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XLIII. OF THE BURIAL OF BEOWULF.
For him then they geared, the folk of the Geats,
A pile on the earth, all unweaklike that was,
With war-helms behung, and with boards of the battle,
And bright byrnies,e’en after, the boon that he bade.
Laid down then amidmost, their king mighty-famous,
The warriors lamenting, the lief lord of them.
Began on the burg, of bale-fires the biggest,
The warriors to waken: the wood-reek went up,
Swart over the smoky glow, sound of the flame,
Bewound with the weeping, (the wind-blending stilled),
Until it at last, the bone-house had broken,
Hot at the heart. All unglad of mind,
With mood-care they mourned, their own liege lord’s quelling.
Likewise a sad lay, the wife of aforetime,
For Beowulf the king, with her hair all upbounden,
Sang sorrow-careful; said oft and over,
That harm-days for herself, in hard wise she dreaded,
The slaughter-falls many, much fear of the warrior,
The shaming and bondage. Heaven swallow’d the reek.
Wrought there and fashion’d, the folk of the Weders,
A howe on the lithe, that high was and broad.
Unto the wave-farers, wide to be seen:
Then it they betimber’d, in time of ten days,
The battle-strong’s beacon; the brands’ very-leavings,
They bewrought with a wall, in the worthiest of ways,
That men of all wisdom, might find how to work.
Into burg then they did, the rings and bright sun-gems,
And all such adornments, as in the hoard there,
The war-minded men, had taken e’en now;
The earls’ treasures let they, the earth to be holding,
Gold in the grit, wherein yet it liveth,
As useless to men-folk, as ever it erst was.
Then round the howe rode, the deer of the battle,
The bairns of the athelings, twelve were they in all.
Their care would they mourn, and bemoan them their king,
The word-lay would they utter, and over the man speak:
They accounted his earlship, and mighty deeds done,
And doughtily deem’d them; as due as it is,
That each one his friend-lord, with words should belaud,
And love in his heart, whenas forth shall he,
Away from the body, be fleeting at last.
In such wise they grieved, the folk of the Geats,
For the fall of their lord, e’en they his hearth-fellows;
Quoth they that he was, a world-king forsooth,
The mildest of all men, unto men kindest,
To his folk the most gentlest, most yearning of fame.