However, on land, meager men
of might remain (to the most of my mere knowledge)
who, after boldly battling brawling beasts and
daring dangerous deeds, would be doubly daring when
faced with the fetid fangs of the fire-breather.
Nor are there men not timid enough to twine
their thieving fingers through the treasure trove untroubled
by the watching awakened wyrm-warden.
Gallant Beowulf gave grim and gruesome gore
for glories of guarded golden dragon horde.
Crowned head and creature both carved
each others fated final flesh wound,
delivering them both to deeply deserving death.
A pithy pause then proceeded to determine that
the dreadful tomb-defender was indeed deceased.
Then the cowardly comitatus crept forward from the cover of the copse.
Ten treasonous traitors that had unfaithfully fled
when their courageous captain required reinforcements.
Now not unabashedly they braved the burnt and bloody battlefield
bearing pristine protection and mint mail shirts. They came
to where their leader lay and woefully watched and waited for Wiglaf to speak.
Resting wearily by his ruined ruler’s shoulder
he availed in vain to rouse the valiant warrior.
Dozens of drops he dripped and dribbled upon the departed hero’s face,
but they fell falsely for the Ruler above felt the ruler below should fall.
The almighty’s fated grasp gripped the mortal man never to be shaken.
As it is now, so it was then.
Shortly strong words were swiftly spoken;
grimly given to those timorous turncoats.
Declared Wiglaf, Weohstan’s kin,
with heavy eyes and heavier heart
“ Any man, being not false-minded, may freely divulge
that your doughty prince did pile plentiful treasure upon you,
wonderous weaponry you wrongfully wear now.
Seated steadfast on the mead-hall stools,
you didn’t deign to object the objects and arms openly given;
specially selected for the strongest and surest supporters.
For when the fight came, you floundered and fearfully fled,
forgetting your oath and abandoning your armaments.
Our lordly leader lauded you, his lackeys who lacked loyalty,
all for this low and poorly wrought recompense.
But brave Beowulf was granted glory in battle by the Great One
in the gloom of betrayal his bright blade bested the beast.
I, myself, used my might, meager though it may be,
to come to my kinsman’s aide when he called.
I rose above my prior prowess and when we wielded our swords as one,
the enemy waned and the fiery flames fizzled.
Not enough nobles did dare to dart forth and fight for their beloved lord in his need.
Now none shall share in the swords and stores.
Any holdings once held by you, who failed to hold courage,
shall be striven from you forever and you and your folk will be forced out,
homeless and clanless, and foreign kings,
on finding out your shame, shall not shelter you there.
For death is a fairer fate, a worthier waste,
than the sorry shame you shall be brought to bear!”