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VIII. HROTHGAR ANSWERETH BEOWULF AND BIDDETH HIM SIT TO THE FEAST.
Spake out then Hrothgar, the helm of the Scyldings:
Thou Beowulf, friend mine, for battle that wardeth,
And for help that is kindly, hast sought to us hither.
Fought down thy father, the most of all feuds;
To Heatholaf was he, forsooth for a hand-bane,
Amidst of the Wylfings. The folk of the Weders,
Him for the war-dread, that while might not hold.
So thence did he seek, to the folk of the South-Danes,
O’er the waves’ wallow, to the Scyldings be-worshipped.
Then first was I wielding, the weal of the Dane-folk,
That time was I holding, in youth-tide the gem-rich,
Hoard-burg of the heroes. Dead then was Heorogar,
Mine elder of brethren; unliving was he,
The Healfdene’s bairn that, was better than I.
That feud then thereafter, with fee did I settle;
I sent to the Wylfing folk, over the waters’ back,
Treasures of old time; he swore the oaths to me.
Sorrow is in my mind, that needs must I say it,
To any of grooms, of Grendel what hath he,
Of shaming in Hart, and he with his hate-wiles,
Of sudden harms framed; the host of my hall-floor,
The war-heap, is waned; Weird swept them away,
Into horror of Grendel. It is God now that may lightly,
The scather the doltish, from deeds thrust aside.
Full oft have they boasted, with beer well bedrunken,
My men of the battle, all over the ale-stoup,
That they in the beer-hall, would yet be abiding,
The onset of Grendel, with the terror of edges.
But then was this mead-hall, in the tide of the morning,
This warrior-hall, gore-stain’d when day at last gleamed,
All the boards of the benches, with blood besteam’d over,
The hall laid with sword-gore: of lieges less had I,
Of dear and of doughty, for them death had gotten.
Now sit thou to feast, and unbind thy mood freely,
Thy war-fame unto men as, the mind of thee whetteth.
Then was for the Geat-folk, and them all together,
There in the beer-hall, a bench bedight roomsome,
There the stout-hearted, hied them to sitting,
Proud in their might: a thane minded the service,
Who in hand upbare, an ale-stoup adorned,
Skinked the sheer mead; whiles sang the shaper,
Clear out in Hart-hall; joy was of warriors,
Men doughty no little, of Danes and of Weders.