“They laid down the king they had dearly loved, their tall ring-giver, in the center of the ship, the mighty by the mast. Great treasure was there, bright gold and silver, gems from far lands.”
–“The Funeral of Scyld Scefing,” from Beowulf, translated by Howell D. Chickering, Jr.
“Once [the dragon] had controlled the air in joys, had ridden the wind throughout the night…now he lay there stiff in death. Beside him were piled pitchers and flagons, dishes in heaps, and well-wrought swords eaten by rust, just as they had lain in the deeps of the earth for a thousand years. ”
— From Beowulf. Just a few pieces from the Staffordshire hoard, uncovered in 2009 and still covered with dirt.
From my short story, Comitatus, Incorporated:
“He was tall, broad-shouldered, his blue eyes dark and piercing. His receding hair swept away from his face that wrinkled with crows’ feet around the eyes, as if the man had spent his days at the steering oar, staring into the westering sun as it set beyond Vinland. His suit whispered Saville Row, impeccable.
“Cyning min,” Greg said. My king. He didn’t say it loud, but the man heard. He looked at Greg, and so did everyone else. Elyssa Harmon looked from the man to Greg and back again, one eyebrow raised, her lips parted.
The man came over and Greg stood.
“Greg, Larry’s son?” the man said, his voice quiet, unremarkable. It sent a shiver through Greg. I’m not gay, Greg thought, desperately. The man fished in his pocket and came out with a card. He handed it to Greg. “Rheinhart & Ritter. Consultants. I am Scyld. We have work to do.”
Greg could barely hear him over the echoes in his head. Sea waves crashing, the clash of sword against sword, men shouting. Mist drifted across dark barrows raised to the dead.