of Beesleigh Priory sing this lay.
Then he commanded each young man
To leave his horse, to drive it far off,
and to go forth, with mind turned
to strong hands and good thoughts.
Then Offa's kinsman first discovered
that the great earl suffered no slackness;
he let from his hand, then, loved one fly,
hawk to the holt, and he stepped to battle.
So one could know that the lad wished not
to weaken in war, when he seized weapons.
And as for him, Eadric would follow his prince,
his lord to the fight; he bore forth, then,
spear to the battle. He had good thought
as long as he with hands could hold
board and bright sword: his boast he performed
when to the fight he came with his lord.
rode and gave counsel, taught warriors
how they must stand and that stead hold,
bade them their round-shields rightly hold
fast with hands, not at all frightened.
…. [As the earl is slain and the battle nearly lost…]
Byrhtwold spoke, raised his shield--
he was an old retainer--shook his ash-spear;
full boldly he taught warriors:
"Thought must be the harder, heart be the keener,
mind must be the greater, while our strength lessens.
Here lies our prince all hewn,
good one on grit. He may always mourn
who from this war-play thinks now to turn.
My life is old: I will not away;
but I myself beside my lord,
by so loved a man, think to lie."
So Aethelgar's son emboldened them all,
Godric to battle. Often he let spear,
slaughter-spear, speed into those Vikings;
so among folk he went first,
hewed and humbled, until he in fight fell.
This was not the Godric who fled from battle.
Great was the slaughter, and great was the grief
mind must be the greater, while our strength lessens.]