• It is always betterto avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning.For every one of us, living in this worldmeans waiting for our end. Let whoever canwin glory before death. When a warrior is gone,that will be his best and only bulwark

    Seamus Heaney
  • History says, Don’t hopeOn this side of the grave,But then, once in a lifetimeThe longed-for tidal waveOf justice can rise up,And hope and history rhyme

    Seamus Heaney
  • I suppose I'm saying that defiance is actually part of the lyric job

    Seamus Heaney
  • And a young prince must be prudent like that,giving freely while his father livesso that afterwards, in age when fighting startssteadfast companions will stand by himand hold the line

    Seamus Heaney
  • It is a great wonderHow Almighty God in his magnificenceFavors our race with rank and scopeAnd the gift of wisdom; His sway is wide.Sometimes He allows the mind of a manOf distinguished birth to follow its bent,Grants him fulfillment and felicity on earth And forts to command in his own country.He permits him to lord it in many landsUntil the man in his unthinkingnessForgets that it will ever end for him.He indulges his desires; illness and old ageMean nothing to him; his mind is untroubledBy envy or malice or thought of enemiesWith their hate-honed swords. The whole worldConforms to his will, he is kept from the worstUntil an element of overweening Enters him and takes holdWhile the soul’s guard, its sentry, drowses,Grown too distracted. A killer stalks him,An archer who draws a deadly bow.And then the man is hit in the heart,The arrow flies beneath his defenses,The devious promptings of the demon start.His old possessions seem paltry to him now.He covets and resents; dishonors customAnd bestows no gold; and because of good things That the Heavenly powers gave him in the pastHe ignores the shape of things to come.Then finally the end arrivesWhen the body he was lent collapses and fallsPrey to its death; ancestral possessionsAnd the goods he hoarded and inherited by anotherWho lets them go with a liberal hand.“O flower of warriors, beware of that trap.Choose, dear Beowulf, the better part,Eternal rewards. Do not give way to pride. For a brief while your strength is in bloomBut it fades quickly; and soon there will followIllness or the sword to lay you low,Or a sudden fire or surge of waterOr jabbing blade or javelin from the airOr repellent age. Your piercing eyeWill dim and darken; and death will arrive,Dear warrior, to sweep you away

    Seamus Heaney
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