Beowulf eBook

Gareth Hinds
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 112 pages of information about Beowulf.
[2] The passage ‘Wundur ... buan’ (3063-3066), M. took to be a question asking whether it was strange that a man should die when his appointed time had come.—­B. sees a corruption, and makes emendations introducing the idea that a brave man should not die from sickness or from old age, but should find death in the performance of some deed of daring.—­S. sees an indirect question introduced by ‘hwar’ and dependent upon ‘wundur’:  A secret is it when the hero is to die, etc.—­Why may the two clauses not be parallel, and the whole passage an Old English cry of ’How wonderful is death!’?—­S.’s is the best yet offered, if ‘wundor’ means ‘mystery.’

    [3] For ‘strude’ in H.-So., S. suggests ‘stride.’  This would require
    ‘ravage’ (v. 16) to be changed to ‘tread.’

    [4] ‘He cared ... sight of’ (17, 18), S. emends so as to read as
    follows:  He (Beowulf) had not before seen the favor of the avaricious

    [5] B. renders:  That which drew the king thither (i.e. the
) was granted us, but in such a way that it overcomes us.

    [6] ‘Folc-agende’ (3114) B. takes as dat. sing. with ‘godum,’ and
    refers it to Beowulf; that is, Should bring fire-wood to the place
    where the good folk-ruler lay

[7] C. proposes to take ‘weaxan’ = L. ‘vescor,’ and translate devour.  This gives a parallel to ‘fretan’ above.  The parenthesis would be discarded and the passage read:  Now shall the fire consume, the wan-flame devour, the prince of warriors, etc.



{Beowulf’s pyre.}

          The folk of the Geatmen got him then ready
          A pile on the earth strong for the burning,
          Behung with helmets, hero-knights’ targets,
          And bright-shining burnies, as he begged they should have them;
        5 Then wailing war-heroes their world-famous chieftain,
          Their liegelord beloved, laid in the middle.

{The funeral-flame.}

Soldiers began then to make on the barrow
The largest of dead-fires:  dark o’er the vapor
The smoke-cloud ascended, the sad-roaring fire,
10 Mingled with weeping (the wind-roar subsided)
Till the building of bone it had broken to pieces,
Hot in the heart.  Heavy in spirit
They mood-sad lamented the men-leader’s ruin;
And mournful measures the much-grieving widow
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{The Weders carry out their lord’s last request.}

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Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.