For the Coronation of Kenric and Avelina

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This was written by Grim the Skald for the Coronation of Kenric and Avelina in the spring of 2016. It is adapted from the Old English Poem “The Battle of Maldon,” with some supplemental material drawn from “The Battle of the Swedes and the Geat’s” from Beowulf. It was performed at Coronation by Grim and Aethelflied Brewbane

Grim spoke:
Hear me recount the clash of swords
Of armed struggle between Saxon Eorl
And bold Norse-man. Northern sea-farers
Ravaged the coast of the regal East
Led by hard-swinging Hrafn Bonesetter –
Bearer of two blades. This bold raider
Defeated all who faced ‘gainst him.
Lord,thane,and eorl alike fell before him.

Athelflied spoke:
Then he came to face Kenric the brave,
Long-steeped in battle-craft, leading his war-band.
Hrafn called out hailed the East-Thanes
“I offer you peace if payment you make.
Give us gold rings we shall grant you truce
Offer us this tribute to take to our ships –
we will depart on the sea -- peace you will have.”

Grim spoke:
Kenric called back, kingly East-Man
“Hear you, sea-farer, what say my folk?
They wish to pay your price in spears,
With edge of axe, and old sword-point
A war-gear wealth – with wound-payment.”

Athelflied spoke:
Avelina was there also armed with a bow,
wife of Kenric she called loudly
“A Duchess here stands undaunted by your men
With a fierce army to defend this land –
The brave Kingdom of Brennan and Caoilifin –
the only tribute we offer is strife.”

Grim spoke:
The two war-bands waged great tumult
the men’s slaughter-rush was seen widely—
Avelina let fly the fire of the bow
the fierce foemen were felled by the score.

Athelflied spoke:
Hero-blooded Hrafn hacked through the East-men
but halted when faced a hardened edge –
The bold fighter was forced to submit
to Kenric’s will. Their weapons clashed
Hrafn reached Kenric with a keen-edged sword
thus drawing blood bursting from the veins
beneath his hair. ...

Grim spoke:
... Nevetheless, Kenric
brought down his blade – broadsword of giants—
down on the helm of Hrafn Bonesetter
the fierce Northman fell to the world-floor.

The Vikings took flight at the fall of their leader
The sea-wolves scattered seeking their ships
Hrafn was left behind hard-battered but alive,
The Eorl lifted up his arm to strike.

Athelflied spoke:
Avelina came forth and called to the men
“Pray, stay your hand, oh husband mine.
To fall on this field fits not a man
who fought with such skill – fearless and strong.
Offer him rings, honored titles,
a home in the East – hides of earth-land –
mighty shall he make our matchless realm.”

Grim spoke:
Hrafn accepted the offer made
and became a thane of acclaim in the East.

Athelflied spoke:
Hail great Kenric keen of eye and arm

Grim spoke:
fierce defender of this fair Kingdom
Hail great Avelina giving and wise.

Athelflied spoke:
Turner of foe into faithful thane.

Copyright Dan Marsh 2016