As poetry, one of the most moving passages in the epic is the Keeper's invocation as he leaves the gold and other items in the barrow (2247–2266). He speaks of the mutability of time and the loss of the good men, heroes, and princes, who no longer have any use for the treasure. They took the metals from the earth, and the Keeper now returns the treasures to it. He tells us that the stewards sleep who once burnished battle-masks. The chain-shirts can no longer protect their owners because the warriors will fight no more battles. There will be no more songs from the scop . The tribe's fortunes have turned. Everyone is dead. All glory is fleeting. The dragon's motivation is vengeance even though the poet makes it clear that the fire-breathing reptile, like the deceased warriors, has no use for the cup or any of the rest of the treasure. He
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