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.
Who your own law, with excellence skilled, 315
In thoughts of their minds most thoroughly have,
Who to me truly are able to say,
Answer to tell for you henceforth
Of each one of tokens that I from thee seek.” 
They went then away sorry-in-mind, 320
The law-clever earls, oppressed with fear,
Sad in their grief, earnestly sought
The wisest men in secrets of words,
That they to the queen might answer well
Both of good and of ill, as she from them sought. 325
Then they ’mong the host a thousand of men
Found clever in mind who the old story
Among the Jews most readily knew. 
Then they pressed in a crowd where in pomp awaited
On kingly throne the Caesar’s mother,[1] 330
Stately war-queen with gold adorned. 
Helena spake and said ’fore the earls: 
“Hear, clever in mind, the holy secret,
Word and wisdom.  Lo! ye the prophets’
Teaching received, how the Life-giver 335
In form of a child incarnate became,
Ruler of might.  Of him Moses sang
And spake this [word],[2] warden of Israel: 
’To you shall be born a child in secret
Renowned in might, though his mother shall not 340
Be filled with fruit through love of a man.’ 
Of him David the king a kingly psalm sang,
The wise old sage, father of Solomon,
And spake this word, prince of warriors: 
’The God of creation before me I saw, 345
Lord of victories.  He was in my sight,
Ruler of hosts, upon my right hand,
Guardian of glory.  Thence turn I not
Ever in life my countenance from him.’[3]
So it again of you Isaiah 350
’Fore the people, the prophet, foretold in words,
Thinking profoundly by spirit of the Lord: 
’I raised upon high sons young in years,
And children begat, to whom glory I gave,
Heart-comfort holy:  but they me rejected, 355
With enmity hated, forethought possessed not,
Wisdom of mind, and the wretched cattle,
That on each day one drives and strikes,
Their well-doer know, not at all with revenge
Bear hate to their friends who give them fodder. 360
And the folk of Israel never were willing
Me to acknowledge, though many for them,
In worldly course, of wonders I wrought.’[4]

   [1] Lit., ‘kinswoman.’  The Elizabethan ‘Kesar’ would preserve
       the alliteration in this line.

   [2] Gn. and Z. W. omits.

   [3] Psalms xvi. 8, 9.

   [4] Isaiah i. 2, 3.

V.

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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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