23 October 2013

Fitt 41, Part 1: The Battle of Swedes and Geats, Continued

This will not be (I hope) the final version, but it shows that progress is still being made in the translation. I hope you enjoy it.

“The bloody swathe that Swedes and Geats
“cut as they charged the killing ground
“could not be missed as they clashed together.
“Then Ongentheow, the old fighter,
“sadly retreated, taking his kin        2950
“to a hillfort built on higher ground.
“He had been told of Hygelac’s skill,
“the proud man’s power, and put no faith
“his strength could match the mariners’,
“foreign invaders, and defend the hoard,    2955
“women and children. He chose to withdraw,
“old behind earthworks. The enemy charged
“the Swedish horde. Hygelac’s banners
“swept up and swarmed the Swedes' redoubt
“when Hrethel’s army offered battle.”    2960

“Ongentheow was, by the edges of swords,
“white in his hair, held in his place,
“so the folk-king was forced to submit
“to Eofor’s judgement.”
              “Angrily he,
“Wulf, Wonred’s son, wielded his sword
“so streams of blood sprang from the blow
“beneath the hair. Not at all frightened,
“the wise Scylfing wasted no time,
“but gave as good as he got and better.”

“When the tribe-king turned to face him,
“Wonred’s brave son was not able
“to strike the old man with his arm’s full strength
“whose swing, instead, sliced through his helmet
“so, blood-stained, Wulf was forced to bow.
“He fell on the field, not finished yet;
“he recovered himself, though the cut was deep.”