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~ By Courtesy of Others ~


Norse Jul Night

‘Twas the eve prior to Jul, and all through the land,
Not a Viking was moving, not woman nor man.
The helms were hung on the hat-rack, ja, then,
As good little Vikings dreamed of Jultomten.

There I sat on my stool with my mead in my hand,
As hearth also warmed me ‘til I could not stand.
So I crawled into bed as I flung off my mail;
It was Winter you know with no place to sail.

There are oceans to cross as the springtime draws near
But now’s not the time, there’s always next year.
The longships now harbored, the masts now unknocked,
The sails all tied down, and chests are all locked.

The mead helped me sleep and I dreamed of lutefisk,
Rice pudding, ginger cookies, and, don’t take the risk,
Of forgetting the ham, pickled herring, or glögg.
I dreamed of gift-giving, Norse horses, and Jul-log.

I was all warm and comfy, my toes were like toast,
As I dreamt of Jul day, of kringlor, and beef roast.
I tossed and I turned; was it the mead in my head?
Or was it the straw mattress that made up my bed?

As the moon waned past midnight, the Jul had begun
And soon was the time for children to have fun.
If the children were good there’d be presents galore
That Jultomten would deliver at twilight’s door.

The trolls and the tomtens live under the barn
And if you respect them, they’ll show you no harm.
At Jul there’s Jultomten dressed all in his green
For when he brings presents he’s not to be seen.

Had I awaken? Was I walking the hall?
The Jul day upon up marked the end to the Fall.
What was I in search of as I stumbled through dark?
I tripped and fell flat, “Ja, that’ll sure leave a mark!”

There’s Odin and Thor, there’s Vidar, Villi, and Ve;
There’s Baldur and Njord, there’s Freya and Frey;
The gods of the Norse from Asgard to Jotan
Watch over the Norse: child, woman, and man.

As nightime wanes the Jul morning arrives
In this land of the North where the sun doesn’t rise.
But today it begins, the days will be longer
And we also hope that the sun will shine stronger.

As Jul day begins the children’s faces are bright;
They fly from their beds as if they are sprites.
From the loft they appear, and cribs they do crawl,
Where they find stuffed stockings all hung on the wall.

The hall is bedecked in holly, mistletoe, and evergreen
But outside the door the snow sets the scene.
Armed with the milkpail and my trusty snowshoes,
I head for the barn where there are chores still to do.

When milking is done, and the goats are all fed
I head back to the hall with horses and sled.
Now breakfast is ready, there’s coffee and gruel
And since I can’t wait, I find my favorite stool.

So now as I relax and recall this Jul day
As children are resting from toys and their play;
Feeling the Jul spirit within me, I finally collapse
Now I think that I’m ready for that long winter’s nap!

As I drift off in slumber, I think of Jul days long past.
I know some day in Valhalla, we’ll all meet at last!

© Rodney Kindlund, 12/21/2002 


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