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~ By Courtesy of Others ~


Infamous Sprig

But a young sprig am I
Living above the world so high.

Watching the efforts of gods and men
Day to night, as the world spins.

My life is lonely, my visitors few.
But for my cousins nearby, in the alder and yew.

Hark, a stranger is climbing my tree !
Not the usual guest of birds or bees.

He is peering at me with a sneer.
A blade in his hand I can see quite clear.

With a flick of the knife, I am cut free.
From my home atop the old oak tree.

We descend into the forest below.
What an adventure for a sprig in tow.

Never before had I dreamed.
A purpose for me it never had seemed.

Will I be a rune stave?
Telling the future and more.

Or Will I be the handle of a great mans sword?
Gripped with valor. Defending his Lord.

I am stripped my twigs, bark and leaves.
Turned straight and true, but for what means?

My maker and I have come to a hall.
Merry music and boasting, heard from them all.

A contest of might
Against the son so bright.

Hammers, axes, spears and swords
Make no mark on the fairest of lords.

My maker bids the sightless brother of light.
Take you this arrow .I will aim its flight.

I am loose! Through the air I soar.
Flying in joy at the Allfathers boy.

I have pierced into the darkness of flesh.
How is it I have surpassed the rest?

Pulled from gore and cast aside.
Have I just slain Asgard’s pride?

Evil has fallen upon a little sprig such as me.
Once merry and watchful from my old oak tree.

Oh, how I wish for wings to flee and hide!
And forget the day that Frigga cried.

Now cursed and fated for ill fame
I am mistletoe no more,
But Baldr’s bane.

© Thorfinn MacLeod

Mistletoe: Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen, 1897 (detail). Public Domain.

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