Posts Tagged ‘wuffings’

After the brief lesson on how a young man or prince must behave, we resume the back story with the passing of Scyld:

Him ða Scyld gewat         to gescæphwile

felahror feran         on frean wære.

Hi hyne þa ætbæron         to brimes faroðe,

swæse gesiþas,         swa he selfa bæd,

þenden wordum weold         wine Scyldinga;

leof landfruma         lange ahte.


So then Scyld departed, at the appointed time, still strong, to be with the Lord.  His beloved companions carried him to the sea, as he had asked, while he ruled, this protector of his people; the dear king had ruled a long time.

Like his birth and upbringing, Scyld’s departure seems equally mysterious and driven by fate.  You see here also the first reference to the dynasty he founded:

þenden wordum weold         wine Scyldinga;

While [he gave] words of command, protector [of the] scyldings;

Scyld’s people become the Scyldings.  It seems common practice to take on their kings/rulers name.  As in the Wuffings, the East Anglian tribe under king Wuffa (ca 570AD).  The Wuffings themselves are linked to Beowulf (or at least to the Geats) by the Sutton Hoo burial ship, and its strong connection to Scandinavian buried practices.

I tried this a few different ways, playing around with order and the hints that Scyld went of his own volition (still active/strong).  I think I kept the hint, but avoided any direct mention.

But the hour came,

When Scyld departed.

And to the sea’s cusp

His dutiful companions took him;

Long had he ruled.

After this the mystery deepens as the myth grows.


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