Beowulf eBook

Gareth Hinds
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 238 pages of information about Beowulf.


{The vessel sails like a bird}

          The foamy-necked floater fanned by the breeze,
          Likest a bird, glided the waters,

{In twenty four hours they reach the shores of Hrothgar’s dominions}

       30 Till twenty and four hours thereafter
          The twist-stemmed vessel had traveled such distance
          That the sailing-men saw the sloping embankments,
          The sea cliffs gleaming, precipitous mountains,
          Nesses enormous:  they were nearing the limits
       35 At the end of the ocean.[2] Up thence quickly
          The men of the Weders clomb to the mainland,
          Fastened their vessel (battle weeds rattled,
          War burnies clattered), the Wielder they thanked
          That the ways o’er the waters had waxen so gentle.

{They are hailed by the Danish coast guard}

       40 Then well from the cliff edge the guard of the Scyldings
          Who the sea-cliffs should see to, saw o’er the gangway
          Brave ones bearing beauteous targets,
          Armor all ready, anxiously thought he,
          Musing and wondering what men were approaching.
       45 High on his horse then Hrothgar’s retainer
          Turned him to coastward, mightily brandished
          His lance in his hands, questioned with boldness.

{His challenge}

          “Who are ye men here, mail-covered warriors
          Clad in your corslets, come thus a-driving
       50 A high riding ship o’er the shoals of the waters,
          [3]And hither ’neath helmets have hied o’er the ocean?
[10] I have been strand-guard, standing as warden,
          Lest enemies ever anywise ravage
          Danish dominions with army of war-ships.
       55 More boldly never have warriors ventured
          Hither to come; of kinsmen’s approval,
          Word-leave of warriors, I ween that ye surely

{He is struck by Beowulf’s appearance.}

          Nothing have known.  Never a greater one
          Of earls o’er the earth have I had a sight of
       60 Than is one of your number, a hero in armor;
          No low-ranking fellow[4] adorned with his weapons,
          But launching them little, unless looks are deceiving,
          And striking appearance.  Ere ye pass on your journey
          As treacherous spies to the land of the Scyldings
       65 And farther fare, I fully must know now
          What race ye belong to.  Ye far-away dwellers,
          Sea-faring sailors, my simple opinion
          Hear ye and hearken:  haste is most fitting
          Plainly to tell me what place ye are come from.”

Project Gutenberg
Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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