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Can anyone explain to me if the usage of the following two words is correct in the stanzas of an Iron Maiden song:

Redeem my salve of winning ways
Remember all the darkest days
Of that I know will see me tread
Walketh upon the field of the dead
The burden of blood, the breaketh of bone
The battlefield now I make it my own
The glory of the morning we make
Praying the rose is still awake

I was under the impression that the -eth suffix was used only in third person present verb form, but 'breaketh' is obviously not a verb here, it should be a verbial noun. Both these words seem like they would have an -ing suffix in modern English. Seeing as Iron Maiden are native English speakers can anyone tell me if they are using these words correctly or it can just be attributed to 'poetic freedom'?

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    I would attribute just about anything in an Iron Maiden song to 'poetic freedom'. A lot of it makes no sense. This is quite normal in the lyrics of rock or pop songs. Do not expect to find standard grammatical English in them. This particular kind of stuff is fake 'olde English', where someone just adds '-eth' to a word. Commented May 20, 2022 at 15:37
  • As an aside, I think you mean "verbal noun", not "verbial".
    – stangdon
    Commented May 20, 2022 at 15:45
  • @MichaelHarvey 'Remember all the darkest days Of that I know will see me tread' what does this even mean? What is 'of what'? Commented May 20, 2022 at 18:57
  • @MichaelMunta - it says 'of that'. Commented May 20, 2022 at 19:00
  • @MichaelHarvey yea, but what is 'that'? This is just like random words strung together without context. 'of that I know will see me tread'. If you are a native speaker, can you make sense of it? Commented May 21, 2022 at 12:22

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I would attribute just about anything in an Iron Maiden song to 'poetic freedom'. A lot of it makes no sense. This is quite normal in the lyrics of rock or pop songs. Do not expect to find standard grammatical English in them. This particular kind of stuff is fake 'olde English', where someone just adds '-eth' to a word.

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I think more importantly walketh is the third-person singular simple present indicative form of walk.

He is talking about himself in the first person, in a future tense.

Walking seems correct, however to me there is an implied "and", IE: I know I will see me tread and walk...

However there is no consistency. If one were OK then surely both should end in "eth". Treadeth and walketh. treading and walking or tread and walk. they shouldn't be interchanged. tread and walking. treading and walk.

Someone more educated will have to answer that. But to me "tread walk" sounds acceptable in an archaic sentence, there is enough of a distinction between the two words to use them together. I could be wrong and obviously not in modern English without some kind of conjunction or reforming the sentence.

The breaketh of the bone sounds correct to my ear (obv. archaic), he has moved from the future to the present, "now I make it my own" and the bone is likely to be that of another.

But after all that. I would say poetic freedom is the over-riding rule.

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