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The Literature Collection

Ringler, Dick / Beowulf: A New Translation for Oral Delivery (May 2005)

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XIX

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+3e1 The warriors dozed.
3e1 One of them paid
2e1a dearly for that,
+1a*1a(i) a daily occurrence
+1a*1a(i) when Grendel frequented
3b1a the gold-decked hall,
3e*1 reveling in wrong
2b2c until he reaped his reward
2b2b and was slain for his sins.
2510 2b2a But soon it was clear
+1d1 and known everywhere
3b1b that another fiend
+1a1b(i) had come to avenge him,
2b1b to requite the Danes
3b1b for his grisly death:
2a1a(i) Grendel's mother,
+2a1a(i) a monstrous female,
2b1a who mourned and raged
3f1b in her foul den
2520 3b*1b in the fenlands, the black
3e*1 bottomless abyss
2b1b that had been her home
+1d1 since Cain cruelly
1a1a(i) killed his brother,
+2a1a(i) his closest kinsman.
2b1a Accursed by God,
a1c and with that murder
3e*1 marking him, he fled
+1a1b(i) to live in the wasteland.
2530 3f1b From his loins sprang
+2a1a(ii) a monstrous progeny,
+2a1a(i) among them Grendel,
3b1a the outcast fiend
1a*1a(i) ambushed in Heorot
3b1b by a wakeful man
1a*1a(i) waiting for trouble;
3b1b when the raging foe
1a*1a(i) reached out to grab him,
2b1b he relied for help
2540 3b2b on his limitless strength
2b1b and the grip of steel
1a1a(ii) God had armed him with;
2b2a his faith in the Lord's
2e1a favor and love
3b*1a was steadfast, and thus
2b1b he destroyed the foe,
+1a1b(i) who fled in a frantic
2e1a frenzy, his life
2e1a ended, his joys
2550 1a*1a(i) over forever.
a1b But the mother
+2a1a(ii) of mankind's enemy
3b1a was living still
3b*1a and longing to strike
+3e1 a vigorous blow
2b1b to avenge her child.
+1a1a(i) She went to Heorot
+3e1 where warriors slept
+1a1a(i) throughout the building.
2560 3b*1a The instant she stormed
3b*1a inside it, the Danes
1a*1a(i) suffered a dreadful
+1a*1a(i) reversal of fortune:
+3e*1 her violence was less
+2a1a(i) than Grendel's only
++1a1a(i) in degree, as women's
2b1- might is less
+1a1a(i) than men's when battle
1a*1a(i) surges and weapons
2570 3b1a with slashing blades
2b1- wet with blood,
+1a1a(i) the work of sword-smiths,
1d1 hack swine-figures
+2a1a(ii) on helmets facing them.
2e1b Weapons were again
1a*1a(i) wielded in Heorot
3b1a by shouting men
2c1a and shields brandished,
e1b though the troop
2580 2b2b had no time to put on
1a*1a(i) helmets and mailcoats
3b1b when the horror struck.
3b*1a The moment she knew
1a1a(i) men had seen her
3b*1a she wanted to slip
+1a1a(i) away to safety.
3e*1 Snatching up a thane
3b1b with her slashing claws,
+1a1a(i) she fled in panic
2590 d1b to her fen-refuge.
+1a1a(i) The man she murdered
2b1b was the most esteemed
2c1a of all Hrothgar's
3e1 intimate friends,
d1b a magnanimous
+2a1a(i) and noble chieftain,
2e1b butchered in his bed.
3e*1 Beowulf had left
++1a1a(i) when the feast was finished;
2600 3b1a the famous Geat
3b*1c had been allotted his night's
2a1a(i) lodging elsewhere.
2e1b Going from the hall,
2a1a(i) Grendel's mother
2b2a caught sight of the hand
++1a1a(i) of her son and took it.
2c1a What grim barter
+1a*1a(i) that gold-hall had witnessed,
1a1a(i) lives of loved ones
2610 1a1b(i) lost in a deadly
1a1a(i) game of swapping!
2b1a The grey old king,
2a1a(i) royal Hrothgar,
3b*1a was ravaged by grief
2b2b when he learned of his loss,
3b1c that his beloved friend
2c1a and dear comrade
2c1a was dead, murdered.
+1d1 At once Beowulf
2620 +3e1 the warrior Geat
+1a1b(ii) was brought to his bedchamber.
3f1b In the bleak light
2c1c of that disturbed morning
2c1a he strode briskly,
+1a*1a(i) surrounded by comrades,
3b1b to where Hrothgar sat,
2e1a anxious to learn
3b1c if he would ever see
+1a1b(i) a change for the better
2630 3b1c after this chilling news,
3b1c and as the worthy prince
1d1 walked steadfastly
2e1b forward with his friends,
+2a1a(i) the floorboards thundered.
3b*1b He saluted the king
+2a1a(i) politely, asking
2c1c if he had slept soundly
3b*1b or if something was wrong,
+3e*1 considering this strange
2640 2e1a summons at dawn.

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