Return to Geatland
eowulf and his men returned
home. The ship flew like a bird with foam at its throat across the waves. Hygelac's
hall was near to the sea and there the brave lord of the Geats, with Hygd his
wife, greeted the warriors:
'We thank God that you have come. We feared for you each day and felt sure you should not have gone. Let the Danes fight their own monster, we said before you went. But you would not listen. Now you are home and have survived many dangers, I can tell.'
So Beowulf told all that he had done and seen in the land of the Danes. He gave to Hygelac the wonderful armour Hrothgar had given him. Hygelac would be wearing this fine armour when he went looking for a fight with the Franks and the Frisians soon after. He would not keep it for long.
To Hygd Beowulf gave a pair of horses, as alike as two apples, and the neckband, Wealtheow's gift. Hygd was well known for her wise ways with the people and her fairness of mind. She did not make favourites of one group or another, or create trouble between old friends. She asked Beowulf:
'Is it true as I have heard that the Danes mean to end their feud with the Heathobards with a marriage?'
'Yes, Freawaru is to marry Ingeld. She is wise and fair, but I do not think the feud will be ended so easily. Families and friends do not forget how their dear ones died.'
'I expect you're right, Beowulf', said Hygelac, 'but that's enough talk about other people's wars. We 'll have wars of our own before long. You have returned with rich presents from the ring-giving lord of the Danes. Now I too must reward you for your deeds.'
Then Hygelac gave to Beowulf a hall of his own and seven thousand hides of land. And so Beowulf lived for years as a great man among Hygelac's people, serving his lord well.