"Beowul Part Three" He Saves A Neighboring People From A Monster, Grendel, Eventually Becomes The King Of His Own People, And Dies Defending Them From A Dragon

5669 words - 23 pages

--Beowulf Fights the Dragon--He saw by the cave,he who had many virtues,he who had survived many timesthe battle flasheswhen troops rush together,a stream runningfrom the stone arch--a stream of fire.He could not enterfor the dragon's flame.Beowulf was angry,the lord of the Geats,he who stormed in battle.He yelled into the cave.The hoard-keeper perceiveda man's voice anddidn't plan to askfor friendship.Flames shot outfrom among the stones,hot battle-sweat.The ground dinned.The hero raised his shieldagainst the dreadful stranger.Then the coiled thingsought battle.The war king drew his sword,an ancient heirloomwith edges unblunt.Each of them intendedhorror to the other.Stouthearted stood that ...view middle of the document...

He saw his lordsuffering from heatunder his helmet.He remembered the gifts,a rich home amongthe Waegmundings,the rich inheritance,that his father had had.Wiglaf could not refrain,but grabbed his shield,drew his ancient swordthat among men was knownas the heirloom of Eanmund,the son of Othere.(Eanmund, after a quarrel,was killed by Weohstanwith the sword's edge.Weohstan becamea friendless exile.To Eanmund's own kinsmenhe bore the burnished helmet,the ring-locked mail,the old sword made by giants.Onela had given Eanmund that,the war-equipment,and did not mentionthe feud, though hisbrother's child was killed.Weohstan held the treasuremany years,the sword and mail,until his son coulddo heroic deedsas his father had done.He gave the war-dress to Wiglafand a great many treasures,then departed this earthold on his journey.But this was the first timethe young championhad gone into the war-storm.)His spirit did not fail,nor his heirloom: thatthe dragon discoveredwhen they met in battle.Wiglaf spoke words about duty,said in sorrow to his companions:"I remember the timeswe drank mead and howwe promised our lordthere in the beer-hall,he who gave us gifts,that we would repayall his largess,the helmets and hard swords,if the needshould ever befall.He chose his best menfor this expedition,gave us honor andthese treasures becausehe considered us bestamong spear fighters,though he proposed todo the job alone becausehe had performed the mostfamous deeds among men.Now has the day comethat our lordis in need of fighters,of good warriors.Let us go to him,help the war-chiefin this fire-horror.God knows, to me,my lord means morethan my skin.With him I willembrace the fire.It isn't properthat we bare shieldsback to our homesbefore we candefend our lordand kill the enemy.He doesn't deserveto suffer alone.We two shall sharethe sword and helmet,the mail and war-garment."Then Wiglaf advancedthrough the death-fumes,wore his helmetto help his lord.He spoke these words:"Dear Beowulf, may youaccomplish all well,as you did in youth,as I have heard tell.Don't surrender the gloryof your life. Defend now,with all your strength,your brave deeds.I will help."After these wordsthe dragon angrily came;the terrible spiritanother time attackedwith surging fire.Fire waves burnedWiglaf's shielddown to the handle,his mail could notprotect the youngspear-warrior.He ducked behindhis kinsman's shield.Then the war-kingremembered past deeds,struck mightily with his swordso that it stuckin the dragon's head;Naegling, the great sword of Beowulf,ancient and shining,broke, failed in battle.Fate had not granted thatthe iron sword would help.(I've heard that Beowulf'sswing was too strongfor any sword,overstrained any blade,anytime he carrieda blood-hardened swordinto battle.)Then the terrible dragona third time rushed,hot and battle-grim.He bit Beowulf's neckwith sharp tusks--Beowulfwas wet with life's blood;blood gushed in waves.Then, I've heard,Wiglaf showed courage,craft and bravery,as was his...

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