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~ By Courtesy of Others ~

Lone Warrior

From afar, I see the sun's gleam;
It dances 'round men clad in maille.
'Tis hard to tell if friend or foe;
Alas, there is no standard flown.
But, as they hustle with intent,
It becomes clear: They've come for blood.

They pour on the field as a flood
With stern expressions, cold and mean.
These Saxons were by Harold sent
To force us to run and turn tail.
Our lack of armour donned has shown
How unprepared we are to go.

They offer peace, and we say "NO!"
We'd rather die face down in mud
Than leave our glory here and groan
Of victory that was stolen e'en
Before our arms began to flail
With sword in hand before the end.

My king's comrades need time to mend
Their hauberks o'er their backs right now.
I must roll as fast as a wheel
And forsake my maille shirt and hood.
I stand alone today, it seems,
And I await a fate unknown.

An immortal name I shall own
As I cut a swathe, axe in hand,
Through the shield-wall to make it wane
Before I lay the Saxons low.
Their bodies get covered in crud
And the dying shout their last squeals.

I am overcome, but shan't kneel.
I've held off an army alone
On Stamford Bridge, when none else would.
But, I did not come to this land
To stand before Harold and bow.
My axe shall continue to maim.

Suddenly, steel pierces my skin;
'Neath trampling feet I fall below.
I hope my death is not in vain.

© Justin Douglas Blackford

Author´s Note: This is a sextain form poem in commemoration of the lone Norwegian warrior who for several minutes held off the English army at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, until an Englishman in a boat rowed under the bridge and stuck his spear in a gap of the bridge's planks, which killed the heroic warrior.

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