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Here is the oversetting of the leeth 'Hild at Maldon', writ betwixt the 10th and 11th-yearhundreds. It is a bethoughtening of the Hild at Maldon in the year 991, at which a hild was fought between the wikings and Anglo-Saxons, with a win for the Wikings. Although the brimmen won this hild and not the Saxons, the leeth is meant to bring inblowing from netherlay. Sadly, the beginning and ending lines were lost in the Seedwool Bookhouse fire of 1731, making it so that shares of the leeth are missing.

Afore reading, know that this yeed hath many olden words, olden word-fanding, and elden speechcraft in order to not steer away from the Old English. Here are the most wont olden words found in this leeth:

tho: an olden morefold sundering of the (<ME tho/tha, cf. OE þā)

Bynames such as thou, thy, and ye

fele: many

the while that/the while the: for as long as

mid: with

with: against

To may be used in an older sundering.

                      ...should it be broken.

The men were given hest to forlet their horses

and far feased them, then the men forthwent,

huik on hands, and in good hyge.

When Offan's kinsmen, first onfinding

for-that the earl willed, irgtho was tholed not,

he let then, from his hands, his beloved

hawk fly mid the holts, and went to the hild.

By that man might know, that the knight willed not

to weaken at wye, when he to weapons took.

Eke Eadric willed to last his elder, a frea

at fighting; thus, he began then to bear forth

his gar to guth. He had good thinking

the while that he mid hands, could hold a

board and broadsword, he would lasten

his troth when he needed to fight before his frea.

Then there Byrhtnoth began, and berns were trimmed;

riding and reding, he taught rinks

how they should stand, and how the stead should be held

and bid that their rands be held rightly

fast mid folm, and bid them be frightened not.

When he had the folk fairly trimmed,

he lit then mid lede, where he loved the most

where he, his hearth-werd, held wist.

Then stood on the staithe, sternly clept

the wiking's oar, and words were spoken.

He then abode a boastful brimlith errand

to the earl, where he on the over stood:

"I was sent to thee, by snell seaman,

I hight you say, that thou must send rathly

beighs with burg, and better it would be

for you that this garres be mid gavel foryield

then that we such hard hild deal.

Need not we spill ourselves, if ye spede enough;

we will mid the gold, fasten grith.

If thou redest that, who here richest art,

that thou thy lede, will lease,

give seamen, on themselves doom,

fee mid frith, and nim frith from us,

we will mid tho sceats, gang ourselves to ships,

onto the float we fare, and you will hold frith."

Byrhtnoth matheled, board heaved,

wanded the weak ash-spear, words were made,

ire and anred, gave him back answer:

"Hearest thou, seafarer, what this folk sayeth?

They are willing to gavel gars as syllan

ettren ord and old swords,

the here-gates, for you at hild nay dow.

Brimman bode, abede eft again.

Say to thy lede... a much more loatheful spell

That here stands unforcuth, an earl mid his werd,

they will algian this ethel,

Æthelred’s eard, mine elders,

folk and fold. Fall shall the

heathens at hild! Too heanlike me thinketh

that ye mid our sceat to ships gang

unbefought, now that ye have come so far hither

on our erd. Nay must ye so softly

get our sinch; we shall give ord and edge,

ere geseman, grim guth-play,

ere we syllon gavel."

He hight then, shield bearing, tho berns went

that they on the flood-bank, all stood.

Nay might there for water, one werd to the other;

there came flowing flood after ebb tide,

logstreams locked them. They thought it too long

before they together, bore their geirs.

There they stood at Pante's stream, mid high-flown bestanding

East-Saxish ord, and the ash-here.

None of them could dere each other,

but if one, through flon's flight, fell.

The flood went out. Tho floten stood gear.

Fele Wikings, wye-yearning.

He hight the hele legh to hold the bridge.

A wye-hardened wyeman, who was hight Wulfstan,

caf mid his kin; that was Ceola's son,

mid his franca, he ofshot the first man

who there boldly onto the bridge stepped.

There stood mid Wulfstan wyemen unforght,

Ælfhere and Maccus, two mody ones,

who willed not to make flight at the ford,

but they fastly, with the fiend had werien,

the while that they mote wield weapons.

When they that angot , and saw yearningly,

that they found bitterly the bridge-werd,

tho loathed guests began lytegian:

they bid if they might have free upgang

and fare over the ford leading fetha.

Then the Earl gan, from his overmod,

alyved too fele land to the loathed thede.

Then began his calling over cold water,

Byrhtelm's bairn, (berns listened):

"now you are ream; come richenly to us,

gome to guth. Only God wot

who mote wield the wal-stow."

Waded tho wal-wolves (they murned not water),

the wiking werd, west over Pante,

over shire water, shields weien,

lidmen to land, shields borne.

There they stood in gear against tho gram ones,

Bryhtnoth mid berns; he mid boards hight

to work a wihaw, and the werd held fast with fiends.

Then was fought near tir at toht. The tide had come

that there, fey man should fall.

There was a raim ahebben. Ravens winded,

ernes yearned food. A chirm was on earth.

- The rest will be overset soon enough.


Byrhtwold matheled,

board havened (he was an old geneat),

ash-spear acweht.

He full boldly besought the berns:

hyge shall be harder,

heart keener,

mood shall be more,

that our might lightens.

Here lies our elder,

all forheawen,

a good man on grit.

A man norns,

he that now wends from this wig-play,

thinks this:

I am frod in far;

from it I will not,

but I may be by the half of my lord,

by so loved men,

who lie in thought.

So they on Æthelgeir's bairn... all built,

Godric to guth.

Oft his geir was forlet,

wal-spear wind on the wikings,

so he on those folk,

foremost yede,

hue and hind,

oth-that he at hild fell.

Nay was that not the Godric... who the guth forbore.

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