Then from the moorland, by misty crags, with God’s wrath laden, Grendel came. Straightway he seized a sleeping warrior for the first, and tore him fiercely asunder, the bone-frame bit, drank blood in streams, swallowed him piecemeal: swiftly thus the lifeless corpse was clear devoured, e’en feet and hands. Now many an earl of Beowulf brandished blade ancestral, fain the life of their lord to shield, their praised prince, if power were theirs; never they knew – as they neared the foe, hardy-hearted heroes of war, aiming their swords on every side the accursed to kill – no keenest blade, no fairest of falchions fashioned on earth, could harm or hurt that hideous fiend! He was safe, by his spells, from sword of battle, from edge of iron.
–– Beowulf, XI-XII (Translated by Francis B. Gummere, excerpt edited and abridged by Bard)
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