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A Prayer to Hela, In All Extremity
In the name of Darkness I call you,
Queen of Helheim, Lady Death,
Whose eye sees far into Ginnungagap,
Mantled in impassable shadow.
For I stand shrouded in wailing dark
As far as my burning eyes can see,
And the Sun rises bitterly with no light for my soul.
In the name of Decay I call you,
Hela-Half-Rotted, Lady Death,
Whose flesh is jeweled with carrion beetles,
Scented with the attar of corpses.
For my life is a rotted thing, begging
To be given a decent burial, to return
To the kindly earth, and all I once valued
Is hollow as a drum, withered as winter grass.
In the name of Cold I call you,
Throne of Ice, Lady Death,
Whose touch is chill that numbs all feeling,
Frozen as the winter clay.
For the frigid winds whip fierce about me,
And I wail my pain into their howling song,
The wasteland that was my life stretches
About me from horizon to horizon.
In the name of Silence I call you,
Barrow’s Mistress, Lady Death,
Whose voice is the sound of the stone being rolled
Before the open mouth of the echoing tomb.
For the words that I spoke, fine and bright
As the fluttering birds, they have fallen around me
Like small feathered bodies curling stiff, and nothing
I can say will rescue me from my troubles.
In the name of Bones I call you,
Skeletal Hand, Lady Death,
Whose eye strips away all that is false,
Leaving only bare and naked truth.
For under these layers of sorrow lies
The clean bones of my soul, which must be
Stripped and dried before a new life
Can once again be wrapped about them.
In the name of Loss I call you,
Soul-Guardian, Lady Death,
Whose arms reach out to take in all who come,
No matter their flaws, their fears, their crimes.
For I am lost in the labyrinth of despair
And I have come to the end of this road,
And I have nothing left to lose. I stand
At your gates, at the final outpost of my will,
And offer these tatters up to you in trust.
In the name of Death I call you,
Implacable One, Lady of Doom,
Whose Word is final as all Endings,
Who never speaks a lie.
Lady, take from me what you will,
So long as you take also these burdens,
Leave me empty, a vessel to be filled
With whatever the Divine Will would have.
In the name of Regeneration I call you,
For there is nowhere else left to turn,
And only You, Lady, can give this bitter gift.
Hail to Hel, Wisest of Wights,
May you look with compassionate grace upon me now.
This poem is
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