Beginning of the Prologue of Beowulf

Beginning of the Prologue of Beowulf in both Audio and text versions.

Old English

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,
oðþæt him æghwylc þara ymbsittendra
ofer hronrade hyran scolde,
gomban gyldan. þæt wæs god cyning!

Modern English

Listen! We of the Spear-Danes in the days of yore,
of those clan-kings, heard of their glory,
how those nobles performed courageous deeds.
Often Scyld, Scef's son, from enemy hosts
from many peoples seized mead-benches;
and terrorised the fearsome Heruli after first he was
found helpless and destitute, he then knew recompense for that,
he waxed under the clouds, throve in honours,
until to him each of the bordering tribes
beyond the whale-road had to submit,
and yield tribute. That was a good king!

Beginning of the Prologue of “Beowulf” (36 sec) (from University of Virginia).