Beowulf eBook

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

{Beowulf is an honor to his race.}

          He to all men became then far more beloved,
          Higelac’s kinsman, to kindreds and races,
          To his friends much dearer; him malice assaulted.—­

{The story is resumed.}

       80 Oft running and racing on roadsters they measured
          The dun-colored highways.  Then the light of the morning
          Was hurried and hastened.  Went henchmen in numbers
          To the beautiful building, bold ones in spirit,
          To look at the wonder; the liegelord himself then
       85 From his wife-bower wending, warden of treasures,
          Glorious trod with troopers unnumbered,
          Famed for his virtues, and with him the queen-wife
          Measured the mead-ways, with maidens attending.

[1] S. emends, suggesting ‘deop’ for ‘deog,’ and removing semicolon after ‘weol.’  The two half-lines ‘welling ... hid him’ would then read:  The bloody deep welled with sword-gore.  B. accepts ‘deop’ for ‘deog,’ but reads ‘deaeth-faeges’:  The deep boiled with the sword-gore of the death-doomed one.
[2] Another and quite different rendering of this passage is as follows:  Oft a liegeman of the king, a fame-covered man mindful of songs, who very many ancient traditions remembered (he found other word-groups accurately bound together) began afterward to tell of Beowulf’s adventure, skilfully to narrate it, etc.

    [3] Might ‘guma gilp-hladen’ mean ’a man laden with boasts of the
    deeds of others’?

[4] t.B. accepts B.’s ‘he þaes aron þah’ as given by H.-So., but puts a comma after ‘þah,’ and takes ‘siethethan’ as introducing a dependent clause:  He throve in honor since Heremod’s strength ... had decreased.




          Hrothgar discoursed (to the hall-building went he,
          He stood by the pillar,[1] saw the steep-rising hall-roof
          Gleaming with gold-gems, and Grendel his hand there): 

{Hrothgar gives thanks for the overthrow of the monster.}

          “For the sight we behold now, thanks to the Wielder
        5 Early be offered!  Much evil I bided,
          Snaring from Grendel:[2] God can e’er ’complish
          Wonder on wonder, Wielder of Glory!

{I had given up all hope, when this brave liegeman came to our aid.}

          But lately I reckoned ne’er under heaven
          Comfort to gain me for any of sorrows,
       10 While the handsomest of houses horrid with bloodstain
          Gory uptowered; grief had offfrightened[3]
          Each of the wise ones who weened not that ever
          The folk-troop’s defences ’gainst foes they should strengthen,
          ’Gainst sprites and monsters.  Through the might of the Wielder
       15 A doughty retainer hath a deed now accomplished
          Which erstwhile we all with our excellent wisdom

Project Gutenberg
Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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