The Battle of Maldon Pages

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Robert Diamond's Translation
Kevin Crossley -Holland's Translation
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Poetic Transcription

 

The Battle of Maldon

Verse Indeterminate Saxon

        brocen wurde.
Het a hyssa hwne         hors forltan,
feor afysan,         and for gangan,
hicgan to handum         and to hige godum.

5

a t Offan mg         rest onfunde,
t se eorl nolde         yrho geolian,
he let him a of handon         leofne fleogan
hafoc wi s holtes,         and to re hilde stop;
be am man mihte oncnawan         t se cniht nolde

10

wacian t am wige,         a he to wpnum feng.
Eac him wolde Eadric         his ealdre gelstan,
frean to gefeohte,         ongan a for beran
gar to gue.         He hfde god geanc
a hwile e he mid handum         healdan mihte

15

bord and bradswurd;         beot he gelste
a he tforan his frean         feohtan sceolde.
a r Byrhtno ongan         beornas trymian,
rad and rdde,         rincum thte
hu hi sceoldon standan         and one stede healdan,

20

and bd t hyra randas         rihte heoldon
fste mid folman,         and ne forhtedon na.
a he hfde t folc         fgere getrymmed,
he lihte a mid leodon         r him leofost ws,
r he his heorwerod         holdost wiste.

25

a stod on ste,         stilice clypode
wicinga ar,         wordum mlde,
se on beot abead         brimliendra
rnde to am eorle,         r he on ofre stod:
"Me sendon to e         smen snelle,

30

heton e secgan         t u most sendan rae
beagas wi gebeorge;         and eow betere is
t ge isne garrs         mid gafole forgyldon,
on we swa hearde         hilde dlon.
Ne urfe we us spillan,         gif ge speda to am;

35

we willa wi am golde         gri fstnian.
Gyf u at gerdest,         e her ricost eart,
t u ine leoda         lysan wille,
syllan smannum         on hyra sylfra dom
feoh wi freode,         and niman fri t us,

40

we willa mid am sceattum         us to scype gangan,
on flot feran,         and eow fries healdan."
Byrhtno maelode,         bord hafenode,
wand wacne sc,         wordum mlde,
yrre and anrd         ageaf him andsware:

45

"Gehyrst u, slida,         hwt is folc sege?
Hi willa eow to gafole         garas syllan,
ttrynne ord         and ealde swurd,
a heregeatu         e eow t hilde ne deah.
Brimmanna boda,         abeod eft ongean,

50

sege inum leodum         miccle lare spell,
t her stynt unforcu         eorl mid his werode,
e wile gealgean         eel ysne,
elredes eard,         ealdres mines,
folc and foldan.         Feallan sceolon

55

hene t hilde.         To heanlic me ince
t ge mid urum sceattum         to scype gangon
unbefohtene,         nu ge us feor hider
on urne eard         in becomon.
Ne sceole ge swa softe         sinc gegangan;

60

us sceal ord and ecg         r geseman,
grim guplega,         r we gofol syllon."
Het a bord beran,         beornas gangan,
t hi on am eastee         ealle stodon.
Ne mihte r for wtere         werod to am orum;

65

r com flowende         flod fter ebban,
lucon lagustreamas.         To lang hit him uhte,
hwnne hi togdere         garas beron.
Hi r Pantan stream         mid prasse bestodon,
Eastseaxena ord         and se schere.

70

Ne mihte hyra nig         orum derian,
buton hwa urh flanes flyht         fyl gename.
Se flod ut gewat;         a flotan stodon gearowe,
wicinga fela,         wiges georne.
Het a hlea hleo         healdan a bricge

75

wigan wigheardne,         se ws haten Wulfstan,
cafne mid his cynne,         t ws Ceolan sunu,
e one forman man         mid his francan ofsceat
e r baldlicost         on a bricge stop.
r stodon mid Wulfstane         wigan unforhte,

80

lfere and Maccus,         modige twegen,
a noldon t am forda         fleam gewyrcan,
ac hi fstlice         wi a fynd weredon,
a hwile e hi wpna         wealdan moston.
a hi t ongeaton         and georne gesawon

85

t hi r bricgweardas         bitere fundon,
ongunnon lytegian a         lae gystas,
bdon t hi upgang         agan moston,
ofer one ford faran,         fean ldan.
a se eorl ongan         for his ofermode

90

alyfan landes to fela         laere eode.
Ongan ceallian a         ofer cald wter
Byrhtelmes bearn         (beornas gehlyston):
"Nu eow is gerymed,         ga ricene to us,
guman to gue;         god ana wat

95

hwa re wlstowe         wealdan mote."
Wodon a wlwulfas         (for wtere ne murnon),
wicinga werod,         west ofer Pantan,
ofer scir wter         scyldas wegon,
lidmen to lande         linde bron.

100

r ongean gramum         gearowe stodon
Byrhtno mid beornum;         he mid bordum het
wyrcan one wihagan,         and t werod healdan
fste wi feondum.         a ws feohte neh,
tir t getohte.         Ws seo tid cumen

105

t r fge men         feallan sceoldon.
r wear hream ahafen,         hremmas wundon,
earn ses georn;         ws on eoran cyrm.
Hi leton a of folman         feolhearde speru,
gegrundene         garas fleogan;

110

bogan wron bysige,         bord ord onfeng.
Biter ws se beadurs,         beornas feollon
on gehwere hand,         hyssas lagon.
Wund wear Wulfmr,         wlrste geceas,
Byrhtnoes mg;         he mid billum wear,

115

his swuster sunu,         swie forheawen.
r wear wicingum         wierlean agyfen.
Gehyrde ic t Eadweard         anne sloge
swie mid his swurde,         swenges ne wyrnde,
t him t fotum         feoll fge cempa;

120

s him his eoden         anc gesde,
am burene,         a he byre hfde.
Swa stemnetton         stihicgende
hysas t hilde,         hogodon georne
hwa r mid orde         rost mihte

125

on fgean men         feorh gewinnan,
wigan mid wpnum;         wl feol on eoran.
Stodon stdefste;         stihte hi Byrhtno,
bd t hyssa gehwylc         hogode to wige
e on Denon wolde         dom gefeohtan.

130

Wod a wiges heard,         wpen up ahof,
bord to gebeorge,         and wi s beornes stop.
Eode swa anrd         eorl to am ceorle,
ger hyra orum         yfeles hogode.
Sende a se srinc         suerne gar,

135

t gewundod wear         wigena hlaford;
he sceaf a mid am scylde,         t se sceaft tobrst,
and t spere sprengde,         t hit sprang ongean.
Gegremod wear se gurinc;         he mid gare stang
wlancne wicing,         e him a wunde forgeaf.

140

Frod ws se fyrdrinc;         he let his francan wadan
urh s hysses hals,         hand wisode
t he on am frsceaan         feorh gerhte.
a he oerne         ofstlice sceat,
t seo byrne tobrst;         he ws on breostum wund

145

urh a hringlocan,         him t heortan stod
tterne ord.         Se eorl ws e blira,
hloh a, modi man,         sde metode anc
s dgweorces         e him drihten forgeaf.
Forlet a drenga sum         daro of handa,

150

fleogan of folman,         t se to for gewat
urh one elan         elredes egen.
Him be healfe stod         hyse unweaxen,
cniht on gecampe,         se full caflice
brd of am beorne         blodigne gar,

155

Wulfstanes bearn,         Wulfmr se geonga,
forlet forheardne         faran eft ongean;
ord in gewod,         t se on eoran lg
e his eoden r         earle gerhte.
Eode a gesyrwed         secg to am eorle;

160

he wolde s beornes         beagas gefecgan,
reaf and hringas         and gerenod swurd.
a Byrhtno brd         bill of scee,
brad and bruneccg,         and on a byrnan sloh.
To rae hine gelette         lidmanna sum,

165

a he s eorles         earm amyrde.
Feoll a to foldan         fealohilte swurd;
ne mihte he gehealdan         heardne mece,
wpnes wealdan.         a gyt t word gecw
har hilderinc,         hyssas bylde,

170

bd gangan for         gode geferan;
ne mihte a on fotum leng         fste gestandan.
He to heofenum wlat:        
"Geancie e,         eoda waldend,
ealra ra wynna         e ic on worulde gebad.

175

Nu ic ah, milde metod,         mste earfe
t u minum gaste         godes geunne,
t min sawul to e         siian mote
on in geweald,         eoden engla,
mid frie ferian.         Ic eom frymdi to e

180

t hi helsceaan         hynan ne moton."
a hine heowon         hene scealcas
and begen a beornas         e him big stodon,
lfno and Wulmr         begen lagon,
a onemn hyra frean         feorh gesealdon.

185

Hi bugon a fram beaduwe         e r beon noldon.
r wear Oddan bearn         rest on fleame,
Godric fram gue,         and one godan forlet
e him mnigne oft         mear gesealde;
he gehleop one eoh         e ahte his hlaford,

190

on am gerdum         e hit riht ne ws,
and his broru mid him         begen rndon,
Godwine and Godwig,         gue ne gymdon,
ac wendon fram am wige         and one wudu sohton,
flugon on t fsten         and hyra feore burgon,

195

and manna ma         onne hit nig m wre,
gyf hi a geearnunga         ealle gemundon
e he him to dugue         gedon hfde.
Swa him Offa on dg         r asde
on am meelstede,         a he gemot hfde,

200

t r modiglice         manega sprcon
e eft t earfe         olian noldon.
a wear afeallen         s folces ealdor,
elredes eorl;         ealle gesawon
heorgeneatas         t hyra heorra lg.

205

a r wendon for         wlance egenas,
unearge men         efston georne;
hi woldon a ealle         oer twega,
lif forltan         oe leofne gewrecan.
Swa hi bylde for         bearn lfrices,

210

wiga wintrum geong,         wordum mlde,
lfwine a cw,         he on ellen sprc:
"Gemunan a mla         e we oft t meodo sprcon,
onne we on bence         beot ahofon,
hle on healle,         ymbe heard gewinn;

215

nu mg cunnian         hwa cene sy.
Ic wylle mine elo         eallum gecyan,
t ic ws on Myrcon         miccles cynnes;
ws min ealda fder         Ealhelm haten,
wis ealdorman,         woruldgeslig.

220

Ne sceolon me on re eode         egenas twitan
t ic of isse fyrde         feran wille,
eard gesecan,         nu min ealdor lige
forheawen t hilde.         Me is t hearma mst;
he ws ger min mg         and min hlaford."

225

a he for eode,         fhe gemunde,
t he mid orde         anne gerhte
flotan on am folce,         t se on foldan lg
forwegen mid his wpne.         Ongan a winas manian,
frynd and geferan,         t hi for eodon.

230

Offa gemlde,         scholt asceoc:
"Hwt u, lfwine, hafast         ealle gemanode
egenas to earfe,         nu ure eoden li,
eorl on eoran.         Us is eallum earf
t ure ghwylc         oerne bylde

235

wigan to wige,         a hwile e he wpen mge
habban and healdan,         heardne mece,
gar and godswurd.         Us Godric hf,
earh Oddan bearn,         ealle beswicene.
Wende s formoni man,         a he on meare rad,

240

on wlancan am wicge,         t wre hit ure hlaford;
foran wear her on felda         folc totwmed,
scyldburh tobrocen.         Abreoe his angin,
t he her swa manigne         man aflymde!"
Leofsunu gemlde         and his linde ahof,

245

bord to gebeorge;         he am beorne oncw:
"Ic t gehate,         t ic heonon nelle
fleon fotes trym,         ac wille furor gan,
wrecan on gewinne         minne winedrihten.
Ne urfon me embe Sturmere         stedefste hl

250

wordum twitan,         nu min wine gecranc,
t ic hlafordleas         ham siie,
wende fram wige,         ac me sceal wpen niman,
ord and iren."         He ful yrre wod,
feaht fstlice,         fleam he forhogode.

255

Dunnere a cw,         daro acwehte,
unorne ceorl,         ofer eall clypode,
bd t beorna gehwylc         Byrhtno wrce:
"Ne mg na wandian         se e wrecan ence
frean on folce,         ne for feore murnan."

260

a hi for eodon,         feores hi ne rohton;
ongunnon a hiredmen         heardlice feohtan,
grame garberend,         and god bdon
t hi moston gewrecan         hyra winedrihten
and on hyra feondum         fyl gewyrcan.

265

Him se gysel ongan         geornlice fylstan;
he ws on Norhymbron         heardes cynnes,
Ecglafes bearn,         him ws scfer nama.
He ne wandode na         t am wigplegan,
ac he fysde for         flan genehe;

270

hwilon he on bord sceat,         hwilon beorn tsde,
fre embe stunde         he sealde sume wunde,
a hwile e he wpna         wealdan moste.
a gyt on orde stod         Eadweard se langa,
gearo and geornful,         gylpwordum sprc

275

t he nolde fleogan         fotml landes,
ofer bc bugan,         a his betera leg.
He brc one bordweall         and wi a beornas feaht,
ot he his sincgyfan         on am smannum
wurlice wrec,         r he on wle lge.

280

Swa dyde eric,         ele gefera,
fus and forgeorn,         feaht eornoste.
Sibyrhtes broor         and swie mnig oer
clufon cellod bord,         cene hi weredon;
brst bordes lrig,         and seo byrne sang

285

gryreleoa sum.         a t gue sloh
Offa one slidan,         t he on eoran feoll,
and r Gaddes mg         grund gesohte.
Rae wear t hilde         Offa forheawen;
he hfde eah geforod         t he his frean gehet,

290

swa he beotode r         wi his beahgifan
t hi sceoldon begen         on burh ridan,
hale to hame,         oe on here crincgan,
on wlstowe         wundum sweltan;
he lg egenlice         eodne gehende.

295

a wear borda gebrc.         Brimmen wodon,
gue gegremode;         gar oft urhwod
fges feorhhus.         For a eode Wistan,
urstanes sunu,         wi as secgas feaht;
he ws on gerange         hyra reora bana,

300

r him Wigelines bearn         on am wle lge.
r ws sti gemot;         stodon fste
wigan on gewinne,         wigend cruncon,
wundum werige.         Wl feol on eoran.
Oswold and Eadwold         ealle hwile,

305

begen a gebroru,         beornas trymedon,
hyra winemagas         wordon bdon
t hi r t earfe         olian sceoldon,
unwaclice         wpna neotan.
Byrhtwold maelode         bord hafenode

310

(se ws eald geneat),         sc acwehte;
he ful baldlice         beornas lrde:
"Hige sceal e heardra,         heorte e cenre,
mod sceal e mare,         e ure mgen lytla.
Her li ure ealdor         eall forheawen,

315

god on greote.         A mg gnornian
se e nu fram is wigplegan         wendan ence.
Ic eom frod feores;         fram ic ne wille,
ac ic me be healfe         minum hlaforde,
be swa leofan men,         licgan ence."

320

Swa hi elgares bearn         ealle bylde,
Godric to gue.         Oft he gar forlet,
wlspere windan         on a wicingas,
swa he on am folce         fyrmest eode,
heow and hynde,         ot he on hilde gecranc.

325

Ns t na se Godric         e a gue forbeah

 



My thanks to the work of the scholars at the Labyrinth for the coding of this poem which was borrowed from: http://www8.georgetown.edu/departments/medieval/labyrinth/library/oe/texts/a9.html

 

Audio Files in addition to the poetic transcription of the poem we have included some audio files from sections of the poem.  These files provide an opportunity to hear the poem read aloud.

Segment 1

 Ian Mounteer reads Battle of Maldon lines 2-16.

Segment 2

 

 

 

Segment 3

 

 

 

Segment 4

 

 

 

Segment 5

 

 

 

Segment 6

 

 

Segment 7

 

 

Segment 8

 

 

 

Segment 9

 

 

 

Segment 10

 

 

Segment 11

 

 

Segment 12