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 81 pages of information about Elene; Judith; Athelstan, or the Fight at Brunanburh; Byrhtnoth, or the Fight at Maldon; and the Dream of the Rood.

Lo! choicest of dreams I will relate,
What dream I dreamt in middle of night
When mortal men reposed in rest. 
Methought I saw a wondrous wood
Tower aloft with light bewound, 5
Brightest of trees; that beacon was all
Begirt with gold; jewels were standing
Four[1] at surface of earth, likewise were there five
Above on the shoulder-brace.  All angels of God beheld it,
Fair through future ages; ’twas no criminal’s cross indeed, 10
But holy spirits beheld it there,
Men upon earth, all this glorious creation. 
Strange was that victor-tree, and stained with sins was I,
With foulness defiled.  I saw the glorious tree
With vesture[2] adorned winsomely shine, 15
Begirt with gold; bright gems had there
Worthily decked the tree of the Lord.[3]
Yet through that gold I might perceive
Old strife of the wretched, that first it gave
Blood on the stronger [right] side.  With sorrows was I oppressed, 20
Afraid for that fair sight; I saw the ready beacon
Change in vesture and hue; at times with moisture covered,
Soiled with course of blood; at times with treasure adorned. 
Yet lying there a longer while,
Beheld I sad the Saviour’s tree 25
Until I heard that words it uttered;
The best of woods gan speak these words: 
“’Twas long ago (I remember it still)
That I was hewn at end of a grove,
Stripped from off my stem; strong foes laid hold of me there, 30
Wrought for themselves a show, bade felons raise me up;
Men bore me on their shoulders, till on a mount they set me;
Fiends many fixed me there.  Then saw I mankind’s Lord
Hasten with mickle might, for He would sty[4] upon me. 
There durst I not ’gainst word of the Lord 35
Bow down or break, when saw I tremble
The surface of earth; I might then all
My foes have felled, yet fast I stood. 
The Hero young begirt[5] Himself, Almighty God was He,
Strong and stern of mind; He stied on the gallows high, 40
Bold in sight of many, for man He would redeem. 
I shook when the Hero clasped me, yet durst not bow to earth,
Fall to surface of earth, but firm I must there stand. 
A rood was I upreared; I raised the mighty King,
The Lord of Heaven; I durst not bend me. 45
They drove their dark nails through me; the wounds are seen upon me,
The open gashes of guile; I durst harm none[6] of them. 
They mocked us both together; all moistened with blood was I,
Shed from side of the man, when forth He sent His spirit. 
Many have I on that mount endured 50
Of cruel fates; I saw the Lord of Hosts
Strongly outstretched; darkness had then
Covered with clouds the corse of the Lord,
The brilliant brightness; the shadow continued,[7]

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
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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