The story of Beowulf translated from Anglo-Saxon into modern English prose

The story of Beowulf translated from Anglo-Saxon into modern English prose 1914 Free PDF book

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Beowulf lived in a heroic age when the songs of the wandering singers were of the great deeds of outstanding men. The absolute epic of the English people has yet to be written. To some extent Arthur, though a British King- -that is to say, though he was King of the Celtic British people, who were subsequently driven into the West, into Cornwall and Wales and Strathclyde, by our Saxon ancestors became nationalized by our Anglo-Norman ancestors as a typical King of the English people. He has become the epic King of the English in the poetry of Tennyson. It is always a mystery to the writer that no competent singer among us has ever laid hands upon our own Saxon hero, King Alfred.

It is sometimes said that there is nothing new under the sun, that there is nothing left for the modern singer to sing about, and that the realm of possible musical production is fast vanishing out of view. Certainly, this is not true of poetry. Both Alfred and Arthur are waiting for the sympathetic voice that will tell forth to the world the immortal splendor of their personalities. And just as the Anglo-Normans idealized Arthur as a hero-king of the English nation, though he really fought against the English, so the Saxon singer of Beowulf has idealized this Geatish chieftain, and in some way set him forth as the idealized chieftain of the Teutonic race.

Book Published: 1914
Author: Kirtlan, Ernest J. B

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