Beowulf

Hear! We have heard how in days past
the Spear-Danes, princes of the peoples,
won glory, did deeds of courage.
Often Scyld Scefing seized mead-benches
from the warrior bands of many nations,
terrified noblemen, since first he was found
possessing nothing-- he repaid that solace,
grew strong under heaven; in fame he prospered
till every one of the neighboring kingdoms
over the whale-road had to heed him,
yield him tribute. That was a good king!

To them afterwards was born a son,
young in the courtyards, whom god sent
to comfort the countrymen. He noted the suffering
that they had endured, leaderless
a long while. To him the lord of life,
guardian of glory, gave worldly honors:
Beowulf was renowned, Scyld's son,
his fame widespread in Scandinavia.

Just so must a young man bring about good
20
by gifts of treasure to his father's followers,
so that after, in old age, he may dwell with
willing comrades and save the people
when war comes. By generous deeds
one must prosper in any nation.

Scyld then left them at the fated time,
still strong, to seek the lord's succor.
They then carried him, his loved companions,
to the sea's current, just as he had asked,

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