W 20 Song of the Shield-Wall
Words by Lady Malkin Grey,
Music by Lady Peregrynne Windrider
Note: Huscarls are Saxon Axe-men, guards of the King, and a
fighting Order of Calontir.
Hasten, oh sea-steed, over the swan-road,
Foamy-necked ship o'er the froth of the sea,
Hengest has called us from Gotland and Frisia
To Vortigern's country his army to be
We'll take our pay there in sweeter than silver;
We'll take our plunder in richer than gold,
For Hengest has promised us land for the fighting
Land for the sons of the Saxons to hold!
Hasten, oh fyrdsmen, down to the river
The dragonships come on the in-flowing tide
The linden-wood shield and the old spear of ash-wood
Are needed again by the cold water-side
Draw up the shield-wall, oh shoulder companions
Later whenever our story is told
They'll say that we died guarding what we call dearest,
Land that the sons of the Saxons will hold!
Hasten, oh Huscarls, north to the Dane-Law
Harold Hardrada's come over the sea
His longships he's laden with berserks from Norway
To gain Cnut's crown and our master to be
Bitter he'll find there the bite of our spear points
Hard-running Northmen too strong to die old
We'll grant him six feet, plus as much as he's taller
Of land that the sons of the Saxons will hold!
Make haste, son of Godwin, southward from Stamford
Triumph is sweet and your men have fought hard
But William the Bastard has landed at Pevensey
Burning the land you have promised to guard
Draw up the spears on the hilltop at Hastings
Fight 'til the sun drops and evening grows cold
And die with the last of your Saxons around you
Holding the land we were given to hold!
Optional: repeat first verse.
Performer(s) Arnolt Brekeswerd,