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Ringler, Dick / Beowulf: A New Translation for Oral Delivery (May 2005)

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III

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+3e1 Thus Healfdene's son
3b*1a was harrowed by grief,
+1a*1a(i) by sorrow that seldom
380 2c1- ceased churning.
1a*1a(i) Nothing could help him:
3b*1a the nightly assaults
+1d1 were too terrible
2b1a and too prolonged,
+1a1a(ii) the dark bedevilment
1a*1a(i) dogging his people.
3f1b But at long last,
2b2b in the land of the Geats,
3e1 Hygelac's thane
390 1a1b(i) heard about Grendel.
3f1a In that day
3f1a of this life
3b1a no earthly man
3b1a had equal strength
+2a1a(i) or equal courage.
2b2a He asked for a swift
3e1 seagoing ship,
1a1b(i) said he intended
+2a1a(i) to visit Hrothgar
400 2c1c over the vast waters,
1a1b(i) now that the war-king
2b1b was in need of help.
1a1b(i) Much as they loved him,
2b2- men did not try
2b1b to dissuade the prince
2c1b from his set purpose
3b1a but urged him on.
+1a*1b The omens were propitious.
2b2a He chose from among
410 +2a1a(ii) his choicest followers
+1d1 a keen company
+1a*1a(i) of comrades, the bravest
2b2b he could find in the land.
+2a1a(i) With fourteen others,
+2a1a(i) a seasoned sailor,
3b*1a he sought out his ship,
2e1a leading the way
3f1a to land's end.
3b*1a With little delay
420 +1a1a(i) they launched the vessel
3b1c beneath the solemn bluffs.
+2a1a(ii) Excited mariners
2e1a clambered aboard
3b1a while currents swirled,
2b2a the surf on the sand.
2e1b Seamen of the Geats,
1a*1a(i) laughing with pleasure,
2e1a loaded the hold
3b1a with burnished swords
430 2c1a and bright armor,
+1a1a(i) then shoved the nail-clinched
2b2- ship out to sea.
2b1- Spurred by gusts
+1a1a(i) it splashed and scudded
2c1b through the wild waters
3b1b like a wind-blown bird,
e1c until by noon
3f1a the next day
2c1a the swift vessel
440 2c1b had made such headway
3b*1b that the lookout at last
2b1a saw land ahead,
2c1- wide sea-cliffs,
2a1a(i) windswept, sunswept,
2c1a and vast headlands.
+1a*1a(i) The voyage was over,
2b2a the sea had been crossed,
3b1a and sailors leapt
3b1c into the welcome surf
450 3b*1a and waded ashore.
+1a1a(i) They moored the vessel,
+2a1a(i) their mailcoats rustling,
3b1b and gave grateful thanks
+1a1a(i) to God almighty
d1b that their sea-crossing
++1a1a(i) had been safe and easy.
+1a1b(i) From rocks up above them
2a1a(ii) Hrothgar's sentinel,
2b2a whose task was to guard
460 ++1a1a(i) and patrol the sea-cliffs,
3b*1a saw strangers who bore
1d1 stout battle-gear
+2a1a(i) and sturdy war-shields
1a*1b striding down the gangplank;
3b*1a he needed to know
3b2b who these newcomers were.
2e1a Mounting his horse
2b2a he made for the beach,
2e1a brandished his spear
470 +2a1a(i) and bluntly challenged
+2a1a(i) the foreign sailors
3b1a with formal words:
+2e1b "Who are you, you unknown
3e1 ironclad men,
3e1 alien troops
1a1a(i) armed in mailcoats,
2e1a bringing your boat
2c1b from abroad, crossing
3b1a the sounding sea?
480 2b1b I have served for years
3b1a as coastguard here,
2a1a(iii) carefully watching
2b1b to defend these shores
2c1b against foes meaning
2c1a to wreak havoc
2b2b in the realm of the Danes.
2e1a Never before
2c1b have unknown sailors
2e1b landed on our coast
490 +1a1a(i) with less concealment,
3e*1 even though you came
3b1b without asking leave
+2a1a(i) of noble Hrothgar;
2e1a never before
2b1b have I seen a man
+1d1 of such eminence
a1b as your leader
3b1b in his lordly mail,
3b*1a a hero, I think,
500 d1a no hall-sloucher,
d1d unless he is counterfeit!
2a1a(iii) Quickly, now, tell me
+1a1a(i) what land you come from,
3b*1c before I let you proceed
2c1a a league farther
2b2b in the land of the Danes---
2b1- spies, perhaps!
+2a1a(ii) Suspicious voyagers!
3e1 Seafarers! hear
510 3b1a my simple thought:
d1c it would be wise of you---
2b1c you would be well advised!---
+2a1a(ii) to tell me instantly
+1a1a(i) what tribe you come from."

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