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Courtesy of Others ~
In Hella's hall, I hold the toast,
horn in hand, give health to all!
Sink by the fire, seeking comfort:
Niflheim's ice is a knife in my heart,
in Hella's hall. Hope is not mine:
creeping Despair, a crony unwelcome,
beams from his bench, baleful and sour,
raises his hand to a wretched man,
swears brotherhood, swoons at my knee,
in Hella's hall. Our hostess sits,
Loki's daughter, lours at her guests,
the waifs and wanderers, the withered dead.
She calls forth the feast, feeds well the ghostly
hearth-sharers: the hobbling aged,
the feeble sick; succours the coward,
shelters the shamed and shabby outcast.
In Hella's hall, the honour-seat,
before the blaze, belongs to one
of the highest birth. He brings to all
both joy and dread, joins, in one full draught,
the love and life, and the loss, of what
we might have been, in brighter days.
He sings aloud; his lady weeps,
when her hand he raises;
his laughter lifts the lonely and forsworn;
his wisdom soothes the wild and enraged;
and to a blind brother, his beauty gives sight.
From blood and bale, from Baldur's side,
amidst all the murdered, the mistletoe grows
in Hella's hall...
© 1995 Math Jones, Arnstede Hearth
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Poetic form: Fornyršislag (Old Meter)
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