By Matthew Harffy
Many of the names of the kingdoms from this period are still in use today, and, to some extent, still define the people that live in them. So we have areas and counties such as Sussex (South Saxons), Essex (East Saxons), East Anglia (East Angles) with Norfolk (North Folk) and Suffolk (South Folk), and of course, Wales (derived from the Old English word for foreigner – Waelisc), which was made up of its own old kingdoms like Powys and Gwynedd.
A warrior is wondrously brought into the world
for the use of lords by two dumb things;
brightly extracted, which for his hurt
foe bears against foe. Strong though he is
a woman binds him. He obeys them well,
serves them quietly, if maids and men
tend him duly, feed him fairly.
He exalts them in comfort for their joy in life,
grimly rewards one who lets him grow proud.
Wiga is on eorþan wundrum acenned
dryhtum to nytte of dumbum twam
torht atyhted þone on teon wigeð
feond his feonde fer strangne oft
wif hine wrið he him wel hereð
þeowaþ him geþwære gif him þegniað
mægeð ⁊ mæcgas mid gemete ryhte ·
fedað hine fægre he him fremum stepeð
life on lissum leanað grimme
þe hine wloncne weorþan læteð
|Sutton Hoo helmet|