This page contains a text in Old English with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Old English Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Old English language and its speakers' culture.
Geworhton ðá Wedra léode
hlæw on hliðe, sé wæs héah ond brád,
wæglíðendum wíde gesýne,
ond betimbredon on týn dagum
beadurófes bécn, bronda láfe
wealle beworhton, swá hyt weorðlícost
foresnotre men findan mihton.
Hí on beorg dydon bég ond siglu,
eall swylce hyrsta, swylce on horde ær
níðhédige men genumen hæfdon;
forléton eorla gestréon eorðan healdan,
gold on gréote, þær hit nú gén lifað
eldum swá unnyt, swá hit æror wæs.
Þá ymbe hlæw riodan hildedéore,
æþelinga bearn, ealra twelfe,
woldon care cwíðan, ond kyning mænan,
wordgyd wrecan, ond ymb wer sprecan;
eahtodan eorlscipe ond his ellenweorc
duguðum démdon, -- swá hit gedéfe bið,
þæt mon his winedryhten wordum herge,
ferhðum fréoge, þonne hé forð scile
of lichaman læded weorðan.
Swá begnornodon Géata léode
hláfordes hryre, heorðgenéatas;
cwædon þæt hé wære wyruldcyninga
manna mildust ond monðwærust,
léodum líðost ond lofgeornost.
The people of the Weders built upon the hill a mound, which was high and wide, visible to seafarers from afar, and they constructed in ten days the hero's beacon; they enclosed the ashes from the flames with a wall, as prudent men might most worthily devise it. They placed on the barrow a crown and jewels, all such accoutrements as hostile men had earlier seized; they let the earth hold the wealth of noblemen, gold in the dust, where it still remains as useless to men as it ere was.
Then around the mound rode (those) brave in battle, the sons of noblemen, twelve in all; they wished to voice (their) grief, and bemoan the king, to recite an elegy, and speak about the man; they exalted (his) nobility and highly praised his courageous deeds, -- thus it is fitting, that one should honor his lord in words, should love (him) in spirit, when he shall be led forth from the body. Thus the people of the Geats mourned the death of their lord, (his) friends; they said that he was of earthly kings of men the gentlest and kindest, to (his) people the most gracious and the most eager for praise.