Beloved Beowulf, we who survive
call you to mind more often than we like
to say. When you were old but still alive,
we knew that you would shortly take a hike
into the realm of death. If dragons strike,
however, preparations shrink and fade.
You held the blade at last, and not the mike.
Your final words were brief and straightly made.
And we whom you had saved were new afraid.
Without you as our king, we were the prey
of all that could assail, destroy, degrade.
We knew that we had seen our brightest day.
We thought of you when you were just 18–
swimmer and legend, hero and machine!