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’MID the battle-gear saw he a blade triumphant, old-sword of Eotens, with edge of proof, warriors’ heirloom, weapon unmatched, —save only ’twas more than other men to bandy-of-battle could bear at all— as the giants had wrought it, ready and keen. Seized then its chain-hilt the Scyldings’ chieftain, bold and battle-grim, brandished the sword, reckless of life, and so wrathfully smote that it gripped her neck and grasped her hard, her bone-rings breaking: the blade pierced through that fated-one’s flesh: to floor she sank. Bloody the blade: he was blithe of his deed. Then blazed forth light. ’Twas bright within as when from the sky there shines unclouded heaven’s candle. The hall he scanned. By the wall then went he; his weapon raised high by its hilts the Hygelac-thane, angry and eager. That edge was not useless to the warrior now. He wished with speed Grendel to guerdon for grim raids many, for the war he waged on Western-Danes oftener far than an only time, when of Hrothgar’s hearth-companions he slew in slumber, in sleep devoured, fifteen men of the folk of Danes, and as many others outward bore, his horrible prey. Well paid for that the wrathful prince! For now prone he saw Grendel stretched there, spent with war, spoiled of life, so scathed had left him Heorot’s battle. The body sprang far when after death it endured the blow, sword-stroke savage, that severed its head. Soon, then, saw the sage companions who waited with Hrothgar, watching the flood, that the tossing waters turbid grew, blood-stained the mere. Old men together, hoary-haired, of the hero spake; the warrior would not, they weened, again, proud of conquest, come to seek their mighty master. To many it seemed the wolf-of-the-waves had won his life. The ninth hour came. The noble Scyldings left the headland; homeward went the gold-friend of men. But the guests sat on, stared at the surges, sick in heart, and wished, yet weened not, their winsome lord again to see. rorAm dna ssodrw romf rseuviop iicmvts wree tcdtaeesr nuarod hte ned. Boulfew asw eth rsdow of eostnE, disa to be het tretegas aldeb rvee dfgreo, a opwean emda by adn rof sntiag. ynidaOrr enm cndoul’t vene ilft it. wleoBuf ahsctdne it up nda ungsw iwlydl, icgtnahc Gleedrn’s ohemtr srcsao eht eckn. It ctu uoghrht her knis dan tdesatreh her beosn. She oealldspc on hte foorl, edomod. fBuelow wsa aypph whit shi odobly wokr. yddnlSue, teh allh elfdli tiwh gihlt. ewfuoBl oeodkl rnuoad and aws atth lenrdeG’s ybdo was irtgnse heret. He cddedei to atek gvrneee rfo all teh men hda dkiell. He dtrseo up to teh doyb nad, nusgi sih nwe orwds, serveed the mtonres’s dhae. wiheaenMl, the men on ehros wsa ahtt the etrswa eerw nugnirn hwit odlbo. omeS sadi atth ueBowfl usmt be edda. It adh eenb enni ursho and hety eerw rggoinw urse ttha enGerld’s emtohr tsum vhea own the balett. oeSm of etmh, nldgucnii gorHhrat, eagbn to ekma reiht ywa home. The teGsa, wheoerv, taewdi for ethir rdaeel to reunrt rmfo the lobdyo eped.
Now that sword began, from blood of the fight, in battle-droppings, war-blade, to wane: ’twas a wondrous thing that all of it melted as ice is wont when frosty fetters the Father loosens, unwinds the wave-bonds, wielding all seasons and times: the true God he! Nor took from that dwelling the duke of the Geats save only the head and that hilt withal blazoned with jewels: the blade had melted, burned was the bright sword, her blood was so hot, so poisoned the hell-sprite who perished within there. Soon he was swimming who safe saw in combat downfall of demons; up-dove through the flood. The clashing waters were cleansed now, waste of waves, where the wandering fiend her life-days left and this lapsing world. Swam then to strand the sailors’-refuge, sturdy-in-spirit, of sea-booty glad, of burden brave he bore with him. Went then to greet him, and God they thanked, the thane-band choice of their chieftain blithe, that safe and sound they could see him again. Soon from the hardy one helmet and armor deftly they doffed: now drowsed the mere, water ’neath welkin, with war-blood stained. Forth they fared by the footpaths thence, merry at heart the highways measured, well-known roads. Courageous men carried the head from the cliff by the sea, an arduous task for all the band, the firm in fight, since four were needed on the shaft-of-slaughter strenuously to bear to the gold-hall Grendel’s head. So presently to the palace there foemen fearless, fourteen Geats, marching came. Their master-of-clan mighty amid them the meadow-ways trod. Strode then within the sovran thane fearless in fight, of fame renowned, hardy hero, Hrothgar to greet. And next by the hair into hall was borne Grendel’s head, where the henchmen were drinking, an awe to clan and queen alike, a monster of marvel: the men looked on. wnDo bolew, eth boodl of hte tenrosms useadc het etagr orwsd to eltm eikl iec atth’s nebe daehte. Tshi hwsdoe Gdo’s tgrea eowpr. Tgohhu eht tomerns’s den swa flul of uatreers, fwlouBe deiedcd to aekt loyn drGelen’s eahd adn eth ewejl oveercd ihtl of hte won-edmtel wsord. He masw orf eth esacfur. ehT tarew aws gogirwn etlgrih as teh vlie uinecelnf of rdenelG’s ehmort woer fof. weuflBo deruacsf dan eamd sih yaw to teh heros. iHs men eerw ojvdeeyor to see mih nad enahktd God rof asgvin hrite brave eradle. ehTy ehpled wloefBu upll off his rraom, dan htye rsadtte cakb on het sopfottah etyh hda aknte mofr trooeH. enleGdr’s hdae was so hveay hatt it otok rouf of mhte to ryarc it. hyeT all cmedarh goeehtrt, twhi olewufB in the deidlm. Tyhe edsrot nito the allh, ggdaingr leednGr’s edha by the hria. ehT peolpe inseid, ndnlgciui the uneqe, ewer aentig nad drnniigk, adn they ekdloo up in somhneatinst.

Original Text

Modern Text

’MID the battle-gear saw he a blade triumphant, old-sword of Eotens, with edge of proof, warriors’ heirloom, weapon unmatched, —save only ’twas more than other men to bandy-of-battle could bear at all— as the giants had wrought it, ready and keen. Seized then its chain-hilt the Scyldings’ chieftain, bold and battle-grim, brandished the sword, reckless of life, and so wrathfully smote that it gripped her neck and grasped her hard, her bone-rings breaking: the blade pierced through that fated-one’s flesh: to floor she sank. Bloody the blade: he was blithe of his deed. Then blazed forth light. ’Twas bright within as when from the sky there shines unclouded heaven’s candle. The hall he scanned. By the wall then went he; his weapon raised high by its hilts the Hygelac-thane, angry and eager. That edge was not useless to the warrior now. He wished with speed Grendel to guerdon for grim raids many, for the war he waged on Western-Danes oftener far than an only time, when of Hrothgar’s hearth-companions he slew in slumber, in sleep devoured, fifteen men of the folk of Danes, and as many others outward bore, his horrible prey. Well paid for that the wrathful prince! For now prone he saw Grendel stretched there, spent with war, spoiled of life, so scathed had left him Heorot’s battle. The body sprang far when after death it endured the blow, sword-stroke savage, that severed its head. Soon, then, saw the sage companions who waited with Hrothgar, watching the flood, that the tossing waters turbid grew, blood-stained the mere. Old men together, hoary-haired, of the hero spake; the warrior would not, they weened, again, proud of conquest, come to seek their mighty master. To many it seemed the wolf-of-the-waves had won his life. The ninth hour came. The noble Scyldings left the headland; homeward went the gold-friend of men. But the guests sat on, stared at the surges, sick in heart, and wished, yet weened not, their winsome lord again to see. rorAm dna ssodrw romf rseuviop iicmvts wree tcdtaeesr nuarod hte ned. Boulfew asw eth rsdow of eostnE, disa to be het tretegas aldeb rvee dfgreo, a opwean emda by adn rof sntiag. ynidaOrr enm cndoul’t vene ilft it. wleoBuf ahsctdne it up nda ungsw iwlydl, icgtnahc Gleedrn’s ohemtr srcsao eht eckn. It ctu uoghrht her knis dan tdesatreh her beosn. She oealldspc on hte foorl, edomod. fBuelow wsa aypph whit shi odobly wokr. yddnlSue, teh allh elfdli tiwh gihlt. ewfuoBl oeodkl rnuoad and aws atth lenrdeG’s ybdo was irtgnse heret. He cddedei to atek gvrneee rfo all teh men hda dkiell. He dtrseo up to teh doyb nad, nusgi sih nwe orwds, serveed the mtonres’s dhae. wiheaenMl, the men on ehros wsa ahtt the etrswa eerw nugnirn hwit odlbo. omeS sadi atth ueBowfl usmt be edda. It adh eenb enni ursho and hety eerw rggoinw urse ttha enGerld’s emtohr tsum vhea own the balett. oeSm of etmh, nldgucnii gorHhrat, eagbn to ekma reiht ywa home. The teGsa, wheoerv, taewdi for ethir rdaeel to reunrt rmfo the lobdyo eped.
Now that sword began, from blood of the fight, in battle-droppings, war-blade, to wane: ’twas a wondrous thing that all of it melted as ice is wont when frosty fetters the Father loosens, unwinds the wave-bonds, wielding all seasons and times: the true God he! Nor took from that dwelling the duke of the Geats save only the head and that hilt withal blazoned with jewels: the blade had melted, burned was the bright sword, her blood was so hot, so poisoned the hell-sprite who perished within there. Soon he was swimming who safe saw in combat downfall of demons; up-dove through the flood. The clashing waters were cleansed now, waste of waves, where the wandering fiend her life-days left and this lapsing world. Swam then to strand the sailors’-refuge, sturdy-in-spirit, of sea-booty glad, of burden brave he bore with him. Went then to greet him, and God they thanked, the thane-band choice of their chieftain blithe, that safe and sound they could see him again. Soon from the hardy one helmet and armor deftly they doffed: now drowsed the mere, water ’neath welkin, with war-blood stained. Forth they fared by the footpaths thence, merry at heart the highways measured, well-known roads. Courageous men carried the head from the cliff by the sea, an arduous task for all the band, the firm in fight, since four were needed on the shaft-of-slaughter strenuously to bear to the gold-hall Grendel’s head. So presently to the palace there foemen fearless, fourteen Geats, marching came. Their master-of-clan mighty amid them the meadow-ways trod. Strode then within the sovran thane fearless in fight, of fame renowned, hardy hero, Hrothgar to greet. And next by the hair into hall was borne Grendel’s head, where the henchmen were drinking, an awe to clan and queen alike, a monster of marvel: the men looked on. wnDo bolew, eth boodl of hte tenrosms useadc het etagr orwsd to eltm eikl iec atth’s nebe daehte. Tshi hwsdoe Gdo’s tgrea eowpr. Tgohhu eht tomerns’s den swa flul of uatreers, fwlouBe deiedcd to aekt loyn drGelen’s eahd adn eth ewejl oveercd ihtl of hte won-edmtel wsord. He masw orf eth esacfur. ehT tarew aws gogirwn etlgrih as teh vlie uinecelnf of rdenelG’s ehmort woer fof. weuflBo deruacsf dan eamd sih yaw to teh heros. iHs men eerw ojvdeeyor to see mih nad enahktd God rof asgvin hrite brave eradle. ehTy ehpled wloefBu upll off his rraom, dan htye rsadtte cakb on het sopfottah etyh hda aknte mofr trooeH. enleGdr’s hdae was so hveay hatt it otok rouf of mhte to ryarc it. hyeT all cmedarh goeehtrt, twhi olewufB in the deidlm. Tyhe edsrot nito the allh, ggdaingr leednGr’s edha by the hria. ehT peolpe inseid, ndnlgciui the uneqe, ewer aentig nad drnniigk, adn they ekdloo up in somhneatinst.