Древнеанглийская поэзия

(английский вариант, пер. А. Теннисон)


Constantinus, King of the Scots, after having sworn allegiance to Athelstan, allied himself with the Danes of Ireland under Anlaf, and invading England, was defeated by Athelstan and his brother Edmund with great slaughter at Brunanburh in the year 937.

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.



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