Anonymous Olde English

Here you will find the Long Poem Beowulf (Episode 15) of poet Anonymous Olde English

Beowulf (Episode 15)

THERE was hurry and hest in Heorot now 
for hands to bedeck it, and dense was the throng 
of men and women the wine-hall to cleanse, 
the guest-room to garnish. Gold-gay shone the hangings 
that were wove on the wall, and wonders many 
to delight each mortal that looks upon them. 
Though braced within by iron bands, 
that building bright was broken sorely; 
rent were its hinges; the roof alone 
held safe and sound, when, seared with crime, 
the fiendish foe his flight essayed, 
of life despairing. -- No light thing that, 
the flight for safety, -- essay it who will! 
Forced of fate, he shall find his way 
to the refuge ready for race of man, 
for soul-possessors, and sons of earth; 
and there his body on bed of death 
shall rest after revel. 
Arrived was the hour 
when to hall proceeded Healfdene's son: 
the king himself would sit to banquet. 
Ne'er heard I of host in haughtier throng 
more graciously gathered round giver-of-rings! 
Bowed then to bench those bearers-of-glory, 
fain of the feasting. Featly received 
many a mead-cup the mighty-in-spirit, 
kinsmen who sat in the sumptuous hall, 
Hrothgar and Hrothulf. Heorot now 
was filled with friends; the folk of Scyldings 
ne'er yet had tried the traitor's deed. 
To Beowulf gave the bairn of Healfdene 
a gold-wove banner, guerdon of triumph, 
broidered battle-flag, breastplate and helmet; 
and a splendid sword was seen of many 
borne to the brave one. Beowulf took 
cup in hall: for such costly gifts 
he suffered no shame in that soldier throng. 
For I heard of few heroes, in heartier mood, 
with four such gifts, so fashioned with gold, 
on the ale-bench honoring others thus! 
O'er the roof of the helmet high, a ridge, 
wound with wires, kept ward o'er the head, 
lest the relict-of-files should fierce invade, 
sharp in the strife, when that shielded hero 
should go to grapple against his foes. 
Then the earls'-defence on the floor bade lead 
coursers eight, with carven head-gear, 
adown the hall: one horse was decked 
with a saddle all shining and set in jewels; 
'twas the battle-seat of the best of kings, 
when to play of swords the son of Healfdene 
was fain to fare. Ne'er failed his valor 
in the crush of combat when corpses fell. 
To Beowulf over them both then gave 
the refuge-of-Ingwines right and power, 
o'er war-steeds and weapons: wished him joy of them. 
Manfully thus the mighty prince, 
hoard-guard for heroes, that hard fight repaid 
with steeds and treasures contemned by none 
who is willing to say the sooth aright.