Kirtlan Chapter 13

Table of Contents

Download  : MP3 of the text. Listen while you read.

XIII

Then in the morning,

as I have heard say,

was many a battle-warrior round about the gift-hall.

Came the folk-leaders from far and from near along the wide ways to look at the marvel.

Nor did his passing seem

[64]

a thing to grieve over to any of the warriors of those who were scanning the track of the glory-less wight,

how weary in mind he had dragged along his life-steps,

on the way thence doomed and put to flight,

and overcome in the fight at the lake of the sea-monsters.

There was the sea boiling with blood,

the awful surge of waves all mingled with hot gore.

The death-doom?one dyed the lake when void of joys he laid down his life in the fen for refuge.

And hell received him.

Thence after departed the old companions,

likewise many a young one from the joyous journeys,

proud from the lake to ride on mares,

the youths on their horses.

And there was the glory of Beowulf proclaimed.

And many a one was saying that no man was a better man,

no,

none in the whole wide world under arch of the sky,

of all the shield-bearers,

neither south nor north,

by the two seas.

Nor a whit did they blame in the least their friend and lord,

the glad Hrothgar;

for he was a good king.

Meanwhile the famed in battle let

[65]

the fallow mares leap and go faring forth to the contest,

wherever the earth-ways seemed fair unto them and well known for their choiceness:

and the thane of the king,

he who was laden with many a vaunt,

and was mindful of songs,

and remembered a host of very many old sagas,

he found other words,

but bound by the truth.

And a man began wisely to sing the journey of Beowulf,

and to tell skilful tales with speeding that was good,

and to interchange words.

He told all that ever he had heard concerning Sigmund,

17 with his deeds of courage,

and much that is unknown,

the strife of Waelsing;

and the wide journeys which the children of men knew not at all,

the feud and the crimes,

when Fitela was not with him,

when he would be saying any of such things,

the uncle to the nephew,

for always they were comrades in need at all the strivings.

They had laid low very many of the giant’s race by means of the sword.

And after his death-day a no little

[66]

fame sprang up for Sigmund when he,

the hard in battle,

killed the worm,

the guardian of the hoard.

He alone the child of the Atheling,

hazarded a fearful deed,

under the grey stone.

Nor was Fitela with him.

Still it happened to him that his sword pierced through the wondrous worm,

and it stood in the wal,

hat doughty iron,

and the dragon was dead.

And so this monster had gained strength in that going so that he might enjoy the hoard of rings by his own doom.

He loaded the sea-boat and bore the bright treasures on to the ship’s bosom,

he the son of Waels.

The worm melted hot.

He was of wanderers the most widely famous in deeds of courage,

amongst men,

the protector of warriors.

He formerly throve thus.

Then the warfare of Heremod18 was waning,

his strength and his courage,

and he was betrayed among the giants into the hands of the foes,

and sent quickly away.

And too long did whelming sorrow vex his

[67]

soul.

He was a source of care to his people,

to all the nobles,

and many a proud churl often was lamenting in former times the way of life of the stout-hearted,

they who trusted him for the bettering of bales,

that the child of their lord should always be prospering,

and succeed to his father’s kingdom,

and hold the folk,

the hoard and city of refuge,

the kingdom of heroes,

the country of the Danes.

But Beowulf Hygelac’s kinsman was fairer to all men;

but crime assailed Heremod.

19

Sometimes they passed along the fallow streets contending on mares.

Then came the light of morning and hastened forth.

And many a stiff-minded messenger went to the high hall to see the rare wonder.

Likewise the King himself,

the ward of the hoard of rings,

came treading all glorious and with a great suite,

forth from the bridal bower,

and choice was his bearing,

and his Queen with him passed along the way to the Mead-hall with a troop of maidens.

[68]

.

Table of Contents