View Full Version : The Battle of Brunanburh Revisited

Sunday, December 14th, 2003, 09:42 PM
In honor of Earl Uhtred's presence in the Ting I do below present the The Battle of Brunanburh from the old poem (A.S. Chron. #937):

http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth/library/oe/texts/a10.1.html (http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth/library/oe/texts/a10.1.html)

Her elstan cyning, eorla dryhten,
beorna beahgifa, and his broor eac,
Eadmund eling, ealdorlangne tir
geslogon t scce sweorda ecgum

5 ymbe Brunanburh. Bordweal clufan,
heowan heaolinde hamora lafan,
afaran Eadweardes, swa him geele ws
from cneomgum, t hi t campe oft
wi lara gehwne land ealgodon,

10 hord and hamas. Hettend crungun,
Sceotta leoda and scipflotan
fge feollan, feld dnnede
secga swate, sian sunne up
on morgentid, mre tungol,

15 glad ofer grundas, godes condel beorht,
eces drihtnes, o sio ele gesceaft
sah to setle. r lg secg mnig
garum ageted, guma norerna
ofer scild scoten, swilce Scittisc eac,

20 werig, wiges sd. Wesseaxe for
ondlongne dg eorodcistum
on last legdun laum eodum,
heowan herefleman hindan earle
mecum mylenscearpan. Myrce ne wyrndon

25 heardes hondplegan hlea nanum
ra e mid Anlafe ofer ra gebland
on lides bosme land gesohtun,
fge to gefeohte. Fife lgun
on am campstede cyningas giunge,

30 sweordum aswefede, swilce seofene eac
eorlas Anlafes, unrim heriges,
flotan and Sceotta. r geflemed wear
Normanna bregu, nede gebeded,
to lides stefne litle weorode;

35 cread cnear on flot, cyning ut gewat
on fealene flod, feorh generede.
Swilce r eac se froda mid fleame com
on his cye nor, Costontinus,
har hilderinc, hreman ne orfte

40 mca gemanan; he ws his mga sceard,
freonda gefylled on folcstede,
beslagen t scce, and his sunu forlet
on wlstowe wundun forgrunden,
giungne t gue. Gelpan ne orfte

45 beorn blandenfeax bilgeslehtes,
eald inwidda, ne Anlaf y ma;
mid heora herelafum hlehhan ne orftun
t heo beaduweorca beteran wurdun
on campstede cumbolgehnastes,

50 garmittinge, gumena gemotes,
wpengewrixles, s hi on wlfelda
wi Eadweardes afaran plegodan.
Gewitan him a Normen ngledcnearrum,
dreorig daraa laf, on Dinges mere

55 ofer deop wter Difelin secan,
eft Iraland, wiscmode.
Swilce a gebroer begen tsamne,
cyning and eling, cye sohton,
Wesseaxena land, wiges hremige.

60 Letan him behindan hrw bryttian
saluwigpadan, one sweartan hrfn,
hyrnednebban, and ane hasewanpadan,
earn ftan hwit, ses brucan,
grdigne guhafoc and t grge deor,

65 wulf on wealde. Ne wear wl mare
on is eiglande fre gieta
folces gefylled beforan issum
sweordes ecgum, s e us secga bec,
ealde uwitan, sian eastan hider

70 Engle and Seaxe up becoman,
ofer brad brimu Brytene sohtan,
wlance wigsmias, Wealas ofercoman,
eorlas arhwate eard begeatan.

OR for you non-A.S. speakers:

http://loki.stockton.edu/~kinsellt/litresources/brun/brun2.html#modtext (http://loki.stockton.edu/~kinsellt/litresources/brun/brun2.html#modtext)

In this year King Aethelstan, Lord of warriors,
ring-giver to men, and his brother also,
Prince Eadmund, won eternal glory
in battle with sword edges
around Brunanburh. They split the shield-wall,
they hewed battle shields with the remnants of hammers.
The sons of Eadweard, it was only befitting their noble descent
from their ancestors that they should often
defend their land in battle against each hostile people,
horde and home. The enemy perished,
Scots men and seamen,
fated they fell. The field flowed
with blood of warriors, from sun up
in the morning, when the glorious star
glided over the earth, God's bright candle,
eternal lord, till that noble creation
sank to its seat. There lay many a warrior
by spears destroyed; Northern men
shot over shield, likewise Scottish as well,
weary, war sated.
The West-Saxons pushed onward
all day; in troops they pursued the hostile people.
They hewed the fugitive grievously from behind
with swords sharp from the grinding.
The Mercians did not refuse hard hand-play to any warrior
who came with Anlaf over the sea-surge
in the bosom of a ship, those who sought land,
fated to fight. Five lay dead
on the battle-field, young kings,
put to sleep by swords, likewise also seven
of Anlaf's earls, countless of the army,
sailors and Scots. There the North-men's chief was put
to flight, by need constrained
to the prow of a ship with little company:
he pressed the ship afloat, the king went out
on the dusky flood-tide, he saved his life.
Likewise, there also the old campaigner through flight came
to his own region in the north--Constantine--
hoary warrior. He had no reason to exult
the great meeting; he was of his kinsmen bereft,
friends fell on the battle-field,
killed at strife: even his son, young in battle, he left
in the place of slaughter, ground to pieces with wounds.
That grizzle-haired warrior had no
reason to boast of sword-slaughter,
old deceitful one, no more did Anlaf;
with their remnant of an army they had no reason to
laugh that they were better in deed of war
in battle-field--collision of banners,
encounter of spears, encounter of men,
trading of blows--when they played against
the sons of Eadweard on the battle field.

Departed then the Northmen in nailed ships.
The dejected survivors of the battle,
sought Dublin over the deep water,
leaving Dinges mere
to return to Ireland, ashamed in spirit.
Likewise the brothers, both together,
King and Prince, sought their home,
West-Saxon land, exultant from battle.
They left behind them, to enjoy the corpses,
the dark coated one, the dark horny-beaked raven
and the dusky-coated one,
the eagle white from behind, to partake of carrion,
greedy war-hawk, and that gray animal
the wolf in the forest.

Never was there more slaughter
on this island, never yet as many
people killed before this
with sword's edge: never according to those who tell us
from books, old wisemen,
since from the east Angles and Saxons came up
over the broad sea. Britain they sought,
Proud war-smiths who overcame the Welsh,
glorious warriors they took hold of the land.

Few realize that the A.S. always gave back as much violence as they received from the Norsemen. IMO, it was nearly always a war of equals.

Earl Uhtred
Monday, December 15th, 2003, 10:19 AM
Cheers, Suomut :) One of the truly decisive battles of our history.

Never before was seen a greater slaughter on this island - folk felled at sword's edge - as the books tell us, old and wise; since hither from the East came over Angles and Saxons, sought out Britain over broad seas, proud war-smiths, noble seekers of glory overcame the Welsh to win the land.


Are you familiar, btw, with 'Widsith' -

Thursday, December 25th, 2003, 05:34 AM
Are you familiar, btw, with 'Widsith' -
http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?p=772921#post772921 No, I wasn't, I am now, thanks to you. :-) It merely proves that braggarts are timeless, does it not? ;)

Saturday, October 28th, 2006, 01:43 AM
Soon to be a movie...hopefully.

Brunanburh Movie? (http://www.alhambra-insider.info/Brunanburh/index.html)