Beowulf: Morris and Wyatt Chapter 27

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XXVII. BEOWULF BIDS HROTHGAR FAREWELL: THE GEATS FARE TO SHIP.

Out then spake Beowulf,     Ecgtheow’s bairn:

As now we sea-farers,     have will to be saying,

We from afar come,     that now are we fainest,

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Of seeking to Hygelac.     Here well erst were we,

Serv’d as our wills would,     and well thine avail was.

If I on the earth then,     be it e’en but a little,

Of the love of thy mood may yet,     more be an-earning,

O lord of the men-folk,     than heretofore might I,

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Of the works of the battle yare,     then soon shall I be.

If I should be learning,     I over the flood’s run,

That the sitters about thee,     beset thee with dread,

Even thee hating,     as otherwhile did they;

Then thousands to theeward,     of thanes shall I bring,

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For the helping of heroes.     Of Hygelac wot I,

The lord of the Geat-folk,     though he be but a youngling,

That shepherd of folk,     that me will he further,

By words and by works,     that well may I ward thee,

And unto thine helping,     the spear-holt may bear,

A main-staying mighty,     whenas men thou art needing.

And if therewith Hrethric,     in the courts of the Geat-house,

The King’s bairn, take hosting,     then may he a many,

Of friends find him soothly:     far countries shall be,

Better sought to by him,     who for himself is doughty.

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Out then spake Hrothgar,     in answer to himward:

Thy word-saying soothly,     the Lord of all wisdom,

Hath sent into thy mind;     never heard I more sagely,

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In a life that so young was,     a man word be laying;

Strong of might and main art thou,     and sage of thy mood,

Wise the words of thy framing.     Tell I this for a weening,

If it so come to pass that,     the spear yet shall take,

Or the battle all sword-grim,     the son of that Hrethel,

Or sickness or iron,     thine Alderman have,

Thy shepherd of folk,     and thou fast to life hold thee,

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Then no better than thee may,     the Sea-Geats be having,

To choose for themselves,     no one of the kings,

Hoard-warden of heroes,     if then thou wilt hold,

Thy kinsman’s own kingdom.     Me liketh thy mood-heart,

The longer the better,     O Beowulf the lief;

In such wise hast thou fared,     that unto the folks now,

The folk of the Geats,     and the Gar-Danes withal,

In common shall peace be,     and strife rest appeased,

And the hatreds the doleful,     which erst they have dreed;

Shall become, whiles I wield it,     this wide realm of ours,

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Treasures common to either,     folk: many a one other,

With good things shall greet,     o’er the bath of the gannet;

And the ring’d bark withal over,     sea shall be bringing,

The gifts and love-tokens.     The twain folks I know,

Toward foeman toward friend,     fast-fashion’d together,

In every way blameless,     as in the old wise.

Then the refuge of warriors,     he gave him withal,

Gave Healfdene’s son,     of treasures yet twelve;

And he bade him with those gifts,     to go his own people,

To seek in all soundness,     and swiftly come back.

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Then kissed the king,     he of noble kin gotten,

The lord of the Scyldings,     that best of the thanes,

By the halse then he took him;     from him fell the tears,

From the blended of hoar hair.     Of both things was there hoping,

To the old, the old wise one;     yet most of the other,

To wit, that they sithence,     each each might be seeing,

The high-heart in council.     To him so lief was he,

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That he his breast-welling,     might nowise forbear,

But there in his bosom,     bound fast in his heart-bonds,

After that dear man,     a longing dim-hidden,

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Burn’d against blood-tie.     So Beowulf thenceforth,

The gold-proud of warriors,     trod the mould grassy,

Exulting in gold-store.     The sea-ganger bided,

Its owning-lord whereas,     at anchor it rode.

Then was there in going,     the gift of King Hrothgar,

Oft highly accounted; yea,     that was a king,

In every wise blameless, till eld,     took from him eftsoon,

The joyance of might,     as it oft scathes a many.

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