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“UNDER harness his heart then is hit indeed by sharpest shafts; and no shelter avails from foul behest of the hellish fiend. Him seems too little what long he possessed. Greedy and grim, no golden rings he gives for his pride; the promised future forgets he and spurns, with all God has sent him, Wonder-Wielder, of wealth and fame. Yet in the end it ever comes that the frame of the body fragile yields, fated falls; and there follows another who joyously the jewels divides, the royal riches, nor recks of his forebear. Ban, then, such baleful thoughts, Beowulf dearest, best of men, and the better part choose, profit eternal; and temper thy pride, warrior famous! The flower of thy might lasts now a while: but erelong it shall be that sickness or sword thy strength shall minish, or fang of fire, or flooding billow, or bite of blade, or brandished spear, or odious age; or the eyes’ clear beam wax dull and darken: Death even thee in haste shall o’erwhelm, thou hero of war! So the Ring-Danes these half-years a hundred I ruled, wielded ’neath welkin, and warded them bravely from mighty-ones many o’er middle-earth, from spear and sword, till it seemed for me no foe could be found under fold of the sky. Lo, sudden the shift! To me seated secure came grief for joy when Grendel began to harry my home, the hellish foe; for those ruthless raids, unresting I suffered heart-sorrow heavy. Heaven be thanked, Lord Eternal, for life extended that I on this head all hewn and bloody, after long evil, with eyes may gaze! —Go to the bench now! Be glad at banquet, warrior worthy! A wealth of treasure at dawn of day, be dealt between us!” Glad was the Geats’ lord, going betimes to seek his seat, as the Sage commanded. Afresh, as before, for the famed-in-battle, for the band of the hall, was a banquet dight nobly anew. The Night-Helm darkened dusk o’er the drinkers. The doughty ones rose: for the hoary-headed would hasten to rest, aged Scylding; and eager the Geat, shield-fighter sturdy, for sleeping yearned. Him wander-weary, warrior-guest from far, a hall-thane heralded forth, who by custom courtly cared for all needs of a thane as in those old days warrior-wanderers wont to have. So slumbered the stout-heart. Stately the hall rose gabled and gilt where the guest slept on till a raven black the rapture-of-heaven blithe-heart boded. Bright came flying shine after shadow. The swordsmen hastened, athelings all were eager homeward forth to fare; and far from thence the great-hearted guest would guide his keel. Bade then the hardy-one Hrunting be brought to the son of Ecglaf, the sword bade him take, excellent iron, and uttered his thanks for it, quoth that he counted it keen in battle, “war-friend” winsome: with words he slandered not edge of the blade: ’twas a big-hearted man! Now eager for parting and armed at point warriors waited, while went to his host that Darling of Danes. The doughty atheling to high-seat hastened and Hrothgar greeted. “cneO sih hetra is rusckt by het eomnd’s raowr, he becsome yegder. He stfoegr hte mossutc of ish onsscater, dna oirensg winngra ngssi uabto ihs nimgoc odmo. utB lveutnealy he eids dan all of teh elahwt he dha is paersd uto sngmtao teorh eeppol. idAov ceboimng a nma leki ttha, luBewof. Kpee oury iprde in ckhce. Nwo uoy rae nsgrot, utb neorso or artle yrou tsreghtn liwl bigne to fail uoy nda etmi or hte srwdo lilw maek it lecra ttha you are tromla. Dhtae illw ceom even rof uoy. I’ve ulrde hte eDsna for flha a nyctrue nad I eptercodt mteh rmof ryvee eivl. It egnab to eesm hatt htree wsa nhntgoi in hte wdlor ahtt could tge past me. uBt vhgnetriey dcehgan so astf. My sesne of crisutey saeadierdpp nhwe ndrGele isrtf eentrde ihts hlal. nakTh oGd htta I cna onw loko opun ish serdeev haed! leaesP, welfBuo-sit dan fetas! roorTmwo you ilwl reeicev cmuh utesrrae.” Beuoflw apihpyl ats dwon, nad noos eht fates euderms. oeneyErv asw in a doog domo as nihtg dnseceedd nupo het adln. elyatlvnEu gatorrhH dna uBfwloe tbho eors to go to edb. eOn of eth hlal agrsud hwdoes eoflwuB to sih gipensle ursertqa. Teh verba-atehedr rioarwr plest. Teh hlal sdoto ufylpeaelc in eth skarsdne. uofewBl lespt nluit teh reavn dellca in hte imrngno. Mne eerw up and oabtu, garee to get ehmo. eBowful agve ngrtHniu akcb to frnUhet, tnghkani hmi for it. Eevn toghhu he dha ndufo a rteetb odwsr, he ddin’t ays iantghyn bda tobau tinruHng, ueaebsc he was a odgo mna. Wiht his srarriow tgawiin and raeeg to evlea, wufeoBl wnte to roathrHg.

Original Text

Modern Text

“UNDER harness his heart then is hit indeed by sharpest shafts; and no shelter avails from foul behest of the hellish fiend. Him seems too little what long he possessed. Greedy and grim, no golden rings he gives for his pride; the promised future forgets he and spurns, with all God has sent him, Wonder-Wielder, of wealth and fame. Yet in the end it ever comes that the frame of the body fragile yields, fated falls; and there follows another who joyously the jewels divides, the royal riches, nor recks of his forebear. Ban, then, such baleful thoughts, Beowulf dearest, best of men, and the better part choose, profit eternal; and temper thy pride, warrior famous! The flower of thy might lasts now a while: but erelong it shall be that sickness or sword thy strength shall minish, or fang of fire, or flooding billow, or bite of blade, or brandished spear, or odious age; or the eyes’ clear beam wax dull and darken: Death even thee in haste shall o’erwhelm, thou hero of war! So the Ring-Danes these half-years a hundred I ruled, wielded ’neath welkin, and warded them bravely from mighty-ones many o’er middle-earth, from spear and sword, till it seemed for me no foe could be found under fold of the sky. Lo, sudden the shift! To me seated secure came grief for joy when Grendel began to harry my home, the hellish foe; for those ruthless raids, unresting I suffered heart-sorrow heavy. Heaven be thanked, Lord Eternal, for life extended that I on this head all hewn and bloody, after long evil, with eyes may gaze! —Go to the bench now! Be glad at banquet, warrior worthy! A wealth of treasure at dawn of day, be dealt between us!” Glad was the Geats’ lord, going betimes to seek his seat, as the Sage commanded. Afresh, as before, for the famed-in-battle, for the band of the hall, was a banquet dight nobly anew. The Night-Helm darkened dusk o’er the drinkers. The doughty ones rose: for the hoary-headed would hasten to rest, aged Scylding; and eager the Geat, shield-fighter sturdy, for sleeping yearned. Him wander-weary, warrior-guest from far, a hall-thane heralded forth, who by custom courtly cared for all needs of a thane as in those old days warrior-wanderers wont to have. So slumbered the stout-heart. Stately the hall rose gabled and gilt where the guest slept on till a raven black the rapture-of-heaven blithe-heart boded. Bright came flying shine after shadow. The swordsmen hastened, athelings all were eager homeward forth to fare; and far from thence the great-hearted guest would guide his keel. Bade then the hardy-one Hrunting be brought to the son of Ecglaf, the sword bade him take, excellent iron, and uttered his thanks for it, quoth that he counted it keen in battle, “war-friend” winsome: with words he slandered not edge of the blade: ’twas a big-hearted man! Now eager for parting and armed at point warriors waited, while went to his host that Darling of Danes. The doughty atheling to high-seat hastened and Hrothgar greeted. “cneO sih hetra is rusckt by het eomnd’s raowr, he becsome yegder. He stfoegr hte mossutc of ish onsscater, dna oirensg winngra ngssi uabto ihs nimgoc odmo. utB lveutnealy he eids dan all of teh elahwt he dha is paersd uto sngmtao teorh eeppol. idAov ceboimng a nma leki ttha, luBewof. Kpee oury iprde in ckhce. Nwo uoy rae nsgrot, utb neorso or artle yrou tsreghtn liwl bigne to fail uoy nda etmi or hte srwdo lilw maek it lecra ttha you are tromla. Dhtae illw ceom even rof uoy. I’ve ulrde hte eDsna for flha a nyctrue nad I eptercodt mteh rmof ryvee eivl. It egnab to eesm hatt htree wsa nhntgoi in hte wdlor ahtt could tge past me. uBt vhgnetriey dcehgan so astf. My sesne of crisutey saeadierdpp nhwe ndrGele isrtf eentrde ihts hlal. nakTh oGd htta I cna onw loko opun ish serdeev haed! leaesP, welfBuo-sit dan fetas! roorTmwo you ilwl reeicev cmuh utesrrae.” Beuoflw apihpyl ats dwon, nad noos eht fates euderms. oeneyErv asw in a doog domo as nihtg dnseceedd nupo het adln. elyatlvnEu gatorrhH dna uBfwloe tbho eors to go to edb. eOn of eth hlal agrsud hwdoes eoflwuB to sih gipensle ursertqa. Teh verba-atehedr rioarwr plest. Teh hlal sdoto ufylpeaelc in eth skarsdne. uofewBl lespt nluit teh reavn dellca in hte imrngno. Mne eerw up and oabtu, garee to get ehmo. eBowful agve ngrtHniu akcb to frnUhet, tnghkani hmi for it. Eevn toghhu he dha ndufo a rteetb odwsr, he ddin’t ays iantghyn bda tobau tinruHng, ueaebsc he was a odgo mna. Wiht his srarriow tgawiin and raeeg to evlea, wufeoBl wnte to roathrHg.