Beowulf for beginners


hrothgar went on:

'The Danes had a lord once called Heremod. God had made him stronger than all other men, and a great lord. Yet his heart grew greedy for gold for himself. He would not give rings to his warriors. When he was drunk and full of anger he would attack the men at his table with his sword. He brought disaster to the Danes. In the end the Danes drove him out and he lived the life of an outcast.

Learn from this, Beowulf, be generous to your people. Do not seek quarrels. Beware of becoming proud.

It is easy when you are young and strong to forget that one day sickness or a sword will end your life. Your bright eyes will grow dim, you will be old. Or else fire, or a storm when your ship is at sea, will finish you.

Remember this and you will not be proud. For a proud lord does not enjoy the things he has. He thinks they are not enough. He wants more. He does not do what a lord must for his people. Believe me, Beowulf, for I am many winters old.'

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