BEOWULF From The Harvard Classics, Volume 49. Copyright, 1910 by P.F. Collier & Son.

This text is in the public domain, released July 1993. Prepared by Robin Katsuya-Corbet <> from scanner output provided by Internet Wiretap.

Translated by Francis B. Gummere PRELUDE OF THE FOUNDER OF THE DANISH HOUSE LO, praise of the prowess of people-kings of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped, we have heard, and what honor the athelings won! Oft Scyld the Scefing from squadroned foes, from many a tribe, the mead-bench tore, awing the earls. Since erst he lay friendless, a foundling, fate repaid him: for he waxed under welkin, in wealth he throve, till before him the folk, both far and near, who house by the whale-path, heard his mandate, gave him gifts: a good king he! To him an heir was afterward born, a son in his halls, whom heaven sent to favor the folk, feeling their woe that erst they had lacked an earl for leader so long a while; the Lord endowed him, the Wielder of Wonder, with world's renown. Famed was this Beowulf:[1] far flew the boast of him, son of Scyld, in the Scandian lands. So becomes it a youth to quit him well with his father's friends, by fee and gift, that to aid him, aged, in after days, come warriors willing, should war draw nigh, liegemen loyal: by lauded deeds shall an earl have honor in every clan. Forth he fared at the fated moment, sturdy Scyld to the shelter of God. Then they bore him over to ocean's billow,

loving clansmen, as late he charged them, while wielded words the winsome Scyld, the leader beloved who long had ruled.... In the roadstead rocked a ring-dight vessel, ice-flecked, outbound, atheling's barge: there laid they down their darling lord on the breast of the boat, the breaker-of-rings,[2] by the mast the mighty one. Many a treasure fetched from far was freighted with him. No ship have I known so nobly dight with weapons of war and weeds of battle, with breastplate and blade: on his bosom lay a heaped hoard that hence should go far o'er the flood with him floating away. No less these loaded the lordly gifts, thanes' huge treasure, than those had done who in former time forth had sent him sole on the seas, a suckling child. High o'er his head they hoist the standard, a gold-wove banner; let billows take him, gave him to ocean. Grave were their spirits, mournful their mood. No man is able to say in sooth, no son of the halls, no hero 'neath heaven, -- who harbored that freight! [1] Not, of course, Beowulf the Great, hero of the epic. [2] Kenning for king or chieftain of a comitatus: he breaks off gold from the spiral rings -- often worn on the arm -- and so rewards his followers. I Now Beowulf bode in the burg of the Scyldings, leader beloved, and long he ruled in fame with all folk, since his father had gone away from the world, till awoke an heir, haughty Healfdene, who held through life, sage and sturdy, the Scyldings glad. Then, one after one, there woke to him, to the chieftain of clansmen, children four: Heorogar, then Hrothgar, then Halga brave; and I heard that -- was --'s queen, the Heathoscylfing's helpmate dear. To Hrothgar was given such glory of war, such honor of combat, that all his kin obeyed him gladly till great grew his band of youthful comrades. It came in his mind to bid his henchmen a hall uprear, a master mead-house, mightier far than ever was seen by the sons of earth,

and within it, then, to old and young he would all allot that the Lord had sent him, save only the land and the lives of his men. Wide, I heard, was the work commanded, for many a tribe this mid-earth round, to fashion the folkstead. It fell, as he ordered, in rapid achievement that ready it stood there, of halls the noblest: Heorot[1] he named it whose message had might in many a land. Not reckless of promise, the rings he dealt, treasure at banquet: there towered the hall, high, gabled wide, the hot surge waiting of furious flame.[2] Nor far was that day when father and son-in-law stood in feud for warfare and hatred that woke again.[3] With envy and anger an evil spirit endured the dole in his dark abode, that he heard each day the din of revel high in the hall: there harps rang out, clear song of the singer. He sang who knew[4] tales of the early time of man, how the Almighty made the earth, fairest fields enfolded by water, set, triumphant, sun and moon for a light to lighten the land-dwellers, and braided bright the breast of earth with limbs and leaves, made life for all of mortal beings that breathe and move. So lived the clansmen in cheer and revel a winsome life, till one began to fashion evils, that field of hell. Grendel this monster grim was called, march-riever[5] mighty, in moorland living, in fen and fastness; fief of the giants the hapless wight a while had kept since the Creator his exile doomed. On kin of Cain was the killing avenged by sovran God for slaughtered Abel. Ill fared his feud,[6] and far was he driven, for the slaughter's sake, from sight of men. Of Cain awoke all that woful breed, Etins[7] and elves and evil-spirits, as well as the giants that warred with God weary while: but their wage was paid them! [1] That is, "The Hart," or "Stag," so called from decorations in the gables that resembled the antlers of a deer. This hall has been carefully described in a pamphlet by Heyne. The building was rectangular, with opposite doors -- mainly west and east -- and a hearth in the middle of the single room. A row of pillars down each side, at some

distance from the walls, made a space which was raised a little above the main floor, and was furnished with two rows of seats. On one side, usually south, was the high-seat midway between the doors. Opposite this, on the other raised space, was another seat of honor. At the banquet soon to be described, Hrothgar sat in the south or chief high-seat, and Beowulf opposite to him. The scene for a flying (see below, v.499) was thus very effectively set. Planks on trestles -the "board" of later English literature -- formed the tables just in front of the long rows of seats, and were taken away after banquets, when the retainers were ready to stretch themselves out for sleep on the benches. [2] Fire was the usual end of these halls. See v. 781 below. One thinks of the splendid scene at the end of the Nibelungen, of the Nialssaga, of Saxo's story of Amlethus, and many a less famous instance. [3] It is to be supposed that all hearers of this poem knew how Hrothgar's hall was burnt, -- perhaps in the unsuccessful attack made on him by his son-in-law Ingeld. [4] A skilled minstrel. The Danes are heathens, as one is told presently; but this lay of beginnings is taken from Genesis. [5] A disturber of the border, one who sallies from his haunt in the fen and roams over the country near by. This probably pagan nuisance is now furnished with biblical credentials as a fiend or devil in good standing, so that all Christian Englishmen might read about him. "Grendel" may mean one who grinds and crushes. [6] Cain's. [7] Giants. II WENT he forth to find at fall of night that haughty house, and heed wherever the Ring-Danes, outrevelled, to rest had gone. Found within it the atheling band asleep after feasting and fearless of sorrow, of human hardship. Unhallowed wight, grim and greedy, he grasped betimes, wrathful, reckless, from resting-places, thirty of the thanes, and thence he rushed fain of his fell spoil, faring homeward, laden with slaughter, his lair to seek. Then at the dawning, as day was breaking, the might of Grendel to men was known; then after wassail was wail uplifted, loud moan in the morn. The mighty chief, atheling excellent, unblithe sat, labored in woe for the loss of his thanes, when once had been traced the trail of the fiend,


if cure shall follow. Wielder-of-Wonder. since Beowulf selected his ship and led his men to the harbor. And now the bold one from bands of Geats comrades chose. lonely roamer. To thy lord and liege in loyal mood we hasten hither. Twelve years' tide the trouble he bore. heroes such as the hest of fate shall succor and save from the shock of war. far o'er the swan-road he fain would seek. Whiles they vowed in their heathen fanes altar-offerings. led them on to the land's confines. [2] Grendel. headlands broad. -. Weders' bounds. steep high hills. -. a warden that watched the water-side.Woe for that man who in harm and hatred hales his soul to fiery embraces. many a year. that amid the Scyldings a scathing monster. where Hrothgar lived. -your new-tarred ship by shore of ocean faithfully watching till once again it waft o'er the waters those well-loved thanes. sentinel set o'er the sea-march here. sea-cliffs shining. 'twas Hell they thought of in mood of their mind. till the hall they saw. and searched out counsel how it were best for bold-hearted men against harassing terror to try their hand. -. The sturdy shieldsman showed that bright burg-of-the-boldest. then. too sore the anguish. till in season due. the well-braced craft. too long. and. boundless cares. they whetted the hero. stalwart and stately. his peerless presence! I pray you. was seen in sooth. loathly and long. guard it kept o'er the man of war. Then moved o'er the waters by might of the wind that bark like a bird with breast of foam." [4] Hrothgar. with surest token. he recked no whit. [3] "Sorcerers-of-hell. Now saw from the cliff a Scylding clansman. lured. the sailors bore on the breast of the bark their bright array. I will bid my men your boat meanwhile to guard for fear lest foemen come. Such held themselves far and fast who the fiend outran! Thus ruled unrighteous and raged his fill one against all. -. take from me simple advice: the sooner the better I hear of the country whence ye came.spirit accurst: too cruel that sorrow. -yon hero in harness! No henchman he worthied by weapons. in formal or prescribed phrase. Full of winters. anchored their sea-wood. broad of gable and bright with gold: that was the fairest. most baneful of burdens and bales of the night. that yon mighty vessel have urged thus over the ocean ways. wonder seized him to know what manner of men they were. here o'er the waters? A warden I. O'er Heorot he lorded. of Grendel's doings. Yon battle-king. -. and spake in parley. hatred and murder. until empty stood that lordly building. Up then quickly the Weders'[3] clansmen climbed ashore. This heard in his home Hygelac's thane. and Hygelac's own hearth-fellows we.Then shone the boars[2] over the cheek-guard. ye armed men. asked with words[5] that the slayer-of-souls would succor give them for the pain of their people.or have joy in his hall. and the boiling care-waves cooler grow. though they loved him dear.A greater ne'er saw I of warriors in world than is one of you. dark ill-doer. his steed then turned. yet. bearing weapons and weeds the way I show you.the boat lay still. and the gleam of it lightened o'er lands afar. waves were churning sea with sand. then. [3] One of the auxiliary names of the Geats. clansman unquailing: "The keen-souled thane must be skilled to sever and sunder duly words and works. To Hrothgar I in greatness of soul would succor bring. with night returning. -. to Healfdene's son. There came unhidden tidings true to the tribes of men. how ceaselessly Grendel harassed Hrothgar. the warriors' leader his word-hoard unlocked:-"We are by kin of the clan of Geats. too loathsome. what murder and massacre. [4] Or: Not thus openly ever came warriors hither. Father Almighty in grace and mercy guard you well. boat under bluff. of cruel contest. in dusky nights shows terrific his rage unmatched." They bent them to march. chased with gold. war-gear in readiness. -. sorrows in plenty. noble atheling. mailed folk. said he. ocean-travellers. -the hall-thane's[2] hate. how they bore o'er the gangway glittering shields. nor deem I right that aught be hidden. their mail and weapons: the men pushed off. lest hence ye fare suspect to wander your way as spies in Danish land. of houses 'neath heaven. with fourteen men the sea-wood[1] he sought. as marched along heroes in haste. wrought unceasing. with hand of might he shook his spear. heart-rending misery. feud unfading. Such heaping of horrors the hater of men. -. that lay on his folk. though. and hailed them thus:-"Tis time that I fare from you. to the lord of the Danes.thou knowest if sooth it is -. and hailed good omens. But the evil one ambushed old and young death-shadow dark. No aliens ever at ease thus bore them. the strand-ward answered. the keenest of warriors e'er he could find.the saying of men. Straight to the strand his steed he rode. Their haven was found. not wisest men assuaged his sorrow. dwellers afar. nor Heaven's-Helmet heeded they ever.'twas judgment of God. this band is graciously bent to the Scyldings' master. he fared away aged from earth. firm in his guilt. what hate he bore him." [1] Ship. with armor clashing and gear of battle: God they thanked for passing in peace o'er the paths of the sea. else ever afterward anguish-days he shall suffer in sorrow while stands in place high on its hill that house unpeered!" Astride his steed. in sorrowful songs. make pact of peace.refused consent to deal with any of Daneland's earls. great among Geats. sailor proved. or compound for gold: still less did the wise men ween to get great fee for the feud from his fiendish hands. if he well intends. anew began ruthless murder. [5] That is. or lurked in the livelong night of misty moorlands: men may say not where the haunts of these Hell-Runes[3] be. and ne'er could the prince[4] approach his throne..nor favor nor change awaits he ever. [2] That is. gold-bright hall. But well for him that after death-day may draw to his Lord. and dogged them still. Many nobles sat assembled. March. the noble monarch who needed men! The prince's journey by prudent folk was little blamed. linden-wielders:[4] yet word-of-leave clearly ye lack from clansmen here. Time had now flown. and long it bode so. on its willing way. hardy hero. -if ever the end of ills is fated. and friendship find in the Father's arms! [1] The smaller buildings within the main enclosure but separate from the hall. He was the mightiest man of valor in that same day of this our life. sovran of Scyldings.winding-neck'd wood. Doomsman of Deeds and dreadful Lord. IV To him the stateliest spake in answer. so the Wise-and-Brave[1] may worst his foes. lest any foe to the folk of Danes with harrying fleet should harm the land. if witness his features. "Who are ye. their heathen hope. who is the "Scyldings'-friend" of 170. Almighty they knew not. bade them go straightway thither. on the second day. fettered by cable and fast at anchor. of the feud and crime. To folk afar was my father known. tell your folk and home. my folk's agreement. Hrothgar's henchman. -. On board they climbed. their journey ended. bed in the bowers. A stout wave-walker he bade make ready. III THUS seethed unceasing the son of Healfdene with the woe of these days. Their practice this. in gloomy nights. 'mid folk of earth. Now. We hear -. harassings heavy. They were easy to find who elsewhere sought in room remote their rest at night. 2 . broad-bosomed ship. Not late the respite. warriors ready. I gather. the curved prow such course had run that sailors now could see the land. Ecgtheow named. he is honored still through width of the world by wise men all.[1] when that bale was shown. people-protector: be pleased to advise us! To that mighty-one come we on mickle errand. Sore was the sorrow to Scyldings'-friend. keen and gleaming.[2] afloat was the ship..

in this hall of gold my Geatish band will he fearless eat. methinks. Scyldings'-bulwark. till the hearth he neared. heirloom of Hrethel and work of Wayland. But that water-goblin who covers the space from Old Nick of jest to the Neckan and Nix of poetry and tale. -. where five I bound. 'gainst hostile warriors hold my watch. Rude representations of warriors show the boar on the helmet quite as large as the helmet itself. his Weder kin for horror of fighting feared to hold him. and under helmets Hrothgar greet. this hardy band. the Breaker-of-Rings. from thee. the Geats. people of Geatland. my master.[3] for his shall I be. -. I am Beowulf named. king of my kindred. So my vassals advised me well. V STONE-BRIGHT the street:[1] it showed the way to the crowd of clansmen. thou sovran of the Shining-Danes. and Nicor is a good name for him. Sore is my soul to say to any of the race of man what ruth for me in Heorot Grendel with hate hath wrought. battle-gear guarding. earls o'er the ale-cup. to succor and save. for high-hearted valor. down. oft before. and marched to the hall. -my noblest thanes. warding my Hygelac stay. There. his aged father was Ecgtheow named. Hrothgar's herald! Heroes so many ne'er met I as strangers of mood so strong. and bowed them to bench: the breastplates clanged. And seamen. clan of kinsmen. have said me this. I hope to give the good youth gold for his gallant thought. 'Tis plain that for prowess. war-gear of men.they are welcome guests to folk of the Danes. we. the famed prince. foe against foe. their broad shields. wielded. Fleeing. fellows at board. Hall-folk fail me. Seafarers say how stands this hall. war-net woven by wit of the smith:-"Thou Hrothgar. [6] This mighty power. of thy faring hither. says ten Brink. and hails you all welcome hither o'er waves of the sea! Ye may wend your way in war-attire. the doughty prince. till the stout thane stood at the shoulder there of the Danish king: good courtier he! Wulfgar spake to his winsome lord:-"Hither have fared to thee far-come men o'er the paths of ocean. whom the Christian poet can still revere. that the monster dire. -. against horror of Grendel. now I've wandered far. Thy father's combat[1] a feud enkindled when Heatholaf with hand he slew among the Wylfings. the wall along they set their bucklers. gave Hrethel the Geat his only daughter. [2] Beowulf's helmet has several boar-images on it. Grendel now." VII HROTHGAR spake. when evening sun in the harbor of heaven is hidden away. my elder brother. gray-tipped ash: that iron band was worthily weaponed! -. hence shall I scorn -. the roamer-lonely.his breastplate gleamed. may with thee have speech at will: nor spurn their prayer to give them hearing. gold-colored targe: but with gripe alone must I front the fiend and fight for life. as bade the chief. and. if death must take me. Healfdene's bairn: he was better than I! Straightway the feud with fee[2] I settled. his courage and counsel: "The king of Danes. Then faith be his in the doom of the Lord whom death shall take. for your band of thanes empty and idle. dyed in gore.] hardy 'neath helm. brave band of thanes: some bode without. Their offspring bold fares hither to seek the steadfast friend. to whom. kind to me! -brand or buckler to bear in the fight. that your kin he knows. or else thought of as a sort of mosaic. he is the "man of war". [2] His own people. in his wanton mood. has here the general force of "Destiny. Beowulf spake. that they. as my beer they drank. as I ween indeed. Friend my Beowulf. youthful. says Bugge. armed men. monster cruel. I' the waves I slew nicors[1] by night." [To the door of the hall Wulfgar went] and the word declared:-"To you this message my master sends. when first I was ruling the folk of Danes. for my nerve and my might they knew full well." [1] Hrothgar. I fain will tell. my warriors wane." Hied then in haste to where Hrothgar sat white-haired and old. an extravagant touch like the reckless waste of gold on the walls and roofs of a hall. the Scyldings'-helmet:-"For fight defensive. -who carried my gifts to the Geatish court. The boar was sacred to Freyr. as they strode along in mail of battle. thou hast sought us here. as the boon thou askest.A warrior proud asked of the heroes their home and kin. thither for thanks. with my life-blood redden his lair in the fen: no further for me need'st food prepare! To Hygelac send. hardy heroes." Uprose the mighty one. this widespread realm. This boon they seek. their weapons stacked." Wulfgar spake. may Heorot purge! More I hear. for Wyrd hath swept them into Grendel's grasp. I ween. of weapons recks not. kinsman and follower. best of war-weeds. proud earl of the Weders answer made. ringed with his men. [3] That is. not plunged into exile. "There will be no need of funeral rites.[5] Fares Wyrd[6] as she must. Fame a plenty have I gained in youth! These Grendel-deeds I heard in my home-land heralded clear. Themselves had seen me from slaughter come blood-flecked from foes. and wooden war-shafts wait its end. what sudden harryings. and bid them hither." [4] Personification of Battle. the strata via of the Romans. over surge of ocean the Honor-Scyldings. o'er watery ridges. the best of men. a hero that hither his henchmen has led. bear ye burnished shields. swiftly after. to thy master-lord. spears of the seafarers stood together. Then hied that troop where the herald led them. helmet of Scyldings:-"I knew him of yore in his youthful days. Then was this mead-house at morning tide dyed with gore. treasures olden: oaths he[3] swore me." [1] The nicor. -and. harness gray and helmets grim. Seaward I go. and that wild brood worsted. -that I alone with my liegemen here. the good one. O Warriors'-shield. Grendel's attack with terror of blades. Hrothgar ye seek!" Him the sturdy-in-war bespake with words. whose might of mind to many was known. Corselets glistened hand-forged. 3 . of our liking. [5] The Germanic Vulcan. cover it as with a face-cloth. a boon I seek. too. -. I. under Heorot's roof: [the hero strode. hail! Hygelac's I. armor excellent. their leader most surely. hard. East-Danes' king. is all one needs. the Wendles' chieftain. when the daylight broke. gracious Hrothgar! In weeds of the warrior worthy they. and the boarhelmet guards him as typical representative of the marching party as a whole. be mine to quell in single battle! So. VI HROTHGAR answered. and my blood-covered body he'll bear as prey. Heorogar was dead. hardy 'neath helmet:--"Hygelac's. he sought our South-Dane folk. Nor need'st thou then to hide my head. on their harness bright the steel ring sang. the bold-in-battle.he has thirty men's heft of grasp in the gripe of his hand. weary of ocean. that they would bide in the beer-hall here. and the stateliest there by his sturdy band is Beowulf named. in need and peril avenging the Weders. the Scyldings' friend. spears in multitude? Messenger. this hoard-hold of heroes.[2] whose woe they sought. who was the favorite god of the Germanic tribes about the North Sea and the Baltic. to the Wylfings sent. a in your seekings. his earls about him. But God is able this deadly foe from his deeds to turn! Boasted full oft. to come before me. Be thou in haste." [1] Either merely paved. but let here the battle-shields bide your parley. now. -brave and wise. Fain. if Hild[4] should take me. such answer bring as the doughty monarch may deign to give. if he deign at all grace that we greet him. ruthless devour it. to seek thee here. Friend-of-the-folk. if the fight he win. and add this word. Blessed God out of his mercy this man hath sent to Danes of the West. at home. "Whence. refuse it not. I am seeking to say to the son of Healfdene this mission of mine. of buildings best. had breathed his last. is a hippopotamus. -crushing the grim ones. -O sovran Hrothgar.

to land of Brondings. -"Art thou that Beowulf. Through the hall then went the Helmings' Lady. watch for the foe! No wish shall fail thee if thou bidest the battle with bold-won life. till presently the son of Healfdene hastened to seek rest for the night. Weder and Dane." [2] Breca. till now to thee. So ween I for thee a worse adventure -. to Beowulf bore the beaker of mead. IX ME thus often the evil monsters thronging threatened. -. the darling. carried the carven cup in hand. [2] Money. the son of Ecglaf. he knew there waited fight for the fiend in that festal hall. had more of main! Him at morning-tide billows bore to the Battling Reamas. In swimming he topped thee. but at break of day. 'Twas granted me. forth from hall. gold-decked." Well these words to the woman seemed. or fighting fall in death. that at last on a hero her hope could lean for comfort in terrors. Hrothgar sees in Beowulf's mission a heritage of duty. -. but lustily murders. hardy hero.Beowulf's quest. drunken with beer. and the high-born lady handed the cup first to the East-Danes' heir and warden. when light of dawn this morrow morning o'er men of earth. Together we twain on the tides abode five nights full till the flood divided us. couch of his queen. who emulous swam on the open sea. whence curse of hell awaits thee. A henchman attended. And since. We twain had talked. 4 . Heroes revelled. Again. whence he hied to his home so dear beloved of his liegemen. on Finnish land.we were merely boys. There grasped me firm and haled me to bottom the hated foe. Now the wrath of the sea-fish rose apace. when the sheen of the sun they saw no more. vengeful creatures. The King-of-Glory against this Grendel a guard had set. we held in hand. thou son of Ecglaf.all the boards of the benches blood-besprinkled. battle-famed king. swam o'er the waters. no dearth of warriors.Bright with gold the stately dame by her spouse sat down. from Beowulf hearing. Of night-fought battles ne'er heard I a harder 'neath heaven's dome. never had Grendel these grim deeds wrought. heedful of courtesy. -. that I would work the will of your people fully. fastness fair. with hope to guard us against the whales. with strenuous hands the sea-streets measured. ether-robed sun from the south shall beam!" Joyous then was the Jewel-giver.though in buffet of battle thou brave hast been. Naked swords. and wantonly dared in waters deep to risk your lives? No living man. came bright God's beacon. where his folk he ruled. for wergild. striplings still. sorely galled him. Winter's storm rolled the rough waves. town and treasure. For Wyrd oft saveth earl undoomed if he doughty be! And so it came that I killed with my sword nine of the nicors. on the edge of ocean up they lay. in Heorot such havoc. -. hardy-in-war. a return of the good offices which the Danish king rendered to Beowulf's father in time of dire need. bairn of Ecgtheow:-"This was my thought. and shadowy shapes came striding on. The warriors rose. She greeted the Geats' stake our lives far at sea: and so we performed it. churning waves and chillest weather. the proud-band's revel. who sat at the feet of the Scyldings' lord. unbind thy words. Lustily took he banquet and beaker.I boast not of it! -though thou wast the bane[1] of thy brethren dear. the billows sank. well as thy wit may serve! For I say in sooth. -. put to sleep by the sword. though spent with swimming. bade him hail." Gathered together. favors none of the land of Danes. Came Wealhtheow forth. thy closest kin. when my thanes and I bent to the ocean and entered our boat. -. and the northern wind ruthless rushed on us: rough was the surge. defence-of-Scyldings. help afforded. sat them down. But speedily now shall I prove him the prowess and pride of the Geats. bade him be blithe at the beer-carouse. on thy master dear. the Geatish men in the banquet-hall on bench assigned. Hrothgar to Beowulf. The cup he took." [1] Murder. bitter battle. or man-price. queen of Hrothgar. He forces pledges. doughty dear-ones that death had reft. wan under welkin. or lief or loath. so heroes heard. The sea upbore me. fain would the war-lord Wealhtheow seek. from sword-clash dread of your Danish clan he vaunts him safe. -. hard and hand-linked. when for pride the pair of you proved the floods. monster dire.But sit to the banquet. I am firm to do an earl's brave deed. of Breca now. in struggle grim. Beowulf's battle-boast. dear my Unferth. told of his triumph! Truth I claim it. as heart shall prompt thee. a hall-defender. in the play of war such daring deed has done at all with bloody brand. Man to man. [1] "Began the fight. greeting the guests in hall. since I could heave up hand and shield. by my brand sore hurt. Then was laughter of liegemen loud resounding with winsome words. In realm of sea a sennight strove ye. flood of the tide. though. Breca's rival. haste o'er the billows. more ocean-endurance. such firm resolve. he made harangue. from your labor dire could you dissuade. the welling waters. -battle-sark braided my breast to ward. the land's beloved one. to pierce the monster with point of sword. and dusk of night sank darkling nigh. I dealt them due return! Nowise had they bliss from their booty then to devour their victim. so that I saw the sea-cliffs high. bairn of Ecgtheow:-"What a deal hast uttered. and made our boast. nor him I abandoned. and answer uttered the eager-for-combat.if Grendel's approach thou darst await through the watch of night!" Beowulf spake. as erst. hardy-hearted. Beowulf spake. war-brave. ever he envied that other men should more achieve in middle-earth of fame under heaven than he himself. shall bid him battle. No wise of thee have I heard men tell such terror of falchions. VIII UNFERTH spake. unbound the battle-runes. X THEN Hrothgar went with his hero-train. with grimmest gripe. Breca ne'er yet. With thrust of my sword. gory the hall: I had heroes the less. help awaited the Bright-Danes' prince. began in hall warriors' wassail and words of power. this noble Dane-Hall. [1] There is no irrelevance here. from the Victor-Scyldings. not one of you pair. from Wealhtheow's hand. Oft minstrels sang blithe in Heorot. remember thy glory. [3] Ecgtheow. in fiend's gripe fast. Ocean-tides with your arms ye covered. or end the days of this life of mine in the mead-hall here. God she thanked. that her will was granted. the royal-hearted. fights and feasts. garnished with gold. seated to banquet at bottom of sea. from swimming the main. nor adrift on the deep a more desolate man! Yet I came unharmed from that hostile clutch. as we swam along.Light from east. if heart of thine were as battle-bold as thy boast is loud! But he has found no feud will happen. Blithe to mead go he that listeth. darkling night. that I had more of might in the sea than any man else. with blade of battle: huge beast of the sea was whelmed by the hurly through hand of mine. sturdy-spirited. hoar-haired.[1] -. folk's good shepherd. Not a whit from me could he float afar o'er the flood of waves. In triumph o'er thee Beanstan's bairn[2] his boast achieved. served the clear mead. nor feud he dreads from Spear-Dane men. let him wield the wine hall: a word he added:-"Never to any man erst I trusted. thy might declare. Have now and hold this house unpeered. sturdy seafarer's. in time of youth. windy walls. by them on the fathomless sea-ways sailor-folk are never molested. to younger and older everywhere carried the cup. yet me 'gainst the monsters my mailed coat. in wisdom's words. Beowulf's sire. till come the moment when the ring-graced queen.

to earth the fair house fell have told me -gay with gold. since lusty banquet waited his will! But Wyrd forbade him to seize any more of men on earth after that evening. the wonder to view. that the frame of his body failed him now. Soon he found. Then laughed his heart. each one. Home then rode the hoary clansmen from that merry journey. turbid the tide of tumbling waves horribly seething.'neath the gabled roof· [1] Kenning for Beowulf. Not that the monster was minded to pause! Straightway he seized a sleeping warrior for the first. to sever the soul of each. away from thence. he was a "lost soul. and Grendel thence death-sick his den in the dark moor sought. -. such hall-thanes. Gruesome march to Heorot this monster of harm had made! Din filled the room. to sleep of death his life will I give.who warded the monarch and watched for the monster. indeed. o'er wide-stretched ways. to his henchman gave. The monster was minded of mankind now sundry to seize in the stately house. and many a youth. and far away fly to the fens. life from body. baffled in battle and banned. by misty crags. would lead them back! Full well they wist that on warriors many battle-death seized. noisome abode: he knew too well that here was the last of life. whose fingers cracked. for the hero reclining. grasped firm his foe. brave house break asunder. -. No skill is his to strike against me. when the hardy-in-fight a hand laid down. how he would fare in fell attack. arm and shoulder. and tore him fiercely asunder. The outlaw dire took mortal hurt. Then farther he hied.unless clasp of fire in smoke engulfed it. a mighty wound showed on his shoulder. warriors gathered the gift-hall round. his steps death-marked dragged to the devils' mere. Spake then his Vaunt the valiant man. an end of his days on earth. for the hardy hero with hand he grasped. -. Under welkin he walked. the house's mouth. hateful alive was each to other. earls. Not first time. Beowulf Geat. from edge of iron. when his fists had struck it. if power were theirs. The monster meant -. the hardy warriors.who clutched it boldly. there streamed from his eyes fearful flashes. -all save one. another wight with heavier hand-gripe. who in former days. over their enemy all prevailed. hardy liegemen. we both. found! To the house the warrior walked apace. the den of devils: no doings now such as oft he had done in days of old! Then bethought him the hardy Hygelac-thane of his boast at evening: up he bounded. All hastily. never they knew. could harm or hurt that hideous fiend! He was safe. at heart he feared. None of them thought that thence their steps to the folk and fastness that fostered them. this. fain the life of their lord to shield. though it lie in my power. -choicest of weapons. than Grendel deems him.Again uprose din redoubled. in grim war-deeds. prompt to answer. hardy-hearted heroes of war. and the bone-frame burst. -. Angry were both those savage hall-guards: the house resounded. For him the keen-souled kinsman of Hygelac held in hand. and all the dole they erst endured pain a-plenty. helmet from head. then. but the earl close followed. late or early. though there crashed from sill many a mead-bench -. Eagerly watched Hygelac's kinsman his cursed foe. the hardy and wise one had purged it anew. XII NOT in any wise would the earls'-defence[1] suffer that slaughterous stranger to live. propped on his arm. who in den of the moor laid forlorn his life adown. So well had weened the wisest Scyldings that not ever at all might any man that bone-decked. the bone-frame bit. the mercy of God! Cast off then his corselet of iron. folk-leaders faring from far and near. o'er fair-paved floor the fiend trod on. though with forged bolts fast.[1] the portal opended. with God's wrath laden. aiming their swords on every side the accursed to kill. Not troublous seemed the enemy's end to any man who saw by the gait of the graceless foe how the weary-hearted. to Weder folk the Master gave. this night. In truth. ready. XIII MANY at they neared the foe. -. -." XI THEN from the moorland. for the monster was minded.the well-chased sword. for war. Too closely held him he who of men in might was strongest in that same day of this our life. with sword-blood hot. that. all their sorrow and ills assuaged. in the ways of earth. came the walker-in-shadow. till the wine-palace there. then. and his wandering soul far off flit to the fiends' domain. by his spells. His night-work pleased him. from sword of battle. kin and clansmen clustered asleep. the Danes were bereft. castle-dwellers and clansmen all. on many a man such murder wrought. cry of the conquered. felt for the foe with fiendish claw.'Twas proof of this. that he the home of Hrothgar sought. From ravage had rescued the roving stranger Hrothgar's hall.none the sooner escaped! Fain would he flee. wakeful. gold-hall of men. -. where the grim foes wrestled. Warriors slept whose hest was to guard the gabled hall. ireful he strode. as men have told me. my shield to hew though he hardy be. his deed and its honor. ere the bed be sought:-"Of force in fight no feebler I count me. flashing with fretwork. while all about him seamen hardy on hall-beds sank.the "one.knew his fingers' power in the gripe of the grim one. -. -yet ne'er in his life-day. swallowed him piecemeal: swiftly thus the lifeless corse was clear devoured. trace of the traitor.if he might at all -- to fling himself free. -." Reclined then the chieftain. -. [1] Beowulf. bold in battle. -. like flame to see. their praised prince. But comfort and help. and baleful he burst in his blatant rage.To all the Danes by that bloody battle the boon had come. of Grendel's gripe. and sinews cracked. the Geats' prince gladly trusted his mettle. no farest of falchions fashioned on earth. bold he bided the battle's issue. bidding him guard the gear of battle. To Eastern Danes had the valiant Geat his vaunt made good. sorrowed in soul.all." doomed to hell. by might of one. with warrior's wrath. The fiend made off. on which side soever doom decree as he deemeth right. savage. Grendel came. Then Beowulf's glory 5 . his heathen soul. -. [1] That is. on horses white. too fast it was within and without by its iron bands craftily clamped.-and hell received keenest blade. Yet his end and parting on that same day of this our life woful should be. by single strength. 'Twas widely known that against God's will the ghostly ravager him[1] could not hurl to haunts of darkness. in the banquet-hall. Not with the sword. who from the wall that wailing heard. to the land they loved. sacred Lord. Let wisest God. parted from peace. To Beowulf now the glory was given. clamorous pain from captive of hell. e'en feet and hands. Wonder it was the wine-hall firm in the strain of their struggle stood. Danes of the North with fear and frenzy were filled. In sooth 'tis told that highest God o'er human kind hath wielded ever! -. harmful in heart and hated of God. his might. Bloody the billows were boiling there. He spied in hall the hero-band. Now many an earl of Beowulf brandished blade ancestral. God's foe sounding his grisly song. Soon then saw that shepherd-of-evils that never he met in this middle-world. of Danish clan. useless deeming his days and years to men on earth. of their ale. his fastness seek.Thro' wan night striding. drank blood in streams. he gladly discerned. their bale of battle borne so long. war-weal weaving. back from the mere. and cheek-pillows held the head of the earl. shall spurn the sword. if he seek me here. unweaponed. by that doomed one dyed. -. crush by craft. such hardy heroes. ere morn should dawn.

in well-ranged words. for torrents of sorrow had lamed him too long. and Grendel's hand:-"For the sight I see to the Sovran Ruler be speedy thanks! A throng of sorrows I have borne from Grendel. Him I might not -. -the Waelsing's wanderings wide. best blade. laved in blood. of warriors none more worthy to rule! (On their lord beloved they laid no slight. but the present shift from the riders on the road to the folk at the hall is not very violent. kinsmen who sat in the sumptuous hall. where bide he must. this refuge-of-warriors. stored with sagas and songs of old. when he passed from life. the feuds and the frauds. and there his body on bed of death shall rest after revel. a sea-boat he loaded. what time the fiend in his trappings tottered to fall! Swiftly. Beowulf took More silent seemed the son of Ecglaf[1] cup in hall:[2] for such costly gifts in boastful speech of his battle-deeds. on a punier man. when." THERE was hurry and hest in Heorot now for hands to bedeck it. or cut away should go to grapple against his foes. for deeds of daring that decked his name since the hand and heart of Heremod grew slack in battle. -. but sorrow holds him tightly grasped in gripe of anguish. Lo. too.[3] the fallow roads by swift steeds measured! The morning sun was climbing higher.the forepart of each on the ale-bench honoring others thus! of the sturdy nails to steel was likest. heathen's "hand-spear. [1] "Guarded the treasure. he suffered no shame in that soldier throng. Heremod. that he in the hent of this hand of mine should breathe his last: but he broke away. there was no other in earth's domain. Thyself hast now fulfilled such deeds. they said. of heroes best. a thane of the king. for soul-possessors." hostile warrior's wound with wires. the tried-in-battle their gray steeds set to gallop amain. I shall heartily love as mine own. stood by the steps.eager they echoed. the Warden-of-Glory. nor was Fitela there. a work has done that not all of us erst could ever do by wile and wisdom. Clansmen hastened to the high-built hall. Thus had the dread-one by daring achieved over the ring-hoard to rule at will. and the epic resumes its story.essay it who will! Forced of fate. by the Wielder's might. thee. which never were told to tribes of men. his folk protect. Warden of treasure. Heorot now was filled with friends. that thy fame shall endure through all the ages. Gold-gay shone the hangings that were wove on the wall.the Maker willed not -hinder from flight. stood sword-gore-stained this stateliest house. for the doughty-in-combat a dragon killed that herded the hoard:[1] under hoary rock the atheling dared the deed alone fearful quest. -. This hero now. for the warrior's wayfaring wise men mourned. home of Scyldings. -widespread woe for wise men all.But here. in earlier days. -. fain of the feasting. the king himself. through the earl's great prowess. gracious Hrothgar: a good king he!) From time to time. lest the relict-of-files[3] should fierce invade. claw uncanny. kept ward o'er the head. a load of care to earls and athelings all he proved. who had made many vaunts. the fiendish foe his flight essayed. and had thought their sovran's son would thrive. and bore on its bosom the beaming gold. he left behind him his hand in pledge.[1] rent were its hinges. Now. crowned with glory. Oft indeed. Beowulf's sometime opponent in the adown the hall: one horse was decked flyting. 'twas the battle-seat of the best of kings. and is of a piece with the general style. Ne'er failed his valor in the crush of combat when corpses the hall he went. the wonder to witness. bairn of Ecgtheow:-"This work of war most willingly we have fought. with stately band from the bride-bower strode. more valiant found. the flight for safety. with carven head-gear. Yet so it befell. such awful doom as the Mighty Maker shall mete him out. but God still works wonder on wonder. broidered battle-flag. foeman's fingers. this fight. sharp in the strife. with a saddle all shining and set in jewels. -. that building bright was broken sorely. and ran a race when the road seemed fair. uncle to nephew. nor aught of help could the cursed one thus procure at all. my precious hoard. heroes' land. no little praise. [3] The singer has sung his lays. the worm was consumed. and wonders many to delight each mortal that looks upon them. himself to pleasure. who had hoped of him help from harm and bale. and with him the queen and her crowd of maidens measured the path to the mead-house fair. As ever he did. of life despairing. He had of all heroes the highest renown among races of men. as ever the twain stood side by side in stress of war. when of these doings he deigned to speak. and sons of earth. loathsome fiend. Of Sigemund grew. garnished with gold. Ne'er heard I of host in haughtier throng more graciously gathered round giver-of-rings! Bowed then to bench those bearers-of-glory. seared with crime. in heartier mood. or south or north. Strange the story: he said it all. when that shielded hero how keen soever. were I hadst thou but seen himself. the hoard and the stronghold. preserve thou ever this kinship new: thou shalt never lack wealth of the world that I wield as mine! Full oft for less have I largess showered. however. the steep roof saw. bound word to word in well-knit rime. and firm enough hold the life-destroyer: too sturdy was he. under vault of heaven. on the high roof gazing. since athelings all. He. save to Fitela only. For I heard of few heroes. the kinsman of Hygelac kinder seemed to all: the other[2] was urged to crime! And afresh to the race. if still she liveth. with four such gifts. follow his father. I thought. and fearlessly dared force of the foe. -O'er the roof of the helmet high. the roof alone held safe and sound. It was but now that I never more for woes that weighed on me waited help long as I lived. that battle-hand bloody from baneful foe. Featly received many a mead-cup the mighty-in-spirit. the ruthless. guerdon of triumph. XIV HROTHGAR spake. he shall find his way to the refuge ready for race of man. Beowulf.No light thing that. -. who had no hope to hinder ever foes infernal and fiendish sprites from havoc in hall. sunk in his sins. of the warlike deeds he had heard in saga of Sigemund. Hrothgar and Hrothulf. the folk of Scyldings ne'er yet had tried the traitor's deed. -. swiftly banished to mingle with monsters at mercy of foes. this warrior soon of Beowulf's quest right cleverly sang. beheld that hand. when. and artfully added an excellent tale. Arrived was the hour when to hall proceeded Healfdene's son: the king himself would sit to banquet. The time-relations are not altogether good in this long passage which describes the rejoicings of "the day after". arm and shoulder. and multitude of the monster kind they had felled with their swords. son of Waels. breastplate and helmet. so fashioned with gold. when to play of swords the son of Healfdene XV was fain to fare. well may the Wielder reward thee still!" Beowulf spake." [2] Sc. in strongest gripe on his bed of death to bind him down. in baleful bonds. and all averred that from sea to sea. and a splendid sword was seen of many borne to the brave one. Fain. the dragon died in its blood. my son. in running! For rescue. Then the earls'-defence[4] on the floor[5] bade lead coursers eight.on the wall it struck. From time to time. welded his lay. To Beowulf gave the bairn of Healfdene a gold-wove banner. his struggles. a ridge. and dense was the throng of men and women the wine-hall to cleanse. that him no blade of the brave could touch. that the God of the ages was good to her in the birth of her bairn. [1] Unferth. his falchion pierced that wondrous worm. and was mindful of verses. to death was betrayed. Though braced within by iron bands. well can she say whoso of women this warrior bore among sons of men. None the longer liveth he. 6 . less stout in struggle. those hardy-minded. 'Twas clear. the guest-room to garnish. evil outlaw. thanes said.

If. Balefire devoured. that none of them tried to renew the quarrel or avenge Hnaef their fallen lord. In sorrowful dirges bewept them the woman: great wailing ascended. Many fall on both sides. though more gladly he pondered on wreaking his vengeance than roaming the deep. [2] Beowulf's.To Beowulf over them both then gave the refuge-of-Ingwines right and power. and the visitors are attacked in their quarters. Hnaef the Scylding. but his clansmen. making his song of that sudden raid on the sons of Finn. openly promised that woful remnant. though powerless his ring-decked prow to drive over the waters.[9] on his balefire lay. How much awaits him of lief and of loath. holding pact. as his Frisian kin he meant to honor in ale-hall there. whatever they found in Finn's domain of gems and jewels. Guthlaf and Oslaf. wergild. when Hun with "Lafing. -. [1] There is no horrible inconsistency here such as the critics strive and cry about. with many other Danes. [3] Kenning for sword. the guest. had not wisest God their Wyrd averted. [7] Battlefield. Hnaef is killed. even as truly. of course.a fragment of it still exists. He is also the "refuge of the friends of Ing. a lay is chanted or recited. that murderous hatred to mind recall. an heirloom there at the ale-bench gave. hall and high-seat. and rescue his remnant by right of arms from the prince's thane. To their ship the Scylding warriors bore all the chattels the chieftain owned. at Hnaef's own pyre the bairn of her body on brands to lay. Comes Wealhtheow forth. [1] Man-price." companion of Hnaef. Therefore is insight always best. and the price[1] bade pay in gold for him whom Grendel erst murdered. and at the fee-gifts. On fierce-heart Finn there fell likewise. boar of hard iron. In spite of the ruin that Grendel and Beowulf had made within the hall. and fain was the rover. Relations between the two peoples have been strained before. with treasure and jewels. 7 . Far off winter was driven. for Guthlaf and Oslaf of grim attack had sorrowing told. that hard fight repaid with steeds and treasures contemned by none who is willing to say the sooth aright. Hengest still through the death-dyed winter dwelt with Finn. and swift repairs made the interior habitable. [4] There is no need to assume a gap in the Ms. [3] Hrothgar. a stately funeral is held. to find the Frisian land. as their lot ordained. on the balefire placed. was fated to fall in the Frisian slaughter.[5] Hildeburh needed not hold in value her enemies' honor![6] Innocent both were the loved ones she lost at the linden-play. he should die by the sword. though at greater length. gashes burst. pays Finn a visit. friendless." would seem to mean that Beowulf stood up to receive his gifts. bairn and brother. the sunbright skies. [9] Hnaef. XVII THEN hastened those heroes their home to see. to each that came with Beowulf over the briny ways. -.[1] Finn's wavering spirit bode not in breast." the light-of-battle. [11] Wounds. and the epic poet. Hengest is now leader of the Danes. marries Hildeburh. and say thanks. storm Finn's stronghold. greediest spirit. in the parleying-place[7] he could ply no longer weapon. So matters rest a while.[4] Healfdene's hero. on himself at home. breaker of rings. Oaths were given. a Frisian chieftain. Finn. the folk of Hengest favor with rings. hoard-guard for heroes. gold-friend of men. who long time here. kindred in amity. A pact he offered: another dwelling the Danes should have. too. counting on his readers 'familiarity with the story. though kinsmen had found him unsure at the sword-play. going back with him to Frisia. now waves rolled fierce lashed by the winds. [5] Horses are frequently led or ridden into the hall where folk sit at banquet: so in Chaucer's Squire's tale. the horrid sword-death. and Finn was slain. and forethought of mind.Hengest is the "prince's thane. or winter locked them in icy fetters. Finn would govern in all honor the few Danish warriors who were left. from sea-ways landed. kill him. Pact of peace they plighted further on both sides firmly. Ing belongs to myth. that their season ever duly await. XVI AND the lord of earls. the queen was taken. lordless men.[8] or with malice of mind bemoan themselves as forced to follow their fee-giver's slayer. and carry back their kinswoman Hildeburh. moreover. uncle and nephew. The lay was finished. one of Finn's Frisians began a quarrel. his keenness of courage. and ancient gold heaped from hoard. with foeman's taunt. houses and high burg. roared o'er the hillock:[10] heads all were melted. The burg was reddened with blood of foemen. Tapestries were hung on the walls. his bosom pierced: its edge was famed with the Frisian earls. Probably he is killed in feud. and how to hasten the hot encounter where sons of the Frisians were sure to be. best of blades. nobly to govern. in the ballad of King Estmere. but he is set upon revenge for his former lord. "Folcwald's son" is Finn. As before about Sigemund and Heremod. [5] The exact story to which this episode refers in summary is not to be determined. Then fared another year to men's dwellings. and her brother. [6] The "enemies" must be the Frisians. Hnaef. under gold-crown goes where the good pair sit. about Finn and his feud. his bones to burn. Hnaef. or "on the floor. stricken by spears. Should Frisian. led to her land.and fain of them more had killed. and the surviving visitors become in a way vassals or liegemen of Finn. Then wound up to welkin the wildest of death-fires. and under the sky she saw them lying. yet of home he minded. as yet they do. with wise-men's aid. and blithe be thou. where most she had kenned of the sweets of the world! By war were swept. again. Manfully thus the mighty prince. The Scylding queen spoke: "Quaff of this cup. they bowed to fate. the gilded swine-crest. [10] The high place chosen for the funeral: see description of Beowulf's funeral-pile at the end of the poem. so none of the guests by word or work should warp the treaty. gather at their home a force of sturdy Danes. king amid clansmen. and the man's[2] brave mood. the gleeman's song.The hardy Scylding. my king and lord. as here and now. nor war could he wage on Hengest. and half the power should fall to them in Frisian land. [2] From its formal use in other places. o'er war-steeds and weapons: wished him joy of them. to take cup in hall. Peace is patched up. Finn to Hengest with oath. upon honor. Then glad rose the revel. a Danish princess. to depart. but the following account of it is reasonable and has good support among scholars. and in the romances. The Maker then ruled human kind. at his uncle's side. Something starts the old feud anew. So he escaped not the common doom. It was Hildeburh's hest. the framework and roof held firm. drink to the donor. provided. so now. fair lay earth's breast. The gentle wife o'er paths of the deep to the Danes they bore. who nevertheless has a "castle" outside the Frisian border. mourning their woes. -. precious gift. true each to the other one. and blood gushed out from bites[11] of the body. Folcwald's son day by day the Danes should honor. Bearers draw from their "wonder-vats" wine. bench-joy brightened. Finn's own liegemen. this phrase. 'twas a sorrowful woman! None doubted why the daughter of Hoc bewailed her doom when dawning came. through days of warfare this world endures! Then song and music mingled sounds in the presence of Healfdene's head-ofarmies[3] and harping was heard with the hero-lay as Hrothgar's singer the hall-joy woke along the mead-seats. --simply gives the headings. [4] Hrothgar. then edge of the sword must seal his doom. Unferth the spokesman at the Scylding lord's feet sat: men had faith in his spirit. [8] That is. and athelings many slain by the sword: at the slaughter they fell. All on the pyre were plain to see the gory sark. to the Geats here speak such words of mildness as man should use. come back to Frisia. those spared not by war out of either folk: their flower was gone. -. and few were left. with fretted gold. so is a son of Hildeburh. and willing hands prepared the banquet. battle-thane best." below. kinsmen murdered.

whom that horror seized. The room was guarded by an army of earls. slaughter for sins. of trusty vassals betwixt the seas. keen and cruel. -wishing to greet the wise old king. marked with murder. and leave to thy kin folk and realm when forth thou goest to greet thy doom. but Wyrd o'erwhelmed him what time. to rest. so wide as washeth the wave of Ocean his windy walls. and that gorgeous ring. Collecting a force. the war-spoil warding. mankind's foe. [1] That is. heaps affectionate assurances on his probity. in arms he fell.[1] and shields a-many firm held in hand: nor helmet minded nor harness of mail.One beer-carouser in danger of doom lay down in the hall. 'Twas their custom so ever to be for battle prepared. prince of Scyldings. that for days to come thou art famed among folk both far and near. though. as was learned afar. cold sea-courses. would go that quest of sorrow. with keen blade carves amain. Too soon came back old ills of the earls. these battle-weeds wear. for the Geat renowned. and these striplings here counsel in kindness: requital be mine. the falchion hard. than of men in arms when. -their natural guardian in the event of the king's death. under his banner the booty defending. that terror. blood-flecked. a hoard-gem of heroes. to honor him.[2] willing to hold and rule nobly our youths. and dead indeed was his dearest thane. She was doomed to dwell in the dreary waters. gloomy and grim. escaping home. of Yrmenlaf the elder brother. of those gifts be mindful. as son thou wishest yon hero to hold. too. monster of women. when all he minds that for him we did in his helpless days of gift and grace to gain him honor!" Then she turned to the seat where her sons were placed. with whom the grisly one grappled amain. young men together: the Geat. To his bower was Beowulf brought in haste. Beowulf lov'd. if thou yield up first.Be glad with thy Geats. as she fled to the moor. hero famed should be every earl as Aeschere was! But here in Heorot a hand hath slain him of wandering death-sprite. Reft of life. I wot not whither. Din rose in hall. at heart was sad when he knew his noble no more lived.[1] proud of the prey. his father's offspring: outlawed he fled. with whom he subsequently quarrels. with many a largess. the death of her son to avenge. jewel-hall brightest. Hygelac Geat. fain of her fill. flowed wine for the warriors. crested. from men's delights warded the wilds. with kindly greeting and winsome words. dauntless victor. gear of the breast. where helmeted Danes slept in the hall. might of maid. -. the glorious gift that God had sent him. For gracious I deem my Hrothulf. came where the king abode waiting to see if the Wielder-of-All would turn this tale of trouble and woe. reft of joy. she bore with her. after gripe of battle. my sage adviser and stay in council. They bared the bench-boards. And his mother now. or near or far. who e'er 8 . evil wrought. who fled abject. the brothers between. sat there. -Uproar filled Heorot. unyieldingly. and the doom to be seen by many an earl when eve should come. -At their heads they set their shields of war. Fell the corpse of the king into keeping of Franks. -. He was for Hrothgar of heroes the dearest. O prince! I pray for thee rich possessions. with heroes' ofttime had happened when Grendel guarded that golden hall. apart from its somewhat irregular and irrelevant sequence of topics. from Geatland's lord. -. Wyrd they knew not. With sorrow one bought his rest of the evening. along with his earls the atheling lord. destiny dire. To Heorot came she. a royal treasure.the hall resounded. grandson of Swerting. on the last of his raids this ring bore with him. Beowulf brave. -. the haughty spear. The feud she avenged that yesternight. Strode o'er floor the famed-in-strife. at home. Then was in hall the hard-edge drawn. and said:-"This jewel enjoy in thy jocund youth. -. mourned her woe. faring far in feud of blood: so that many a thane shall think.That was proudest of feasts. who. e'en as terror of woman in war is less. Haste was hers. to the master loyal! Thanes are friendly. [1] They had laid their arms on the benches near where they slept. in his Maker's mercy put his trust for comfort and help: so he conquered the foe. enjoy while thou canst. through swine of the helm.Nor was Beowulf there. [2] Nephew to Hrothgar. the high battle-helmet. hewed the helm-boars. Of wounden gold. turning to the suspect. in battle brave. 'neath heaven's dome. which it were. bucklers bright. her path she took. weaker warriors won the spoil. Dead is Aeschere. Now another comes. she offered. Grendel in grimmest grasp thou killedst. to the realms of death.There woke from him such fate-sent ghosts as Grendel. and held the death-field. felled the fiend. Eormenric's hate: chose help eternal. sword gore-stained. -. Yet a single atheling up she seized fast and firm. after giving of gold. royal. and all the Danish woes. had told the story of the attack on Hnaef. easy to see. which now thou hast. Both she and her lord probably distrust Hrothulf. another house had been held apart. when in she burst. But the man remembered his mighty power. XIX THEN sank they to sleep. on the bench were there over each atheling. the slaying of Hengest. -seeing how long these liegemen mine he ruined and ravaged. in his daring. "My own Hrothulf" will surely not forget these favors and benefits of the past. she would hie afar and save her life when the liegemen saw her. but she bids the king to be of good cheer. whom she killed on his couch. and Hrothgar homeward hasten away. war-wolf horrid. helmet-of-Scyldings:-"Ask not of pleasure! Pain is renewed to Danish folk. at Heorot found a warrior watching and waiting the fray. the swords on the settles. Ingwines' lord. Ne'er heard I so mighty. since Hama bore to his bright-built burg the Brisings' necklace. and. with his hand-companions. thy part in the world. -. and of collars the noblest that ever I knew the earth around. her kin to avenge. these two Danes. the mother of Grendel. and richly thrive! Preserve thy strength. corselet and rings. feud with Frisians. Long-tried king. the hoary hero. with his clansmen. Fairest of gems he bore with him over the beaker-of-waves. the throng obedient. 'Twas seen and told how an avenger survived the fiend. as erst was done. arm-jewels twain. liegemen are revelling: list and obey!" Went then to her place. bale was returned. The livelong time after that grim fight. Grendel's mother. abroad they spread beds and bolsters. Men say to me. they return to Frisia and kill Finn in his home. Thy Heorot purged. hammer-forged. To son of mine be helpful in deed and uphold his joys! Here every earl to the other is true. since Cain cut down with edge of the sword his only brother. a clansman famous. Wealhtheow spake amid warriors. XVIII A CUP she gave him. Hast done such deeds. jewel and gem casket. even as oft as evil threatened their sovran king. dole in the dwellings: 'twas dire exchange where Dane and Geat were doomed to give the lives of loved ones. dangers he sought. and elder cousin to the two young sons of Hrothgar and Wealhtheow. As daylight broke.Jealousy fled he. sovran strong: under shield he died. the corselet of rings. -. till his end drew nigh. but will repay them to the orphaned boy. the hand all had viewed. shoulder-comrade in stress of fight when warriors clashed and we warded our heads. Less grim. he asked if the night had passed in peace to the prince's mind. XX HROTHGAR spake. or harrying. I ween with good he will well requite offspring of ours. mild of mood. There is something finely feminine in this speech of Wealhtheow's. Through the ways of life prosper.They were clansmen good. Hrethric and Hrothmund.

Land-dwellers here[2] and liegemen mine. the ways to scan. For he bore not in mind. and one. and the goodly gifts thou gavest me. though his valor held. greedy and grim. and o'er it the frost-bound forest hanging. for waging this fight. this. with boar-spears well hooked and barbed. to search those depths! Nay. well could it ward the warrior's body that battle should break on his breast in vain nor harm his heart by the hand of a foe. His breastplate broad and bright of hues. mighty Lord. and watched on the water worm-like things. that swords nowise. mere-wife monstrous. and nicors that lay on the ledge of the ness -such as oft essay at hour of morn on the road-of-sails their ruthless quest. by wolf-cliffs haunt they and windy headlands. shadows the wave. On then went the atheling-born o'er stone-cliffs steep and strait defiles. if thou winnest back. to Hygelac send! Geatland's king may ken by the gold. thy woes each one. sea-beasts many tried with fierce tusks to tear his mail. who house by those parts. decked with gold. and swarmed on the stranger. XXI BEOWULF spake. as in days of yore the weapon-smith worked it wondrously. The sovran wise stately rode on. For mighty stroke he swung his blade. with loathsome hand. So lost he his glory. for the man's brave words. and the heavens weep. in water it seemed less doughty in swimming whom death had seized. where flows the stream from mountains gliding to gloom of the rocks. all etched with poison. a few at his side of the wiser men. Soon found the fiend who the flood-domain sword-hungry held these hundred winters. widely seen. earl far-honored. with ancient treasure. nor mourned for his life. as I ween thou wilt. durst not under welter of waters wager his life as loyal liegeman. headlands sheer. so win who may glory ere death! When his days are told. The band sat down. First time. of acute grief. and the warrior seized. The warden of Geats. Himself. place of fear. XXII BEOWULF spake. and mark the trail of the mother of Grendel. on paths of peril prepared to go to folkstead[2] of foes. that war-horn's blast. thou. to this group of my thanes. nor any brood that was born to him of treacherous spirits. that is the warrior's worthiest doom. yet had known of old strife hand to hand. iron was its edge. bairn of Ecgtheow:-"Have mind. this holt should seek. Seek if thou dare! I will reward thee. it was hard beset. and according to Germanic sequence of thought. with bolt from bow. sage! It beseems us better friends to avenge than fruitlessly mourn them. But the warrior found the light-of-battle[1] was loath to bite. and the blow withheld not. These started away. Rise. sea-dragons strange that sounded the deep. brandished in battle. when bottom she touched. Warriors viewed the grisly guest. that speech he had made. hot with blood. Firelight he saw. Not first time this it was destined to do a daring task. Swift on the billows. Then bore this brine-wolf. folk of the land. Grendel in days long gone they named him. long distance driven. And the helmet white that his head protected was destined to dare the deeps of the flood. biding never answer at all: the ocean floods closed o'er the hero.heed my promise! -enfolding of field or forested mountain or floor of the flood." Leaped up the graybeard: God he thanked. should the waters try. of old-time heirlooms easily first. Then the warrior was ware of that wolf-of-the-deep. though the heath-rover. the horn-proud hart. drunk with wine. in man's guise trod the misery-track of exile. Hrethel's son see. But is it possible? Hrothgar leads up to his appeal and promise with a skillful and often effective description of the horrors which surround the monster's home and await the attempt of an avenging foe. 'twas hard to bear. and had helmets cloven. fire on the waters. the bairn of Ecglaf sturdy and strong. So wise lived none of the sons of men. nor through the roof could reach him ever fangs of the flood. the next and only topic is revenge. Untrod is their home. when Aeschere's head they found by the flood on the foreland there. of womankind. And let Unferth wield this wondrous sword. where water never could work him harm. to harm the heart: its hard edge failed the noble at need. this is hardest of heart-bales. [2] The connection is not difficult. Nor was that the meanest of mighty helps which Hrothgar's orator offered at need: "Hrunting" they named the hilted sword." After these words the Weder-Geat lord boldly hastened. he knew not which. The words of mourning. Long while of the day fled ere he felt the floor of the sea. amid its heart went the keen war-shaft. done to death and dragged on the headland. wave-roamer wondrous. the warriors saw. With the other not so. [2] Meeting place. the lord of rings to the lair she haunted whiles vainly he strove. 9 . some man. Now is help once more with thee alone! The land thou knowst not. where thou findest out that sin-flecked being. of men-at-arms she bore the bravest and best one. She grasped out for him with grisly claws. woven by hand. so far as my folk could fairly judge. in father's place! Be guardian. The footprints led along the woodland. underground flood. Foremost he[1] fared. weapon to wield against wondrous monsters that sore beset him. or Death shall take me. for many a hero. march-stalkers mighty the moorland haunting. narrow passes and unknown ways. The hand lies low that once was willing each wish to please. accursed. let her flee where she will! But thou this day endure in patience. though fallen.sorrows in soul for that sharer of rings. dead. now this weapon he lent to a stouter swordsman. No harbor shall hide her -. inexorable here. that some guest from above. sturdily rooted. The Danish men had sorrow of soul. his shield-armed men followed in force. till he found in a flash the forested hill hanging over the hoary rock. harried by dogs. the breastplate hindered. Each of us all must his end abide in the ways of the world. with winding gold. nor blenched it at fight in hero's hand who held it ever. Then girt him Beowulf in martial mail. his dear life first on the brink he yields ere he brave the plunge to hide his head: 'tis no happy place! Thence the welter of waters washes up wan to welkin when winds bestir evil storms. where she passed. Not far is it hence in measure of miles that the mere expands. beams of a blaze that brightly shone. if War should seize me. this heirloom precious. my warrior-friends. was raiding her monster-realm. and air grows dusk. But soon he marked he was now in some hall. and joyed while I could in my jewel-bestower. thou honored offspring of Healfdene gold-friend of men. [1] Hrothgar is probably meant. and for Scyldings all. I have heard relate that such a pair they have sometimes seen. as erst I did. Then sang on her head that seemly blade its war-song wild. doomed men's fighting-gear. yet scathed she not his body hale. By night is a wonder weird to see. and trod the murky moor. one monster. swollen and savage that song to hear. then balked of life. are said. that I got me a friend for goodness famed. a path o'er the plain. but the horn sang oft battle-song bold. now I go on this quest. though. honor of earls. bairn of Ecgtheow: "Sorrow not. could bite that helm. who girded him now for the grim encounter. when he stares at the treasure. -and sea-snakes and monsters. with swine-forms set it. For Hrothgar soon a horse was saddled wave-maned steed. thou wouldst loyal bide to me. through wave-whirl win: 'twas wound with chains. ill for earls. though huger than human bulk. and the haunts of the Nicors. Hrothgar beloved. with battle-blood hardened." [1] He surmises presently where she is. Waves were welling. what once was said: if in thy cause it came that I should lose my life. O realm-warder! Ride we anon. of wave-work. fenways fearful. hard of edge: with Hrunting I seek doom of glory. a woful wood: the waves below were dyed in blood. sovran wise. him who with Hrothgar the homestead ruled. his father they knew not. the linked harness. as she strove to shatter the sark of war. wandering spirits: one of them seemed.

since the world was rid of that grim-souled fiend. [2] This brown of swords. and easily rose the earl erect. Well paid for that the wrathful prince! For now prone he saw Grendel stretched there. Old men together. where was etched the rise of that far-off fight when the floods o'erwhelmed. and every thane of all thy folk both old and young. hoary hero. blood-stained the mere. and so wrathfully smote that it gripped her neck and grasped her hard. and wished. angry and eager.[3] war-blade. old. old. -. The body sprang far when after death it endured the blow. fiercest of fighting-men. in hand was laid. Spent with struggle. and God they thanked. wonder-smiths' work. Their master-of-clan mighty amid them the meadow-ways trod. barring death. sign of glory. in splendor hanging. when of Hrothgar's hearth-companions he slew in slumber.On his shoulder lay braided breast-mail. water 'neath welkin. his deadly foe. laid under a spell of uselessness. By the wall then went he. Soon from the hardy one helmet and armor deftly they doffed: now drowsed the mere. a land-warden old. that in Heorot now safe thou canst sleep with thy soldier band. as. battle-sweat hot. weapon unmatched. Scyldings' lord. [3] The blade slowly dissolves in blood-stained drops like icicles. up-dove through the flood. [2] Hrothgar. save only the head and that hilt withal blazoned with jewels: the blade had melted." Hrunting is bewitched. since four were needed on the shaft-of-slaughter[4] strenuously to bear to the gold-hall Grendel's head. And this is my hest. Swam then to strand the sailors'-refuge. when the blood gushed o'er it. bold and battle-grim. murder-marked. his horrible prey. where the wandering fiend her life-days left and this lapsing world. the thane-band choice of their chieftain blithe. though the weapon is good. hoary-haired. the Geatish war-prince Grendel's mother. wisest Maker. the warrior would not. stumbled the warrior. of fame renowned. a folk estranged from God Eternal: whence guerdon due in that waste of waters the Wielder paid them. they weened. Then blazed forth light. had his armor of war not aided him. wielding all seasons and times: the true God he! Nor took from that dwelling the duke of the Geats precious things. in bygone days. proud of conquest. reckless of life. aught ill for thy earls. Life would have ended for Ecgtheow's son. flung away fretted sword. Firm still stood. along with all other swords. XXIV BEOWULF spake. son of Healfdene. of far times mindful. bright blade. this sea-booty. awhile ago. old-sword of Eotens. featly jewelled. XXIII 'MID the battle-gear saw he a blade triumphant. and as many others outward bore. So on the guard of shining gold in runic staves it was rightly said for whom the serpent-traced sword was wrought. Soon. her blood was so hot.for the gleaming blade that its glory fell. [1] After the killing of the monster and Grendel's decapitation. again.and I fought with that only 'twas more than other men to bandy-of-battle could bear at all -as the giants had wrought it. brandished the sword. no evil fear. in battle-droppings. raging waves. broad and brown-edged. borne aloft. So owned and enjoyed it after downfall of devils. thy fame must fly. Flung then the fierce one. Went then to greet him. -. though a plenty he saw. withstanding entrance of edge or blade. from blood of the fight. far and wide o'er folksteads many. the Danish lord. bright. in sleep devoured. watching the flood. Seized then its chain-hilt the Scyldings' chieftain. So man shall do whenever in war he weens to earn him lasting fame. that she fell to ground. filled with wrath. nor fears for his life! Seized then by shoulder. Forth they fared by the footpaths thence. Firmly thou shalt all maintain. with edge of proof. Now that sword began. Strode then within the sovran thane fearless in fight. sturdy-in-spirit. warriors' heirloom. where the henchmen were drinking. waste of waves. giant-wrought. fell adown. The clashing waters were cleansed now. a monster of marvel: the men looked on. that severed its head. under wide earth for that earl of Geats. on earth it lay steel-edged and stiff. -. evidently meaning burnished. since fate was with me. Love of mine will I assure thee.The wise-one spake. Bloody the blade: he was blithe of his deed. of sea-booty glad. The Lord of Heaven allowed his cause. ready and keen. nor failed in valor. 'Twas bright within as when from the sky there shines unclouded heaven's candle. we've lustily brought thee. felling in fight. Hygelac's kinsman. [4] Spear. Hrothgar to greet. mighty strength with mood of wisdom. but the hilt I brought back from my foes. of burden brave he bore with him. homeward went the gold-friend of men. Not a whit could I with Hrunting do in work of war. shrank not from combat. yet weened not. He wished with speed Grendel to guerdon for grim raids many. Hrothgar spake -. Courageous men carried the head from the cliff by the sea.[2] But the guests sat on. Swift on her part she paid him back with grisly grasp. the foe of God. so scathed had left him Heorot's battle. sick in heart. yet a sword the Sovran of Men vouchsafed me to spy on the wall there. fourteen Geats. and grappled with him. their winsome lord again to see. silent were all:-"Lo. On the hall-guest she hurled herself. fifteen men of the folk of Danes. marching came.[1] that this earl belongs to the better breed! So. and his mother as well. an arduous task for all the band. Lord of Scyldings. battle-net hard. best of all that the oceans bound who have scattered their gold o'er Scandia's isle. and holy God wielded the victory.[1] then. So avenged I their fiendish deeds death-fall of Danes. heedful of high deeds. hent her short sword. hand-gripe of might. and even so my strength had been lost had the Lord not shielded me. The noble Scyldings left the headland. The ninth hour came. as erst thou must!" Then the golden hilt.the hilt he viewed. To many it seemed the wolf-of-the-waves had won his life. come to seek their mighty master. spoiled of life. so poisoned the hell-sprite who perished within there.[2] the bairn to avenge. And next by the hair into hall was borne Grendel's head. thou seest it here. burned was the bright sword. continues to be a favorite adjective in the popular ballads. Soon he was swimming who safe saw in combat downfall of demons. so may he say who sooth and right follows 'mid folk. the angry earl. hardy hero. an awe to clan and queen alike. the firm in fight. O friend my Beowulf. His strength he trusted. merry at heart the highways measured. Not lightly did I with my life escape! In war under water this work I essayed with endless effort. son of Healfdene. his weapon raised high by its hilts the Hygelac-thane. bairn of Ecgtheow:-"Lo. heirloom old. of the hero spake. best of blades. I promised. the race of giants (fearful their fate!). [1] Kenning for "sword. The hall he scanned. well-known roads. her bone-rings breaking: the blade pierced through that fated-one's flesh: to floor she sank. Now it passed into power of the people's king. thou shalt prove a stay 10 . that the tossing waters turbid grew. and the hilt well wound. stared at the surges. as was due and right. for the war he waged on Western-Danes oftener far than an only time. unwinds the wave-bonds. That edge was not useless to the warrior now. with war-blood stained. gigantic. So presently to the palace there foemen fearless. saw the sage companions who waited with Hrothgar. for that gray-haired oft He guides the friendless wight! -. now. from that side again. the house's wardens. -. the sole-born son. to wane: 'twas a wondrous thing that all of it melted as ice is wont when frosty fetters the Father loosens. That war-sword then all burned. that safe and sound they could see him again. sword-stroke savage. spent with war.

that. and uttered his thanks for it. Was not Heremod thus to offspring of Ecgwela. after long evil. shield-fighter sturdy. the latter chance was likely.and life be thine. may well say. we seafarers say our will. -thousands then of thanes I shall bring. from war refrain. delights of power. if hold thou wilt thy kinsman's kingdom! Thy keen mind pleases me the longer the better. his shoulder-comrades. Honor-Scyldings. best of men. for the famed-in-battle. wielding the war-wood to win thy triumph and lending thee might when thou lackest men. -as they that hate thee erewhile have used. Healfdene's son gave treasures twelve. Heaven be thanked. and hear him in hall. long feud with his folk. and in haste return. empire so ample. of wealth and fame. but for grisly slaughter. no worse he knoweth. far-come men. or the eyes' clear beam wax dull and darken: Death even thee in haste shall o'erwhelm. for the band of the hall. but he clung to the 11 . was a banquet dight nobly anew. thine elder and lord. We here have found hosts to our heart: thou hast harbored us well. Then kissed the king of kin renowned. nowise can harm him illness or age. quoth that he counted it keen in battle." To him in the hall. XXVI BEOWULF spake. wielded 'neath welkin. such as once they waged. than I now have done. till age had broken -. the spirit's sentry. Beowulf loved! Thou hast brought it about that both our peoples. bairn of Ecgtheow:-"Lo. heroes to help thee. and far from thence the great-hearted guest would guide his keel.This is a strange role for the raven. -in seat ancestral assigns him bliss. O lord of men. So he waxes in wealth. no evil cares shadow his spirit.[1] Him seems too little what long he possessed. [1] That is. he endured all joyless strain of struggle and stress of woe. Afresh. "war-friend" winsome: with words he slandered not edge of the blade: 'twas a big-hearted man! Now eager for parting and armed at point warriors waited. sudden the shift! To me seated secure came grief for joy when Grendel began to harry my home. Hrothgar spake:-"These words of thine the wisest God sent to thy soul! No sager counsel from so young in years e'er yet have I heard. or bite of blade. and the trust-of-earls bade him fare with the gifts to his folk beloved. and no shelter avails from foul behest of the hellish fiend.Go to the bench now! Be glad at banquet. from human cheer. chieftain haughty. [2] Kenning for the sun. sons of the Geat and Spear-Dane folk. I trow my landfolk towards friend and foe are firmly joined. or fang of spareth no mortal -. and from murderous strife. wrath-swollen." Him then answering. Ban. or odious age. ward of his folk. his breast's wild billows he banned in vain. that end of it this wanter-of-wisdom weeneth none. but he clung to this. and fell on his neck. If thy Hrethric should come to court of Geats. Scyldings' chieftain. Hrothgar's gift they lauded at length. fated falls. no golden rings he gives for his pride. the promised future forgets he and spurns. nor grew for their grace. The swordsmen hastened. grew. such baleful thoughts. -. with eyes may gaze! -. nor recks of his forebear. A far-off land each man should visit who vaunts him brave. Him wander-weary. athelings all were eager homeward forth to fare. shall have mutual peace. -." XXV "UNDER harness his heart then is hit indeed by sharpest shafts. and warded them bravely from mighty-ones many o'er middle-earth. for work of war I am willing still! If it come to me ever across the seas that neighbor foemen annoy and fright thee. by sword-grim battle. and temper thy pride. then. Stately the hall rose gabled and gilt where the guest slept on till a raven black the rapture-of-heaven[2] blithe-heart boded. Lo. that no better hero ever lived than Beowulf. The Night-Helm darkened dusk o'er the drinkers. The doughty atheling to high-seat hastened and Hrothgar greeted. from spear and sword. he might or might not see Beowulf again.his splendid might. -no seemlier man will the Sea-Geats find at all to choose for their chief and king. Fast flowed the tears of the hoary-headed. a hall-thane heralded forth. Of Hygelac I know. who by custom courtly cared for all needs of a thane as in those old days warrior-wanderers wont to have. for doom of death to the Danishmen. aged Scylding. art wise in words! I ween indeed if ever it hap that Hrethel's heir by spear be seized. and the ringed-prow bear o'er rolling waves tokens of love. let heroes with gold each other greet o'er the gannet's-bath. his folk's sure fortress in fee to hold. warrior worthy! A wealth of treasure at dawn of day. its owner awaiting. and the murderer nears. profit eternal. as the Sage commanded. Lord Eternal. as I say. warrior blithe. If ever on earth I am able to win me more of thy love. Wondrous seems how to sons of men Almighty God in the strength of His spirit sendeth wisdom. and eager the Geat. Heavy with winters. glad of his gold-gifts. and uplifted high above all men. He slew. for that loved man burned in his blood. hale to his home. going betimes to seek his future. that choicest thane. stealthily shooting the shafts from his bow! [1] That is. with all God has sent him. he will surely there find his friends. Wonder-Wielder. [1] That is. to the heroes a help. aught anew. and honor they keep in the olden way. Bright came flying shine after shadow. companions at board! So he passed alone. or brandished spear. Then Beowulf strode. Long as I rule this realm so wide. every way blameless. yet blood-fierce his mind. wise from lapsed winters. to folk of thine. The wave-roamer bode riding at anchor. estate. high station: He swayeth all things. the hellish foe. excellent iron. though few his years. he is now undefended by conscience from the temptations (shafts) of the devil. The doughty ones rose: for the hoary-headed would hasten to rest. be dealt between us!" Glad was the Geats' lord. the royal riches. no bracelets gave he to Danes as was due. and the better part choose. as before. while went to his host that Darling of Danes. Beowulf dearest.[1] -that each should look on the other again. He is the warrior's bird of battle. he had chances twain. his joy here is a compliment to the sunrise. the lord of the Geats will give me aid by word and by work. Was this hero so dear to him. his breast-hoard. thou hero of war! So the Ring-Danes these half-years a hundred I ruled.'Twas a lord unpeered. Whiles He letteth right lustily fare the heart of the hero of high-born race. then. for those ruthless raids. and there follows another who joyously the jewels divides. locked in his mind. in far-off years. exults in slaughter and carnage. Old as he was. the sword bade him take. sleep is too fast which masters his might. by illness or iron. for life extended that I on this head all hewn and bloody. Greedy and grim. Though him the Maker with might endowed. till it seemed for me no foe could be found under fold of the sky. that we fain would seek Hygelac now. Bade then the hardy-one Hrunting be brought to the son of Ecglaf. So slumbered the stout-heart. As they hastened onward. the grass-plot o'er. no sword-hate threatens from ever an enemy: all the world wends at his will. for hoard-guard of heroes. or flooding billow. Thou art strong of main and in mind art wary. for sleeping yearned. "whoever has as wide authority as I have and can remember so far back so many instances of heroism. that well I may serve thee. safe in his soul a secret longing. people's leader. unresting I suffered heart-sorrow heavy. a sovran's son. Here find thy lesson! Of virtue advise thee! This verse I have said for thee. till all within him obstinate pride waxes and wakes while the warden slumbers. puts in his power great parts of the earth. let our hoards be common. warrior-guest from far. -. warrior famous! The flower of thy might lasts now a while: but erelong it shall be that sickness or sword thy strength shall minish. Yet in the end it ever comes that the frame of the body fragile yields.

stirred by winds.But I pass from that. grim in war.former. 12 . though winters few in those fortress walls she had found a home. where since she prospered. Haereth's daughter. Haughty that house. and carries the jewel[4] that rightfully ought to be owned by thee!_ Thus he urges and eggs him all the time with keenest words. Nor humble her ways. bonds of death! And brief the respite. the flood-timbers moaned. shelter-of-heroes.[3] -. passed through the hall. room for the rovers was readily made. I sore mistrusted my loved one's venture: long I begged thee by no means to seek that slaughtering monster. home-known headlands. Promised is she. in his wide-known woes? With waves of care my sad heart seethed. lest ocean-billows that trusty timber should tear away. winsome to warriors. after havoc of heroes. heavy at heart. -. Thryth. and saying in full how the fight resulted. With haste in the hall. They strode along with sturdy steps to the spot they knew where the battle-king young. Heathobard's treasure. [2] Queen to Hygelac. that meeting of ours. He first was slain. those hardy Scyldings? Now. where Healfdene's kinsman high-renowned. soon as they seized him. the earl's return. onslaughts of evil. and Offa's hall o'er the fallow flood at her father's bidding safely sought. folk-queen famed. the shield-companion sound and alive. over the ale. cheered the young clansmen. weapons that once they wielded fair until they lost at the linden-play[2] liegeman leal and their lives as well. From the height of the hill no hostile words reached the guests as he rode to greet them. but "Welcome!" he called to that Weder clan as the sheen-mailed spoilers to ship marched on. by highest order. turning to Grendel. the ale-cup tendered. my kinsman Beowulf. And thus be broken on both their sides oaths of the earls. His kindly lord he first had greeted in gracious form. The liegemen were lusty. his fall there was fated. paces this hall. Hygelac Lord. gold-decked bride. on the strand updrove. and the burnished blade a baleful murder proclaimed and closed. sun shone from south. [1] With the speed of the boat. after bite of brand in his blood must slumber. the honored chief. though the bride be fair![1] "Nor haply will like it the Heathobard lord. on the mead-bench since he was better esteemed. high the hall. when Ingeld's breast wells with war-hate. help of heroes. kinsman by kinsman. Then on the strand. High the boat. sandy strand of the sea to tread and widespread ways. struggle grim between Grendel and me. and Hygd[2] right young. but suffer the South-Danes to settle their feud themselves with Grendel. from the longest-lived of the loathsome race in fleshly fold! -. ken that sword which to the fray thy father carried in his final feud. -she whom I heard these hall-companions Freawaru name. that blade possessing. that the weaver-of-peace[3] from warrior dear by wrath and lying his life should reave! But Hemming's kinsman hindered this. ere she sought her seat. henchmen with him. These all I avenged. A sea-cloth was set. Was none so daring that durst make bold (save her lord alone) of the liegemen dear that lady full in the face to look. 'neath the fighting-mask. for his father's deed. The warden marked. with steeds and treasure and armor their roomy and ring-dight ship was heavily laden: high its mast rose over Hrothgar's hoarded gems. hand-fray of heroes. foam-necked it floated forth o'er the waves. heirloom old. losing his life. and Daneland left. and as little each of his liegemen all. The world's great candle. for the land he kens. on our mighty kinsman. of the sons of earth. nor grudged she gifts to the Geatish men. for that uproar at dawn. gold and jewels. or that fell deceit. dearest of blades. No boast can be from breed of Grendel. atheling haughty. of all heroes I heard of ever from sea to sea. [3] Kenning for "wife. a hero the king. himself and clan. combat in Heorot? Hrothgar couldst thou aid at all. in that doughty throng. come safe from battle. on this heirloom gazing. Sage this seems to the Scylding's-friend. -that there in the court the clansmen's refuge. when fretted gold she proffered the warriors. his sword-doom was spoken. people's peace-bringer. and wife-love now after the care-billows cooler grows. came through the high hall Haereth's daughter. rich in goods. -For over their ale men also told that of these folk-horrors fewer she wrought. when the Danish slew him and wielded the war-place on Withergild's fall. comrade. to seek us out where safe and sound we sentried the hall. but that liegeman flies living away. Then Beowulf bade them bear the treasure. of precious treasure. Hence Offa was praised for his fighting and feeing by far-off men. though peerless she. woven war-sarks. Hygelac Hrethling: at home he dwelt by the sea-wall close. does the murder-spear sink but briefest the hero young tests the temper and tries the soul and war-hate wakens. a sail with ropes. wisely he ruled over his empire. any on earth. shared the rings. girded warrior. to the brave young prince. mounted with gold. the spear-bold warrior. proud of his treasure. my life-days never such merry men over mead in hall have I heard under heaven! The high-born queen. Grandson of Garmund. royal. sore longing to know what manner of sojourn the Sea-Geats made. night-foe savage. till they got them sight of the Geatish cliffs. By his sovran he sat. hale from the hero-play homeward strode. but forged fetters he found his lot. with words like these:-_Canst thou not. just as Beowulf was praised by contrast with Heremod. they drove through the deep. his burg within. -. after she went. kingdom's-keeper: he counts it wise the woman to wed so and ward off feud. till occasion offers that Freawaru's thane. wise and wary. which we fought on the field where full too many sorrows he wrought for the Scylding-Victors. and leal in love to the lord of warriors. some ash-wielder old who has all in mind that spear-death of men. The craft sped on. gold-decked maid. who long already for loved companions by the water had waited and watched afar. their harness bearing. The mead dispensing. firm to the mast." XXVII CAME now to ocean the ever-courageous hardy henchmen.[1] nor did wind over billows that wave-swimmer blow across from her course. Hemming's kinsman. slayer of Ongentheow. He. to earls in turn. Grendel on him turned murderous mouth. Eomer woke to him. or their during love and pact of peace. But seldom ever when men are slain. A sword to the boat-guard Beowulf gave. When heaven's jewel had fled o'er far fields. Then. keel firm-bound over briny currents. trusty as ever. He bound to the beach the broad-bosomed ship with anchor-bands. clasps of gold. no journey far was it thence to go to the giver of rings. throned.he is stern of mood. that fierce sprite came. to the glad son of Froda. To Hondscio then was that harassing deadly. soon as my purpose was plain to him. "So[5] I hold not high the Heathobards' faith due to the Danes." XXVIII HASTENED the hardy one. To Hygelac Beowulf's coming was quickly told. She is praised by contrast with the antitype.But first I went Hrothgar to greet in the hall of gifts. joys in the killing. O giver-of-treasure. and on him the old-time heirlooms glisten hard and ring-decked. "What came of thy quest. the bairn of Ecgtheow:-"'Tis known and unhidden. Hygelac then his comrade fairly with question plied in the lofty hall. hoping to see his young friend again "and exchange brave words in the hall. evils unending. store of slaughter. the son of a certain slaughtering Dane. Oft to the heroes Hrothgar's daughter. fain of the fair life fate had sent her. wine-cup bore to the hands of the heroes. -. most excellent seemed. assigned me a seat by his son and heir. Now God be thanked that safe and sound I can see thee now!" Beowulf spake. to many men. to sundry gave. Helpful at haven the harbor-guard stood. Not Thryth's pride showed she. with manly words.Their ocean-keel boarding. goes with the lady along their hall. No queenly way for woman to practise. when thy yearnings suddenly swept thee yonder battle to seek o'er the briny sea. when a thane of the Danes.

the necklace to Hygd he presented. empty-handed. The subsequent course of events. his harness of battle. and his hest he added. wood-of-delight. Yet none the earlier. hardy chieftain. and worthless by Geatish warriors held. [4] The sword. A strait path reached it. He might not so. for strength of old struggles. -. thee!" Then he bade them bear him the boar-head standard. once near neigh. and breastplate gray. stole with it away. and a little space his life preserved. with greedy hand grasped me. warding his land. he made me gifts. my prince. by thievish wiles: for the warden's wrath prince and people must pay betimes! [1] Hygelac.[2] with house and high-seat. From Aeschere old. last of 13 . His nephew was ever by hardy Hygelac held full dear. my prince. on balefire lay the man they mourned. Things might well go somewhat as follows. Anon full ready in greed of vengeance. that I wanted for nought in the wage I gained. and he ruled it well fifty winters. [3] That is.D.and all of the brave man's body devoured. their disastrous battle and the slaying of their king.'tis widely known -that sea-floor-guardian savage found. told of the times of yore. or for years of his youth he would yearn at times. Few indeed have I of kinsmen. in arms o'erwhelming Hereric's nephew. each like the others. Thus showed his strain the son of Ecgtheow as a man remarked for mighty deeds and acts of honor. life was gone." [3] On the historical raid into Frankish territory between 512 and 520 A. though not without danger. [1] Beowulf gives his uncle the king not mere gossip of his journey.[3] and Heardred. he wailed their flight. by hewing of swords under the shield-wall slaughtered lay. Dead was her son through war-hate of Weders. to her new home when she is Ingeld's queen. in the stone-barrow steep. mindful of bale. This son is selected to accompany his mistress. An old warrior points it out to Ingeld. I heard. save. woman monstrous with fury fell a foeman she slew. [6] Not an actual glove. My doom was not yet. which Wealhtheow gave him sovran's daughter: three steeds he added. the young princess Freawaru. foretells trouble. as scholars have worked it out. [4] The chronology of this epic. too. escapes. on general principles and from his observation of the particular case. their death-done comrade burn with brands. Long was he spurned. by devilish craft. much tested. [5] The text is here hopelessly illegible. hoary hero: his heart surged full when. but payment came. and had fallen in fight with the Danes. of dragon-skins. came by chance that cave within to the heathen hoard. an innocent man. though of sons of earth his strength was greatest. though "the size of the acre varied. now stricken with age. the splendid sword. Thy grace alone can find me favor. inheritance. to the warrior honored. Hygelac. XXXI "So held this king to the customs old. gave. A glove hung by him[6] wide and wondrous. we have the old myth of a dragon who guards hidden treasure. wound with bands. Slack and shiftless the strong men deemed him. So should kinsmen be. -Then the bulwark-of-earls[1] bade bring within. leaving them to a son. But with this runs the story of some noble. now. -A while it was held by Heorogar king. gladly give them. Heatho-Scilfings. But the fifty years of his reign need not be taken as historical fact. gave me in guerdon great gifts of price. -. for long time lord of the land of Scyldings. the wide-hearted king.and gained my life. home: but higher the king because of his rule o'er the realm itself. or said aright legends of wonder. Under mountain stream she had carried the corpse with cruel hands. when I all angrily upright stood. battle. the meed of my might. avenged her offspring. or with deep-hid treachery death contrive for neighbor and comrade. and only the general drift of the meaning can be rescued. not weave one another the net of wiles. and of hides assigned him seven thousand. wonder-wrought treasure. until One began in the dark of night. a Dragon. but the murderer. The brand he laid in Beowulf's lap. is partly told in Scandinavian legend. would make Beowulf well over ninety years of age when he fights the dragon. when morning broke. and knowing the land. Since such gift the gem gleamed bright on the breast of the queen. Whiles the hero his harp bestirred. a glorious gift that God had sent the splendid leader. and takes his sword and armor. him at mead the master-of-clans failed full oft to favor at all. 'Twere long to relate how that land-destroyer I paid in kind for his cruel deeds. They held in common land alike by their line of birth. heartsick thence on the floor of the ocean that outcast fell. sketches a little tragic story. yet there. For Hrothgar that was the heaviest sorrow of all that had laden the lord of his folk. But Beowulf. nor gave he it back. Now to thee. [2] This is generally assumed to mean hides. He fled away." A hide in England meant about 120 acres. Then Beowulf came as king this broad realm to wield. that Hygelac perished. yet not to his son the sovran left it. profitless prince. Talk of interpolation here is absurd. as gathered from hints of this epic. for my own disposal. by thy life. Healfdene's son. As both Beowulf and Hygelac know. Hand-to-hand there a while we struggled.[4] a wise old prince. now lays he chanted of sooth and sadness. I proffer them all. Grendel's mother set forth all doleful.dear as he was to him. unknown to mortals. In the grave on the hill a hoard it guarded. but a sort of bag. and each kept watch o'er the other's weal. with harryings horrid. billows welled blood. Hrothgar.bors of Angle and Saxon tribes on the continent). would the bloody-toothed murderer. though the text simply says "seven thousand. to rage. Thus in the hall the whole of that day at ease we feasted. and in artful wise it all was wrought.Well hold thou it all!" And I heard that soon passed o'er the path of this treasure. [5] Beowulf returns to his forecast.Froda was king of the Heathobards (probably the Langobards. Heedlessly he wears the sword of Froda in hall. Hrethel's heirloom garnished with gold: no Geat e'er knew in shape of a sword a statelier prize. afraid of results. loyal councillor. besought me (sad was his soul) in the sea-waves' coil to play the hero and hazard my being for glory of prowess: my guerdon he pledged. For one thing. in the briny hall her head I hewed with a hardy blade from Grendel's mother. Hrothgar will set aside this feud by giving his daughter as "peace-weaver" and wife to the young king Ingeld. till fell o'er earth another night. At his instigation the Dane is killed. nor cruel his mood. then spake in form:-"Me this war-gear the wise old prince. The gray-haired Scylding. those Danish people. while the watcher slept. The leader then. Me therein.[5] In hand he took a golden goblet. Now further it fell with the flight of years. Then the haven-of-heroes. outward go from the gold-decked hall: but me he attacked in his terror of might. all apple-fallow. Me for this struggle the Scyldings'-friend paid in plenty with plates of gold. he says. that its story be straightway said to thee. arms and horses he gave to the king. Some man. -. [2] Play of shields. with many a treasure. wise with winters. however. At ale he slew not comrade or kin. nor might they e'en. Healfdene's heir. Then was song and glee. the battle-helm high. when morn had come and we all at the banquet-board sat down. slender and saddle-gay. --and the folk for whom the Beowulf was put together also knew. A Danish warrior cuts down Froda in the fight. -. when him at the van of his victor-folk sought hardy heroes. too. and eggs him on to vengeance. son of the slain Froda. four good steeds. but there staid behind him his stronger hand left in Heorot. So the old feud must break out again. and with this prophecy by illustration returns to the tale of his adventure. to daring Heoroweard. the fiendish foe was fain to thrust with many another. I then in the waters -. for all his woes. this people of thine got fame by my fighting. but a statesmanlike forecast of the outcome of certain policies at the Danish court.

reckoning naught the strength of her son to save their kingdom from hostile hordes. but the son of Ongentheow sought again house and home when Heardred fell.. to strand and sea-waves stood anear. The sage assumed that his sovran God he had angered. The blaze stood high all landsfolk frighting. conqueror proud. since heroes may not. and terror seized him. to its hoard it hastened at hint of dawn. and while the dragon sleeps. the blade's fell blow. new woe was kindled.[1] his days on earth. left the last of his lofty race. O'er the stone he snuffed. Folk of the land it had lapped in flame. and the stronghold all washed by waves. haughty hero.Wandering exiles sought him o'er seas. no glee-wood's gladness! No good hawk now flies through the hall! Nor horses fleet stamp in the burgstead! Battle and death the flower of my race have reft away. nor was any there. His breast within with black thoughts welled. The folk's own fastness that fiery dragon with flame had destroyed. or to cleanse the carven cup of price. Thence Beowulf fled through strength of himself and his swimming power. -. leaving Beowulf lord of Geats and gift-seat's master. By its wall no more was it glad to bide. but the warlike king. The stark-heart found footprint of foe who so far had gone in his hidden craft by the creature's head. a sinful man. desperate. his one delight. None have I left to lift the sword. seeking his land. he wielded the Weder-Geats. at side of hero! No harp's delight. till. when the ruler of Geats in rush of battle. its vigor and valor: ventures desperate he had passed a-plenty. and took part in repelling the raid of (Hygelac) Chocilaicus. In its barrow it trusted. though long it had watched o'er the wealth of the hoard! -Shame he reckoned it. seeking shelter. and his ruler saw first time what was fashioned in far-off days. and he alone left to live. His hoard-of-bliss that old ill-doer open found. sword-death came. weapons and warriors: well repaid he those care-paths cold when the king he slew. and embittered the Lord. A condemned or banished man. son of Ongentheow. The barrow. its battling and bulwarks: that boast was vain! To Beowulf then the bale was told quickly and truly: the king's own home. to bairn of Hygelac. many-wintered: nor wins he thereby! Powerful this plague-of-the-people thus held the house of the hoard in earth three hundred winters. alone. who carried against him shields to the fight: but few escaped from strife with the hero to seek their homes! Then swam over ocean Ecgtheow's son lonely and sorrowful. Warriors'-bulwark. new-ready. To hidden lair. and soon it came. a broad-flung band. beaker bright. older grown. Hrothgar's hall he had wholly purged. and forces sent over the sea to the son of Ohtere. the last of the clan. makes off with a golden beaker or the like. His boon was granted that wretched man. discovers the treasure. the earth below. none in the waste. was eager for battle. -So may the undoomed easily flee evils and exile. sharer-of-rings. and bright homes burned. After his death the dragon takes possession of the hoard and watches over it.[1] 14 . and perils of war. borne off was booty. who pursues his two nephews Eanmund and Eadgils to Heardred's court. erst from thee brave men brought it! But battle-death seized and cruel killing my clansmen all. dearest treasure. he bade them work all of iron -. boiling with wrath was the barrow's keeper. since. and to Eadgils he proved friend to the friendless. some prince's thane. When the dragon awoke. The guardian waited ill-enduring till evening came. Yet war he desired. who had spurned the sway of the Scylfings'-helmet.A good king he! [1] Literally "loan-days. He fled in fear the fatal scourge. yet the wretched fugitive rallied anon from fright and fear ere he fled away. the bravest and best that broke the rings. Of such besides there was store enough.Now day was fled as the worm had wished." days loaned to man. as the grim destroyer those Geatish people hated and hounded. with bale and brand. So the barrow was plundered. shall part from its plating. where Hygd made him offer of hoard and realm. and fain with flame the foe to pay for the dear cup's loss. For death of yore had hurried all hence. for them all. if only he gain the grace of The Wielder! -.. hides in the barrow. yet wished to bide warding the treasure. of buildings the best. My brave are gone. nor the battle feared he.That warden of gold o'er the ground went seeking. and discovered soon that some one of mortals had searched his treasure. and his arms were laden with thirty coats of mail.Atheling brave. and the king implored for bond of peace. till One aroused wrath in his breast. to a dreadful end. hard by the headland. and carries it for propitiation to his master. XXXII THAT way he went with no will of his own. robbed them of life and a liegeman's joys. [3] Onela. rings and royal-seat. the sons of Ohtere. and in grapple had killed the kin of Grendel. in ancient years. to the ruler bearing that costly cup. till death's fell wave o'erwhelmed his heart. greedy to find the man who wrought him such wrong in sleep. The barrow he entered. which some earl forgotten. who. [2] Chattuarii. nor deemed he dreadful the dragon's warring. sought the cup. there laid within it his lordly heirlooms and heaped hoard of heavy gold that warden of rings. prince of the Weders. Savage and burning. Polishers sleep who could brighten and burnish the battlemask. by sword-draughts died. and the dragon with him. breaking ancient law. its fiendish fury far and near. weeping his friends. but burning flew folded in flame: a fearful beginning for sons of the soil. to follow the flyer-afar with a host. thus he moaned his woe. naked foe-dragon flying by night folded in fire: the folk of earth dread him sore. and unblithe wept by day and by night. -. what earls have owned! Lo. -. earth. loathsome breed! Not least was that of hand-to-hand fights where Hygelac fell. blazing at twilight the barrows haunteth.[3] Hence Heardred's end. though brief his respite. after Hygelac's death.. The ringed mail fares not far with famous chieftain. XXXIV THE fall of his lord he was fain to requite in after days. -. a tribe that dwelt along the Rhine. The dragon discovers the loss and exacts fearful penalty from the people round about. in Swedish land. in danger of life. his lordly gold. XXXIII THEN the baleful fiend its fire belched out. the barrow he circled all without. and those weeds of war that were wont to brave over bicker of shields the bite of steel rust with their bearer.the earl's commander -a war-shield wondrous: well he knew that forest-wood against fire were worthless. plotted vengeance. lord of his folk. and took the cup from that treasure-hoard. that gift-throne of Geats. as his wont was never. For shelter he gave them. aided in honor. son of Hrethel. of the sea-kings' line. who hides all his wealth within this barrow and there chants his farewell to life's glories. heirlooms old. though alone. where they have taken refuge after their un-successful rebellion. No living thing would that loathly one leave as aloft it flew." Mournful of mood. 'twas heaviest sorrow. in brand-waves melted. by brands down-beaten. And the helmet hard. but for pressure of peril. Wide was the dragon's warring seen. contest-crash. to the dragon's hoard. At the awful sight tottered that guest. Few words he spake: "Now hold thou.his race. To the good old man sad in heart. No sooner for this could the stricken ones in any wise move that atheling's mind over young Heardred's head as lord and ruler of all the realm to be: yet the hero upheld him with helpful words. 'Tis his doom to seek hoard in the graves. in the Frisian land. and entered in. hidden and closed. when he came to the sea! Nor yet might Hetwaras[2] haughtily boast their craft of contest. linden could aid not. in the doom of their lord. In the fighting Heardred is killed. heedfully there had hidden away. he was fated to finish this fleeting life. all haughty with gold. and heathen gold to watch.

so I bring with me breastplate and board. to seize his soul-hoard. slain by my hand. disabled man! Still is he minded. and bit more feebly than its noble master had need of then in his baleful stress. with such enemy. stayed by the strength of his single manhood. while I lived there. Stoutly stood with his shield high-raised the warrior king. but his bones were broken by brawny gripe. a stream that broke from the barrow. could his will have wielded the welcome respite but once in his life! But Wyrd denied it. lord of the Geats. by unmeet chance. All gloomy his soul. Its edge was turned brown blade. nor e'en could he harass that hero at all with loathing deed. nor flinched from the deathblow. comrades of war: "I should carry no weapon. spire by spire. My mood is bold but forbears to boast o'er this battling-flyer.[3] another he hopes not he will bide to see his burg within as ward for his wealth. with food and fee. for woful war ('tis widely known). The brooklet's wave was hot with fire. stern went ringing and clear his cry 'neath the cliff-rocks gray. and held me. flood of ocean. in the courts no wassail. his rage was enkindled. which of us twain better from battle-rush bear his wounds. else my vows I could gain as I did in Grendel's day. had me. as Wyrd allots. With comrades eleven the lord of Geats swollen in rage went seeking the dragon. warrior trusty. He had heard whence all the harm arose and the killing of clansmen. the hero. though fierce their mood. that cup of price on the lap of the lord had been laid by the finder. No respite now for pact of peace! The poison-breath of that foul worm first came forth from the cave.[2] and a fearful sin. Lands and cities he left his sons (as the wealthy do) when he went from earth. from my father took me. and a battle-vow made his last of all: "I have lived through many wars in my youth. No way could he take to avenge on the slayer slaughter so foul. 15 . Stout by the stone-way his shield he raised. no sword to the serpent. nor meet for any but me alone to measure might with this monster here and play the hero. though he loved him not. missed the mark and his mate shot down. bairn in the burg. -. the bairn of Ecgtheow:-"Through store of struggles I strove in youth. a jealous warden.His arm he lifted lord of the Geats. from one son for the killing of the other. who is slain by Eadgils in revenge for the "care-paths" of exile into which Onela forced him. the grim foe smote with atheling's heirloom. Now. nor brooked o'er the seas pact of peace. faithful in kinship. The hoard-guard heard a human voice. Then let from his breast.[1] with clash of sword. Not light the task of entrance for any of earth-born men! Sat on the headland the hero king. The rider sleepeth. Within 'twas full of wire-gold and jewels. an arch of stone. your king and lord!" Up stood then with shield the sturdy champion. hard blade and my hand. one brother the other. Not long would be the warrior's spirit enwound with flesh. And so for the sorrow his soul endured. for the last time greeting his liegemen dear. There was strife and struggle 'twixt Swede and Geat o'er the width of waters. Wyrd full nigh stood ready to greet the gray-haired man. by kinsman's deed. not dull of edge. He had no need from Swedish realm. Men of my folk for that feud had vengeance. the treasures held."For all that he[2] gave me. as morning breaks. Too large all seems. -. Beowulf spake. or war shall seize. wide drove and far those vicious fires. cruel killing. though one of them bought it with blood of his heart. was the murderer killed by kinsman for kinsman. wine-hall waste and wind-swept chambers reft of revel. a bargain hard: for Haethcyn proved fatal that fray. when Hrethel died. if sure I knew how. Wait ye the finish.Thus safe through struggles the son of Ecgtheow had passed a plenty. homestead and house. and so shall I fight while I bide in life and this blade shall last that early and late hath loyal proved since for my doughtiness Daeghrefn fell. mighty feuds. hard battle-horror. or from Spear-Dane folk. with daring deeds. Nor fared he thence to the Frisian king with the booty back. while with courage keen that coiled foe came seeking strife. sorrow-song for his son there hanging as rapture of ravens. hoary Scylfing. war arose. men's gladness he gave up and God's light chose. feud will I seek. Not with blade was he slain. unavenged must the atheling die! Too awful it is for an aged man to bide and bear. hot reek-of-fight: the rocks resounded. The shield protected. when Ongentheow met Eofor there. The fight is not yours. I mind them all. survivor of many a victory-field where foemen fought with furious clashings. for he burst with rage.such power I wielded. but pushed their hosts to harass in hatred by Hreosnabeorh.Then the barrow's keeper waxed full wild for that weighty blow. far-hidden. stormed the stark-heart. through perils dire. Hrethel the king. to get him help. as the worm now coiled together amain: the mailed-one waited. now the one has found doom of death that the deed incurred. naked in battle. yet. till this day was come that doomed him now with the dragon to strive. In the throng was this one thirteenth man. for the hoard shall strive. and breast-adornments. heirloom old. the barrow delved near billowy surges. care-laden captive. when Haethcyn killed him with horny bow. lurked in his lair. the Hugas' champion. for the first-of-Geats. his own dear liege laid low with an arrow.[3] From the barrow's keeper no footbreadth flee I. on the bone. death-bound. For the eldest of these. the hand that smote him of feud was mindful. -. One fight shall end our war by the wall. cringing thence forced and reluctant. -. than his birthright sons. slain in struggle. The hoard that way he never could hope unharmed to near. and hardy 'neath helmet his harness bore under cleft of the cliffs: no coward's path! Soon spied by the wall that warrior chief. sunder apart life and body. I heard. ye heroes in harness. as once was heard. and each of the two felt fear of his foe. ye breastplate-mailed. [2] That is. Ne'er. the Weder-Geat prince a word outgo. he loathlier found me. Beowulf supports Eadgils against Onela. starter of all the strife and ill. of the heir gone elsewhere. against the loathed-one. and within. soul and body a shorter while for the hero-king than his heart desired. no rescue now can come from the old. fast sped and glided that blazing serpent. [1] That is. A rime he makes.[4] no harp resounds. that standard-bearer fell. his heart-waves stilled. -.The sword-edge now. I was seven years old when the sovran of rings. he led them on till he came in ken of that cavern-hall." Beowulf spake. cast deadly flames. -some warrior worse for wage to buy! Ever I fought in the front of all. But fire in this fight I must fear me now. the king could claim no wergild. if the dark destroyer forth from his cavern come to fight me!" Then hailed he the helmeted heroes all. and poisonous breath. spake words of hail to his hearth-companions. his brand had failed. -. wavering. atheling brave. So the helmet-of-Weders hid in his heart for Herebeald waves of woe. horror to Hrethel. A feeless fight. At morn.[4] for the dragon's flame. homestead and house. or from men of the Gifths. or endure those deeps. Wide split the war-helm: wan he fell. now once again. that his bairn so young rides on the gallows. No victor's glory the Geats' lord boasted. bold. but. gold-friend of Geats. my gleaming sword repaid him at war. a grief-song chants alone for his lost. do doughty deeds. The sturdy king had drawn his sword. -for lordly treasure: with land he entrusted me. with bloody shaft. and victory's honors.Now abide by the barrow. and Ongentheow's offspring grew strife-keen. [3] Usual euphemism for death. was the death-bed strewn. friend-of-his-folk. Forlorn he looks on the lodge of his son. sole to the fore. Hardily I shall win that wealth. Herebeald and Haethcyn and Hygelac mine. all mankind's master. old folk-defender. [4] Sc. as never it should. in the grave. XXXV "THEN he goes to his chamber. hard as it was. or man-price.

nor falsely swore ever on oath. A little lower the loathsome beast he smote with sword. the old sword he drew: -chieftain. fared aged forth. battle-grim. golden store. 'Twas granted him not that ever the edge of iron at all could help him at strife: too strong was his hand. And fare in haste. its bitter teeth closed on his neck. is that the latter has just struck our leader hoped unhelped and alone Wulf down. and brief words spake:-who was slain by the sword-edge. Haethcyn. fain am I! From the Ruler-of-Man no wrath shall seize me.excellent iron! -. their lives to save. erst in fray as in youthful days of yore thou vowedst killed by Weohstan. and he tried too far with strength of stroke all swords he wielded. thy glory droop! Now. which that dragon-of-earth had erst inflicted. swords. craft and keenness and courage enduring. Weohstan's son. Onela's gift. then sat. Wiglaf loved. to the wall of rock. homeward hence. armed stood with warlike front: to the woods they bent them. For the first time now with his leader-lord the liegeman young was bidden to share the shock of battle. now the worm lies low. son of Ohtere. as must all men. of his spoil bereaved. feuds I sought not. with fire-billows flaming. "Beowulf dearest. old and gray.Not long it was ere those champions grimly closed again." had been felled. athelings twain: thus an earl should be in danger's day! -. since his own was now all burned by the blaze. his steel drove in bright and burnished. Neither softened his soul. [4] Wiglaf's wooden shield. For winters this war-gear Weohstan kept. I would fain behold the gorgeous heirlooms. of warriors stout. Yet quickly under his kinsman's shield went eager the earl. and all had fled of his file of days. portion huge. XXXVII 'TWAS now. but the king. felled the foe. Heedless of harm. the lord of Scylfings. mid Geats. out of Geatish warriors woe endured wealthy seat of the Waegmunding line.Of deeds of valor this conqueror's-hour of the king was last. war-knife drew. that blaze began to lose and lessen. -blow nerved by hate. wise old sword of Eotens. though this hero-work Ongentheow. to fell the foe and defend the life Aelfhere's kinsman. hardy-hearted. Then for the third time thought on its feud that folk-destroyer. for daring deeds! Now the day is come [2] Hygelac. for us both shall serve!" Not long he lingered. the feud was unfelt by Onela. so the tale is told. No folk-king was there. its foes to seek. when mead we took. The hoard-guard was heartened. and stared at the structure of giants. His king he now saw of the Weders' lord. sons of athelings." -.[2] So the worm found out when once in fight the foes had met! Wiglaf spake. for against his will he must win a home elsewhere far. See the detailed who hath got him glory greater than all men description below. till his bairn had grown the hated men. based partly on the idea of loyalty and partly on the practical basis of benefits received and repaid. [3] Sc. -. and the breastplate failed to shelter at all the spear-thane young. a biting blade by his breastplate hanging. high heaved his breast once more. for killing of kinsmen! Now quickly go and gaze on that hoard 'neath the hoary rock. that our noble master has need of the might [3] Shield.The immediate provocation because he counted us keen with the spear for Eofor in killing "the hoary Scylfing. At home I bided what fate might come. what promise we made to this prince of ours in the banquet-hall. he seized. breastplate and board. and gave these treasures. The bold king again had mind of his glory: with might his glaive was driven into the dragon's head. he said to his comrades:-"I remember the time. In heat-waves burned earlship to earn as the old sire did: that board[4] to the boss. baleful and deep. were given me now that any heir should after me come of my proper blood. The linden yellow. friendless exile. with all thy strength battle-gear brave: though a brother's child shield thy life! I will stand to help thee.folk-defender avenged by the blow. Beowulf spake in spite of his hurt. though fatally wounded.a common figure of incomplete comparison. wise in his thought. where arch of stone and steadfast column upheld forever that hall in earth. breastplate ringed. with struggle spent. urged us to glory. to swell and smart. Let us stride along [4] The hollow passage. when life from my frame must flee away. atheling steadfast. [2] Both Wiglaf and the sword did their duty. So had they killed it. Yet here must the hand of the henchman peerless lave with water his winsome lord. and the Weders'-helm smote that worm asunder. his mortal wound. none at all. weeds of war of the warrior-thane. broken in battle was Beowulf's sword. The prince walked on. of his work in the world. do all bravely. and unspan his helmet. save here we essay linden-thane loved. [5] Gering would translate "kinsman of the nail. in his sovran's need that the earl made known his noble strain. The wound began. for hard-sword and helmet. the folk-commander! Nor yet about him his band of comrades. the slaying of the former by Weohstan is not felt as cause of feud. This people I ruled fifty winters. For all these things. of the neighboring clans who war would wage me with 'warriors'-friends'[1] and threat me with horrors. nor the sire's bequest weakened in war. and rushed on the hero. great in deeds. though his hand was burned.The following is one of the classic passages for illustrating the comitatus as the most conspicuous Germanic institution. Through slaughter-reek strode he to succor his his shield. flung forth its life. and covered him with waves of blood from his breast that welled. and soon he found in his breast was boiling. At last the king wielded his wits again. But Naegling[5] was shivered. leaving this lapsing life! -. I wot 'twere shame with heat under helmet hard oppressed. for gear of combat to give him requital. -. [1] murderous monster mad with rage. pain of poison. the hero to help while the heat is about him glowing and grim! For God is my witness I am far more fain the fire should seize XXXVI along with my lord these limbs of mine![3] Unsuiting it seems our shields to bear WIGLAF his name was. fire-dread dragon. and by peril was pressed again. Kinship true can never be marred in a noble mind! then he gave him. and I cared for mine own. and death was near: "I would fain bestow on son of mine this gear of war. full well he knew his portion now was past and gone of earthly bliss. and is rewarded by gift of the slain man's weapons." as both are made of iron. on the law of our land if alone the king He minded the prizes his prince had given him. have joy in the jewels and gems.'Twas no easy path that Ecgtheow's honored heir must tread over the plain to the place of the foe. kinsmen both. At the words the worm came once again. men say. "than to bide safely here. and its underlying sense of duty. to our breaker-of-rings. But the soul of one with care was cumbered. lay down softlier for sight of this splendid hoard my life and the lordship I long have held. where room allowed. sad in spirit. the king and conqueror covered with blood. although Eanmund was brother's son to Onela. the gear of battle. burning. though sturdy their steel: they steaded him nought. -.and his words were sage. XXXVIII 16 ." [1] That is. and folk-rights that his father owned breastplate and board. heart-sore. who won for his kin that while life should last thou wouldst let no brown-bright helmet. is also to finish for us. [1] Eofor for Wulf. his battle-helm bore. he helped his kinsman. -. and sank in the struggle! My sword and helmet. enfolded in flames. sleeps. when he passed from life. as heirloom of Eanmund earth-dwellers knew it. [1] That is. if hap should bring stress of this sort! Himself who chose us from all his army to aid him now." and hardy 'neath helm.

some should go to the gallows-tree for rapture of ravens. lay felled in fight. No vestige now was seen of the serpent: the sword had ta'en him.Such wealth of gold. I heard. Soon the sage old sire[5] of Ohtere. -threw away and wasted these weeds of battle. could the writhing monster rule it more. But rescue came with dawn of day for those desperate men when they heard the horn of Hygelac sound. -"Now the willing-giver to Weder folk in death-bed lies. and his spouse redeemed. [2] Trying to revive him. its hoard all near. to the land of doom. armor of fight. 'Twill shine by the shore of the flood.I HAVE heard that swiftly the son of Weohstan at wish and word of his wounded king. XXXIX IT was heavy hap for that hero young on his lord beloved to look and find him lying on earth with life at end. plied with such prowess their power o'erwhelming that the bold-in-battle bowed beneath it and fell in fight.Too few the heroes in throe of contest that thronged to our king! Now gift of treasure and girding of sword. gave him grace that he got revenge sole with his sword in stress and need. The liegeman again plashed him with water. full of sorrow. the dawn-flier old: unburnished bowls of bygone men reft of richness. in doubt of twain: would they wail as dead. and to rush on the ring-board hall. where he left him. But the slayer too. A barrow bid ye the battle-fanned raise for my ashes. of conquest proud. Nor aught expect I of peace and faith from Swedish folk. old work of giants. of handiwork noblest. shieldsman good. high-souled hero. all my line. to God my thanks. So he carried the load. when lords highborn hear afar of that flight of yours. For Wyrd hath swept them. his freehold-land every clansman within your kin shall lose and leave. death is better for liegemen all than a life of shame!" [1] What had been left or made by the hammer. to the Wielder-of-Wonders. ten together. 'twas little that I could serve him in struggle. rusty helms of the olden age. or welcome home. the likeliest gear which near of far he could find to give. a fameless deed. -. cowards. valorous king. on men who failed when the foemen came! Not at all could the king of his comrades-in-arms venture to vaunt. Then. weakening fast by the wall of the cave. To rescue his life. to Ravenswood. nor. passing the seat. -. There Wiglaf sitteth. Though well he wished it. who fled before him sore beset and stole their way. XL THAT battle-toil bade he at burg to announce. Befell erelong that the laggards in war the wood had left. -. no longer lusty aloft to whirl at midnight. so look ye well to the needs of my land! No longer I tarry. sorrowful sight. the herald that up the headland rode. empty of breath. he was troubled by doubt. brilliantly broidered. the trusty king 17 . that ocean-wanderers oft may hail Beowulf's Barrow. he burdened his bosom with beakers and plate at his own good will. the living earl by the other dead. hard and battle-sharp. yet shift I made (hopeless it seemed) to help my kinsman. "Thou art end and remnant of all our race the Waegmunding name. by the wall were marvels. for what I behold. and arm-rings many wondrously woven. to Heaven's Lord. for the grace that I give such gifts to my folk or ever the day of my death be run! Now I've bartered here for booty of treasure the last of my life. when the folk of Geats for the first time sought in wanton pride the Warlike-Scylfings. to folk of mine memorial fair on Hrones Headland high uplifted. by Beowulf's side. if haply he'd find alive. whenever his watch the warden keeps bold in the barrow. Forsooth among folk but few achieve. joy of the house and home-delight shall fail your folk. by one alone. Beowulf spake. and never so daring in deed of valor. and they gazed on Wiglaf. as he stared at the gold. and heavy of heart a head-watch[3] keeps o'er friend and foe. awful earth-dragon. with words I say. -war-sick warrior. [1] Where Beowulf lay.woven mail-coat. the hoard so spurred him his track to retrace. God. well-forged. 'Twas spread afar how Ongentheow reft at Ravenswood Haethcyn Hrethling of hope and life. the Lord of Geats on the slaughter-bed sleeps by the serpent's deed! And beside him is stretched that slayer-of-men with knife-wounds sick:[2] no sword availed on the awesome thing in any wise to work a wound. can burden with pride each human wight: let him hide it who will! -His glance too fell on a gold-wove banner high o'er the hoard. Grim was the answer. bereft of a ruler. the sea-king[6] he slew." This word was the last which the wise old man harbored in heart ere hot death-waves of balefire he chose. Its strength ever waned.[2] Nowise it availed. from the youth for those that had yielded to fear! Wiglaf spake. Weohstan's bairn. -. booty from barrow. battle-sark. when with weapon I struck that fatal foe. the son of Weohstan. all the morning earls had sat. gave answering blow. his good wife rescued. sage and sad. To his friends no wise could that earl give treasure! And ever since the Merowings' favor has failed us wholly. fearing before to flourish a spear in the sore distress of their sovran lord. but told them all. tones of his trumpet. all the earth-floor he easily saw and viewed all these vessels. till point of word broke through the breast-hoard.its edge was iron -." From his neck he unclasped the collar of gold. to his vassal gave it with bright-gold helmet. Then he followed his foes. at the fort on the cliff. -mournful he looked on those men unloved:-"Who sooth will speak. -. as back from far they drive their keels o'er the darkling wave. For edges of iron had ended its days. daring shieldsmen.The blade of his lord -. woes he threatened the whole night through to that hard-pressed throng: some with the morrow his sword should kill.Now our folk may look for waging of war when once unhidden to Frisian and Frank the fall of the king is spread afar. and each of the foes had found the end of this fleeting life. Doom of the Lord was law o'er the deeds of every man. and the ensign took.for he at ale-bench often-times bestowed on hall-folk helm and breastplate. though the Victory-Wielder. and many a vessel in the den of the dragon. fain of its treasure. Him there the Hetwaras humbled in war.[1] and that flier-afar had fallen to ground hushed by its hurt. ancient and awful. so bright its gleam. their lord beloved? Little[1] kept back of the tidings new. can say indeed that the ruler who gave you golden rings and the harness of war in which ye stand -. proud of its prizes: prone it sank by the handiwork of the hero-king. lord to liegemen.The strife began when hot on the Hugas[4] Hygelac fell and fared with his fleet to the Frisian land. -. the lord of Weders. breastplate. earls in their glory: I after them go. to wake him with water. to the youthful thane: bade him use them in joy. famous chief at the lapse of life. Wearied he sat at his sovran's shoulder. as stories tell me. Now in their shame their shields they carried. and ring. mother of Ohtere and Onela. trothbreakers. the hill of its hoard was reft. With his host he besieged there what swords had left. Then the clansman keen. bore 'neath the barrow's roof. Hasted the herald. brightest of beacons. easy to get. in world no more could he barrier life for that leader-of-battles nor baffle the will of all-wielding God. making its merriment seen.had injured deep one that guarded the golden hoard many a year and its murder-fire spread hot round the barrow in horror-billows at midnight hour.[1] saw store of jewels and glistening gold the ground along.though sturdy and strong. hammers' leaving. His lord and king he found all bleeding. as it is to-day. the weary and wounded. -. -"For the gold and treasure. though robbed of her gold. Yea. -the perilous breath of a poison-foe to brave. From his bosom fled his soul to seek the saints' reward. and the fire less strongly flowed from its head. where the old man lay. till it met its doom. where. Beowulf paid the price of death for that precious hoard.

-. and helmet too. his bairn and his bride: so he bent him again. Eager." And now the sage young son of Weohstan seven chose of the chieftain's thanes. -.e. gold untold and gained in terror. and went with these warriors.This hoard is ours but grievously gotten.i. and fell adown. and the hoar-chief's harness to Hygelac carried. Wealth of jewels. were seen afar. Aloft erewhile it had revelled by night. brother to Wulf Wonreding. at the king Wulf Wonreding with weapon struck. so that marked with sin the man should be.[2] and the feud was avenged in woful fashion. and anon come back. the shield-wall or hedge of defensive war -. though the wound was sore. to heroes many that owned their homesteads. when. Ongentheow. God himself. earl from beloved -. too grim the fate which thither carried our king and lord. too soon on his head the helm was cloven. lifted aloft. the second time to see and search this store of treasure. Then the hardy Hygelac-thane. nor shall lilt of harp those warriors wake. old. followed the barb. lying their leader near. the strangest being. Each of them had a hundred thousand[3] in land and linked rings. and so must we.the way I show you. and little[4] he lied. Many a spear morning-cold shall be clasped amain. might give whom he would. giants' sword crashing through giants'-helm across the shield-wall: sank the king. I was within there. fain o'er the fallen. the proud one's prowess. was held at bay. when home he came. hardy chief. to his earth-walls.[4] Wiglaf spake.and fulfilled it so. No fear felt he. the foeman's rage. -where. The people's-shepherd showed not aught of care for our counsel. how folk against folk the fight had wakened. Hrethel's offspring. but the grace of heaven. urged we." So he told his sorrowful tidings. -even such a man as seemed to him meet. oft warriors many sorrow must suffer. Ending-day had dawned on the doughty-one." Then the bairn of Weohstan bade command. [2] Eofor. besides. king beloved! That guardian of gold he should grapple not. dishes lay there. of course. but let him lie where he long had been in his earth-hall waiting the end of the world. not doomed was he yet. Helper of Heroes. hedged with horrors.[5] so the treasure-hall could be touched by none of human kind. and dear-decked swords eaten with rust.where long he shall bide safe in the shelter of sovran God. seeking its den. the chambered treasure. finished his course a hardy hero. Found on the sand there. There were many to bind the brother's wounds and lift him. when chance allowed me (and my path was made in no pleasant wise) under the earth-wall. it proved. to Eofor and Wulf a wealth of treasure. on the place of his balefire a barrow high. ye may gaze your fill at broad-gold and rings. death had seized in woful slaughter the Weders' king. By it there stood the stoups and jars. stretched at rest. nor at less price reckoned mid-earth men such mighty deeds! And to Eofor he gave his only daughter in pledge of grace. fearful fiend. it was fifty measures in length as it lay. would prove it no longer.[1] Then Ongentheow with edge of sword. what manner a man of might and valor oft ends his life. the hest of heaven. No maiden fair shall wreathe her neck with noble ring: nay. I seized such heap from the hoard as hands could bear and hurriedly carried it hither back to my liege and lord. Yet no greed for gold. No earl must carry memorial jewel. featly feathered. be all in order when out we come. and bear the bountiful breaker-of-rings to the funeral pyre. but straightway repaid in better bargain that bitter stroke and faced his foe with fell intent. that gold of bygone men. This spell. [4] Not at all. [3] Sc. and the folk-king there was forced to suffer Eofor's anger. and the struggle." A name for the Franks. loathsome. -. these wall-hid wonders. XLI "THE bloody swath of Swedes and Geats and the storm of their strife. furthered his folk's weal. their lifeless lord. sad. fire shall eat it. Yet after him came with slaughter for Swedes the standards of Hygelac o'er peaceful plains in pride advancing. For all that heritage huge. that hall within. went. [5] Laid on it when it was put in the barrow. who should rob their hoard. when he breathed no more. No fragments merely shall burn with the warrior. death-hate of men: so I deem it sure that the Swedish folk will seek us home for this fall of their friends. who took the trappings. Wondrous seems it. who placed the gold. his feast shall praise and boast to the eagle how bravely he ate when he and the wolf were wasting the slain. and truly promised rich fee 'mid folk. or in our days the "curse. for that blow. a thousand winters they waited there. The warriors rose. on earth's lap resting. -. 18 . the wonder to view. till Hrethelings fought in the fenced town. stout old Scylfing. Nor swift enough was the son of Wonred answer to render the aged chief. who had lavished rings of old upon them. still wielding his wits. sorrowing much: Ongentheow earl went up to his burg. the son of Weohstan:-"At the mandate of one. prone on the field. In ire. one of eight. For that grim strife gave the Geatish lord. Dead. There saw they. when the earl no longer in mead-hall may live with loving friends. blood-bedecked he bowed to earth. the best he found that band within. Death-watch.o'er the folk they ruled -for the famed-one's funeral. who land and hoard ever defended from all his foes. a storm of arrows shot o'er the shield-wall: the shaft held firm. now in death's sure clutch it had come to the end of its earth-hall joys. soon made. guard of honor. The fiery dragon. his folk's old herdsman. The ancient king with his atheling band sought his citadel. "lyke-wake. with broad brand smote. sped from the string. fatally hurt. wealth under wall! Its watcher had killed one of a few. But Eofor took from Ongentheow. So Beowulf. in hell-bonds fast. all mirth and revel. For[3] princes potent. Let us set out in haste now. ever the king had kept in view.Hrethelings. Of men was he worthiest warrior wide earth o'er the while he had joy of his jewels and burg.Now haste is best. Haethcyn. He had tested Hygelac's hardihood. the iron-breastplate." either prevented discovery or brought dire ills on the finder and taker. was bound by a spell. and sent you greetings and bade that ye build. -. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] Nothing. when that barrow's warden he sought. but the wan-hued that Heaven's King. oft shall she pass o'er paths of exile now our lord all laughter has laid aside. -. defied no more those fighting-wanderers nor hoped from the seamen to save his hoard. they climbed to the Cliff-of-Eagles. and well he waxed. himself knew not in what wise he should wend from the world at last. "Such is the feud. when once they learn that our warrior leader lifeless lies. the hoary-bearded. Let the bier. sad in spirit and shorn of her gold. gathered near.[2] when his brother fell. our king and captain to carry thither -. Alive was he still. that we go to gaze on our Geatish lord. the pride of his home. he[1] trod who heinously hid. welling with tears. memorial mighty. racked with plagues. fast as fate allowed his people to wield the place-of-war. and all I viewed. are Geats. The wise old man spake much in his sorrow. " Fire shall devour and wan flames feed on the fearless warrior who oft stood stout in the iron-shower. [1] The line may mean: till Hrethelings stormed on the hedged shields. the hoard to open. treasure at last with his life obtained. in streams flowed 'neath his hair. as.had followed their trail with faithful band. the loyal man of word or of work. "value in" hides and the weight of the gold. all of that booty the brands shall take. hard sword hilted. hither to bring firewood from far -. the fighting-Scylfings. with flame was scorched. with a curse to doomsday covered it deep. Reckoned by feet. XLII A PERILOUS path. and the chieftain's blood.

the battle-brave's beacon. to his kin the kindest. so the old tradition ran. and hung it with helmets and harness of war and breastplates bright. Beowulf's end came.under hostile roof.and the king was borne. Then about that barrow the battle-keen rode. hardy heroes. from hoard in cave. took her into the bargain. [End. and surges swallowed that shepherd of gems. their master's death. till the fire had broken the frame of bones. hoary hero." [2] That is "one and a few others. hot at the heart.hat clumsy effort of the Christian poet to tone down the heathenism of his material by an edifying observation. -trusting the ground with treasure of earls. Round brands of the pyre a wall they built. as the boon he asked. to mourn their king. from his unwitting interference with spell-bound treasure. XLIII THEN fashioned for him the folk of Geats firm on the earth a funeral-pile. gold in the earth. They praised his earlship. In heavy mood their misery moaned they. Wood-smoke rose black over blaze. and blent was the roar of flame with weeping (the wind was still). Thus made their mourning the men of Geatland. The folk of the Weders fashioned there on the headland a barrow broad and high. and said full oft she dreaded the doleful days to come. the worthiest ever that wit could prompt in their wisest men.The smoke by the sky was devoured. [3] Ten Brink points out the strongly heathen character of this part of the epic. but Bugge surmises that Beowulf finally accepted Hygd's offer of kingdom and hoard. altogether without a guardian. [1] Nothing is said of Beowulf's wife in the poem. "Hid" may well mean here "took while in hiding. lament to make. as was usual. Wailing her woe. lying there lost. In any case. Then on the hill that hugest of balefires the warriors wakened. and they laid amid it the mighty chieftain. it is the some. when hence he goes from life in the body forlorn away. keenest for praise. chant their dirge. heartily love. for Beowulf's death sung in her sorrow. [1] Probably the fugitive is meant who discovered the hoard. dear-bought treasure! The dragon they cast. the worm. his acts of prowess worthily witnessed: and well it is that men their master-friend mightily laud. deaths enow. a band of twelve. the widow[1] old. [4] A hard saying. And little they mourned when they had hastily haled it out. to Hrones-Ness. by ocean-farers far descried: in ten days' time their toil had raised it. Then the woven gold on a wain was laden -countless quite! -. the rounds and the rings they had reft erewhile.] 19 . They placed in the barrow that precious booty. variously interpreted. and their chieftain honor. and shame. Ten Brink and Gering assume that the dragon is meant. of men he was mildest and most beloved." But Beowulf seems to be indicated. o'er the wall for the wave to take. No lots they cast for keeping the hoard when once the warriors saw it in hall. In hand one bore a lighted torch and led the way. and doom of battle. atheling-born. for their hero's passing his hearth-companions: quoth that of all the kings of earth. -. heroes mourning their master dear. her hair upbound. and. where ever it lies useless to men as of yore it was.

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