This page contains a text in Old English with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Old English Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Old English language and its speakers' culture.
Ðá þæs on sumera on ðysum gére tófór se here, sum on Éastengle, sum on Norðhymbre. Ond þá þe feohléase wæron him þær scipu begéton, ond súð ofer sæ fóron tó Sigene.
Næfde se here, Godes þonces, Angelcyn ealles forswíðe gebrocod, ac híe wæron micle swíþor gebrocede on þæm þrim géarum mid céapes cwilde ond monna; ealles swíþost mid þæm þæt manige þára sélestena cynges þéna þe þær on londe wæron forðférdon on þæm þrym géarum. Þára wæs sum Swíðulf biscop on Hrófesceastre, ond Céolmund ealdormon on Cent, ond Beorhtulf ealdormon on Éastseaxum, ond Wulfred ealdormon Hámtúnscíre, ond Ealhheard biscop æt Dorceceastre, ond Éadulf cynges þegn on Súðseaxum, ond Beornulf wícgeréfa on Winteceastre, ond Ecgulf cynges horsþegn, ond manige éac him, þéh ic ðá geðungnestan nemde.
Þý ilcan géare drehton þá hergas on Éastenglum ond on Norðhymbrum Westseaxna lond swíðe be þæm súðstæðe mid stælhergum, ealra swíþust mid ðæm æscum þe híe fela géara ær timbredon. Þá hét Ælfred cyng timbran lang scipu ongén ðá æscas; þá wæron fulnéah tú swá lange swá þá óðru; sume hæfdon LX ára, sume má; þá wæron ægðer ge swiftran ge unwealtran ge éac híerran þonne þá óðru; næron náwðer ne on Frésisc gescæpene ne on Denisc, búton swá him selfum ðúhte þæt híe nytwyrðoste béon meahten. Þá æt sumum cirre þæs ilcan géares cómon þær sex scipu tó Wiht, ond þær mycel yfel gedydon, ægðer ge on Defenum ge wel hwær be ðæm særiman. Þá hét se cyng faran mid nigonum tó þára níwena scipa; ond forfóran him þone múðan foran on útermere. Þá fóron híe mid þrim scipum út ongén híe, ond þréo stódon æt ufeweardum þæm múðan on drýgum; wæron þá men uppe on londe of ágáne. Þá geféngon híe þára þréora scipa tú æt ðæm múðan úteweardum, ond þá men ofslógon, ond þæt án oðwand; on þæm wæron éac þá men ofslægene búton fífum...
In summer in this year the enemy dispersed, some into East Anglia, some into Northumbria. Those who were without money got themselves ships there, and went south over the sea to the Seine.
The enemy had not, by the mercy of God, entirely crushed the English altogether, but they were afflicted much more in those three years by pestilence of cattle and of men; most of all among them many of the best of the king's thanes who were there in the land died within those three years. One of these was Swithulf, bishop in Rochester, and Ceolmund, a nobleman in Kent, and Bertulf, a nobleman in Essex, and Wulfred, a nobleman in Hampshire, and Elhard, bishop at Dorchester, and Eadulf, the king's thane in Sussex, and Bernuff, governor in Winchester, Egulf, the king's horse-thane, and many also with them, though I have named (only) the most distinguished.
In the same year the plunderers in East Anglia and Northumbria greatly harassed the land of the West Saxons around the southern shore with marauding bands, most of all with ships which they built many years before. Then King Alfred ordered (his men) to build long ships (to be used) against the (Danish) ships; they were almost twice as long as the others; some had 60 oars, some more. They were both swifter and steadier and also higher than the others; they were shaped neither on the Frisian nor on the Danish (model), but as it seemed -- to he himself -- they might be most useful. At a certain time of the same year there came six ships to (the Isle of) Wight, and did much mischief there, both in Devonshire and almost everywhere near the seacoast. Then the King ordered (his men) to go (out) with nine of the new ships; and they blocked the mouth of the river in front of the open sea. They rode out against them with three ships, and three (others) remained upwards of the river mouth on dry (ground); the men had gone away, up inland. They took two of the three ships at the outer river mouth, and slew the men, and the (other) one escaped; the men on it were also slain, except for five...