The Finnsburh Fragment

ca. 725


The Text


The Fight of Finnsburh apart from Beowulf and the Waldere fragments is the only surviving remain of Old English epic poetry. This fragment of 48 lines preserved in a corrupt 17th-century copy from a lost manuscript. The story must have been popular, for it is subject of an episode in Beowulf. The fragment describes the defence of the Danish prince Hnaef and his men, who are under attack of King Finn and the Frisians. The poem was probably composed around 725, but nothing is known about its author.


The Finnsburh Fragment