WHEN dawn crept clear and untroubled across the woodland and touched the gold-bright hall of Heorot, there came from all quarters the subjects and servants of Hrothgar the king. In twos and threes they came at first, then in a great crowd, for the sleep of the world had been troubled the previous night, and now, half eager, half in consuming fear, the lords and peasantry of Daneland hurried to great Heorot.
At the wide doorway they rushed, and then, in amaze and wonder, they stopped: for within the hall there was a sight which for a moment made them afraid to enter, and those in front were held spellbound by what they saw, and those behind pushed eagerly forward in order to see.
For high toward the roof-tree of Heorot the brawny men of Geatsland were hoisting the mangled arm and torn shoulder of Grendel, and the people marveled at the sight of this arm, the largest and most terrible arm in all the world, the torn sinews hanging dead, the red ooze of the beast’s blood clotted and caked on the cruel curved fingers with their hooked talons of bone.
Upon the dais of the king stood Beowulf, wrapped close in his scarlet mantle, his yellow hair about his head like a golden cloud, and his sea-blue eyes flashing with the pride of a conqueror.
Then the crowding people flocked into the hall, and a shout went up from a hundred throats as the arm swung high from the roof. And men hastened away to the bower of Hrothgar, and summoned the king and his lady Wealhtheow to view this token of the stricken Grendel.
And the king and queen entered Heorot speedily, and hastened to Beowulf. They grasped his two hands in theirs, and Hrothgar spoke in a loud voice, praising him:
“Beowulf, son of strong Ecgtheow, hall! This is truly an end to Grendel. Thrice blessed are you, my son, and upon you may all the rewards of the gods be showered. You have delivered Daneland from a curse that has been the undoing of our people and of our power during twelve long years. Again and yet again, hall to you, Beowulf, great hero of Geatsland!”
Then the lady Wealhtheow the Beautiful praised him also, and hung upon his arm, and called her servants to prepare a great feast for all the people. And the feasting and drinking lasted all that day and well into the night.
From “The Story of Beowulf”