Beowulf: Morris and Wyatt Chapter 19

Table of Contents

Download Listen as you read along.

XIX. MORE GIFTS ARE GIVEN TO BEOWULF. THE BRISING COLLAR TOLD OF.

Borne to him then the cup was,     and therewith friendly bidding,

In words was put forth;     and gold about wounden,

All blithely they bade him bear;     arm-gearings twain,

Rail and rings,     the most greatest of fashion of neck-rings,

Of them that on earth,     I have ever heard tell of:

Not one under heaven,     wrought better was heard of,

Midst the hoard-gems of heroes,     since bore away Hama,

70
To the bright burg and brave,     the neck-gear of the Brisings,

1200
The gem and the gem-chest:     from the foeman’s guile fled he,

Of Eormenric then,     and chose rede everlasting.

That ring Hygelac had,     e’en he of the Geat-folk,

The grandson of Swerting,     the last time of all times,

When he under the war-sign,     his treasure defended,

The slaughter-prey warded.     Him weird bore away,

Sithence he for pride-sake,     the war-woe abided,

The feud with the Frisians;     the fretwork he flitted,

The gem-stones much worthy,     all over the waves’ cup.

The King the full mighty,     cring’d under the shield;

1210
Into grasp of the Franks,     the King’s life was gotten,

With the gear of the breast,     and the ring altogether;

It was worser war-wolves then,     reft gear from the slain,

After the war-shearing;     there the Geats’ war-folk,

Held the house of the dead men.     The Hall took the voices;

Spake out then Wealhtheow;     before the host said she:

71
Brook thou this roundel,     lief Beowulf, henceforth,

Dear youth, with all hail,     and this rail be thou using,

These gems of folk-treasures,     and thrive thou well ever;

Thy might then make manifest!     Be to these lads here,

1220
Kind of lore, and for that,     will I look to thy guerdon.

Thou hast won by thy faring,     that far and near henceforth,

Through wide time to come,     men will give thee the worship,

As widely as ever,     the sea winds about,

The windy land-walls.     Be the while thou art living,

An atheling wealthy,     and well do I will thee,

Of good of the treasures;     be thou to my son,

In deed ever friendly,     and uphold thy joyance!

Lo! each of the earls here,     to the other is trusty,

And mild of his mood and,     to man-lord full faithful,

1230
Kind friends all the thanes are,     the folk ever yare.

Ye well drunk of folk-grooms,     now do ye my biddings.

72
To her settle then far’d she;     was the feast of the choicest,

The men drank the wine,     nothing wotting of weird,

The grim shaping of old,     e’en as forth it had gone,

To a many of earls;     sithence came the even,

And Hrothgar departed,     to his chamber on high,

The rich to his rest;     and aright the house warded,

Earls untold of number,     as oft did they erewhile.

The bench-boards they bar’d them,     and there they spread over,

1240
With beds and with bolsters.     Of the beer-skinkers one,

Who fain was and fey bow’d,     adown to his floor-rest.

At their heads then they rested,     their rounds of the battle,

Their board-woods bright-shining.     There on the bench was,

Over the atheling,     easy to look on,

The battle-steep war-helm,     the byrny be-ringed,

The wood of the onset,     all-glorious. Their wont was,

That oft and oft were they,     all yare for the war-tide,

Both at home and in hosting,     were it one were it either,

And for every such tide,     as their liege lord unto,

1250
The need were befallen:     right good was that folk.

Table of Contents