Beowulf: Morris and Wyatt Chapter 08

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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;

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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,

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The Healfdene’s bairn that,     was better than I.

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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.

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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,

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Of dear and of doughty,     for them death had gotten.

Now sit thou to feast,     and unbind thy mood freely,

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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.

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