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~ By Courtesy of Others ~

Avenger of a Beloved Son 
(A tribute to Kveldulf Bjalfison, grandfather of Egil Skallagrimson)

Great Wolf of Night, I whisper praise
Of the life you lived in honour.
Fierce fighter and father of two,
One of whom you avenged in battle.

Peace on your plantation you sought,
Early riser ready for work.
Farmhands and craftsmen filled your house,
Shrewd landholder and shape-changer.

King Harald's war you wished to void
From your sons of much strength and pride.
Your rede Grim took readily so,
But Thorolf had thought otherwise.

Thorolf fained to join Fair-Hair's ranks;
He pledged to protect the great king.
Grim stayed home and honed his skills
As a smith who served his father.

The bastard king betrayed Thorolf
When plotting men poisoned his ear.
Mighty battle was made and fought,
And your son's doom delivered he.

You became a bedridden man
When of his dire demise you heard.
Native lands you left in favour
Of setting your sails for Iceland.

Well on your way as the winds blew,
Hawk-eyed Grim saw a grand vessel
Which his beloved brother owned,
Except foes now filled the whole thing.

Revenge was wrought upon that ship;
The high king's men could hold no sway
In battle against your berserk men
As you swiftly swept the whole deck.

You wielded Woden's battle gift
And horribly howled like a wolf
As you flung those fiends before you
And sent their corpses seaward bound.

Days later you died from illness;
Your coffin was cast overboard.
Grateful Grim buried you close by
In lands legacies would be born.

Justin Douglas Blackford


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