"Take no heed of her...She reads a lot of books."
~Jasper Fforde

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hrothgar--Where is Grendel's Mother (Beowulf)

"A few miles from here
a frost-stiffened wood waits and keeps watch
above a mere; the overhanging bank
is a maze of tree-roots mirrored on its surface.
At night there, something uncanny happens:
the water burns. And the mere bottom
has never been sounded by the sons of men.
On its bank, the heather-stepper halts:
the hart in flight from pursuing hounds
will turn and face them with firm-set horns
and die in the wood rather than dive
beneath its surface. That is no good place.
When the wind blows up and stormy weather
makes clouds scud and the skies weep,
out of its depths a dirty surge
is pitched toward the heavens. Now help depends
again on you and on you alone.
The gap of danger where the demon waits
is still unknown to you. Seek it if you dare.
I will compensate you for settling the feud
as I did the last time with lavish wealth,
coffers of coiled gold, if you come back."


  1. AHHH! i used this passage for my beowulf project in dr. wilson's class! i miss him.

  2. @sarahkasper...

    Yeah, I miss him, too! The passage I used was about the slave stealing a gold cup from the dragon:

    "He had handled and removed
    a gem-studded goblet; it gained him nothing,
    though with a thief's wiles he had outwitted
    the sleeping dragon. That drove him into rage,
    as the people of that country would soon discover."


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