Beowulf for beginners

Beowulf's Funeral

then the Geatish people built for their lord a great funeral pyre of wood and hung battle shields and bright mailcoats upon it. In the middle they laid their much-loved lord. One warrior went forward with a flaming torch to set it on fire. The roar of the flames mixed with the sound of weeping. beowulf's funeralThe air was filled with black smoke above the bright blaze. The bone-frame of Beowulf's body was burnt away. A Geatish woman sang over and over again, telling how she feared the dreadful days to come. The sky swallowed the smoke.

The Geats built the barrow as Beowulf had asked. For miles it could be seen, standing high on the cliffs above the sea. Inside they placed Beowulf's ashes and the heap of treasure he had won. Beowulf was not greedy for gold. Instead he gladly gave it away. Now it would lie with him, no use to living men, as for hundreds of years before. Twelve warriors rode around the barrow singing their sadness, praising Beowulf's deeds with their words.

So the Geatish people cried for their dead lord. They said that among the lords of the world he was the most gentle, the kindest to his people, and the keenest to win fame.

The End