A Ship of Death

Heaney presents a short section from his much admired ‘Beowulf’, the anonymous epic of the first millennium written in Anglo-Saxon/ Old English which he is translating over time and will publish in its entirety in 1999. The poet remains faithful to the original text using his creative talent and rich store of vocabulary to create a version that is both intellectually competent and pleasing to the ear. Scyld was still a strong man when his time came and he crossed over into Our Lord’s keeping. His warrior band did what he bade them when he laid down the law among the Danes: they shouldered him out to the sea’s flood, the chief they revered who had long ruled them. A […]