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last updated on 15-June-2005

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Sigon þá tó slaépe·      sum sáre angeald 


They sank then into sleep;      one paid sorely
æfenræste      swá him ful oft gelamp


for his evening rest,      as had quite often happened,
siþðan goldsele      Grendel warode·


when the gold-hall      Grendel warded,
unriht æfnde      oþ þæt ende becwóm,


inflict wrong      until the end came,
swylt æfter synnum.      Þæt gesýne wearþ


death for crimes.      That became manifest,
wídcúþ werum      þætte wrecend þá gýt


widely known by men,      that an avenger still
lifde æfter láþum      lange þráge


lived after the misfortunes,      for a long time
æfter gúðceare      Grendles módor


after the war-trouble,      Grendel's mother,
ides áglaécwíf      yrmþe gemunde


lady troll-wife,      remembered misery,
sé þe wæteregesan      wunian scolde


she who the dreadful water      had to inhabit,
cealde stréamas     siþðan camp him wearð


the cold currents,      after strife arose through him,
tó ecgbanan      ángan bréþer


a sword-slayer to      an only brother,
fæderenmaége·      hé þá fág gewát


father's kin;      he went then stained,
morþre gemearcod      mandréam fléön·


marked by the murder,      fled human pleasures,
wésten warode.      Þanon wóc fela


lived in the wilds.      Then awoke many
geósceaftgásta·      wæs þaéra Grendel sum,


fated spirits;      Grendel was one of these,
heorowearh hetelíc·      sé æt Heorote fand


the hateful sword-outlaw,      who found at Heorot
wæccendne wer      wíges bidan·


a watching man      biding for battle;
þaér him áglaéca      ætgráepe wearð·


there with him the troll      came at close grips;
hwæþre hé gemunde      mægenes strenge


yet he remembered      the great strength,
gimfæste gife      ðe him god sealde


generous gift,      which God gave him,
ond him tó anwaldan      áre gelýfde


and he on the One-Ruler's      favour relied,
frófre ond fultum·      ðý hé þone féond ofercwóm·


comfort and support;      by this he overcame the fiend,
gehnaégde helle gást·      þá hé héan gewát


subdued the spirit of hell;      then wretched he went,
dréame bedaéled      déaþwíc séön,


deprived of joy,      to see his place of death,
mancynnes féond.      Ond his módor þá gýt


that foe of mankind.      And his mother even now,
gífre ond galgmód      gegán wolde


greedy and gloomy-hearted      wished to go forth,
sorhfulne síð,      sunu déoð wrecan·


a sorrowful journey,      to avenge her son's death;
cóm þá to Heorote      ðaér Hring-Dene


she came then to Heorot,      where the Ring-Danes
geond þæt sæld swaéfun·      þá ðaér sóna wearð


slept throught the hall;      then there at once came about
edhwyrft eorlum      siþðan inne fealh


the earl's reversal of fortune,      when inside passed
Grendles módor·      wæs se gryre laéssa


Grendel's mother;      the horror was less
efne swá micle      swá bið mægþa cræft


by even so much,      as is maid's strength,
wíggryre wífes      bewaépned men


--the war-violence of woman--      from an armed man,
þonne heoru bunden      hamere geþuren


when adorned blade,      by hammer forged,
sweord swáte fáh      swín ofer helme


--sword stained with blood--      the boar-crest
ecgum dyhttig      andweard scireð.


by edges firm,      the opposing (helmet) is sheared.
Þá wæs on healle      heardecg togen


Then in the hall was drawn a hard-edged
sweord ofer setlum,      sídrand manig


sword above the seats,      many a broad bossed-shield
hafen handa fæst·      helm ne gemunde


held fast in hand;      helmet was not heeded,
byrnan síde      þá hine se bróga angeat·


(nor) broad byrnie,      when the horror perceived him;
héo wæs on ofste·      wolde út þanon,


she was in haste,      wanted out of there,
féore beorgan      þá héo onfunden wæs·


to protect her life,      when she was discovered;
hraðe héo æþelinga      ánne hæfde


quickly she a noble      one had
fæste befangen·      þá héo tó fenne gang·


seized tightly,      then she went to the fen;
sé wæs Hróþgáre      hæleþa léofost


he was to Hrothgar      the best-loved hero
on gesíðes hád      be saém twéonum


in the retinue's rank      between the two seas
ríce randwiga      þone ðe héo on ræste ábréat


mighty shield-warrior,      whom she ripped from his rest,
blaédfæstne beorn      --næs Béowulf ðaér


the glorious man      --Beowulf was not there,
ac wæs óþer in      aér geteohhod


but was in the other lodging      assigned earlier
æfter máþðumgife      maérum Géate--


after the treasure-giving      to the mighty Geat--
hréam wearð in Heorote·      héo under heolfre genam


a cry was in Heorot;      she took from its gore
cúþe folme·      cearu wæs geníwod,


a well-known arm;      sorrow was renewed,
geworden in wícun·      ne wæs þæt gewrixle til


it returned to their dwellings;      that exchange was not good,
þæt híe on bá healfa      bicgan scoldon


which they on both sides      were obliged to pay for
fréonda féorum·      þá wæs fród cyning


with the lives of friends;      then was the wise king,
hár hilderinc      on hréonmóde


the grey battle-man,      in a troubled spirit,
syðþan hé aldorþegn      unlyfigendne


when he the lordly thane      unliving,
þone déorestan      déadne wisse.


the dearest one,      knew was dead.
Hraþe wæs tó búre      Béowulf fetod


Quickly to the bower was      Beowulf fetched
sigoréadig secg·      samod aérdæge


the victorious warrior;      at day-break
éode eorla sum      æþele cempa


the notable earl went      --noble champion--
self mid gesíðum      þaér se snotera bád


himself with his companions      where the wise one awaited
hwæþre him Alfwalda      aéfre wille


whether for him the Ruler of Elves      ever would wish,
æfter wéaspelle      wyrpe gefremman·


after the news of woe,      to bring about a change for the better;
gang ðá æfter flóre      fyrdwyrðe man


then over the floor went      the war-worthy man
mid his handscale      --healwudu dynede--


with his crowd of companions      --the wood of the hall resounded--
þæt hé þone wísan      wordum hnægde


he the wise (king)      humbled with words:
fréan Ingwina·      frægn gif him waére


--the lord of the Ingwins--      asked if it had been for him,
æfter néodlaðu      niht getaése.


according to his hopes,      a pleasing night.