Beowulf: Gummere Chapter 18

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XVIII

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A CUP she gave him,     with kindly greeting,

and winsome words.     Of wounden gold,

she offered to honor him,     arm-jewels twain,

corselet and rings,     and of collars the noblest,

that ever I knew,     the earth around.

Never heard I so mighty,     beneath heaven’s dome,

a hoard-gem of heroes,     since Hama bore,

to his bright-built burg,      the Brisings’ necklace,

jewel and gem casket.     Jealousy fled he,

Eormenric’s hate:      chose help eternal,

Hygelac Geat,     grandson of Swerting,

on the last of his raids,     this ring bore with him,

under his banner,     the booty defending,

the war-spoil warding;     but Wyrd o’erwhelmed him,

what time in his daring,     dangers he sought,

feud with Frisians.     Fairest of gems,

he bore with him over,     the beaker-of-waves,

sovran strong:      under shield he died.

Fell the corpse of the king,     into keeping of Franks,

gear of the breast,     and that gorgeous ring;

weaker warriors,     won the spoil,

after grip of battle,     from Geatland’s lord,

and held the death-field.     Din rose in hall,

Wealhtheow spake,     amid warriors and said:

“This jewel enjoy,     in thy jocund youth,

Beowulf loved,     these battle-weeds wear,

a royal treasure,     and richly thrive!

Preserve thy strength,     and these striplings here,

counsel in kindness:      requital be mine.

Hast done such deeds,     that for days to come,

thou art famed among folk,     both far and near,

so wide as washeth,     the wave of Ocean,

his windy walls.     Through the ways of life,

prosper O prince!     I pray for thee,

rich possessions.     To son of mine,

be helpful in deed,     and uphold his joys!

Here every earl,     to the other is true,

mild of mood,     to the master loyal!

Thanes are friendly,     the throng obedient,

liegemen are revelling:      list and obey!”

Went then to her place.     That was proudest of feasts;

flowed wine for the warriors.     Wyrd they knew not,

destiny dire,     and the doom to be seen,

by many an earl,     when eve should come,

and Hrothgar homeward,     hasten away,

royal to rest.     The room was guarded,

by an army of earls,     as before was done.

They bared the bench-boards;     abroad they spread,

beds and bolsters.     One beer-carouser,

in danger of doom,     lay down in the hall.

At their heads they set,     their shields of war,

bucklers bright;     on the bench were there,

over each atheling,     easy to see,

the high battle-helmet,     the haughty spear,

the corselet of rings,     it was their custom so,

ever to be,     for battle prepared,

at home or harrying,     which it were,

even as oft,     as evil threatened,

their sovran king.     They were clansmen good.

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