by Anonymous

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XIII - Grendel Is Vanquished

{Beowulf has no idea of letting Grendel live.}

          For no cause whatever would the earlmen's defender
          Leave in life-joys the loathsome newcomer,
          He deemed his existence utterly useless
          To men under heaven. Many a noble
        5 Of Beowulf brandished his battle-sword old,
          Would guard the life of his lord and protector,
          The far-famous chieftain, if able to do so;
          While waging the warfare, this wist they but little,
          Brave battle-thanes, while his body intending

{No weapon would harm Grendel; he bore a charmed life.}

       10 To slit into slivers, and seeking his spirit:
          That the relentless foeman nor finest of weapons
          Of all on the earth, nor any of war-bills
[29]      Was willing to injure; but weapons of victory
          Swords and suchlike he had sworn to dispense with.
       15 His death at that time must prove to be wretched,
          And the far-away spirit widely should journey
          Into enemies' power. This plainly he saw then
          Who with mirth[1] of mood malice no little
          Had wrought in the past on the race of the earthmen
       20 (To God he was hostile), that his body would fail him,
          But Higelac's hardy henchman and kinsman
          Held him by the hand; hateful to other

{Grendel is sorely wounded.}

          Was each one if living. A body-wound suffered
          The direful demon, damage incurable

{His body bursts.}

       25 Was seen on his shoulder, his sinews were shivered,
          His body did burst. To Beowulf was given
          Glory in battle; Grendel from thenceward
          Must flee and hide him in the fen-cliffs and marshes,
          Sick unto death, his dwelling must look for
       30 Unwinsome and woful; he wist the more fully

{The monster flees away to hide in the moors.}

          The end of his earthly existence was nearing,
          His life-days' limits. At last for the Danemen,
          When the slaughter was over, their wish was accomplished.
          The comer-from-far-land had cleansed then of evil,
       35 Wise and valiant, the war-hall of Hrothgar,
          Saved it from violence. He joyed in the night-work,
          In repute for prowess; the prince of the Geatmen
          For the East-Danish people his boast had accomplished,
          Bettered their burdensome bale-sorrows fully,
       40 The craft-begot evil they erstwhile had suffered
          And were forced to endure from crushing oppression,
          Their manifold misery. 'Twas a manifest token,

{Beowulf suspends Grendel's hand and arm in Heorot.}

          When the hero-in-battle the hand suspended,
          The arm and the shoulder (there was all of the claw
       45 Of Grendel together) 'neath great-stretching hall-roof.

    [1] It has been proposed to translate 'myrðe' by _with sorrow_; but
    there seems no authority for such a rendering. To the present
    translator, the phrase 'módes myrðe' seems a mere padding for
    _gladly_; i.e., _he who gladly harassed mankind.

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