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who by right should have stood by their lord. One only remained faithful and steadfast. He was Wiglaf, a lord from the land of the Swedes. For he remembered how, in days that were past, Beowulf had given him a home5 stead well furnished and a place among his lords. This was in Wiglaf's heart, nor could he endure to desert his lord; and indeed now for the first time had he been called to stand by him in the battle. Alone he sped through the deadly smoke and fire, and stood by the side of the King, 10 and said: "My lord Beowulf, now is the time for thee to make good thy words, that never, being alive, wouldst thou suffer thy glory to decline. Put out all thy strength, and fight for thy life, and I will give thee such help as I may."

15 As soon as he had ended these words, the dragon came on again with great fury, all flaming with fire. So fierce was the heat that Wiglaf's shield was consumed, nor could the coat of mail protect him. Under his lord's shield did Wiglaf shelter himself, now that his own was in ashes. 20 Then Beowulf remembered his strength and smote with all his might. Full on the head with a mighty blow he smote the dragon. But Nægling, his sword, flew in splinters, good weapon though it was and famed in story, for the champion's arm was too strong for all swords 25 whatsoever. Let the edge be keen beyond all nature, yet it failed when Beowulf struck with all his strength.

Then for the third time the dragon came on, the fiery

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monster, in rage beyond all bearing. For a space the King fell back, and the dragon seized his neck, compassing it round with savage teeth, so that the blood of his life gushed out in a great stream.


And now the youth Wiglaf put forth all the valor and strength that were in him to help his kinsman the King. He heeded not the fire, though grievously it scorched his hand, but smote the dragon underneath, where the skin failed somewhat in hardness. He drove the good sword 10 into the monster's body, and straightway the fire began to abate. Then the King recovered himself somewhat and drew his war-knife, and gashed the dragon in the middle. So these two together subdued the monstrous serpent.

But now Beowulf perceived that a fatal mischief was 15 at work, for the wound began to swell and to grow hot, and he felt the poison of the dragon's teeth in his inward parts. He sat him down upon a stone, and looked at the tomb, with its chamber cunningly wrought. Wiglaf meanwhile fetched water from a stream hard by, and 20 poured it upon his lord to refresh him, and loosened the chain of his helmet. Then, though his wound pressed him sore, and he knew that the number of his days was told, Beowulf spake to his faithful follower: "Now would I have given my weapons to my son, if God had granted me 25 a son that should have my kingdom after me. But it has pleased Him otherwise. Fifty years have I ruled over this people, nor has any ruler of the nations round about dared

to cross my borders with hostile purpose. I have done judgment and justice; I have done no treachery nor sought out strife; the oaths that I have sworn, these I have kept. And now I pray thee, Wiglaf, to go and examine this treasure. For the dragon lies dead, and 5 that which he guarded so long is his no more. Go quickly then, for I would fain see the treasure before I die. With better content shall I depart if I see how great are the riches which I have won."

So Wiglaf made haste to do as his lord had bidden 10 him. Into the chamber he went, clad in his coat of mail. Many precious things did he there behold, great jewels, and vessels of gold, and helmets richly chased, and bracelets. And of all the treasure the most wonderful was a banner of gold, woven by art of magic, for there came 15 from it a great light, making all things clear to be seen in the chamber. All this treasure, cups and platters, and the great banner itself, did Wiglaf take in his arms, and made haste to return therewith to the King, doubting much whether he should find him yet alive. He lived, 20 indeed, but was at the very point of death. Then Wiglaf sprinkled him again with water, and caused him to revive, so that he spake again with his lips: "Now do I thank Thee, Lord, that Thou hast suffered me to look upon this treasure with my eyes, aye, and to win such riches for my 25 people before I die. For surely now my time is come, and I can serve this serve this people no more. Bid my brave

warriors, O Wiglaf, to build a lofty cairn for me, hard by the sea, when my body shall have been burnt with fire. Surely it shall be my memorial forever, and whoever comes across the sea shall say, beholding it, 'This is the 5 tomb of Beowulf, King of the Goths.''

Then the King took the golden collar from off his neck and gave it to Wiglaf; also his helmet he gave, and the crown upon his head, and his coat of mail. "Keep them faithfully," he said, "for, indeed, I am the last of 10 my house. Death has taken all my kinsmen into his keeping, and now I must needs follow them." So spake the old King, and straightway he breathed out his soul. -A. J. CHURCH: Heroes of Chivalry and Romance.

de fect', fault; com'pass ing, encircling; a bate', grow less; hos'tile, unfriendly; chased, engraved; aye, yes; cairn, a large pile of stones used to make a grave; me mo'ri al, that which keeps one's memory alive.

1. Describe the combat between Beowulf and the dragon. 2. What is the land of the Swedes now called? Find it on your map. 3. Describe Beowulf's death. 4. In all the other stories that you have read the heroes have called upon Zeus or some other of the Greek gods, or upon Odin or one of the other Northern gods; upon whom does Beowulf call? What clew does this give you as to the time of the writing of this story?

Word Study: did, done. - Beowulf said, "I have done judg ment and justice; I have done no treachery nor sought out strife." Notice the use of the word done in the sentence above. What word is used before it in each case? The word done is sometimes used incorrectly for did. Do not say, "I done my work" for "I did my

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