Beowulf eBook

Gareth Hinds
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 238 pages of information about Beowulf.
          The hoard-seat of heroes held in my youth,
          Rich in its jewels:  dead was Heregar,
          My kinsman and elder had earth-joys forsaken,
          Healfdene his bairn.  He was better than I am!
       15 That feud thereafter for a fee I compounded;
          O’er the weltering waters to the Wilfings I sent
          Ornaments old; oaths did he swear me.

{Hrothgar recounts to Beowulf the horrors of Grendel’s persecutions.}

          It pains me in spirit to any to tell it,
          What grief in Heorot Grendel hath caused me,
       20 What horror unlooked-for, by hatred unceasing. 
          Waned is my war-band, wasted my hall-troop;
          Weird hath offcast them to the clutches of Grendel. 
          God can easily hinder the scather
          From deeds so direful.  Oft drunken with beer

{My thanes have made many boasts, but have not executed them.}

       25 O’er the ale-vessel promised warriors in armor
          They would willingly wait on the wassailing-benches
          A grapple with Grendel, with grimmest of edges. 
          Then this mead-hall at morning with murder was reeking,
          The building was bloody at breaking of daylight,
       30 The bench-deals all flooded, dripping and bloodied,
          The folk-hall was gory:  I had fewer retainers,
          Dear-beloved warriors, whom death had laid hold of.

{Sit down to the feast, and give us comfort.}

          Sit at the feast now, thy intents unto heroes,[2]
          Thy victor-fame show, as thy spirit doth urge thee!”

{A bench is made ready for Beowulf and his party.}

       35 For the men of the Geats then together assembled,
          In the beer-hall blithesome a bench was made ready;
          There warlike in spirit they went to be seated,
          Proud and exultant.  A liegeman did service,
[19] Who a beaker embellished bore with decorum,

{The gleeman sings}

       40 And gleaming-drink poured.  The gleeman sang whilom

{The heroes all rejoice together.}

          Hearty in Heorot; there was heroes’ rejoicing,
          A numerous war-band of Weders and Danemen.

    [1] B. and S. reject the reading given in H.-So., and suggested by
    Grtvg.  B. suggests for 457-458: 

               waere-ryhtum Þu, wine min Beowulf,
               and for ar-stafum usic sohtest.

This means:  From the obligations of clientage, my friend Beowulf, and for assistance thou hast sought us.—­This gives coherence to Hrothgar’s opening remarks in VIII., and also introduces a new motive for Beowulf’s coming to Hrothgar’s aid.
[2] Sit now at the feast, and disclose thy purposes to the victorious heroes, as thy spirit urges.—­Kl. reaches the above
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Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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