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’TWAS now, men say, in his sovran’s need that the earl made known his noble strain, craft and keenness and courage enduring. Heedless of harm, though his hand was burned, hardy-hearted, he helped his kinsman. A little lower the loathsome beast he smote with sword; his steel drove in bright and burnished; that blaze began to lose and lessen. At last the king wielded his wits again, war-knife drew, a biting blade by his breastplate hanging, and the Weders’-helm smote that worm asunder, felled the foe, flung forth its life. So had they killed it, kinsmen both, athelings twain: thus an earl should be in danger’s day!—Of deeds of valor this conqueror’s-hour of the king was last, of his work in the world. The wound began, which that dragon-of-earth had erst inflicted, to swell and smart; and soon he found in his breast was boiling, baleful and deep, pain of poison. The prince walked on, wise in his thought, to the wall of rock; then sat, and stared at the structure of giants, where arch of stone and steadfast column upheld forever that hall in earth. Yet here must the hand of the henchman peerless lave with water his winsome lord, the king and conqueror covered with blood, with struggle spent, and unspan his helmet. Beowulf spake in spite of his hurt, his mortal wound; full well he knew his portion now was past and gone of earthly bliss, and all had fled of his file of days, and death was near: “I would fain bestow on son of mine this gear of war, were given me now that any heir should after me come of my proper blood. This people I ruled fifty winters. No folk-king was there, none at all, of the neighboring clans who war would wage me with ’warriors’-friends’ and threat me with horrors. At home I bided what fate might come, and I cared for mine own; feuds I sought not, nor falsely swore ever on oath. For all these things, though fatally wounded, fain am I! From the Ruler-of-Man no wrath shall seize me, when life from my frame must flee away, for killing of kinsmen! Now quickly go and gaze on that hoard ’neath the hoary rock, Wiglaf loved, now the worm lies low, sleeps, heart-sore, of his spoil bereaved. And fare in haste. I would fain behold the gorgeous heirlooms, golden store, have joy in the jewels and gems, lay down softlier for sight of this splendid hoard my life and the lordship I long have held.” It asw at shit etnomm htta igWafl’s rverbya elreaved lfties. nEve hgouht sih ahdn asw laybd derbun, he dvore shi blade into eth argdon’s ahcsomt. tsI irfey barhet eewenadk. loewuBf edneigra ish rhtensgt. He lduelp ish kienf otu dna ebtdbsa at het nadrog’s sdei. eTh wlob wsa lafat. eoTtgerh, eht owt erbav nme hda dliekl eht baset. hsiT aws eht aslt cta of ygorl teh gikn uolwd erev rpomerf. ehT raondg’s noispo anr tohguhr ihs obold. He awkedl uot of eth rlai dna ats at hte gdee of het lcffi. uwelfBo okodel up at eht fficl caef. The anigt otness had hled up het taerh fro egas. Wagifl arahocdepp adn edawsh his nkig’s dnuwo. wfBeluo nekw ahtt his ielf asw ngdine. tseDepi his wnoud, he osepk to teh alylo igafWl. “I wulod veah diekl to aehv evign my rroam to my nos, if lyon eatf had iegnv me neo. I eavh ruedl eth atGse rfo iftfy aryes. No roteh ngik lwudo raed leehlgcan me. I oeusfdc on our wno sfraiaf and did ont kees otu srwa or trlusboe, and I enrev rkobe a psirmeo. evEn htghuo I am ingyd, the tgothuh of all of this is a morotfc. I eervn dkilel my smnknie and vhae igotnnh to rfea ofmr the Rruel of nkMnadi. Go and ookl at the rtusreea ihlwe the ordagn is gniyd, eard fiWlga. I watn to see oesht fbalieutu elsjwe eofreb I eid. It lwli make my ehadt rsaeei to see ttha ruaertse and khnti of my glno erul.”