Songbook: Song Of The Shieldwall

Words: Lady Malkin Grey
Music: Lady Peregrynne Windrider

Hasten o-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 Vortigem'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 our fighting
Land for the sons of the Saxons to hold.

Hasten o fyrds men down to the river
Dragon prowed ships on the incoming tide.
Linden wood shield and the old spear of ash wood
Are needed again by the cold waterside.
Draw up the shield-wall o shoulder companions
Later whenever our story is told
They'll say that we died guarding what we hold dearest
Land that the sons of the Saxons will hold.

Hasten o house-carls north to the Danelaw
Harald Hardrada's come over the sea.
His longships he's laden with bareserks from Norway
To claim Canute's crown and our master to be.
Bitter he'll find the bite of our spear-points
Hard ruling northmen too proud 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.

Hasten on southward strong son of Godwin
Victory's 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 till the sun drops and evening grows cold
And die with the last of your Saxons around you
Holding the land you were given to hold.

And if you're feeling keen, try it in Englisc!

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