Beowulf
XL
15Bw39
Beowulf

XL.
THAT battle-toil bade he at burg to announce,
at the fort on the cliff, where, full of sorrow,
all the morning earls had sat,
daring shieldsmen, in doubt of twain:
would they wail as dead, or welcome home,
their lord beloved? Little [footnote 1] kept back
of the tidings new, but told them all,
the herald that up the headland rode. --
"Now the willing-giver to Weder folk
in death-bed lies; the Lord of Geats
on the slaughter-bed sleeps by the serpent's deed!
And beside him is stretched that slayer-of-men
with knife-wounds sick: [footnote 2] no sword availed
on the awesome thing in any wise
to work a wound. There Wiglaf sitteth,
Weohstan's bairn, by Beowulf's side,
the living earl by the other dead,
and heavy of heart a head-watch [footnote 3] keeps
o'er friend and foe. -- Now our folk may look
for waging of war when once unhidden
to Frisian and Frank the fall of the king
is spread afar. -- The strife began
when hot on the Hugas [footnote 4] Hygelac fell
and fared with his fleet to the Frisian land.
Him there the Hetwaras humbled in war,
plied with such prowess their power o'erwhelming
that the bold-in-battle bowed beneath it
and fell in fight. To his friends no wise
could that earl give treasure! And ever since
the Merowings' favor has failed us wholly.
Nor aught expect I of peace and faith
from Swedish folk. 'Twas spread afar
how Ongentheow reft at Ravenswood
Haethcyn Hrethling of hope and life,
when the folk of Geats for the first time sought
in wanton pride the Warlike-Scylfings.
Soon the sage old sire [footnote 5] of Ohtere,
ancient and awful, gave answering blow;
the sea-king [footnote 6] he slew, and his spouse redeemed,
his good wife rescued, though robbed of her gold,
mother of Ohtere and Onela.
Then he followed his foes, who fled before him
sore beset and stole their way,
bereft of a ruler, to Ravenswood.
With his host he besieged there what swords had left,
the weary and wounded; woes he threatened
the whole night through to that hard-pressed throng:
some with the morrow his sword should kill,
some should go to the gallows-tree
for rapture of ravens. But rescue came
with dawn of day for those desperate men
when they heard the horn of Hygelac sound,
tones of his trumpet; the trusty king
had followed their trail with faithful band.
Footnotes.
1.
Nothing.

footnote 1
2.
Dead.

footnote 2
3.
Death-watch, guard of honor, "lyke-wake."

footnote 3
4.
A name for the Franks.

footnote 4
5.
Ongentheow.

footnote 5
6.
Haethcyn.

footnote 6
Navigation.
Erik Max Francis -- TOP
     Welcome to my homepage.
0e 
Literature -- UP
     Copyright-expired electronic texts.
5Li 
Beowulf -- UP
     The classic epic.
15Bw 
Beowulf: [XXXIX] -- PREVIOUS
     
15Bw38
Beowulf: XLI -- NEXT
     
15Bw40
Quick links.
Contents of Erik Max Francis' homepages -- CONTENTS
     Everything in my homepages.
1In1
Feedback -- FEEDBACK
     How to send feedback on these pages to the author.
1In5
About Erik Max Francis -- PERSONAL
     Information about me.
1In7
Copyright -- COPYRIGHT
     Copyright information regarding these pages.
1In4

Copyright © 2017 Erik Max Francis. All rights reserved.
15Bw39
Beowulf
Web presence provided by
Alcyone Systems
Last updated
2017 Jan 01 19:34
Web design by
7 sisters productions

The Alcyone Systems Web Ring (13 sites) >>>
Hard Science
Hard science, the easy way.
Alcyone Systems | Erik Max Francis | Blackgirl International | Bosskey.net | CatCam | Crank dot Net | Hard Science | Losers dot Org | Polly Wanna Cracka? | Realpolitik | sade deluxe | 7 Sisters Productions ]