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.