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 colour’d; 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-brands 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 thenceforward27
Should eat, that night over. Huge evil beheld thenGrendel devoureth a Geat
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 high-hearted,
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 foul deeds
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,28
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.