Friday, August 30, 2013

Beowulf Quoted: Part II

Here are a few more of my favorite quotes from Beowulf.  This first I like because of the last line. The man of God should give no thought to his own life.

"Then in a fury, he [Beowulf] flung his sword away.
The keen, inlaid, worm-loop-patterned steel
was hurled to the ground: he would have to rely 
on the might of his arm. So must a man do 
who intends to gain enduring glory
in a combat. Life doesn't cost him a thought."

"...He who wields power 
over time and tide: He is the true Lord."

Here Hrothgar speaks after Beowulf has defeated both Grendel and his mother. I liked this quote because God and dripping blood show up together. That doesn't happen much in modern Christian fiction.
"....So I praise God
in His heavenly glory that I lived to behold
this head dripping blood and that after such harrowing
I can look upon it in triumph at last."

This scene reminds me of two Biblical scenes: Jonathan departing from David (I Samuel 20) and Paul departing from Ephesus in Acts 20:37-38. Why do men not form friendships like this much anymore?
"And so the good and grey-haired Dane,
that high-born king, kissed Beowulf
and embraced his neck, then broke down
in sudden tears. Two forebodings
disturbed him in his wisdom, but one was stronger: 
nevermore would they meet each other
face to face.  And such was his affection
that he could not help being overcome:
his fondness for the man was so deep-founded,
it warmed his heart and wound the heartstrings
tight in his breast."

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Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8