Thursday, November 01, 2007
Why was I never told what a rip-roaringly lovely read
Beowulf is? It is the earliest extant poem in a
modern European language, but the modern
translations today (the one I read was translated
by Burton Raffel) are not difficult to understand.
Beowulf is the hero who rescues the Danes from the
monsters Grendel and Grendel's mother. He then,
after a long and glorious reign, kills the dragon
that is assailing his own people.
Following is a sample of this little book:
...The monster would have murdered again
And again had not God and the hero's courage,
Turned fate aside. Then and now
Men must lie in their Maker's holy
Hands, moved only as He wills:
Our hearts must seek out that will. The world,
And its long days full of labor, brings good
And evil; all who remain here meet both.