Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Beowulf, Fitt 8: Unferth Speaks

The eighth fitt, about lines 499 through 559 (fol. 141r to 142v), has some interesting elements to it. I like especially eðel (in the area of line 521), which seems to be an abbreviation and also offset by points. Why?

As usual, asterisks mark the beginning of a new manuscript page. Only manuscript points are represented for punctuation, with hyphens marking most points, except when the points are then followed by a small or large capital letter. In these cases, I enter to a new paragraph and represent the capital.
Hunferð maþelode ecglafes bearn þe æt fotum sæt frean scyldinga – onband beadurune wæs him beowulfes sið modges merefaran micel æfþunca – forþon þe he ne uþe þæt ænig oðer man æfre *mærða þon ma middangeardes – gehedde under heofenum þonne he sylfa eart þu se beowulf se þe wið brecan wunne on sidne sâe ymb sund flite ðær git for wlence wada cunnedon ond for dolgilpe on deop wæter aldrum neþdon ne inc ænig mon ne leof ne lað belean mihte sorhfullne sið þa git on sund reon – þær git eagorstream earmum þehton mæton merestræta mundum brugdon glidon ofer garsecg geofon yþum weol wintrys wylme git on wæteres æht seofon niht swuncon he þe æt sunde oferflat – hæfde mare mægen þa hine on morgentid on heaþoræmas holm up ætbær – ðonon he gesohte swæsne – eðel – leof his leodum lond brondinga freoðoburh fægere þær he folc ahte burh ond beagas – *beot eal wið þe sunu beanstanes soðe gelæste – ðonne wene ic to þe wyrsan geþingea ðeah þu heaðoræsa gehwær dohte grimre guðe gif þu grendles dearst nihtlongne fyrst nean bidan beowulf maþelode bearn ecgþeowes hwæt þu worn fela wine min hunferð beore druncen ymb brecan spræce sægdest from his siðe soð ic talige þæt ic merestrengo maran ahte earfeþo on yþum ðonne ænig oþer man – wit þæt gecwædon cnihtwesende ond gebeotedon wæron begen þa git on geogoðfeore þæt wit on gârsecg ut aldrum neðdon ond þæt geæfndon swa – hæfdon swurd nacod þa wit on sund reon heard on handa wit unc wið hronfixas werian þohton – no he wiht fram me flodyþum feor fleotan meahte hraþor on holme no ic fram him wolde – ða wit æt*somne on sâe wæron fif nihta fyrst oþþæt unc flod todraf wado weallende wedera cealdost nipende niht – ond norþanwind heaðogrim ondhwearf hreo wæron yþa wæs merefixa mod onhrered – þær me wið laðum licsyrce min heard hondlocen helpe gefremede beadohrægl broden on breostum læg golde gegyrwed me to grunde teah fah feondscaða fæste hæfde – grim on grape hwæþre me gyfeþe wearð þæt ic aglæcan orde geræhte hildebille heaþoræs fornam mihtig meredeor þurh mine hand[.]

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