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Hildeburhʼs Lament XII

But before the Danes
Could fare to the Mark,
Winter snowfall
Severed their way.
Nor would the fearsome seaʼs
Stormy surging
Let them sail in ships.
Winter waves struggled
By wind and icy bond
Locking them in,
Till longed for Spring
Came round next year
As yet it still does.
So Hengest and his men
Remained that winter
With Finn in Frisia,
Fighting their pride,
In weary weather.
Then was Winter shaken,
And the earth grew fair,
Finding that exile,
The guarded guest,
Growing eager
More to retaliate
Than return by sea,
If it might be brought about.
His mind still dwellt
Upon the Jutes and their due,
Judging their deeds.
So when Húnláfing’s son
Laid that best bill
In his lap, whose edgeʼs
Eagerness the Jutes knew well,
Then cruel sworddeath
Assailed the bold Finn
In his own homestead,
A king amongst his company,
And his queen taken
By the Scylding shieldmen
To the ships with the booty;
Jutish jewels
And gems of Frisia.
Over the seaway
They sailed in victory,
Leading me to my land
As ʻLady of the Danesʼ.
My grief for Finn,
Their grimmest foe,
None could understand.
I stood alone again,
Hollowly laughing
To hide my mourning,
My sore, sad heart
Sailing across the whaleroad.
Is this woman’s fate?
Woeful, forlorn,
Bearing bitterness
And burdened with care,
Being pushed around
By rash, proud men?
And all joys worn away
By jealous Wyrd?


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I glance and then avoid her eyes
That sometimes seem to pierce my heart
Just when I start to fantasise
That we could ever be a part
Of our vocabulary. The way
She looks – so innocent yet wise
Without her willing, keeps at bay
The one who loves her. But he tries
To please, and though he mope,
A man in love wonʼt give up hope.

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Filed under Love poems, Spring


The biting wind has made my ears go numb.
No sound escapes from Winter’s freezing spell
which makes the country silent, grey and dumb.
Behind the weathered, leafless oaks a dell
I’m heading for to ‘scape the silent cold.
The dale dips down below the fields now bare,
where beech trees stand around since days of old.
They’re gnarled and bent as if in silent prayer,
reminding me to ask not hills for help,
but cry out desperately to God
to rescue me from Winter’s aches and chills,
his healing hands to hold this heart down trod’.
And when I looked again, Winter’d withdrawn,
God’s joyful Spring arrived with blessèd dawn.

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Spring I

Silver birches swaying blithely
winding coyly in the windy breeze;
broad-brimmed beeches blowing softly:
faithful, friendly forest-maidens.
Lilting laughter lightly carries,
while treemaids splash in spraying brook;
washing their hair in waterfalls sweet,
bathing in sunlight’s soft-clean warmth.
Master Sun is more than sanguine
shining through leaves and shoots so greenly,
making playful prancing shadows
sprinkling Greenwood in springtime light.
In the clearing, Oaking’s court is joyful
minstrel fauns sing morning hymns, while
river maids dance with ravishing movements
and larchmen lounge, leaves a-whispering
of quieter joys coursing, tingling
right through their veins, thanking the Maker
for the joy of Spring, splend’rous awakening
new life, new love – living, loving.

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Filed under Medieval, Spring