Beowulf: An Epic Poem

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William Pickering, 1849 - 159 pages
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I encountered this early translation of Beowulf--the first translation into Modern English verse--during my dissertation research. It's not a great translation in any conventional sense--neither accuracy nor poetics are above blame--but I can hardly fault Wackerbarth for that. Anglo-Saxon studies hadn't advanced enough for it to be up to modern standards of accuracy, and the poetic quality is also very dated. Ballad meter seemed right to Wackerbarth at the time. But the very datedness and weirdness of the translation makes it unintentionally pretty entertaining for the bored and lonely scholar, and that's why I gave it 4 stars. I wish I'd kept a copy for myself. The names of the more successful translators have faded from my consciousness in the years since I left academia, but I will never forget Wackerbarth and his ballad Beowulf. 

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Page 139 - Roxolanorum gens infida, quae tunc inter alias (ei) famulatum exhibebat, tali eum nanciscitur occasione decipere. dum enim quandam mulierem Sanielh nomine ex gente memorata pro mariti fraudulento discessu rex furore commotus equis ferocibus illigatam, incitatisque cursibus per diversa divelli praecepisset, fratres ejus Sarus et Ammius germanae obitum vindicantes Hermanrici latus ferro petierunt.
Page 149 - It is not improbable that the whole of this denunciation of Wiglaf is a judicial formulary: such we know early existed and in regular rhythmical measure.

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