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~ By Courtesy of Others ~

 

The Lay of Man's Shild

Before the forming of Middle Earth
The Gods did play a game of wit
A finely crafted wooden board
With gold design and golden pawns

At the board one day did sit to play
The Master of Fury, Woden the wizard
Did accompany him a shining soul
Ingui, Lord of the Elves, cleric of the Gods

Heed this well, Prince of the Wena
When at board I sit, wisdom also do I seek
Be full in your head then and let us play
Thus spoken by the God of Gods

Heed this well, Lord of the Worlds
When at board I sit, deep in thought I always am
Full be my head, and flowing be my tongue
Thus spoken by King of the Mound Dead

Set up the board dear friend and priest
Be deep in thought and think as crystal
For here comes the first question as I make my move
Thus spoken by the God of Gods

Of what name shall the younger kin
Dwelling now with little luck
Living off of little orlay
Be called when flesh do I give them?

Men shall you name them, Greatest Wizard
Men of Ash, known by their worthy mains
Men of Elm, known by their frithy mains
Woven into the wind of soul, afterwards you will always be

Now comes my move, Lord of the Worlds
Your wit should be quick as a flood to answer me
And ever on shall we parry as such
Until a victor is determined

Of what will you and your brothers
Gift to the younger kin
So that they may gain luck
And build mighty orlay?

Men shall be as we, yet younger and unproven
They shall have wit and will, moods and memories
A hame for the spirit, great mains, and the furious wode
The Anda shall they have, as do all things
And lifes breath, flesh, and healing hands while they live

Listen, Oh King of Elves
To my next question
Since of men you wish to know
Of what, is eternal, of man and god?

Of old is known, that mighty Tree
That sustains and keeps all of creation
This same Pillar is what is eternal in god and man
The Anda, of great light is it known
Smaller than an atom, yet contains all it does

Hear me now, Oh God of Gods
I come now to the next query
Is their any else of man and god
That may live on eternal?

Life is a struggle and all things fade
Though the spirit never dies
The best that we can strive for
Is a worthy legacy and mighty deeds
For moments are fleeting and minds often bewildered

Listen, Oh King of Elves
To my next question
Since moments are fleeting and minds bewildered
By what means can the worlds be sustained?

Frith must be maintained by man and god
And worthy deeds be done rightly
To seek out wisdom, wealth, and health
Pleasure, joy, and the holy Innangard
By these means, may we stave off the illness of a Thyrs

Hear me now, Oh God of Gods
I come to my next query
Since easy could it be for man to attain such peace
How shall we test the younger kin of their deeds?

Ordeal will be the holy process
By which such deeds will be measured
Ordeal will be the holy process
By which their orlay is woven
And the white waters of Wyrd increased

Listen, Oh King of Elves
To my next question
By what means will I maintain
That Ordeal be observed

By strife and struggle
The Lord of Breath will ensure
That ordeal be observed
Liar and murderer will you be called
Though greatest of Gods, you are

Hear me now, Oh God of Gods
I come to my next query
Through mighty deeds and good living
Of what gifts will man be given on the bed of death?

The shining person, on leaving their flesh
Will attain the abode that they deserve
The calm of Hel, or the light of Elf-Home
The Thunder of Thunors Land, or Freo for lovers
Or rivers of pain and torture for the troll in mannish disguise

Listen, Oh King of Elves
To my next question
Since Lord of the Mound Dead you will be
Should ordeal come to man only once?

Eternal only, is the Staff of Irmin
All else is action, never ceasing, ever going
Man likewise shall be as the seasons
Not once will they live, but have several ordeals
To gain worthiness, and make merry among kin

Hear me now, Oh God of Gods
I come to my next query
By what ways will man know we?
And henceforth worship rightly?

As the children of Woden grow from beast to man
They will know us through nature
Through nature, they will contemplate the Powers
Through contemplation, they will know us in dreams
Through dreams, we shall teach them wisdom

Listen, Oh King of Elves
To my next question
By what godly given wisdom
Will man gain their worth?

Man will learn to hunt and to cultivate the land
Man will learn of fire, and of kinship
Yet the greatest of deeds, will be their flapping of tongues
And drawings of runes, and monuments of stone
Man will make music, and be known for centuries

Hear me now, Oh God of Gods
I come to my next query
What should come to pass
If man does not follow the seemly way?

The younger kin, born with an eagles will
Shall falter hither and thither
A doomed age of ill repute is foreseen by all wise women
A doomed age when Ettins will be worshipped
The cycle is ever going, and the holy wisdom will return

Listen, Oh King of Elves
To my next question
In what forms will the children of Woden
Know of the Holy Powers?

As we refer to them as younger
They shall call us Elder
We shall be worshipped in groves and temples
Through idols and images will we gift luck and grace
Through nature shall our majesty be known

Hear me now, Oh God of Gods
I come to my next query
From the shaping of trees
What is within mannish kin?

What is within, is that which is without
In flesh shall they be akin to
The great Pillar and the wood from whence they came
Frith mains flowing to the left, Worth mains to the right
Many branches all throughout, and a great column of might

Listen, Oh King of Elves
To my next question
What shall be the greatest gain
That mannish kin can hoard?

Noble family and joyful friends
Honour in dealings and a good community
Wisdom deep, and music loud
Cuisine and wine, and celebration abound
Yet love and lust, if mixed aright, is best of all there is no doubt

Hear me now, Oh God of Gods
I come to my next query
Of men we have talked much
Now tell me of the origin of all

In olden days, there was no thing
All was a bubbling void of mighty mains
Frith came into being as holy ice
Worth came into being as holy fire
And then the Steed rose up from its seed

Hear me now, Oh God of Gods
Your wisdom blinded me
Of how do you know this truth
Since no one knows the origin of the Pillar?

The Everlasting Tree, through born of three parents
Is the parent of all
For no fruits can exist without the tree
Yet no tree can exist without the seed
This is kingly wisdom

Hear me now, Oh God of Gods
Your wisdom blinded me
Of how do you know the truth
Of the eternal seed?

All life is a joyous struggle
All life is as the seasons ever turning
No thing can be born from nothing
Yet all things have sprung from one thing
I know not the nature of the seed, but I know the nature of the Tree
Thereby, Lord of Middle Earth, I know the seed
This is kingly wisdom

Hear me now, Oh God of Gods
Your wisdom blinded me
And I have lost track of my move
This game we shall play, ever on
But for now you win, oh Master of Wisdom and best of healers

Listen, Oh Lord of Middle Earth
You almost bested my wisdom
Of man and god, and Tree and soul
No more worthy a blotere could we hope for
This game we shall continue, ever on
But for now I have shown, why I am the God of Gods

Heed this wisdom, both higher and lower
Of the kin of Rig, rainbows warder
And follow it to the journeys end
To the golden table of the awesome game
To the feasting halls of the Elder kin

© Robert Shawn Rowland

Gástlic Gang - A spiritual journey and life

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