48 BEOWULF AND THE FIRE DRAKE
high up on Hronesness, and so perchance my people may bear me in mind. Yea, let it be for a landmark to seafaring men, who may call it Beowulf's Mound— a beacon of safety for such as are in stress on the storm-tossed sea.' Thus died Beowulf. When the news spread the people flocked out in hundreds to the spot where the fight took place. Sadly they looked on the lifeless body of their chief lying on the sand, and with astonishment they saw the carcass of the Fire Drake, full fifty feet long, and the hoard of treasure beside it. Thev loaded the treasure on a wain and bore it away ; the dragon's body was pushed over the cliff' into the sea. Then they made ready a vast funeral-pyre for their beloved King, even as he had wished. Black over the blaze rose the wood smoke ; while sad and dejected in spirit sat the people, mourning their lord's fall, bewailing the death of him who among world Kings had been the mildest, the kindest of men, and the most gracious to his people.