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

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[XXXIX]

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1a*2a(ii) Wiglaf was woebegone,
2a1a(ii) watching next to him,
2e1a seeing his lord
2b2- sink to the ground
2b2a and die in his sight,
+2a1a(ii) enduring terrible
1d1 death agonies.
3b1a The dragon lay
3b*1a beside him, its days
5650 +2a1a(i) of soaring over;
2c1a the coiled creature
2b2a had come to the end
3b1a of guarding hoards
2b2a of gold in the earth.
1a1a(i) Blades of iron
1a*1a(i) beaten by hammers,
1a1a(i) hard and biting,
3b1a had hewn it down;
+3e1 that wide-flying worm,
5660 2e1a wounded to death,
2b2a had sunk to the ground
+1a1a(i) beside its treasure
2b1b and would skim no more
++1a1a(i) through the sky at midnight,
2e1b sporting in the air,
3b*1a displaying itself,
1a1b(i) proud of its riches;
2b1b it had plunged to earth,
1a1b(i) killed by the old king's
5670 1a*1a(i) courage and daring.
+1a1b(i) They say it is seldom
1a1a(i) seen to happen
2c1b that a great hero
1a1a(ii) gains the victory,
2e1b daring though he is
+1a1a(i) in deeds of valor,
2b2b if he vies with the breath
+1a*1b and venom of a dragon
+1a*1a(i) or rifles its treasure
5680 3b1b with courageous hands
2b2b while the worm is at home,
2b2a awake and alert,
2c1b in its dark barrow.
2b2- Death was the price
3e1 Beowulf paid
2c1b for that bright ring-hoard;
1a1a(i) king and monster
2b2- came to the end
+1a1a(i) of life together.
5690 3b1b In a little while
d1a the scrimshankers
+2e1b came skulking from the woods,
1d1 ten cowardly
2e1b traitors who had all
1a1a(i) lacked the courage
2b1a to lift their spears
3b1b in their prince's last
+2a1a(i) most pressing danger
2b2b and who now bore their shields
5700 3b1a ignobly back
a1c to where their leader
2b2- lay in the dust;
+3e*1 they waited there, ashamed,
3b*1a for Wiglaf to speak.
+1a1a(i) He sat exhausted
2b2b by the side of his lord,
2a1a(i) fiercely sprinkling
+1a1a(i) his face with water;
3b*1b but no matter how much
5710 2b1a his mind was bent
3b1a on keeping life
2c1b in the king's body,
3b*1b he was helpless to change
+2a1a(ii) the hero's destiny:
2c1- God's judgments
2e1a governed men's fates
2b1b in those days of old
3b1a and do so still.
1a1a(i) Soon the fainthearts
5720 +1a1a(i) received their answer
3b1b from the grieving youth,
2b1c and it was grim and hard;
2e1a Wiglaf the son
3b1a of Weohstan spoke,
1a*1b frowning with disfavor
3b1b on the faithless crew:
3b1a "Our ancient king
2a1a(i) often gave us---
2e1b heroes while in hall!---
5730 1a*1a(i) helmets and mailcoats,
+2a1a(i) the finest treasures
2b2b he could find for his men
3e*1 anywhere on earth,
1a*1b armor like the brilliant
2a1a(i) well-wrought war-gear
3b*1b you are wearing right now.
1a*1a(ii) Anyone with any
2e1a inkling of truth
3b*1a must freely admit
5740 2b2b that he found, in the end,
3b*1a when threatened with death,
2b1c that he had thrown away
2b2a the love and the gifts
3b*1a he lavished on you!
3b1b He could hardly boast
++1a1a(i) of you hearth companions!
+1a1a(i) But God the giver
+1a*1a(i) of glory allowed him,
2e1a acting alone
5750 +1a*1a(i) with only his dagger,
2c1a to take vengeance
3b2b on his terrible foe.
2b1b I myself could give
2b1b only small support
2b1b in that storm of strife,
2b2a but strove even so,
3b*1b overtaxing my strength,
++1a1a(i) to protect my kinsman,
++1a1a(i) and the foe grew feebler
5760 2b1b when it felt my blow,
2c1a the flames darted
+2e1b less fiercely from its head.
+1a1a(i) Too few defenders
2b2- flocked to his side
3f1b when our prince stood
+2e1b in peril of his life.
+2a1a(i) From this day forward,
1a*1a(i) therefore, your kinsmen
3b*1b will be given no gifts,
5770 +1a1a(i) no gold, no war-gear,
2b2b no renown by our kings;
3b*1b they will never receive
1a1a(ii) gems or jewelry
2b1b or enjoy the right
2b1a to have and hold
+3e1 inherited land,
3b1b when the country learns
3b2b of your cowardly flight,
+1a1b(i) that deed of dishonor.
5780 1a1a(i) Death is better
3b1a for any man
d1a than infamy!"

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