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a sleeping warrior, tore him unawares,

to any folk. There many a warrior bit his bone-casings, drank his veins' blood, of Beowulf's drew his ancient sword; in great morsels swallowed him. Soon had he they would defend the life of their lord, devoured all of the lifeless one,

of the great prince, if so they might. feet and hands. He stepped up nearer, They knew not, when they entered the strife, took then with his hand the doughty-minded the bold and eager sons of battle, warrior at rest; with his hand the foe

and thought to hew him on every side 800 reached towards him. He instantly grappled his life to seek, that not the choicest with the evil-minded, and on his arm rested. of irons on earth, no battle-falchion, Soon as the criminal realized

750 could ever touch the wicked scather, that in no other man of middle-earth,

since martial weapons he had forsworn, of the world's regions, had he found

every edge whatever. Yet on that day a stronger hand-grip, his mind grew fearful. of this life was his life-parting Yet not for that could he sooner escape.

wretched to be, and the alien spirit He was bent on flight, would flee to his cavern, to travel far into power of fiends. the devil-pack seek; such case had never

Then he who before in mirth of mood in all his life-days befallen before.

(he was God's foe) had perpetrated Then Hygelac's good kinsman remembered many crimes 'gainst the race of men, his evening speech; upright he stood, 759 found that his body would not avail him, and firmly grasped him; his fingers yielded. for him the proud kinsman of Hygelac The jotun was fleeing; the earl stept further. had in hand; each was to the other The famed one considered whether he might hateful alive. The fell wretch suffered more widely wheel and thence away

bodily pain; a deadly wound flee to his fen-mound; he knew his fingers' appeared on his shoulder, his sinews started, power

his bone-casings burst. To Beowulf was in the fierce one's grasp. 'Twas a dire journey the war-glory given; Grendel must thence, the baleful spoiler made to Heorot.

death-sick, under his fen-shelters flee, 820 The princely hall thundered; terror was seek a joyless dwelling; well he knew on all the Danes, the city-dwellers,

that the end of his life was come, his appointed each valiant one, while both the fierce 769 number of days. For all the Danes, strong warriors raged; the mansion resounded. that fierce fight done, was their wish accom

Then was it wonder great that the wine-hall plished. withstood the war-beasts, nor fell to the ground, So he then, the far-come, the wise and strong the fair earthly dwelling; yet was it too fast, of soul, had purified Hrothgar's hall, within and without, with iron bands,

saved it from malice; his night's work rejoiced cunningly forged, though where the fierce ones him, fought, I have heard, many a mead-bench, his valor-glories. The Geatish chieftain with gold adorned, from its sill started. had to the East-Danes his boast fulfilled, Before that, weened not the Seyldings' sages had healed, to-wit, the preying sorrow that any mın ever, in any wise,

that they in that country before had suffered in pieces could break it, goodly and bone- and had to endure for hard necessity, decked,

no small affliction. A manifest token or craftily rive-only the flame's clutch

it was when the warrior laid down the handin smoke could devour it. Startling enough arm and shoulder, Grendel's whole grappler the noise uprose. Over the North Danes together there— 'neath the vaulted roof. stood dire terror, on every one of those who heard from the wall the whoop,

XIV. JOY AT HEOROT the dread lay sung by God's denier,

Then in the morning, as I have heard tell, the triumphless song of the thrall of hell,

there was many a warrior around the gift hall: his pain bewailing. He held him fast,

folk-chiefs came, from far and near, he who of men was strongest of might,

o'er distant ways, the wonder to see, of them who in that day lived this life. 790

the tracks of the foe. His taking from life

seemed not grievous to any warrior XIII. THE MONSTER REPULSED

who the inglorious one's trail beheld,Not for aught would the refuge of earls how, weary in spirit, o'ercome in the conflict, leave alire the deadly guest;

death-loomed and fleeing, he bare death-traces the days of his life he counted not useful thence away to the nickers’ mere.



840 952


There was the surge boiling with blood, of worldly desires, wherein I have power. the dire swing of waves all commingled; Full often for less have I dealt a reward, with clotted blood hot, with sword-gore it an honor-gift, to a feebler warrior, welled;

weaker in conflict. Thou for thyself the death-doomed dyed it, when he joyless hast wrought so well, that thy glory shall live laid down his life in his fen-asylum, 851 through every age. May the All-wielder his heathen soul. There hell received him. with good reward thee, as now He has done."

Thence again turned they, comrades old, Beowulf spake, Ecgtheow's son: from the joyous journey, and many a younger, “We with great good will, that arduous work, proud from the mere, riding on horses,

that light, have achieved; we boldly ventured warriors on steeds. Then was Beowulf's in war with the monster. The more do I wish glory celebrated. Many oft said

that thou himself mightest have seen, that south or north, between the seas

the foe in his trappings, full weary enough. the wide world over, there was no other Him I quickly, with hard and fast fetters, 'neath heaven's course who was a better 860

on his death-bed thought to have bound, shield-bearer, or one more worthy of power. that through my hand-grips low he should lie, Yet found they no fault with their lord beloved, struggling for life, but his body escaped. the joyful Hrothgar: he was their good king. I was not able, the Lord did not will it,

to keep him from going; I held him not firm Then was morning light

enough, sent forth and quickened. Many a retainer, the deadly foe: too strong on his feet strong in spirit, to the high hall went, 919 | the enemy was. Yet his hand he left, 970 to see the rare wonder. The king himself also for his life's safety, to guard his track, from his nuptial bower, guardian of ring his arm and shoulder; yet not thereby treasures,

did the wretched creature comfort obtain; with a large troop stept forth, rich in glory, nor will he, crime-cloer, the longer live for virtues famed; and his queen with him with sins oppressed. For pain has him the meadow-path measured with train of | in its grip compelling straitly clasped, maidens.

in its deadly bonds; there shall he await,

the crime-stained wretch, the Final Doom, XV. HROTHGAR'S GRATITUDE

as the Lord of Splendor shall mete it to him." Hrothgar spake (he to the hall went,

Then less noisy was Eeglaf's son stood near the threshold, saw the steep roof

in vaunting speech of words of war, shining with gold, and Grendel's hand):

after the nobles, thro' might of the hero, Now for this sight, to the Almighty thanks!

over the high roof had gazed on the hand, May it quickly be given! Much ill have I borne, the fingers of the foe, each for himself.* Grendel's snares; ever can God work

Each finger-nail was firm as steelwonder on wonder, the King of Glory.

a heathen's hand-spurs and a warrior's, Not long was it since, that I little weened

hideously monstrous. Every one said for woes of mine through all my life,

that no excellent iron of the bold ones reparation to know, when, stained with blood, would be able to touch the demon's hand, the best of houses all gory stood;

would ever sever the bloody limb. woe was wide-spread for each of my counsellors, who did not ween that they evermore

XVI. FEASTING AND SONG from foes could defend the people's landwork, 1

Then quickly 'twas ordered, that Heorot from devils and phantoms. Now this warrior,

within through the might of the Lord, has done a deed by hand be adorned; many were they, which we all together before could not

of men and women, who the wine-house, with cunning accomplish. Lo, this may say whatever woman brought forth this son

the guest-hall, prepared; gold-shimmering shone

the webs on the walls, wondrous sights many among the nations, if yet she lives,

to each and all that gaze upon such. that the ancient Creator was gracious to her at the birth of her son. Now will I, O Beowulf,

* Beowulf, says Dr. Klaeber, “had placed Grenbest of warriors, even as a son,

some projection perhaps) love thee in my heart. Keep henceforth well






above the door (outside) as high as he could

reach," where the nobles, looking from outour kinship new; no lack shalt thou have

side "in the direction of the high roof," be

Others think that it was hung up within the hall.



hold it.

1 Heorot




That splendid dwelling much shattered was, XIX. BEOWULF REWARDED. EVENTIDE though bound within with bands of iron; the hinges asunder were rent, the roof

The cup was brought him, and friendly greetalone was saved all sound, when the monster, stained with foul deeds, turned him to flight,

in words was given and twisted gold hopeless of life.

1002 kindly proffered—bracelets two, [The feast is held, gifts are bestowed on the

armor and rings, a collar the largest hero, and Hrothgar's minstrel sings a song of of those that on earth I have heard tell of. a hundred lines about Finn, the king of the Never 'neath heaven have I heard of a better Frisians.]

treasure-hoard of men, since Hama bore off

to the glittering burg the Brosings' necklace, $ XVIII. THE QUEEN'S SPEECH

the jewel and casket (he fled the guileful 1200

hate of Eormenric, chose gain eternalı). The lay was sung,


Hygelac the Geat wore this collar, the gleeman's song. Pastime was resumed,

the grandson of Swerting, on his last raid, noise rose from the benches, the cup-boys served when he 'neath his banner the treasure dewine

fended, from wondrous vessels. Then Wealhtheow came the slaughter-spoil guarded; fate took him off forth

when he out of pride sought his own woe, 'neath a gold diadem, to where the two good war with the Frisians; he the jewels conveyed, cousinst sat; at peace were they still,

the precious stones, over the wave bowl, each true to the other; there Hunferth too sat the powerful king; he fell 'neath his shield. at the Scylding lord's feet,--all had faith in his Then into the power of the Franks the king's spirit,

life his courage, altho’ to his kinsmen he had not went, and his breast-weeds, went too the collar; in sword-play been true.$ Then the Scyldings' warriors inferior plundered the fallen queen spake:

after the war-lot; the Geat-folk held "Accept this beaker, my beloved lord,1

the abode of the slain. dispenser of treasure; may'st be joyful,

The hall resounded. gold-friend of men! And speak to the Geats Wealhtheow spake, before the warrior-band with gentle words! So man shall do.

said: Be kind toward the Geats, mindful of gifts; “Use this collar, Beowulf dear, near and far thou now hast safety.

oh youth, with joy, and use this mantle, Men have said that thou this warrior

these lordly treasures, and thrive thou well; wouldst have for a son. Heorot is purged, prove thyself mighty, and be to these boys the bright hall of rings: enjoy while thou may gentle in counsels. I will reward thee. 1220 est

This hast thou achieved, that, far and near, the rewards of the many, and to thy sons leave throughout all time, men will esteem thee, folk and realm, when thou shalt go forth even so widely as the sea encircles to see thy Creator. Well I know that 1180 the windy land-walls. Be while thou livest my gracious Hrothulf will the youth

a prosperous noble. I grant you well in honor maintain if thou sooner than he, precious treasures; be thou to my sons oh friend of the Scyldings, loavest the world. gentle in deeds, thou who hast joy. I ween that he with good will repay

Here is each earl to the other true, our offspring dear, he remembers

mild of mood, to his liege lord faithful; all the favors that we for his pleasure

the thanes are united, the people all ready. 1230 and honor performed when he was a child.” Warriors who have drunken, do as I bid.” Then she turned to the seat where were her To her seat then she went. There was choicsons,

est of feasts, Hrethric and Hrothmund, and the sons of the the warriors drank wine; Wyrd they knew not, heroes,

1189 calamity grim, as it turned out the youths all together; there sat the noble for many a man after evening had come Beowulf the Geat, beside the two brothers. and Hrothgar had to his lodging departed,

the ruler to rest. There guarded the hall 1 Hrothgar † Hrothgar, and his nephew, Hrothulf, who must

have been older than the king's children (cp. i Perhaps entered a monastery (S. Bugge). lines 1180 f), but who evidently did not re- & The famous necklace of Freyja, which Hama

stole from Eormenric, the cruel king of the 1 He was said to have killed his brothers.

main "true.'



countless warriors, as oft they had done. when the hilt-bound sword, hammer-beaten, They cleared the bench-floor; it soon was o’er- stained with gore, and doughty of edges, spread

hews off the head of the boar on the helm. with beds and bolsters. A certain beer-bearer, Then in the hall the hard edge was drawn, ready and fated, bent to his rest.

1241 the sword o'er the seats, many a broad shield They set at their heads their disks of war, raised firm in hand; helms they forgot their shield-wood bright; there on the bench, and byrnies broad, when the terror seized them. over each noble, easy to see,

She was in haste,-would out from thence 1292 was his high martial helm, his ringed byrnie to save her life, since she was discovered. and war-wood stout. It was their custom

One of the nobles she quickly had that they were ever for war prepared,

with grip fast seized, as she went to fen; at home, in the field, in both alike,

he was to Hrothgar of heroes the dearest at whatever time to their liege lord

in comradeship beside the two seas, the need befel. 'Twas a ready people.

1250 a mighty shield-warrior, whom she killed,

a hero renowned. (Beowulf was absent,

for another apartment had before been as. XX. GRENDEL'S MOTHER

signed, They sank then to sleep. One sorely paid

after giving of treasures, to the great Geat.) for his evening rest, as full oft had happened

A cry was in Heorot. She took with its gore since the gold-hall Grendel occupied,

the well known hand;1 grief had become unrighteousness did, until the end came,

renewed in the dwellings. 'Twas no good exdeath after sins. Then it was seen,

change, wide-known among men, that still an avenger

that those on both sides payment must make

with lives of their friends. lived after the foe, for a long time after the battle-care,-Grendel's mother.

Then was the old king, The woman-demon remembered her misery,

the hoary war-hero, in stormy mood she that the watery horrors, the cold streams,

when his highest thane, no longer living, had to inhabit, when Cain became


his dearest friend, he knew to be dead. slayer by sword of his only brother,

Quickly to his chamber was Beowulf summoned, his father's son. Then he went forth blood the victor-rich warrior. Together ere day 1311 stained,

he went with his earls, the noble champion by murder marked, fleeing man's joy,

with his comrades went where the wise king dwelt in the wilderness. Thence awoke many


whether for him the All-wielder would fated demons; Grendel was one, the hated fell wolf who at Heorot found

after the woe-time a change bring about. a watchful warrior awaiting the conflict;

Then along the floor went the warlike man and there the monster laid hold of him.

with his body guard (the hall-wood resounded) Yet was he mindful of his great strength, 1270 till he the wise prince greeted with words, the generous gift that God had given him,

the lord of the Ingwins;2 asked if he had had and trusted for help in him the All-wielder,

according to his wish, an easy night. for comfort and aid; so slew he the fiend, struck down the hell-spirit. Then humble he XXI. SORROW FOR ÆSCHERE. THE MONSTER'S made off,

MERE the foe of mankind, to seek his death-home, of joy deprived. Natheless his mother,

Hrothgar spake, the Scyldings' protector: greedy and gloomy, was bent on going

"Ask not after happiness! Grief is renewed the sorrowful journey, her son's death to to the folk of the Danes. Dead is Æschere, avenge.

of Yrmenlaf the elder brother, So came she to Heorot, to where the Ring. my confidant and my counsellor, Danes

1279 my near attendant when we in war throughout the ball slept. Forthwith there came defended our heads, when hosts contended, to the warriors a change, when in on them and boar-crests crashed; such should an earl be, rushed

preeminently good, as Æschere was. Grendel's mother; the terror was less

He in Heorot has had for murderer

1330 by just so much as the force of women is, a ghost-like death-spirit; I know not whether the war-dread from woman, than that from a

i Grendel's (see 1. 834 )
2 the Danes



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the fell carrion-gloater her steps back has

XXII. THE PURSUIT traced, made known by her meal. She the feud has Beowulf spake, Ecgtheow 's son: avenged,

“Sorrow not, sage man, 'tis better for each that thou yester-night didst Grendel slay, to avenge his friend than greatly to mourn. through thy fierce nature, with fetter-like Each of us must an end await grasps,

of this world's life; let him work who can for that he too long my people diminished high deeds ere death; that will be for the war. and wrought destruction. He in battle suc.

rior, cumbed,

when he is lifeless, afterwards best. forfeiting life. And now comes another Rise, lord of the realm, let us quickly go mighty man-scather to avenge her son,

to see the course of Grendel's parent. 1391 has from afar warfare established, 1340 I promise thee, not to the sea shall she 'scape, as it may seem to many a thane

nor to earth 's embrace, nor to mountain-wood, who mourns in spirit his treasure-giver, nor to ocean's ground, go whither she will. in hard heart-affliction. Now low lies the hand This day do thou endurance have which once availed you for every desire. in every woe, as I expect of thee!”

“I have heard it said by the land-dwellers, Up leapt the old man then, thanked God, by my own subjects, my hall-counsellors, the mighty Lord, for what the man said. that they have seen a pair of such

For Hrothgar then a horse was bridled, mighty march-stalkers holding the moors,

a steed with curled mane. The ruler wise stranger-spirits, whereof the one,

in state went forth; a troop strode on, 1401 so far as they could certainly know, 1350 bearing their shields. Tracks there were was in form of a woman; the other, accurst, along the forest paths widely seen, trod an exile's steps in the figure of man her course o’er the ground; she had thither (save that he huger than other men was),

gone whom in days of yore the dwellers on earth o'er the murky moor. Of their fellow thanes Grendel named. They know not a father. she bore the best one, soul-bereft, whether any was afore-time born

of those that with Hrothgar defended their of the dark ghosts. That secret land

home. they dwell in, wolf-dens, windy nesses,

Then overpassed these sons of nobles the perilous fen-path, where the mountain deep rocky gorges, a narrow road, stream

strait lonely paths, an unknown way, downward flows 'neath the mists of the nesses, precipitous nesses, monster-dens many. the flood under earth. 'Tis not far thence, 1361 He went in advance, he and a few a mile in measure, that the mere stands, of the wary men, to view the plain, over which hang rustling groves;

till suddenly he found mountain-trees a wood fast rooted the water o'ershadows. overhanging a hoary rock, “There every night may be seen a dire won- a joyless wood; there was water beneath, der,

gory and troubled. To all the Danes, fire in the flood. None so wise lives

friends of the Scyldings, 'twas grievous in of the children of men, who knows the bottom. mind, Although the heath-stepper, wearied by hounds, a source of sorrow to many a thane, the stag strong of horns, seek that holtwood, pain to each earl, when of Æschere, 1420 driven from far, he will give up his life, 1370 on the sea-shore, the head they found. his breath, on the shore, ere he will venture The flood boiled with blood, the people looked his head upon it. That is no pleasant place. Thence surging of waters upwards ascends at the hot glowing gore.

The horn at times wan to the welkin, when the wind stirs up

sang the hateful tempests, till air grows gloomy a ready war-song.

The band all sat. and skies shed tears. Again now is counsel They saw in the water a host of the worm-kind, in thee alone! The spot thou yet ken 'st not, strange sea dragons sounding the deep; the perilous place where thou may'st find in the headland-clefts also, nickers lying, this sinful being. Seek if thou dare.

which in the morning oft-times keep With riches will I for the strife reward thee, their sorrowful course upon the sail-road, with ancient treasures, as I before did,

worms and wild beasts;—they sped away, with twisted gold, if thou comest off safe.” bitter and rage-swollen; they heard the sound,




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