Beowulf

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VII

HROTHGAR spake, the Scyldings'-helmet: -- "For fight defensive, Friend my Beowulf, to succor and save, thou hast sought us here. Thy father's combat {7a} a feud enkindled when Heatholaf with hand he slew among the Wylfings; his Weder kin for horror of fighting feared to hold him. Fleeing, he sought our South-Dane folk, over surge of ocean the Honor-Scyldings, when first I was ruling the folk of Danes, wielded, youthful, this widespread realm, this hoard-hold of heroes. Heorogar was dead, my elder brother, had breathed his last, Healfdene's bairn: he was better than I! Straightway the feud with fee {7b} I settled, to the Wylfings sent, o'er watery ridges, treasures olden: oaths he {7c} swore me. Sore is my soul to say to any of the race of man what ruth for me in Heorot Grendel with hate hath wrought, what sudden harryings. Hall-folk fail me, my warriors wane; for Wyrd hath swept them into Grendel's grasp. But God is able this deadly foe from his deeds to turn! Boasted full oft, as my beer they drank, earls o'er the ale-cup, armed men, that they would bide in the beer-hall here, Grendel's attack with terror of blades. Then was this mead-house at morning tide dyed with gore, when the daylight broke, all the boards of the benches blood-besprinkled, gory the hall: I had heroes the less, doughty dear-ones that death had reft. -- But sit to the banquet, unbind thy words, hardy hero, as heart shall prompt thee."

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