Opening lines of Eþandun: Epic Poem
Pour your glory, Lord, on the struggling king,
who by your hand ransomed the ravaged land;
illuminate the faces of your people,
who bled for you on every slaughterfield;
and kindle, Comforter, our uncouth hearts
that we may burn to do your will and earn
the blessings, not the curses, of our ancestors.
The pagan Danes had conquered the four kingdoms.
Clerics and kings, churls and thanes they’d slain,
while the living they plundered and enslaved.
Alfred, caked with the blood of friend and foe,
tasted the dregs of that envenomed horn,
but, granted faith and craft by our dear Savior,
he steeped old Godrum’s host in faith and fear
and steered the stubborn oarsmen from our soil. . .