And so it goes...

.......This is a blog where my other self exists in any number of the dimensions of Time and Space........... .

Monday, 25 January 2010

Old English...The Battle of Maldon

so an image.. Rod McDonald, Tracy Newland and I.. wreathed in cigarette smoke, surrounded by coffee cups, our pens and paper and texts and glossaries spread out across several tables, translating for our Tuesday afternoon tute with Prof. Margaret Clunies Ross. The setting ; in Manning coffee shop, circa 1986..good days indeed..

The Battle of Maldon..Byrthnoth and his pride..

brocen wurde.
Het þa hyssa hwæne hors forlætan,
feor afysan, and forð gangan,
hicgan to handum and to hige godum.
þa þæt Offan mæg ærest onfunde,
þæt se eorl nolde yrhðo geþolian,
he let him þa of handon leofne fleogan
hafoc wið þæs holtes, and to þære hilde stop;
be þam man mihte oncnawan þæt se cniht nolde
wacian æt þam wige, þa he to wæpnum feng.
Eac him wolde Eadric his ealdre gelæstan,
frean to gefeohte, ongan þa forð beran
gar to guþe. He hæfde god geþanc
þa hwile þe he mid handum healdan mihte
bord and bradswurd; beot he gelæste
þa he ætforan his frean feohtan sceolde.
ða þær Byrhtnoð ongan beornas trymian,
rad and rædde, rincum tæhte
hu hi sceoldon standan and þone stede healdan,
and bæd þæt hyra randas rihte heoldon
fæste mid folman, and ne forhtedon na.
þa he hæfde þæt folc fægere getrymmed,
he lihte þa mid leodon þær him leofost wæs,
þær he his heorðwerod holdost wiste.
þa stod on stæðe, stiðlice clypode
wicinga ar, wordum mælde,
se on beot abead brimliþendra
ærænde to þam eorle, þær he on ofre stod:

...would be broken.
Then he ordered a warrior each horse be let free,
driven afar and advance onward,
giving thought to deeds of arms and to steadfast courage.
Then it was that Offa's kinsman first perceived,
that the Earl would not endure cowardice,
for he let then from his hand flee his beloved
falcon towards the woods and there to battle went forth.
By this a man might understand that this youth would not
prove soft at the coming battle, when he takes up arms.
Further Eadric desired to serve his chief,
his lord to fight with; and so he advanced forward
his spear to battle. He had a dauntless spirit
as long as he with hands might be able to grasp
shield and broad sword: the vow he would carry out
that he had made before his lord saying he would fight.
Then Byrhtnoth marshalled his soldiers,
riding and instructing, directing his warriors
how they should stand and the positions they should keep,
and ordering that their shields properly stand firm
with steady hands and be not afraid.
Then when he beheld that people in suitable array,
he dismounted amid his people, where he was most pleased to
there amid his retainers knowing their devotion.
Then stood on the shore, stoutly calling out
a Viking messenger, making speech,
menacingly delivering the sea-pirate's
message to this Earl on the opposite shore standing:

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