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Gesithas Herred
Gesithas Herred
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Great Axe

Paul

Hwaet! We Gesithas        thrym gefrunon
eorla eadig            weorthful Eadmond
hu thaet hlaford            ellen fremedon.
Wuldres Wealdend            woroldare forgeaf
haele hildedeor           thaet was god gesith.
Paul was a proud         and princely leader
the bold battle-boss      commanded bravely
skilled with sword,         spear and bow.
Worthy of renown,         the wise word-smith,
a good companion          generous with gifts.
He loved his Lord,          the Creator of Life,
served his saviour           and his fellow man.
Very vigorous man         he left us valiantly
one final fight                   that fateful day
he went joyful           to the jousting,
spurred his steed,           the stout stallion,
champions charged,            hooves churned turf,
the smash of weapons            spear met shield.
Lances burst,          the battle-boughs broke,
splintered asunder,        slivers flew in swarms;
one stung the eye           of stalwart Paul
and struck him down,        a sudden doom.
Healers hurried           to help the wounded one,
a whirling wind            announced arrival
of the spinning eagle          which whisked him away.
He fought the festering             foul injury,
a week of waiting           by wife and kin
but followed the call            of Christ to heaven
ended earth’s exile          and hurried home.
He feasts in that festive           far-off paradise
cheered by company           of those gone before
waiting and watching              the weary remnant
as we weep and remember            and celebrate his life.

Translation of Old English: Hark! We have heard of the glory
of the blessed eorl of the Gesithas,
the worthy Edmond, how that lord performed courageous deeds.
The Glorious Lord God gave him worldly honour,
the battle-brave hero – that was a good companion.

Great Axe

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