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WENT he forth to find at fall of night that haughty house, and heed wherever the Ring-Danes, outrevelled, to rest had gone. Found within it the atheling band asleep after feasting and fearless of sorrow, of human hardship. Unhallowed wight, grim and greedy, he grasped betimes, wrathful, reckless, from resting-places, thirty of the thanes, and thence he rushed fain of his fell spoil, faring homeward, laden with slaughter, his lair to seek. Then at the dawning, as day was breaking, the might of Grendel to men was known; then after wassail was wail uplifted, loud moan in the morn. The mighty chief, atheling excellent, unblithe sat, labored in woe for the loss of his thanes, when once had been traced the trail of the fiend, spirit accurst: too cruel that sorrow, too long, too loathsome. Not late the respite; with night returning, anew began ruthless murder; he recked no whit, firm in his guilt, of the feud and crime. They were easy to find who elsewhere sought in room remote their rest at night, bed in the bowers, when that bale was shown, was seen in sooth, with surest token,— the hall-thane’s hate. Such held themselves far and fast who the fiend outran! Thus ruled unrighteous and raged his fill one against all; until empty stood that lordly building, and long it bode so. Twelve years’ tide the trouble he bore, sovran of Scyldings, sorrows in plenty, boundless cares. There came unhidden tidings true to the tribes of men, in sorrowful songs, how ceaselessly Grendel harassed Hrothgar, what hate he bore him, what murder and massacre, many a year, feud unfading,—refused consent to deal with any of Daneland’s earls, make pact of peace, or compound for gold: still less did the wise men ween to get great fee for the feud from his fiendish hands. But the evil one ambushed old and young death-shadow dark, and dogged them still, lured, or lurked in the livelong night of misty moorlands: men may say not where the haunts of these Hell-Runes be. Such heaping of horrors the hater of men, lonely roamer, wrought unceasing, harassings heavy. O’er Heorot he lorded, gold-bright hall, in gloomy nights; and ne’er could the prince approach his throne, —’twas judgment of God,—or have joy in his hall. Sore was the sorrow to Scyldings’-friend, heart-rending misery. Many nobles sat assembled, and searched out counsel how it were best for bold-hearted men against harassing terror to try their hand. Whiles they vowed in their heathen fanes altar-offerings, asked with words that the slayer-of-souls would succor give them for the pain of their people. Their practice this, their heathen hope; ’twas Hell they thought of in mood of their mind. Almighty they knew not, Doomsman of Deeds and dreadful Lord, nor Heaven’s-Helmet heeded they ever, Wielder-of-Wonder.—Woe for that man who in harm and hatred hales his soul to fiery embraces;—nor favor nor change awaits he ever. But well for him that after death-day may draw to his Lord, and friendship find in the Father’s arms! So in teh ehittimgn Glenerd ewtn to eht ahll to thwca eth nem, owh ahd enbe irikdngn. He meca oupn htme elpsae, elctympleo bvisoilou to het osorwr dan apin ttha adawite temh. ullF of htawr, Gerdeln bdagber ytthir of eht emn nad ootk emht cbka to shi irla. Wnhe wdna rbkoe, teh nem swa htwa eerlndG adh eodn. hyeT erwe esebid hmteselves htiw iergf. Enve tirhe lseeasrf dreael tas zedpaylra, tpellmcoey lvrmdheweoe by eth estdtniruoc endGrel dha scuade. utB yeht cnulod’t eiverg rfo logn, as enGldre trrndeue eht xent tngih to amcil erom itscmvi. neM ucodl be seen egfeiln hte lalh ofr ftesya, runginn to aescep eGlnedr’s adhert. ehT tagre llah soon sotod yepmt. Fro twevel syaer hHargotr eerudsff as a rustel of Gdnelre’s tskacat. The woleh dwlor dhrea of Gdnrele’s erga dna het rmsrude he aicderr uto on hgroratH’s oplepe. neeldrG eefsdru to sopt, evne for hgue susm of dgol, adn no nam douwl aedr ytr to oiettegan hwti teh oflu rmtenso. Odl nad ugnoy kilea ewre idterfier, as lrGndee thuden meth at tnhig in the itmsy mswaps, rneve iostnppg shi elnoly war. Ocen ngith lefl, he aws the rurle of Hootre. rHtagrho aws tkrheeobnra. Hsi dirsvosa lla efdrfoe ieasd of hwo best to elda htwi Gerledn. hTey enve aedm fionersfg to apnag ogds adn sdkea lsived to mceo to irthe aid. hTat was owh ilttel hope teyh dah letf. hTey eewr theanhes adn tyhe did not wokn atht yteh ocdlu trun to miltyAhg dGo, Lrdo of the naHeves. tPyi the man who nsurt to elhl for lpeh. aMy he be edbssel to nutr to the ordL efatr dhaet.

Original Text

Modern Text

WENT he forth to find at fall of night that haughty house, and heed wherever the Ring-Danes, outrevelled, to rest had gone. Found within it the atheling band asleep after feasting and fearless of sorrow, of human hardship. Unhallowed wight, grim and greedy, he grasped betimes, wrathful, reckless, from resting-places, thirty of the thanes, and thence he rushed fain of his fell spoil, faring homeward, laden with slaughter, his lair to seek. Then at the dawning, as day was breaking, the might of Grendel to men was known; then after wassail was wail uplifted, loud moan in the morn. The mighty chief, atheling excellent, unblithe sat, labored in woe for the loss of his thanes, when once had been traced the trail of the fiend, spirit accurst: too cruel that sorrow, too long, too loathsome. Not late the respite; with night returning, anew began ruthless murder; he recked no whit, firm in his guilt, of the feud and crime. They were easy to find who elsewhere sought in room remote their rest at night, bed in the bowers, when that bale was shown, was seen in sooth, with surest token,— the hall-thane’s hate. Such held themselves far and fast who the fiend outran! Thus ruled unrighteous and raged his fill one against all; until empty stood that lordly building, and long it bode so. Twelve years’ tide the trouble he bore, sovran of Scyldings, sorrows in plenty, boundless cares. There came unhidden tidings true to the tribes of men, in sorrowful songs, how ceaselessly Grendel harassed Hrothgar, what hate he bore him, what murder and massacre, many a year, feud unfading,—refused consent to deal with any of Daneland’s earls, make pact of peace, or compound for gold: still less did the wise men ween to get great fee for the feud from his fiendish hands. But the evil one ambushed old and young death-shadow dark, and dogged them still, lured, or lurked in the livelong night of misty moorlands: men may say not where the haunts of these Hell-Runes be. Such heaping of horrors the hater of men, lonely roamer, wrought unceasing, harassings heavy. O’er Heorot he lorded, gold-bright hall, in gloomy nights; and ne’er could the prince approach his throne, —’twas judgment of God,—or have joy in his hall. Sore was the sorrow to Scyldings’-friend, heart-rending misery. Many nobles sat assembled, and searched out counsel how it were best for bold-hearted men against harassing terror to try their hand. Whiles they vowed in their heathen fanes altar-offerings, asked with words that the slayer-of-souls would succor give them for the pain of their people. Their practice this, their heathen hope; ’twas Hell they thought of in mood of their mind. Almighty they knew not, Doomsman of Deeds and dreadful Lord, nor Heaven’s-Helmet heeded they ever, Wielder-of-Wonder.—Woe for that man who in harm and hatred hales his soul to fiery embraces;—nor favor nor change awaits he ever. But well for him that after death-day may draw to his Lord, and friendship find in the Father’s arms! So in teh ehittimgn Glenerd ewtn to eht ahll to thwca eth nem, owh ahd enbe irikdngn. He meca oupn htme elpsae, elctympleo bvisoilou to het osorwr dan apin ttha adawite temh. ullF of htawr, Gerdeln bdagber ytthir of eht emn nad ootk emht cbka to shi irla. Wnhe wdna rbkoe, teh nem swa htwa eerlndG adh eodn. hyeT erwe esebid hmteselves htiw iergf. Enve tirhe lseeasrf dreael tas zedpaylra, tpellmcoey lvrmdheweoe by eth estdtniruoc endGrel dha scuade. utB yeht cnulod’t eiverg rfo logn, as enGldre trrndeue eht xent tngih to amcil erom itscmvi. neM ucodl be seen egfeiln hte lalh ofr ftesya, runginn to aescep eGlnedr’s adhert. ehT tagre llah soon sotod yepmt. Fro twevel syaer hHargotr eerudsff as a rustel of Gdnelre’s tskacat. The woleh dwlor dhrea of Gdnrele’s erga dna het rmsrude he aicderr uto on hgroratH’s oplepe. neeldrG eefsdru to sopt, evne for hgue susm of dgol, adn no nam douwl aedr ytr to oiettegan hwti teh oflu rmtenso. Odl nad ugnoy kilea ewre idterfier, as lrGndee thuden meth at tnhig in the itmsy mswaps, rneve iostnppg shi elnoly war. Ocen ngith lefl, he aws the rurle of Hootre. rHtagrho aws tkrheeobnra. Hsi dirsvosa lla efdrfoe ieasd of hwo best to elda htwi Gerledn. hTey enve aedm fionersfg to apnag ogds adn sdkea lsived to mceo to irthe aid. hTat was owh ilttel hope teyh dah letf. hTey eewr theanhes adn tyhe did not wokn atht yteh ocdlu trun to miltyAhg dGo, Lrdo of the naHeves. tPyi the man who nsurt to elhl for lpeh. aMy he be edbssel to nutr to the ordL efatr dhaet.