the serpent in the sword
The first is Hrunting, loaned to Beowulf by Unfero and said to be damascened and ring-patterned on its edge. The giant-sword taken by Beowulf from the monsters' lair beneath the lake is likewise "ring-marked" and inscribed with a wavy pattern as is Beowulf's un-named sword. Although the blade of the giant-sword melts "just like ice", Beowulf returns to Heorot and presents the hilt to Hrothgar:
Hrothgar spoke--he studied the hilt of the old heirloom, where was written the origin of ancient strife [...]. Also, on the sword-guard of bright gold was rightly marked in rune-letters, set down and said for whom that sword, best of irons, had first been made, with scrollery and serpentine patterns.