Het þa hyssa hwæne hors forlætan,
feor afysan, and forð gangan,
hicgan to handum and to hige godum.
þa þæt Offan mæg ærest onfunde,
þæt se eorl nolde yrhðo geþolian,
he let him þa of handon leofne fleogan
hafoc wið þæs holtes, and to þære hilde stop;
be þam man mihte oncnawan þæt se cniht nolde
wacian æt þam wige, þa he to wæpnum feng.
Eac him wolde Eadric his ealdre gelæstan,
frean to gefeohte, ongan þa forð beran
gar to guþe. He hæfde god geþanc
þa hwile þe he mid handum healdan mihte
bord and bradswurd; beot he gelæste
þa he ætforan his frean feohtan sceolde.
ða þær Byrhtnoð ongan beornas trymian,
rad and rædde, rincum tæhte
hu hi sceoldon standan and þone stede healdan,
and bæd þæt hyra randas rihte heoldon
fæste mid folman, and ne forhtedon na.
þa he hæfde þæt folc fægere getrymmed,
he lihte þa mid leodon þær him leofost wæs,
þær he his heorðwerod holdost wiste.
þa stod on stæðe, stiðlice clypode
wicinga ar, wordum mælde,
se on beot abead brimliþendra
ærænde to þam eorle, þær he on ofre stod:
Me sendon to þe sæmen snelle,
heton ðe secgan þæt þu most sendan raðe
beagas wið gebeorge; and eow betere is
þæt ge þisne garræs mid gafole forgyldon,
þon we swa hearde hilde dælon.
Ne þurfe we us spillan, gif ge spedaþ to þam;
we willað wið þam golde grið fæstnian.
Gyf þu þat gerædest, þe her ricost eart,
þæt þu þine leoda lysan wille,
syllan sæmannum on hyra sylfra dom
feoh wið freode, and niman frið æt us,
we willaþ mid þam sceattum us to scype gangan,
on flot feran, and eow friþes healdan.
Byrhtnoð maþelode, bord hafenode,
wand wacne æsc, wordum mælde,
yrre and anræd ageaf him andsware:
Gehyrst þu, sælida, hwæt þis folc segeð?
Hi willað eow to gafole garas syllan,
ættrynne ord and ealde swurd,
þa heregeatu þe eow æt hilde ne deah.
Brimmanna boda, abeod eft ongean,
sege þinum leodum miccle laþre spell,
þæt her stynt unforcuð eorl mid his werode,
þe wile gealgean eþel þysne,
Æþelredes eard, ealdres mines,
folc and foldan. Feallan sceolon
hæþene æt hilde. To heanlic me þinceð
þæt ge mid urum sceattum to scype gangon
unbefohtene, nu ge þus feor hider
on urne eard in becomon.
Ne sceole ge swa softe sinc gegangan;
us sceal ord and ecg ær geseman,
grim guðplega, ær we gofol syllon.
Het þa bord beran, beornas gangan,
þæt hi on þam easteðe ealle stodon.
Ne mihte þær for wætere werod to þam oðrum;
þær com flowende flod æfter ebban,
lucon lagustreamas. To lang hit him þuhte,
hwænne hi togædere garas beron.
Hi þær Pantan stream mid prasse bestodon,
Eastseaxena ord and se æschere.
Ne mihte hyra ænig oþrum derian,
buton hwa þurh flanes flyht fyl gename.
Se flod ut gewat; þa flotan stodon gearowe,
wicinga fela, wiges georne.
Het þa hæleða hleo healdan þa bricge
wigan wigheardne, se wæs haten Wulfstan,
cafne mid his cynne, þæt wæs Ceolan sunu,
þe ðone forman man mid his francan ofsceat
þe þær baldlicost on þa bricge stop.
þær stodon mid Wulfstane wigan unforhte,
Ælfere and Maccus, modige twegen,
þa noldon æt þam forda fleam gewyrcan,
ac hi fæstlice wið ða fynd weredon,
þa hwile þe hi wæpna wealdan moston.
þa hi þæt ongeaton and georne gesawon
þæt hi þær bricgweardas bitere fundon,
ongunnon lytegian þa laðe gystas,
bædon þæt hi upgang agan moston,
ofer þone ford faran, feþan lædan.
ða se eorl ongan for his ofermode
alyfan landes to fela laþere ðeode.
Ongan ceallian þa ofer cald wæter
Byrhtelmes bearn (beornas gehlyston):
Nu eow is gerymed, gað ricene to us,
guman to guþe; god ana wat
hwa þære wælstowe wealdan mote.
Wodon þa wælwulfas (for wætere ne murnon),
wicinga werod, west ofer Pantan,
ofer scir wæter scyldas wegon,
lidmen to lande linde bæron.
þær ongean gramum gearowe stodon
Byrhtnoð mid beornum; he mid bordum het
wyrcan þone wihagan, and þæt werod healdan
fæste wið feondum. þa wæs feohte neh,
tir æt getohte. Wæs seo tid cumen
þæt þær fæge men feallan sceoldon.
þær wearð hream ahafen, hremmas wundon,
earn æses georn; wæs on eorþan cyrm.
Hi leton þa of folman feolhearde speru,
gegrundene garas fleogan;
bogan wæron bysige, bord ord onfeng.
Biter wæs se beaduræs, beornas feollon
on gehwæðere hand, hyssas lagon.
Wund wearð Wulfmær, wælræste geceas,
Byrhtnoðes mæg; he mid billum wearð,
his swuster sunu, swiðe forheawen.
þær wearð wicingum wiþerlean agyfen.
Gehyrde ic þæt Eadweard anne sloge
swiðe mid his swurde, swenges ne wyrnde,
þæt him æt fotum feoll fæge cempa;
þæs him his ðeoden þanc gesæde,
þam burþene, þa he byre hæfde.
Swa stemnetton stiðhicgende
hysas æt hilde, hogodon georne
hwa þær mid orde ærost mihte
on fægean men feorh gewinnan,
wigan mid wæpnum; wæl feol on eorðan.
Stodon stædefæste; stihte hi Byrhtnoð,
bæd þæt hyssa gehwylc hogode to wige
þe on Denon wolde dom gefeohtan.
Wod þa wiges heard, wæpen up ahof,
bord to gebeorge, and wið þæs beornes stop.
Eode swa anræd eorl to þam ceorle,
ægþer hyra oðrum yfeles hogode.
Sende ða se særinc suþerne gar,
þæt gewundod wearð wigena hlaford;
he sceaf þa mid ðam scylde, þæt se sceaft tobærst,
and þæt spere sprengde, þæt hit sprang ongean.
Gegremod wearð se guðrinc; he mid gare stang
wlancne wicing, þe him þa wunde forgeaf.
Frod wæs se fyrdrinc; he let his francan wadan
þurh ðæs hysses hals, hand wisode
þæt he on þam færsceaðan feorh geræhte.
ða he oþerne ofstlice sceat,
þæt seo byrne tobærst; he wæs on breostum wund
þurh ða hringlocan, him æt heortan stod
ætterne ord. Se eorl wæs þe bliþra,
hloh þa, modi man, sæde metode þanc
ðæs dægweorces þe him drihten forgeaf.
Forlet þa drenga sum daroð of handa,
fleogan of folman, þæt se to forð gewat
þurh ðone æþelan Æþelredes þegen.
Him be healfe stod hyse unweaxen,
cniht on gecampe, se full caflice
bræd of þam beorne blodigne gar,
Wulfstanes bearn, Wulfmær se geonga,
forlet forheardne faran eft ongean;
ord in gewod, þæt se on eorþan læg
þe his þeoden ær þearle geræhte.
Eode þa gesyrwed secg to þam eorle;
he wolde þæs beornes beagas gefecgan,
reaf and hringas and gerenod swurd.
þa Byrhtnoð bræd bill of sceðe,
brad and bruneccg, and on þa byrnan sloh.
To raþe hine gelette lidmanna sum,
þa he þæs eorles earm amyrde.
Feoll þa to foldan fealohilte swurd;
ne mihte he gehealdan heardne mece,
wæpnes wealdan. þa gyt þæt word gecwæð
har hilderinc, hyssas bylde,
bæd gangan forð gode geferan;
ne mihte þa on fotum leng fæste gestandan.
He to heofenum wlat:
Geþancie þe, ðeoda waldend,
ealra þæra wynna þe ic on worulde gebad.
Nu ic ah, milde metod, mæste þearfe
þæt þu minum gaste godes geunne,
þæt min sawul to ðe siðian mote
on þin geweald, þeoden engla,
mid friþe ferian. Ic eom frymdi to þe
þæt hi helsceaðan hynan ne moton.
ða hine heowon hæðene scealcas
and begen þa beornas þe him big stodon,
Ælfnoð and Wulmær begen lagon,
ða onemn hyra frean feorh gesealdon.
Hi bugon þa fram beaduwe þe þær beon noldon.
þær wearð Oddan bearn ærest on fleame,
Godric fram guþe, and þone godan forlet
þe him mænigne oft mear gesealde;
he gehleop þone eoh þe ahte his hlaford,
on þam gerædum þe hit riht ne wæs,
and his broðru mid him begen ærndon,
Godwine and Godwig, guþe ne gymdon,
ac wendon fram þam wige and þone wudu sohton,
flugon on þæt fæsten and hyra feore burgon,
and manna ma þonne hit ænig mæð wære,
gyf hi þa geearnunga ealle gemundon
þe he him to duguþe gedon hæfde.
Swa him Offa on dæg ær asæde
on þam meþelstede, þa he gemot hæfde,
þæt þær modiglice manega spræcon
þe eft æt þearfe þolian noldon.
þa wearð afeallen þæs folces ealdor,
Æþelredes eorl; ealle gesawon
heorðgeneatas þæt hyra heorra læg.
þa ðær wendon forð wlance þegenas,
unearge men efston georne;
hi woldon þa ealle oðer twega,
lif forlætan oððe leofne gewrecan.
Swa hi bylde forð bearn Ælfrices,
wiga wintrum geong, wordum mælde,
Ælfwine þa cwæð, he on ellen spræc:
Gemunan þa mæla þe we oft æt meodo spræcon,
þonne we on bence beot ahofon,
hæleð on healle, ymbe heard gewinn;
nu mæg cunnian hwa cene sy.
Ic wylle mine æþelo eallum gecyþan,
þæt ic wæs on Myrcon miccles cynnes;
wæs min ealda fæder Ealhelm haten,
wis ealdorman, woruldgesælig.
Ne sceolon me on þære þeode þegenas ætwitan
þæt ic of ðisse fyrde feran wille,
eard gesecan, nu min ealdor ligeð
forheawen æt hilde. Me is þæt hearma mæst;
he wæs ægðer min mæg and min hlaford.
þa he forð eode, fæhðe gemunde,
þæt he mid orde anne geræhte
flotan on þam folce, þæt se on foldan læg
forwegen mid his wæpne. Ongan þa winas manian,
frynd and geferan, þæt hi forð eodon.
Offa gemælde, æscholt asceoc:
Hwæt þu, Ælfwine, hafast ealle gemanode
þegenas to þearfe, nu ure þeoden lið,
eorl on eorðan. Us is eallum þearf
þæt ure æghwylc oþerne bylde
wigan to wige, þa hwile þe he wæpen mæge
habban and healdan, heardne mece,
gar and godswurd. Us Godric hæfð,
earh Oddan bearn, ealle beswicene.
Wende þæs formoni man, þa he on meare rad,
on wlancan þam wicge, þæt wære hit ure hlaford;
forþan wearð her on felda folc totwæmed,
scyldburh tobrocen. Abreoðe his angin,
þæt he her swa manigne man aflymde!
Leofsunu gemælde and his linde ahof,
bord to gebeorge; he þam beorne oncwæð:
Ic þæt gehate, þæt ic heonon nelle
fleon fotes trym, ac wille furðor gan,
wrecan on gewinne minne winedrihten.
Ne þurfon me embe Sturmere stedefæste hælæð
wordum ætwitan, nu min wine gecranc,
þæt ic hlafordleas ham siðie,
wende fram wige, ac me sceal wæpen niman,
ord and iren. He ful yrre wod,
feaht fæstlice, fleam he forhogode.
Dunnere þa cwæð, daroð acwehte,
unorne ceorl, ofer eall clypode,
bæd þæt beorna gehwylc Byrhtnoð wrece:
Ne mæg na wandian se þe wrecan þenceð
frean on folce, ne for feore murnan.
þa hi forð eodon, feores hi ne rohton;
ongunnon þa hiredmen heardlice feohtan,
grame garberend, and god bædon
þæt hi moston gewrecan hyra winedrihten
and on hyra feondum fyl gewyrcan.
Him se gysel ongan geornlice fylstan;
he wæs on Norðhymbron heardes cynnes,
Ecglafes bearn, him wæs Æscferð nama.
He ne wandode na æt þam wigplegan,
ac he fysde forð flan genehe;
hwilon he on bord sceat, hwilon beorn tæsde,
æfre embe stunde he sealde sume wunde,
þa hwile ðe he wæpna wealdan moste.
þa gyt on orde stod Eadweard se langa,
gearo and geornful, gylpwordum spræc
þæt he nolde fleogan fotmæl landes,
ofer bæc bugan, þa his betera leg.
He bræc þone bordweall and wið þa beornas feaht,
oðþæt he his sincgyfan on þam sæmannum
wurðlice wrec, ær he on wæle lege.
Swa dyde Æþeric, æþele gefera,
fus and forðgeorn, feaht eornoste.
Sibyrhtes broðor and swiðe mænig oþer
clufon cellod bord, cene hi weredon;
bærst bordes lærig, and seo byrne sang
gryreleoða sum. þa æt guðe sloh
Offa þone sælidan, þæt he on eorðan feoll,
and ðær Gaddes mæg grund gesohte.
Raðe wearð æt hilde Offa forheawen;
he hæfde ðeah geforþod þæt he his frean gehet,
swa he beotode ær wið his beahgifan
þæt hi sceoldon begen on burh ridan,
hale to hame, oððe on here crincgan,
on wælstowe wundum sweltan;
he læg ðegenlice ðeodne gehende.
ða wearð borda gebræc. Brimmen wodon,
guðe gegremode; gar oft þurhwod
fæges feorhhus. Forð þa eode Wistan,
þurstanes sunu, wið þas secgas feaht;
he wæs on geþrange hyra þreora bana,
ær him Wigelines bearn on þam wæle læge.
þær wæs stið gemot; stodon fæste
wigan on gewinne, wigend cruncon,
wundum werige. Wæl feol on eorþan.
Oswold and Eadwold ealle hwile,
begen þa gebroþru, beornas trymedon,
hyra winemagas wordon bædon
þæt hi þær æt ðearfe þolian sceoldon,
unwaclice wæpna neotan.
Byrhtwold maþelode bord hafenode
(se wæs eald geneat), æsc acwehte;
he ful baldlice beornas lærde:
Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre,
mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað.
Her lið ure ealdor eall forheawen,
god on greote. A mæg gnornian
se ðe nu fram þis wigplegan wendan þenceð.
Ic eom frod feores; fram ic ne wille,
ac ic me be healfe minum hlaforde,
be swa leofan men, licgan þence.
Swa hi Æþelgares bearn ealle bylde,
Godric to guþe. Oft he gar forlet,
wælspere windan on þa wicingas,
swa he on þam folce fyrmest eode,
heow and hynde, oðþæt he on hilde gecranc.
Næs þæt na se Godric þe ða guðe forbeah
|... would be broken.
Then he commanded each young man
To leave his horse, to drive it far off,
and to go forth, with mind turned
to strong hands and good thoughts.
Then Offas kinsman first discovered
that the great earl suffered no slackness;
he let from his hand, then, loved one fly,
hawk to the holt, and he stepped to battle.
So one could know that the lad wished not
to weaken in war, when he seized weapons.
And as for him, Eadric would follow his prince,
his lord to the fight; he bore forth, then,
spear to the battle. He had good thought
as long as he with hands could hold
board and bright sword: his boast he performed
when to the fight he came with his lord.
Then Byrhtnoth began to array men there,
rode and gave counsel, taught warriors
how they must stand and that stead hold,
bade them their round-shields rightly hold
fast with hands, not at all frightened.
When he had fairly arrayed that folk,
he dismounted among them where it most pleased him,
where he knew his hearth-band most loyal.
Then on the bank stood a Viking messenger,
called out stoutly, spoke with words,
boastfully brought the seafarers errand
to that lands earl where he stood on shore:
Seamen sent me quickly to you,
ordered me tell you to send rings at once,
wealth for defence: better for all of you
that you with tribute this spear-rush forgo
than that we share so bitter a war.
Nor need we kill each other if you perform it;
for gold we will fasten a truce with you.
If you determine it, the mightiest here,
that you for your people ransom will pay
give to the seamen at their own choosing
wealth for a truce and take peace from us
we with that payment shall to our ships,
on ocean fare, hold peace with you.
Byrhtnoth spoke, lifted shield,
shook slender ash-spear, with words spoke,
angry and one-minded gave him answer:
Hear you, seafarer, what this folk says?
Spears will they give you, ash-spears as tribute,
poisonous point, old sword
an armour-tax useless to you in war.
Seamens messenger, bear word back again;
tell your people much loathlier tale:
that here stands a good earl with his war-band,
who will defend this homeland,
Ethelreds land, land of my prince,
folk and fold. At battle, now,
heathen must fall. Too shameful it seems
that you, unfought, should go to ship
bearing our wealth, now that thus far
you have come into our land.
Not so softly shall you carry off riches:
point must, and edge, reconcile us first,
grim battle-play, before we give tribute.
He bade them take shield then, go
so that warriors all stood on the bank.
One band could not to the other for water:
there came flowing the flood after ebb-tide;
streams locked. Too long it seemed
till they might bear spears together.
With tumult they stood along Pantes stream,
the van of the East-Saxons and the ash-army;
nor might any bring harm to the other,
but those who through flane-flight took death.
The flood went out. The seamen stood ready,
many a Viking, eager for war.
Then bade mens protector to hold the bridge
a war-hardened herohe was called Wulfstan
who with his spear slew the first man
who most boldly there on the bridge stepped.
There with Wulfstan stood warriors unfrightened,
Aelfere and Maccus, brave twain,
who would not at the ford flight work,
but fast against fiends defended themselves,
the while they could wield weapons.
When they perceived and saw clearly
that they found the bridge-wards there bitter,
those loathly strangers began to use guile,
asked for free landing, passage to shore,
to fare over the ford leading foot-troops.
Then the earl for his arrogance
left too much land to a hostile people.
Then over cold water Byrhthelms son
began to call (men listened):
Now you have room: come quickly to us,
warriors to war. God alone knows
who may master this battlefield.
Slaughter-wolves waded then, heeded not water;
the Viking band, west over Pante,
over bright water, bore their shields;
seamen to land linden bore.
There against anger Byrhtnoth stood ready,
surrounded by warriors. He bade them with shields
build the battle-hedge, hold that troop
fast against foes. Then was the fight near,
glory in battle. The time had come
when fey men must fall there.
Clamour was raised there. Ravens circled,
eagles, eager for carrion. There was uproar on earth.
From hands then they released file-hard spears;
ground spears [,grim ones,] flew.
Bows were busy; shield took spear-point.
Bitter that battle-rush! Warriors fell;
on either hand young men lay.
Wounded was Wulfmaer, chose slaughter-bed,
Byrhtnoths kinsman; he was with swords,
his sister-son, badly hewn.
There to the Vikings requital was given:
I heard that Eadweard slew one
fiercely with sword, withheld not its swinging,
that at his feet a fey warrior fell;
for that his lord thanked him,
his bower-thegn, when he could.
So the stout-thinkers stood firm,
young men at battle, eagerly vied
who with spear-point soonest might
in fey man life conquer there,
warrior with weapons. Slain fell on earth.
Steadfast they stood. Byrhtnoth directed them,
bade each young man think on the battle,
who against Danes would win glory in fight.
Then one strode, battle-hard, lifted his weapon,
his shield as defence, and against that man stepped.
So the earl moved toward the churl:
either to other evil intended.
Then hurled the sea-warrior a southern spear
so that wounded was warriors lord.
He shoved then with shield so the shaft burst
the spear broke and sprang back.
Enraged was that warrior: he with spear stung
the proud Viking who gave him the wound.
Wise was that fyrd-warrior: he let his spear wade
through the youths neck, hand guided it,
so that it reached life in the ravager.
Then he another speedily shot
so that the byrnie burst; he was wounded in breast
through the ring-locked mail; in him at heart stood
poisoned point. The earl was the blither:
the brave man laughed then, said thanks to Metod
for the day-work God gave him.
Then a certain warrior let a hand-dart
fly from his hand, so that it went forth
through that noble, Ethelreds thegn.
By his side stood an ungrown youth,
a lad in the battle, who full valiantly
drew from the man the bloody spear,
Wulfstans son, Wulfmaer the Young.
He let tempered shaft fare back again:
the point sank in so he on earth lay
who had his lord so grievously reached.
An armed man then went to the earl:
he wished to fetch wealth of that warrior
spoil and rings and adorned sword.
Then Byrhtnoth drew his bill from its sheath,
broad and bright-edged, and struck against byrnie.
Too quickly one of the seamen stopped him
when he marred the earls arm.
Then to the ground fell the fallow-hilt sword,
nor could he hold hard blade,
wield weapon. Then yet this word spoke
that hoar battler, encouraged the young men,
bade them go forth with good company.
He could not stand fast on foot any longer;
he looked to the heavens:
I thank thee, Wielder of peoples,
for all those joys I had in the world.
Now have I, mild Measurer, most need
that you grant to my spirit goodness,
that my soul may journey now to thee,
into thy wielding, Lord of the angels,
depart in peace. I am entreating thee
that no hell-scathers harm it.
Then heathen men hewed him,
and the men who had stood by him,
Aelfnoth and Wulfmaer, both lay there,
when close to their lord they their lives gave.
Then they turned from battle who wished not to be there:
there were Oddas sons first in flight:
Godric turned from battle and left that good one
who many a horse often gave him.
He leapt on a horse which his lord owned,
on those trappings where he had no right,
and his brothers both ran with him,
Godwin and Godwig, heeded not battle
but turned from that war and the woods sought,
fled to that fastness, their lives saved,
and more men than was fitting
if they all remembered those favours
that he for their profit had done.
So Offa earlier that day had said to him
in the methel-stead, when he held moot,
that many spoke boldly there
who after, at need, would not endure.
Then was the folks prince fallen,
Ethelreds earl. All saw there,
his hearth-companions, that their lord lay.
Then valiant thegns went forth there,
men undaunted eagerly hastened:
they all wished, then, one of two things
to leave life or loved one avenge.
So the son of Aelfric boldened them forth,
winter-young warrior words spoke,
Aelfwine spoke then, valiantly said:
Remember the speeches we spoke at mead,
when we our boast on the bench raised,
heroes in hall about hard fight:
now I may test who is keen.
I will make my nobility known to all,
that I was of great kin among Mercians;
my old-father Ealhelm was called,
wise alderman, world-happy.
Nor among the people shall thegns blame me
that I from this fyrd wish to flee,
seek home, now that my prince lies
hewn at the fight. That harm is most to me:
he was both my kin and my lord.
Then he went forth, mindful of battle,
with spear-point pierced one,
a seaman among the folk, that he on fold lay,
destroyed with his weapon. His friends he exhorted,
friends and companions, that they go forth.
Offa answered, shook ash-wood:
Indeed, you, Aelfwine, have all thegns
exhorted at need. Now that our lord lies,
earl on earth, to all of us need is
that each of us embolden the other,
warrior to war, the while he weapon may
have yet and hold, hard blade,
spear and good sword. Us Godric has,
Oddas craven son, betrayed altogether.
When he on horse rode, on proud steed,
too many men thought that it was our lord.
Therefore here on field the folk was divided,
shield-defence broken. Fail his beginning!
since he so many men put to flight.
Leofsunu spoke and his linden raised,
shield for safety; to Offa he said:
I vow it, that hence I will not
flee a foots length, but will advance,
avenge in strife my lord-friend.
Steadfast heroes need not reproach me
with words around Sturmere, now my friend fell,
that I journeyed home lordless,
turned from the battle; but weapon must take me,
spear-point and iron. He went full angry,
fought stoutly, flight he rejected.
Dunnere spoke then, brandished a dart,
the humble churl over all called,
bade that each man avenge Byrhtnoth:
He may not flinch, who thinks to avenge
his lord among folk, nor for fear mourn.
Then they went forth, recked nothing of fear.
Household retainers began to fight stoutly,
fierce spear-bearers, and prayed God
they might avenge their lord-friend,
and a fall work on their foes.
The hostage began eagerly helping them;
he was of brave kin among the Northumbrians,
Ecglafs son; Aescferth was name to him.
He flinched not at battle-play,
but again and again shot forth arrow:
sometimes he shot against shield, sometimes a man tore;
ever and anon he inflicted some wound
while he could weapons wield.
Then yet in the van stood Eadweard the Long,
ready and eager, vaunting words spoke,
that he would not flee a foot-space of land,
bend at all back when his better lay slain.
He broke the shield-wall and fought with those warriors,
until on those seamen his wealth-giver
he worthily wreaked, before he with the slain lay.
So did Aetheric, noble companion,
eager and forth-yearning, fought earnestly,
Sigebyrhts brother, and many others,
clove cellod shield, keenly defended them.
Shields rim burst, and the byrnie sang
a terrible song. Then Offa at battle
struck the seaman, that he on earth fell,
and there Gaddas kinsman sought ground.
Quickly at fight Offa was hewn;
he had, though, furthered what he promised his lord,
as he boasted before with his ring-giver,
that they should both into burg ride
hale home or in battle fall,
on the corpse-field with wounds perish.
He lay thegnly, his lord near.
Then there was shields clash. Seamen advanced,
burning with battle-rage. Spear often pierced through
a fey ones soul-house. Forth then went Wistan,
Thurstans son, fought against warriors.
He was in throng the bane of three of them,
before Wig(h)elms son lay slain with him.
There was a harsh meeting. They stood fast,
warriors in conflict. Warriors fell,
weary with wounds. The slain fell on earth.
Oswold and Eadwold all the while,
both those brothers, strengthened the men,
with words bade their kin-friends
that they should endure at need,
unweakly use weapons.
Byrhtwold spoke, raised his shield
he was an old retainershook his ash-spear;
full boldly he taught warriors:
Thought must be the harder, heart be the keener,
mind must be the greater, while our strength lessens.
Here lies our prince all hewn,
good one on grit. He may always mourn
who from this war-play thinks now to turn.
My life is old: I will not away;
but I myself beside my lord,
by so loved a man, think to lie.
So Aethelgars son emboldened them all,
Godric to battle. Often he let spear,
slaughter-spear, speed into those Vikings;
so among folk he went first,
hewed and humbled, until he in fight fell.
(That was not the Godric who fled from battle.)
translation copyright ©
A Glenn 1997, used by permission.