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BEOWULF


On Cain's kindred did the everlasting Lord avenge the murder, for that he had slain Abel; he had no joy of that feud, but the Creator drove him far from mankind for that misdeed. Thence all evil broods were born, ogres and devils and evil spirits — the giants also, who long time fought with God, for which he gave them their reward.

--Lines 107-114

They have seen my strength for themselves, have watched me rise from the darkness of war, dripping with my enemies' blood. I drove five great giants into chains, chased all of that race from the earth. I swam in the blackness of night, hunting monsters out of the ocean, and killing them one by one; death was my errand and the fate they had earned. Now Grendel and I are called together, and I've come.

--Lines 417-426

Fate goes ever as fate must.

--Line 455

Often, for undaunted courage, fate spares the man it has not already marked.

--Lines 572-573

Fate saves the living when they drive away death by themselves!

--Lines 573-574

Grendel is no braver, no stronger than I am! I could kill him with my sword; I shall not, easy as it would be. This fiend is a bold and famous fighter, but his claws and teeth... beating at my sword blade, would be helpless. I will meet him with my hands empty--unless his heart fails him, seeing a soldier waiting weaponless, unafraid. Let God in His wisdom extend His hand where He wills, reward whom he chooses!

--Lines 677-687

He strode quickly across the inlaid floor, snarling and fierce: his eyes gleamed in the darkness, burned with a gruesome light. Then he stopped, seeing the hall crowded with sleeping warriors,... and his heart laughed, he relished the sight, intended to tear the life from those bodies by morning.

--Lines 724-732

The swirling surf had covered his death, hidden deep in murky darkness his miserable end, as hell opened to receive him.

--Lines 849-852

His vanity swelled him so vile and rank that he could hear no voices but his own. He deserved to suffer and die. But Beowulf was a prince well-loved, followed in friendship, not fear.

--Lines 911-914

the Almighty makes miracles when he pleases, wonder after wonder, and this world rests in his hands.

--Lines 930-932

Steams like black clouds, and the groves of trees growing out over their lake are all covered with frozen spray, and wind down snakelike roots that reach as far as the water and help keep it dark. At night that lake burns like a torch. No one knows its bottom, no wisdom reaches such depths.

--Lines 1361-1367

Better is it for each one of us that he should avenge his friend, than greatly mourn.

--Line 1384-1385

Each of us must expect an end of living in this world; let him who may win glory before death: for that is best at last for the departed warrior.

--Line 1386-1389

Let whoever can win glory before death. When a warrior is gone, that will be his best and only bulwark.

--Lines 1387-1389

fame after death is the noblest of goals.

--Lines 1388-1389

Beowulf got ready, donned his war-gear, indifferent to death.

--Lines 1441-1442

Our eternal Lord grants some men wisdom, some wealth, makes others great. The world is God's, He allows a man to grow famous, and his family rich, gives him land and towns to rule and delight in ... and who in human unwisdom, in the middle of such power, remembers that it will all end, and too soon?

--Lines 1728-1735

Incline not to arrogance, famous warrior! Now shall the fullness of thy strength last for a while. But soon after it shall be, that malady or sword shall cut thee off from power, or the embrace of fire or welling of a flood, or onset with the knife, or arrow's flight, or hideous old age. Or brightness of eyes shall diminish and grow dim, and at length it shall be that death shall overpower thee.

--Line 1760-1768

How many wars have been put to rest in a prince's bed? Few. A bride can bring a little peace, make spears silent for a time, but not long.

--Lines 2028-2032

Beowulf had brought his king horses and treasure--as a man must, not weaving nets of malice for his comrades, preparing their death in the dark, with secret, cunning tricks.

--Lines 2165-2169

There is no joy of harp, no pastime with the gladdening lute; no good hawk sweeps through the hall, nor does the swift steed paw the courtyard. Baleful death has banished hence many of the human race.

--Line 2261-2265

My heart is firm, my hands calm: I need no hot words.

--Lines 2527-2529

A warrior will sooner die than live a life of shame.

--Lines 2890-2891