"The Thief and the Dragon"

This could be an illustration for The Hobbit, but in fact it’s one from my book Beowulf and the Dragon. The scene does look and read somewhat familiar, though …

”[…]se ðe on heaum hæþe hord beweotode,
stanbeorh steapne; stig under læg
eldum uncuð. Þær on innan giong
niðða nathwylc, se ðe neh gefealg
hæðnum horde, hond wæge nam,
sid, since fah; ne he þæt syððan bemað,
þeah ðe he slæpende besyred wurde
þeofes cræfte; þæt sie ðiod onfand,
bigfolc beorna, þæt he gebolgen wæs.”

(original Old English text of Beowulf)

"On a high heath, he guarded treasure
in a steep stone barrow, below which
lay a secret passage. Some man had
found his way inside, crept close
to the heathen hoard, and stolen a large,
jewelled drinking-cup. The dragon
was not shy to show he had been tricked
in his sleep by a thief’s guile; the men
of the region quickly felt his rage.”

(verse translation by John Porter)

I wish they’d publish Tolkien’s own translation of Beowulf which still lurks somewhere in the archives. The drawing was done in charcoal and red chalk.

Notes

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    I wish to draw public attention to the fact that Khorazir’s art is peerless. (Oh and also this is a gratuitous Beowulf...
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