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Huldra's Wood

When early springtime’s night winds sing
around the steaming cattle byre,
and smoke curls high through wicker slats
above the dancing Great Hall fire;
Old women pull the children near,
with knowing looks well understood;
Tonight only a fool would stray
within the groves of Huldra's Wood.

As daylight leaves the greening fields
and sunset paints the pale sky gold,
As far horizons fade to blue
and nightingales sing shrill and cold;
The adder in his hide curls safe
from those who seek his serpent’s blood,
he sleeps within the old stone cairn
that marks the edge of Huldra'sWood.

Above us rides the scar-faced Moon
amongst the stars in wanton haste,
whilst in the trees the tawny owls
cry shuddering across the waste
that separates our steading from
the Elfhane Host in cap and hood;
they frolic now, unbidden, deep
within the groves of Huldra's Wood.

© Alan Hodgson


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