At dawning of day when darkness lifted
Grendel's ravage rose with the sun.
The waking Danes wailed to the heavens
a great mourning-song. Their mighty ruler
lord of a death-hall leaned on his grief
stooped in shadows stunned with thane-sorrow
bent to the tracks of his baneful houseguest
no signs of mercy. His mind was too dark
nightfall in his heart. There was no need to wait
when the sun swung low for he slaughtered again
murdered and feasted fled through dawnmist
damned to darkness doomed with a curse.
Rebsamen has no problems using modern English to imitate the Old in creating new compounds like death-hall, bloodgrief, heartstrong, slaughter-maid, and hell-mother.
I'll post later about the poetic form common to all the old Germanic languages, but for now, here are the roughly corresponding lines of the original for comparison (audio link below):
Ðá wæs on úhtan mid aérdæge
Grendles gúðcræft gumum undyrne·
þá wæs æfter wiste wóp up áhafen
micel morgenswég. Maére þéoden
æþeling aérgod unblíðe sæt·
þolode ðrýðswýð þegnsorge dréah
syðþan híe þæs láðan lást scéawedon,
wergan gástes· wæs þæt gewin tó strang
láð ond longsum. Næs hit lengra fyrst
ac ymb áne niht eft gefremede
morðbeala máre ond nó mearn fore,
faéhðe ond fyrene· wæs tó fæst on þám.