Codex Junius 11 HTML version

Liber I.28
(ll. 1960-1972) Then, as I have heard, Chedorlaomer, king of the Elamires, a bold
folk-captain, marshalled an army, and Amraphel of Shinar and a mighty host
were joined with him. Four kings with a great multitude departed into the south
against Sodom and Gomorrah. And all the land about Jordan was overrun with
armed men and hostile bands. Many a trembling maiden, pale with fear, must
needs endure a foe's embrace. Many a warrior perished, sick with wounds,
guarding their wives and treasure.
(ll. 1973-1989) Against them from the south five kings went forth to war with
battle-hosts and marching squadrons. Fain would they guard the city of Sodom
against the foe. Twelve winters long that folk had given toll and tribute to the
Northmen, and would no more enrich the lord of Elam with their treasure, but
they rebelled against him. Onward the hosts advanced, intent on death. (Loud
sang the javelins.) Amid the spears the blackbird, dewy-feathered, croaked in
hope of carrion. In multitudes, with steadfast hearts, the warriors hastened till the
hosts were gathered from afar, from south and north, helmeted men.
(ll. 1989-2003) Then was hard hand-play; crashing of weapons, storming of
death-darts, tumult of battle. From out the sheaths men snatched their ring-
decked, keen-edged swords. There might an earl have his fill of fighting, whoso
was not yet sated with war. The Northmen smote the people of the south. In the
shock of shields the men of Sodom and Gomorrah, dispensers of gold, lost many
a well-loved comrade. And they fled away from the place of battle and saved
their lives. Behind them, slain with spears and smitten with the swordedge, their
well-loved comrades, sons of princes, fell in death.
(ll. 2003-2017) And the lord of Elam had the victory, and held the place of battle;
and those who escaped the sword fled away to seek a stronghold. The foemen
took their gold and sacked their splendid treasure-cities, Sodom and Gomorrah.
Women were torn from their sheltering homes, widow and maid, bereft of friends.
And the foe led Abraham's kinsman captive out of the city of Sodom, with all his
substance. But truly may we tell these war wolves' fate after the battle, boasting
their victory, leading Lot captive away, and with him the goods of the people and
gold of the Southmen.