In this year, King Æthelstan, lord of earls,
ring-giver of warriors, and his brother as well,
Eadmund ætheling achieved everlasting glory
in battle, with the edges of swords
near Brunanburh. They cleaved the massed shields,
hewed the battle-wood, the relics of hammers,
of the heir of Eadweard, as it suited
their heritage, so that they often in battle
defended their lands, treasures, and homesteads
against every one of the hateful—
Foemen were felled, the Scottish people,
the ship-sailors fated were destroyed,
the fields grew slickened with the blood of men,
after the sun passed upwards over the earth.
in the morning-time, the remarkable star,
the bright candle of God, the Eternal Lord,
until that noble creation sank to its rest.
There lay many warriors, seized by the spear,
the northern men, over their arrowed shields,
likewise the Scottish also were weary, saddened by war.
The West-Saxons in their ranks rode down
the long long day the hateful people,
chopping down the battle-fleers from behind
so sorely with sharply ground swords.
The Mercians did not deny any of those warriors
their hard hand-playing, those who had sought
their land with Anlaf across the blending of oars
upon the bosom of the sea, fated to fighting.
Five young kings lay slain on the battlefield,
put to sleep by the sword—likewise seven more
of the earls of Anlaf, and an uncountable army,
their sailors and Scots. There the lord of the Northmen
was put to flight, driven by need to the stem
of his ship, with but a little army—
the ship pressed into the water, the king departed there
onto the fallow flood, sparing his spirit.
Likewise there also the aged man came into the sea
into his northern homeland, Constantinus,
the hoary battle-warrior, having no need to cry out
about the match of his pairing—his might was slashed,
deprived of his friends upon the folk-stead,
smitten in battle, and losing his son
upon the slaughter-field, ground down by wounds,
the young man at war.
There was no need to boast for the blond warrior
of the sword-slaying, old and devious, nor Anlaf any more—
among their battle-leavings they had no need to laugh
about how they were better in battle-works
upon the fighting-field, under the flaring flags,
at the conclave of spears, the meeting of men,
the exchange of weapons, after they upon the killing-field,
playing against the heir of Eadweard.
Those North-men departed into their nailed barques,
the dreary leavings of the spear upon the Irish Sea
across the deep water seeking Dublin,
and Ireland abashed in mind.
Likewise those brothers both together,
king and his nobleman, sought that country,
West-Saxon-land, exultant in warfare.
They left them behind to divide up the carrion,
the dusky-plumed fowl, that darkened raven,
horn-beaked and that hazel-feathered eagle,
white behind it, enjoying the slain,
the greedy war-hawk and that grey beast,
the wolf in the wold. Nor was there a greater slaughter
upon this island ever yet, the people slain
before these edges of swords, of which the books speak,
the elder historians, after the Angles and the Saxons
arrived up from the east hither over the broad sea
seeking Britain, the haughty war-smiths,
overwhelming the Welsh, men eager for glory
obtaining their new homeland.