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Ðá him Hróþgár gewát      mid his hæleþa gedryht   Then Hrothgar went      with his band of heroes,
eodur Scyldinga      út of healle·   the protector of the Scyldings,      out of the hall;
wolde wígfruma      Wealhþéo sécan


he wished      to seek Wealhtheow,
cwén tó gebeddan·      hæfde kyningwuldor


the queen as companion in bed;      the glory of kings had,
Grendle tógéanes·      swá guman gefrungon·


against Grendel,      --so men heard--
seleweard áseted:      sundornytte behéold


the hall-guard posted:      special duty he held
ymb aldor Dena·      eotonweard' ábéad.


for the chief of the Danes,      ogre-watch he kept.
Húru Géata léod      georne trúwode


Indeed the prince of the Geats      keenly trusted
módgan mægnes,      metodes hyldo


in his prodigious power,      his Maker's favour,
ðá hé him of dyde      ísernbyrnan


then he from himself took      iron-byrnie,
helm of hafelan·      sealde his hyrsted sweord


helm from head,      gave his adorned sword,
írena cyst      ombihtþegne


the choicest of irons,      to his retainer,
ond gehealdan hét      hildegeatwe·


and commanded him ward      his battle-gear;
gespræc þá se góda      gylpworda sum


the good man spoke then      some promise-words,
Béowulf Géata      aér hé on bed stige:


Beowulf of the Geats,      before he stepped into bed:
'Nó ic mé an herewæsmun      hnágran talige


'I myself in martial-stature do not      tally poorer
gúþgeweorca      þonne Grendel hine·


in works of war      then Grendel himself;
forþan ic hine sweorde      swebban nelle,


therefore him with my sword I      shall not slay,
aldre benéotan      þéah ic eal mæge·


deprive of life,      though I fully am able;
nát hé þára góda      þæt hé mé ongéan sléä·


he knows not the finer skills      that he may strike me back,
rand gehéawe      þéah ðe hé róf síe


hew my rimmed-shield,      although he is renowned
níþgeweorca      ac wit on niht sculon


for malicious works      but we at night must
secge ofersittan      gif hé gesécean dear


relinquish short sword      if he dares to seek
wíg ofer waépen      ond siþðan wítig god


war without weapons,      and then wise God,
on swá hwæþere hond      hálig dryhten


on whichever hand,      the holy Lord
maérðo déme      swá him gemet þince.'


will allot glory,      as seems fitting to Him.'
Hylde hine þá heaþodéor      --hléorbolster onféng


The war-bold one then bent himself down      --the cheek-bolster received
eorles andwlitan--      ond hine ymb monig


the earl's face--      and round him many
snellíc saérinc      selereste gebéah·


brave seaman      sank down in hall-slumber;
naénig heora þóhte      þæt hé þanon scolde


none of them thought      that he thence would
eft eardlufan      aéfre gesécean


his dear home again      ever visit,
folc oþðe fréoburh      þaér hé áféded wæs


his folk or his noble citadel,      where he was nurtured
ac híe hæfdon gefrúnen      þæt híe aér tó fela micles


for they had heard      that far too many of them already
in þaém wínsele      wældéað fornam


in that wine-hall      slaughtering Death had carried off
Denigea léode.      Ac him dryhten forgeaf


of the Danish people.      But to them the Lord granted
wígspéda gewiofu       Wedera léodum


the woven-destiny of war-luck      to the Wederas' men,
frófor ond fultum      þæt híe féond heora


solace and support,      that they their foe,
ðurh ánes cræft      ealle ofercómon


through the strength of one,      all overcame,
selfes mihtum·      sóð is gecýþed,


by his own might;      truth is known
þæt mihtig god      manna cynnes


that mighty God      mankind
weold wídeferhð.      Cóm on wanre niht


has ruled forever.      In the colourless night came
scríðan sceadugenga·      scéotend swaéfon


slinking the shadow-wanderer;      the shooters slept,
þá þæt hornreced      healdan scoldon


they that the horned-house      were obliged to guard,
ealle búton ánum      --þæt wæs yldum cúþ


all but one      --it was known to men
þæt híe ne móste·      þá metod nolde·


that they could not,      when the Maker did not wish it,
se synscaþa      under sceadu bregdan--


by the malefactor      be drawn under the shadows--
ac hé wæccende      wráþum on andan


but he watching      in angry indignation
bád bolgenmód      beadwa geþinges.


bided in rising rage      for the result of battle.