Front Page Titles (by Subject) XXXIX.: WIGLAF CASTETH SHAME ON THOSE FLEERS. - The Tale of Beowulf, sometime King of the Folk of the Weder Geats
XXXIX.: WIGLAF CASTETH SHAME ON THOSE FLEERS. - Beowulf, The Tale of Beowulf, sometime King of the Folk of the Weder Geats [750 AD]
The Tale of Beowulf, sometime King of the Folk of the Weder Geats, trans. William Morris and A.J. Wyatt (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1910).
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- The Story of Beowulf
- I.: And First of the Kindred of Hrothgar.
- II.: Concerning Hrothgar, and How He Built the House Called Hart. Also Grendel Is Told Of.
- III.: How Grendel Fell Upon Hart and Wasted It.
- IV.: Now Comes Beowulf Ecgtheow’s Son to the Land of the Danes, and the Wall-warden Speaketh With Him.
- V.: Here Beowulf Makes Answer to the Land-warden, Who Showeth Him the Way to the King’s Abode.
- VI.: Beowulf and the Geats Come Into Hart.
- VII.: Beowulf Speaketh With Hrothgar, and Telleth How He Will Meet Grendel.
- VIII.: Hrothgar Answereth Beowulf and Biddeth Him Sit to the Feast.
- IX.: Unferth Contendeth In Words With Beowulf.
- X.: Beowulf Makes an End of His Tale of the Swimming. Wealhtheow, Hrothgar’s Queen, Greets Him; and Hrothgar Delivers to Him the Warding of the Hall.
- XI.: Now Is Beowulf Left In the Hall Alone With His Men.
- XII.: Grendel Cometh Into Hart: of the Strife Betwixt Him and Beowulf.
- XIII.: Beowulf Hath the Victory: Grendel Is Hurt Deadly and Leaveth Hand and Arm In the Hall.
- XIV.: The Danes Rejoice; They Go to Look On the Slot of Grendel, and Come Back to Hart, and On the Way Make Merry With Racing and the Telling of Tales.
- XV.: King Hrothgar and His Thanes Look On the Arm of Grendel. Converse Betwixt Hrothgar and Beowulf Concerning the Battle.
- XVI.: Hrothgar Giveth Gifts to Beowulf.
- XVII.: They Feast In Hart. the Gleeman Sings of Finn and Hengest.
- XVIII.: The Ending of the Tale of Finn.
- XIX.: More Gifts Are Given to Beowulf. the Brising Collar Told Of.
- XX.: Grendel’s Dam Breaks Into Hart and Bears Off Aeschere.
- XXI.: Hrothgar Laments the Slaying of Aeschere, and Tells of Grendel’s Mother and Her Den.
- XXII.: They Follow Grendel’s Dam to Her Lair.
- XXIII.: Beowulf Reacheth the Mere-bottom In a Day’s While, and Contends With Grendel’s Dam.
- XXIV.: Beowulf Slayeth Grendel’s Dam, Smiteth Off Grendel’s Head, and Cometh Back With His Thanes to Hart.
- XXV.: Converse of Hrothgar With Beowulf.
- XXVI.: More Converse of Hrothgar and Beowulf: the Geats Make Them Ready For Departure.
- XXVII.: Beowulf Bids Hrothgar Farewell: the Geats Fare to Ship.
- XXVIII.: Beowulf Comes Back to His Land. of the Tale of Thrytho.
- XXIX.: Beowulf Tells Hygelac of Hrothgar: Also of Freawaru His Daughter.
- XXX.: Beowulf Forebodes Ill From the Wedding of Freawaru: He Tells of Grendel and His Dam.
- XXXI.: Beowulf Gives Hrothgar’s Gifts to Hygelac, and By Him Is Rewarded. of the Death of Hygelac and of Heardred His Son, and How Beowulf Is King of the Geats: the Worm Is First Told Of.
- XXXII.: How the Worm Came to the Howe, and How He Was Robbed of a Cup; and How He Fell On the Folk.
- XXXIII.: The Worm Burns Beowulf’s House, and Beowulf Gets Ready to Go Against Him. Beowulf’s Early Deeds In Battle With the Hetware Told Of.
- XXXIV.: Beowulf Goes Against the Worm. He Tells of Herebeald and HÆthcyn.
- XXXV.: Beowulf Tells of Past Feuds, and Bids Farewell to His Fellows. He Falls On the Worm, and the Battle of Them Begins.
- XXXVI.: Wiglaf Son of Weohstan Goes to the Help of Beowulf: NÆgling, Beowulf’s Sword, Is Broken On the Worm.
- XXXVII.: They Two Slay the Worm. Beowulf Is Wounded Deadly: He Biddeth Wiglaf Bear Out the Treasure.
- XXXVIII.: Beowulf Beholdeth the Treasure and Passeth Away.
- XXXIX.: Wiglaf Casteth Shame On Those Fleers.
- Xl.: Wiglaf Sendeth Tiding to the Host: the Words of the Messenger.
- Xli.: More Words of the Messenger. How He Fears the Swedes When They Wot of Beowulf Dead.
- Xlii.: They Go to Look On the Field of Deed.
- Xliii.: of the Burial of Beowulf.
WIGLAF CASTETH SHAME ON THOSE FLEERS.
- BUT gone was it then with the unaged man
- Full hard that there he beheld on the earth
- The liefest of friends at the ending of life,
- Of bearing most piteous. And likewise lay his bane
- The Earth-drake, the loathly fear, reft of his life,
- By bale laid undone: the ring-hoards no longer
- The Worm, the crook-bowed, ever might wield;
- For soothly the edges of the irons him bare off,
- The hard battle-sharded leavings of hammers,
- So that the wide-flier stilled with wounding
- Fell onto earth anigh to his hoard-hall,
- Nor along the lift ever more playing he turned
- At middle-nights, proud of the owning of treasure,
- Show’d the face of him forth, but to earth there he fell
- Because of the host-leader’s work of the hand.
- This forsooth on the land hath thriven to few,
- Of men might and main bearing, by hearsay of mine,
- Though in each of all deeds full daring he were,
- That against venom-scather’s fell breathing he set on,
- Or the hall of his rings with hand be a-stirring,
- If so be that he waking the warder had found
- Abiding in burg. By Beowulf was
- His deal of the king-treasure paid for by death;
- There either had they fared on to the end
- Of this loaned life. Long it was not until
- Those laggards of battle the holt were a-leaving,
- Unwarlike troth-liars, the ten there together,
- Who durst not e’en now with darts to be playing
- E’en in their man-lord’s most mickle need.
- But shamefully now their shields were they bearing,
- Their weed of the battle, there where lay the aged;
- They gazed on Wiglaf where weary’d he sat,
- The foot-champion, hard by his very lord’s shoulder,
- And wak’d him with water: but no whit it sped him;
- Never might he on earth howsoe’er well he will’d it
- In that leader of spears hold the life any more,
- Nor the will of the Wielder change ever a whit;
- But still should God’s doom of deeds rule the rede
- For each man of men, as yet ever it doth.
- Then from out of the youngling an answer full grim
- Easy got was for him who had lost heart erewhile,
- And word gave out Wiglaf, Weohstan’s son,
- The sorrowful-soul’d man: on those unlief he saw:
- Lo that may he say who sooth would be saying,
- That the man-lord who dealt you the gift of those dear things,
- The gear of the war-host wherein there ye stand,
- Whereas he on the ale-bench full oft was a-giving
- Unto the hall-sitters war-helm and byrny,
- The king to his thanes, e’en such as he choicest
- Anywhere, far or near, ever might find:
- That he utterly wrongsome those weeds of the war
- Had cast away, then when the war overtook him.
- Surely never the folk-king of his fellows in battle
- Had need to be boastful; howsoever God gave him,
- The Victory-wielder, that he himself wreak’d him
- Alone with the edge, when to him need of might was.
- Unto him of life-warding but little might I
- Give there in the war-tide; and yet I began
- Above measure of my might my kinsman to help;
- Ever worse was the Worm then when I with sword
- Smote the life-foe, and ever the fire less strongly
- Welled out from his wit. Of warders o’er little
- Throng’d about the king when him the battle befell.
- Now shall taking of treasures and giving of swords
- And all joy of your country-home fail from your kindred,
- All hope wane away; of the land-right moreover
- May each of the men of that kinsman’s burg ever
- Roam lacking; sithence that the athelings eftsoons
- From afar shall have heard of your faring in flight,
- Your gloryless deed. Yea, death shall be better
- For each of the earls than a life ever ill-fam’d.