Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, 1999

Written between 700-1000AD, this Anglo Saxon poem contains some of our famous pop cultural figures—Grendel (eponymous source of a favorite Harvard Square eatery) and a dragon who sounds amazingly like the Smaug of the current Hobbit movie. Beautiful and vivid poetry summarizing how the gods toy with man’s fate despite man’s courage in battle and wisdom in governing.