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He walked on the shore at the dawn of time
Between manifest and unmanifest
And found two lifeless stocks of wood,
Gave them breath and being.
They came from the depths of the endless sea
Washed onto the shore of merciless light
He shaped them with a craftsman's hands
And set them on the path of life.
On a windswept tree whose endless roots
Delve into that forgotten nameless realm
There he hung gazing into the depths
And screaming took up the runes.
Thought and Memory skitter and scrabble
Their cries echo the hanged one's moan.
Geri and Freki range over the stubble,
sucking the marrow from battle's prize.
The inward eye that sees the drifting dreams
in the well of memory: something lost
In a region of darkness, gains a world of light
on the other side of the weave.
In the pathless land of shadows,
The wooded valley where the torrent of blood
Thunders and froths under the dark cliffs,
The only guide is the inward-turning eye.
The heroes of dim ancient wars
Follow him on the spirit roads
Across the land beneath the winter stars,
The stars that ever turn about the pole.
He leads the wild hunt across the years
The geese are calling, the wind is screaming
Warriors and wild women riding in his wake,
riding on the rage of the storm.
His steed of grey mist may sometimes be seen
In the shadow of men who carry a corpse to be buried
For it is he who walks between the worlds
And guides the dead on the paths of night.
Between two fires they pinioned him
The masked one wandering the land in disguise
He told their doom and drew their wyrd
And spoke his wisdom to unheeding ears.
He stole the mead of poetry, his eagle cunning
snatching the gift from Suttung's cauldron
And gives a drop to poets, madmen, and the wise
On certain mountains.
The long dark road stretches away into the night
And the hooded one walks alone.
His shirt of wolf's breath shimmers in the moonlight
His cobweb hat pulled down low over his eyes.
- German translation
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