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That splendid dwelling much shattered was, I XIX. BEOWULF REWARDED. EVENTIDE though bound within with bands of iron; the hinges asunder were rent, the roof
The cup was brought him, and friendly greetalone was saved all sound, when the monster,
ing stained with foul deeds, turned him to flight,
eht in words was given and twisted gold . hopeless of life. . . . . . .
1002 kindly proffered-bracelets two,
1002 [The feast is held, gifts are bestowed on the
armor and rings, a collar the largest hero, and Hrothgar's minstrel sings a song of
of those that on earth I have heard tell of. a hundred lines about Finn, the king of the
Never 'neath heaven have I heard of a better Frisians.]
treasure-hoard of men, since Hama bore off
to the glittering burg the Brosings' necklace,. XVIII. THE QUEEN'S SPEECH the jewel and casket (he fled the guileful 1200
hate of Eormenric, chose gain eternali). .... The lay was sung,
| Hygelac the Geat wore this collar, the gleeman's song. Pastime was resumed, the grandson of Swerting, on his last raid, noise rose from the benches, the cup-boys served | when he 'neath his banner the treasure dewine
fended, from wondrous vessels. Then Wealhtheow came the slaughter-spoil guarded; fate took him off forth
when he out of pride sought his own woe, ’neath a gold diadem, to where the two good | war with the Frisians; he the jewels conveyed, cousinst sat; at peace were they still,
the precious stones, over the wave-bowl, each true to the other; there Hunferth too sat the powerful king; he fell 'neath his shield. at the Scylding lord's feet,--all had faith in his Then into the power of the Franks the king's spirit,
life his courage, altho' to his kinsmen he had not went, and his breast-weeds, went too the collar; in sword-play been true. I Then the Scyldings' warriors inferior plundered the fallen
1212 queen spake:
after the war-lot; the Geat-folk held “Accept this beaker, my beloved lord, 1
the abode of the slain. dispenser of treasure; may 'st be joyful, 1170
The hall resounded. gold-friend of men! And speak to the Geats Wealhtheow spake, before the warrior-band with gentle words! So man shall do.
said: Be kind toward the Geats, mindful of gifts; “Use this collar, Beowulf dear, near and far thou now hast safety.
| oh youth, with joy, and use this mantle, Men have said that thou this warrior
these lordly treasures, and thrive thou well; wouldst have for a son. Heorot is purged, prove thyself mighty, and be to these boys the bright hall of rings: enjoy while thou may gentle in counsels. I will reward thee. 1220 est
This hast thou achieved, that, far and near, the rewards of the many, and to thy sons leave throughout all time, men will esteem thee, folk and realm, when thou shalt go forth
even so widely as the sea encircles to see thy Creator. Well I know that 1180 the windy land-walls. Be while thou livest my gracious Hrothulf will the youth
a prosperous noble. I grant you well in honor maintain if thou sooner than he, precious treasures; be thou to my sons oh friend of the Scyldings, leavest the world. gentle in deeds, thou who hast joy. I ween that he with good will repay
Here is each earl to the other true, our offspring dear, if he remembers
mild of mood, to his liege lord faithful; all the favors that we for his pleasure
the thanes are united, the people all ready. 1230 and honor performed when he was a child." I Warriors who have drunken, do as I bid.” Then she turned to the seat where were her To her seat then she went. There was choicsons,
est of feasts, Hrethric and Hrothmund, and the sons of the the warriors drank wine; Wyrd they knew not, heroes,
1189 calamity grim, as it turned out the youths all together; there sat the noble for many a man after evening had come Beowulf the Geat, beside the two brothers. and Hrothgar had to his lodging departed,
the ruler to rest. There guarded the hall 1 Hrothgar † Hrothgar, and his nephew, Hrothulf, who must
have been older than the king's children (cp. 1 Perhaps entered a monastery (S. Bugge). lines 1180 ff), but who evidently did not re- | $ The famous necklace of Freyja, which Hama main "true."
stole from Eormenric, the cruel king of the I He was said to have killed his brothers.
countless warriors, as oft they had done. when the hilt-bound sword, hammer-beaten, They cleared the bench-floor; it soon was o'er- stained with gore, and doughty of edges, spread
hews off the head of the boar on the helm. with beds and bolsters. A certain beer-bearer, Then in the hall the hard edge was drawn, ready and fated, bent to his rest.
1241 the sword o'er the seats, many a broad shield They set at their heads their disks of war, raised firm in hand; helms they forgot their shield-wood bright; there on the bench, and byrnies broad, when the terror seized them. over each noble, easy to see,
She was in haste,-would out from thence 1292 was his high martial helm, his ringed byrnie to save her life, since she was discovered. and war-wood stout. It was their custom
One of the nobles she quickly had that they were ever for war prepared,
with grip fast seized, as she went to fen; at home, in the field, in both alike,
he was to Hrothgar of heroes the dearest at whatever time to their liege lord
in comradeship beside the two seas, the need befel. 'Twas a ready people. 1250 a mighty shield-warrior, whom she killed,
a hero renowned. (Beowulf was absent,
for another apartment had before been asXX. GRENDEL'S MOTHER
signed, They sank then to sleep. One sorely paid
| after giving of treasures, to the great Geat.) for his evening rest, as full oft had happened
A cry was in Heorot. She took with its gore since the gold-hall Grendel occupied,
the well known hand;1 grief had become unrighteousness did, until the end came,
renewed in the dwellings. 'Twas no good exdeath after sins. Then it was seen,
change, wide-known among men, that still an avenger
that those on both sides payment must make lived after the foe, for a long time
with lives of their friends. after the battle-care,-Grendel's mother.
Then was the old king, The woman-demon remembered her misery,
the hoary war-hero, in stormy mood she that the watery horrors, the cold streams,
i when his highest thane, no longer living, had to inhabit, when Cain became
1261 | his dearest friend, he knew to be dead. slayer by sword of his only brother,
Quickly to his chamber was Beowulf summoned, his father's son. Then he went forth blood
the victor-rich warrior. Together ere day 1311 stained,
he went with his earls, the noble champion by murder marked, fleeing man's joy,
with his comrades went where the wise king dwelt in the wilderness. Thence awoke many
awaited fated demons; Grendel was one,
whether for him the All-wielder would the hated fell wolf who at Heorot found
after the woe-time a change bring about. a watchful warrior awaiting the conflict;
Then along the floor went the warlike man and there the monster laid hold of him.
with his body guard (the hall-wood resounded) Yet was he mindful of his great strength, 1270
till he the wise prince greeted with words, the generous gift that God had given him,
the lord of the Ingwins;2 asked if he had had
according to his wish, an easy night. and trusted for help in him the All-wielder,
1320 for comfort and aid; so slew he the fiend, struck down the hell-spirit. Then humble he | XXI. SORROW FOR ÆSCHERE. THE MONSTER'S made off,
MERE the foe of mankind, to seek his death-home, of joy deprived. Natheless his mother,
Hrothgar spake, the Scyldings’ protector: greedy and gloomy, was bent on going
“Ask not after happiness! Grief is renewed the sorrowful journey, her son's death to to the folk of the Danes. Dead is Æschere, avenge.
of Yrmenlaf the elder brother, So came she to Heorot, to where the Ring- / my confidant and my counsellor, Danes
1279 my near attendant when we in war throughout the hall slept. Forthwith there came defended our heads, when hosts contended, to the warriors a change, when in on them and boar-crests crashed; such should an earl be, rushed
preeminently good, as Æschere was. Grendel's mother; the terror was less
He in Heorot has had for murderer 1330 by just so much as the force of women is, a ghost-like death-spirit; I know not whether the war-dread from woman, than that from a
1 Grendel's (see l. 834 ) man
| 2 the Danes
the fell carrion-gloater her steps back has
XXII. THE PURSUIT traced, made known by her meal. She the feud has Beowulf spake, Ecgtheow's son: avenged,
“Sorrow not, sage man, 'tis better for each that thou yester-night didst Grendel slay, to avenge his friend than greatly to mourn. through thy fierce nature, with fetter-like Each of us must an end await grasps,
of this world's life; let him work who can for that he too long my people diminished | high deeds ere death; that will be for the war. and wrought destruction. He in battle suc
when he is lifeless, afterwards best. forfeiting life. And now comes another . Rise, lord of the realm, let us quickly go mighty man-scather to avenge her son,-
to see the course of Grendel's parent. 1391 has from afar warfare established, . 1340 I promise thee, not to the sea shall she 'scape, as it may seem to many a thane
nor to earth's embrace, nor to mountain-wood, who mourns in spirit his treasure-giver,
nor to ocean's ground, go whither she will. in hard heart-affliction. Now low lies the hand | This day do thou endurance have which once availed you for every desire.
in every woe, as I expect of thee!” “I have heard it said by the land-dwellers, | Up leapt the old man then, thanked God, by my own subjects, my hall-counsellors, | the mighty Lord, for what the man said. that they have seen a pair of such
For Hrothgar then a horse was bridled, mighty march-stalkers holding the moors, a stred with curled mane. The ruler wise stranger-spirits, whereof the one,
in state went forth; a troop strode on, 1401 so far as they could certainly know, 1350 bearing their shields. Tracks there were was in form of a woman; the other, accurst, along the forest paths widely seen, trod an exile's steps in the figure of man her course o'er the ground; she had thither (save that he huger than other men was),
gone whom in days of yore the dwellers on earth o'er the murky moor. Of their fellow thanes Grendel named. They know not a father. she bore the best one, soul-bereft, whether any was afore-time born
of those that with Irothgar defended their of the dark ghosts. That secret land
me. they dwell in, wolf-lens, windy nesses,
Then overpassed these sons of nobles the perilous fen-path, where the mountain deep rocky gorges, a narrow road, stream
strait lonely paths, an unknown way, 1410 downward flows 'neath the mists of the nesses, precipitous nesses, monster-dens many. the flood under earth. 'Tis not far thence, 1361 He went in advance, he and a few a mile in measure, that the mere stands, of the wary men, to view the plain, over which hang rustling groves;
till suddenly he found mountain-trees a wood fast rooted the water o'ershadows. | overhanging a hoary rock, “There every night may be seen a dire won a joyless wood; there was water beneath, der,
gory and troubled. To all the Danes, fire in the flood. None so wise lives
friends of the Scyldings, 'twas grievous in of the children of men, who knows the bottom. mind, Although the heath-stepper, wearied by hounds, a source of sorrow to many a thane, the stag strong of horns, seek that holtwood, pain to each earl, when of Æschere,
1420 driven from far, he will give up his life, 1370 on the sea-shore, the head they found. his breath, on the shore, ere he will venture The flood boiled with blood, the people looked his head upon it. That is no pleasant place.
on Thence surging of waters upwards ascends at the hot glowing gore. The horn at times wan to the welkin, when the wind stirs up
sang the hateful tempests, till air grows gloomy a ready war-song. The band all sat. and skies shed tears. Again now is counsel They saw in the water a host of the worm-kind, in thee alone! The spot thou yet ken 'st not, strange sea dragons sounding the deep; the perilous place where thou may'st find in the headland-clefts also, nickers lying, this sinful being. Seek if thou dare.
which in the morning oft-times keep With riches will I for the strife reward thee, their sorrowful course upon the sail-road, with ancient treasures, as I before did, 1381 worms and wild beasts;—they sped away, with twisted gold, if thou comest off safe.” bitter and rage-swollen; they heard the sound, know,
the war-born singing. The lord of the Geats to my near comrades, if war take me off. with a bolt from his bow took one from life, Also the treasures which thou hast given me, from his wave-strife, and left in his vitals 1434 beloved Hrothgar, to Hygelac send. the hard war-shaft; he in the sea was
By that gold then may the lord of the Geats the slower in swimming, when death took him off.
may Hrethel's son see, when he looks on that Quickly on the waves, with hunting-spears
treasure, sharply hooked, he was strongly pressed, that I in man's virtue haye found one prefelled by force, and drawn up on the headland, eminent, the wonderful swimmer. The men there gazed a giver of rings, and rejoiced while I might. on the grisly guest.
And let Hunferth have the ancient relic, Beowulf girt himself
1441 the wondrous war-sword, let the far-famed man in war-like weeds; for life he feared not; the hard-of-edge have. I with Hrunting 1490 his warrior-byrnie, woven by hands,
will work me renown, or death shall take me." ample and inlaid, must tempt the deep;
After these words the Weder-Geats' lord it could well his body protect
with ardor hastened, nor any answer that battle-grip might not scathe his breast, would he await. The sea-wave received the fierce one's wily grasp injure his life. the warrior-hero. It was a day's space But the flashing helm guarded his head,
ere he the bottom could perceive. . (which with the sea-bottom was to mingle, 1449 Forthwith she found-she who the flood's and seek the sea-surge) with jewels adorned,
course encircled with chains, as in days of yore had blood-thirsty held a hundred years, the weapon-smith wrought it, wondrously grim and greedy—that a man from above framed,
was there exploring the realm of strange creaset with swine-figures, so that thereafter
1500 no brand nor war-sword ever could bite it. Then at him she grasped, the warrior seized
Nor then was that least of powerful aids in her horrible claws. Nathless she crushed not which Hrothgar's oratori lent him at need: his unhurt body; the ring-mail guarded him, Hrunting was named the hafted falchion. so that she might not pierce that war-dress, 'Twas among the foremost of olden treasures; the lock-linked sark, with her hostile fingers. its edge was iron, tainted with poison, 1459 Then when the sea-wolf reached the bottom, harden'd with warrior-blood; ne'er in battle | she bore to her dwelling the prince of rings had it failed any of those that brandished it, so that he might not, brave as he was, who durst to travel the ways of terror,
his weapons wield; for many strange beings the perilous trysts. 'Twas not the first time in the deep oppressed him, many a sea-beast that it a valorous deed should perform.
with its battle tusks his war-sark broke;. 1511 Surely Ecglaf's son remembered not,
the wretches pursued him. Then the earl found the mighty in power, what erst he had said, he was in he knew not what dread hall, drunken with wine, when the weapon he lent | where him no water in aught could scathe, to a better sword-warrior. He durst not himself nor because of the roof could the sudden grip 'mid the strife of the waves adventure his life, of the flood reach him; he saw a fire-light, a great deed perform; there lost he his credit a brilliant beam brightly shining. for valorous doing. Not so with the other 1471 | The hero perceived then the wolf of the deeps, when he had prepared himself for battle!
the mighty mere-wife; a powerful onslaught
he made with his falchion, the sword-blow withXXIII. THE FIGHT BENEATH THE WAVES
so on her head the ringed brand sang Beowulf spake, Ecgtheow's son:
a horrid war-song. The guest then discovered “Remember thou now, great son of Healfdene,
how that the battle-beam would not bite, sagacious prince, now I am ready to go,
would not scathe life, but that the edge failed O gold-friend of men, the things we have.
its lord at his need; erst had it endured spoken:
hand-conflicts many, slashed often the helm, If I should lose my life for thy need,
war-garb of the doomed; then was the first time that thou wouldst ever be to me,
for the precious gift that its power failed. when I am gone, in a father's stead. 1479
Still was he resolute, slacked not his ardor, Be a guardian thou to my fellow thanes,
of great deeds mindful was Hygelac's kinsman, 1 Hunferth (cf. 1. 499)
Flung he the twisted brand, curiously bound,
the angry champion, that stiff and steel-edged | angry and resolute. Nor was the edge it lay on the earth; in his strength he trusted, to the war-prince useless; for he would forthhis powerful hand-grip. So shall man do, 1534
with when he in battle thinks of gaining
Grendel requite for the many raids lasting praise, nor cares for his life.
that he had made upon the West Danes, By the shoulder then seized he (recked not of and not on one occasion only, her malice),
when he Hrothgar 's hearth-companions 1580 the lord of the war-Geats, Grendel's mother; slew in their rest, sleeping devoured the fierce fighter hurled, incensed as he was, fifteen men of the folk of the Danes, the mortal foe, that she fell to the ground. and as many others conveyed away, She quickly repaid him again in full 1541 hateful offerings. He had so repaid him with her fierce grasps, and at him caught; for that, the fierce champion, that at rest he then stumbled he weary, of warriors the strongest,
weary of contest, Grendel lying the active champion, so that he fell.
deprived of his life, as he had been scathed by She pressed down the hall-guest, and drew her the conflict at Heorot; the corpse boundeŭ far dagger,
when after death he suffered the stroke, 1589 the broad gleaming blade,—would avenge her the hard sword-blow, and his head it severed. son,
Forthwith they saw, the sagacious men, her only child. On his shoulder lay
those who with Hrothgar kept watch on the the braided breast-net which shielded his life
water, 'gainst point, 'gainst edge, all entrance with that the surge of the waves was all commingled, stood.
the deep stained with blood. The grizzly-haired Then would have perished Ecgtheow's son old men together spake of the hero, 'neath the wide earth, champion of the Geats, how they of the atheling hoped no more had not his war-byrnie help afforded, 1552 that, victory-flush ’d, he would come to seek his battle-net hard, and holy God
their famous king, since this seemed a sign awarded the victory. The wise Lord,
that him the sea-wolf had quite destroyed. Ruler of Heaven, with justice decided it
The noon-tide* came, they left the nesses, easily, when he again stood up.
the Scyldings bold; departed home thence
the gold-friend of men. The strangers sat, XXIV. VICTORY
sick of mood, and gazed on the mere, 1603
wished but weened not that they their dear lord Then he saw 'mongst the arms a victorious
himself should see. falchion,
Then that sword, the war-blade, an old jotun-sword, of edges doughty,
with its battle-gore like bloody icicles, the glory of warriors; of weapons 'twas choic
began to fade. A marvel it was, est,
how it all melted, most like to ice save it was greater than any man else
when the Father relaxes the bands of the frost, to the game of war could carry forth,
unwinds the flood-fetters, He who has power good and gorgeous, the work of giants.
over seasons and times; true ('reator is that! The knotted hilt seized he, the Scyldings'
More treasures he took not, the Weder-Geats' warrior,
1612 fierce and deadly grim, the ringed sword swung; within those dwellings (though many he saw despairing of life, he angrily struck,
there) that 'gainst her neck it griped her hard,
| except the head, and the hilt also, her bone-ringsi brake. Thro' her fated carcass
ss with jewels shining;—the blade had all melted, the falchion passed; on the ground she sank.
the drawn brand was burnt, so hot was the The blade was gory, the man joy'd in his work. blood, The sword-beam shone bright, light rayed so venomous the demon, who down there had within,
perished. even as from heaven serenely shines
Afloat soon was he that at strife had awaited the candle of the firmament. The looked down the slaughter of foes; he swam up through the
the chamber, then turned by the wall; his weapon upraised firm by the hilt Hygelac's thane,
* An apparent admission of the exaggeration in
1. 1495, though noon meant formerly the
ninth hour of the day, which would bring it 1 vertebrae