Beowulf, lines 1880-1924. Now in the Longmans Anthology of British Literature. This excerpt was published on this site in 1999 by permission of the authors
Beowulf walked · away with his wealth;proud of his prizes, he trod on the turf.Standing at anchor, his sea-courserchafed for its captain. All the way homeHrothgar's gifts · were often honored.That was a king · accorded respectuntil age unmanned him · like many another.
High-hearted, the band of young bravesstrode to the sea, wrapped in their ring-mesh,linked and locked shirts. The land-watcher spiedthe fighters faring, just as before.He called no taunts · from the top of the cliffbut galloped to greet them · and tell them the Geatswould always be welcome, armored warriorsborne on their ship. The broad longboatlay on the beach, laden with chain-mail;chargers were tethered · behind its tall prow,and gifts gathered · beneath the great mast.The boat-guard was given · a gold-hilted sword;thereafter that man · had honor enhanced,bearing an heirloom · to Heorot's mead-bench.They boarded their vessel, breasted the deep,left Denmark behind. A halyard hoistedthe main up the mast, and timbers moanedas a fair wind wafted · the wave-rider forward.Foamy-throated, the longboat bounded,swept on the swells · of the swift sea-streamuntil welcoming capes · were sighted ahead,the cliffs of Geatland. The keel groundedas wind-lift thrust it · straight onto sand.
The harbor-guard hastened · hence from his post.He had looked long · on empty oceanand waited to meet · the much-missed men.He moored the broad-beamed · bow to the beachwith woven lines · lest the backwash of wavesbear off the boat. Then Beowulf orderedtreasures unloaded, the lordly trappings,gold that was going · to Hygelac's hall,close to the cliff-edge, where the ring-giver kepthis comrades about him.