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A PERILOUS path, it proved, he trod who heinously hid, that hall within, wealth under wall! Its watcher had killed one of a few, and the feud was avenged in woful fashion. Wondrous seems it, what manner a man of might and valor oft ends his life, when the earl no longer in mead-hall may live with loving friends. So Beowulf, when that barrow’s warden he sought, and the struggle; himself knew not in what wise he should wend from the world at last. For princes potent, who placed the gold, with a curse to doomsday covered it deep, so that marked with sin the man should be, hedged with horrors, in hell-bonds fast, racked with plagues, who should rob their hoard. Yet no greed for gold, but the grace of heaven, ever the king had kept in view. Wiglaf spake, the son of Weohstan:— “At the mandate of one, oft warriors many sorrow must suffer; and so must we. The people’s-shepherd showed not aught of care for our counsel, king beloved! That guardian of gold he should grapple not, urged we, but let him lie where he long had been in his earth-hall waiting the end of the world, the hest of heaven.—This hoard is ours but grievously gotten; too grim the fate which thither carried our king and lord. I was within there, and all I viewed, the chambered treasure, when chance allowed me (and my path was made in no pleasant wise) under the earth-wall. Eager, I seized such heap from the hoard as hands could bear and hurriedly carried it hither back to my liege and lord. Alive was he still, still wielding his wits. The wise old man spake much in his sorrow, and sent you greetings and bade that ye build, when he breathed no more, on the place of his balefire a barrow high, memorial mighty. Of men was he worthiest warrior wide earth o’er the while he had joy of his jewels and burg. Let us set out in haste now, the second time to see and search this store of treasure, these wall-hid wonders,—the way I show you,— where, gathered near, ye may gaze your fill at broad-gold and rings. Let the bier, soon made, be all in order when out we come, our king and captain to carry thither —man beloved—where long he shall bide safe in the shelter of sovran God.” Then the bairn of Weohstan bade command, hardy chief, to heroes many that owned their homesteads, hither to bring firewood from far—o’er the folk they ruled— for the famed-one’s funeral. “ Fire shall devour and wan flames feed on the fearless warrior who oft stood stout in the iron-shower, when, sped from the string, a storm of arrows shot o’er the shield-wall: the shaft held firm, featly feathered, followed the barb.” And now the sage young son of Weohstan seven chose of the chieftain’s thanes, the best he found that band within, and went with these warriors, one of eight, under hostile roof. In hand one bore a lighted torch and led the way. No lots they cast for keeping the hoard when once the warriors saw it in hall, altogether without a guardian, lying there lost. And little they mourned when they had hastily haled it out, dear-bought treasure! The dragon they cast, the worm, o’er the wall for the wave to take, and surges swallowed that shepherd of gems. Then the woven gold on a wain was laden— countless quite!—and the king was borne, hoary hero, to Hrones-Ness. Teh amn ohw hid ish eausrtre rhete mdea a adb sdniceoi. Teh anorgd liekdl mih, dan it okto yanm ethdas eboerf eht duef swa tsltdee. venE het htsemiigt man edos ton oknw woh hsi flei ilwl nde. Thta saw eth eacs rof lefwuBo. He idd ont knwo twhhree shi labtte thiw teh agrnod uodlw be hsi lsta. Teh uaserret hda eben rcedus so atht sheot hwo ietdr to tslea it wolud usrffe, utb wueflBo idd ont kolo at it with yeedgr eesy. He wdeant it lony rfo shi eppoel. afiglW sepok: “One mna’s diicsseno acn ngibr nfrgufsie to nmya. taTh sah apendeph to us ereh. rOu ngki ddi ont atke ruo cadvie nto to figth het ognadr lanoe. He deid ofr it dan eadren siht atrueers, but we tnoanc jnyeo it csabeeu of eth dsa ayw it maec to us. I ntew tino eht den nda orbhugt ackb lla teh rtueeras I lduoc yrcra to elwouBf. He saw stlli eilav ehnt. He esdak taht uoy iubdl a leariomm omdnu ofr mih. He erssdvee suhc a dnuom ueeacsb he swa eth ietsthgim wrrario of all. I lilw aket uyo ntoi het lari so atth yuo anc see this azanmig arsreteu. ndA lte’s dulbi teh rype so atht we can edsn uor edoblve gink to oGd.” Wliagf drdoree htta owod be rthuogb omfr het yarnbe emhso in rponraaptie orf efBlwou’s rlnafue. “Frei lwli rycra yawa oru verab ldro, ohw osodt hsi urngod stimad het inflgy wsrroa lntiu neo lfanliy hit oehm.” He toko het vsene tbse nme ttha ewer tefl adn went noit hte dgarno’s dne. He airdcre a hcrot to lhtig eirth ayw. ehT enm did not tghfi ubtoa who gto to akte het euatresr, as ethre wsa so chum of it lyngi eehtr nuuaddrge. They rrdicae it otu ilayes. The mne dehpsu het ardnog’s ybdo fof teh fcifl dan tnio the eas, weerh it nska in the asvwe. nehT hyet ircared the resretau and trihe nkgi to neHrso-seNs.

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Modern Text

A PERILOUS path, it proved, he trod who heinously hid, that hall within, wealth under wall! Its watcher had killed one of a few, and the feud was avenged in woful fashion. Wondrous seems it, what manner a man of might and valor oft ends his life, when the earl no longer in mead-hall may live with loving friends. So Beowulf, when that barrow’s warden he sought, and the struggle; himself knew not in what wise he should wend from the world at last. For princes potent, who placed the gold, with a curse to doomsday covered it deep, so that marked with sin the man should be, hedged with horrors, in hell-bonds fast, racked with plagues, who should rob their hoard. Yet no greed for gold, but the grace of heaven, ever the king had kept in view. Wiglaf spake, the son of Weohstan:— “At the mandate of one, oft warriors many sorrow must suffer; and so must we. The people’s-shepherd showed not aught of care for our counsel, king beloved! That guardian of gold he should grapple not, urged we, but let him lie where he long had been in his earth-hall waiting the end of the world, the hest of heaven.—This hoard is ours but grievously gotten; too grim the fate which thither carried our king and lord. I was within there, and all I viewed, the chambered treasure, when chance allowed me (and my path was made in no pleasant wise) under the earth-wall. Eager, I seized such heap from the hoard as hands could bear and hurriedly carried it hither back to my liege and lord. Alive was he still, still wielding his wits. The wise old man spake much in his sorrow, and sent you greetings and bade that ye build, when he breathed no more, on the place of his balefire a barrow high, memorial mighty. Of men was he worthiest warrior wide earth o’er the while he had joy of his jewels and burg. Let us set out in haste now, the second time to see and search this store of treasure, these wall-hid wonders,—the way I show you,— where, gathered near, ye may gaze your fill at broad-gold and rings. Let the bier, soon made, be all in order when out we come, our king and captain to carry thither —man beloved—where long he shall bide safe in the shelter of sovran God.” Then the bairn of Weohstan bade command, hardy chief, to heroes many that owned their homesteads, hither to bring firewood from far—o’er the folk they ruled— for the famed-one’s funeral. “ Fire shall devour and wan flames feed on the fearless warrior who oft stood stout in the iron-shower, when, sped from the string, a storm of arrows shot o’er the shield-wall: the shaft held firm, featly feathered, followed the barb.” And now the sage young son of Weohstan seven chose of the chieftain’s thanes, the best he found that band within, and went with these warriors, one of eight, under hostile roof. In hand one bore a lighted torch and led the way. No lots they cast for keeping the hoard when once the warriors saw it in hall, altogether without a guardian, lying there lost. And little they mourned when they had hastily haled it out, dear-bought treasure! The dragon they cast, the worm, o’er the wall for the wave to take, and surges swallowed that shepherd of gems. Then the woven gold on a wain was laden— countless quite!—and the king was borne, hoary hero, to Hrones-Ness. Teh amn ohw hid ish eausrtre rhete mdea a adb sdniceoi. Teh anorgd liekdl mih, dan it okto yanm ethdas eboerf eht duef swa tsltdee. venE het htsemiigt man edos ton oknw woh hsi flei ilwl nde. Thta saw eth eacs rof lefwuBo. He idd ont knwo twhhree shi labtte thiw teh agrnod uodlw be hsi lsta. Teh uaserret hda eben rcedus so atht sheot hwo ietdr to tslea it wolud usrffe, utb wueflBo idd ont kolo at it with yeedgr eesy. He wdeant it lony rfo shi eppoel. afiglW sepok: “One mna’s diicsseno acn ngibr nfrgufsie to nmya. taTh sah apendeph to us ereh. rOu ngki ddi ont atke ruo cadvie nto to figth het ognadr lanoe. He deid ofr it dan eadren siht atrueers, but we tnoanc jnyeo it csabeeu of eth dsa ayw it maec to us. I ntew tino eht den nda orbhugt ackb lla teh rtueeras I lduoc yrcra to elwouBf. He saw stlli eilav ehnt. He esdak taht uoy iubdl a leariomm omdnu ofr mih. He erssdvee suhc a dnuom ueeacsb he swa eth ietsthgim wrrario of all. I lilw aket uyo ntoi het lari so atth yuo anc see this azanmig arsreteu. ndA lte’s dulbi teh rype so atht we can edsn uor edoblve gink to oGd.” Wliagf drdoree htta owod be rthuogb omfr het yarnbe emhso in rponraaptie orf efBlwou’s rlnafue. “Frei lwli rycra yawa oru verab ldro, ohw osodt hsi urngod stimad het inflgy wsrroa lntiu neo lfanliy hit oehm.” He toko het vsene tbse nme ttha ewer tefl adn went noit hte dgarno’s dne. He airdcre a hcrot to lhtig eirth ayw. ehT enm did not tghfi ubtoa who gto to akte het euatresr, as ethre wsa so chum of it lyngi eehtr nuuaddrge. They rrdicae it otu ilayes. The mne dehpsu het ardnog’s ybdo fof teh fcifl dan tnio the eas, weerh it nska in the asvwe. nehT hyet ircared the resretau and trihe nkgi to neHrso-seNs.