After Beowulf's death, the men of Geatland meet a strange and powerful warrior.
Recently an additional and unexpected fragment of the poem Beowulf was discovered in a box of old newspapers in an attic in Frederick, Maryland. While it is clear that this fragment takes place after Beowulf's funeral, the correct position of this fragment in the codex is still debated by scholars. A translation follows.
Up then came / a worthy warrior,
Oak-tall, oak-strong / shorn-locked, short-shaven,
Dark as leather / dyed in walnut;
Clad in canvas / white as moonlight.
Up he strode / fearless, noble,
where Geatlings gathered. / Scorning arms
He spoke these words: / "Look upon me.
Now upon yourselves. / Again upon me.
You are not me." / Deep his voice
Like thunder's cry / or breath of God.
Woe to the warriors! / How they trembled!
Then again spoke / the white-garbed warrior:
"Nor have your coats / the smell of me,
For rather smell you / of maidens' nosegays
Or worse, of dead fish / silver fish hand-caught."
Shame befell / the men of Geatland.
And one man spoke: / "Woe to the dragon
That slew great Beowulf! / Were he living,
This great shame / would not now haunt us."
Once more spoke / the white-garbed warrior:
"But this I say: / bathe in Gamol-léac,
The old and noble herb / and you will be men
Who smell like me." / He raised his hand
And wonder seized / the men of Geatland,
For now they stood / on deck of ship,
On mighty ocean. / "What is in your hands?"
Asked the warrior / the white-clad warrior.
"They are in my hands: / twenty swords
Of noble lineage / given by kings,
Wielded by warriors / slayers of monsters.
If you bathed / in Gamol-léac,
You would then smell / like the warrior,
The comely warrior / bearing these swords.
I am on a horse." / And in a leap
That shook the ship / the white-clad warrior
On milk-white horse / spanned the strait
And rode away. / Then rowed the men,
The men of Geatland /to the shore,
And followed the track / of the white horse
And the white-clad warrior / a man of men.
By his scent / they followed his path.
Three days and three nights / they tracked the warrior,
Meatless, sleepless / ever racing.
Dawn the fourth day / found the clearing
Where the warrior / sat at a table
Built with his own axe / wielded with skill.
Then the Geatings / bowed and praised him,
Honored him / and begged the boon
Of Gamol-léac / for their own bodies.
The white-garbed warrior / valiant and merciful,
Giver of gifts / and bringer of boons,
Gave them cake / on golden platters
Served them mead / in green glass tankards.
Full the bellies / of the Geatlings!
To each man / he gave a sword
Of cunning craft / and great renown.
Then the warrior / Raised a shell
An oyster shell / a forearm's breadth
And out he poured / upon the Geatlings
The musk of manhood / the Gamol-léac.
Full of mirth / the men of Geatland
Praised the warrior / clad in canvas,
Raised him up / and crowned him king.
Hail the bringer / of Gamol-léac!
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