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~ By Courtesy of Others ~



The Lay of the Lady by the Sea (Freyja's Promise)

Beneath the frosty winter skies,
The moonlight on the mountain lies,
And gilds the leaves beneath her feet,
As through the woods she, wandering, cries.

No song she sings, nor word she speaks,
From ocean’s edge to mountain’s peaks;
Across the land she ever roams,
Her heart’s desire she, silent, seeks.

In ages past, fair maid was she;
Beloved by all whom she did see.
And many traveled long and far,
To seek the Lady by the Sea.

She, for them, worked her magic, strong;
And wove she spells of smoke and song.
She no one e’er did turn away;
Nor no one did she ever wrong.

And e’en tho much beloved by all,
There dwelt no lord within her hall;
Each night, no comfort found, when she
Into her empty bed did fall.

And so she lived, long years it seemed;
The present, past and future, dreamed.
Until one day, far on the sea,
A ship, like precious jewels gleamed.

And in it drifted with the tides,
The scars of battle on its sides.
And none aboard were left alive,
Save one lone man, beneath his hides.

A Northern warrior, strong and brave,
His body bloody; wounded grave.
She, seeing, knew that he would need
Her greatest powers, him to save.

Into her hall, she did him bring,
Above him, healing songs did sing;
And from the fire she did call
His spirit back on Raven’s wing.

With herbs and runes and magic lore,
She barred all evil at the door,
And warded him with ancient rite;
Protecting him from death, and more.

He mended swiftly ‘neath her hands,
And soon was striding on the sands
Beside the Lady by the Sea;
The fairest maid in all the lands.

A gift of Love brought by the sea;
So strong and fair a lord was he.
And cradled safe in his embrace,
No more an empty bed had she.

But tho he loved her well and deep,
She knew no warrior she could keep
From riding off to battle far;
And so she still at night would weep.

And with her magic spells she bound
Him to her and to the ground
On which her hallowed hall did stand,
That no more could he be sea-bound.

And then one winter morning, cold,
There came the day she had foretold;
Her lord had left to sail away
For Odin’s glory favors the bold.

But as the fated spell she cast,
His journey for not long did last;
His ship was caught by vengeful waves
That rent the helm and split the mast.

And as her ears filled with his cries,
Sea-water filled her burning eyes;
And she, in vain, unbound her spell
Too late; her true love, drowning, dies.

With guilt and sorrow weighted down,
She burned her hall into the ground;
Then from the highest cliff, she fell
Into the sea, content to drown.

And as she sank beneath the waves,
A glimpse she caught of glowing staves
The goddess Freyja, of the sea,
Took pity, for her life to save.

A lesson then, imparted She
Unto the Lady by the Sea:
“That magic wrought for ill or gain
Returns to cause great harm to thee.”

“In watching thee, I long have stood,
And magic, know, you work for good;
Now from the sea, turn you away
And seek your future in the wood.”

“Yet, but for love, thou knowest right,
And for the people, use your sight:
So, from the lands of Hel, your love
Shall be returned to lands of light.”

“Your journey now and evermore
Shall be to search from shore to shore;
To utter forth no song nor spell,
Until you find your love once more.”

And, so, she searches ever still
Thru vale and meadow, wood and hill;
With silent tears, she wanders on
For Freyja’s Promise to fulfill.

© Meredith Himmel

Image: "Sahale Evening", © Josh Lewis.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License.

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