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borne by the hair into the place where
men were drinking, and the head of the
woman also. Beowulf said: "Behold, these
tokens from the sea we bring with gladness
to thee, son of Healfdene, lord of
Scyldings. Now may'st thou with thy warriors
in Heorot sleep free from sorrow." The
golden hilt, the giant's work of old, was given
to the hoar war-leader. Hrothgar gazed on
the hilt; in Runic signs the tale of its birth
was told upon it. Then spake the son of
Healfdene; all were silent: "Thy glory is
upreared now through wide ways, Beowulf,
my friend. Long shalt thou be a blessing to
thy people." Many words spake Hrothgar,
for he spoke of the past and of its warnings
to his friend and to the folk around him.
The Goth, glad of mood, went to his seat;
there was a new feast made. The helm of
night grew murky, the aged Scylding sought
his bed, and the Goth wished for rest. The
guest slept till the black raven, gladdener
of heaven, blithe of heart announced the
coming of the light. The Athelings then
wished to go to their own land, and Beowulf
bade the son of Ecglaf take again his sword;
gave for the lending thanks, said that he held
Hrunting to be good, he would not with
blame hurt pride in its good edge; that
was a high-souled warrior. Hrothgar said,
"Peace be to the Goths and the Gar Danes;
wealth in common. Over the gannet's bath
the ringed bark shall bring gifts and love-
tokens. Each folk I know, fast friend, fast
foe, and in the old way stainless always."
Twelve gifts also gave to Beowulf the son of
Healfdene, bade him go and quickly come
again. The good king kissed the best of
thanes, and tears fell as he took him round
the neck.

The bright warriors went to the ship, laden
with weapons, steeds and gold; the mast rose
over Hrothgar's hoards. Beowulf gave to
the boat-guard a sword bound with gold, and
on the mead-bench he was afterwards the
worthier for that heir-loom. They sailed
away, and the known headlands of the
Goths were reached. The hithe-guard who
had seen them when afar was ready; he
bound the ship to the sand and bade men
bear to the hall of Hygelac, who dwelt by
the sea-wall, the wealth of the Athelings.
Kinsman faced kinsman; Hæreth's daughter,
she who loved the people, bare the wine-cup
to the high chiefs hand.

Afterwards the broad land came under the
sway of Beowulf. He held it well for fifty
winters, until in the dark nights a dragon, which in
a stone mound watched a hoard of gold and
cups, won mastery. It was a hoard heaped
up in sin, its lords were long since dead; the
last earl, before dying, hid it in the earth-
cave, and for three hundred winters the great
scather held the cave, until some man finding
by chance a rich cup took it to his lord.
Then the den was searched, while the worm
slept; again and again when the dragon
woke, there had been theft. He found not
the man, but wasted the whole land with
fire; nightly the fiendish air-flyer made fire
grow hateful to the sight of men. Then it
was told to Beowulf that his own home also,
with the Goths' gift chair, was burnt. He
who had been the friend of Heardred, who
while the youth lived had made him master
of his crown, sought out the dragon's den
and fought with him in awful strife. One
wound the poison-worm struck in the flesh of
Beowulf; his kinsman, Wiglaf, when all
others held aloof in fear, came to the aid of the
old hero, and helped him in his time of need.
Then while the warrior king sat death-sick
on a stone, he sent his thanes to see the cups
and dishes in the den of the old twilight-flyer.
But when the dragon's gold was brought
out, Beowulf thanked the Lord for all, and
said, "I for this hoard have wisely sold my
life; let others care now for the people's need.
I may be here no longer. Bid the warriors
raise a mound on the sea's headland that
shall tower high on Hrones-næs, that I be
not forgotten, and that seafarers driving foamy
barks over the mists of floods may call it in
the days that are to follow Beowulf's Mount."
He gave then to a young warrior, last of his
kind, his war clothes and his weapons, saying,
"All my kinsmen are gone to the God-
head, earls in their valour; I shall follow
them." That was his latest word.

The Goths made for him a heap upon the
earth, hung with helms, shields, and bright
war-shirts. In the midst they laid the
beloved lord with sigh and sorrow. On the
mount they kindled a great bale fire, wood
reek rose swart from the Swedish pine, the
roaring of flame was heard with the weeping
(the wind ceased), till it had cracked with
heat the bone-house on the breast. And they
sang a lay of sorrow while the heaven swelled
with smoke. The Weders folk wrought a
mound on the hill, high, broad, seen afar
by seamen; in ten days they built the beacon
and begirt it with a wall. In the mound
they set rings and all the riches taken in
the hoard. All that great wealth of the
earls they gave back to the earth, that there
might be gold in the dust beside the body of
the warrior. And round about his mound
rode his hearth-sharers, who sang that he
was of kings, of men, the mildest, kindest,
to his people sweetest and the readiest in
search of praise.

TOO LATE.

I AM a punctual man; nervously, fretfully,
painfully punctual. If I have an engagement
on business or pleasure, I prepare to keep
it some hours before the time appointed, and
am totally unable to think of anything, or do
anything, until it is over. I have a marvellous
faculty for believing that my watch must have
stopped, or that the clocks in the house are
not strictly regulated by the most approved

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