Beowulf eBook

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

          The round-twisted monster was permitted no longer
          To govern the ring-hoards, but edges of war-swords
          Mightily seized him, battle-sharp, sturdy
          Leavings of hammers, that still from his wounds
       10 The flier-from-farland fell to the earth
          Hard by his hoard-house, hopped he at midnight
          Not e’er through the air, nor exulting in jewels
          Suffered them to see him:  but he sank then to earthward
          Through the hero-chief’s handwork.  I heard sure it throve then

[96]

{Few warriors dared to face the monster.}

       15 But few in the land of liegemen of valor,
          Though of every achievement bold he had proved him,
          To run ’gainst the breath of the venomous scather,
          Or the hall of the treasure to trouble with hand-blows,
          If he watching had found the ward of the hoard-hall
       20 On the barrow abiding.  Beowulf’s part of
          The treasure of jewels was paid for with death;
          Each of the twain had attained to the end of
          Life so unlasting.  Not long was the time till

{The cowardly thanes come out of the thicket.}

          The tardy-at-battle returned from the thicket,
       25 The timid truce-breakers ten all together,
          Who durst not before play with the lances
          In the prince of the people’s pressing emergency;

{They are ashamed of their desertion.}

          But blushing with shame, with shields they betook them,
          With arms and armor where the old one was lying: 
       30 They gazed upon Wiglaf.  He was sitting exhausted,
          Foot-going fighter, not far from the shoulders
          Of the lord of the people, would rouse him with water;
          No whit did it help him; though he hoped for it keenly,
          He was able on earth not at all in the leader
       35 Life to retain, and nowise to alter
          The will of the Wielder; the World-Ruler’s power[1]
          Would govern the actions of each one of heroes,

{Wiglaf is ready to excoriate them.}

          As yet He is doing.  From the young one forthwith then
          Could grim-worded greeting be got for him quickly
       40 Whose courage had failed him.  Wiglaf discoursed then,
          Weohstan his son, sad-mooded hero,

{He begins to taunt them.}

          Looked on the hated:  “He who soothness will utter
          Can say that the liegelord who gave you the jewels,
          The ornament-armor wherein ye are standing,
       45 When on ale-bench often he offered to hall-men
          Helmet and burnie, the prince to his liegemen,
          As best upon earth he was able to find him,—­

[97]

{Surely our lord wasted his armor on poltroons.}

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.