Hethcyn (189). Sifecan is obviously die same name 
with Sif ka. Gislhere occurs in the Ibt of Burgundian kmgs recited in the 
Xaws — Gblaharius; and, together with the ^ther princes of hb house, has 
been received into Sigfncd*s hbtory. Wither-gield may be the same with 
the Withergyld of Beowulf (154) ; and Wudga and Hama may have fiimbbed 
the old poem of Alpharts Tod with its Witige and Heime, the leaders of 
Ermanric's armies. But the names alone of many of these are given in the 
Traveller's Song ; and to claim any identity of person from such premises, 
would be to adopt the rationale of Fluellin. 

In a few instances I should feel dbposed to offer a different version from 
the late Mr. Conybeare ; but these are of no great moment. In two or three 


passives the text is rendered obscure by an inaccurate dispostticiii of the 

words. Thus in the early part we ought to read — 
P. 11. He mid Ealh-hilde, He with Ealhilde S 

Fselre freoVu-webban, The futhfiil lovely dame*, 

Forman si^ In hi^ first journey 

Hre% cynmjeSy &c. [Sought the home of] die haughty king. 

In the following passage the sense is not perfectly intelligible to me^ 
less we accept Wala as a proper name : 

Rid. Dara waes Wala, Of them was Wala, 

Hwile selasty Whilom the most prosperous. 

And Alezandreas And Alexander 

^ Ealra ricost The most wealthy of all. 

Indeed, from the further mention of Csesar*s (t. e. the Roman Emperor) hdding 
rule over Wals^rice, I should conceive it an allusion to the first founder of 
the Gualic dynasty. In the earlier periods of history this country extended 
from Walland — die country of the Walloons — ^to the Pyr^iees. Heaoe die 
Teutonic adjective 'Waelsch' or ^Walish/ Wekh, &c. 

. The following arrangement will restore the alliteration, whidi is ix>t pre- 
served in the present text. 

P. 18.' Dofi i<^ be sooje Then in my song 

Secjan sceolde, I should say, 

Hw9r is under swegle Where is under this heaven 

Selast Visse The most generous 

Gold hrodene cwen Queen adorned with gold 

Giefe bryttian, To distribute her gifts, 

Doft wit sdllin; When we two 

Sciran reorde To share her fee by our eloquence 

For uncrum si^o-dryhtne Before tlie illustrious lord of us both 
Song ahofan: Raised our song. 

The sense would also be improved by reading ^ham' fi)r *Vam' a finr lines 
above ; as we have in Beowulf 

Ibid. Da' ic to ham bicwom. When I had coine home. 

1 llie Editor is responsible fbr these translstioiiB. 

' * FreoVo-webbe,' or 'freotfu-webba,' which also oocon in Beowulf (p. 14& Ed. 
Tbeik.), is clearly from the context a poetical expression for 'woman.* Foesftlsr, 
from its derrration, it may mean **the weaver of lore." — En. 


In the lines, 

P. 19. Emercan sohte ic and Fridlan I sought Emerca and Fridla 

And East Gotan, And the Eastern Goth, 

Frodne and jodne, Wbe and good, 

Faeder unwenes — The father of Unwen— 

there appears to he an onussion; unless ^frodne and jodne' lefer to Fridla, 
which would be a most unusual construction. At all events I should take 
' unwenes' to be a proper name (Unwin?), as I suspect to be the case with 
'hreada'.(Qy.Hread-Gotan?), and more strongly so with < Wistla' (Qy. Vis- 
tula?), in the foUowing passage : 

P. SO. Donne hreada here, Then the host of the Hreada, 

Heardum sweordum. With their hard swords, 

Ymb wistla^wudu At the wood of Wistia 

Wer^ip sceoldon Should defend 

Ealdre cSel^tol With their life their county 

iEdan leodum. Against the people of iEtla. 

The passage immediately following I would arrange thus : 

Ibid, Deahte ic hy a nihst(?) Them in the next place in my thought 

Nemnan sceolde. I should eirer record. 

Ful oft of Vam heape Full oft from that band 

Hwynejide flea; In the conflict flew 

Giellende ^ The sounding dart 

On ^rome tSeode. Against the fierce host 

For Heoht et (^) liisomod,' read Heoht and lif somod,' t.e. light and life at once. 

Additianal Note by the Editor on the Historical Traditions 
preserved in the Poem of Beowulf, and the Age in 
which the Action of that Poem is placed. 

The historical allusions contained in the epi9odical parts ofthis poem are 
so many, so i^inute, and so consbtent with each other and with the notices 
contained in the Song of the Traveller,— an independent document^ — that it 
seems impossible to dismiss them as mere fictions of imagination. Indeed, 


the mode of allusion which refers to them with brevity as well known events, 
and the circumstance that they are never introduced as suhservient to any 
purpose connected with the main 2u;don and narrative of the poem, militates 
altogether against such a supposition. 

It is true, indeed, that the narrative is mingled with much of romantic 
fiction : but a very short period, especially in barbarous ages, suffices to per- 
mit the introduction of ornaments, as they were esteemed, of this nature. 
Tlie adventures of our Richard Coeur de lion we know to have been thus 
embellished or disguised by the minstrels of the age immediately sucoeeding 
his own. The Homeric writings afford a case exactly parallel. Neidier the 
supernatural machinery of the Iliad, nor all the tpecuaa miratula of the Odys- 
sey, prevent the critical inquirer finom receiving as generally aothentiG^ the 
historical and geographical notices scattered throu^ tiiese poems; and the 
scepticism of Bry^t has found but few partisans. 

Yet it is obvious that the attempt of Thorkelin to conciliate these notices 
with the later traditions of Danish stoiy preserved by Saxo Grammaticas, 
resting on the most forced coi\jectures, and supported only by the most arbi- 
trary mutilation of the names of the sovereigns and heroes mentioned, is 
altogether unworthy of attention. 

While these pages are passing through the press, an observation has oc- 
curred to the present Editor which appears to throw some additional light 
on the period to which tradition assigned the events recorded in the poem; 
and this must evidentiy be a material step towards clearing up their true 
historical relations. 

It may be remembered that llrothgar, the king of the Danes, whose de- 
liverance from the fiendish enmity of the Grendel by Beowulf forms its pri- 
mary subject, is said (canto xvi.) to have been engaged, together with his 
father Healfdene, in war against the Frisians, then subject to Fin the son of 
Folcwald. Now the same nahies, in the same succession, may be found in 
one of the genealogies of Woden, the common ancestor of the monarcfas of 
the Heptarchy^ or rather Octarchy, established in this bland; and in sucfa a 
position that, counting backwards from Hen^st, and allowing about thii^ 
years for a generation, we shall be led to fix his sera, and consequentiy that 
of the contemporary chieflains commemorated in our poem, between 150 and 
200 years after Christ. 

The genealogy alluded to b that given in the Chronicle commonly ascribed 
to Nennius, but in truth, according to the earliest "and best MS. latdiy di»> 
covered in die Vatican and edited by ^r. Gunn, compiled by Maik the 
Hermit in the tenth century. 

It must be stated, however, that in the place of Folcwald, all the MSS. of 


the Saxon Chronicle (which repeats the genealogy more than once), and the 
parallel or derivative authorities <^ Asser, Florence of Worcester, Matthew of 
Westminster, ficc., uniformly substitute 'Godwulf/ The line as ^venby 
these authorities respectively is here subjoined. 

Nennius (GttnnU Ed,). Nennius {Gale's Ed.), Saxon Chromcle. 

Geta Geata Geata 

Foleguald or Folcwald ^ Folepald (Folcwald) Godwulf 

Finn Fum ( Fhm) Fm 

Fredulf Fredulf Fri«owulf 

Frealof Frealf Freo«olaf 

Vuoden Vuoden Woden 

Guechta Guecta Wecta 

Guicta Gu^ Witta 

Giiictjlis Guit^ils • Wihtgils 

I ■ ' I r ' 1 I ' I 

llors Hene^est. Hors Henjist. Henjest Horsa. 

Are we to suppose, then, that Folcwald and Godwulf were different names 
for the same individual ? or rather to conjecture that the transcriber of Nen- 
nius was led into accidental error from the common principle of association, ' 
as being familiar, from the traditions above alluded to, with the name of Fin 

Some of the earlier members of this genealogy coincide with the Danish 
kings mentioned in the introductory lines which precede the first canto of 
Beowulf (see the note subjoined to this article). 

In the hope that it may lead some one more familiar than myself with the 
earlier Scandinavian traditions to prosecute an inquiry, in itself certainly in- 
teresting, I am induced, to subjom the following synoptical view of the prin- 
cipal geographical and historical allusions in Beowulf, digested under the 
several tribes to which they relate. Many of them are completely disguised 
in the edition of Thorkelin. 

1 Oak's «dition of Nflnnius (c.S8. p. 105) reads < Ftdn and Folepald/ which, 
firoiiitfaeniiiilarityofpaDdv(p)]n MS&of the Saxon period,— «source of ootnip. 
tion which has frequently affected the text of Gale, — is probably a misprint for Folc- 
wald; the e and e bemg constantly interchanged by enon of transcription. A MS. 
of this Cbronicle in p os se s sion of the present Editor, and appatently of the fourteenth 
oentury, mds ' Finn and Folowald.* F^rom the collation of these various readings 
no doubt can mnahi that Folcwald is the name intended. 


1. Geatas, supposed by Thorkelin to have inhabited Pomerania and Ru* 
gea ; called also Wederas, Weder-geatas, and Sae-geatas. Cities mentioned 
as belonging to them, are Rafnsholt or Rafnwudu, and Beowulfsburg. 

The Scylfings were the royal tribe.. These are also mentioned in the prose 
Edda, where they are derived from king Skelfr, and in Snorro. 

Their kings enumerated in this poem are 


.1 "^ 1 1 

Henbaldy Hsthcynthefratri- Higelac 

killed by his cide, killed in war | 

brother with the Sueones Hearede. 

Haethcyn« under Ongentheow 

and Ohthere. 

On the death of Higelac and his son Hearede in battle, Beowulf the hero of 
the poem suoceded to the vacant throne. Beowulf was in turn succeded by 
Wiglafy son of Wihtstan. 

3. Dene [Danes], also named Deningas. The subdivisions North Dene, 
East Dene, Suth Dene, West Dene, and Gar Dene, all appear ta constitute 
one people, the subjects of Hrothgar, and not independent tribes as Thorke- 
lin supposes. 

Their country was two days' voyage from that of the Geatas* 

Heort and Byrhtanburg, or Here-byrhtanburg, are named as their 

The Scyldings were the royal race, derived from Skiold, who occurs in all 
the traditional histories of Denmark. 

The kings enumerated in the poem are 




Beowulf senior. 


Healfdene, engaged in war with Fin and his Frisians. 
^ « ., _-..- ,^ — -, 

Heorogar. Hrothgar, married to Wealthowa. HalgatiL Ela a dau^ter 

l - '■ * I married to 

Ilrethric. Hrothmund. Ongentheow 



3« Sweos or Sueones, apparently the same with the Sueones of Tacitus, a 
kindred race with the Geatas, but independent^ and sometimes engaged in 
hostilities against them. 

The Scylfings (as among the Geatas) appear to have been the royal race. 

Kings mentioned : 

OngentheoWy married to Hrothgar's sister Ela, killed in a war 

I against the Geatas under Higelac. 


The Frisians and the Sueones appear to have been usually allied in war. 

4. Fresnas ( Frisians )• 
Kings mentioned : 


Fm, married to Hildeburh, engaged in war with the Danes under 

I Healfdene and Hrothgar. 

Hnsfy killed in the Danish war, married to Holinga daughter of Hoce. 

5. The Brondings are mentioned apparently as having been opposed to 
Beowulf in an expedition, wherein he encountered their king Breoca, the 
son of Beanstane, at Ueatho-raemis; but the passage is very obscure. 

Incidental allusions also occur to the following tribes : 

6. The Wslsings ( Volsungr of die £dda), and the hero Sigmund (Sigurdr 
Fafhrsbana). ' 

7. The Wylfingi (the Ylfings of Hrolf Krakas Saga) . 

8. The Francs. 

9. The Wioings. 

If there be sufficient ground for referring these traditions to the second cen- 
tury^ die period in which they wereoxiginally compiled, considering the nature 
of the details to which diey extend» and the abrupt brevity of the allusions to 
dicm as to well known historical facts, must assuredly have been anterior to 
the invasion of Henf^st and Ilorsa in the fifUi century ; and the materials, 
therefore, from which the poem of Beowulf was afterwards composed, may 
have been imported in dieir train in the form of those heroical songs which 


we learn from Jornandes and other writers formed a favourite amusement 
among the Gothic tribes. And that the Anglo-Saxons must have had poetry 
at this early period is a necessary corollary firom the history of their metrical 
system, which, as being common to themselves and dieir kindred tribes on 
the continent, must have existed at an sra anterior to their emigration. It 
is impossible to contrast the historical notices of Beowulf with the later tra- 
ditions embodied by Saxo Grammaticus without being at once struck with 
their superior claim to be considered as gehuine records of ancient story. 

%* Tlie succession of three kings of the Dene or Danes in the above 
tables, — ^viz. Scef, Scyld, and Beowulf, — ^presents a near resemblance to the 
seventh, eighth and ninth names in the following genealogy of the ancestors 
of Ethelwulf, as given in the Saxon Chronicle (An. 854) and William of 

1. Sceaf. 
S. Bedwig. 

3. Hwala. 

4. Hathra. 

5. Itermon. 

6. Ueremod. 

7. [Sceaff mentioned only by William of Malmesbury.] 

8. Sceldaa or Scelditu, 

9. Beaw or Beowiui : — [for Beowulf? — So Cutha and Cuthwulf are 

10. Taetwa. . indifferently read in the genealogies : com- 

1 1. Geata. &c. pare An. 495 and 854.] 

For the remainder of the genealogy^ see above, p. 283. 

William of Malmesbury relates the following story of the exposure of 
Sceaf (the seventh in this list) in a boat when an infant : — ^ hte ui ^mdmm 
ferunt in gttandam intulam Gemumia ScandMom (de gu& Jorwmdet JdUariogra- 
phui Gothorum loquitur) appiuitm tune sine remige puendut^ poiito ad agnUjru- 
menti mon^pti/b, dormitns, ideogue Scettfut nuna^)atui; ah kominibui regianu 
Ulimpro miraadoexceptui et 9edulo nutrihu, adultA ^Oate regnamt m {^tjrido quod 
tunc Slatwic nunc vero HaUheby appeUatur, Est autem regio, ilia Jnglia Ve$sa 
dicta, unde AngU veneruni m Brittaniam, inter Saxones et Gothos amstituta,^''^ 
(Gul. Malms. De Gestis Begum AngUa, lib. i. in Vit& Ethelwulfi,) th» elder 
Sceaf who stands at the head of this pedigree is said to have been a son of 
Noah, bom in the ark. This b apparently the addition of some monastic 
writer, originating in a confusion of the two Sceafs, and a misapprehension 
of die tale concerning the exposiue of the second of that name in a boat or 

Mr. Price, to whom die Editor is indebted for the substance of this note, 
is of opinion that thb exposure of the infiuit Sceaf is alluded to in the veiy 
obscure Introduction to Beowulf, but there attributed to his son Scyld. 

























note ' for quoted, read quite. 
for tzewony^yvad Trewon. 
^/&r the eirlier, retui some of the earlier. 

for At length they peroeiTed and beheld with joy that the beams of the 
bridge were fiimlyplAced, read Then did they perceive and earnestly 
note that they found there atem warders of the bridge, 
note 'for bricj^-weandas bitene, read brieve weardas bitere. 
for he had ever shared the posaessions which his chieftain owned * * *, 
read he leapt upon the mare which his lord had owned, upon its 
housings [graiths]. (Suggested by Mr, Price,) 
Ibid. SO for * * • • It had indeed been some credittodiem to have then remem- 
bered, &c. read and with them more of the men than it were any 
credit [ue. than a sefise of honour would have permitted], if they 
had remembered, &c. 
lUd. note 'for maVon, read ma tfon*. 

15 1 for Generi (humano) datum, read A gencre separatus. 
49 24 for " When (continues the poet) the son of Eglaf had ceased from the 

praises of his own hernc enterprise,*' read ** Even the sarcastic son 
of Eglaf (as the poet informs us) found himself on this occasion 
compelled to abstain tnm his usual arrogant speeches, and to 
acknowledge in silence the manifest prooft of the hero*s superior 
for brayed, read braved. 
for Scylding*s, read Scylfing's. 
for Aut ubi sua, read Vel utrum juvenum istorum. 
for p. 72, read p. 75. 
Itf & 17 for fifty days and fifty nights, read forty days and forty nights. 
SS for lithu St, read this list. 
6 of ootofor senectum retui senectam. 
S65 18& 19^ 8d eohtfor Dcah tfe bine read Deah tfe hine ealne; 

Ealne; ae ymbhoga. Se ymbhoga.