Beowulf: Morris and Wyatt Chapter 20

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XX. GRENDEL’S DAM BREAKS INTO HART AND BEARS OFF AESCHERE.

So sank they to slumber;     but one paid full sorely,

For his rest of the even,     as to them fell full often,

Sithence that the gold-hall,     Grendel had guarded,

And won deed of unright,     until that the end came,

And death after sinning:     but clear was it shown now,

Wide wotted of men,     that e’en yet was a wreaker,

Living after the loathly,     a long while of time,

After the battle-care,     Grendel’s own mother;

The woman, the monster-wife,     minded her woe,

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She who needs must in horror,     of waters be wonning,

The streams all a-cold,     sithence Cain was become,

For an edge-bane forsooth,     to his very own brother,

The own son of his father.     Forth bann’d then he fared,

All marked by murder,     from man’s joy to flee,

And dwelt in the waste-land.     Thence woke there a many,

Ghosts shapen of old time,     of whom one was Grendel,

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The fierce wolf, the hateful,     who found him at Hart,

A man there a-watching,     abiding the war-tide;

Where to him the fell ogre,     to hand-grips befell;

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Howe’er he him minded,     of the strength of his might,

The great gift set fast,     in him given of God,

And trowed in grace,     by the All-wielder given,

His fostering, his staying;     so the fiend he o’ercame,

And bow’d down the Hell’s ghost,     that all humble he wended,

Fordone of all mirth,     death’s house to go look on,

That fiend of all mankind.     But yet was his mother,

The greedy, the glum-moody,     fain to be going,

A sorrowful journey,     her son’s death to wreak.

So came she to Hart,     whereas now the Ring-Danes,

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Were sleeping adown the hall;     soon there befell,

Change of days to the earl-folk,     when in she came thrusting,

Grendel’s mother: and soothly,     was minish’d the terror,

By even so much,     as the craft-work of maidens,

The war-terror of wife,     is beside the man weapon’d,

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When the sword all hard bounden,     by hammers to-beaten,

The sword all sweat-stain’d,     through the swine o’er the war-helm,

With edges full doughty,     down rightly sheareth.

But therewith in the hall,     was tugg’d out the hard edge,

The sword o’er the settles,     and wide shields a many,

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Heaved fast in the hand:     no one the helm heeded,

Nor the byrny wide-wrought,     when the wild fear fell on them.

In haste was she then,     and out would she thenceforth,

For the saving her life,     whenas she should be found there.

But one of the athelings    &emsp she speedily handled,

And caught up full fast,     and fenward so fared.

But he was unto Hrothgar    &emsp the liefest of heroes,

Of the sort of the fellows;     betwixt the two sea-floods,

A mighty shield-warrior,     whom she at rest brake up,

A war-wight well famed.     There Beowulf was not;

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Another house soothly    &emsp had erewhile been dighted,

After gift of that treasure    &emsp to that great one of Geats.

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Uprose cry then in Hart,     all ‘mid gore had she taken,

The hand, the well-known,     and now care wrought anew,

In the wicks was arisen.     Naught well was the bargain,

That on both halves they needs must    &emsp be buying that tide,

With the life-days of friends.     Then the lord king, the wise,

The hoary of war-folk,     was harmed of mood,

When his elder of thanes    &emsp and he now unliving,

The dearest of all,     he knew to be dead.

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To the bower full swiftly    &emsp was Beowulf brought now,

The man victory-dower’d;     together with day-dawn,

Went he, one of the earls,     that champion beworthy’d,

Himself with his fellows,     where the wise was abiding,

To wot if the All-wielder    &emsp ever will to him,

After the tale of woe    &emsp happy change work.

Then went down the floor    &emsp he the war-worthy,

With the host of his hand,     while high dinn’d the hall-wood,

Till he there the wise one    &emsp with words had well greeted,

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The lord of the Ingwines,     and ask’d had the night been.

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Since sore he was summon’d,     a night of sweet easement.

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