Kirtlan Chapter 18

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XVIII

And the cup was borne to them,

and a friendly invitation given to them in words,

and twisted gold was graciously proffered him,

two arm-ornaments,

armour and rings,

and the greatest of neck-rings of which I heard tell anywhere on earth.

Ne’er heard I of better hoard jewels of heroes under the sky,

since Hama carried away the Brosinga-men27 to the bright city,

ornaments and treasure vessel.

It was he who fled from the cunning plots of Eormanric28 and chose eternal gain.

Hygelac of the Geats next had the ring,

he who was the grandson of Swerting,

when under the standard he protected the treasure and defended the plunder.

And Weird carried him off when he,

because of pride suffered woes,

the feud with the Frisians.

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Then carried he the jewels,

the precious stones over the sea,

he who was the ruling prince,

and he fell under shield;

and the life of the king and the coat of mail and ring together came into possession of the Franks.

And worse warriors plundered the slaughter after the war.

And the corpses of the Geats held the field of death.

The hall resounded with noise when Wealtheow spake these words in the midst of the court:

‘Enjoy this ring,

dearest Beowulf,

and use this coat of mail,

these national treasures,

and good luck befall thee!

Declare thyself a good craftsman,

and be to these boys gentle in teaching,

and I will be mindful of thy guerdon for that thou hast so acted that men will esteem thee far and near for ever and ever,

even as widely as the sea doth encompass the windy earth-walls.

Be a noble Atheling as long as thou livest.

I give thee many treasures.

Be thou kindly in deed to my sons,

joyful as thou art.

For here is each earl true to his fellow,

and mild of mood,

and faithful to his liege-lord.

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Thanes are gentle,

the people all ready.

O ye warriors who have drunk deep,

do as I tell you.

’ She went to the seat where was a choice banquet,

and the men drank wine.

They knew not Weird,

the Fate that was grim,

as it had befallen many an earl.

Then evening came on,

and Hrothgar betook him to his own quarters,

the Prince to his resting-place,

and a great number of earls kept guard o’er the palace as often they had done in former days.

They laid bare the bench-board and spread it over with beds and bolsters.

And one of the beer-servants eager and fated went to his bed on the floor.

And they set at his head war-shields,

that were bright.

And over the Atheling,

there on the bench was easily seen the towering helmet and the ringed byrny,

the glorious spear.

It was their wont to be ready for war both at home and in battle,

at whatever time their lord had need of them.

The season was propitious.

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