Beowulf eBook

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

          That he wildly wasted his war-gear undoubtedly
          When battle o’ertook him.[2] The troop-king no need had
       50 To glory in comrades; yet God permitted him,

{He, however, got along without you}

          Victory-Wielder, with weapon unaided
          Himself to avenge, when vigor was needed. 
          I life-protection but little was able
          To give him in battle, and I ’gan, notwithstanding,

{With some aid, I could have saved our liegelord}

       55 Helping my kinsman (my strength overtaxing): 
          He waxed the weaker when with weapon I smote on
          My mortal opponent, the fire less strongly
          Flamed from his bosom.  Too few of protectors
          Came round the king at the critical moment.

{Gift-giving is over with your people:  the ring-lord is dead.}

       60 Now must ornament-taking and weapon-bestowing,
          Home-joyance all, cease for your kindred,
          Food for the people; each of your warriors
          Must needs be bereaved of rights that he holdeth
          In landed possessions, when faraway nobles
       65 Shall learn of your leaving your lord so basely,

{What is life without honor?}

          The dastardly deed.  Death is more pleasant
          To every earlman than infamous life is!”

    [1] For ‘daedum raedan’ (2859) B. suggests ‘deaeth araedan,’ and renders: 
    The might (or judgment) of God would determine death for every man,
    as he still does.

[2] Some critics, H. himself in earlier editions, put the clause, ‘When ... him’ (A.-S. ‘þa ... beget’) with the following sentence; that is, they make it dependent upon ‘þorfte’ (2875) instead of upon ‘forwurpe’ (2873).



{Wiglaf sends the news of Beowulf’s death to liegemen near by.}

          Then he charged that the battle be announced at the hedge
          Up o’er the cliff-edge, where the earl-troopers bided
          The whole of the morning, mood-wretched sat them,
          Bearers of battle-shields, both things expecting,
        5 The end of his lifetime and the coming again of
          The liegelord beloved.  Little reserved he
          Of news that was known, who the ness-cliff did travel,
          But he truly discoursed to all that could hear him: 


{The messenger speaks.}

          “Now the free-giving friend-lord of the folk of the Weders,
       10 The folk-prince of Geatmen, is fast in his death-bed,
          By the deeds of the dragon in death-bed abideth;
          Along with him lieth his life-taking foeman
          Slain with knife-wounds:  he was wholly unable
          To injure at all the ill-planning monster

Project Gutenberg
Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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