"Beowul Part Three" He saves a neighboring people from a monster, Grendel, eventually becomes the king of his own people, and dies defending them from a dragon.

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--Beowulf Fights the Dragon--

He saw by the cave,

he who had many virtues,

he who had survived many times

the battle flashes

when troops rush together,

a stream running

from the stone arch--

a stream of fire.

He could not enter

for the dragon's flame.

Beowulf was angry,

the lord of the Geats,

he who stormed in battle.

He yelled into the cave.

The hoard-keeper perceived

a man's voice and

didn't plan to ask

for friendship.

Flames shot out

from among the stones,

hot battle-sweat.

The ground dinned.

The hero raised his shield

against the dreadful stranger.

Then the coiled thing

sought battle.

The war king drew his sword,

an ancient heirloom

with edges unblunt.

Each of them intended

horror to the other.

Stouthearted stood that war-prince

with his shield upraised,

waited in his war-gear.

The dragon coiled together,

went forth burning,

gliding toward his fate.

His shield protected

life and body

for a shorter time

than the prince had hoped.

That was the first day

he was not granted

glory in battle.

The lord of the Geats

raised his arm,

struck the horrible thing

with his ancestral sword,

but the edge gave way:

that bright sword

bit less on the bone

than the war-king needed.

After that stroke

the cave-guardian

was in a savage mood.

He threw death-fire--

widely sprayed

battle flashes.

The gold-friend of the Geats

wasn't boasting of victory.

His war-sword had failed,

not bitten home

as it should have,

that iron which had

always been trustworthy.

This wasn't a pleasant trip:

that famous king, Beowulf,

would have to leave this earth,

would have, against his will,

to move elsewhere.

(So must every man

give up

these transitory days.)

It wasn't long before

the terrible ones

met again--

The hoard-keeper took heart,

heaved his fire anew.