Сборники Художественной, Технической, Справочной, Английской, Нормативной, Исторической, и др. литературы.

                       B  E  O  W  U  L  F                                    
      Hear me! We've heard of Danish heroes,
  ancient kings and the glory they cut
  for themselves, swinging mighty swords!
      How Shild made slaves of soldiers from every
  land, crowds of captives he'd beaten                            5                    
  into terror; he'd  travelled to Denmark alone,
  an abandoned child, but changed his own fate,
  lived to be rich and much honored. He ruled
  lands on all sides: wherever the sea
  would take them his soldiers sailed, returned                   10
  with tribute and obedience. There was a brave
  King! And he gave them more than  his glory,
  conceived a son for the Danes, a new leader
  allowed them by the  grace of the God. They had lived,
  before his coming, kingless and miserable;                      15
  now the Lord of all life, Ruler
  of glory, blessed them with a prince, Beo,
  whose power and fame soon spread through the world.
  Shild's strong son was the glory of Denmark;
  his father's warriors were wound round his heart                20
  with golden rings, bound to their prince
  by his father's treasure. So young man build
  the future, wisely  open-handed in peace,
  protected in war; so warriors earn
  their fame, and wealth is shaped with a sword.                  25
      When his time was come the old king died,
  still strong but called to the Lord's hands.
  His comrades carried him down to the shore,
  bore him as their leader had asked, their lord
  and companion, while words could move on his tongue.            30  
  Shild's reign had been long; he'd ruled them well.
  There in the harbor was a ring-prowed fighting
  ship, its timbers icy, waiting,
  and there they brought the beloved body
  of their ring-giving lord, and laid him near                    35
  the mast. Next to that noble corpse
  they heaped up treasures, jeweled helmets,
  hooked swords and coats of mail, armor
  carried from the ends of the earth: no ship
  had ever sailed so brightly fitted,                             40
  no king sent forth more deeply mourned.
  Forced to set him adrift, floating
  as far as the tide mught run, they refused
  to give him less from their hoards of gold
  than those who'd shipped him away, an orphan                    45
  and a beggar, to cross the waves alone.
  High up over his head they flew
  his shining banner, then sadly let
  the water pull at the ship, watched it
  slowly sliding to where neither rulers                          50
  nor heroes nor anyone can say whose hands
  opened to take that motionless cargo.
      Then Beo was king in that Danish castle,
  Shild's son ruling as long as his father
  and as loved, a famous lord of men.                             55
  And he in turn gave people a son,
  the great Healfdane, a fierce fighter
  who led the Danes to the end of his long
  life and left them four children,
  three princes to guide them in battle, Hergar                   60
  and Hrothgar and Halga the Good, and one daughter,
  Yrs, who was given to Onela, king
  of the Swedes, and became his wife and their queen.
     Then Hrothgar, taking the throne, led
  the Danes to such glory that comrades and kinsmen               65
  swore by his sword, and young men swelled
  his armies, and he thought of greatness and resolved
  to build a hall that would hold his mighty
  band and reach higher toward Heaven than anything
  that had ever been known to the sons of men.                    70
  And in that hall he'd divide the spoils
  of their victories, to old and young what they'd earned
  in battle, but leaving the common pastures
  untouched, and taking no lives. The work
  was odered, the timbers tied and shaped                         75    
  by the hosts that Hrothgar ruled. It was quickly
  ready, that most beautiful of dwellings, built
  as he'd wanted, and then he whose word was obeyed
  all over the earth named it Herot.
  His boast come true he commanded a banquet,                     80
  opened out his treasure-full hands.
  That towering place, gabled and huge,
  stood waiting for time to pass, for war
  to begin, for flames to leap as high
  as the feud that would light them, and for Herot to burn.       85
      A powerful monster, living down
  in the darkness, growled in pain, impatient
  as day after day the music rang
  loud in that hall, the harp's rejoicing
  call and the poet's clear song, sung                            90      
  of the ancient beginnings of us all, recalling
  the Almighty making the earth, shaping
  these beautiful plains marked off by oceans,
  then proudly setting the sun and moon
  to glow across the land and light it;                           95  
  the corners of the earth were made lovely with trees
  and leaves, made quick with life, with each
  of the nations who now move on its face. And then
  as now warriors sang of their pleasure:
  so Hrothgar's men lived happy in his hall                       100
  till the monster stirred, that demon, that fiend,
  Grendel, who haunted the moors, the wild
  marshes, and made his home in a hell
  not hell but earth. He was sprawned with slime,
  conceived by a pair of those monsters born                      105
  of Cain, murderous creatures banished
  by God, punished forever for the crime
  of Abel's death. The Almighty drove
  those demons out, and their exile was bitter,
  shut away from men: they split                                  110
  into a thousand forms of evel - spirits
  and fiends, goblins, monsters, giants,
  a brood forever opposing the Lord's
  will, and again and again defeated.
      Then, when darkness had dropped, Grendel                    115
  went up to Herot, wondering what the warriors
  would do in that hall when their drinking was done.
  He found them sprawled in sleep, suspecting
  nothing, their dreams undisturbed. The monster's
  thoughts were as quick as his greed or his claws:               120
  he slipped through the door and there in silence
  snatched up thirty men, smashed them
  unknowing in their beds and ran out with their bodies,
  the blood dripping behind him, back
  to his lair, delighted with his night's slaughter.              125
      At daybreak, with the sun's first light, they saw
  how well he had worked, and in that gray morning
  broke their long feast with tears and laments
  for the dead. Hrothgar, their lord, sat joyless
  in Herot, a mighty prince mourning                              130
  the fate of his lost friends and companions,
  knowing by its tracks that some demon had torn
  his followers apart. He wept, fearing
  the beginning might not be the end. And that night
  Grendel come again, so set                                      135
  on murder that no crime could ever be enough,
  no savage assault quench his lust
  for evil. Then each warrior tried
  to escape him, searched for rest in different
  beds, as far from Herot as they could find,                     140  
  seeing how Grendel hunted when they slept.
  Distance was safety; the only survivors
  were those who fled him. Hate had triumphed.
      So Grendel ruled, fought with the righteous,
  one against many, and won; so Herot                             145
  stood empty, and stayed deserted for years,
  twelve winters of grief for Hrothgar, king
  of the Danes, sorrow heaped at his door
  by hell-forged hands. His misery leaped
  the seas, was told and sung in all                              150
  men's ears: how Grendel's hatred began,
  how the monster relished his savage war
  on the Danes, keeping bloody feud
  alive, seeking no peace, offering
  no truce, accepting no settlement, no price                     155
  in gold or land, and paying the living
  for one crime only with another. No one
  waited for reparation from his plundering claws:
  that shadow of death hunted in the darkness,
  stalked Hrothgar's warriors, old                                160
  and young, lying in waiting, hidden
  in mist, invisibly following them from the edge
  of the marsh, always there, unseen.
      So mankind's enemy continued his crimes,
  killing as often as he could, coming                            165
  alone, bloodthirsty and horrible. Though he lived
  in Herot, when the night hid him, he never
  dared to touch king Hrothgar's glorious
  throne, protected by the God - God,
  whose love Grendel could not know. But Hrothgar's               170
  heart was bent. The best and most noble
  of his council debated remedies, sat
  in secret sessions, talking of terror
  and wondering what the bravest of warriors could do.
  And sometime they sacrificed to the old stone gods,             175  
  made heathen vows, hoping for Hell's
  support, the Devil's guidance in driving
  their affliction off. That was their way,
  and the heathen's only hope, Hell
  always in their hearts, knowing neither God                     180
  nor His passing as He walks through our world, the Lord        
  of Heaven and earth; their ears could not hear
  His prase nor know His glory. Let them
  beware, those who are thrust into danger,
  clutched at by trouble, yet can carry no solace                 185
  in their hearts, cannot hope to be better! Hail
  to those who will rise to God, drop off
  their dead bodies and seek our Father's peace!

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