Blood & Battle
Viking Attack on Lindisfarne
Dire portents were seen over the Northumbrian land, frightening the people terribly. There were huge flashes of lightning, and flaming dragons were seen flying through the sky. Those signs were followed by a great famine. And a little after that in the same year, on the sixth of the Ides of June, a raid by heathen men destroyed, with looting and manslaughter, God’s church upon the isle of Lindisfarne.
from The Battle of Maldon
The murderous wolves then waded—
they were not afraid of a little water,
that Viking host—westward over the Pan.
Bearing their shields of linden wood across
the shining stream, the seamen came to land.
Against them, fierce and ready, stood Byrhtnoth
and his men. He ordered them to raise the shield wall
and hold fast against the enemy…. The time had come
when doomed men had to fall. Cries and clamor arose.
The ravens gathered, eagles eager for carrion.
There was uproar on the earth.
Now hands let go of spears—
hard and file-
Bows were kept busy, and shields
seized the sharpened points….
The Vikings charged in full battle rage,
spears punching through the husks
of doomed men’s souls….
Copyright 2012 by Daniel Veach
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