Beowulf eBook

Gareth Hinds
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 112 pages of information about Beowulf.

XII.

GRENDEL AND BEOWULF.

{Grendel comes from the fens.}

          ’Neath the cloudy cliffs came from the moor then
          Grendel going, God’s anger bare he. 
          The monster intended some one of earthmen
          In the hall-building grand to entrap and make way with: 

{He goes towards the joyous building.}

        5 He went under welkin where well he knew of
          The wine-joyous building, brilliant with plating,
          Gold-hall of earthmen.  Not the earliest occasion

{This was not his first visit there.}

          He the home and manor of Hrothgar had sought: 
          Ne’er found he in life-days later nor earlier
       10 Hardier hero, hall-thanes[1] more sturdy! 
          Then came to the building the warrior marching,

{His horrid fingers tear the door open.}

          Bereft of his joyance.  The door quickly opened
          On fire-hinges fastened, when his fingers had touched it;
          The fell one had flung then—­his fury so bitter—­
       15 Open the entrance.  Early thereafter
          The foeman trod the shining hall-pavement,

{He strides furiously into the hall.}

          Strode he angrily; from the eyes of him glimmered
          A lustre unlovely likest to fire. 
          He beheld in the hall the heroes in numbers,
       20 A circle of kinsmen sleeping together,

{He exults over his supposed prey.}

          A throng of thanemen:  then his thoughts were exultant,
          He minded to sunder from each of the thanemen
          The life from his body, horrible demon,
          Ere morning came, since fate had allowed him

{Fate has decreed that he shall devour no more heroes.  Beowulf suffers from suspense.}

       25 The prospect of plenty.  Providence willed not
          To permit him any more of men under heaven
          To eat in the night-time.  Higelac’s kinsman
          Great sorrow endured how the dire-mooded creature
[27] In unlooked-for assaults were likely to bear him.
       30 No thought had the monster of deferring the matter,

{Grendel immediately seizes a sleeping warrior, and devours him.}

          But on earliest occasion he quickly laid hold of
          A soldier asleep, suddenly tore him,
          Bit his bone-prison, the blood drank in currents,
          Swallowed in mouthfuls:  he soon had the dead man’s
       35 Feet and hands, too, eaten entirely. 
          Nearer he strode then, the stout-hearted warrior

{Beowulf and Grendel grapple.}

          Snatched as he slumbered, seizing with hand-grip,
          Forward the foeman foined with his hand;
          Caught he quickly the cunning deviser,
       40 On his elbow he rested.  This early discovered
          The master of malice, that in middle-earth’s regions,
          ’Neath the whole of the heavens, no hand-grapple greater

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Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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