Old English Text - Chapter XXIII PREV | NEXT

Geseah ða on searwum         sigeeadig bil,
eald sweord eotenisc,         ecgum þyhtig,
wigena weorðmynd;         þæt wæs wæpna cyst,
1560
buton hit wæs mare         ðonne ænig mon oðer
to beadulace         ætberan meahte,
god ond geatolic,         giganta geweorc.
He gefeng þa fetelhilt,         freca Scyldinga
hreoh ond heorogrim         hringmæl gebrægd,
1565
aldres orwena,         yrringa sloh,
þæt hire wið halse         heard grapode,
banhringas bræc.         Bil eal ðurhwod
fægne flæschoman;         heo on flet gecrong.
Sweord wæs swatig,         secg weorce gefeh.
1570
Lixte se leoma,         leoht inne stod,
efne swa of hefene         hadre scineð
rodores candel.         He æfter recede wlat;
hwearf þa be wealle,         wæpen hafenade
heard be hiltum         Higelaces ðegn,
1575
yrre ond anræd.         Næs seo ecg fracod
hilderince,         ac he hraþe wolde
Grendle forgyldan         guðræsa fela
ðara þe he geworhte         to Westdenum
oftor micle         ðonne on ænne sið,
1580
þonne he Hroðgares         heorðgeneatas
sloh on sweofote,         slæpende fræt
folces Denigea         fyftyne men
ond oðer swylc         ut offerede,
laðlicu lac.         He him þæs lean forgeald,
1585
reþe cempa,         to ðæs þe he on ræste geseah
guðwerigne         Grendel licgan
aldorleasne,         swa him ær gescod
hild æt Heorote.         Hra wide sprong,
syþðan he æfter deaðe         drepe þrowade,
1590
heorosweng heardne,         ond hine þa heafde becearf.
Sona þæt gesawon         snottre ceorlas,
þa ðe mid Hroðgare         on holm wliton,
þæt wæs yðgeblond         eal gemenged,
brim blode fah.         Blondenfeaxe,
1595
gomele ymb godne,         ongeador spræcon
þæt hig þæs æðelinges         eft ne wendon
þæt he sigehreðig         secean come
mærne þeoden;         þa ðæs monige gewearð
þæt hine seo brimwylf         abroten hæfde.
1600
ða com non dæges.         Næs ofgeafon
hwate Scyldingas;         gewat him ham þonon
goldwine gumena.         Gistas setan
modes seoce         ond on mere staredon,
wiston ond ne wendon         þæt hie heora winedrihten
1605
selfne gesawon.         þa þæt sweord ongan
æfter heaþoswate         hildegicelum,
wigbil wanian.         þæt wæs wundra sum,
þæt hit eal gemealt         ise gelicost,
ðonne forstes bend         fæder onlæteð,
1610
onwindeð wælrapas,         se geweald hafað
sæla ond mæla;         þæt is soð metod.
Ne nom he in þæm wicum,         Wedergeata leod,
maðmæhta ma,         þeh he þær monige geseah,
buton þone hafelan         ond þa hilt somod
1615
since fage.         Sweord ær gemealt,
forbarn brodenmæl;         wæs þæt blod to þæs hat,
ættren ellorgæst         se þær inne swealt.
Sona wæs on sunde         se þe ær æt sæcce gebad
wighryre wraðra,         wæter up þurhdeaf.
1620
Wæron yðgebland         eal gefælsod,
eacne eardas,         þa se ellorgast
oflet lifdagas         ond þas lænan gesceaft.
Com þa to lande         lidmanna helm
swiðmod swymman;         sælace gefeah,
1625
mægenbyrþenne         þara þe he him mid hæfde.
Eodon him þa togeanes,         gode þancodon,
ðryðlic þegna heap,         þeodnes gefegon,
þæs þe hi hyne gesundne         geseon moston.
ða wæs of þæm hroran         helm ond byrne
1630
lungre alysed.         Lagu drusade,
wæter under wolcnum,         wældreore fag.
Ferdon forð þonon         feþelastum
ferhþum fægne,         foldweg mæton,
cuþe stræte.         Cyningbalde men
1635
from þæm holmclife         hafelan bæron
earfoðlice         heora æghwæþrum,
felamodigra;         feower scoldon
on þæm wælstenge         weorcum geferian
to þæm goldsele         Grendles heafod,
1640
oþðæt semninga         to sele comon
frome fyrdhwate         feowertyne
Geata gongan;         gumdryhten mid
modig on gemonge         meodowongas træd.
ða com in gan         ealdor ðegna,
1645
dædcene mon         dome gewurþad,
hæle hildedeor,         Hroðgar gretan.
þa wæs be feaxe         on flet boren
Grendles heafod,         þær guman druncon,
egeslic for eorlum         ond þære idese mid,
1650
wliteseon wrætlic;         weras on sawon.

Summary :
*Beowulf sees a sword, the sword of *Eotens, forged by giants; a weapon far to large for ordinary men. Striking *GM on the neck, breaking the bones, she fell to the ground dead. Looking about the underwater hall, he sees *Grendel's body; the creature who had tormented *Hrothgar for so long. With the blade now useful to him, *Beowulf cut off *Grendel's head. On the shore, the wise men watched the moor blood stained and thought that the sea-wolf had claimed their hero.

Later, saddened by the thought that they would never again see their lord, the Scyldings returned to their homes.

The giant blade then melted like icicles, the blood of the creatures was so hot. Though there were many treasures there, he took only the jeweled hilt of his sword and *Grendel's head and swam for shore.

Arriving at shore, the warriors who remained rejoiced to see their hero. They helped him remove his armour and wash away the blood of the sea. Four men struggled to carry the head on spears back to the hall when the fourteen *Geat warriors arrived to celebrate their victory.


Select Bibliography :
Anonymous. Beowulf - Verse Intermediate Saxon. Transcribed by Altman, R.I. Public Domain etext obtained via the Online Book Initiative.

Anonymous. Beowulf Gummere, F.B. trans., Eliot, C.W. ed.. Harvard Classics, Vol. 49.: PF Collier & Sons, New York. 1910. Public Domain etext obtained via the Online Book Initiative.


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