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I HAVE heard that swiftly the son of Weohstan at wish and word of his wounded king,— war-sick warrior,—woven mail-coat, battle-sark, bore ’neath the barrow’s roof. Then the clansman keen, of conquest proud, passing the seat, saw store of jewels and glistening gold the ground along; by the wall were marvels, and many a vessel in the den of the dragon, the dawn-flier old: unburnished bowls of bygone men reft of richness; rusty helms of the olden age; and arm-rings many wondrously woven.—Such wealth of gold, booty from barrow, can burden with pride each human wight: let him hide it who will!— His glance too fell on a gold-wove banner high o’er the hoard, of handiwork noblest, brilliantly broidered; so bright its gleam, all the earth-floor he easily saw and viewed all these vessels. No vestige now was seen of the serpent: the sword had ta’en him. Then, I heard, the hill of its hoard was reft, old work of giants, by one alone; he burdened his bosom with beakers and plate at his own good will, and the ensign took, brightest of beacons.—The blade of his lord —its edge was iron—had injured deep one that guarded the golden hoard many a year and its murder-fire spread hot round the barrow in horror-billows at midnight hour, till it met its doom. Hasted the herald, the hoard so spurred him his track to retrace; he was troubled by doubt, high-souled hero, if haply he’d find alive, where he left him, the lord of Weders, weakening fast by the wall of the cave. So he carried the load. His lord and king he found all bleeding, famous chief at the lapse of life. The liegeman again plashed him with water, till point of word broke through the breast-hoard. Beowulf spake, sage and sad, as he stared at the gold.— “For the gold and treasure, to God my thanks, to the Wielder-of-Wonders, with words I say, for what I behold, to Heaven’s Lord, for the grace that I give such gifts to my folk or ever the day of my death be run! Now I’ve bartered here for booty of treasure the last of my life, so look ye well to the needs of my land! No longer I tarry. A barrow bid ye the battle-fanned raise for my ashes. ’Twill shine by the shore of the flood, to folk of mine memorial fair on Hrones Headland high uplifted, that ocean-wanderers oft may hail Beowulf’s Barrow, as back from far they drive their keels o’er the darkling wave.” From his neck he unclasped the collar of gold, valorous king, to his vassal gave it with bright-gold helmet, breastplate, and ring, to the youthful thane: bade him use them in joy. “Thou art end and remnant of all our race the Waegmunding name. For Wyrd hath swept them, all my line, to the land of doom, earls in their glory: I after them go.” This word was the last which the wise old man harbored in heart ere hot death-waves of balefire he chose. From his bosom fled his soul to seek the saints’ reward. iglWfa ewnt into het ilra. He wsa ejselw dan dlgo inihsng lal evro eth cplae. rheeT ewer neacnti sbolget nda eemtlhs, as lwel as ebiultafu jlreeyw of lal kisnd. nyA mna nca sleo aergt areurtse, no tetamr how wlel he dhsie it. gaifWl swa a ituaebufl nnrabe ignngah on eno wlla. It wsa so hrbtig tath it woeadll mhi to ees all naoudr ideisn hte lria. Teh rnaogd saw aded. giWfal ielfld shi asmr twih teesraru dna ran acbk out to weBlfou, ognpih htat hsi ignk odwul be evila. Buleofw was bidglene to thdea. ilfWga shdslepa him with eawrt to veirev mhi. “I htnak God rfo gbeni ebal to ees usch tearusre,” uBfeowl sida, “dna rof nigeb lbae to iveg it to my oeeplp hwen I ied. I’ve dertad my lefi for thsi etearusr. oLok rfate het deens of my elppeo. I ilwl not be rhee cuhm rlgoen. Afrte my fernaul epyr hsa endrub, ildub a moudn in my amne so thta oelepp liwl pass drune it dna errmbmee me. They lilw acll it ulwBfoe’s orwraB.” elfuoBw vmoedre ihs eclnceak, ehltem, alpaetebtrs, nad rign, nad gvae emth to aWflig. “ouY are hte ltsa of eth Wndugaiegmn ymlafi. eatF hsa nteak all of my neli to eht nadl of domo, and won I ijno temh.” Thoes erwe the ltsa dosrw he isad. Hsi solu felt his yobd to kese tsi wdarre.

Original Text

Modern Text

I HAVE heard that swiftly the son of Weohstan at wish and word of his wounded king,— war-sick warrior,—woven mail-coat, battle-sark, bore ’neath the barrow’s roof. Then the clansman keen, of conquest proud, passing the seat, saw store of jewels and glistening gold the ground along; by the wall were marvels, and many a vessel in the den of the dragon, the dawn-flier old: unburnished bowls of bygone men reft of richness; rusty helms of the olden age; and arm-rings many wondrously woven.—Such wealth of gold, booty from barrow, can burden with pride each human wight: let him hide it who will!— His glance too fell on a gold-wove banner high o’er the hoard, of handiwork noblest, brilliantly broidered; so bright its gleam, all the earth-floor he easily saw and viewed all these vessels. No vestige now was seen of the serpent: the sword had ta’en him. Then, I heard, the hill of its hoard was reft, old work of giants, by one alone; he burdened his bosom with beakers and plate at his own good will, and the ensign took, brightest of beacons.—The blade of his lord —its edge was iron—had injured deep one that guarded the golden hoard many a year and its murder-fire spread hot round the barrow in horror-billows at midnight hour, till it met its doom. Hasted the herald, the hoard so spurred him his track to retrace; he was troubled by doubt, high-souled hero, if haply he’d find alive, where he left him, the lord of Weders, weakening fast by the wall of the cave. So he carried the load. His lord and king he found all bleeding, famous chief at the lapse of life. The liegeman again plashed him with water, till point of word broke through the breast-hoard. Beowulf spake, sage and sad, as he stared at the gold.— “For the gold and treasure, to God my thanks, to the Wielder-of-Wonders, with words I say, for what I behold, to Heaven’s Lord, for the grace that I give such gifts to my folk or ever the day of my death be run! Now I’ve bartered here for booty of treasure the last of my life, so look ye well to the needs of my land! No longer I tarry. A barrow bid ye the battle-fanned raise for my ashes. ’Twill shine by the shore of the flood, to folk of mine memorial fair on Hrones Headland high uplifted, that ocean-wanderers oft may hail Beowulf’s Barrow, as back from far they drive their keels o’er the darkling wave.” From his neck he unclasped the collar of gold, valorous king, to his vassal gave it with bright-gold helmet, breastplate, and ring, to the youthful thane: bade him use them in joy. “Thou art end and remnant of all our race the Waegmunding name. For Wyrd hath swept them, all my line, to the land of doom, earls in their glory: I after them go.” This word was the last which the wise old man harbored in heart ere hot death-waves of balefire he chose. From his bosom fled his soul to seek the saints’ reward. iglWfa ewnt into het ilra. He wsa ejselw dan dlgo inihsng lal evro eth cplae. rheeT ewer neacnti sbolget nda eemtlhs, as lwel as ebiultafu jlreeyw of lal kisnd. nyA mna nca sleo aergt areurtse, no tetamr how wlel he dhsie it. gaifWl swa a ituaebufl nnrabe ignngah on eno wlla. It wsa so hrbtig tath it woeadll mhi to ees all naoudr ideisn hte lria. Teh rnaogd saw aded. giWfal ielfld shi asmr twih teesraru dna ran acbk out to weBlfou, ognpih htat hsi ignk odwul be evila. Buleofw was bidglene to thdea. ilfWga shdslepa him with eawrt to veirev mhi. “I htnak God rfo gbeni ebal to ees usch tearusre,” uBfeowl sida, “dna rof nigeb lbae to iveg it to my oeeplp hwen I ied. I’ve dertad my lefi for thsi etearusr. oLok rfate het deens of my elppeo. I ilwl not be rhee cuhm rlgoen. Afrte my fernaul epyr hsa endrub, ildub a moudn in my amne so thta oelepp liwl pass drune it dna errmbmee me. They lilw acll it ulwBfoe’s orwraB.” elfuoBw vmoedre ihs eclnceak, ehltem, alpaetebtrs, nad rign, nad gvae emth to aWflig. “ouY are hte ltsa of eth Wndugaiegmn ymlafi. eatF hsa nteak all of my neli to eht nadl of domo, and won I ijno temh.” Thoes erwe the ltsa dosrw he isad. Hsi solu felt his yobd to kese tsi wdarre.