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~ By Courtesy of Others ~


A Warrior's Death

Now I'm lying broken, dying,
on the field of war
and the banner that I fought behind
has fallen, flies no more,
I hear my valkyrie call my name
and feel her gentle touch,
she pulls me up onto her horse,
my wounds have proved too much
to let me walk away from this,
this bloody battle field
where I lay among the dead,
a victim of cold steel...

It's just as well , I tell myself,
for I don't want to live
longer than my chieftain
who gave all he could give,
I don't want to see the doubt
in other people's eyes
when they hear my King spilled his blood
and I am still alive...

Do not fret, my warrior
my valkyrie softly said,
your chieftains path and yours don't part
just because you're dead,
you both fought long and hard this day
and gave all any man could give
and because your swords were swift and keen
fewer foes yet live...

Odin chooses valiant men
to fight the final fight,
you and your king will soon well feast
in Valhalla on this night,
the benches strewn with byrnies,
warriors by your side,
it's for the good of every man
that on this day you died...

She soothed me with her gentle words
as we reached Valhalla's gate
and her sisters with full horns of mead
tall and proud they wait,
as I stepped into the massive hall
I realized a splendid thing,
that every warrior in this place
was treated like a king...

By day our swords ring loud and true
as we prepare to fight for you,
by night we feast and drink and boast,
cast watchful eyes upon our host
who, one-eyed, wanders through the hall
and waits for Heimdall's call...

Johnny Whitebread

Image: "A Valcry", Konstantin Vasiljev, Russian painter

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