I am trying to pull together the threads of notes into something coherent for my thesis. When I manage it, I shall post about it here. It’s fascinating stuff, involving war-leaders and petty kings and seventh-century nobility, but I’m trying to wrap my head around some half a dozen things. Bear with me.

Meantime, I found this poem over at Gemæcca:

Grendel’s Dog, from Beocat

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 upon 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 spoke the mouse-shredder,       hunter of hall-pests,
Short-haired Hrodent-slayer,      greatest of  the pussy-Geats.

From Poetry for Cats, by Henry Beard (Villard, 1994).