Beowulf spake, bairn of Ecgtheow:—
“Lo, now, this sea-booty, son of Healfdene,
Lord of Scyldings, we’ve lustily brought thee,
sign of glory; thou seest it here.
1655Not lightly did I with my life escape!
In war under water this work I essayed
with endless effort; and even so
my strength had been lost had the Lord not shielded me.
Not a whit could I with Hrunting do
1660in work of war, though the weapon is good;
yet a sword the Sovran of Men vouchsafed me
to spy on the wall there, in splendor hanging,
old, gigantic,—how oft He guides
the friendless wight!—and I fought with that brand,
1665felling in fight, since fate was with me,
the house’s wardens. That war-sword then
all burned, bright blade, when the blood gushed o’er it,
battle-sweat hot; but the hilt I brought back
from my foes. So avenged I their fiendish deeds,
1670death-fall of Danes, as was due and right.
And this is my hest, that in Heorot now
safe thou canst sleep with thy soldier band,
and every thane of all thy folk
both old and young; no evil fear,
1675Scyldings’ lord, from that side again,