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~ By Courtesy of Others ~


Land of Ice and Fire
for Iceland

1. The Land

Ice and White-ice that land is called by brave men
They call it Bitter-smoke-land and Land-of-fire-again,
Place-of-white-mist and Thunder-water land;
They gave these names, men of the ships, men of strong hand--
These are mighty names, fierce is this place of names:
Mountains are waking night and day, speaking in flames,
Waters bubbling and steaming roar out to the sky
Waters leap down crags: gods are foaming down from on high,
Ice on far mountains crawls down valleys and groans,
Mist pours white, dangerous, beautiful, over cliffs of stone
Strange and bitter smokes rise where nothing grows at all,
And seas foam chill round the edges where the seabirds call.

2. The Guardians

Strange, wondrous folk live here whom we will never see,
They are shy and strong and fierce, they do not come lightly.
A dwarf underground, squat and dark--do not disturb him,
Silent Ones, they are called, and Shadow-grim;
High on misty slopes live the Stone Folk, always unseen
Blue-capped men, the women in skirts of blue or green;
By the fire-mountains dwell misshapen, crafty Men-of-the-rock,
Darting, mischievous and stone-rough, they echo and mock;
And standing tall, white and proud, ringing the island round,
The Guardians of the Sea, who swiftly without sound
Plunge down as white whale, screech as the giant seabird--
Protecting us from enemies the watchmen had not heard.

3. The Gods

Many are the gods and goddesses whom men will call:
Odin All-father, hooded and cloaked, wise in his mighty hall,
And Baldr, the beautiful one, white as a flower his brow;
Njord, who stills foaming seas for the ship’s heaving prow
His daughter Freyja, singing poetry of passion and love,
And Frigg the silent, who knows all fates below and above;
Tyr the boldest, the wisest, holding men of valor in his hand
And Bragi, skilled in words, whom poets praise through the land;
And now speak of Thor: Thor the mighty, the ever-strong,
The flame-haired, whose thunder cracks loud and long--
Thor will never run from a deed of strength all his days;
Until the twilight of our gods men feast him in high praise.

© Cameron La Follette

- License: This poem may be freely distributed, provided
it remains unchanged, including copyright notice and this License -

Cameron's book Anamchara - Traditional poetry on themes of
Northwest nature, mythology and the Celtic world.

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