Thaer aet hythe stod hringed stefna There at haven stood ringed stemmed, isig and ut fus aethelinges faer icy, and eager nobleman's vessel.
Aledon tha leofna theodan, They laid him there, the loved lord beaga bryttan on bearm scipes,
giver of rings on the ships bosom maerne be maeste. mighty man by mast.
Thaer waes madma fela There were treasures many of feor wegum, fraetwa gelaeded; from far ways, beautiful things brought;
ne hyrde ic cymlicor ceol gegyrpen nor heard I of comlier ship prepared with hilde waepnum ond heathowaedum war weapons and battle weeds billum and byrnum. swords and mail shirts.
Him on bearme lacg On his bosom lay mathma maeniga tha him mid scoldan many treasures that should with him
on flodes aehte feor gewitan in the floods power far depart. Nalaes hi hine laessan lacum teodan, Nor were there lesser gifts provided, theodgestreonum, thon tha dydon people's treasure, than they did the hine aet frumsceafte forth onsendon for him who at the beginning sent forth aenne ofer ythe, umborwesende. alone over wave, as a child. Tha gyt hie him asetton segen gyldenne Then they set him up standard golden heah ofer heafod. Leton holm beran, high over head. Let the sea bear him geafon on garsecg. gift on ocean.
Him waes geomor sefa They were of sad mind murnende mod. Men ne cunnon mourning mood. Man could not secgan to sothe, seleraedende, say surely, hall speakers, haeleth under heofenum, hwa thaem hlaeste onfeng warriors under heaven, who that cargo received
The poem is intended to be declaimed rather than read. Its use of alliteration relates it closely to normal speech. Even today, many speakers of English alliterate their prose subconsciously.
This verse form was probably an aid to memorisation (as is rhyme) but alliteration avoids the artificiality of rhyme.
Ship burials were common for high status individuals. In this case we have the ship launched on its last voyage with the deceased hero.
Other references and findings show burial with the ship, cremation in the ship followed by burial under a mound, and, in Scandinavia, burial in a grave marked by stones arraigned in the form of a ship.