At night, in the hall, when the hearth smoke thickens about the beams and the ale-horns are filled and the harpist plucks his strings, the songs of battle are sung. They are the songs of our family, of our people, and that is how we remember the past. We call a poet a scop, and a scop means someone who shapes things and a poet shapes the past, so we remember the glories of our ancestors and how they brought us land and women and cattle and glory. There would be no Norse song of Haki, I thought, because this would be a Saxon song about a Saxon victory.
p. 10-11, The Empty Throne. Bernard Cornwell