Start we swiftly with steeds unsaddled –
hence to battle with brandished swords!
– Njál’s Saga
As fraying rope of greying-gold her hair;
thin, woven with taut lines, her moon-pale skin –
th’Winged Chooser Of The Battle-Slain, who bears
th’luminous spear ‘n shield of th’War Women,
leans heavy ‘gainst her fjordhest steed, blood-stained.
‘Cross Fennoscandia, like th’ice, she’d ranged
t’escape the thought-war which she could not win.
White-arms bare beside her mail; swanly wings
dissolve into a cloak. A raven lands.
From th’ash tree’s branch, it tells of evil things:
in place of th’crimson gore of violence grand,
th’God’s Twilight unfolds as c’rrupt kings baptised
by snakes ‘bout Yggdrasil coiled, drooling lies
of pow’r ‘n gold offered from nail-pierced hands.
High-Minded Death-Maiden –
she laments this strange battlefield
where breaks no sword, nor helm, nor shield!
Soul-Guiding Mead-Bearer –
she weeps as Ragnarök takes place
o’er centuries, w’thout bloody trace!
No glor’yus ride to Odin’s aid!
She leads her steed away. The raven dies.
From its ash-corpse rises the phoenix, Christ.
Image credit – tm01001