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– Opening Lines by Benjamin Bagby

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“Hwæt! We Gardena      in geardagum
þeodcyninga      þrym gefrunon
hu ða æþelingas      ellen fremedon.
Oft Scyld Scefing      sceaþena þreatum
monegum mægþum      meodosetla ofteah
egsode eorlas      syððan ærest wearð
feasceaft funden.      He þæs frofre gebad
weox under wolcnum      weorðmyndum þah
oðþæt him æghwylc      þara ymbsittendra
ofer hronrade      hyran scolde
gomban gyldan.      Þæt wæs god cyning.
Ðæm eafera wæs      æfter cenned
geong in geardum      þone god sende
folce to frofre      fyrenðearfe ongeat
þæt hie ær drugon      aldorlease
lange hwile.      Him þæs liffrea
wuldres wealdend      woroldare forgeaf
Beowulf wæs breme      – blæd wide sprang –
Scyldes eafera,      Scedelandum in …” (Beowulf, vv. 1-19)

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