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.

   [1] ‘Thank-worthy,’ Kr.

XII.

Thus then the thanes in the morning-hours
Pressed on the strangers unceasingly,
Until they perceived, those who were hostile,
The army-folk’s chiefest leaders,
That upon them sword-strokes mighty bestowed 240
The Hebrew men.  They that in words
To their most noted chiefs of the people
Went to announce, waked helmeted warriors
And to them with fear the dread news told,
To the weary-from-mead the morning-terror, 245
The hateful sword-play.  Then learnt I that quickly
The slaughter-fated men aroused from sleep
And to the baleful’s sleeping-bower
The saddened[1] men pressed on in crowds,
To Holofernes:  they only were thinking 250
To their own lord to make known the fight,
Ere terror on him should take its seat,
The might of the Hebrews.  They all imagined
That the prince of men and the handsome maid
In the beautiful tent were [still] together, 255
Judith the noble and the lustful one,
Dreadful and fierce; though no earl there was
Who the warrior durst [then] awake,
Or durst discover how the helmeted warrior
With the holy maid had passed his time, 260
The Creator’s handmaid.  The force approached,
The folk of the Hebrews, courageously fought
With hard battle-arms, fiercely repaid
Their former fights with shining[2] swords,
The old-time grudge; was of the Assyrians 265
By that day’s work the glory diminished,
The pride brought low.  The warriors stood
’Round their prince’s tent strongly excited,
Gloomy in mind.  They then all together
Began to groan,[3] to cry aloud 270
And gnash with their teeth,—­afar from God,—­
Showing their anger; ’twas the end of their glory,
Of joy and valor.  The earls were thinking
To awaken their lord; they did not succeed. 
Then at last and too late was one so bold 275
Of the battle-warriors that to the bower-tent
He daringly ventured, since need him compelled: 
Found he then on the bed lying deadly-pale
His [own] gold-giver of breath bereft,
Of life deprived.  Then quickly he fell 280
Astounded to earth, gan tear his hair,
Excited in mind, and his garments too,
And this word he spake to the warriors [brave],
Who saddened there were standing without: 
“Here is displayed our own destruction, 285
The future betokened, that it is to the time
Now amongst men[4] almost arrived,
When we our lives shall lose together,
In battle perish:  here lies with sword hewn
Our lord beheaded.”  They then sad-in-mind 290

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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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