The Rime of King William

From The Anglish Wiki

The Rime of King William is an Old English poem about William the Conqueror.

The Words

Old English

Castelas he let wyrcean, ⁊ earme men swiðe swencean. Se cyng wæs swa swiðe stearc, ⁊ benam of his underþeoddan manig marc goldes ⁊ ma hundred punda seolfres. Det he nam be wihte ⁊ mid micelan unrihte of his landleode, for littelre neode. He wæs on gitsunge befeallan, ⁊ grædinæsse he lufode mid ealle He sætte mycel deorfrið, ⁊ he lægde laga þærwið þet swa hwa swa sloge heort oððe hinde, þet hine man sceolde blendian. He forbead þa heortas, swylce eac þa baras. Swa swiðe he lufode þa headeor swilce he wære heora fæder. Eac he sætte be þam haran þet hi mosten freo faran. His rice men hit mændon, ⁊ þa earme men hit beceorodan; ac he wæs swa stið þet he ne rohte heora eallra nið. Ac hi moston mid ealle þes cynges wille folgian, gif hi woldon libban, oððe land habban, land oððe eahta, oððe wel his sehta. Walawa, þet ænig man sceolde modigan swa, hine sylf upp ahebban ⁊ ofer ealle men tellan. Se ælmihtiga God cyþæ his saule mildheortnisse, ⁊ do him his synna forgifenesse.


Castles he had wrought, ⁊ to arm men swink brought. The king was so swith stark, ⁊ benome his underlings of hire marks. Both gold ⁊ silver he nome from his landleed, ⁊ for little need. He was in yissing befallen, ⁊ greediness he was all in. He set much deerfrith, ⁊ he laid laws therewith so that whoever slew a hart or hind, that he should be made blind. He forbade the harts, eke the boars. So swith he loved the highdeer it were as if he were hire father. Eke he set for the hares that hie may freely fare. His rich men bemoaned it, ⁊ the arm men becharred it. Ack he was so stithe that he never recked hire nithe. Ack hie must follow the king's will if hie would live, or have land. Land ⁊ aught, or the king's saught. Welaway, that any man should become so lonkful ⁊ heave himself up ⁊ tell himself over all men. May the almighty God kithe his soul mildheartness, ⁊ do for him his sins foryiveness.