Hæðfeld

This was my regional arts and sciences entry for this year.

Edwin, ring-giver // England’s chosen
Rightwise and holy, // ruling with honor,
Bretwalda christened, // baptized at Eoforic,
No truer a leader // Throughout all Britain.
But Penda of Mercia, // Pagan crown-seeker,
And the Briton Cadwallon, // to battle they rallied.
Their errand was sinful, // ever for blade-sweat.
The Briton sought Edwin // Blood-shed for his wergild,
Payment for exile, // pagan swords gathered.
Before that slaying, // Bernicia’s leader,
The Deceiver, Edwin, //Drove him, Cadwallon,
Unseated from Gwynedd, // Under that conquest.
To Mercian Penda // Meaning to ally.
On saddle-beasts northward // Seeking Edwin,
With Gleaming, mail-shirts // Gathered spear-men.
On Roman roadways, // Raedwald’s wyrd-path,
to Aethelfrith’s earth-pit // with Edwin the victor.
Ready for sword-sweat, // wanting bloodshed,
Pagan and tyrant, // Penda and Cadwallon,
To Hæðfeld with weapons, // hungry for spear-dew.
sparing no kindness, // showing no good-will.
Raven feeders // readied Edwin,
To war-fields gathered, // wound-hoes grasping.
Oathbound fighters, // Edwin’s liegemen,
To Penda’s war-field, // praying for boldness,
Deira’s princes // daring to follow,

Praying and hoping // for Penda’s downfall.

In mailshirts gleaming // mounted pagans,

Britons leading, // battled Edwin.

Osfric was murdered, // Edwin’s firstborn,

Warlike and dreadful, // war-food for the ravens.

In hatred and anger // hunted Edwin.

Penda took Eadfrid, promised shelter.

Oathbreaking Penda // honored nothing.

Fearful leader // fed the ravens

Eadfrid’s bonehouse – // Edwin’s kinsman.

Boldly Deira // Border warded,

Holding boldly // Hæðfeld’s country.

Driven to sword-sleep, // the death-blow by Penda.

And Fairest Edwin // fallen with his liegemen,

His brain-box taken: // the Briton’s war-prize.
Riding through Deira, // they raided the northlands,

Showing no mercy, // sparing no children.
The Briton Cadwallon, // though baptized a Christian,

Heartless and evil, // Hateful and guiltless.

Though pagan in being, // Penda was fairer!

Crumbled by devils, // that kingdom of Edwin’s

Where liegemen and children // lingered safely.

So adored that high-lord, // Edwin their ruler,

Banners of tribute // before him flying.
Beloved by Deira, // Bernicia’s chosen.

The curséd Cadwallon, // kingdom’s raider –

So unlike a ruler, // no Edwin, Bretwalda,

Though taken was Deira, // its tyrant a weakling,

Sowing hatred, // Spreading bloodshed.
Darkness shrouded // Deira after

Edwin the high-king // Eagles sated.
Shameful that Edwin, // saintly martyr,

At Hæðfeld fallen, // hunted for rancor.
Fearless in battle, // faithful till sword’s-rest.

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