Tag Archives: song

Hildeburhʼs Lament XI

The truce came late.
With only few of Finnʼs
Faithful hearththanes
He could not win against
The wall of Hengest.
The woeremnant offered
Weary frithterms.
They’d give up the hall
And high seatʼs control
If Folcwaldʼs son
Favour at treasure giving
The Remnant warriors
With rings and wealth
As he treats the Frisians
Freely and honourably.
So fragile peace,
Forced by circumstance,
Was settled by both
by swearing of bloodoaths.
Highhelmed Hengest,
Hnæf ’s shieldthane,
Took the peaceoath,
Over the prince’s
Battle stained
Sword and byrnie,
While Finn swore on
Our sonʼs war shield.
Both sides promised
Their pledge to hold.
Never to break truce,
Nor let tongues wag,
Though they follow their foe,
Forced by circumstance,
Their ring giverʼs bane,
Bearing dishonour.
If any Frisian remind them
Of murder or hostility,
He soon would see
A sword edged end.
Pyres were built for
Both my precious ones;
Two close kinsmen
On the killingfield slain,
Together in Wyrdʼs
Grievous war doom.
In eternal sleep
The twain were laid
With glittering goldhoard
And glinting weapons,
Upon beech and birch wood.
Then, bitter torches,
Greedy funeral flames
furiously devoured,
As the cruel slaughter fire
Curled to the skies.
And I sang their lament
Mourning my dear ones —
My flesh and blood —
Burning in the flames.


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Sailing Song

The water’s flashing, the waves are lashing
The gulls are calling out to sea
The sun is glowing, the sails are blowing
But love, I’ll come again for thee
My love, I’ll come again for thee

The clouds are raining, the ropes are straining
The pitch black sky ignores my plea
The timber’s groaning, the wind is moaning
But love, I pledged to come for thee
My love, I pledged to come for thee

The bells are ringing, the children singing
A ship’s returning, proud and free
The air is sighing and flags are flying
My love, I’m coming back to thee
Oh love, I’m coming back to thee

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Filed under Love poems, Medieval

Wolstonbury Hill

Steep-sloped earth-walled    storm-beaten hill top,
Weather has worn you,    wars have ravaged
Your ancient sanctuary,    safe place in anarchy
And uncertain times.    Sober chieftains
Of the Down Dales,    their doom unwitting,
Ruled on your heights,    holding sway over
The rolling green;    rising and waning
As their fathers before.    Feast and sacrifice,
Year by year since    yore, returned to
The heroeshall    on hill of chalk.
Your virgin maidens,    from morning dance returning,
Their heads crowned and    crested beautifully
With orchid headdress:    awed and shyly
To their elders glancing;    Your glades of oak,
Where maying lovers    met early by dawn;
Your raised unwrought    ring of eldstones
Where forest and field    folk held mootings,
Are all gone, long gone,    lost in history –
Yesteryear’s unknown.
                                                       And yet – when wind
Blows blustering o’er    your battled peak,
I hear an unseen    hillsong singer;
The haunting voice of    your vigilant past.

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Filed under Autumn, Classical, Medieval, Spring, Summer, Winter


“ventis glacies adstricta pependit” – Ovid, Metamorphoses
As Winter broods on snowy peaks
strong waterfalls begin to freeze
a deer his fodder vainly seeks
and northern winds whip up the seas
The longest night beckons clear stars
that pierce the darkness glowing cold
beneath the muffling carpet, grass
has stopped growing all but old
A splintering icicle rends the quiet
the startled hind retreats in silvam
where dryads, hid from wind tossed riot,
of heroes sing and lyre strings strum
Arising, Luna shines her light
though wat’ry, weak and oft enshroud
tis comfort during callous nights
when Winter’s silence rages loud
ventis glacies adstricta pependit: The ice hangs, bound up by the wind
in silvam: into the forest

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Filed under Classical, Night, Winter

God and the Seer

Green is the weald where the seer dwells
He talks with the Lord, lingering in his presence
though mainly harking his Maker in silence
Go, tell the world ‘God with us’ and
declare his glory”; which comes sometimes in
dark and droning, dreadful smoking
cloud on mountain: consuming fire
too holy for humans to behold and live,
and sometimes in a wind whispering gently
like a sea breeze bringing comfort
softly singing songs of love;
Go, out of the wonderful weald of green
Go, though your heart’ll hurt with yearning
Go, to earth’s dark-places, desolate, forlorn
Bring hope to bones hollow and dry
Proclaim the Spirit’s coming in splendour
that dry bones do rise again;
that weary wasteland’s worries shall be gone
Where desert and darkness dragged their feet
there springing grass shall sprout from ground
When roots reign again the realm of asphalt
and forest regains its far-reaching homeland
then all hurts are healed by heaven’s Lamb.”
What me, Lord?” laughed the seer,
Surely I’m no use!” yapped he shaken
I have chosen you, trust me, I am
But Lord, I’m weak and worse still I’m scared.”
Trust me, chosen one, my child, my love
Not by your strength, strive though you may
will the battle be won, but by my Spirit
enough for each night and day
Now go and sing the Spirit-song.”

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Filed under Medieval