Make your own free website on Tripod.com

ON  SENLAC RIDGE

Stood King Harold

by hoar apple tree;

High hero shining

hard battles won.

Land father leader,

chosen folk king.

Gathered he gesið

fierce Fyrdmen all,

To Hold the highroad

to England's heart.

Bastard Duke William

and his rats are trapped,

With his back to the sea,

his hired men hindered.

Battle his doom,

fighting his fate.

 

 

Round dread dragon

Wessex's war flag

Warriors raised up

the strong wood wall

Came on then bold Bretons,

sons of the Wealas

On foot they marched

to reclaim their own.

Flew sparking the spears,

bright birds of death,

Sang sweet the swords,

hard clapped the boards,

Died then the foemen

smashed waves on the wall.

 Hurried Frank horsemen

 Breton Frenchmen to rescue,

Hoofs pounding the rise,

horses covered in steam,

Rose up the long axe

bright blade glinting,

Took then the huscarls

a harvest of heads.

Out, out, out

cried the English,

Death, death, death,

sighed the spears,

Plunging and piercing

into deep Norman ranks.

Bright red ruby glinted

on silvered scales shining

Gave joyous beauty

to Normandy's scrapings.

Beat Bretons bounded

fierce Fyrdmen following,

Fires of their homes

burning bright in their minds.

Saxon and Angle,

brynied shoulder to shoulder,

Had beaten their foe

as they did of old.

Slipped sleek greyhounds

downhill hunting their prey

Chasing the quarry

over emerald turf.

Piled high the bodies,

heavy the slaughter,

Died many a Breton,

died Norman too;

Those much hated land thieves,

wolves from afar.

 

 

Called out did William

helmet held high,

Rallied he Normans

and charged horsemen again.

No time for a shield wall,

cut from folk friends,

Fought hard the Fyrd

taking lives for their own.

Alas England's fine flowers

were mown down in the morn.

 

 

Shortened the shield wall,

hardened the heart;

Kinfolk need blood

from foemen spilt.

Long went the day

and arms grew weary

As axes hewed

the forest of men,

The gaps in the shield wall

dead Normans now filled.

Linden boards split

from heavy sword swing

Shields now full

of spears pointed barbs.

Burning the throat,

bruised now the body

East Angle kin

and Wessex warriors fought

French raven's sons,

befouled gray wolves.

High tide of battle

lapped shrunken wall,

Still the brave hearthmen

hacked horse and men.

Pulled back the Normans,

defeat in their dull eyes,

Feather of grey goose

the last throw of the dice.

Yet heavy a board

dragged down by darts

Let a shaft seal the doom

of Harold the king.

 

 

Fled then the Fyrd

their hearth folk to save.

Full filling a fosse

with French on the way.

Died then the hearth troop

Harold's body to cover,

Death song keening

hot tears burning,

Giving their lives

for the giver of rings.

Wyrd's worn web

has claimed England's own.

 

 

The doom dream of Edward

saw England's tree

Sore split asunder

ne'er joined again.

As died Harold,

last King of the English,

So died our hopes

of freedom again.

Fat grew the raven,

slept sated the wolf,

As ravenous flocks

of rabid Frenchmen then gorged

On England's fair body,

whose bones picked they clean.

 

 

Humble man should not

of almighty God ask,

The reasons he acts,

or of the dooms that he sends,

Just ours to accept

and mourn what is lost.

1006.htm