Kirtlan Chapter 15

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XV

Then was it bidden that Hart should be decked by their hands on the inside.

And many there were of the men and wives who adorned that wine-hall the guest-chamber.

And the tapestries shone along the walls brocaded with gold;

many a wonderful sight for every man who stareth upon them.

And that bright dwelling was greatly marred,

though within it was fast bound with iron yet the door-hinges had sprung apart.

The roof alone escaped all safe and sound when the monster turned to flight despairing of life and doomed for his crimes.

Nor will it be easy to escape from that fate,

whosoever may try to,

but he shall get by strife the ready place of the children of men of the soul-bearers,

who dwell upon earth,

by a fate that cannot be escaped where

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his body shall sleep after the banquet fast in the tomb.

Then was the time for Healfdene’s son to go into the hall,

when the King himself would partake of the banquet.

Nor have I ever heard tell that any people in greater numbers bore themselves better about their treasure-giver.

And the wealthy ones sat down on the bench and rejoiced in their feeding.

And full courteously their kinsmen took many a mead-cup,

they the stout-hearted Hrothgar and Hrothulf in the high hall.

And within was Hart filled with friends.

And by no means were the Danes the while framing treacheries.

Then the son of Healfdene gave to Beowulf the golden banner,

the decorated staff banner as a reward for his conquest,

and the helm and the byrny.

And many a one saw the youth bear in front the bejewelled sword.

Beowulf took the cup in the hall.

Nor did he need to be ashamed of the fee-gift in the presence of warriors.

Nor have I heard tell of many men giving to others on any ale-bench,

four gifts gold-decked,

in friendlier

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fashion.

The outside rim wound with wires gave protection to the head on the outer side around the crown of the helmet.

So that many an heirloom20 could not hurt fiercely the helmet that was hardened by being plunged in cold water when the shield-warrior should attack the angry one.

The Protector of earls commanded eight horses to be brought in under the barriers,

with bridles gold plated.

And a varicoloured saddle was fixed upon one of them,

decked out with treasures,

and this was the battle-seat of the high King when the son of Healfdene would be doing the sword-play.

Never in the van did it fail the warrior so widely kenned when the helmets were falling.

Then the Prince of the Danes gave to Beowulf the wielding of them both,

of horses and weapons;

and bade him well enjoy them.

And thus in manly fashion the famous chieftain,

the treasure-guardian of heroes,

rewarded the battle onslaught

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with horses and treasures so as no man can blame them,

whoever will be saying rightly the truth.

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