Beowulf-Grendel’s attack in Old English by University of Costa Rica students


Read by Johana Delgado, Adriana Benavides, Isela Diaz, students from the course LM-1472 Rhetoric III-Writing About Literature as a mini-project for the final exam. This is their first time reading an Old English text. Image: Gerard Butler as Beowulf at Irazu Volcano (My arrangement)

Literal translation by Rómulo Vega-González

As the wanderer-in-shadow was moving toward the hall, the warriors slept except one: Beowulf awaited the upcoming battle.

702 Com on wanre niht
Came on dark night
703 scriðan sceadu-genga. Sceotend swæfon,
Sliding the shadow walker. Archers slept
704 þa þæt horn-reced healdan scoldon,
Who the gabled-hall should hold (keep)
705 ealle buton anum.
All but one.

From out of the moor, Grendel appeared and headed to Hrothgar’s hall. He ripped open the mouth of the hall and entered to see the sleeping warriors.

710 Ða com of more under misthleoþum
Then came from the moor under misty-hills
711 Grendel gongan, godes yrre bær;
Grendel walking he bore God’s wrath
712 mynte se manscaða manna cynnes
Intended the wicked some of mankind
713 sumne besyrwan in sele þam hean.
To trap in the high hall
714 Wod under wolcnum to þæs þe he win-reced,
Advanced under the clouds he to the wine-hall
715 gold-sele gumena,
Gold-hall of men


Se acerca acechando por la oscura noche
el caminante de las sombras. Los arqueros duermen
Quien debe cuidar el salón techado
Es solo uno.

Entonces desde el páramo tras las colinas nubladas
Llega Grendel y en su paso lleva la ira de Dios
Con la intención malvada de atrapar a algún sujeto
En la gran sala
Avanzó cobijado por las nubes hacia el salón del vino
Salón dorado de los hombres (traducción Rómulo Vega-González)

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