Beowulf – Just arrived on Denmark’s shores

 

STONE-BRIGHT the street:   it showed the way
to the crowd of clansmen. Corselets glistened
hand-forged, hard; on their harness bright
the steel ring sang, as they strode along
in mail of battle, and marched to the hall.
There, weary of ocean, the wall along
they set their bucklers, their broad shields, down,
and bowed them to bench: the breastplates clanged,
war-gear of men; their weapons stacked,
spears of the seafarers stood together,
gray-tipped ash: that iron band
was worthily weaponed!
From the translation by Seamus Heaney, 2000.

It was a paved track, a path that kept them 320 In marching order. Their mail-shirts glinted,
Hard and hand-linked; the high-gloss iron
Of their armour rang. So they duly arrived

In their grim war-graith and gear at the hall,
And, weary from the sea, stacked wide shields
Of the toughest hardwood against the wall,
Then collapsed on the benches; battle-dress
And weapons clashed. They collected their spears
In a seafarer’s stook, a stand of grayish
tapering ash. And the troops themselves
Were as good as their weapons.

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