Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Beowulf, Fitt 12: Morning Has Broken

This is fitt number 12 from the Beowulf manuscript, lines 791 to 836, fol. 147r to 148r.

I have not posted this series in a while, so here again are the ground rules: This is the first pass through on my personal Beowulf project, wherein I de-edit the text. I hope to do more to account for manuscript points by rendering them as dashes, and I "translate" small caps by making them new paragraphs. There's no lineation and no capital letters or punctuation other than what I see in the manuscript/facsimile. I add asterisks to mark the beginning of a new manuscript page. I mentioned that this was a "first pass" through the text. I'll need to do others, but I'm not focusing on that yet.

One item that I noticed in this fitt and hadn't before was the prevalence of triple, consecutive alliteration. We get, for instance:
  • cwealm cuman cwicne
  • heard hicgende hildemecgas
  • healfa gehwone heawan
  • modes myrðe manna
  • lifigende lað licsar
  • syndolh sweotol seonowe
  • burston banlocan beowulfe
  • feorhseoc fleon under fenhleoðu
  • wynleas wîc wiste
There are other instances, but you get my point about these patterns of three.

At any rate, this is a great section of the poem. Enjoy!
Nolde eorla hleo ænige þinga þone cwealmcuman cwicne forlætan – ne his lifdagas leoda ænigum nytte tealde þær genehost brægd eorl beowulfes ealde lafe wolde freadrihtnes feorh ealgian mæres þeodnes ðær hie meahton swa – hie þæt ne wiston þa hie gewin drugon heardhicgende hildemecgas – ond on healfa gehwone heawan þohton sawle secan þone synscaðan – ænig ofer eorþan irenna cyst guðbilla nan gretan nolde – ac he sigewæpnum *forsworen hæfde ecga gehwylcre scolde his aldorgedal on ðæm dæge þysses lifes earmlic wurðan ond se ellorgast on feonda geweald feor siðian – ða þæt onfunde se þe fela æror modes myrðe manna cynne fyrene gefremede – he wæs fag wið god þæt him se lichoma læstan nolde ac hine se modega mæg hygelaces hæfde be honda wæs gehwæþer oðrum lifigende lað licsar gebad atol æglæca him on eaxle wearð syndolh sweotol seonowe onsprungon burston banlocan beowulfe wearð guðhreð gyfeþe scolde grendel þonan feorhseoc fleon under fenhleoðu secean wynleas wîc wiste þe geornor þæt his aldres wæs ende gegongen – dogera dægrim denum eallum wearð æfter þam wælræse willa gelumpen – hæfde þa gefælsod se þe ær feorran com snotor ond swyðferhð sele hroðgares genered wið *niðe nihtweorce gefeh ellenmærþum hæfde eastdenum geatmecga leod gilp gelæsted.

Swylce oncyþðe ealle gebette inwidsorge þe hie ær drugon ond for þreanydum þolian scoldon torn unlytel þæt wæs tacen sweotol syþðan hildedeor hond alegde earm ond eaxle þær wæs eal geador grendles grape under geapne hr[of].

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