Beowulf: Morris and Wyatt Chapter 26

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XXVI. MORE CONVERSE OF HROTHGAR AND BEOWULF: THE GEATS MAKE THEM READY FOR DEPARTURE.

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Until that within him,     a deal of o’erthink-ing,

Waxeth and groweth,     while sleepeth the warder,

The soul’s herdsman;     that slumber too fast is forsooth,

Fast bounden by troubles,     the banesman all nigh,

E’en he that from arrow-bow,     evilly shooteth.

Then he in his heart,     under helm is besmitten,

With a bitter shaft; not a whit,     then may he ward him,

From the wry wonder-biddings,     of the ghost the all-wicked.

Too little he deems that,     which long he hath hold.

Wrath-greedy he covets;     nor e’en for boast-sake gives,

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The rings fair beplated;     and the forth-coming doom,

Forgetteth, forheedeth,     for that God gave him erewhile,

The Wielder of glory,     a deal of the worship.

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At the ending-stave then,     it after befalleth,

That the shell of his body,     sinks fleeting away,

And falleth all fey;     and another one fetcheth,

E’en one that undolefully,     dealeth the treasure,

The earl’s gains of aforetime,     and fear never heedeth.

From the bale-envy ward thee,     lief Beowulf, therefore,

Thou best of all men,     and choose thee the better,

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The redes everlasting;     to o’erthinkirig turn not,

O mighty of champions!     for now thy might breatheth,

For a short while of time;     but eft-soon it shall be,

That sickness or edges,     from thy strength thee shall sunder,

Or the hold of the fire,     or the welling of floods,

Or the grip of the sword-blade,     or flight of the spear,

Or eld the all-evil:     or the beaming of eyen,

Shall fail and shall dim:     then shall it be forthright,

That thee, lordly man,     the death over-masters.

E’en so I the Ring-Danes,     for an hundred of seasons,

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Did wield under the welkin,     and lock’d them by war,

From many a kindred,     the Middle-Garth over,

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With ash-spears and edges,     in such wise that not ever,

Under the sky’s run of,     my foemen I reckoned.

What! to me in my land came,     a shifting of that,

Came grief after game,     sithence Grendel befell,

My foeman of old,     mine ingoer soothly.

I from that onfall,     bore ever unceasing,

Mickle mood-care;     herefor be thanks to the Maker,

To the Lord everlasting,     that in life I abided,

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Yea, that I on that head,     all sword-gory there,

Now the old strife is over,     with eyen should stare.

Go fare thou to settle,     the feast-joyance dree thou,

O war-worshipp’d! unto us,     twain yet there will be,

Mickle treasure in common,     when come is the morning.

Glad of mood then the Geat was,     and speedy he gat him,

To go see the settle,     as the sage one commanded.

Then was after as erst,     that they of the might-fame,

The floor-sitters, fairly,     the feasting bedight them,

All newly. The helm,     of the night loured over,

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Dark over the host-men.     Uprose all the doughty,

For he, the hoar-blended,     would wend to his bed,

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That old man of the Scyldings.     The Geat without measure,

The mighty shield-warrior,     now willed him rest.

And soon now the hall-thane him,     of way-faring weary,

From far away come,     forth show’d him the road,

E’en he who for courtesy,     cared for all things,

Of the needs of the thane,     e’en such as on that day,

The farers o’er ocean,     would fainly have had.

Rested then the wide-hearted;     high up the house tower’d,

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Wide-gaping all gold-dight;     within slept the guest;

Until the black raven,     the blithe-hearted, boded,

The heavens’ joy: then was,     come thither a-hastening,

The bright sun o’er the plains,     and hastened the scathers,

The athelings once more,     aback to their people,

All fain to be faring;     and far away thence,

Would the comer high-hearted,     go visit his keel.

Bade then the hard,     one Hrunting to bear,

The Ecglaf’s son bade,     to take him his sword,

The iron well-lov’d;     gave him thanks for the lending,

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Quoth he that the war-friend,     for worthy he told,

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Full of craft in the war;     nor with word he aught,

The edge of the sword. Hah!     the high-hearted warrior.

So whenas all way-forward,     yare in their war-gear,

Were the warriors, the dear one,     then went to the Danes,

To the high seat went the Atheling,     whereas was the other;

The battle-bold warrior,     gave greeting to Hrothgar.

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