Beowulf: Morris and Wyatt Chapter 06

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VI. BEOWULF AND THE GEATS COME INTO HART.

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Stone-diverse the street was,     straight uplong the path led,

The warriors together.     There shone the war-byrny,

The hard and the hand-lock’d;     the ring-iron sheer,

Sang over their war-gear,     when they to the hall first,

In their gear the all-fearful,     had gat them to ganging.

So then the sea-weary,     their wide shields set down,

Their war-rounds the mighty,     against the hall’s wall.

Then bow’d they to bench,     and rang there the byrnies,

The war-weed of warriors,     and up-stood the spears,

The war-gear of the sea-folk,     all gather’d together.

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The ash-holt grey-headed;     that host of the iron,

With weapons was worshipful.     There then a proud chief,

Of those lads of the battle,     speer’d after their line:

Whence ferry ye then,     the shields golden-faced,

The grey sarks therewith,     and the helms all bevisor’d,

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And a heap of the war-shafts?     Now am I of Hrothgar,

The man and the messenger:     ne’er saw I of aliens,

So many of men,     more might-like of mood.

I ween that for pride-sake,     no wise for wrack-wending,

But for high might of mind,     ye to Hrothgar have sought.

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Unto him then the heart-hardy,     answer’d and spake,

The proud earl of the Weders,     the word gave aback,

The hardy neath helm:     Now of Hygelac are we,

The board-fellows;     Beowulf e’en is my name,

And word will I say,     unto Healfdene’s son,

To the mighty, the folk-lord,     what errand is mine,

Yea unto thy lord,     if to us he will grant it,

That him, who so good is,     anon we may greet.

Spake Wulfgar the word,     a lord of the Wendels,

And the mood of his heart,     of a many was kenned,

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His war and his wisdom:     I therefore the Danes’ friend,

Will lightly be asking,     of the lord of the Scyldings,

The dealer of rings,     since the boon thou art bidding,

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The mighty folk-lord,     concerning thine errand,

And swiftly the answer,     shall do thee to wit,

Which the good one to give thee,     aback may deem meetest.

Then turn’d he in haste,     to where Hrothgar was sitting,

Right old and all hoary,     mid the host of his earl-folk:

Went the valour-stark;     stood he the shoulders before,

Of the Dane-lord:     well could he the doughty ones’ custom.

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So Wulfgar spake forth,     to his lord the well-friendly:

Hither are ferry’d now,     come from afar off,

O’er the field of the ocean,     a folk of the Geats;

These men of the battle,     e’en Beowulf name they,

Their elder and chiefest,     and to thee are they bidding,

That they, O dear lord,     with thee may be dealing,

In word against word.     Now win them no naysay,

Of thy speech again-given,     O Hrothgar the glad-man:

For they in their war-gear,     methinketh, be worthy,

Of good deeming of earls;     and forsooth naught but doughty,

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Is he who hath led o’er,     the warriors hither.

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