Beowulf eBook

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

{Giving liberally is the true proof of kingship.}

          Was frequently referred to:  a folk-king indeed that
          Everyway blameless, till age did debar him
       70 The joys of his might, which hath many oft injured.

    [1] For ‘geworhte,’ the crux of this passage, B. proposes ‘geþohte,’
    rendering:  I know this people with firm thought every way blameless
    towards foe and friends

[2] S. and B. emend so as to negative the verb ‘meet.’  “Why should Hrothgar weep if he expects to meet Beowulf again?” both these scholars ask.  But the weeping is mentioned before the ‘expectations’:  the tears may have been due to many emotions, especially gratitude, struggling for expression.



          Then the band of very valiant retainers
          Came to the current; they were clad all in armor,

{The coast-guard again.}

          In link-woven burnies.  The land-warder noticed
          The return of the earlmen, as he erstwhile had seen them;
        5 Nowise with insult he greeted the strangers
          From the naze of the cliff, but rode on to meet them;
          Said the bright-armored visitors[1] vesselward traveled
[65] Welcome to Weders.  The wide-bosomed craft then
          Lay on the sand, laden with armor,
       10 With horses and jewels, the ring-stemmed sailer: 
          The mast uptowered o’er the treasure of Hrothgar.

{Beowulf gives the guard a handsome sword.}

          To the boat-ward a gold-bound brand he presented,
          That he was afterwards honored on the ale-bench more highly
          As the heirloom’s owner. [2]Set he out on his vessel,
       15 To drive on the deep, Dane-country left he. 
          Along by the mast then a sea-garment fluttered,
          A rope-fastened sail.  The sea-boat resounded,
          The wind o’er the waters the wave-floater nowise
          Kept from its journey; the sea-goer traveled,
       20 The foamy-necked floated forth o’er the currents,
          The well-fashioned vessel o’er the ways of the ocean,

{The Geats see their own land again.}

          Till they came within sight of the cliffs of the Geatmen,
          The well-known headlands.  The wave-goer hastened
          Driven by breezes, stood on the shore.

{The port-warden is anxiously looking for them.}

       25 Prompt at the ocean, the port-ward was ready,
          Who long in the past outlooked in the distance,[3]
          At water’s-edge waiting well-loved heroes;
          He bound to the bank then the broad-bosomed vessel
          Fast in its fetters, lest the force of the waters
       30 Should be able to injure the ocean-wood winsome. 

Project Gutenberg
Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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