Did you know you can highlight text to take a note? x

Continue reading with a SparkNotes PLUS trial

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.” eorM dan roem mne edro rteih sohesr to hte graet llah to ees hatw elfwoBu ahd endo. hTe igkn adn ish neeuq ltef irteh rtapive rsuqtare nad aemc into eht llha. rTeeh, hrHogtra okoedl up at edenlrG’s mar tenmudo on eht lalw, adn evga a chesep. “Fsirt, tel us nkhta hAtylimg oGd rfo tsih tgshi. I aveh olgn fsrefued at eth nsahd of rGelnde, ubt dGo hsa eeeilrvdd us mfro tath osmrten’s arspg. I othhtgu I uwdlo evern be rdi of htat ulof abtse nda het srorows he ucsade. isTh lrogsiou hall swa eldlfi hitw blodo hitgn rtafe hnitg. utB onw eno nam, wtih Gdo’s hepl, sah deon what all of us etghtore uldco otn do. If ihs trohme is sltli evail, seh nac nathk dGo ofr eht egrta gtfi he veag erh. Now, fweolBu, I llwi evol ouy as my wno nos. akeT htis donb essoyirlu. uoY wlli aveh hitnregyev hatt alwhte can ovrpied. In teh taps I ehav ievng noorh adn rcshie to men hwo heva vecaheid uhcm elss tanh oyu haev. tuB rouy rohno lwli elvi ovrfeer. yaM dGo trotcpe nda lsbse uoy.” oefulwB ldepire, “We gofuht sith altetb lligwylni dna ewre bsledes whit ticrovy. I hwsi ahtt ihs eolhw ybod swa illts here so uyo loduc see teh fdeni ewrhe he ellf. tTah was my paln, btu he okber rfee and eidd in sih ned. dGo llwdei it hsit awy. utB the tesab ftle hdineb hsi rma and ocnnat vile olng. He tusm sreffu the neputihnsm God has nlepand for him.”
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. rUnheft, ohw had eben so ubatfslo hte yda beofer, onw sat lylseint. Eoeevnyr odlcu ees teh pofro of felowBu’s erowp ginhgan on the lalw. Gdnelre’s cwal swa as ahdr as setle, and it wsa uboisvo hatt no wsodr codlu evha sevdeer shi mar rmof ish dbyo.