Alfred Lord Tennyson

Here you will find the Long Poem Battle Of Brunanburgh of poet Alfred Lord Tennyson

Battle Of Brunanburgh

Athelstan King,
 Lord among Earls,
 Bracelet-bestower and
 Baron of Barons,
 He with his brother,
 Edmund Atheling,
 Gaining a lifelong
 Glory in battle,
 Slew with the sword-edge
 There by Brunanburh,
 Brake the shield-wall,
 Hew'd the lindenwood,
 Hack'd the battleshield,
 Sons of Edward with hammer'd brands. 

 Theirs was a greatness
 Got from their Grandsires--
 Theirs that so often in
 Strife with their enemies
 Struck for their hoards and their hearths and their homes. 

 Bow'd the spoiler,
 Bent the Scotsman,
 Fell the shipcrews
 Doom'd to the death.
 All the field with blood of the fighters
 Flow'd, from when first the great
 Sun-star of morningtide,
 Lamp of the Lord God
 Lord everlasting,
 Glode over earth till the glorious creature
 Sank to his setting.
 There lay many a man
 Marr'd by the javelin,
 Men of the Northland
 Shot over shield.
 There was the Scotsman
 Weary of war. 

 We the West-Saxons,
 Long as the daylight
 Lasted, in companies
 Troubled the track of the host that we hated;
 Grimly with swords that were sharp from the grindstone
 Fiercely we hack'd at the flyers before us. 

 Mighty the Mercian,
 Hard was his hand-play,
 Sparing not any of
 Those that with Anlaf,
 Warriors over the
 Weltering waters
 Borne in the bark's-bosom,
 Drew to this island:
 Doom'd to the death. 

 Five young kings put asleep by the sword-stroke,
 Seven strong earls of the army of Anlaf
 Fell on the war-field, numberless numbers,
 Shipmen and Scotsmen. 

 Then the Norse leader,
 Dire was his need of it,
 Few were his following,
 Fled to his warship;
 Fleeted his vessel to sea with the king in it,
 Saving his life on the fallow flood. 

 Also the crafty one,
 Crept to his north again,
 Hoar-headed hero! 

 Slender warrant had
 He to be proud of
 The welcome of war-knives--
 He that was reft of his
 Folk and his friends that had
 Fallen in conflict,
 Leaving his son too
 Lost in the carnage,
 Mangled to morsels,
 A youngster in war! 

 Slender reason had
 He to be glad of
 The clash of the war-glaive--
 Traitor and trickster
 And spurner of treaties--
 He nor had Anlaf
 With armies so broken
 A reason for bragging
 That they had the better
 In perils of battle
 On places of slaughter--
 The struggle of standards,
 The rush of the javelins,
 The crash of the charges,
 The wielding of weapons--
 The play that they play'd with
 The children of Edward. 

 Then with their nail'd prows
 Parted the Norsemen, a
 Blood-redden'd relic of
 Javelins over
 The jarring breaker, the deep-sea billow,
 Shaping their way toward Dyflen again,
 Shamed in their souls. 

 Also the brethren,
 King and Atheling,
 Each in his glory,
 Went to his own in his own West-Saxonland,
 Glad of the war. 

 Many a carcase they left to be carrion,
 Many a livid one, many a sallow-skin--
 Left for the white-tail'd eagle to tear it, and
 Left for the horny-nibb'd raven to rend it, and
 Gave to the garbaging war-hawk to gorge it, and
 That gray beast, the wolf of the weald. 

 Never had huger
 Slaughter of heroes
 Slain by the sword-edge--
 Such as old writers
 Have writ of in histories--
 Hapt in this isle, since
 Up from the East hither
 Saxon and Angle from
 Over the broad billow
 Broke into Britain with
 Haughty war-workers who
 Harried the Welshman, when
 Earls that were lured by the
 Hunger of glory gat
 Hold of the land.