For all that heritage huge

THEN fashioned for him the folk of Geats
firm on the earth a funeral-pile,
and hung it with helmets and harness of war
and breastplates bright, as the boon he asked;
and they laid amid it the mighty chieftain,
heroes mourning their master dear.
Then on the hill that hugest of balefires
the warriors wakened. Wood-smoke rose
black over blaze, and blent was the roar
of flame with weeping (the wind was still),
till the fire had broken the frame of bones,
hot at the heart. In heavy mood
their misery moaned they, their master's death.

Davender Kumar Ghai, aged 71, has won the right, in the British court of appeal, to be cremated in this country according to the ordinances of his religion and culture, after a long battle with beaurocracy. HERE

Bloody foreigners, bringing their weird new customs to England.


Richard said...

Would that be Frances Gummere's translation? It's a good one, that gets the feel of the original very well. I always think that the last hundred lines of Beowulf are some of the saddest lines in English literature. The old and broken king, having given his life to save his people, is laid to rest with the full pomp and ceremony of the time, amid his loved and faithful companions. It gets a lump in the throat every time.

And yay for Mr Ghai. There is nothing wrong with the open pyre as a method of cremation. It is hygienic and dignified, and a sight more meaningful than the standard creaking journey behind some moth-eaten velour-style curtains to the strains of 'My Way'.

JPT said...

It sounds worse than it is actually don't you think?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

So its not just me then, that thinks British funerals are achingly naff?

JPT, what do you mean?