Beowulf Resolves to Defeat Grendel

In webbed links that the smith had woven,
The fine-forged mesh of his gleaming mail-shirt,
Resolute in his helmet, Beowulf spoke:
“Greetings to Hrothgar. I am Hygelac’s kinsman,
one of his hall-troop. When I was younger,
I had great triumphs. Then news of Grendel,
Hard to ignore, reached me at home:
Sailors brought stories of the plight you suffer
In this legendary hall, how it lies deserted,
Empty and useless once the evening light
Hides itself under heaven’s dome.
So every elder and experienced council man
Among my people supported my resolve
To come here to you, King Hrothgar,
Because all knew of my awesome strength.

— Seamus Heaney, excerpt from Beowulf: A New Verse Translation

This poem is offered as part of our September theme: Epic Poetry

T. S. Poetry

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