Kirtlan Chapter 19

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XIX

Then they sank down to sleep.

And sorely some of them paid for their evening repose,

as full often it had happened to them since Grendel came to the gold-hall and did evil,

until an end was made of him,

death after sins.

It was easily seen and widely known to men that an avenger survived the loathsome one,

for a long time after the war-sorrow.

A woman,

the mother of Grendel,

a terrible wife,

bore in mind her woes.

She who was fated to dwell in the awful lake in the cold streams since Cain became a sword-slayer to his only brother,

his father’s son.

He then went forth marked for the murder,

and fled from human joys and dwelt in the waste.

And thence he awoke many a fatal demon.

And Grendel

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was one of them,

the hateful fierce wolf,

who found the man wide awake awaiting the battle.

And there was the monster at grips with him,

yet he remembered the main strength the wide and ample gift which God gave to him,

and trusted in the favour of the Almighty for himself,

for comfort and help by which he vanquished the enemy and overcame the hell-sprite.

Then he departed abject,

bereft of joy,

to visit the death-place,

he the enemy of mankind.

But his mother,

greedy and sad in mind would be making a sorrowful journey that she might avenge the death of her son.

She came then to Hart,

where the Ring-Danes were asleep in that great hall.

Then soon there came misfortune to the earls when the mother of Grendel entered the chamber.

Yet less was the terror,

even by so much as the craft of maidens,

the war-terror of a wife,

29 is less than that of men beweaponed—when the sword hard bound and forged by the hammer,

and stained with blood,

cuts the boar on the helmet

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of the foe with its edge.

Then in the hall,

the hard edge was drawn,

the sword over the seats,

and many a broad shield,

heaved up fast by the hand.

And no one heeded the helmet nor the broad shield when terror seized upon them.

She was in great haste,

she would go thence her life to be saving when she was discovered.

Quickly she had seized one of the Athelings fast in her grip when forth she was fleeing away to the fen-land.

He was to Hrothgar the dearest of heroes,

in the number of his comrades by the two seas,

a powerful shield-warrior,

whom she killed as he slumbered,

a youth of renown.

Beowulf was not there.

To another the place was assigned after the treasure-gift had been bestowed on the famous Geat.

Then a great tumult was made in Hart,

and with bloodshed she had seized the well-known hand of Grendel her son.

And care was renewed in all the dwellings.

Nor was that a good exchange that they on both sides should be buying with the lives of their friends.

Then was the wise King,

the hoar

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battle-warrior,

rough in his mood when he came to know that the dearest of his chief thanes was dead and bereft of life.

And Beowulf quickly was fetched into the bower,

he,

the man all victorious.

And at the dawning went one of the earls,

a noble champion,

he and his comrades,

where the proud man was waiting,

to see whether the All-wielder will ever be causing a change after woe-spells.

And the battle-worthy man went along the floor with his band of followers (the hall wood30 was resounding) so that he greeted the wise man with words,

the Lord of the Danes,

and asked him if he had had a quiet night in spite of the pressing call.

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