Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Beowulf, Introductory Section (lineated)

Here is my first attempt to present a final text, although this is nowhere near the final iteration. As I go through each section, I'm making textual and explanatory notes, but I won't start working them seriously until after I finish this second pass through the poem.

I've decided to lineate the poem, but I have not yet put in the caesura. My reasoning is that ultimately the text has to be "coded" for people to translate and not lineating would undermine that goal.

My resolve is not to edit out any of the points. They will remain in their spots as en-dashes. I'm also really trying not to add in punctuation. When I do, it's usually a semi-colon. I'm also capitalizing proper names. I am also resolving to keep the small caps and to "pre-translate" them as beginnings of new paragraphs. So, they get a full enter/space before them. I already like the look of it.

At the end of 43 fitts, I hope to have a credible text that is nevertheless unique.
Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagum –
þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.

Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum
monegum mægþum meodosetla ofteah
egsode eorlas syððan ærest wearð
feasceaft funden; he þæs frofre gebad
weox under wolcnum weorðmyndum þah –
oð þæt him æghwylc þara ymbsittendra
ofer hronrade hyran scolde
gomban gyldan; þæt wæs god cyning –
ðæm eafera wæs æfter cenned
geong in geardum þone God sende
folce to frofre fyrenðearfe ongeat
þæt hie ær drugon aldorlease –
lange hwile; him þæs Liffrea
wuldres wealdend woroldare forgeaf –
Beowulf wæs breme blæd wide sprang
Scyldes eafera Scedelandum in.

Swa sceal geong guma gode gewyrcean
fromum feohgiftum – on fæder |bearme
þæt hine on ylde eft gewunigen
wilgesiþas þonne wig cume –
leode gelæsten; lofdædum sceal
in mægþa gehwære man geþeon –
him ða Scyld gewat to gescæphwile
felahror feran on frean wære
hi hyne þa ætbæron to brimes faroðe
swæse gesiþas swa he selfa bæd
þenden wordum weold wine Scyldinga
leof landfruma lange ahte
þær æt hyðe stod hringedstefna
isig ond utfus æþelinges fær –
aledon þa leofne þeoden
beaga bryttan on bearm scipes
mærne be mæste; þær wæs madma fela
of feorwegum frætwa gelæded.

Ne hyrde ic cymlicor ceol gegyrwan
hildewæpnum ond heaðowædum
billum ond byrnum; him on bearme læg
madma mænigo þa him mid scoldon
on flodes æht feor gewitan.

Nalæs hi hine læssan lacum teodan
þeodgestreonum þon þa dydon
þe hine æt frumsceafte forð onsendon
ænne ofer yðe umborwe|sende;
þa gyt hie him asetton segen gyldenne
heah ofer heafod leton holm beran
geafon on garsecg; him wæs geomor sefa
murnende mod; men ne cunnon –
secgan to soðe selerædende
hæleð under heofenum hwa þæm hlæste onfeng.
The vertical line in some places indicates the beginning of a new sheet in the manuscript.

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