Lay of the Last Survivor
Beowulf, lines 2,247-66, translation by S. J. Plunkett.
Hold thou now, O Earth - now that heroes cannot -
the wealth of earls! Behold, formerly from thee
valiant men took it. With a sweeping slaughter
battle-death bore off each of the men,
my own people, they who put off this life:
they had seen joys in the hall.
I have none to wield the sword,
and none to polish the vessel mounted with gold,
the precious drinking-cup.
Elsewhere away the warriors passed.
From the sturdy helm inwrought with gold
shall the beaten plates fall. The polishers slumber,
who should make shine the battle-masks.
So too the corselet decays with the warrior -
the same which bore in the battle
the bite of iron edge, mid the cracking of shields.
After the war-lord, the mailcoat
cannot journey afield at the side of heroes.
There is no joy of the harp,
delight of the glee-bough, nor does the good hawk
circle around the hall, and the swift steed
stamps no more in the court. Many living kin
has baleful death sent forth away!
In the Old English poem Beowulf, the last survivor of his people, pronounces these words over a grave laden with treasure.
Many of the precious objects, armour and weapons that he mentions are similar to those found in the intact Sutton Hoo ship-burial.
The detail from the Sutton Hoo purse-lid comprises a human or godlike figure between two wolves.
Gold, garnet and millefiori glasswork, AD c.600-625.
Quoted from the official Sutton Hoo Customer Centre brochure. From here, you can link to the official Sutton Hoo website.