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

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XLIII

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2b2b There the men of the Geats
1a1b(i) made for their ruler
3b1a a funeral pyre
+2a1a(iii) of fabulous splendor,
1a1a(i) hung with helmets
3b1a and hollow shields
2c1a and bright mailcoats,
6280 +3e*1 as Beowulf had asked;
+1a1a(i) amidst these marvels
3b1b his lamenting thanes
1a1a(i) laid the body
3b1c of their beloved king.
2b2a The wind died away
+2a1a(iii) when warriors kindled
2c1a a bright death-fire
2c1b on that bare headland,
+2a1a(i) and murky wood-smoke
6290 1a*1a(i) mingled with weeping
1a1b(i) rose over roaring
3e1 rust-colored flames
2b1b as they burned their way
+1a1a(i) through bone and marrow,
3e*1 turning them to ash.
2b2a With tears and laments
1a1a(i) men remembered
3b1a their mighty king,
2b1b while with hair bound tight
6300 3b1a and heaving breast
+2e1b a woman of the Geats
1a1a(i) wailed her heart out,
1a1a(i) crazed with terror,
2a1a(ii) crying bitterly
3b1b that she dreaded days
+1a1b(i) of doom and disaster,
+2a1a(i) invading armies,
3e*1 violence of troops,
2a1a(i) slaughter, exile,
6310 2a1a(iii) slavery. Heaven
2e1a swallowed the smoke.
1a1b(i) Sick with foreboding,
2b2a the men of the Geats
1a1a(i) made a grave-mound
3e*1 visible at sea
+1d1 for vast distances,
2b1b and were done in ten
1a1a(i) days constructing
2a1a(iii) Beowulf's barrow.
6320 2b1a They built a wall
+1a*1a(i) enclosing his ashes,
3e*1 crafted it as well
++1d1 as their most masterful
2e1b masons could devise.
2e1a Riches of gold
2b1a and rings were heaped
3b1b in its hollow vault,
2c1a the whole treasure
3e1 Beowulf's thanes
6330 2b2a had borne from the hoard;
+2a1a(ii) they buried all of it
2b2- back in the ground,
3b1b that unlucky gold,
2b1b where it lives today
3b*1a as idle and vain
3b1b as it ever was.
3e1 Slowly, then, twelve
1a1a(i) sons of princes
1a1a(i) rode on horseback
6340 +1a1a(i) around the barrow,
+1a*1a(i) lamenting their leader
3b1a in mournful lays;
2b2b they complained of their plight
2b1a but praised the king,
+1a*1a(i) applauded his virtue
3b*1a and prowess in war,
+1a*1a(ii) were generous in judgment,
1a*1a(i) just as retainers
3b1a should always be,
6350 3e*1 honoring their lord
3b1a with worthy love
2b1a and words of praise
2c1a when fate leads him
1a1b(i) forth from the body.
1d*1(ii) Woe-stricken warriors
1a1a(ii) wept for Beowulf,
+1a1b(i) along with his hearth-friends
3b1a and loyal thanes.
2b1b He had been, they said,
6360 +1a1a(i) the best and wisest
2b2a of kings of this world,
1a*1b kindest to his people,
+2a1a(i) most open handed,
3b*1a most eager for praise.

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