Hrothgar Asks For Help
rey-haired Lord Hrothgar called Beowulf to him: 'My dearest man is dead, Æschere my friend and adviser. A terrible she-ogre carried him off. People living in the countryside often say they have seen two monsters prowling, a he and a she, two horrible shapes bigger than any man moving in the mist'
'Where do these creatures live?' Beowulf asked him.
'Out on the hillsides' Hrothgar replied, 'in some wild craggy place with only wolves and the howling wind for company. There is a mere, a great dark pool with thorny trees all tangled and covered with frost. Huge caves beneath the stormy waters are the monsters' home. At night people say you can sometimes see fire on the pool. A deer hunted by hounds will rather die on the bank than dive into those dreadful waters. You are our only hope, dear Beowulf. The country is strange to you. Do you dare to seek the she-monster?'
Beowulf, son of Edgetheow, replied: 'It is better to avenge a friend than to weep over him. We all have to die in the end, but first a fighting man must try to win fame by his deeds. Then tales of his daring will be told long after he is dead. Stand up, Lord Hrothgar, and be strong, as I know you can. This she-monster is carrying on a blood-feud agaist the Danes. I promise you, wherever she may hide, she will not escape me!