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Song of Thorstein the Galleon


Wyndreth Berginsdottir            


O sing the wyrd
that wove me here
bound and bondless
behind Katalakís stone!
My brotherís banesman
lies more alone,
colder than I.
His blood--the murderer
foulest and fell--flows
from the teeth of
my dead brotherís blade;
Marks my hands;
Pays my passage
to this barrow-fate
I earned smiling.

O How could my heart
in its own bone-gaol
wile weary, woeful,
while Thorbjorn Ongul
cools, cleft from
helm-seat to tongue-root
by my fell arm
and Grettirís own blade
as Varangians
witnessed, watchful?

A withered witchwifeís
sorest sorcery
it took to best Grettir,
Asmundís strongest son
enduring outlawry endless
amongst the ghosts
badly banished from
kin and kindness.

But Thorbjorn boasted
false; lesing laid
the battered blade
across my palms.

Grinning I gave it
gladly back,
through his
bragging jaw-hinge!

O sing--I will ring
these stones with song
for my life has been good
and all men die
and in Miklagard is
Grettir Asmundarson
avenged at last!

© 9/13/2005 Karen Kahan



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