An preost wes on leoden; La3amon wes ihoten.
he wes Leouenağes sone; liğe him beo Drihten.
He wonede at Ernle3e; at æğelen are chirechen.
vppen Seuarne staşe; sel şar him şuhte.
on-fest Radestone; şer he bock radde.
Hit com him on mode; & on his mern şonke.
şet he wolde of Engle; şa æğelæn tellen.
wat heo ihoten weoren; & wonene heo comen.
şa Englene londe; ærest ahten.
æfter şan flode; şe from Drihtene com.
şe al her a-quelde; quic şat he funde.
buten Noe.& Sem; Iaphet & Cham.
& heore four wiues; şe mid heom weren on archen.
La3amon gon liğen; wide 3ond şas leode.
& bi-won şa æğela boc; şa he to bisne nom.
He nom şa Englisca boc; şa makede Seint Beda.
An-oşer he nom on Latin; şe makede Seinte Albin.
& şe feire Austin; pe fulluht broute hider in.
Boc he nom şe şridde; leide şer amidden.
şa makede a Frenchis clerc;
Wace wes ihoten; şe wel couşe writen.
& he hoe 3ef şare æğelen; Ælienor
şe wes Henries quene; şes he3es kinges.
La3amon leide şeos boc; & şa leaf wende.
he heom leofliche bi-heold. lişe him beo Drihten.
Feşeren he nom mid fingren; & fiede on boc-felle.
& şa soşere word; sette to-gadere.
& şa şre boc; şrumde to are.
Nu bidde[ğ] La3amon alcne æğele mon;
for şene almiten Godd.
şet şeos boc rede; & leornia şeos runan.
şat he şeos soğfeste word; segge to-sumne.
for his fader saule; şa hine for[ğ] brouhte.
& for his moder saule; şa hine to monne iber.
& for his awene saule; şat hire şe selre beo. Amen.
(Vv. 1-35)


There was a priest living here, who was known as Lawman;
He was the son of Liefnoth - the Lord have mercy on him!
He had a living at Areley, at a lovely church there,
Upon the River severn bank - splendid he found it -
Right beside Redstone, where he recited the Missal.
There came to his mind a most splendid idea,
That he would tell on England's outstanding men:
What each had as a name and from what place they came,
Those earliest owners of this our England,
After the great Flood that came from the Lord God,
Which killed all living creatures that it met with here,
Saving Noah and Shem, Japhet and Ham.
And all their four wives who were on the Ark with them.
Lawman went travelling the length of this whole land,
And secured the splendid book which he took as source text:
He took up the 'English Book' which Saint Bede had created,
A second he took in Latin created by Albin,
And our dear Augustine who brought the Christian faith in,
A book he took as third source, and set by this his whole course:
A French cleric composed it,
Wace was what they called him, and very well he wrote it,
And he gave it to her highness, Eleanor of Aquitania;
She was the queen of Henry, the king of such high fame.
Lawman laid out these books, and he leafed through them,
Gazing at them gratefully - the Lord be gracious to him!
Quill pens he clutched in fingers, composing on his parchment,
And the more reliable versions he recorded,
Compressing those three books into one complete book.
Now Lawman makes entreaty to each and every good man
For almighty God's sake,
Who may read this book and learn its revelations,
That in the form prescribed he should recite the set of prayers
For Lawman's father's soul, who first gave him being,
And for his mother's soul who bore him as a male-child,
And lastly for his own soul, that it may be safer. Amen.


Specimen: Layamon's Brut
Layamon's Brut