The Oldest English Epic/Chapter 1/Beowulf 02
|←Beowulf: I||The Oldest English Epic by , translated by Francis Barton Gummere
115Went he forth to find at fall of night
- Beowulf, the coming champion, has the strength (v. 379) of “thirty” men in his hand’s grasp, and (v. 2361) swims to safety after Hygelac’s defeat laden with “thirty” suits of mail on his arm. The reader will note the meagreness and haste of this account of the actual attack. No details are given. This brevity is of course due to the poet; and one can only guess at his motive.
- See v. 191.
- The smaller buildings within the main enclosure but separate from hall.
- So the text. Grendel, by his ravaging, is master of the hall; and there is no need to change to “hell-thane.”
- The journalists of the day, Widsiths, Deors, Bernlefs, carried such tidings in their “sorrowful songs.” So, too, perhaps, began the story of the actual downfall of the Burgundian kings, afterward the epic of the Nibelungs.
- He would of course pay no wergild for the men he had slain. So boasted a Norse bully once.
- “Sorcerers-of-hell.” Rune is still used in Low German dialects for “witch.”
- Hrothgar, who is the “Scyldings’-friend” of 170. A difficult passage.
- That is, in formal or prescribed phrase.
- In Psalm xcvi, 5 (Grein-Wülker, number 95): “All the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.” The Anglo-Saxon version reads: “All heathen gods are devils-of-war.” . . .
- The complimentary excess of kennings for “God” is like the profusion in naming king or chieftain. See v. 345 f.