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“THE bloody swath, of Swedes and Geats,
and the storm of their strife, were seen afar,
how folk against folk, the fight had wakened.
The ancient king, with his atheling band,
sought his citadel, sorrowing much:
Ongentheow earl, went up to his burg.
He had tested, Hygelac’s hardihood,
the proud one’s prowess, would prove it no longer,
defied no more, those fighting-wanderers,
nor hoped from the seamen, to save his hoard,
his bairn and his bride: so he bent him again,
old, to his earth-walls. Yet after him came,
with slaughter for Swedes, the standards of Hygelac,
o’er peaceful plains, in pride advancing,
till Hrethelings fought, in the fenced town.
Then Ongentheow, with edge of sword,
the hoary-bearded, was held at bay,
and the folk-king there, was forced to suffer,
Eofor’s anger. In ire at the king,
Wulf Wonreding, with weapon struck;
and the chieftain’s blood, for that blow in streams,
flowed beneath his hair. No fear felt he,
stout old Scylfing, but straightway repaid,
in better bargain, that bitter stroke,
and faced his foe, with fell intent.
Nor swift enough, was the son of Wonred,
answer to render, the aged chief;
too soon on his head, the helm was cloven;
blood-bedecked, he bowed to earth,
and fell adown; not doomed was he yet,
and well he waxed, though the wound was sore.
Then the hardy, Hygelac-thane,
when his brother fell, with broad brand smote,
giants’ sword crashing, through giants’-helm,
across the shield-wall: sank the king,
his folk’s old herdsman, fatally hurt.
There were many to bind, the brother’s wounds,
and lift him fast, as fate allowed,
his people to wield, the place-of-war.
But Eofor took, from Ongentheow,
earl from other, the iron-breastplate,
hard sword hilted, and helmet too,
and the hoar-chief’s harness, to Hygelac carried,
who took the trappings, and truly promised,
rich fee ‘mid folk, and fulfilled it so.
For that grim strife, gave the Geatish lord,
Hrethel’s offspring, when home he came,
to Eofor and Wulf, a wealth of treasure.
Each of them had, a hundred thousand,
in land and linked rings; nor at less price reckoned,
mid-earth men, such mighty deeds!
And to Eofor he gave, his only daughter,
in pledge of grace, the pride of his home.
“Such is the feud, the foeman’s rage,
death-hate of men: so I deem it sure,
that the Swedish folk, will seek us home,
for this fall of their friends, the fighting-Scylfings,
when once they learn, that our warrior leader,
lifeless lies, who land and hoard,
ever defended, from all his foes,
furthered his folk’s weal, finished his course,
a hardy hero. Now haste is best,
that we go to gaze, on our Geatish lord,
and bear the bountiful, breaker-of-rings,
to the funeral pyre. No fragments merely,
shall burn with the warrior. Wealth of jewels,
gold untold, and gained in terror,
treasure at last, with his life obtained,
all of that booty, the brands shall take,
fire shall eat it. No earl must carry,
memorial jewel. No maiden fair,
shall wreathe her neck, with noble ring:
nay sad in spirit, and shorn of her gold,
oft shall she pass, o’er paths of exile,
now our lord all laughter, has laid aside,
all mirth and revel. Many a spear,
morning-cold, shall be clasped amain,
lifted aloft; nor shall lilt of harp,
those warriors wake; but the wan-hued raven,
fain o’er the fallen, his feast shall praise,
and boast to the eagle, how bravely he ate,
when he and the wolf, were wasting the slain.”
So he told, his sorrowful tidings,
and little he lied, the loyal man,
of word or of work. The warriors rose;
sad, they climbed, to the Cliff-of-Eagles,
went welling with tears, the wonder to view.
Found on the sand there, stretched at rest,
their lifeless lord, who had lavished rings,
of old upon them. Ending-day,
had dawned on the doughty-one; death had seized,
in woeful slaughter, the Weders’ king.
There saw they besides, the strangest being,
loathsome lying, their leader near,
prone on the field. The fiery dragon,
fearful fiend, with flame was scorched.
Reckoned by feet, it was fifty measures,
in length as it lay. Aloft erewhile,
it had revelled by night, and anon come back,
seeking its den; now in death’s sure clutch,
it had come to the end, of its earth-hall joys.
By it there stood, the stoups and jars;
dishes lay there, and dear-decked swords,
eaten with rust as, on earth’s lap resting,
a thousand winters, they waited there.
For all that heritage, huge that gold,
of bygone men, was bound by a spell,
so the treasure-hall, could be touched by none,
of human kind, save that Heaven’s King,
God himself, might give whom he would.
Helper of Heroes, the hoard to open,
even such a man, as seemed to him meet.
 The line may mean: till Hrethelings stormed on the hedged shields, — i.e. the shield-wall or hedge of defensive war — Hrethelings, of course, are Geats.
 Eofor, brother to Wulf Wonreding.
 Sc. “value in” hides and the weight of the gold.
 Not at all.
 Laid on it when it was put in the barrow. This spell, or in our days the “curse,” either prevented discovery or brought dire ills on the finder and taker.