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The Tale of Beowulf By Anonymous Characters: 3298

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

He then that was chiefest in thus wise he answer'd,

The war-fellows' leader unlock'd he the word-hoard:

260 We be a people of the Weder-Geats' man-kin

And of Hygelac be we the hearth-fellows soothly.

My father before me of folks was well-famed

Van-leader and atheling, Ecgtheow he hight.

Many winters abode he, and on the way wended

An old man from the garths, and him well remembers

Every wise man well nigh wide yond o'er the earth.

Through our lief mood and friendly the lord that is thine,

Even Healfdene's son, are we now come a-seeking,

Thy warder of folk. Learn us well with thy leading,

270 For we have to the mighty an errand full mickle,

To the lord of the Dane-folk: naught dark shall it be,

That ween I full surely. If it be so thou wottest,

As soothly for our parts we now have heard say,

That one midst of the Scyldings, who of scathers I wot not,

A deed-hater secret, in the dark of the night-tide

Setteth forth through the terror the malice untold of,

The shame-wrong and slaughter. I therefore to Hrothgar

Through my mind fashion'd roomsome the rede may now learn him,

How he, old-wise and good, may get the fiend under,

280 If once more from him awayward may turn

The business of bales, and the boot come again,

And the weltering of care wax cooler once more;

Or for ever sithence time of stress he shall thole,

The need and the wronging, the while yet there abideth

On the high stead aloft the best of all houses.

Then spake out the warden on steed there a-sitting,

The servant all un-fear'd: It shall be of either

That the shield-warrior s

harp the sundering wotteth,

Of words and of works, if he think thereof well.

290 I hear it thus said that this host here is friendly

To the lord of the Scyldings; forth fare ye then, bearing

Your weed and your weapons, of the way will I wise you;

Likewise mine own kinsmen I will now be bidding

Against every foeman your floater before us,

Your craft but new-tarred, the keel on the sand,

With honour to hold, until back shall be bearing

Over the lake-streams this one, the lief man,

The wood of the wounden-neck back unto Wedermark.

Unto such shall be granted amongst the good-doers

300 To win the way out all whole from the war-race.

Then boun they to faring, the bark biding quiet;

Hung upon hawser the wide-fathom'd ship

Fast at her anchor. Forth shone the boar-shapes

Over the check-guards golden adorned,

Fair-shifting, fire-hard; ward held the farrow.

Snorted the war-moody, hasten'd the warriors

And trod down together until the hall timbered,

Stately and gold-bestain'd, gat they to look on,

That was the all-mightiest unto earth's dwellers

310 Of halls 'neath the heavens, wherein bode the mighty;

Glisten'd the gleam thereof o'er lands a many.

Unto them then the war-deer the court of the proud one

Full clearly betaught it, that they therewithal

Might wend their ways thither. Then he of the warriors

Round wended his steed, and spake a word backward:

Time now for my faring; but the Father All-wielder

May He with all helping henceforward so hold you

All whole in your wayfaring. Will I to sea-side

Against the wroth folk to hold warding ever.

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