Beowulf: Morris and Wyatt Chapter 18

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XVIII. THE ENDING OF THE TALE OF FINN.

Departed the warriors,     their wicks to visit,

All forlorn of their friends now,     Friesland to look on,

Their homes and their high burg.     Hengest a while yet,

Through the slaughter-dyed winter,     bode dwelling with Finn,

And all without strife:     he remember’d his homeland,

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Though never he might o’er,     the mere be a-driving,

The high prow be-ringed:     with storm the holm welter’d,

Won war ‘gainst the winds;     winter locked the waves,

With bondage of ice,     till again came another,

Of years into the garth,     as yet it is ever,

And the days which the season,     to watch never cease,

The glory-bright weather;     then gone was the winter,

And fair was the earth’s barm.     Now hastened the exile.

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The guest from the garths;     he on getting of vengeance,

Of harms thought more greatly,     than of the sea’s highway,

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If he but a wrath-mote,     might yet be a-wending,

Where the bairns of the Eotens,     might he still remember.

The ways of the world,     forwent he in nowise,

Then, whenas Hunlafing,     the light of the battle,

The best of all bills,     did into his breast,

Whereof mid the Eotens,     were the edges well knowen.

Withal to the bold-hearted,     Finn befell after,

Sword-bales the deadly,     at his very own dwelling,

When the grim grip of war,     Guthlaf and Oslaf,

After the sea-fare,     lamented with sorrow,

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And wyted him deal of their woes;     nor then might he,

In his breast hold his wavering heart.     Was the hall dight,

With the lives of slain foemen,     and slain eke was Finn,

The King ‘midst of his court-men;     and there the Queen, taken,

The shooters of the Scyldings,     ferry’d down to the sea-ships,

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And the house-wares and chattels,     the earth-king had had,

E’en such as at Finn’s home,     there might they find,

Of collars and cunning gems.     They on the sea-path,

The all-lordly wife,     to the Danes straightly wended,

Led her home to their people.     So sung was the lay,

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The song of the gleeman;     then again arose game,

The bench-voice wax’d brighter,     gave forth the birlers,

Wine of the wonder-vats.     Then came forth Wealhtheow,

Under gold ring a-going to,     where sat the two good ones,

The uncle and nephew,     yet of kindred unsunder’d,

Each true to the other.     Eke Unferth the spokesman,

Sat at feet of the Scyldings’ lord;     each of his heart trow’d,

That of mickle mood was he,     though he to his kinsmen,

Were un-upright in edge-play.     Spake the dame of the Scyldings:

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Now take thou this cup,     my lord of the kingly,

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Bestower of treasures!     Be thou in thy joyance,

Thou gold-friend of men!     and speak to these Geat-folk,

In mild words,     as duly behoveth to do;

Be glad toward the Geat-folk,     and mindful of gifts;

From anigh and from far,     peace hast thou as now.

To me one hath said it,     that thou for a son wouldst,

This warrior be holding.     Lo! Hart now is cleansed,

The ring-hall bright-beaming.     Have joy while thou mayest,

In many a meed,     and unto thy kinsmen,

Leave folk and dominion,     when forth thou must fare,

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To look on the Maker’s,     own making. I know now,

My Hrothulf the gladsome,     that he this young man,

Will hold in all honour,     if thou now before him,

O friend of the Scyldings,     shall fare from the world;

I ween that good-will yet,     this man will be yielding,

To our offspring that after us,     be, if he mind him,

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Of all that which we two,     for good-will and for worship,

Unto him erst a child,     yet have framed of kindness.

Then along by the bench did she turn,     where her boys were,

Hrethric and Hrothmund,     and the bairns of high warriors,

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The young ones together;     and there sat the good one,

Beowulf the Geat,     betwixt the two brethren.

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