Beowulf: Morris and Wyatt Chapter 15

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XV. KING HROTHGAR AND HIS THANES LOOK ON THE ARM OF GRENDEL. CONVERSE BETWIXT HROTHGAR AND BEOWULF CONCERNING THE BATTLE.

Out then spake Hrothgar;     for he to the hall went,

By the staple a-standing,     the steep roof he saw,

Shining fair with the gold,     and the hand there of Grendel:

For this sight that I see,     to the All-wielder thanks,

Befall now forthwith,     for foul evil I bided,

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All griefs from this Grendel;     but God, glory’s Herder,

Wonder on wonder,     ever can work.

Unyore was it then,     when I for myself,

Might ween never more,     wide all through my life-days,

Of the booting of woes;     when all blood-besprinkled,

The best of all houses,     stood sword-gory here;

Wide then had the woe thrust off,     each of the wise,

Of them that were looking,     that never life-long,

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That land-work of the folk,     they might ward from the loathly,

From ill wights and devils.     But now hath a warrior,

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Through the might of the Lord a deed,     made thereunto,

Which we, and all we,     together, in nowise,

By wisdom might work.     What! well might be saying,

That maid whosoever,     this son brought to birth,

According to man’s kind,     if yet she be living,

That the Maker of old time,     to her was all-gracious,

In the bearing of bairns.     O Beowulf,     I now,

Thee best of all men,     as a son unto me,

Will love in my heart,     and hold thou henceforward,

Our kinship new-made now;     nor to thee shall be lacking,

950
As to longings of world-goods,     whereof I have wielding;

Full oft I for lesser things,     guerdon have given,

The worship of hoards,     to a warrior was weaker,

A worser in strife.     Now thyself for thyself,

By deeds hast thou fram’d it,     that liveth thy fair fame,

For ever and ever.     So may the All-wielder,

With good pay thee ever,     as erst he hath done it.

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Then Beowulf spake out,     the Ecgtheow’s bairn:

That work of much might,     with mickle of love,

We framed with fighting,     and frowardly ventur’d,

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The might of the uncouth;     now I would that rather,

Thou mightest have look’d on,     the very man there,

The foe in his fret-gear,     all worn unto falling.

There him in all haste,     with hard griping did I,

On the slaughter-bed deem it,     to bind him indeed,

That he for my hand-grip,     should have to be lying,

All busy for life:     but his body fled off.

Him then, I might not,     (since would not the Maker),

From his wayfaring sunder,     nor naught so well sought I,

The life-foe; o’er-mickle,     of might was he yet,

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The foeman afoot:     but his hand has he left us,

A life-ward, a-warding,     the ways of his wending,

His arm and his shoulder therewith.     Yet in nowise,

That wretch of the grooms,     any solace hath got him,

Nor longer will live,     the loathly deed-doer,

Beswinked with sins;     for the sore hath him now,

In the grip of need grievous,     in strait hold togather’d,

With bonds that be baleful:     there shall he abide,

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That wight dyed with all,     evil-deeds, the doom mickle,

For what wise to him,     the bright Maker will write it.

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Then a silenter man,     was the son there of Ecglaf,

In the speech of the boasting,     of works of the battle,

After when every atheling,     by craft of the earl,

Over the high roof had look’d,     on the hand there,

Yea, the fiend’s fingers,     before his own eyen,

Each one of the nail-steads,     most like unto steel,

Hand-spur of the heathen one;     yea, the own claw,

Uncouth of the war-wight.     But each one there quoth it,

That no iron of the best,     of the hardy of folk,

Would touch him at all,     which e’er of the monster,

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The battle-hand bloody,     might bear away thence.

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