Beowulf eBook

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

{The monster is amazed at Beowulf’s strength.}

          In any man else had he ever encountered: 
          Fearful in spirit, faint-mooded waxed he,
       45 Not off could betake him; death he was pondering,

{He is anxious to flee.}

          Would fly to his covert, seek the devils’ assembly: 
          His calling no more was the same he had followed
          Long in his lifetime.  The liege-kinsman worthy

{Beowulf recalls his boast of the evening, and determines to fulfil it.}

          Of Higelac minded his speech of the evening,
       50 Stood he up straight and stoutly did seize him. 
          His fingers crackled; the giant was outward,
          The earl stepped farther.  The famous one minded
          To flee away farther, if he found an occasion,
          And off and away, avoiding delay,
       55 To fly to the fen-moors; he fully was ware of
          The strength of his grapple in the grip of the foeman.

{’Twas a luckless day for Grendel.}

          ’Twas an ill-taken journey that the injury-bringing,
          Harrying harmer to Heorot wandered: 

{The hall groans.}

          The palace re-echoed; to all of the Danemen,
       60 Dwellers in castles, to each of the bold ones,
          Earlmen, was terror.  Angry they both were,
          Archwarders raging.[2] Rattled the building;
[28] ’Twas a marvellous wonder that the wine-hall withstood then
          The bold-in-battle, bent not to earthward,
       65 Excellent earth-hall; but within and without it
          Was fastened so firmly in fetters of iron,
          By the art of the armorer.  Off from the sill there
          Bent mead-benches many, as men have informed me,
          Adorned with gold-work, where the grim ones did struggle.
       70 The Scylding wise men weened ne’er before
          That by might and main-strength a man under heaven
          Might break it in pieces, bone-decked, resplendent,
          Crush it by cunning, unless clutch of the fire
          In smoke should consume it.  The sound mounted upward

{Grendel’s cries terrify the Danes.}

       75 Novel enough; on the North Danes fastened
          A terror of anguish, on all of the men there
          Who heard from the wall the weeping and plaining,
          The song of defeat from the foeman of heaven,
          Heard him hymns of horror howl, and his sorrow
       80 Hell-bound bewailing.  He held him too firmly
          Who was strongest of main-strength of men of that era.

[1] B. and t.B. emend so as to make lines 9 and 10 read:  Never in his life, earlier or later, had he, the hell-thane, found a braver hero.—­They argue that Beowulf’s companions had done nothing to merit such encomiums as the usual readings allow them.

    [2] For ‘reethe ren-weardas’ (771), t.B. suggests ‘reethe, renhearde.’ 
    Translate:  They were both angry, raging and mighty.

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Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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