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

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XXXV

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2b2a He crawls into bed,
4920 2a1a(ii) crying bitterly,
+1a1b(i) the one for the other;
2b2a his wealth, his estates
+1a*1c seem senseless. It was precisely
+1a1a(i) the same with Hrethel,
+3e1 whose hollowing heart
1a1a(i) heaved with sorrow
+3e*1 for Herebeald his son.
2b2- How could he make
3b1b the offender pay
4930 3b1b for his fatal deed?
1a1a(i) How show hatred
3b*1a to Hæthcyn, the son
3b1b he no longer loved
3b*1d because of his luckless mistake?
1a*2a(ii) Wretched, irresolute,
3b1a old Hrethel chose
2e1a simply to die
2b1a and seek God's light,
+2e1b bequeathing to his heirs
4940 +1a*1b his country and his people,
3b1b as a leader should
2b1b when he leaves this world.
1a1b(i) Soon there was warfare
2b1b between Swedes and Geats
3b1a and battles fought
2c1a by both peoples
3b1b over restless seas,
3b*1b after Hrethel had died
2b2b and the sons of the king
4950 +2a1a(ii) of Sweden, Ongentheow,
+1a1a(i) proved wild and warlike,
3b*1a unwilling to live
2b2a in peace with the Geats;
2b1b but they plowed our seas
+1a1b(i) and struck at our people
2c1a near Storm Mountain.
+1d1 My two relatives
1a*1a(i) taught them a lesson,
+1a*1a(i) defeating their forces
4960 3b*1b in a famous campaign,
++1a*1b though the older of my uncles
3b2b paid the ultimate price,
3e*1 forfeiting his life,
2b1b for this fight brought death
+1a*1a(i) to Hæthcyn my kinsman.
d1a But Hygelac,
+2a1a(i) my other uncle,
2c1b wrought an apt vengeance
3b1a with naked steel
4970 2c1a the next morning,
+3e*1 when Ongentheow was slain
3b*1a by Eofor, a Geat
2b2a whose mind was inflamed
3b1b with remembered wrongs;
+2a1a(i) his savage sword-blow
1a1a(i) smashed the helmet
2b2b of the king of the Swedes
2b2b and he crashed to the ground.
3b*1a I always repaid
4980 +2a1a(ii) my own lord, Hygelac,
3b1b for his countless gifts
+1a*1a(i) with courage in battle
3b1b and a grateful sword.
+2a1a(iii) He granted me many
1a1a(i) lands and lordships
3b1b and had little need
+1a1b(i) to look for retainers
2c1c who would be less faithful,
2a1a(i) giving money
4990 +2a1a(i) to Gepid hirelings,
3e1 swashbuckling Swedes,
+1a*1a(i) or swordsmen from Denmark.
2c1a I fought always
3f1b in the front rank,
+1a*1b the foremost of his foot-troops,
3b*1b and I firmly intend
3b*1a to battle like that
3f1b while this blade lasts,
++1a*1b which has often been my ally,
5000 2e1a early and late,
2b1b since the day I slew
2a1a(iii) Dæghrefen, flower
3b1b of the Frankish troops,
2b2a in front of the hosts.
+1a*1a(i) He wanted to plunder
2a1a(i) Wealhtheow's neck-ring
+3e1 and carry it off
++1a1a(i) to the king of Frisia,
++1a1b(i) but he died in our deadly
5010 2e1a duel instead,
+2a1a(i) the standard bearer
3b2b of the stout-hearted Franks,
2b2a untouched by the sword:
+2a1a(iii) my terrible bear-hugs
1a1a(i) hushed his heartbeats.
1a1a(i) Here, however,
3b1c it is my worthy blade
3b*1b that must win us the hoard."
3e1 Beowulf made
5020 3b1a his battle vows
3f1b for the last time:
3f1b "I outlived storms
2b2a of strife in my youth
2c1b and am still ready,
3b*1a though feeble with age,
+1d1 to fight valiantly
2c1a and gain glory,
2c1b if this grim monster
2c1- dares venture
5030 ++1a1a(i) from its den to meet me!"
+3e1 Now Beowulf said
2b2a goodbye to his men
3f1b for the last time,
3b1a saluting each
3b1b of his noble thanes:
3f1b "I would not fight
2b2a this foe with the sword
2b1c if I could find a way,
2c1a with all honor
5040 2c1b and in all fairness,
+1a1b(i) to deal with a dragon
++1a1a(i) as I did with Grendel.
2b2a But here I expect
1d1 hot battle-fires,
1a1a(i) blasts of venom,
2b1b and must bear a shield,
1a1a(i) swathed in armor.
+3e1 I solemnly vow
++1a1a(i) not to flee a footstep
5050 2b1c but to let fate decide
2b2a our doom as it will,
+3e1 our destiny---fate,
3b1b and almighty God.
2b2a My mind is resolved
3f1b to forgo vaunts
2c1c against this grim spoiler.
d1a My warriors,
2b2c you must await what will come,
2a1a(iii) standing here steadfast
5060 2c1b in your steel mailcoats,
2e1a watching to see
3e*1 which of us survives
3b1b disenabling wounds.
2b1b It is not your task,
2b1a nor meet for man
2b1b except me alone
2b1b to contest the strength
3b2b of this terrible worm.
2c1b I shall gain glory
5070 +1a1b(i) and gaze on its treasure
3f1b with my own eyes,
+1a1b(i) or else it will kill me,
2e1a ending the reign
3b1b of your ancient king."
3e1 Beowulf rose
3e*1 brandishing his shield,
2e1b helmet on his head,
+1a*1b and hurried in his armor
2c1b toward the stone rampart,
5080 1d1 still confident
3f1c in his renowned strength.
2c1b He was no coward!
+1a1a(i) But now this hero,
3b1a so nobly born,
+1a*1a(i) survivor of so much
2a1a(iii) violent conflict,
+1a1a(i) such fierce encounters
3b1a where foot-troops clashed,
2c1a saw stone arches
5090 1a*1a(i) standing before him,
3e1 spewing forth streams
3b1a of splashing flame
3b1a and noxious fumes.
2e1a No man on earth
+1a*1a(i) could enter that doorway
3b*1a and open the hoard
3b1b without passing through
+3e1 those poisonous flames.
1a*1a(i) Livid with anger,
5100 2b2a the lord of the Geats
2c1b let a bold war-cry
2b2- burst from his lungs;
3b*1a it entered the mound
+1a*1a(i) and echoed inside it,
2a1a(i) ringing loudly
3b1b in its rocky depths.
+2a1a(iii) The hoard-keeper, hearing
3b1a a human voice,
1a1a(i) twitched with fury;
5110 2b1a the time was past
+2a1a(i) for friendly parley.
1a1b(i) First came a scorching
1a1b(i) blast from the barrow,
+1a1b(i) the breath of the monster,
+2a1a(i) its angry war-flame;
3f1a the earth shook.
+1d*1(ii) The warrior, watchfully
2e1a waiting outside,
2e1a swung up his shield
5120 2b1b to receive the foe,
+3e1 whose hate-swollen heart
3e1 hurried it out
+1a1b(i) to kill the intruder.
2a1a(ii) Quickly Beowulf
2c1a unsheathed Nægling,
3f1a his sharp sword,
+2a1a(i) an ancient heirloom;
2b2- each of those two
3e1 mighty ones meant
5130 1a*1b mischief to the other.
2a1a(i) Tensely leaning
3f1c against his tall shield,
+3e1 the warrior watched
2c1b as the worm tightened
3f1b into close coils;
2c1a the king waited.
+2e1b Uncoiling in a flash,
+2a1a(ii) the creature launched itself,
1a*1b streaking toward the stranger
5140 3b*1b with destruction. His shield
1a*1a(i) offered protection
2c1b to the old war-king
3f1a for less time
2b1b than he liked or hoped,
++1a1b(i) where he found he was fighting
2c1a his first battle
++1a1b(i) in which fate was unfriendly
++1a1a(i) and refused to give him
1d1 quick victory.
5150 2b2a The king of the Geats
1a1b(i) swung his ancestral
2c1- sword, striking
+2a1a(i) the brindled horror,
2c1b but its blade failed him
1a*1a(i) badly in battle,
1a*1a(i) biting less deeply
a1b than the peril
++1a1a(i) of the prince demanded,
2e1b harried and harassed.
5160 d1a The hoard-keeper
1a1b(i) fumed with resentment
2b1b when it felt the blow
3b1a and spat out flames;
+1a1a(i) the sparks flew flashing
3b1a a long way off.
2b2a The lord of the Geats
2b2b could not boast of success,
++1a1a(i) for his blade had failed him,
+2a1a(i) his trusty war-sword
5170 3b*1b had betrayed him at need,
3b*1c as it should never have done.
++1a1a(i) It would not be easy
3b1b for the sorely pressed
1a1a(i) son of Ecgtheow
3b*1b to relinquish his long
2b2- life in the world,
2e1a destined to dwell
3b1b in a different place,
+3e1 like everyone else
5180 +1a1b(i) on earth, and surrender
2c1a this brief being.
3b1c After a breathing space
2b1b they engaged again,
+1d1 those grim combatants,
+1a*1a(i) the dragon attacking
3b1b with redoubled rage
d1b and the ring-giver,
2c1a his reign over,
2a1a(iii) suffering sorely
5190 3b1b in the searing flames.
2b2b He could hope for no help
3b1b from his hand-picked troop:
+1a1a(i) instead of staunchly
1a*1a(i) standing beside him,
1a*1b flocking to defend him,
2b2b they had fled to the woods
d1a to save themselves,
3b1d except for a single thane
2b1b who was racked with grief,
5200 3b2b for a right-thinking man
3b*1a can never undo
+1a1a(i) the knots of kinship.

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