Beowulf eBook

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

{A guide leads the way, but}

          That in the throng was thirteenth of heroes,
          That caused the beginning of conflict so bitter,
          Captive and wretched, must sad-mooded thenceward

{very reluctantly.}

          Point out the place:  he passed then unwillingly
       20 To the spot where he knew of the notable cavern,
          The cave under earth, not far from the ocean,
          The anger of eddies, which inward was full of
          Jewels and wires:  a warden uncanny,
[82] Warrior weaponed, wardered the treasure,
       25 Old under earth; no easy possession
          For any of earth-folk access to get to. 
          Then the battle-brave atheling sat on the naze-edge,
          While the gold-friend of Geatmen gracious saluted
          His fireside-companions:  woe was his spirit,
       30 Death-boding, wav’ring; Weird very near him,
          Who must seize the old hero, his soul-treasure look for,
          Dragging aloof his life from his body: 
          Not flesh-hidden long was the folk-leader’s spirit. 
          Beowulf spake, Ecgtheow’s son: 

{Beowulf’s retrospect.}

       35 “I survived in my youth-days many a conflict,
          Hours of onset:  that all I remember. 
          I was seven-winters old when the jewel-prince took me,
          High-lord of heroes, at the hands of my father,
          Hrethel the hero-king had me in keeping,

{Hrethel took me when I was seven.}

       40 Gave me treasure and feasting, our kinship remembered;
          Not ever was I any less dear to him

{He treated me as a son.}

          Knight in the boroughs, than the bairns of his household,
          Herebald and Haethcyn and Higelac mine. 
          To the eldest unjustly by acts of a kinsman
       45 Was murder-bed strewn, since him Haethcyn from horn-bow

{One of the brothers accidentally kills another.}

          His sheltering chieftain shot with an arrow,
          Erred in his aim and injured his kinsman,
          One brother the other, with blood-sprinkled spear: 

{No fee could compound for such a calamity.}

          ’Twas a feeless fight, finished in malice,
       50 Sad to his spirit; the folk-prince however
          Had to part from existence with vengeance untaken.

{[A parallel case is supposed.]}

          So to hoar-headed hero ’tis heavily crushing[1]
[83] To live to see his son as he rideth
          Young on the gallows:  then measures he chanteth,
       55 A song of sorrow, when his son is hanging
          For the raven’s delight, and aged and hoary
          He is unable to offer any assistance. 
          Every morning his offspring’s departure
          Is constant recalled:  he cares not to wait for

Project Gutenberg
Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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