THEY sank into sleep The price of that evening's
Rest wastoo high for the Dane who bought it
With his life, paying as others had paid
When Grendel inhabited Herot, the hall
His till his crimes drew him into Hell.
And now it was known that a monster had died
But a monster still lived, and meant revenge
She'd brooded at her loss, misery had brewed in her
Heart that female monster Grendel's Mother
Living in the murky cold lake
Assigned her since Cain had killed his only
Brother slain his father's son
With an angry sword, God drove him off
Outlawed him to the dry and barren desert.
And branded him with a murderer's mark.
And he borebore a race of fiends accursed like their father;
So Grendall was drawn to Herot, and outcast
Come to meet the man who who awaited him
He'd snatched at Beowulf's arm, but that prince
Remembered God's grace and the strength He'd given him
And relied on the Lord for all the help
The comfort and the support he would need
He killed the monster and God meant him to do
Tore the fiend apart and made him run
Rapidly towards the death's cold waiting hands
His mother's sad heart and her greed
Drove her from her den on the dangerous pathway
So she reached Herot
Where the Danes slept as though already dead
Her visit ended their good luck
Ended the bright vane of their fortune
No female, no matter how fierce
Could have come with man's strength
Fought with the power and courage men fight with
Smashing their shiny swords, their bloody
Hammer forged blades onto boar helmets
Slashing and stabbing with the sharpest of points
The soldiers raised their shields and swords
Gleaming above them swinging them
the piled up benches, leaving their mail shirts
And their helmets where they lain
when the terror took hold of them
To save her life, she moved still faster
Took a single victim and fled from the hall
Running to the moors, discovered, but her supper assured
Assured, dripping her claws
She'd taken Hrothgar's closest friend
The man he loved most of all men on earth
She'd killed a glorious soldier, cut a
Noble life short. No Geat could have stopped her.
Beowulf and his band had been given better beds
Sleep had come to them in a different hall
Then all Herot burst into shouts
She had carried off Grendel's claw
Sorrow returned to Denmark
They'd traded death, Danes and monsters
And no one had won, both had lost
The wise old king trembled in anger and grief.
His best warriors, walking to Hgothgar's where he sat
The gray haired king wondering if this misery would ever end
The Geats tramped through the hall
Their steps Beat and echoed in silence.
Beowulf rehearsed the words he would want with Hgothgar.
He'd ask the Dane's great lord if all were at peace,
if the night had past peacefully.
under his banner the booty defending,
the war-spoil warding; but Wyrd o'erwhelmed him
what time, in his daring, dangers he sought,
feud with Frisians. Fairest of gems
he bore with him over the beaker-of-waves,
sovran strong: under shield he died.
Fell the corpse of the king into keeping of Franks,
gear of the breast, and that gorgeous ring;
weaker warriors won the spoil,
after gripe of battle, from Geatland's lord,
and held the death-field.
Din rose in hall.
Wealhtheow spake amid warriors, and said: --
"This jewel enjoy in thy jocund youth,
Beowulf lov'd, these battle-weeds wear,
a royal treasure, and richly thrive!
Preserve thy strength, and these striplings here
counsel in kindness: requital be mine.
Hast done such deeds, that for days to come
thou art famed among folk both far and near,
so wide as washeth the wave of Ocean
his windy walls. Through the ways of life
prosper, O prince! I pray for thee
rich possessions. To son of mine
be helpful in deed and uphold his joys!
Here every earl to the other is true,
mild of mood, to the master loyal!
Thanes are friendly, the throng obedient,
liegemen are revelling: list and obey!"
Went then to her place. -- That was proudest of feasts;
flowed wine for the warriors. Wyrd they knew not,
destiny dire, and the doom to be seen
by many an earl when eve should come,
and Hrothgar homeward hasten away,
royal, to rest. The room was guarded
by an army of earls, as erst was done.
They bared the bench-boards; abroad they spread
beds and bolsters. -- One beer-carouser
in danger of doom lay down in the hall. --
At their heads they set their shields of war,
bucklers bright; on the bench were there
over each atheling, easy to see,
the high battle-helmet, the haughty spear,
the corselet of rings. 'Twas their custom so
ever to be for battle prepared,
at home, or harrying, which it were,
even as oft as evil threatened
their sovran king. -- They were clansmen good.
THEN sank they to sleep. With sorrow one bought
his rest of the evening, -- as ofttime had happened
when Grendel guarded that golden hall,
evil wrought, till his end drew nigh,
slaughter for sins. 'Twas seen and told
how an avenger survived the fiend,
as was learned afar. The livelong time
after that grim fight, Grendel's mother,
monster of women, mourned her woe.
She was doomed to dwell in the dreary waters,
cold sea-courses, since Cain cut down
with edge of the sword his only brother,
his father's offspring: outlawed he fled,
marked with murder, from men's delights
warded the wilds. -- There woke from him
such fate-sent ghosts as Grendel, who,
war-wolf horrid, at Heorot found
a warrior watching and waiting the fray,
with whom the grisly one grappled amain.
But the man remembered his mighty power,
the glorious gift that God had sent him,
in his Maker's mercy put his trust
for comfort and help: so he conquered the foe,
felled the fiend, who fled abject,
reft of joy, to the realms of death,
mankind's foe. And his mother now,
gloomy and grim, would go that quest
of sorrow, the death of her son to avenge.
To Heorot came she, where helmeted Danes
slept in the hall. Too soon came back
old ills of the earls, when in she burst,
the mother of Grendel. Less grim, though, that terror,
e'en as terror of woman in war is less,
might of maid, than of men in arms
when, hammer-forged, the falchion hard,
sword gore-stained, through swine of the helm,
its honor. To Eastern Danes
had the valiant Geat his vaunt made good,