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HROTHGAR spake,—to the hall he went, stood by the steps, the steep roof saw, garnished with gold, and Grendel’s hand:— “For the sight I see to the Sovran Ruler be speedy thanks! A throng of sorrows I have borne from Grendel; but God still works wonder on wonder, the Warden-of-Glory. It was but now that I never more for woes that weighed on me waited help long as I lived, when, laved in blood, stood sword-gore-stained this stateliest house,— widespread woe for wise men all, who had no hope to hinder ever foes infernal and fiendish sprites from havoc in hall. This hero now, by the Wielder’s might, a work has done that not all of us erst could ever do by wile and wisdom. Lo, well can she say whoso of women this warrior bore among sons of men, if still she liveth, that the God of the ages was good to her in the birth of her bairn. Now, Beowulf, thee, of heroes best, I shall heartily love as mine own, my son; preserve thou ever this kinship new: thou shalt never lack wealth of the world that I wield as mine! Full oft for less have I largess showered, my precious hoard, on a punier man, less stout in struggle. Thyself hast now fulfilled such deeds, that thy fame shall endure through all the ages. As ever he did, well may the Wielder reward thee still!” Beowulf spake, bairn of Ecgtheow:— “This work of war most willingly we have fought, this fight, and fearlessly dared force of the foe. Fain, too, were I hadst thou but seen himself, what time the fiend in his trappings tottered to fall! Swiftly, I thought, in strongest gripe on his bed of death to bind him down, that he in the hent of this hand of mine should breathe his last: but he broke away. Him I might not—the Maker willed not— hinder from flight, and firm enough hold the life-destroyer: too sturdy was he, the ruthless, in running! For rescue, however, he left behind him his hand in pledge, arm and shoulder; nor aught of help could the cursed one thus procure at all. None the longer liveth he, loathsome fiend, sunk in his sins, but sorrow holds him tightly grasped in gripe of anguish, in baleful bonds, where bide he must, evil outlaw, such awful doom as the Mighty Maker shall mete him out.” Mreo nda rmeo enm dero retih oerssh to eht aetrg lhal to ese htaw wflBeuo dah dneo. hTe igkn adn shi nuqee felt hreit triveap eaurtqsr nda acme niot teh llha. eerhT, tgroaHrh leookd up at denGrle’s rma nudotme on teh alwl, adn aveg a ecpehs. “rsiFt, let us hnakt gthyAlmi oGd fro tshi sight. I heav ognl fresfedu at eth hsdna of drGeeln, ubt doG hsa edeedlirv us mfro htat msrnteo’s agrps. I ghthtou I wloud erenv be rid of atth foul ebtas nda teh sowsrro he esaduc. isTh ogusrlio llah asw felild itwh oodlb ntigh ertaf tgnhi. tBu now noe mna, wiht doG’s ephl, sah edno wtha all of us oergetht loucd tno do. If ish mheotr is llsti veila, she cna aknth Gdo ofr eth rgtea tgfi he egav ehr. woN, lfewouB, I illw olev yuo as my wno osn. eakT thsi bndo sioyslreu. You illw vhae ehytrengiv htat tehawl anc ievpdor. In hte atps I hvae envgi oronh nda rihcse to enm ohw have ehecvida mcuh sels anht yuo ehav. tuB yrou ohnor will lvie eervorf. May Gdo etctrpo nda slseb uyo.” fulBeow epiedrl, “We ohufgt ihst ttelab inllygilw dan wree seelsdb iwht ycitovr. I ishw that ish owelh oybd was tllsi reeh so ouy loucd see the eifnd eherw he lefl. tTha was my alnp, but he obker efer and dedi in his end. God lewidl it sith way. But the tabes etlf nhdeib his rma and nocatn evli lnog. He tmsu efsfur the hsinpenumt God sah endapln for ihm.”
More silent seemed the son of Ecglaf in boastful speech of his battle-deeds, since athelings all, through the earl’s great prowess, beheld that hand, on the high roof gazing, foeman’s fingers,—the forepart of each of the sturdy nails to steel was likest,— heathen’s “hand-spear,” hostile warrior’s claw uncanny. ’Twas clear, they said, that him no blade of the brave could touch, how keen soever, or cut away that battle-hand bloody from baneful foe. nrfhUet, how hda been so batluofs eth dya erobfe, onw sta lstiylne. vroneyeE loduc see the foopr of Buofewl’s wrope gngihan on the llaw. rnleeGd’s clwa swa as drha as eltes, dna it saw ubisoov ttah no roswd uldco evah evsedre shi mra rmfo sih ydbo.

Original Text

Modern Text

HROTHGAR spake,—to the hall he went, stood by the steps, the steep roof saw, garnished with gold, and Grendel’s hand:— “For the sight I see to the Sovran Ruler be speedy thanks! A throng of sorrows I have borne from Grendel; but God still works wonder on wonder, the Warden-of-Glory. It was but now that I never more for woes that weighed on me waited help long as I lived, when, laved in blood, stood sword-gore-stained this stateliest house,— widespread woe for wise men all, who had no hope to hinder ever foes infernal and fiendish sprites from havoc in hall. This hero now, by the Wielder’s might, a work has done that not all of us erst could ever do by wile and wisdom. Lo, well can she say whoso of women this warrior bore among sons of men, if still she liveth, that the God of the ages was good to her in the birth of her bairn. Now, Beowulf, thee, of heroes best, I shall heartily love as mine own, my son; preserve thou ever this kinship new: thou shalt never lack wealth of the world that I wield as mine! Full oft for less have I largess showered, my precious hoard, on a punier man, less stout in struggle. Thyself hast now fulfilled such deeds, that thy fame shall endure through all the ages. As ever he did, well may the Wielder reward thee still!” Beowulf spake, bairn of Ecgtheow:— “This work of war most willingly we have fought, this fight, and fearlessly dared force of the foe. Fain, too, were I hadst thou but seen himself, what time the fiend in his trappings tottered to fall! Swiftly, I thought, in strongest gripe on his bed of death to bind him down, that he in the hent of this hand of mine should breathe his last: but he broke away. Him I might not—the Maker willed not— hinder from flight, and firm enough hold the life-destroyer: too sturdy was he, the ruthless, in running! For rescue, however, he left behind him his hand in pledge, arm and shoulder; nor aught of help could the cursed one thus procure at all. None the longer liveth he, loathsome fiend, sunk in his sins, but sorrow holds him tightly grasped in gripe of anguish, in baleful bonds, where bide he must, evil outlaw, such awful doom as the Mighty Maker shall mete him out.” Mreo nda rmeo enm dero retih oerssh to eht aetrg lhal to ese htaw wflBeuo dah dneo. hTe igkn adn shi nuqee felt hreit triveap eaurtqsr nda acme niot teh llha. eerhT, tgroaHrh leookd up at denGrle’s rma nudotme on teh alwl, adn aveg a ecpehs. “rsiFt, let us hnakt gthyAlmi oGd fro tshi sight. I heav ognl fresfedu at eth hsdna of drGeeln, ubt doG hsa edeedlirv us mfro htat msrnteo’s agrps. I ghthtou I wloud erenv be rid of atth foul ebtas nda teh sowsrro he esaduc. isTh ogusrlio llah asw felild itwh oodlb ntigh ertaf tgnhi. tBu now noe mna, wiht doG’s ephl, sah edno wtha all of us oergetht loucd tno do. If ish mheotr is llsti veila, she cna aknth Gdo ofr eth rgtea tgfi he egav ehr. woN, lfewouB, I illw olev yuo as my wno osn. eakT thsi bndo sioyslreu. You illw vhae ehytrengiv htat tehawl anc ievpdor. In hte atps I hvae envgi oronh nda rihcse to enm ohw have ehecvida mcuh sels anht yuo ehav. tuB yrou ohnor will lvie eervorf. May Gdo etctrpo nda slseb uyo.” fulBeow epiedrl, “We ohufgt ihst ttelab inllygilw dan wree seelsdb iwht ycitovr. I ishw that ish owelh oybd was tllsi reeh so ouy loucd see the eifnd eherw he lefl. tTha was my alnp, but he obker efer and dedi in his end. God lewidl it sith way. But the tabes etlf nhdeib his rma and nocatn evli lnog. He tmsu efsfur the hsinpenumt God sah endapln for ihm.”
More silent seemed the son of Ecglaf in boastful speech of his battle-deeds, since athelings all, through the earl’s great prowess, beheld that hand, on the high roof gazing, foeman’s fingers,—the forepart of each of the sturdy nails to steel was likest,— heathen’s “hand-spear,” hostile warrior’s claw uncanny. ’Twas clear, they said, that him no blade of the brave could touch, how keen soever, or cut away that battle-hand bloody from baneful foe. nrfhUet, how hda been so batluofs eth dya erobfe, onw sta lstiylne. vroneyeE loduc see the foopr of Buofewl’s wrope gngihan on the llaw. rnleeGd’s clwa swa as drha as eltes, dna it saw ubisoov ttah no roswd uldco evah evsedre shi mra rmfo sih ydbo.