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He was sad at heart,/Unsettled yet ready, sensing his own death./His fate hovered near, unknowable but certain:/It would soon claim his coffered soul,/Part life from limb. Before long/The prince’s spirit would spin free from his body.
Beowulf had to boost his confidence before fighting the fire-breather.
Many a skirmish I survived when I was young/And many times of war; I remember them well.
But as King of this people I shall pursue this fight/For the glory of winning, if the evil one will only/Abandon his earth-fort and face me in the open.
He also decided to speak to his kingdom-defenders one last time before fighting the lizard demon.
Swaddled in flames, it came gliding and flexing/And racing toward its fate. Yet his shield defended/The renowned leader’s life and limb/For a shorter time than he meant it to.
But within one heart/Sorrow welled up: in a man of worth/The claims of kinship cannot be denied.
So stay resolute, my lord, defend your life now/With the whole of your strength. I shall stand by you.
Inspired again/By the thought of glory, the war-king threw/His whole strength behind a sword-stroke/And connected with the skull. And Naegling snapped.
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