52 Weeks ~ Monster (24/52)

RSiegel_Week24 - Gargoyle

Ðá cóm of móre under misthleoþum
Grendel gongan· godes yrre bær·
mynte se mánscaða manna cynnes
sumne besyrwan in sele þám héan·
wód under wolcnum tó þæs þe hé wínreced
goldsele gumena gearwost wisse
faéttum fáhne· ne wæs þæt forma síð
þæt hé Hróþgáres hám gesóhte·
naéfre hé on aldordagum aér ne siþðan
heardran haéle healðegnas fand.
Cóm þá to recede rinc síðian
dréamum bedaéled· duru sóna onarn
fýrbendum fæst syþðan hé hire folmum æthrán
onbraéd þá bealohýdig ðá hé gebolgen wæs,
recedes múþan· raþe æfter þon
on fágne flór féond treddode·
éode yrremód· him of éagum stód
ligge gelícost léoht unfaéger·
geseah hé in recede rinca manige
swefan sibbegedriht samod ætgædere
magorinca héap. Þá his mód áhlóg:
mynte þæt hé gedaélde aér þon dæg cwóme
atol áglaéca ánra gehwylces
líf wið líce þá him álumpen wæs
wistfylle wén. Ne wæs þæt wyrd þá gén
þæt hé má móste manna cynnes
ðicgean ofer þá niht·

-Beowulf, lines 710-736

In off the moors, down through the mist bands
God-cursed Grendel came greedily loping.
The bane of the race of men roamed forth,
hunting for a prey in the high hall.
Under the cloud-murk he moved towards it
until it shown above him, a sheer keep
of fortified gold. Nor was that the first time
he had scouted the grounds of Hrothgar’s dwelling–
although never in his life, before or since,
did he find harder fortune or hall-defenders.
Spurned and joyless, he journeyed on ahead
and arrived at the brawn. The iron-braced door
turned on it hinge when his hands touched it.
Then his rage boiled over, he ripped open
the mouth of the building, maddening for blood,
pacing the length of the patterned floor
with his loathsome tread, while a baleful light,
flame more than light, flared from his eyes.
He saw many men in the mansion, sleeping,
a ranked company of kinsmen and warriors
quartered together. And his glee was demonic,
picturing the mayhem: before morning
he would rip life from limb and devour them,
feed on their flesh; but his fate that night
was due to change, his days of ravening
had come to an end.

–Beowulf, lines 710-736, translated by Seamus Heaney (2000)

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