Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader/Wars of Alfred the Great

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[From the Parker MS. of the Chronicle (A) in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; other MSS. supply variants.]

871. Hēr cuom sē here tō Rēadingum on Westseaxe, ond þæs ymb iii niht rīdon ii eorlas up. Þā gemētte hīe Æþelwulf aldorman on Englafelda, ond him þǣr wiþ gefeaht ond sige nam. Þæs ymb iiii niht Æþerēd cyning ond Ælfrēd his brōþur þǣr micle fierd tō Rēadingum gelæddon, ond wiþ þone here gefuhton; ond þǣr wæs micel wæl geslægen on gehwæþre hond, ond Æþelwulf aldormon wearþ ofslægen, ond þā Deniscan āhton wælstowe gewald.

Ond þæs ymb iiii niht gefeaht Æþerēd cyning ond Ælfrēd his brōþur wiþ alne þone here on Æscesdūne. Ond hīe wǣrun on twǣm gefylcum: on ōþrum wæs Bāchsecg ond Halfdene þā hǣþnan cyningas, ond on ōþrum wǣron þā eorlas. Ond þā gefeaht sē cyning Æþerēd wiþ þāra cyninga getruman, ond þǣr wearþ sē cyning Bāgsecg ofslægen; ond Ælfrēd his broþur wiþ þāra eorla getruman, ond þǣr wearþ Sidroc eorl ofslægen sē alda, ond Sidroc eorl sē gioncga, ond Ōsbearn eorl, ond Frǣna eorl, ond Hareld eorl; ond þā hergas bēgen geflīemde, ond fela þūsenda ofslægenra, ond onfeohtende wǣron oþ niht.

Ond þæs ymb xiiii niht gefeaht Æþerēd cyning ond Ælfrēd his brōður wiþ þone here æt Basengum, ond þǣr þā Deniscan sige nāmon.

Ond þæs ymb ii mōnaþ gefeaht Æþerēd cyning ond Ælfrēd his brōþur wiþ þone here æt Meretūne, ond hīe wǣrun on tuǣm gefylcium, ond hīe būtū geflīemdon, ond longe on dæg sige āhton; ond þǣr wearþ micel wælsliht on gehwæþere hond, ond þā Deniscan āhton wælstōwe gewald; ond þǣr wearþ Hēahmund bisceop ofslægen, ond fela gōdra monna. Ond æfter þissum gefeohte cuōm micel sumorlida.

Ond þæs ofer Ēastron gefōr Æþerēd cyning; ond he ricsode v gēar, ond his līc līþ æt Winburnan.

Þā feng Ælfrēd Æþelwulfing his brōþur to Wesseaxna rīce. Ond þæs ymb ānne mōnaþ gefeaht Ælfrēd cyning wiþ alne þone here lȳtle werede æt Wiltūne, ond hine longe on dæg geflīemde, ond þā Deniscan āhton wælstōwe gewald.

Ond þæs gēares wurdon viiii folcgefeoht gefohten wiþ þone here on þȳ cynerīce be sūþan Temese, ond būtan þām þe him Ælfrēd þæs cyninges brōþur, ond ānlīpig aldormon ond cyninges þegnas oft rāde onrīdon þe mon nā ne rīmde; ond þæs gēares wǣrun ofslægene viiii eorlas ond ān cyning. Ond þȳ gēare nāmon Westseaxe friþ wiþ þone here.

893. Hēr on þysum gēare fōr sē micla here, þe wē gehyrn ymbe sprǣcon, eft of þǣm ēastrīce westweard tō Bunnan, on þǣr wurdon gescipode swā þæt hīe āsettan him on ānne sīþ ofer mid horsum mid ealle; ond þā cōmon ūp on Limene mūþan mid ccl hunde scipa. Sē mūþa is on ēasteweardre Cent, æt þæs miclan wuda ēastende þe wē Andred hātað. Sē wudu is ēastlang ond westlang hundtwelftiges mīla lang, oþþe lengra, ond þrītiges mīla brād. Sēo ēa, þe wē ǣr ymbe sprǣcon, līð ūt of þǣm wealda. On þā ēa hī tugon ūp hiora scipu oþ þone weald, iiii mīla fram þǣm mūþan ūteweardum, ond þǣr ābrǣcon ān geweorc: inne on þǣm fæstenne sǣton fēawa cirlisce men on, ond wæs sāmworht.

Ðā sōna æfter þǣm cōm Hæsten mid LXXX scipa ūp on Temese mūðan, ond worhte him geweorc æt Middeltūne, ond sē ōþer here æt Apuldre.

894. On þȳs gēare, þæt wæs ymb twelf mōnað ðæs þe hīe on þǣm ēastrīce geweorc geworht hæfdon, Norþhymbre ond Ēastengle hæfdon Ælfrēde cyninge āþas geseald, ond Ēastengle foregīsla VI: ond þēh ofer þā trēowa, swā oft swā þā ōþre hergas mid ealle herige ūt fōron, þonne fōron hīe, oþþe mid oþþe on heora healfe. Ond þā gegaderade Ælfrēd cyninge his fierd, ond fōr þæt hē gewīcode betwuh þǣm twām hergum, þǣr þǣr hē nīehst rȳmet hæfde for wudufæstenne ond for wæterfæstenne, swā þæt hē mehte ǣgþerne gerǣcan, gif hīe ǣnigne feld sēcan wolden. Ðā fōron hīe siþþan æfter þǣm wealda hlōþum ond flocrādum, bī swā hwaþerre efes swā hit þonne fierdlēas wǣs. Ond him mon ēac mid ōþrum floccum sōhte mǣstra daga ǣlce, oþþe on dæg oþþe on niht, ge of þǣre fierde ge ēac of þǣm burgum. Hæfde sē cyning his fierd on tū tōnumen, swā þæt hīe wǣron simle hælde æt hām, healfe ūte, būtan þǣm monnum þe þā burga healdan scolden. Ne cōm sē here oftor eall ūte of þǣm setum þonne tūwwa. ōþre sīþe þā hīe ǣrest tō londe cōmon, ǣr sīo fierd gesamnod wǣre; ōþre sīþe þā hīe of þǣm setum faran woldon. Þā hīe gefēngon micle herehȳð, ond þā woldon ferian norþweardes ofer Temese in on Ēastseaxe ongēan þā scipu. Þā forrād sīo fierd hīe foran, ond him wið gefeaht æt Fearnhamme, ond þone here geflīemde, ond þā herehȳþa āhreddon; ond hīe flugon ofer Temese būton ǣlcum forda; þā ūp be Colne on ānne iggað. Ðā besæt sīo fierd hīe þǣr ūtan þā hwīle þe hīe þǣr lengest mete hæfdon; ac hī hæfdon þā heora stemn gesetenne ond hiora mete genotudne; ond wæs sē cyng þā þiderweardes on fære, mid þǣre scīre þe mid him fierdedon. Ðā hē þā wæs þiderweardes, ond sīo ōþeru fierd wæs hāmweardes; ond ðā Deniscan sǣton þǣr behindan, for þǣm hiora cyninge wæs gewundod on þǣm gefeohte, þæt hī hine ne mehton ferian.

Þā gegaderedon þā þe in Norþhymbrum būgeað ond on Ēastengum sum hund scipa, ond fōron sūð ymbūtan, ond sum fēowertig scipa norþ ymbūtan, ond ymbsǣton ān geweorc on Defnascīre be þǣre Norþsǣ; ond þā þe sūþ ymbūtan fōron, ymbsǣton Exancester. Þā sē cyng þæt hīerde, þā wede hē hine west wið Exanceastres mid ealre þǣre fierde, būton swīþe gewaldenum dǣle ēasteweardes þæs folces, Þā fōron forð oþ þe hīe cōmon tō Lundenbyrg, ond þā mid þǣm burgwarum ond þǣm fultume þe him westan cōm, fōron ēast tō Bēamflēote. Wæs Hæsten þā þǣr cumen mid his herge þe ǣr æt Middeltūne sæt; ond ēac sē micla here wæs þā þǣr tō cumen þe ǣr on Limene mūþan sæt æt Apuldre. Hæfde Hæsten ǣr geworht þæt geweorc æt Bēamflēote, ond wās þā ūt āfaren on hergaþ, ond wæs sē micla here æt hām. Þā fōron hīe tō, ond geflīemdon þone here, ond þæt geweorc ābrǣcon, ond genāmon eal þæt þǣr binnan wæs, ge on fēo ge on wīfum, ge ēac on bearnum, ond brōhton eall in tō Lundenbyrig; ond þā scipu eall oðþe tōbrǣcon, oþþe forbærndon, oþþe to Lundenbyrig brōhton oþþe to Hrōfesceastre; ond Hæstenes wīf ond his suna twēgen mon brōhte tō þǣm cyninge, ond hē hī him eft āgeaf, for þǣm þe hiora wæs ōþer his godsunu, ōþer Æðerēdes ealdormonnes; Hæfdon hī hiora onfangen ǣr Hæsten to Bēamflēote cōme, ond hē him hæfde geseald gīslas ond āðas, ond sē cyng him ēac wel feoh sealde, ond ēac swā þā he þone cniht āgef ond þæt wīf. Ac sōna swā hīe to Bēamflēote cōmon, ond þæt geweorc geworct wæs, swā hergode hē on his rīce, þone ilcan ende þe Æþerēd his cumpæder healdan sceolde; ond eft ōþre sīþe hē wæs on hergað gelend on þæt ilce rīce þā þā mon his geweorc ābræc.

Þā sē cyning hine þā west wende mid þǣre fierde wið Exancestres, swā ic ǣr sǣde, ond sē here þā burg beseten hæfde, þā hē þǣr tō gefaren wæs, þā ēodon hīe tō hiora scipum.

Þā hē þā wið þone here þǣr west ābisgod wæs, ond þā hergas wǣron þā gegaderode bēgen tō Sceobyrig on Ēastseaxum, ond þǣr geweorc worhtun, fōron bēgen ætgædere ūp be Temese; ond him cōm micel ēaca tō ǣgþer ge of Ēastenglum ge of Norþhymbrum. Fōron þā ūp be Temese oþ þæt hīe gedydon æt Sǣferne; þā ūp be Sǣferne. Þā gegaderode Æþerēd ealdormon, ond Æþelm ealdorman, ond Æþelnōþ ealdorman, ond þā cinges þegnas þe þā æt hām æt þǣm geweorcum wǣron, of ǣlcre byrig be ēastan Pedredan, ge be westan Sealwuda ge be ēastan, ge ēac be norþan Temese, ond be westan Sǣfern, ge ēac sum dǣl þæs Norðwēalcynnes. Þā hīe þā ealle gegaderode wǣron, þā offōron hīe þone here hindan æt Buttingtūne, on Sǣferne staþe, ond hine þǣr ūtan besǣton on ǣlce healfe, on ānum fæstenne. Þā hīe ðā fela wucena sǣton on twā healfe þǣre ē, ond sē cyng wæs west on Defnum wiþ þone sciphere, þā wǣron hīe mid metelīeste gewǣgde, ond hæfdon miclne dǣl þāra horsa freten, ond þā ōþre wǣron hungre ācwolen. Þā ēodon hīe ūt tō ðǣm monnum þe on ēasthealfe þǣre ē wīcodon, ond him wiþ gefuhton; ond þā Crīstnan hæfdon sige. Ond þǣr wearð Ordhēh cyninges þegn ofslægen, ond ēac monige ōþre cyninges þegnas; ond þāra Deniscra þǣr wearð swīþe wycel wæl geselgen, ond sē dǣl þe þǣr aweg cōm wurdon on flēame generede.

Þā hīe on Ēastseaxe cōmon tō hiora geweorce ond tō hiora scipum, þā gegaderade sīo lāf eft of Ēastenglum, ond of Norðhymbrum micelne here onforan winter, ond befæston hira wīf ond hira scipu ond hira feoh on Ēastenglum, ond fōron ānstreces dæges ond nihtes, þæt hīe gedydon on ānre wēstre ceastre on Wīrhēalum, sēo is Lēgaceaster gehāten. Þā ne mehte sēo fird hīe nā hindan offaran, ǣr hīe wǣron inne on þǣm geweorce; besǣton þēah þæt geweorc ūtan sume twēgen dagas, ond genāmon cēapes eall þæt þǣr būton wæs, ond þā men ofslōgon þe hīe foran forrīdan mehton būtan geweorce, ond þæt corn eall forbærndon, ond mid hira horsum ond fretton on ǣlcre efenēhðe. Ond þæt wæs ymb twelf mōnað þæs þe hīe ǣr hider ofer sǣ comon.

895. Ond þā sōna æfter þǣm on ðȳs gēre fōr sē here of Wīrhēale in on Norðwēalas, for þǣm hīe ðǣr sittan ne mehton: þæt wæs for ðȳ þe hīe wǣron benumene ǣgðer ge þæs cēapes ge þæs cornes, ðe hīe gehergod hæfdon. Þā hīe ðā eft ūt of Norðwēalum wendon mid þǣre herehȳðe þe hīe ðǣr genumen hæfdon, þā fōron hīe ofer Norðhymbra lond ond Ēastengla, swā swā sēo fird hīe gerǣcan ne mehte, oþ þæt hīe cōmon on Ēastseaxna lond ēasteweard, on ān īgland þæt is ūte on þǣre sǣ, þæt is Meresīg hāten.

Ond þā sē here eft hāmweard wende þe Exanceaster beseten hæfde, þā hergodon hīe ūp on Sūðseaxum nēah Cisseceastre, ond þā burgware hīe geflīemdon, ond hira monig hund ofslōgon, ond hira scipu sumu genāmon.

Ðā þȳ ylcan gēre onforan winter þā Deniscan þe on Meresīge sǣton tugon hira scipu ūp on Temese, ond þā ūp on Lȳgan. Þæt wæs ymb twā gēr þæs þe hīe hider ofer sǣ cōmon.

896. On þȳ ylcan gēre worhte sē foresprecena here geweorc be Lȳgan, xx mīla bufan Lundenbyrig. Þā þæs on sumera fōron micel dǣl þāra burgwara, ond ēac swā ōþres folces, þæt hīe gedydon æt þāra Deniscana geweorce, ond þǣr wurdon geflīemde, ond sume fēower cyninges þegnas ofslægene. Þā þæs on hærfeste þā wīcode sē cyng on nēaweste þāre byrig, þā hwīle þe hīe hira corn gerypon, þæt þā Deniscan him ne mehton þæs ripes forwiernan. Þā sume dæge rād sē cyng ūp bi þǣre ēæ, ond gehāwade hwǣr mon mehte þā ēa forwyrcan, þæt hīe ne mehton þā scipu ūt brengan. Ond hīe ðā swā dydon: worhton ðā tū geweorc on twā healfe þǣre ēas. Þā hīe ðā þæt geweorc furþum ongunnen hæfdon, ond þǣr tō gewīcod hæfdon, þā onget sē here þæt hīe ne mehton þā scipu ūt brengan. Þā forlēton hīe hīe, ond ēodon ofer land þæt hīe gedydon æt Cwātbrycge be Sǣfern, ond þǣr gewerc worhton. Þā rād sēo fird west æfter þǣm herige, ond þā men of Lundenbyrig gefetedon þā scipu, ond þā ealle þe hīe ālǣdan ne mehton tōbrǣcon, ond þā þe þǣr stælwyrðe wǣron binnan Lundenbyrig gebrohton. Ond þā Deniscan hæfdon hira wīf befæst innan Ēastengle ǣr hīe ūt of þǣm geweorce fōron. Þā sǣton hīe þone winter æt Cwātbrycge. Þæt wæs ymb þrēo gēr þæs þe hīe on Limene mūðan cōmon hider ofer sǣ.

897. Ðā þæs on sumera on ðysum gere tōfōr sē here, sum on Ēastengle, sum on Norðhymbre. Ond þā þe feohlēase wǣron him þǣr scipu begēton, ond sūð ofer sǣ fōron tō Sigene.

Næfde sē here, Godes þonces, Angelcyn ealles for swīðe gebrocod; ac hīe wǣron micle swīþor gebrocede on þǣm þrīm gēarum mid cēapes cwilde ond monna, ealles swīþost mid þǣm þæt manige þāra sēlestena cynges þēna þe þǣr on londe wǣron forðfērdon on þǣm þrȳm gēarum. Þāra wæs sum Swīðulf biscop on Hrōfesceastre, ond Cēolmund ealdormon on Cent, ond Beorhtulf ealdormon on Ēastseaxum, ond Wulfrēd ealdormon on Hāmtūnscīre, ond Ealhheard biscop æt Dorceceastre, ond Ēadulf cynges þegn on Sūðseaxum, ond Beornulf wīcgefera on Winteceastre, ond Ecgulf cynges horsþegn, ond manige ēac him, þēh ic ðā geðungnestan nemde.

Þȳ ilcan gēare drehton þā hergas on Ēastenglum ond on Norðhymbrum Westseaxna lond swīðe be þǣm sūðstæðe mid stælhergum, ealra swīþust mid ðǣm æscum þe hīe fela gēara ǣr timbredon. Þā hēt Ælfrēd cyng timbran lang scipu ongēn ðā æscas; þā wǣron ful nēah tū swā lange swā þā ōðru; sume hæfdon LX āra, sume mā; þā wǣron ǣgðer ge swiftran, ge unwealtran, ge ēac hīerran þonne þā ōðru; nǣron nāwðer nē on Frēsisc gescæpene nē on Denisc, būte swā him selfum ðūhte þæt hīe nytwyrðoste bēon meahten. Þā æt sumum cirre þæs ilcan gēares cōmon þǣr sex scipu tō Wiht, ond þær micel yfel gedydon, ǣgðer ge on Defenum ge wel hwǣr be ðǣm sǣriman. Þā hēt sē cyng faran mid nigonum tō þāra nīwena scipa; ond forfōron him þone mūðan foran on ūtermere. Þā fōron hie mid þrīm scipum ūt ongēn hīe, 7ond þrēo stōdon æt ufeweardum þǣm mūðan on drȳgum, wǣron þā men uppe on londe of āgāne. Þā gefēngon hīe þāra þrēora scipa tū æt ðǣm mūðan ūteweardum, ond þā men ofslōgon, ond þæt ān oðwand; on þǣm wǣron ēac þā men ofslægene būton fīfum; þā cōmon for ðȳ on weg ðe ðāra ōþerra scipu āsǣton. Þā wurdon ēac swīðe unēðelīce āseten. Þrēo āsǣton on ðā healfe þæs dēopes ðe ðā Deniscan scipu āseten wǣron, ond þā ōðru eall on ōþre healfe, þæt hira ne mehte nān tō ōðrum. Ac ðā þæt wæter wæs āhebbad fela furlanga from þǣm scipum, þā ēodan ðā Deniscan from þǣm þrīm scipum tō þǣm ōðrum þrīm þe on hira healfe beebbade wǣron, ond hīe þā þǣr gefuhton. Þǣr wearð ofslægen Lucumon cynges gerēfa, ond Wulfheard Frīesa. ond Æbbe Frīesa, ond Æðelhere Frīesa, ond Æðelferð cynges genēat, ond ealra monna, Frēsiscra ond Engliscra LXII, ond þāra Deniscena CXX. Þā cōm þǣm Deniscum scipum þēh ǣr flōd tō, ǣr þā Crīstnan mehten hira ūt āscūfan, ond hīe for ðȳ ūt oðrēowon. Þā wǣron hīe tō þǣm gesārgode þæt hīe ne mehton Sūðseaxna lond ūtan berōwan, ac hira þǣr tū sǣ on lond wearp; ond þā men mon lǣdde tō Winteceastre tō þǣm cynge, ond hē hīe ðǣr āhōn hēt; ond þā men cōmon on Ēastengle þe on þǣm ānum scipe wǣron. swīðe forwundode.

Þȳ ilcan sumera forwearð nō lǣs þonne XX scipa mid monnum mid ealle be þām sūðriman. Þȳ ilcan gēre forðfērde Wulfrīc cynges horsðegn, sē wæs ēac Wealhgefēra.

901. Hēr gefōr Ælfrēd Aþulfing, syx nihtum ǣr ealra hāligra mæssan. Sē wæs cyning ofer eall Ongelcyn būtan ðǣm dǣle þe under Dena onwalde wæs, ond hē hēold þæt rīce ōþrum healfum lǣs þe XXX wintra. Ond þā feng Ēadweard his sunu tō rīce.