Steadfast companions will stand by him and hold the line. Behaviour that’s admired is the path to power among people everywhere. Shield was still thriving when his time camesudd’s fut and he crossed over into the Lord’s keeping. His warrior band did what he bade them when he laid down the law among the Danes: 30 they shouldered him out to the sea’s flood, the chief they revered who had long ruled them.
A ring-whorled prow rode in the harbour, ice-clad, outbound, a craft for a prince. They stretched their beloved lord in his boat, laid out by the mast, amidships, the great ring-giver. Far-fetched treasures were piled upon him, and precious gear. I never heard before of a ship so well furbished with battle tackle, bladed weapons 40 and coats of mail. The massed treasure was loaded on top of him: it would travel far on out into the ocean’s sway.
They decked his body no less bountifully with offerings than those first ones did who cast him away when he was a child and launched him alone out over the waves. And they set a gold standard up high above his head and let him drift to wind and tide, bewailing him 50 and mourning their loss. No man can tell, no wise man in hall or weathered veteran knows for certain who salvaged that load. Then it fell to Beow to keep the forts. BEOWULF5
He was well regarded and ruled the Danesshield’s heirs: his for a long time after his father took leave s°n Beow succeedl °by Halfdane, of his life on earth. And then his heir,Halfdane by the great Halfdane, held swayHroth^r for as long as he lived, their elder and warlord. He was four times a father, this fighter prince: 60 one by one they entered the world, Heorogar, Hrothgar, the good Halga and a daughter, I have heard, who was Onela’s queen, a balm in bed to the battle-scarred Swede. The fortunes of war favoured Hrothgar.King Hrothgar Friends and kinsmen flocked to his ranks,buMs Heorot HaU young followers, a force that grew to be a mighty army.
So his mind turned to hall-building: he handed down orders for men to work on a great mead-hall 70 meant to be a wonder of the world forever; it would be his throne-room and there he would dispense his God-given goods to young and old— but not the common land or people’s lives. Far and wide through the world, I have heard, orders for work to adorn that wallstead were sent to many peoples. And soon it stood there, finished and ready, in full view, the hall of halls. Heorot was the name he had settled on it, whose utterance was law. 80 Nor did he renege, but doled out rings and torques at the table. The hall towered, its gables wide and high and awaiting a barbarous burning. That doom abided, but in time it would come: the killer instinct unleashed among in-laws, the blood-lust rampant
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