He came in the dark night
stalking, the shadow-goer. The warriors slept,
they who the gabled hall must guard,
all save one. It was known by men
that they may not be, when the Lord wished not,
by the demonic ravager dragged into shadows;
but he was watching, wrathful and angry,
bided he enraged, awaiting the outcome of the fighting.

XI

Then he came from the moor under the misty slopes
Grendel advanced, bearing God’s wrath;
he intended, wicked ravager, one of man’s kin
to ensnare in that lofty hall.
Advanced he under cloud to where the banquet hall,
golden hall of men, he saw most clearly
gleaming with gold plating. Nor was that the first time
that he to Hrothgar’s home had come;
never in the days of his life before nor since
did he find such hard fate, the hearty hallthanes.
When he came to the hall, the creature found his way,
deprived of dreams. The door immediately sprang open
which was made fast by firm forged bar, when he with his hand had touched it
pulled open intending destruction. Then he was enraged
at the hall mouth. Quickly after that
on the decorated floor the fiend stepped,
he went angry at heart. From his eyes it gleamed
most like flame, an ugly light.
Saw he in the hall many warriors,
a band of kinsmen sleeping there together,
troop of young warriors. In that his mood exulted;
intended that he would sever before dawn came,
terrible, fierce assailant, each one’s
life with body, when to him was brought about
the expectation of a lavish feast. Nor was it fate anymore
that he would more be permitted man’s kind
to take after that night.

This, too, is translated fairly literally, but I wonder what I might be able to do with this passage, especially, if I took any liberties. We get to memorize and perform the OE of this for one of our final projects. It’s one of the most fun in the original, so I can hardly wait!

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