Beowulf eBook

Gareth Hinds
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 112 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.

XI.

ALL SLEEP SAVE ONE.

{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.

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Project Gutenberg
Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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