Beowulf eBook

Gareth Hinds
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 112 pages of information about Beowulf.
      110 Famous in battle, as Fate had not willed it. 
          The lord of the Geatmen uplifted his hand then,
          Smiting the fire-drake with sword that was precious,
          That bright on the bone the blade-edge did weaken,
          Bit more feebly than his folk-leader needed,
      115 Burdened with bale-griefs.  Then the barrow-protector,

{The dragon rages}

          When the sword-blow had fallen, was fierce in his spirit,
          Flinging his fires, flamings of battle
          Gleamed then afar:  the gold-friend of Weders

{Beowulf’s sword fails him.}

          Boasted no conquests, his battle-sword failed him
      120 Naked in conflict, as by no means it ought to,
          Long-trusty weapon.  ’Twas no slight undertaking
          That Ecgtheow’s famous offspring would leave
          The drake-cavern’s bottom; he must live in some region
          Other than this, by the will of the dragon,
      125 As each one of earthmen existence must forfeit. 
          ’Twas early thereafter the excellent warriors

{The combat is renewed.}

          Met with each other.  Anew and afresh
          The hoard-ward took heart (gasps heaved then his bosom): 

{The great hero is reduced to extremities.}

          Sorrow he suffered encircled with fire
      130 Who the people erst governed.  His companions by no means
          Were banded about him, bairns of the princes,

{His comrades flee!}

          With valorous spirit, but they sped to the forest,
          Seeking for safety.  The soul-deeps of one were

{Blood is thicker than water.}

          Ruffled by care:  kin-love can never
      135 Aught in him waver who well doth consider.

[88]

[1] The clause 2520(2)-2522(1), rendered by ‘Wist I ... monster,’ Gr., followed by S., translates substantially as follows:  If I knew how else I might combat the boastful defiance of the monster.—­The translation turns upon ‘wiethgripan,’ a word not understood.

    [2] B. emends and translates:  I will not flee the space of a foot
    from the guard of the barrow, but there shall be to us a fight at the
    wall, as fate decrees, each one’s Creator.

[3] The translation of this passage is based on ‘unslaw’ (2565), accepted by H.-So., in lieu of the long-standing ‘ungleaw.’  The former is taken as an adj. limiting ‘sweord’; the latter as an adj. c. ‘gueth-cyning’:  The good war-king, rash with edges, brandished his sword, his old relic. The latter gives a more rhetorical Anglo-Saxon (poetical) sentence.

XXXVI.

WIGLAF THE TRUSTY.—­BEOWULF IS DESERTED BY FRIENDS AND BY SWORD.

{Wiglaf remains true—­the ideal Teutonic liegeman.}

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Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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