Beowulf eBook

Gareth Hinds
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 112 pages of information about Beowulf.

{Haethcyn’s fall at Ravenswood.}

          With price that was hard:  the struggle became then
          Fatal to Haethcyn, lord of the Geatmen. 
          Then I heard that at morning one brother the other
       25 With edges of irons egged on to murder,
          Where Ongentheow maketh onset on Eofor: 
          The helmet crashed, the hoary-haired Scylfing
          Sword-smitten fell, his hand then remembered
          Feud-hate sufficient, refused not the death-blow.

{I requited him for the jewels he gave me.}

       30 The gems that he gave me, with jewel-bright sword I
          ’Quited in contest, as occasion was offered: 
          Land he allowed me, life-joy at homestead,
          Manor to live on.  Little he needed
          From Gepids or Danes or in Sweden to look for
       35 Trooper less true, with treasure to buy him;
          ’Mong foot-soldiers ever in front I would hie me,
          Alone in the vanguard, and evermore gladly
          Warfare shall wage, while this weapon endureth
          That late and early often did serve me

{Beowulf refers to his having slain Daeghrefn.}

       40 When I proved before heroes the slayer of Daeghrefn,
          Knight of the Hugmen:  he by no means was suffered
          To the king of the Frisians to carry the jewels,
          The breast-decoration; but the banner-possessor
          Bowed in the battle, brave-mooded atheling.
[85] 45 No weapon was slayer, but war-grapple broke then
          The surge of his spirit, his body destroying. 
          Now shall weapon’s edge make war for the treasure,
          And hand and firm-sword.”  Beowulf spake then,
          Boast-words uttered—­the latest occasion: 

{He boasts of his youthful prowess, and declares himself still fearless.}

       50 “I braved in my youth-days battles unnumbered;
          Still am I willing the struggle to look for,
          Fame-deeds perform, folk-warden prudent,
          If the hateful despoiler forth from his cavern
          Seeketh me out!” Each of the heroes,
       55 Helm-bearers sturdy, he thereupon greeted

{His last salutations.}

          Beloved co-liegemen—­his last salutation: 
          “No brand would I bear, no blade for the dragon,
          Wist I a way my word-boast to ’complish[1]
          Else with the monster, as with Grendel I did it;
       60 But fire in the battle hot I expect there,
          Furious flame-burning:  so I fixed on my body
          Target and war-mail.  The ward of the barrow[2]
          I’ll not flee from a foot-length, the foeman uncanny. 
          At the wall ’twill befall us as Fate decreeth,

{Let Fate decide between us.}

       65 Each one’s Creator.  I am eager in spirit,
          With the winged war-hero to away with all boasting. 
          Bide on the barrow with burnies protected,

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Project Gutenberg
Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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