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XII. COMETH INTO HART: OF THE STRIFE BETWIXT HIM AND BEOWULF.
Came then from the moor-land, all under the mist-bents,
Grendel a-going there, bearing God’s anger.
The scather the ill one, was minded of mankind,
To have one in his toils, from the high hall aloft.
‘Neath the welkin he waded, to the place whence the wine-house,
The gold-hall of men, most yarely he wist,
With gold-plates fair coloured; nor was it the first time,
That he unto Hrothgar’s high home, had betook him.
Never he in his life-days, either erst or thereafter,
Of warriors more hardy, or hall-thanes had found.
Came then to the house, the wight on his ways,
Of all joys bereft; and soon sprang the door open,
With fire-bands made fast, when with hand he had touch’d it;
Brake the bale-heedy, he with wrath bollen,
The mouth of the house there, and early thereafter,
On the shiny-fleck’d floor thereof, trod forth the fiend;
On went he then mood-wroth, and out from his eyes stood,
Likest to fire-flame, light full unfair.
In the high house beheld, he a many of warriors,
A host of men sib, all sleeping together,
Of man-warriors a heap; then laugh’d out his mood;
In mind deem’d he to sunder, or ever came day,
The monster, the fell one, from each of the men there,
The life from the body; for befell him a boding,
Of fulfilment of feeding: but weird now it was not,
That he any more, of mankind thenceforward,
Should eat, that night over. Huge evil beheld then,
The Hygelac’s kinsman, and how the foul scather,
All with his fear-grips, would fare there before him;
How never the monster, was minded to tarry,
For speedily gat he, and at the first stour,
A warrior a-sleeping, and unaware slit him,
Bit his bone-coffer, drank blood a-streaming,
Great gobbets swallow’d in; thenceforth soon had he,
Of the unliving one, every whit eaten,
To hands and feet even: then forth strode he nigher,
And took hold with his hand, upon him the highhearted.
The warrior a-resting; reach’d out to himwards,
The fiend with his hand, gat fast on him rathely,
With thought of all evil, and besat him his arm.
Then swiftly was finding, the herdsman of fouldeeds,
That forsooth he had met not, in Middle-garth ever,
In the parts of the earth, in any man else,
A hand-grip more mighty; then wax’d he of mood,
Heart-fearful, but none the more outward might he;
Hence-eager his heart was, to the darkness to hie him,
And the devil-dray seek: not there was his service,
E’en such as he found in, his life-days before.
Then to heart laid the good one, the Hygelac’s kinsman,
His speech of the even-tide; uplong he stood,
And fast with him grappled, till bursted his fingers.
The eoten was out-fain, but on strode the earl.
The mighty fiend minded was, whereso he might,
To wind him about, more widely away thence,
And flee fenwards; he found then the might of his fingers,
In the grip of the fierce one; sorry faring was that,
Which he, the harm-scather, had taken to Hart.
The warrior-hall dinn’d now; unto all Danes there waxed,
To the castle-abiders, to each of the keen ones,
To all earls, as an ale-dearth. Now angry were both,
Of the fierce mighty warriors, far rang out the hall-house;
Then mickle the wonder, it was that the wine-hall,
Withstood the two war-deer, nor welter’d to earth,
The fair earthly dwelling; but all fast was it builded,
Within and without, with the banding of iron,
By crafty thought smithy’d. But there from the sill bow’d,
Fell many a mead-bench, by hearsay of mine,
With gold well adorned, where strove they the wrothful.
Hereof never ween’d they, the wise of the Scyldings,
That ever with might, should any of men,
The excellent, bone-dight, break into pieces,
Or unlock with cunning, save the light fire’s embracing,
In smoke should it swallow. So uprose the roar,
New and enough; now fell on the North-Danes,
Ill fear and the terror, on each and on all men,
Of them who from wall-top, hearken’d the weeping,
Even God’s foeman, singing the fear-lay,
The triumphless song, and the wound-bewailing,
Of the thrall of the Hell; for there now fast held him,
He who of men of main, was the mightiest,
In that day which is told of, the day of this life.