Kirtlan Chapter 7


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Hrothgar gave answer,

the protector of the Danes:

‘O my friend Beowulf,

now thou hast sought us,

for defence and for favour.

Thy father fought in the greatest of feuds.

He was banesman to Heatholaf


amongst the Wylfings,

when for battle-terror the King of the Geats could not hold him.

Thence he sought the folk of the South Danes over the welter of waves.

Then first was I ruling the Danish folk,

and in my youthful days possessed the costly jewels,

the treasure city of heroes.

Then Heregar was dead,

my elder brother not living was he,

the child of Healfdene.

He was a better man than I was.

Then a payment of money settled the matter.

I sent to the Wylfings ancient presents over the sea-ridges.

And he swore to me oaths.

And it is to me great sorrow in my heart to tell any man what Grendel hath done in Hart through his malice,

of humiliation and sudden horror.

My hall-troop has grown less,

the crowd of my thanes;

Weird13 has swept them towards the terror of Grendel.

But easily may the good God restrain


the deeds of the foolish scather.

And drunken with beer the warriors full often boasted o’er the ale-cup that they would bide in the beer-hall the battle of Grendel with the terror of swords.

Then was the mead-hall all bloodstained in the morning when dawn came shining,

and all the benches were wet with gore,

the hall with sword-blood.

And so much the less did I rule o’er dear doughty ones whom death had taken.

Now sit down to the banquet and unbind thy thoughts,

thy hopes to the thanes,

as thy mind inspires thee.

’ Then was there room made in the beer-hall for the Geats all together.

And there they went and sat down,

the strong-hearted men,

proud of their strength.

And a thane waited on them,

who bore in his hands the ale-cup bedecked,

and he poured out the sparkling mead,

while the clear-voiced bard kept singing in Hart.

There was joy to the heroes,

and a very great gathering of Danes and of Geats.


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