Beowulf eBook

Gareth Hinds
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 238 pages of information about Beowulf.
          For the horrid hell-monster in the hall-building knew he
          A fight was determined,[2] since the light of the sun they
       90 No longer could see, and lowering darkness
          O’er all had descended, and dark under heaven
          Shadowy shapes came shying around them.

{Hrothgar retires, leaving Beowulf in charge of the hall.}

          The liegemen all rose then.  One saluted the other,
          Hrothgar Beowulf, in rhythmical measures,
       95 Wishing him well, and, the wassail-hall giving
          To his care and keeping, quoth he departing: 
[24] “Not to any one else have I ever entrusted,
          But thee and thee only, the hall of the Danemen,
          Since high I could heave my hand and my buckler.
      100 Take thou in charge now the noblest of houses;
          Be mindful of honor, exhibiting prowess,
          Watch ’gainst the foeman!  Thou shalt want no enjoyments,
          Survive thou safely adventure so glorious!”

[1] The repetition of ‘hwaeethere’ (574 and 578) is regarded by some scholars as a defect.  B. suggests ‘swa Þaer’ for the first:  So there it befell me, etc. Another suggestion is to change the second ‘hwaeethere’ into ‘swa Þaer’:  So there I escaped with my life, etc.
[2] Kl. suggests a period after ‘determined.’  This would give the passage as follows:  Since they no longer could see the light of the sun, and lowering darkness was down over all, dire under the heavens shadowy beings came going around them.



{Hrothgar retires.}

          Then Hrothgar departed, his earl-throng attending him,
          Folk-lord of Scyldings, forth from the building;
          The war-chieftain wished then Wealhtheow to look for,
          The queen for a bedmate.  To keep away Grendel

{God has provided a watch for the hall.}

        5 The Glory of Kings had given a hall-watch,
          As men heard recounted:  for the king of the Danemen
          He did special service, gave the giant a watcher: 
          And the prince of the Geatmen implicitly trusted

{Beowulf is self-confident}

          His warlike strength and the Wielder’s protection.

{He prepares for rest.}

       10 His armor of iron off him he did then,
          His helmet from his head, to his henchman committed
          His chased-handled chain-sword, choicest of weapons,
          And bade him bide with his battle-equipments. 
          The good one then uttered words of defiance,
       15 Beowulf Geatman, ere his bed he upmounted: 

{Beowulf boasts of his ability to cope with Grendel.}

          “I hold me no meaner in matters of prowess,
          In warlike achievements, than Grendel does himself;
          Hence I seek not with sword-edge to sooth him to slumber,
          Of life to bereave him, though well I am able.

Project Gutenberg
Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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