Beowulf eBook

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

{He was my ideal hero.}

          And heroes were dashing; such an earl should be ever,
          An erst-worthy atheling, as AEschere proved him.
       10 The flickering death-spirit became in Heorot
          His hand-to-hand murderer; I can not tell whither
          The cruel one turned in the carcass exulting,

[47]

{This horrible creature came to avenge Grendel’s death.}

          By cramming discovered.[1] The quarrel she wreaked then,
          That last night igone Grendel thou killedst
       15 In grewsomest manner, with grim-holding clutches,
          Since too long he had lessened my liege-troop and wasted
          My folk-men so foully.  He fell in the battle
          With forfeit of life, and another has followed,
          A mighty crime-worker, her kinsman avenging,
       20 And henceforth hath ’stablished her hatred unyielding,[2]
          As it well may appear to many a liegeman,
          Who mourneth in spirit the treasure-bestower,
          Her heavy heart-sorrow; the hand is now lifeless
          Which[3] availed you in every wish that you cherished.

{I have heard my vassals speak of these two uncanny monsters who lived in the moors.}

       25 Land-people heard I, liegemen, this saying,
          Dwellers in halls, they had seen very often
          A pair of such mighty march-striding creatures,
          Far-dwelling spirits, holding the moorlands: 
          One of them wore, as well they might notice,
       30 The image of woman, the other one wretched
          In guise of a man wandered in exile,
          Except he was huger than any of earthmen;
          Earth-dwelling people entitled him Grendel
          In days of yore:  they know not their father,
       35 Whe’r ill-going spirits any were borne him

{The inhabit the most desolate and horrible places.}

          Ever before.  They guard the wolf-coverts,
          Lands inaccessible, wind-beaten nesses,
          Fearfullest fen-deeps, where a flood from the mountains
          ’Neath mists of the nesses netherward rattles,
       40 The stream under earth:  not far is it henceward
          Measured by mile-lengths that the mere-water standeth,
          Which forests hang over, with frost-whiting covered,[4]
[48] A firm-rooted forest, the floods overshadow. 
          There ever at night one an ill-meaning portent
       45 A fire-flood may see; ’mong children of men
          None liveth so wise that wot of the bottom;
          Though harassed by hounds the heath-stepper seek for,

{Even the hounded deer will not seek refuge in these uncanny regions.}

          Fly to the forest, firm-antlered he-deer,
          Spurred from afar, his spirit he yieldeth,
       50 His life on the shore, ere in he will venture
          To cover his head.  Uncanny the place is: 
          Thence upward ascendeth the surging of waters,
          Wan to the welkin, when the wind is stirring
          The weathers unpleasing, till the air groweth gloomy,

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Project Gutenberg
Beowulf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.