Beowulf Quotes

Gareth Hinds
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Beowulf Quotes

Quote 1: "His father's warrior were wound round his heart/ With golden rings, bound to their prince/ By his father's treasure. So young men build/ The future, wisely open-handed in peace,/ Protected in war; so warriors earn/ Their fame, and wealth is shaped with a sword." pg. 24, lines 20-25

Quote 2: "Nor have I ever seen,/ Out of all the men on earth, one greater/ Than has come with you; no commoner carries/ Such weapons, unless his appearance, and his beauty,/ Are both lies." pg. 31, lines 248-250

Quote 3: "recalling/ The Almighty making of the earth, shaping/ These beautiful plains marked off by oceans,/ Then proudly setting the sun and moon/ To glow across the land and light it;/...made quick with life, with each/ Of the nations who now move on its face." pg. 26, lines 91-98

Quote 4: "Till the monster stirred, that demon, that fiend/Grendel who haunted the moors, the wild/Marshes, and made his home in a hell./Not hell but hell on earth. He was spawned in that slime/Of Cain, murderous creatures banished/ By God, punished forever for the crime/ Of Abel's death." pg. 26, lines 101-108

Quote 5: "Twelve winters of grief for Hrothgar, king/ Of the Danes, sorrow heaped at his door/ By hell-forged hands, His misery leaped/ The seas, was told and sung in all/ Men's ears" pg. 28, lines 147-151

Quote 6: "Grendel's hatred began,/...the monster relished his savage war/ On the Danes, keeping the bloody feud/ Alive, seeking no peace, offering/ No truce, accepting no settlement, no price/ In gold or land, and paying the living/ For one crime only with another. No one/ Waited for reparation from his plundering claws:/ That shadow of death hunted in the darkness,/ Stalked Hrothgar's warriors." pg. 28, lines 151-160

Quote 7: "They arrived with their mail shirts/ Glittering, silver-shining links/ Clanking an iron song as they came./ Sea-weary still, they set their broad,/ Battle-hardened shields in rows/ Along the wall , then stretched themselves/ On Herot's benches. Their armor rang;/ Their ash-wood spears stood in a line,/ Gray-tipped and straight: the Geats' war-gear/ Were honored weapons." pg. 33, lines 321-330

Quote 8: "They have seen my strength for themselves,/ Have watched me rise from the darkness of war,/ Dripping with my enemies' blood. I drove/ Five great giants into chains, chased/ All of that race from the earth. I swam/ In the blackness of night, hunting monsters/ Out of the ocean, and killing them one/ By one; death was my errand and the fate/ They had earned. Now Grendel and I are called/ Together, and I've come." pg. 36, lines 417-426

Quote 9: "'And if death does take me, send the hammered/ Mail of my armor to Higlac, return/ The inheritance I had from Hrethel, and he/ From Wayland. Fate will unwind as it must!'" pg. 37, lines 452-455

Quote 10: "Beowulf, you've come to us in friendship, and because/ Of the reception your father found at court./ Edgetho had begun a bitter feud,/ Killing Hathlaf, a Wulfing warrior: /Your father's countrymen were afraid of war,/ If he returned to his home, and they turned him away." pg. 37, lines 457-462

Quote 11: "I bought the end of Edgetho's/ Quarrel, sent ancient treasures through the ocean's/ Furrows to the Wulfings; your father swore/ He'd keep that peace." pg. 38, lines 470-473

Quote 12: "How many times have my men,.../ sworn to stay after dark/ And stem that horror with a sweep of their swords./ And then, in the morning, this mead-hall glittering/ With new light would be drenched with blood, the benches/ Stained red, the floors, all wet from that fiend's/ Savage assault-and my soldiers would be fewer/ Still death taking more and more." pg. 38, lines 480-488

Quote 13: "But the truth/ Is simple: no man swims in the sea/ As I can, no strength is a match for mine:" pg. 40, lines 533-534

Quote 14: "my mail shirt, these shining bits of metal/ Woven across my breast, saved me/ From death. A monster seized me, drew me/ Swiftly toward the bottom, swimming with its claws/ Tight in my flesh. But fate let me/ Find its heart with my sword, hack myself/ Free; I fought that beast's last battle,/ Left it floating lifeless in the sea." pg. 40, lines 551-558

Quote 15: "God's bright beacon/ Appeared in the east, the water lay still,/ And at last I could see the land, wind-swept/ Cliff-walls to the coast. Fate saves/ The living when they drive away death by themselves!" pg. 41, lines 569-574

Quote 16: "When we crossed the sea, my comrades/ And I, I already knew that all/ My purpose was this: to win the good will/ Of your people or die in battle, pressed/ In Grendel's fierce grip. Let me live in greatness/ And courage, or here in this hall welcome/ My death!" pg. 43, lines 632-638

Quote 17: "Grendel is no braver, no stronger/ Than I am! I could kill him with my sword; I shall not,/ Easy as it would be. This fiend is a bold/ And famous fighter, but his claws and teeth.../Beating at my sword blade, would be helpless. I will meet him/ With my hands empty-unless his heart/ Fails him, seeing a soldier waiting/ Weaponless, unafraid. Let God in His wisdom/ Extend His hand where He wills, reward/ Whom he chooses!" pg. 44, lines 677-687

Quote 18: "He strode quickly across the inlaid/ Floor, snarling and fierce: his eyes/ Gleamed in the darkness, burned with a gruesome/ Light. Then he stopped, seeing the hall/ Crowded with sleeping warriors,.../ And his heart laughed, he relished the sight,/ Intended to tear the life from those bodies/ By morning." pg. 46, lines 724-732

Quote 19: "the Danes started/ In new terror, cowering in their beds as the terrible/ Screams of the Almighty's enemy sang/ In the darkness, the horrible shrieks of pain/ And defeat, the tears torn out of Grendel's/ Taut throat, hell's captive caught in the arms/ Of him who of all the men on earth/ Was the strongest." pg. 47-48, lines 783-790

Quote 20: "Hanging high/ From the rafters where Beowulf had hung it, was/ the monster's/ Arm, claw, and shoulder and all." pg. 49, lines 833-836

Quote 21: "gaped with no sense/ of sorrow, felt no regret for his suffering,/ Went tracing his bloody footprints, his beaten/ And lonely flight, to the edge of the lake/ Where he'd dragged his corpselike way, doomed/ And already weary of his vanishing life." pg. 50, lines 841-846

Quote 22: "the swirling/ Surf had covered his death, hidden/ Deep in murky darkness his miserable/ End, as hell opened to receive him." pg. 50, lines 849-852

Quote 23: "His vanity swelled him so vile and rank/ That he could hear no voices but his own. He deserved/ to suffer and die. But Beowulf was a prince/ Well-loved, followed in friendship, not fear;" pg. 52, lines 911-914

Quote 24: "Let God be thanked! Grendel's terrible/ Anger hung over our heads too long,/ Dropping down misery; but the Almighty makes miracles/ When he pleases, wonder after wonder, and this world/ Rests in his hands. I had given up hope,/ Exhausted prayer, expected nothing/ But misfortune forever." pg. 52, lines 928-934

Quote 25: "not even the sharpest of swords could have cut/ It [Grendel's hand] through, broken it off the monster's/ Arm and ended its life, as Beowulf/ Had done armed only with his bare hands." pg. 54, lines 987-990

Quote 26: "Wanting to stay, we go,/ All beings here on God's earth, wherever/ It is written that we go, taking our bodies/ From death's cold bed to unbroken sleep/ That follows life's feast." pg. 54-55, lines 1004-1008

Quote 27: "and for the one/ Murdered by Grendel gold was carefully/ Paid." pg. 56, lines 1053-1055

Quote 28: "Wear these bright jewels, belovèd Beowulf;/ Enjoy them,...oh fortunate young/ Warrior; grow richer, let your fame and your strength/ Go hand in hand; and lend these two boys/ Your wise and gentle heart! I'll remember your/ Kindness. Your glory is too great to forget/...Spread your blessèd protection/ Across my son, and my king's son!" pg. 61-62, lines 1216-1221, 1225-1227

Quote 29: "She'd brooded on her loss, misery had brewed/ In her heart, that female horror, Grendel's/ Mother, living in the murky cold lake/ Assigned her since Cain had killed his only/ Brother, slain his father's son/ With an angry sword." pg. 63, lines 1258-1263

Quote 30: " She's taken revenge for your victory over Grendel./ For your strength, your mighty grip, and that monster's/ Death." pg. 65, lines 1334-1336

Quote 31: " Steams like black clouds, and the groves of trees/ Growing out over their lake are all covered/ With frozen spray, and wind down snakelike/ Roots that reach as far as the water/ And help keep it dark. At night that lake/ Burns like a torch. No one knows its bottom,/ No wisdom reaches such depths." pg. 66, lines 1361-1367

Quote 32: "Let your sorrow end! It is better for us all/ To avenge our friends, not mourn them forever./ Each of us will come to the end of this life/ On earth; he who can earn it should fight/ For the glory of his name; fame after death/ Is the noblest of goals. Arise, guardian/ Of this kingdom, let us go, as quickly as we can,/ And have a look at this lady monster." pg. 67, lines 1384-1391

Quote 33: "she'd brought him into someone's battle-hall,/ And there...[not] anything in the lake [could] attack him through/ The building's high-arching roof. A brilliant/ Light burned all around him, the lake/ Itself like a fiery flame...he swung his sword/ ...straight at her head; the iron sang its fierce song" pg. 71, lines 1512-1521

Quote 34: "like ice when the world's/ Eternal Lord loosens invisible/ Fetters and unwinds icicles and frost/ As only He can, He who rules/ Time and seasons, He who is truly/ God." pg. 73, lines 11607-1612

Quote 35: "Our eternal Lord/ Grants some men wisdom, some wealth, makes others/ Great. The world is God's, He allows/ A man to grow famous, and his family rich,/ Gives him land and towns to rule/ And delight in...and who/ In human unwisdom, in the middle of such power,/ Remembers that it will all end, and too soon?/ Prosperity...nothing/ Troubles him, no sickness, not passing time,/ No sorrows, no sudden war breaking/ Out of nowhere, but all the world turns/ When he spins it. How can he know when he sins?" pg. 77, lines 1728-1739

Quote 36: "the Devil's dark urgings wound him, for he can't/ Remember how he clung to the rotting wealth/ Of this world, how he clawed to keep it, how he earned/ No honor, no glory, in giving golden/ Rings, how he forgot the future glory/ God gave him at his birth, and forgetting did not care." pg. 78, lines 1747-1752

Quote 37: "All-knowing God/ Must have sent you such words; nothing so wise/ From a warrior so young has ever reached/ These ancient ears...If your lord,/ Hrethel's son, is slain by a spear,/ Or falls sick and dies...I say that the Geats/ Could do no better, find no man better/ Suited to be king, keeper of warriors/ and their treasure, than you..., Belovèd Beowulf." pg. 80-81, lines 1841-1852

Quote 38: "She and that ripening soldier will be married/...Hoping that his quarrel with the Hathobards can be settled/ By a woman. He's wrong: how man wars/ Have been put to rest in a prince's bed?/ Few. A bride can bring a little/ Peace, make spears silent for a time,/ But not long." pg. 86, lines 2025-2032

Quote 39: "His pouch hung/ At his side, a huge bag sewn/ From a dragon's skin, worked with a devil's/ Skill." pg. 88, lines 2085-2087

Quote 40: "Beowulf had brought his king/ Horses and treasure-as a man must,/ Not weaving nets of malice for his comrades,/ Preparing their death in the dark, with secret,/ Cunning tricks." pg. 91, lines 2165-2169

Quote 41: "So Edgetho's son proved himself,/ Did as a famous soldier must do/ If glory is what he seeks: not killing his comrades/ In drunken rages, his heart not savage,/ But guarding God's gracious gift, his strength,/ Using it only in war, and then using it/ Bravely." pg. 91, lines 2177-2183

Quote 42: "He was someone's slave, had been beaten/ By his masters, had run from all men's sight,/ But with no place to hide; then he found the hidden/ Path, and used it." pg. 92, lines 2223-2226

Quote 43: "counting off/ the hours till the Almighty's candle went out,/ And evening came, and wild with anger/ It could fly burning across the land, killing/ And destroying with its breath. Then the sun was gone,/ And its heart was glad; glowing with rage/...impatient to repay/ Its enemies. The people suffered." pg. 95, lines 2302-2309

Quote 44: "when he comes to me/ I mean to stand, not run from his shooting/ Flames, stand till fate decides/ Which of us wins. My heart is firm,/ My hands calm: I need no hot/ Words." pg. 101, lines 2524-2529

Quote 45: "He took us/ For soldiers, for men. He meant to kill/ This monster himself, our mighty king,/ Fight this battle alone and unaided,/...By almighty God,/ I'd rather burn than see/ Flames swirling around my lord...I swear that nothing/ He ever did deserved an end/ Like this, dying miserably and alone,/ Butchered by this savage beast." pg. 105, lines 2641-2644, 2650-2652, 2656-2659

Quote 46: "My days/ have gone as fate willed,.../ As I knew how, swearing no unholy oaths,/ Seeking no lying wars. I can leave/ This life happy; I can die, here,/ Knowing the Lord of all life has never/ Watched me wash my sword in blood/ Born of my own family." pg. 108, lines 2735-6, 2638-2743

Quote 47: "The old man's mouth was silent, spoke/ No more, had said as much as it could;/ He would sleep in the fire, soon. His soul/ Left his flesh, flew to glory." pg. 110, lines 2817-2820

Quote 48: "stretched in front/ Of its tower, a strange, scaly beast/ Gleaming a dozen colors dulled and/ Scorched from its own heat. From end/ To end fifty feet, it had flown/ In the silent darkness, a swift traveler/ Tasting the air, then gliding down/ To its den." pg. 117, lines 3038-3045

Quote 49: "For ten long days they made his monument,/ Sealed his ashes in walls as straight/ And high as wise and willing hands could raise them.../And the treasures they'd taken were left there too,/ ...Ground back in the earth." pg. 121, lines 3159-3163, 3165-3167

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