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post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Grendels' Dog, from BEOCAT by the Old English epic's Unknown Author's cat (Modern English verse translation by the Editor's Cat).

Brave Beocat, brood kit of Ecgthmeow,
Hearth-pet of Hrothgar in whose high halls
He mauled without mercy many fat mice,
Night did not find napping nor snack-feasting.
The wary war-cat, whiskered paw-wielder,
Bearer of the burnished neck-belt, gold-braided collar-band,
Feller of fleas, fatal, too, to ticks,
The work of wonder-smiths, woven with witches' charms,
Sat on the throne-seat his ears like sword-points
Upraised, sharp-tipped, listening for peril-sounds,
When he heard from the moor-hill howls of the hell-hound,
Gruesome hunger-grunts of Grendel's Great Dane,
Deadly doom-mutt, dread demon-dog.
Then boasted Beocat, noble battle-kitten,
Bane of barrow-bunnies, bold seeker of nest-booty,
"If hand of man unhasped the heavy hall-door
And freed me to frolic forth to fight the fang-bearing fiend,
I would lay the whelpling low with lethal claw-blows;
Fur would fly and the foe would taste death-food.
But resounding snooze-noise, stern slumber-thunder,
Nose-music of men snoring mead-hammered in the wine-hall,
Fills me with sorrow-feeling for Fate does not see fit
To send some fingered folk to lift the firm-fastened latch
That I might go grapple with the grim ghoul-pooch."
Thus spake the mouse-shredder, hunter of hall-pests,
Short-haired Hrodent-slayer, greatest of the pussy-Geats.


A classmate gave me a copy of the above some six or seven years ago in our Middle English class. Though its on the internet, I know not where, nor whom to credit, beyond the cat. It is vastly more amusing if you have read the original Beowulf, in any modern English translation.
post #2 of 3
Thanks for the very witty poem! I read Beowulf, many years ago. I recall it had considerable impact on me at the time: I suddenly craved more knowledge of that period. I love the idea of Beocat!

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Seamus Heaney recently released a new translation of Beowulf, available at your local bookstore.
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