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Poetry #168
(published February 26, 2004)
"My body's long sorrow; the Lord, the monster, the lonely reaver."
by Fritz Swanson (trans.)

modernized from lines 433-456 of The Beowulf based on the Fr. Klaeber edition of the original Anglo-Saxon poem

"I have also learned that the monster
For his recklessness cares not for weapons;
I therefore scorn them as Hygelac would have me be,
Mine liege-lord, would laud me,
That sword I bear and my broad buckler,
Yellow-shield in battle; but instead I with grappling claws
Shall fend against the fiend and for my life fight,
Foe against foe; there I shall find faith in
The discriminating Lord, the one that shall get me by death.

"I think that he wants, if he can manage it,
In this battle-hall of the Geats
To eat as he has often done,
The strong men of Hrethel.

"Nor must you
My head to hide, for he will fetch my flesh
Bloody, glittering, if death grips me;
He will bear a bloody battle body, fixed to feast,
The lonely reaver devours ruthlessly,
He will mark the moor retreat; you must not fear for
My body's long sorrow.

"Send to Hygelac, if strife steals me,
My best armor, that which adorns my breast,
Finest armor; that is Hrethel's heirloom,
The very work of Wayland. Fate falls as it shall!"

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The Next Poetry piece (from Issue #169):

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The Last few Poetry pieces (from Issues #167 thru #163):

Rue Du Coq D'or, Paris
by Christopher Barnes

The Garden's Dirty
by Alex Chambers

When Papa Sleeps, Every Night the Same Dream . . .
by Christopher Barnes

Chicken Poem
by Jonathan Hayes

The Moon
by Emily Dickinson

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