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Ringler, Dick / Beowulf: A New Translation for Oral Delivery (May 2005)

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VIII

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2e1a Unferth, the son
+1a*1a(i) of Ecglaf, was sitting
3f1b at the king's feet;
1000 2c1b he was court spokesman.
2e1a Bristling, he broached
+2a1a(i) a battle challenge;
1a*1a(ii) Beowulf's unbidden
1a1a(i) bold arrival
+1a*2a(ii) annoyed him enormously,
3b1c since he was never pleased
d1a when anyone
3b1a was honored more
3b*1b or more highly esteemed
1010 3b*1a than he was. "Are you
+3e*1 the Beowulf," he said,
+1a*1a(i) "whom Breca defeated
3b1a and soundly trounced
3b1b in a swimming match?
+3e*1 The pair of you agreed
++1a1a(i) out of pride and folly
+1a1b(i) to race in the ocean
2b2b at the risk of your lives
a1e and could not be dissuaded
1020 2b1b by a soul on earth,
2b1b neither friend nor foe,
3b1b from this freakish scheme.
3b1a You paddled out
3b1c into the pitching waves,
+1a1a(i) embraced the breakers
2c1a in bold folly,
2e1a climbed them with arms
2a1a(iii) crazily flailing
2b2b as you slogged through the spray.
1030 3b1a For seven nights
+1d*1(ii) the two of you tirelessly
1a1b(i) toiled in the icy
1a*1a(i) billows of winter.
+2a1a(i) He beat you soundly;
2c1b he was much stronger.
3b*1b In the morning the waves
2e1a washed him ashore
2c1b in the wild country
d1b of the Battle-Rams,
1040 2c1c from where the brave hero
2b2a at last reached his home,
+1a1b(i) the land of the Brondings,
2c1b and his high gift-throne,
3b2b where he handed out rings
+1a1a(i) and swayed his subjects.
+1a1a(i) The son of Beanstan
2b1b scored a great success
2b1b and made good his vow.
2b2a And thus, though from this
1050 2c1a or that fracas
+1d1 you may, possibly,
2b1b have emerged unharmed,
2b1b you will find your match,
+2e1b I fancy, if you wait
1a1b(i) here in this meadhall
3f1b for a whole night."
2b2a The prince of the Geats
2b2a replied with a grin:
2c1- "Friend Unferth,
1060 2e1a fuddled with beer
3b*1b you've been babbling away
3b1b about Breca's deeds.
2e1a No one but me
1a1a(i) knows what happened.
2b1b I have shown more strength
+1a1a(i) and shared more hardship
++1a*1a(i) in the ocean than any
2a1a(ii) other warrior.
2e1a Breca and I,
1070 d1a when both of us
2c1a were mere children,
1a1b(i) made an agreement
3b*1a to wager our lives
3b1b in the wintry sea,
+1a*1a(ii) to demonstrate our daring.
3b1a We did so, too,
3e1 brandishing bright
2b2- blades in our fists
3b1a to fight off whales
1080 3b1b in the freezing waves.
1a*1a(i) Breca could never
3b*1a have bettered my speed
+1a1a(i) or swum more swiftly
3b*1b in the surges, while I
++1a*1a(i) was reluctant to leave him
1a*1a(i) lagging behind me.
2b2a We fought with the flood
3f1a for five nights,
2b1b swimming side by side,
1090 3b1c until a sudden storm
2c1a and deep darkness
2e1a drove us apart.
3e1 Battle-fierce blasts
2b2- blew from the north
1a1b(i) straight in our faces,
3e*1 stirring up the depths,
+1a*2a(ii) exciting the sea-monsters,
+1a1b(i) who swarmed to attack me.
2c1b But my hard mailcoat
1100 1a*1a(i) helped me withstand them:
1a1a(i) grey and hand-linked,
3b*1a it guarded my breast
3b*1b with its thousands of rings,
+1a*1a(i) and thwarted their malice.
2c1c Then an obscene sea-beast
2a1a(ii) seized me, dragging me
1a1b(i) down to the deepest
1a1b(i) depths of the ocean
1a1b(i) fast in its clutches;
1110 +1a1a(i) but fate was with me
+2a1a(i) and let me skewer
3b1a the loathsome brute
3b1b with my iron blade:
3b*1b I was able to kill
+2a1a(i) that evil creature
3f1b with my own hand.

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