Battle of Brunnanburh

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The Battle of Brunnanburh recounts an Anglo-Saxon victory over an alliance of Scots and Danes from Ireland in the year 937. Tennyson's translation of the Battle of Brunnanburh gave the poem new fame in the 19th Century.

Original poem

Her Æþelstan cyning, eorla dryhten,
beorna beahgifa and his broþor eac,
Eadmund æþeling, ealdorlangne tir
geslogon æt sæcce sweorda ecgum
ymbe Brunnanburh. Bordweal clufan,
heowan heaþolinde hamora lafan
afaran Eadweardes, swa him geæþele wæs
from cneomægum, þæt hi æt campe oft
wiþ laþra gehwæne land ealgodon
hord and hamas. Hettend crungun,
Sceotta leoda and scipflotan
fæge feollan. Feld dænnede
secga swate siõþan sunne up
on morgentid, mære tungol
glad ofer grundas godes condel beorht,
eces drihtnes, oõ sio æþele gesceaft
sah to setle. þær læg secg mænig
garum ageted, guma norþerna
ofer scild scoten, swilce Scittisc eac,
werig wiges sæd. Wesseaxe forõ
ondlongne dæg eorodcistum
on last legdun laþum þeodum,
heowan herefleman hindan þearle
mecum mylenscearpan. Myrce ne wyrndon
heardes hondplegan hæleþa nanum
þæ mid Anlafe ofer æra gebland
on lides bosme land gesohtun
fæge to gefeohte. Fife lægun
on þam campstede ciningas giunge
sweordum aswefede, swilce seofene eac
eorlas Anlafes, unrim heriges
flotan and Sceotta. þær geflemed wearõ
Norõmanna bregu, nede gebeded
to lides stefne litle weorode.
Cread cnear on flot; cyning ut gewat
on fealene flod, feorh generede.
Swilce þær eac se froda mid fleame com
on his cyþþe norõ Costontinus;
har hildering hreman ne þorfte
mecea gemanan; he wæs his mæga sceard,
freonda gefylled on folcstede,
beslagen æt sæcce, and his sunu forlet
on wælstowe wundun forgrunden
giungne æt guõe. Gelpan ne þorfte
beorn blandenfeax bilgeslehtes
eald inwidda, ne Anlaf þy ma;
mid heora herelafum hlehhan ne þorftun
þæt heo beaduweorca beteran wurdun
on campstede, cumbolgehnastes,
garmittinge, gumena gemotes,
wæpengewrixles, þæs hi on wælfelda
wiþ Eadweardes afaran plegodan.
Gewitan him þa Norþmen nægledcnearrum,
dreorig daraõa laf on Dinges mere,
ofer deop wæter Difelin secan,
and eft Iraland æwiscmode.
Swilce þa gebroþer begen ætsamne,
cyning and æþeling cyþþe sohton
Wesseaxena land wiges hremige.
Letan him behindan hræw bryttian
saluwigpadan, þone sweartan hræfn,
hyrnednebban, and þane hasewanpadan,
earn æftan hwit æses brucan,
grædigne guõhafoc and þæt græge deor,
wulf on wealde. Ne wearõ wæl mare
on þis eiglande æfre gieta
folces gefylled beforan þissum
sweordes ecgum, þæs þe us secgaõ bec,
ealde uõwitan, siþþan eastan hider
Engle and Seaxe up becoman,
ofer brad brimu Brytene sohtan,
wlance wigsmiþas Wealas ofercoman,
eorlas arhwate eard begeatan.