Birhtwold’s Speech from ‘The Battle of Maldon’

Birhtwold’s Speech from ‘The Battle of Maldon’ in both Audio and text versions.

Old English

Hyge sceal þy heardra, heorte þy cenre,
Mod sceal þy mare þy ure mægen lytlaþ.
Her ligeþ ure ealdor eall forheawen,
God on greote. A mæg gnornian<br>
Se-þe nu fram þys wig-plegan wendan þenceþ.
Ic eom frod feores; fram ic ne wille
Ac ic me be healfe minum hlaforde,
Be swa leofum menn, licgan þence.

Modern English

Courage shall be the fiercer, heart the bolder,
Spirit the greater, as our strength lessens.
Here lies our chief all hewn down,
A noble man in the dust. He has cause ever to mourn
who intends now to turn from this war-play.
I am advanced in years; I will not hence,
But I by the side of my lord,
By so dear a man, intend to lie.

Birhtwold’s Speech from “The Battle of Maldon” (29 sec) (from Norton Anthology of English Literature).