Beowulf for beginners

The Last Survivor

long ago one man carried the treasure into the barrow. He was bent under the heaviness of his load. He was the last man of his tribe. His lord and all his people lay dead. They were killed by their enemies in battle. Only he survived, sad without his friends. He knew he would not live for long.

When he had filled the barrow with gold he spoke these words:

treasure'Earth, you must keep the gold of my people. Men could not keep it. They were brave but war-death has taken them all. There is no-one now to polish this golden plate. Who will clean this precious cup? Who will make this helmet shine? This mailcoat will never jingle again hanging from a warrior's shoulders.

My people had many times of joy in the hall. Now there is no happiness from hearing the harp play. No hawk flies through the hall. No horse stamps in the courtyard ready to ride. Sudden and horrible death has put a stop to all.'

So the one left behind by them all spoke his sad thoughts. It was not long before his sorrowing heart stopped and he too died. One day soon after an evil dragon found his way to the hoard. It was his fate to seek out and guard piles of treasure - not that it did him any good.

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