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~ By Courtesy of Others ~

 

Halfdansmal
(The Lay of Halfdan)

Crag of rock,  sharp as justice
oversees ocean edge.

Upon it waits one,  weary with walking
and scrying the waves.

Nameless, she is hight, and age-silver
brights her hair.

Comes the sea-steed, with four winds full
in sails, to shore.

She spies the moon full, her left shoulder above
and so stands, begins:

(She sings:)
"Pray Thou hear me, all Shining Ones
both Aesir and Van:

I make song to thee
that Thou wilt know
and of thine own
first of great journeys
he is Halfdan hight:
Dragon-son: Norse-shield.
the shores of Inner Sea
and revered Oak kin.

Not o'erfond is he of gold, or given to ill-counsel,
but most generous of spirit.

Heart of the aurochs; maker of mail and chain;
girded in honor;

Swiftsword, Suresword; Yew-bow, Keen-eye:
Bear-sark; War-wolf;

Mirth-bringer; Horn-lifter; Lover of feasting;
Hearty Meadbane.

In the world of wights he is Halfdan hight.
Dragon-son. Norse-shield.

And many are they there who this night wander
grieving in his footsteps.

Yet he is come here to this couch of waves
now to board his bench

the vessel of passage
the glory-ship of the dead."

She sees the sails then turn windward, depart,
him taken aboard

And hailed as brother. Tonight he fares forth
in company honored

to the Shining Hall of Departed Heroes
in company honored.

(She sings:)
"No regret, Valfather, wilt Thou have ever
cause for choosing

this man Halfdan hight; Glory to thine Eye!
Glory, all Shining Ones!

Pray offer him the mellow mead
and seat at your bench

For his heart is true, his tales good,
his company matchless."

Now the ship is gone on the mane of sea.
Silent she is again.

Crag of rock, sharp as justice.
Upon it stands one.

Nameless, she is hight; weary with walking
and scrying the waves.

Moon-silver ages her hair. She is torn two ways--
joy and grief most fearsome--

For tonight he feasts and laughs with Golden Gods
And she will miss him ever.

In honor of the life and passage of Halden Jensen and Halfdan of Inner Sea.

© Karen L.U. Kahan 1995

savagedaughter.net with more of Karen´s Nordic poetry

Tales of Stone and Ice -- Songs from a Heathen Perspective 
 

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