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The Literature Collection

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

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2a1a(i) Royal Hrothgar,
2e1b ruler of the Danes,
1a1b(i) strode from the meadhall
2c1b with his staunch war-band;
3b*1a he wanted to find
2e1a Wealhtheow and share
3b1a his consort's couch.
1330 +1a1a(i) The King of heaven
3b*1a had given the Danes
+2a1a(iii) a great-hearted hall-guard
+1a1a(i) to deal with Grendel
2c1b and to do Hrothgar
+2a1a(i) a special service
+2a1a(i) dispatching giants.
2b2a The prince of the Geats
3b*1a was putting his trust
3f1b in his great strength
1340 2c1b and in God's favor.
1a1b(i) Off came the hero's
2a1a(i) iron mailcoat
2c1a and hard helmet;
+2a1a(i) he handed over
3b1a his trusty sword
3b1c to an attendant thane
+1a*1a(i) and asked him to safekeep
1a1a(i) all that war-gear.
3e*1 Confident, the prince
1350 2b2- climbed into bed
+1d1 and vowed solemnly
3b1a in vaunting words:
2b2a "I know that my hand
+2a1a(i) is no less ready
2c1a for grim grappling
3b1a than Grendel's is.
2c1b I disdain, therefore,
2b1b to destroy this fiend
2b2b with the edge of the sword,
1360 3b2b though I easily could.
2b2a Adept though he is
+1a1a(i) in deeds of malice,
d1b he is ignorant
+2a1a(i) of iron weapons
2c1c and their unique virtues;
2c1b we will not, therefore,
2e1a duel with swords
++1a1a(i) if he dares to meet me
2c1a in close combat.
1370 ++1a1a(i) When we come together,
1a1b(i) God in his wisdom
+1d1 will grant victory
3b*1b to whichever of us
d1a he chooses to."
3e*1 Beowulf lay down,
3e*1 burying his face
2c1b in a rich pillow,
3b*1b while around him his troop
+2a1a(ii) of seamen anxiously
1380 2b2- sank to their rest.
++1a1a(i) Not a man among them
+2e1b imagined he would live
2b1b to behold his hearth
3b*1a or homeland again,
2c1a the dear precincts
2b2b where his days had begun,
2b1b for they knew that here
3b1c in this benighted hall
+1a1a(i) the fiend had slaughtered
1390 1a1a(i) far too many
2b2b of the men of the Danes.
3b1b But almighty God
2b1a would give the Geats
3b1a the glory, thanks
3b1a to one man's strength,
3b*1a of worsting their foe,
2b1b so that all might share
3b1a the honor, Geats
3b*1a together with Danes.
1400 1d1 God's sovereignty
2b2b over men and their fates
d1b has been manifest
3b*1c from the beginning of time.
3b1a Now Grendel came
1a*1a(i) striding the shadows.
+1d1 The staunch warriors
3b*1b who defended the hall
3b*1a had fallen asleep,
2b1- all but one.
1410 d1b It was obvious
3b1b that the prowling fiend
3b1b could not pull men down
+1a1a(i) to grim destruction
2c1b unless God willed it,
2b1b since tonight a man
2b1b who was not asleep
1a*1a(i) waited for battle,
1a*1a(i) watchful and angry.

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