Sometimes He allows the mind of a manof distinguished birth to follow its bent,grants him fulfillment and felicity on earthand forts to command in his own country.He permits him to lord it in many landsuntil the man in his unthinkingness forgets that it will ever end for him.He indulges his desires; illness and old agemean nothing to him; his mind is untroubledby envy or malice or the thought of enemieswith their hate-honed swords. The whole worldconforms to his will, he is kept from the worstuntil an element of overweeningenters him and takes holdwhile the soul’s guard, its sentry, drowses,grown too distracted.

From Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf, a staple on the Lapham’s Quarterly shelf.

Sometimes He allows the mind of a man
of distinguished birth to follow its bent,
grants him fulfillment and felicity on earth
and forts to command in his own country.
He permits him to lord it in many lands
until the man in his unthinkingness 
forgets that it will ever end for him.
He indulges his desires; illness and old age
mean nothing to him; his mind is untroubled
by envy or malice or the thought of enemies
with their hate-honed swords. The whole world
conforms to his will, he is kept from the worst
until an element of overweening
enters him and takes hold
while the soul’s guard, its sentry, drowses,
grown too distracted.

From Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf, a staple on the Lapham’s Quarterly shelf.