Saturday, June 13, 2009

Njal Grimmsson - Fighter Poem - Norse verse

Njal Grimmsson
fallen in Crown Tourney, A.S. XXVI

(Norse verse)

Frigid-water rigger, / Rider of the tide-foam,
Seeking after vict'ry / Satisfied in battle.
Grimm's son come to landfall / Claiming right of fighter,
Njal, weapon-wielder, / Warrior ripe for glory.

First to face, Valkyrie: / Vanquished fondest Bronwen -
Odin's daunting daughter - / Daring wrath of Asgard.
Risked the gods' displeasure; / Doubtless, won the bouting.
Called to plague his progress: / Kinsmen-fighters, writhing.

Now Njal knew vengeance, / Visited blades-bristling.
One and then another / Angry, knight and mighty,
For the maiden maddened. / Fought though over-wrought were.
Skills esteemed in killing, / Each sought best to teach him.

Rooted tree of battle, / Rocked and cleaved by grievers.
Whittled as they whetted / Appetites untiring.
For his part right-hearted, / Rents he gave aplenty.
One and then another / All sent to Valhalla.

Ferried to their reck'ning, / Four good knights misfortuned.
Two more blades were broken - / Brothers to the others.
Njal a dozen after / Heartsblood, struck no art'ry.
Hale, they did not kill him; / Hewed but cut not through him.

Mighty Viking fighter, / Fearing nothing, clearly!
Lone wolf facing all whom / Angry gods have sanctioned.
Smelling ale of victory, / Sensing happy ending.
Thins the pack attacking - / Two more fights till glory.

Comes to fore Sir Tim'thy, / Sister-fighter missing.
Keen his blows, unending: / Bends his will to killing.
Fierce his foeman, aiming / Artful wounds to heartwood.
Tree of battle feels it, / Injury enduring.

Last avenger, Ivan, / Illustrated killer.
Lone wolf bares his sharp teeth. / Thinking not of shrinking.
Brave in battle living; / Goes to death unfettered.
Odin's wrath is ended. / Welcome warrior-fellow.

Frigid-water rigger, / Warrior bent on glory,
Seeking for your fortune - / Finds Njal Valhalla.

-- Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

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