A Fragment of a Fragment

Recently, I’m quite pleased to say that the Finnsburg Fragment has sprung to my mind on several occasions. Or, well, if not the entire fragment, then at least the first few lines which represent many things for me. The first time I saw these lines, I think I might have been some eleven or twelve. They had this fitting image already then… even more so now.

So, ‘The gables are not burning’…

‘the gables are not burning.’
Then the king, a novice in battle, said:
‘This is no dawn from the east, no dragon
flies here, the gables of the hall are not burning,
but men are making an attack. Birds of battle screech,
the grey wolf howls, spears rattle,
shield answers shaft. The wandering moon gleams
under the clouds; evil deeds will now
be done, bringing grief to this people.
But rouse yourself now, my warriors!
Grasp your shields, steel yourselves,
fight at the front and be brave!’

Determination, strength, and power! No dragon flies here!

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