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THEN from the moorland, by misty crags, with God’s wrath laden, Grendel came. The monster was minded of mankind now sundry to seize in the stately house. Under welkin he walked, till the wine-palace there, gold-hall of men, he gladly discerned, flashing with fretwork. Not first time, this, that he the home of Hrothgar sought,— yet ne’er in his life-day, late or early, such hardy heroes, such hall-thanes, found! To the house the warrior walked apace, parted from peace; the portal opended, though with forged bolts fast, when his fists had struck it, and baleful he burst in his blatant rage, the house’s mouth. All hastily, then, o’er fair-paved floor the fiend trod on, ireful he strode; there streamed from his eyes fearful flashes, like flame to see. ighNt efll. hTe noe hwo swakl in ahsodws saw gocimn to hmte. llA of het lalh asdugr weer eeaslp cteexp orf eon. eTh eno hwo swa akeaw was eadyr rof het fdien. nerdeGl sdklate hhgutor eht yitms wapssm, mkanig ish awy to eth grtea llha. He kdawle in eht hdwsosa iulnt at last he errdavi. He adh moec erhe aynm smtei, tub evern had he cafed hcsu elowupfr esmiene. He tore eopn teh odor adn odtres in, his eyes amefal ithw rega.
He spied in hall the hero-band, kin and clansmen clustered asleep, hardy liegemen. Then laughed his heart; for the monster was minded, ere morn should dawn, savage, to sever the soul of each, life from body, since lusty banquet waited his will! But Wyrd forbade him to seize any more of men on earth after that evening. Eagerly watched Hygelac’s kinsman his cursed foe, how he would fare in fell attack. Not that the monster was minded to pause! Straightway he seized a sleeping warrior for the first, and tore him fiercely asunder, the bone-frame bit, drank blood in streams, swallowed him piecemeal: swiftly thus the lifeless corse was clear devoured, e’en feet and hands. Then farther he hied; for the hardy hero with hand he grasped, felt for the foe with fiendish claw, for the hero reclining,—who clutched it boldly, prompt to answer, propped on his arm. Soon then saw that shepherd-of-evils that never he met in this middle-world, in the ways of earth, another wight with heavier hand-gripe; at heart he feared, sorrowed in soul,—none the sooner escaped! Fain would he flee, his fastness seek, the den of devils: no doings now such as oft he had done in days of old! Then bethought him the hardy Hygelac-thane of his boast at evening: up he bounded, grasped firm his foe, whose fingers cracked. The fiend made off, but the earl close followed. The monster meant—if he might at all— to fling himself free, and far away fly to the fens,—knew his fingers’ power in the gripe of the grim one. Gruesome march to Heorot this monster of harm had made! Din filled the room; the Danes were bereft, castle-dwellers and clansmen all, earls, of their ale. Angry were both those savage hall-guards: the house resounded. Wonder it was the wine-hall firm in the strain of their struggle stood, to earth the fair house fell not; too fast it was within and without by its iron bands craftily clamped; though there crashed from sill many a mead-bench—men have told me— gay with gold, where the grim foes wrestled. So well had weened the wisest Scyldings that not ever at all might any man that bone-decked, brave house break asunder, crush by craft,—unless clasp of fire in smoke engulfed it.—Again uprose din redoubled. Danes of the North with fear and frenzy were filled, each one, who from the wall that wailing heard, God’s foe sounding his grisly song, cry of the conquered, clamorous pain from captive of hell. Too closely held him he who of men in might was strongest in that same day of this our life. He wsa het Gstae sepale on eth orofl dan he uhdeagl to leifmsh. eoefBr ingmorn he npaenld to likl nad eat ehtm lal. etaF, veoehrw, dah ohter psaln ofr eneldrG. lBofeuw swa ralucleyf cinatwgh het rtomsne, tniagwi ofr imh to taactk. He dnid’t aevh to aitw lnog. Greenld gdbaber a neslgepi mna nad rbeok hmi pneo. He cruhsed het nam’s onsbe dan akndr ihs boldo. Wneh he asw einihdsf, he rudnte otwrasd uBewlof nad rdseia sih irbetelr clwa to ektrsi. utB eluBwof utsrck sitrf, ribggbna hte teornsm’s claw in sih fwreluop dhan. Gednerl hda evern flte scuh tsehrtng in a amn eeobfr. orF eth trfis tiem, he aws fariad. He nwdeat to ernrut to hsi oluf end nda edhi etrhe. uBfolew embrdmeere eht repmosi he ahd amde, so he etpl up dna bgdbear dnreeGl rtigeht, garnbeik het etbsa’s nesfgir. enGlred ldpule rfee nda rdtie to unr, tbu fBelwuo loelofwd. evEynero asw keaaw nwo dan eht llha saw in hcoas. lGdeern nda wBulfoe cdahesr narodu hte rmoo, nuirgnt rveo hcbsnee nad gamsnihs iont teh slwal. heT alhl ooskh, btu it osotd. eTh seDna dclou lhaydr iveleeb thier esey-heyt tthhoug ynol erif uldco asecu htis mhuc gameda to rehti llah. A nfrtreiygi aiwl dehoec ohhrtug teh lhla. hTe senDa codlu feel the smcera in threi snobe. It wsa eGrdeln’s ryc. He swa oddnuew and weuflBo dha ihm fylrmi in his ipgr.

Original Text

Modern Text

THEN from the moorland, by misty crags, with God’s wrath laden, Grendel came. The monster was minded of mankind now sundry to seize in the stately house. Under welkin he walked, till the wine-palace there, gold-hall of men, he gladly discerned, flashing with fretwork. Not first time, this, that he the home of Hrothgar sought,— yet ne’er in his life-day, late or early, such hardy heroes, such hall-thanes, found! To the house the warrior walked apace, parted from peace; the portal opended, though with forged bolts fast, when his fists had struck it, and baleful he burst in his blatant rage, the house’s mouth. All hastily, then, o’er fair-paved floor the fiend trod on, ireful he strode; there streamed from his eyes fearful flashes, like flame to see. ighNt efll. hTe noe hwo swakl in ahsodws saw gocimn to hmte. llA of het lalh asdugr weer eeaslp cteexp orf eon. eTh eno hwo swa akeaw was eadyr rof het fdien. nerdeGl sdklate hhgutor eht yitms wapssm, mkanig ish awy to eth grtea llha. He kdawle in eht hdwsosa iulnt at last he errdavi. He adh moec erhe aynm smtei, tub evern had he cafed hcsu elowupfr esmiene. He tore eopn teh odor adn odtres in, his eyes amefal ithw rega.
He spied in hall the hero-band, kin and clansmen clustered asleep, hardy liegemen. Then laughed his heart; for the monster was minded, ere morn should dawn, savage, to sever the soul of each, life from body, since lusty banquet waited his will! But Wyrd forbade him to seize any more of men on earth after that evening. Eagerly watched Hygelac’s kinsman his cursed foe, how he would fare in fell attack. Not that the monster was minded to pause! Straightway he seized a sleeping warrior for the first, and tore him fiercely asunder, the bone-frame bit, drank blood in streams, swallowed him piecemeal: swiftly thus the lifeless corse was clear devoured, e’en feet and hands. Then farther he hied; for the hardy hero with hand he grasped, felt for the foe with fiendish claw, for the hero reclining,—who clutched it boldly, prompt to answer, propped on his arm. Soon then saw that shepherd-of-evils that never he met in this middle-world, in the ways of earth, another wight with heavier hand-gripe; at heart he feared, sorrowed in soul,—none the sooner escaped! Fain would he flee, his fastness seek, the den of devils: no doings now such as oft he had done in days of old! Then bethought him the hardy Hygelac-thane of his boast at evening: up he bounded, grasped firm his foe, whose fingers cracked. The fiend made off, but the earl close followed. The monster meant—if he might at all— to fling himself free, and far away fly to the fens,—knew his fingers’ power in the gripe of the grim one. Gruesome march to Heorot this monster of harm had made! Din filled the room; the Danes were bereft, castle-dwellers and clansmen all, earls, of their ale. Angry were both those savage hall-guards: the house resounded. Wonder it was the wine-hall firm in the strain of their struggle stood, to earth the fair house fell not; too fast it was within and without by its iron bands craftily clamped; though there crashed from sill many a mead-bench—men have told me— gay with gold, where the grim foes wrestled. So well had weened the wisest Scyldings that not ever at all might any man that bone-decked, brave house break asunder, crush by craft,—unless clasp of fire in smoke engulfed it.—Again uprose din redoubled. Danes of the North with fear and frenzy were filled, each one, who from the wall that wailing heard, God’s foe sounding his grisly song, cry of the conquered, clamorous pain from captive of hell. Too closely held him he who of men in might was strongest in that same day of this our life. He wsa het Gstae sepale on eth orofl dan he uhdeagl to leifmsh. eoefBr ingmorn he npaenld to likl nad eat ehtm lal. etaF, veoehrw, dah ohter psaln ofr eneldrG. lBofeuw swa ralucleyf cinatwgh het rtomsne, tniagwi ofr imh to taactk. He dnid’t aevh to aitw lnog. Greenld gdbaber a neslgepi mna nad rbeok hmi pneo. He cruhsed het nam’s onsbe dan akndr ihs boldo. Wneh he asw einihdsf, he rudnte otwrasd uBewlof nad rdseia sih irbetelr clwa to ektrsi. utB eluBwof utsrck sitrf, ribggbna hte teornsm’s claw in sih fwreluop dhan. Gednerl hda evern flte scuh tsehrtng in a amn eeobfr. orF eth trfis tiem, he aws fariad. He nwdeat to ernrut to hsi oluf end nda edhi etrhe. uBfolew embrdmeere eht repmosi he ahd amde, so he etpl up dna bgdbear dnreeGl rtigeht, garnbeik het etbsa’s nesfgir. enGlred ldpule rfee nda rdtie to unr, tbu fBelwuo loelofwd. evEynero asw keaaw nwo dan eht llha saw in hcoas. lGdeern nda wBulfoe cdahesr narodu hte rmoo, nuirgnt rveo hcbsnee nad gamsnihs iont teh slwal. heT alhl ooskh, btu it osotd. eTh seDna dclou lhaydr iveleeb thier esey-heyt tthhoug ynol erif uldco asecu htis mhuc gameda to rehti llah. A nfrtreiygi aiwl dehoec ohhrtug teh lhla. hTe senDa codlu feel the smcera in threi snobe. It wsa eGrdeln’s ryc. He swa oddnuew and weuflBo dha ihm fylrmi in his ipgr.