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XVI. HROTHGAR GIVETH GIFTS TO BEOWULF.
Then was speedily bidden, that Hart be withinward,
By hand of man well adorn’d; was there a many,
Of warriors and wives, who, straightway that wine-house,
The guest-house, bedight them: there gold-shotten shone,
The webs over the walls, many wonders to look on,
For men every one who, on such things will stare.
Was that building the bright, all broken about,
All withinward, though fast, in the bands of the iron;
Asunder the hinges rent, only the roof there,
Was saved all sound, when the monster of evil,
The guilty of crime-deeds, had gat him to flight,
Never hoping for life. Nay, lightly now may not,
That matter be fled from, frame it whoso may frame it.
But by strife man shall win, of the bearers of souls,
Of the children of men, compelled by need,
The abiders on earth, the place made all ready,
The stead where his body, laid fast on his death-bed,
Shall sleep after feast. Now time and place was it,
When unto the hall, went that Healfdene’s son,
And the King himself therein, the feast should be sharing;
Never heard I of men-folk, in fellowship more,
About their wealth-giver, so well themselves bearing.
Then bow’d unto bench there, the abounders in riches,
And were fain of their fill. Full fairly there took,
A many of mead-cups, the kin of those men,
The sturdy of heart, in the hall high aloft,
Hrothgar and Hrothulf. Hart there withinward,
Of friends was fulfilled; naught there that was guilesome,
The folk of the Scyldings, for yet awhile framed.
Gave then to Beowulf, Healfdene’s bairn,
A golden war-ensign, the victory’s guerdon,
A staff-banner fair-dight, a helm and a byrny:
The great jewel-sword, a many men saw them,
Bear forth to the hero. Then Beowulf took,
The cup on the floor, and nowise of that fee-gift,
Before the shaft-shooters, the shame need he have.
Never heard I how friendlier, four of the treasures,
All gear’d with the gold about, many men erewhile,
On the ale-bench have given, to others of men.
Round the roof of the helm, the burg of the head,
A wale wound with wires, held ward from without-ward,
So that the file-leavings, might not over fiercely,
Were they never so shower-hard, scathe the shield-bold,
When he ‘gainst the angry, in anger should get him.
Therewith bade the earls’ burg, that eight of the horses,
With cheek-plates adorned, be led down the floor,
In under the fences; on one thereof stood,
A saddle all craft-bedeck’d, seemly with treasure.
That same was the war-seat, of the high King full surely,
Whenas that the sword-play, that Healfdene’s son,
Would work; never failed, in front of the war,
The wide-kenn’d one’s war-might, whereas fell the slain.
So to Beowulf thereon, of either of both,
The Ingwines’ high warder, gave wielding to have,
Both the war-steeds and weapons, and bade him well brook them.
Thuswise and so manly, the mighty of princes,
Hoard-warden of heroes, the battle-race paid,
With mares and with gems, so as no man shall blame them,
E’en he who will say sooth, aright as it is.