Of Hrothgar the mighty
this tale I tell,
And the town of the damned
that he sent back to Hell.

He had hunted all year,
roaming far, roaming wide,
with naught but his spear,
and his knife at his side.

To the town of his kindred
he gave half of his meat,
but when he came home
there was nothing to eat.

They had gobbled it up
and lay sleeping around,
not a man was out hunting,
their wives, too, hugged the ground.

He shook them awake, saying,
“What do ye do?
Do you think I went hunting
only for you?”

“Go back to your spearing!”
they cried, “We are poor!
We’re tired with eating
and soon we’ll need more!

“You’ve a duty to serve us,
oh, you who are strong,
and make you a hero
to triumph in song!”

His black eyes a-glitter
now Hrothgar went out,
he rounded up bears
all around and about;

He drove them to town
where those lazy folk lay
and let them eat men
for the rest of the day!

Oh, Hrothgar the hunter
is a just man and true,
and when he’s out hunting
you’d better hunt, too.

And save him the best steaks
and wine that is choice,
and honor him rightly
with praise in your voice!

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