Kirtlan Chapter 43

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XLIII

Then the People of the Geats got ready the mighty funeral pyre,

and hung it round with helmets and battle-shields,

and bright byrnies as he had asked.

And in the midst they lay the famous Prince,

and they lamented the Hero,

[185]

their dear lord.

Then the warriors began to stir up the greatest of bale-fires on the cliff-side.

And the reek of the wood-smoke went up swart,

over the flame,

which was resounding,

and its roar mingled with weeping (and the tumult of winds was still),

until it had broken the body,

all hot into the heart.

And unhappy in their thinkings,

and with minds full of care,

they proclaim the death of their lord,

likewise a sorrowful song the Bride.

82

And heaven swallowed up the smoke.

Then on the cliff-slopes the people of the Geats erected a mound,

very high and very broad,

that it might be beholden from afar by the wave-farers;

and they set up the beacon of the mighty in battle in ten days.

And the leavings of the funeral fire they surrounded with a wall,

so that very proud men might find it to be most worthy of reverence.

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And they did on the barrow rings and necklaces,

and all such adornments as formerly warlike men had taken of the hoard.

And they allowed the earth to hold the treasure of earls,

the gold on the ground,

where it still is to be found as useless to men as it always was.

83 Then the battle-dear men rode round about the mound,

the children of the Athelings,

twelve of them there were in all,

and would be uttering their sorrows and lamenting their King,

and reciting a dirge,

and speaking of their champion.

And they talked of his earlship and of his brave works,

and deemed them doughty,

as is fitting that a man should praise his lord in words and cherish him in his heart when he shall have gone forth from the fleeting body.

So the People of the Geats lamented over the fall of their lord,

his hearth-companions,

and said that he was a world-king,

and the mildest,

the gentlest of men,

and most tender to his people,

and most eager for their praise.

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