3 Sep 2007
It would have been more useful to compare Seamus Heaney’s translation:
‘So, The Spear-Danes in days gone by
And the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness.
We have heard of those princes heroic campaigns’. Etc.
with other translations e.g.
‘Listen! The fame of Danish kings
in days gone by, the daring feats
worked by those heroes are well known to us’
(trans. Kevin Crossley-Holland, 1968)
Heaney’s translation preserves the immediacy and impact of the Old English and the alliterations, and to my mind, is the better.
Does Heaney score higher on the Anglo-Saxon index?