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~ Poetry by me ~


Dedicated to Jack Hart, for his invaluable support with my poetry.


In this Version 2 the verse meter is completely correct ;-).

Hakon´s Passage

„Göndul and Skögul,“ Gautatyr spoke,
„Bring me the best from the Battle of Stord:
Hakon the King to Valhalla must fare,
a seat is empty for the Ynglings´ descendant.“

Swiftly they sped and soon they returned,
along with the chosen: His cheeks were pale
and bloody his byrnie, battered his shield;
breath he lacked, who bravely had died.

To hail him, the High One sent Hermod and Bragi;
they offered him entrance into Valhall.
But Hakon stopped and stood on the threshold,
the wary king, to come he refused:

„Why did you wrench my victory from me,
wasn´t I worthy to win the day ?
First Hár has me fall, now friendly he acts!
I do not trust him; he tries to deceive me.“

„Your friends kept the field, your foes are vanquished;
victory is yours, though you yielded your life.
It is here that we need you; now hear the reason:
The Grey Wolf gapes ever at the Gods´ dwellings.“

Hakon still stood on the threshold,
the cautious king, to come he tarried:
„More woe than weal brings the will of Odin:
worse would follow, were I to enter.“

„Great is your glory, still greater your gain:
You´ll always be first of the Einherjars here.
Jarls will wait on you, Wishmaidens serve you;
on the bright benches eight brothers will hail you.“

Yet Hakon still stood on the threshold,
to enter Valhall he hesitated:
„I honored the Aesir only as a young man;
no blots I brought later, no blessings I sought.“

„You did not worship, but warded our temples,
as ruler respected the rites of the Megin.
By feats, not faith your fame has grown,
you are welcome to us for your valorous deeds.“

The clever king said, „I shall keep my sword,
and though they be battered, my byrnie and shield;
it´s good to hold fast to friends that are proven .“—
Then Hakon entered the High One´s abode.

All Odin´s chosen cheered him greatly,
the shining Gods greeted him joyfully.
Sooner would Fenris be sated of gorging
than a ruler so famous want rightful renown!

© 2005 Michaela Macha

License: This poem may be freely distributed, provided it remains
unchanged, including the copyright notice and this License:

This work by Michaela Macha (www.odins-gift.com) is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives License

Notes: This one is  written in Old Meter (Fornyrdhislag). It´s a free retelling of the Hakonarmal, 
which in turn was modelled after the Eiriksmal. The skald Eyvind who wrote the Hakonarmal back then 
was promptly nicked „the Plagiarist“ resp. „Skald-Spoiler“ (Skaldaspillir) by his kind colleagues. 
In the light of these charming customs, I´d rather not know what our forebears would´ve called me ;-) .