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Lost quotations

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Viking Saga about an illegitimate son killing his father the King | 20-Apr-17

Enquirer studied a poem for O'Level - they took their exam in 1984. It was about Vikings, possibly Icelandic. It involved a mother and son living in a village. A king and his entourage pass through and camp there overnight. The mother sends her son to kill the king. They fight and are wounded and the king realises that it is his illegitimate son who he left behind years before.

3 comments have been made on this quote. Click here to read them and then add your own!

Do you know this poem? Do you have any clues to help us find it?


The story as outlined has some marked similarities with Matthew Arnold's Sohrab and Rustum, although some of the details are not the same, and the setting is Persian and not Viking.

But it's the kind of poem that *might* well have been set for O-level thirty-plus years ago.

It's just a thought.
Tom Deveson

Much of this sounds like Matthew Arnold's Sohrab and Rustum, although some of the details differ and it has a Persian and not a Viking setting.

But Sohrab and Rustum might well have been a O-level set book thirty-plus years ago.

It's a thought.
Tom Deveson

Thank you very much for your answer Tom. I am really sorry it has taken me so long to reply. I have found the poem, It was “Cuchulain’s Fight with the Sea” by William Butler Yeats
I was reminded of it when reading Max Porters 'Grief is the thing with feathers' and he mentioned a story of an Irish warrior who killed his son by mistake. Cue further searching and success. Many thanks again.
amanda holloway

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