6th and Final Part of the Final Translation, More or Less Done

There Beowulf’s men awoke many old survivors,
wishing to defend the life of the lord-king,
the famous chief, where they so could.

They knew not, those tough-minded warriors,
that when they came to struggle and when,
on every side, they thought to cut that sin-scather,
and tried to reach his very soul, that not anything made
from choicest iron on this earth, those war-blades,
not a one would touch him, but so he had forsworn
all victory-weapons, each and every edge.

On that day of this life, his parting from life
was to become unhandy, and the foreign guest
was to journey deep into the hands of fiends.

Then he, who before did much disturbance
to men’s hearts, and many crimes—
in a feud with God he was—
found that his body-covering would not avail him,
but the hearty kinsman of Higelac him had by the hand.

Each was hateful to the other alive.
A body-sore that terrible, awesome one suffered,
for in his shoulder broke an angry wound.
Sinews sprang asunder, and his bone-locker burst.

To Beowulf was granted a battle-balm.
Grendel had to flee then, life-sick,
under into the fen-slope, to go
to that joyless home. He surely knew
he’d reached his life’s end, his days numbered.

Gladness befell all Danes after that slaughter-storm.
Cleansed, the far-comer, prudent and tough-minded,
he protected the hall of Hrothgar from rancor.
He rejoiced over his night-work, over the fame for his courage.

For the East Danes, the tribesman of the Geatish people
had lasted his boast, and likewise soothed all distress,
the anguished sorrow which they’d suffered before,
and for dire necessity had to swallow, an unsmall grief.

Where the battle-brave one had laid hand,
there was a clear-cut keepsake,
an arm and shoulder that was altogether
Grendel’s grip, under the vaulted roof.

Then in the morning, I have heard,
around the gift-hall were many a warrior,
folk-captains who’d traveled from far and near
and over wide-stretched ways to see
the wonder: the tracks of the loathéd one.

None of those gladiators thought sorely on his life-parting,
those who looked upon the gloryless track,
how he weary-hearted went away,
overcome with enmity, into the kelpie-mere,
fated and put to flight the life-track he bore.

There was a sea-surge of blood.
Terrible waves awhirl, all mingled,
and hot gore and battle-fluid welled.
It concealed the death-fated one when he,
devoid of delight, laid down his life in the fen-haven,
laid down his heathen soul, where hell received him.


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