The Battle of Brunanburh

In this year, King Æthelstan, lord of earls,
ring-giver of warriors, and his brother as well,
Eadmund ætheling achieved everlasting glory
in battle, with the edges of swords
near Brunanburh. They cleaved the massed shields,
hewed the battle-wood, the relics of hammers,
of the heir of Eadweard, as it suited
their heritage, so that they often in battle
defended their lands, treasures, and homesteads
against every one of the hateful— (1-10a)

Foemen were felled, the Scottish people,
the ship-sailors fated were destroyed,
the fields grew slickened with the blood of men,
after the sun passed upwards over the earth.
in the morning-time, the remarkable star,
the bright candle of God, the Eternal Lord,
until that noble creation sank to its rest. (10b-17a)

There lay many warriors, seized by the spear,
the northern men, over their arrowed shields,
likewise the Scottish also were weary, saddened by war.
The West-Saxons in their ranks rode down
the long long day the hateful people,
chopping down the battle-fleers from behind
so sorely with sharply ground swords. (17b-24a)

The Mercians did not deny any of those warriors
their hard hand-playing, those who had sought
their land with Anlaf across the blending of oars
upon the bosom of the sea, fated to fighting.
Five young kings lay slain on the battlefield,
put to sleep by the sword—likewise seven more
of the earls of Anlaf, and an uncountable army,
their sailors and Scots. There the lord of the Northmen
was put to flight, driven by need to the stem
of his ship, with but a little army—
the ship pressed into the water, the king departed there
onto the fallow flood, sparing his spirit. (24b-36)

Likewise there also the aged man came into the sea
into his northern homeland, Constantinus,
the hoary battle-warrior, having no need to cry out
about the match of his pairing—his might was slashed,
deprived of his friends upon the folk-stead,
smitten in battle, and losing his son
upon the slaughter-field, ground down by wounds,
the young man at war. (37-44a)

There was no need to boast for the blond warrior
of the sword-slaying, old and devious, nor Anlaf any more—
among their battle-leavings they had no need to laugh
about how they were better in battle-works
upon the fighting-field, under the flaring flags,
at the conclave of spears, the meeting of men,
the exchange of weapons, after they upon the killing-field,
playing against the heir of Eadweard. (44b-52)

Those North-men departed into their nailed barques,
the dreary leavings of the spear upon the Irish Sea
across the deep water seeking Dublin,
and Ireland abashed in mind.
Likewise those brothers both together,
king and his nobleman, sought that country,
West-Saxon-land, exultant in warfare. (53-59)

They left them behind to divide up the carrion,
the dusky-plumed fowl, that darkened raven,
horn-beaked and that hazel-feathered eagle,
white behind it, enjoying the slain,
the greedy war-hawk and that grey beast,
the wolf in the wold. Nor was there a greater slaughter
upon this island ever yet, the people slain
before these edges of swords, of which the books speak,
the elder historians, after the Angles and the Saxons
arrived up from the east hither over the broad sea
seeking Britain, the haughty war-smiths,
overwhelming the Welsh, men eager for glory
obtaining their new homeland. (60-73)


The Capture of the Five Boroughs

In this year, King Eadmund, prince of the Angles
the defender of men, came to Mercia,
the dear start of deeds, to separate Derbyshire—
the White Will’s-gate and the River Humber,
the broad stream to the sea.
The five boroughs, Ligorcaster and Lincolnshire
and Snottingham, likewise Stanford as well
and Derby. The Danes were there before
under the North-men bowed over by need
in the binding chains of heathen men
for a long time, until he freed them soon
for his great honor, the shelter or warriors,
the heir of Eadweard, King Eadmund. (1-13)


The Coronation of Eadgar

In this year Eadgar was hallowed as king,
sovereign of the Angles, with a mighty cry,
in that olden city, Akeman’s Citadel—
but the island-dwellers name it by another word,
warriors calling it Bath. There great happiness
happened upon that blessed day,
which the children of humanity name
and pronounce the Day of the Pentecost. (1-9)

There was a crowd of priests,
a great number of monks, as I have heard,
the gathering together of the wise.
And then it was passed ten hundred winters
told by count of number from the birth-tide
of the Glorious King, the Herder of Light,
except there was yet a number of seasons
left, after the scriptures say, seven and twenty years— (10-15a)

so near was a thousand winters gone by
of the Master of Victories, when this occurred.
And the heir of Eadmund had himself
nine and twenty winters old in the world,
hardened by malice-works, when this happened,
and then on the thirtieth was this prince consecrated. (15b-21)



The Death of Eadward

In this year King Eadward, lord of the English,
sent his truth-fast soul unto Christ
into the protection of God and the Holy Spirit.
He dwelt for a while in this world
among royal hosts, skilled in counsel,
for twenty-four and one-half counts of winter,
generous sovereign, distributing riches,
the wielder of heroes, ruling excellently well
over Wales and Scotland and Britain as well,
the child of Æthelræd, over the Angles and Saxons,
over the champions, as they were embraced
by the frigid seas, so that they all obeyed
loyally Eadward, the noble king,
these brave and young men.
The king empty of evil was ever blithe-minded,
though he was deprived of land for a long time before,
dwelling upon the exile-trail, widely throughout the earth
since Cnut conquered the kindred of Æthelræd
and the Danes ruled over the precious realm
of England for twenty-eight counts of winter,
sharing out its wealth. Afterwards the king
chosen by God emerged forth, in plenteous armament,
pure and mild, Eadward the noble
defending his homeland, the country and its people,
until death the bitter came upon him quickly
and seized that nobleman so dear from the earth—
angels ferried that truth-fast soul into the heaven’s light.
And the wise man nevertheless commended the realm
unto a high-ranking man, Harold himself,
the noble earl, who in every season
was obeyed faithfully by his own followers
in words and deeds, and who was not heedless
in any way in those things needful for the people’s king. (1-34)