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XXXVIII. BEOWULF BEHOLDETH THE TREASURE AND PASSETH AWAY.
Then heard I that swiftly, the son of that Weohstan,
After this word-say, his lord the sore wounded,
Battle-sick, there obeyed, and bare forth his ring-net,
His battle-sark woven, in under the burg-roof;
Saw then victory-glad, as by the seat went he,
The kindred-thane moody, sun-jewels a many,
Much glistering gold, lying down on the ground,
Many wonders on wall, and the den of the Worm,
The old twilight-flier; there were flagons a-standing,
The vats of men bygone, of brighteners bereft,
And maim’d of adornment; was many an helm,
Rusty and old, and of arm-rings a many,
Full cunningly twined. All lightly may treasure,
The gold in the ground, every one of mankind,
Befool with o’erweening, hide it who will.
Likewise he saw standing, a sign there all-golden,
High over the hoard, the most of hand-wonders,
With limb-craft belocked, whence light a ray gleamed.
Whereby the den’s ground-plain, gat he to look on,
The fair works scan throughly. Not of the Worm there,
Was aught to be seen now, but the edge had undone him.
Heard I then that in howe, of the hoard was bereaving,
The old work of the giants, but one man alone,
Into his barm laded, beakers and dishes,
At his very own doom; and the sign eke he took,
The brightest of beacons. But the bill of the old lord,
(The edge was of iron), erewhile it scathed,
Him who of that treasure, hand-bearer was,
A long while, and fared, a-bearing the flame-dread,
Before the hoard hot, and welling of fierceness,
In the midnights, until that by murder he died.
In haste was the messenger, eager of back-fare,
Further’d with fretted gems. Him longing fordid,
To wot whether the bold man, he quick there shall meet,
In that mead-stead, e’en he, the king of the Weders,
All sick of his might, whereas he erst Itft him.
He fetching the treasure then, found the king mighty,
His own lord, yet there, and him ever all gory,
At end of his life; and he yet once again,
Fell the water to warp o’er him, till the word’s point,
Brake through the breast-hoard, and Beowulf spake out.
The aged, in grief, as he gaz’d on the gold:
Now I for these fretworks, to the Lord of all thanking,
To the King of all glory, in words am yet saying,
To the Lord ever living, for that which I look on;
Whereas such I might, for the people of mine,
Ere ever my death-day, get me to own.
Now that for the treasure-hoard, here have I sold,
My life and laid down the same, frame still then ever,
The folk-need, for here, never longer I may be.
So bid ye the war-mighty, work me a howe,
Bright after the bale-fire, at the sea’s nose,
Which for a remembrance, to the people of me,
Aloft shall uplift him, at Whale-ness for ever,
That it the sea-goers, sithence may hote,
Beowulf’s Howe, e’en, they that the high-ships,
Over the flood-mists, drive from afar.
Did off from his halse then, a ring was all golden,
The king the great-hearted, and gave to his thane,
To the spear-warrior young, his war-helm gold-brindled,
The ring and the byrny, and bade him well brook them:
Thou art the end-leaving, of all of our kindred,
The W’undings; Weird now, hath swept all away,
Of my kinsmen, and unto, the doom of the Maker,
The earls in their might; now after them shall I.
That was to the aged lord, youngest of words,
Of his breast-thoughts, ere ever, he chose him the bale,
The hot battle-wellings; from his heart now departed,
His soul, to seek out, the doom of the soothfast.