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~ By Courtesy of Others ~


A Good Death

He is fallen.
Cut down by his wounds…finally.
Around him, soaking his garments
Runs the blood of his own life.

It pours into the ground,
Fleeing from him like
So many rats from a sinking ship.
He watches as it darkens the earth.

Awareness comes to him that
These are the last moments
He will know in Midgard.
He should live them well.

He rises.
Through some miracle Born of honor,
And fueled by the gaze
Of his ancestors upon him.
He walks.

His sword leaves a furrow
In the life-soaked soil as he drags it.
It has become too heavy
To carry.

The sound of battle fades
As vision wanes.
Breath is shallow
In his chest.
He walks on.

A rider approaches.
With his last strength he
Raises his weapon high.
With his last voice…
A muffled battle cry.

His enemy at last delivers him
Into the embrace of his ancestors.
He will dwell forever among heroes,
In the Enormous hall of the Einherjar
Until Ragnarok beckons.

© Alf Herigstad

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