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Hildeburh’s Lament VIII

There was joy and drinking
Of jubilant toasts
At my brother’s welcome,
But weeping joy
From our deepest hearts,
Heaving our chests,
Broke loose and ran
In long rivers
Down our glad cheeks.
Glowing with pride
I saw my brother
A bold young king.
His mailcoat of
Cool silver rings
And his gilded strands
Of golden hair
Shone like two flames
Of fire and ice.
I longed to speak,
Laugh and embrace,
But, surrounded by retainers,
Wrapped up in duties,
He could not come yet,
Caring first for
His beasts and men.
Then bade Finn him welcome
And peace speeches
Were spoken by both parties.
At last our longing
To be alone and talk
Could be fulfilled.
On the fens we walked,
Unburdening our souls
Of the silent years.
He had grown stately
With spear born pride.
He spoke of battle
And skirmish and war,
I of Fróda and Finn
And Finnesburg’s
High pillared halls
Hung with treasures:
Wallhangings of
Wavecrested prows,
Stormy sea crossings
And silver water
Lit by the Moon’s
Mild beams of light.
We laughed and let
Our love rekindle.
Thus passed those days
In pleasant walks,
And the nights in feasting,
And fingers on harp,
The singing of stories
Of the stout hearted.


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