Beowulf
XLIII
15Bw42
Beowulf

XLIII.
THEN fashioned for him the folk of Geats
firm on the earth a funeral-pile,
and hung it with helmets and harness of war
and breastplates bright, as the boon he asked;
and they laid amid it the mighty chieftain,
heroes mourning their master dear.
Then on the hill that hugest of balefires
the warriors wakened. Wood-smoke rose
black over blaze, and blent was the roar
of flame with weeping (the wind was still),
till the fire had broken the frame of bones,
hot at the heart. In heavy mood
their misery moaned they, their master's death.
Wailing her woe, the widow [footnote 1] old,
her hair upbound, for Beowulf's death
sung in her sorrow, and said full oft
she dreaded the doleful days to come,
deaths enow, and doom of battle,
and shame. -- The smoke by the sky was devoured.

The folk of the Weders fashioned there
on the headland a barrow broad and high,
by ocean-farers far descried:
in ten days' time their toil had raised it,
the battle-brave's beacon. Round brands of the pyre
a wall they built, the worthiest ever
that wit could prompt in their wisest men.
They placed in the barrow that precious booty,
the rounds and the rings they had reft erewhile,
hardy heroes, from hoard in cave, --
trusting the ground with treasure of earls,
gold in the earth, where ever it lies
useless to men as of yore it was.

Then about that barrow the battle-keen rode,
atheling-born, a band of twelve,
lament to make, to mourn their king,
chant their dirge, and their chieftain honor.
They praised his earlship, his acts of prowess
worthily witnessed: and well it is
that men their master-friend mightily laud,
heartily love, when hence he goes
from life in the body forlorn away.

Thus made their mourning the men of Geatland,
for their hero's passing his hearth-companions:
quoth that of all the kings of earth,
of men he was mildest and most beloved,
to his kin the kindest, keenest for praise.
Footnotes.
1.
Nothing is said of Beowulf's wife in the poem, but Bugge surmises that Beowulf finally accepted Hygd's offer of kingdom and hoard, and, as was usual, took her into the bargain.

footnote 1
Navigation.
Erik Max Francis -- TOP
     Welcome to my homepage.
0e 
Literature -- UP
     Copyright-expired electronic texts.
5Li 
Beowulf -- UP
     The classic epic.
15Bw 
Beowulf: XLII -- PREVIOUS
     
15Bw41
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 © 2014 Erik Max Francis. All rights reserved.
15Bw42
Beowulf
Web presence provided by
Alcyone Systems
Last updated
2014 Jan 16 18:32
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 ]