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XI. NOW IS BEOWULF LEFT IN THE HALL ALONE WITH HIS MEN.
Then wended him Hrothgar, with the band of his warriors,
The high-ward of the Scyldings, from out of the hall,
For then would the war-lord, go seek unto Wealhtheow,
The Queen for a bed-mate. The glory of king-folk,
Against Grendel had set, as men have heard say,
A hall-ward who held him, a service apart,
In the house of the Dane-lord, for eoten-ward held he.
Forsooth he, the Geat-lord, full gladly he trowed,
In the might of his mood, and the grace of the Maker.
Therewith he did off him, his byrny of iron,
And the helm from his head, and his dighted sword gave,
The best of all irons, to the thane that abode him,
And bade him to hold, that harness of battle.
Bespake then the good one, a big word he gave out,
Beowulf the Geat, ere on the bed strode he:
Nowise in war, I deem me more lowly,
In the works of the battle than Grendel, I ween;
So not with the sword shall, I lull him to slumber,
Or take his life thuswise, though to me were it easy;
Of that good wise he wots not, to get the stroke on me,
To hew on my shield, for as stark as he shall be,
In the works of the foeman. So we twain a night-tide,
Shall forgo the sword, if he dare yet to seek,
The war without weapons. Sithence the wise God,
The Lord that is holy, on which hand soever,
The glory may doom, as due to him seemeth.
Bowed down then the war-deer, the cheek-bolster took,
The face of the earl; and about him a many,
Of sea-warriors bold, to their hall-slumber bow’d them;
No one of them thought that, thence away should he,
Seek ever again, to his home the beloved,
His folk or his free burg, where erst he was fed;
For of men had they learn’d, that o’er mickle a many,
In that wine-hall aforetime, the fell death had gotten,
Of the folk of the Danes; but the Lord to them gave it,
To the folk of the Weders, the web of war-speeding,
Help fair and good comfort, e’en so that their foeman,
Through the craft of one man, all they overcame,
By the self-might of one. So is manifest truth,
That God the Almighty, the kindred of men,
Hath wielded wide ever. Now by wan night there came,
There strode in the shade-goer; slept there the shooters,
They who that horn-house, should be a-holding,
All men but one man: to men was that known,
That them indeed might not, since will’d not the Maker,
The scather unceasing, drag off ‘neath the shadow;
But he ever watching in wrath, ’gainst the wroth one,
Mood-swollen abided, the battle-mote ever.