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~ By Courtesy of Others ~

 

Axe-Bearer

He was just a child when it happened,
A child of children. Baldur the bright chose his bride
When they were both little more than babes
Themselves, barely breeders. Too young to raise
The little son, grandmother Frigg took his care
Though he saw his parents often, bright one,
Gentle one, blowing through his life like
Spring breezes that come and go. He played
With the other young ones of Asgard,
His best friends from down the road, making worlds
In dust – Loki’s boys, Sigyn’s darlings, Narvi and Vali
And red-headed Thrud, Thor’s girl. Divine childhoods,
Each one, perfect and hazy in the slanting sunlight
Through the shuddering leaves of the Tree.

He was just a child when it happened,
And all wept while he heard the tale. He stood
White-faced by Frigg’s skirts – father mistletoe-murdered,
Mother self-slain, all of Asgard grieving.
Overnight, his best friends packed and hustled
From their cottage, fleeing far into the night,
Never to be seen again. He heard the tale
Of the boys betrayed, one dead, one mad
In wolf’s form, parents prisoned under the stone.
The elders did not want to tell him,
But little red Truth blurted, and then wept.

They sat together in the shadow of the Tree,
Not speaking, as he had not spoken since
The funerals began. Brow furrowed, the boy stared
Into the distance, into Wyrd. Finally, he spoke,
In a voice much older than his years.

This was not right, he said. Start to finish, this was not right.
Start to finish, all the many places
It might have been stopped, had there been
Someone to hear a grievance, to settle a fight,
Some place hallowed to hear it, not a drunken
Feast as a last resort. If there had been law,
Law that all Gods agree to, not just Wyrd and Luck,
Perhaps my father would still be alive.
Perhaps my mother would still be alive.
Perhaps my friends would still be with me.
Perhaps if someone had listened.
Perhaps if someone
Had stepped between.

When I am a man, he said, I will build that place,
I will be that one. I will listen, and listen,
I will make them listen, too,
Even if they discount me as nothing more
Than a child, a mere legacy of what is lost.

And so was Glitnir born. Forseti bears the double axe upon his back,
It is said, the symbol of that Law that cuts two ways
And can be a burden, but a necessary one.
The Gods would not come to Glitnir, when he built it,
Barely a man; they feared the limiting of their power
But mortals came, and other races, and before long
The Gods as well. They say no one leaves
Unreconciled, unhappy. No one is turned away.

Yet still he waits
To try the case that formed him; alone at night
On his pillow he wishes, that someday all the ones
Wronged and wronging, alive and dead
Who wrought the greatest tragedy of the age
Might come before his throne and speak it true
And something fair and right come out of all the pain…
But then he turns, and sighs, and listens only to the rain.

© Raven Kaldera

This poem is
from Forseti's Shrine.

Northern Tradition Paganism - Prayers, rituals, music & online shrines


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