Elene; Judith; Athelstan, or the Fight at Brunanburh; Byrhtnoth, or the Fight at Maldon; and the Dream of the Rood eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 66 pages of information about Elene; Judith; Athelstan, or the Fight at Brunanburh; Byrhtnoth, or the Fight at Maldon; and the Dream of the Rood.
Into land of the Greeks, the Caesar’s heralds,
Battle-warriors with armor protected. 
There was to be seen treasure-gem set
’Mid that army-host, gift of their lord. 265
[Then] was the blessed Helena mindful,
Bold in her thought, of the prince’s will,
Eager in mind, in that she of the Jews,
O’er the army-fields with tested band
Of warriors-with-shields, the land was seeking, 270
With host of men; so it after befell
In little while that that force of men,
War-famed heroes, to Hierusalem[5]
Came to the city the greatest of crowds,
Spear-famed earls, with the noble queen. 275

   [1] Lit., ‘smiths of lore.’

   [2] Z. supposes lacuna of one verse; W. thinks it
       unnecessary.

   [3] Lit., ‘the woman.’

   [4] Lit., ‘to the sea,’ or ‘sea-journey.’

   [5] A.-S. form retained for the sake of the accent and
       alliteration.

IV.

Bade she then order the dwellers-in-city
Most skilled in lore, those far and wide
Among the Jews, each one of men,
For council-talk in meeting to come,
Who most deeply the secrets of God 280
By righteous law were able to tell. 
Then was assembled from distant ways
No little crowd who Moses’ law
Were able to tell.  In number there were
Of thousands three of those [learned] men 285
Chosen for lore.  The lovely woman
The men of the Hebrews with words gan address: 
“I that most surely have learnt to know
Through secret words of prophets [of old]
In the books of God, that in days of yore 290
Ye worthy were of the glorious King,
Dear to the Lord and daring in deed. 
Lo! ye that wisdom [very, Gn.] unwisely,
Wrongly, rejected, when him ye condemned
Who you from the curse through might of his glory, 295
From torment of fire, thought to redeem,
From fetters’ force.  Ye filthily spat
On his fair face who light of the eyes
From blindness [restored], a remedy brought
To you anew by that noble spittle, 300
And often preserved you from the unclean
Spirits of devils.  This one to death
Ye gan adjudge, who self from death
Many awakened ’mong host of men
Of your own race to the former life. 305
So blinded in mind ye gan conjoin
Lying with truth, light with darkness,
Hatred with mercy, with evil thoughts
Ye wickedness wove; therefore the curse
You guilty oppresses.  The purest Might 310
Ye gan condemn, and have lived in error,
In thoughts benighted, until this day. 
Go ye now quickly, with prudence select
Men firm in wisdom, crafty in word,

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Elene; Judith; Athelstan, or the Fight at Brunanburh; Byrhtnoth, or the Fight at Maldon; and the Dream of the Rood from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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