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~ Poetry by me ~

Three Ways 

"Your hair is grey," a youngster bold told one unmet before,
"The harp betrays you as a Skald; but though you´re versed in lore:
What gain is yours beside the hearth? No land you hold; your bread
is earned each day, as witty words win rings - or cost your head."

"Odin touched me, God of Poets, that verse should be my life,
more dear to me than riches´ loads, as I for beauty strive.
My lips flow with Odhroerir´s flood, for war-time and for Thing;
to fight I need not spill my blood, to serve my folk I sing."

"And you, fair Seeress", spoke again the young man, "What of you?
Such strange-garbed woman will not fain a husband ever woo.
When you in swooning madness reel and talk to shades from Hel,
distrust is always at your heel, though you help those who ail."

"Odin touched me, God of Sight, that I should walk alone.
I wander hidden ways at night and talk to tree and stone.
Seeking wisdom is more meet than foolish people´s mirth
and Hroptr´s ecstasy more sweet than man´s in Middle-Earth."

"You Warrior, why you rage and roam I´ll never understand.
While others seek a peaceful home, you fight in foreign lands.
What drives you to the dance of spears until you die or win?
Both friends and foes will shun and fear one who wears Berserk skin."

"Odin touched me, God of War, that I may never rest.
His battle-rapture makes me roar, his fury fills my breast.
Into the fray I lead my men, red ruin in our wake,
and when the frenzy takes me, then I fight for fighting´s sake."

Then all went on their different way; the young man stood in thought.
Years later heard he, in a lay, what fate to them had brought:
The Warrior was remembered by all, he died at the height of his fame.
The Seeress saw him on his way to Valhall, and the Skald made immortal his name. 

© 2006 Michaela Macha

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

This work by Michaela Macha (www.odins-gift.com) is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives License.

Harp:
Image licensed. Copyright : James Steidl / 123RF Stock Photo
Volva: Detail from Faroese stamp by Anker Eli Petersen, public domain.
Sword:
Image licensed.Copyright: xochicalco / 123RF Stock Photo