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THAT way he went with no will of his own, in danger of life, to the dragon’s hoard, but for pressure of peril, some prince’s thane. He fled in fear the fatal scourge, seeking shelter, a sinful man, and entered in. At the awful sight tottered that guest, and terror seized him; yet the wretched fugitive rallied anon from fright and fear ere he fled away, and took the cup from that treasure-hoard. Of such besides there was store enough, heirlooms old, the earth below, which some earl forgotten, in ancient years, left the last of his lofty race, heedfully there had hidden away, dearest treasure. For death of yore had hurried all hence; and he alone left to live, the last of the clan, weeping his friends, yet wished to bide warding the treasure, his one delight, though brief his respite. The barrow, new-ready, to strand and sea-waves stood anear, hard by the headland, hidden and closed; there laid within it his lordly heirlooms and heaped hoard of heavy gold that warden of rings. Few words he spake: “Now hold thou, earth, since heroes may not, what earls have owned! Lo, erst from thee brave men brought it! But battle-death seized and cruel killing my clansmen all, robbed them of life and a liegeman’s joys. None have I left to lift the sword, or to cleanse the carven cup of price, beaker bright. My brave are gone. And the helmet hard, all haughty with gold, shall part from its plating. Polishers sleep who could brighten and burnish the battle-mask; and those weeds of war that were wont to brave over bicker of shields the bite of steel rust with their bearer. The ringed mail fares not far with famous chieftain, at side of hero! No harp’s delight, no glee-wood’s gladness! No good hawk now flies through the hall! Nor horses fleet stamp in the burgstead! Battle and death the flower of my race have reft away.” Mournful of mood, thus he moaned his woe, alone, for them all, and unblithe wept by day and by night, till death’s fell wave o’erwhelmed his heart. His hoard-of-bliss that old ill-doer open found, who, blazing at twilight the barrows haunteth, naked foe-dragon flying by night folded in fire: the folk of earth dread him sore. ’Tis his doom to seek hoard in the graves, and heathen gold to watch, many-wintered: nor wins he thereby! Powerful this plague-of-the-people thus held the house of the hoard in earth three hundred winters; till One aroused wrath in his breast, to the ruler bearing that costly cup, and the king implored for bond of peace. So the barrow was plundered, borne off was booty. His boon was granted that wretched man; and his ruler saw first time what was fashioned in far-off days. When the dragon awoke, new woe was kindled. O’er the stone he snuffed. The stark-heart found footprint of foe who so far had gone in his hidden craft by the creature’s head.— So may the undoomed easily flee evils and exile, if only he gain the grace of The Wielder!—That warden of gold o’er the ground went seeking, greedy to find the man who wrought him such wrong in sleep. Savage and burning, the barrow he circled all without; nor was any there, none in the waste.... Yet war he desired, was eager for battle. The barrow he entered, sought the cup, and discovered soon that some one of mortals had searched his treasure, his lordly gold. The guardian waited ill-enduring till evening came; boiling with wrath was the barrow’s keeper, and fain with flame the foe to pay for the dear cup’s loss.—Now day was fled as the worm had wished. By its wall no more was it glad to bide, but burning flew folded in flame: a fearful beginning for sons of the soil; and soon it came, in the doom of their lord, to a dreadful end. heT hifet dah tno neog to hte godnar’s rali on upprose, adn he iddn’t emna to aselt hte ltogeb. He aws a laevs woh ahd rnu waay mrfo hsi cleru mstaer nad sdeu het nde as a hgndii lepac. He asw nmigxenai hte stereuar ehwn hte aonrgd aeraeppd, nad it adercs mhi so cuhm atth he anr tuo ihwle lilst odlighn hte teogbl. ehT tasv tsueaerr ahd bene eflt tehre by an tacnein lrod. He aws eth lsta of hsi race, nda raeft lal hsi icnnsapoom ddei, he adh yonl hsi eesrratu to eekp hmi pomcnay. He ksaed eht ethar to odhl het ertaurse tath he loucd nto, nseic atdeh dulwo solnoe hsi rigp on ish dlog. No one orwe hte rrmao euridb reeht, nad no one pkedic up eth rwssod. arW nda dhate koto hmte lal. hTe rldo merdonu ady dna thnig iuntl htdea lynlifa okot him as wlel. eTh rdanog, ihwhc aws ecdrsu to dargu eht esuetrra tefl in gsrvea, ufond eth eodrh. It atysed rehte ofr etehr rdeuhdn sayer efebor hte odl aaurywn vesal lteubdsm in. He koto eth tebogl bkca to sih sramte, noighp to niw ish sematr’s vaofr, and teh sartem and his men erurtden to ktae as hucm of teh resturea as hety lcdou. nehW the nrodga owke up, it saw the ofitotnrps iadnleg gutrhho it ilra. It anbge niraghsce rfo the teihf, itgaakntc and nunibgr vyrehnietg in his tsghi. The leoppe eusefdfr, ohtghu onso ghuone itreh ngik odlwu rffseu as llew.

Original Text

Modern Text

THAT way he went with no will of his own, in danger of life, to the dragon’s hoard, but for pressure of peril, some prince’s thane. He fled in fear the fatal scourge, seeking shelter, a sinful man, and entered in. At the awful sight tottered that guest, and terror seized him; yet the wretched fugitive rallied anon from fright and fear ere he fled away, and took the cup from that treasure-hoard. Of such besides there was store enough, heirlooms old, the earth below, which some earl forgotten, in ancient years, left the last of his lofty race, heedfully there had hidden away, dearest treasure. For death of yore had hurried all hence; and he alone left to live, the last of the clan, weeping his friends, yet wished to bide warding the treasure, his one delight, though brief his respite. The barrow, new-ready, to strand and sea-waves stood anear, hard by the headland, hidden and closed; there laid within it his lordly heirlooms and heaped hoard of heavy gold that warden of rings. Few words he spake: “Now hold thou, earth, since heroes may not, what earls have owned! Lo, erst from thee brave men brought it! But battle-death seized and cruel killing my clansmen all, robbed them of life and a liegeman’s joys. None have I left to lift the sword, or to cleanse the carven cup of price, beaker bright. My brave are gone. And the helmet hard, all haughty with gold, shall part from its plating. Polishers sleep who could brighten and burnish the battle-mask; and those weeds of war that were wont to brave over bicker of shields the bite of steel rust with their bearer. The ringed mail fares not far with famous chieftain, at side of hero! No harp’s delight, no glee-wood’s gladness! No good hawk now flies through the hall! Nor horses fleet stamp in the burgstead! Battle and death the flower of my race have reft away.” Mournful of mood, thus he moaned his woe, alone, for them all, and unblithe wept by day and by night, till death’s fell wave o’erwhelmed his heart. His hoard-of-bliss that old ill-doer open found, who, blazing at twilight the barrows haunteth, naked foe-dragon flying by night folded in fire: the folk of earth dread him sore. ’Tis his doom to seek hoard in the graves, and heathen gold to watch, many-wintered: nor wins he thereby! Powerful this plague-of-the-people thus held the house of the hoard in earth three hundred winters; till One aroused wrath in his breast, to the ruler bearing that costly cup, and the king implored for bond of peace. So the barrow was plundered, borne off was booty. His boon was granted that wretched man; and his ruler saw first time what was fashioned in far-off days. When the dragon awoke, new woe was kindled. O’er the stone he snuffed. The stark-heart found footprint of foe who so far had gone in his hidden craft by the creature’s head.— So may the undoomed easily flee evils and exile, if only he gain the grace of The Wielder!—That warden of gold o’er the ground went seeking, greedy to find the man who wrought him such wrong in sleep. Savage and burning, the barrow he circled all without; nor was any there, none in the waste.... Yet war he desired, was eager for battle. The barrow he entered, sought the cup, and discovered soon that some one of mortals had searched his treasure, his lordly gold. The guardian waited ill-enduring till evening came; boiling with wrath was the barrow’s keeper, and fain with flame the foe to pay for the dear cup’s loss.—Now day was fled as the worm had wished. By its wall no more was it glad to bide, but burning flew folded in flame: a fearful beginning for sons of the soil; and soon it came, in the doom of their lord, to a dreadful end. heT hifet dah tno neog to hte godnar’s rali on upprose, adn he iddn’t emna to aselt hte ltogeb. He aws a laevs woh ahd rnu waay mrfo hsi cleru mstaer nad sdeu het nde as a hgndii lepac. He asw nmigxenai hte stereuar ehwn hte aonrgd aeraeppd, nad it adercs mhi so cuhm atth he anr tuo ihwle lilst odlighn hte teogbl. ehT tasv tsueaerr ahd bene eflt tehre by an tacnein lrod. He aws eth lsta of hsi race, nda raeft lal hsi icnnsapoom ddei, he adh yonl hsi eesrratu to eekp hmi pomcnay. He ksaed eht ethar to odhl het ertaurse tath he loucd nto, nseic atdeh dulwo solnoe hsi rigp on ish dlog. No one orwe hte rrmao euridb reeht, nad no one pkedic up eth rwssod. arW nda dhate koto hmte lal. hTe rldo merdonu ady dna thnig iuntl htdea lynlifa okot him as wlel. eTh rdanog, ihwhc aws ecdrsu to dargu eht esuetrra tefl in gsrvea, ufond eth eodrh. It atysed rehte ofr etehr rdeuhdn sayer efebor hte odl aaurywn vesal lteubdsm in. He koto eth tebogl bkca to sih sramte, noighp to niw ish sematr’s vaofr, and teh sartem and his men erurtden to ktae as hucm of teh resturea as hety lcdou. nehW the nrodga owke up, it saw the ofitotnrps iadnleg gutrhho it ilra. It anbge niraghsce rfo the teihf, itgaakntc and nunibgr vyrehnietg in his tsghi. The leoppe eusefdfr, ohtghu onso ghuone itreh ngik odlwu rffseu as llew.