Courtesy of Others ~
Norse Ghost Story
The mists upon the mossy moors give off a ghastly light
And those who walk amidst the fog are gambling in the night
For one may meet a man or see him walking through the fen
And notice if his sword is bent and then is bent again.
Since back before our fathers’ fathers’ fathers came to birth
We knew that more than living folk could walk upon the earth
And those no longer living had no mortal fear of death
For no man can be choked of life if he does not take a breath
And dead men hold no scruples in denying others life
And those who died unjustly evermore bring pain and strife
And since it is tradition to bury men with shield and blade
It came upon the king to see a compromise was made
Now mighty Odin said that warriors shall not be deprived
Of those things they have depended on for their entire lives
Bury them with sword and shield and helmet on their head
These shall never be deprived them even though that they’re dead.
The King knew well these stern commands and though he found them odd
He was not about to countermand the wishes of a god
Instead, he made it known that all who died upon his soil
Have helm and shield quick to hand, but sword be bent or coiled
Old One-eye said they keep their sword, but did not state condition
Of which way the tip be pointed, or of the blade’s position
When bent in half and bent again, the balance shall be spoiled
Reducing reach and chopping power, their offense shall be foiled.
The wisdom of these words were heard, and from that day thereafter
Each warrior found his sword bent twice beneath Valhalla’s rafters.
And so, dear children, look with care to those who walk our plain
And make sure that their sword is straight, not bent and bent again.
J. Stockwell 2004
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