River-bone Warrior – a Song for Talen

 

Odin grant me one more battle

that I may die on warriors ground

Guide my soul to meet the Æsir,

You whom sacrifice has bound.

 

The Idis gave me fearful fortune –

raise battle-light and turn to stone.

Yet I shall cast into the striving

though norns have named me river-bone

 

My life is yet an uncut thread!

deaf to Mimir’s warning be –

With shield-gnawers I will run

Bed-shame never shall I see!

Hear the black song of this reaver –

The straw-death shall not have me!

Hear above the cold tree breaker

calling down the valkyrie.

 

I will don my burnished war net

and go to where the blood-swan sings

to meet the day of flame-farewell,

hear battle song in raven’s wings.

 

bonehouse will not bear my war-gear

so I hear upon the wind,

I raise my glass and join my hallsmen

then raise blood-ember to discind

 

My life is yet an uncut thread!

deaf to Mimir’s warning be –

With shield-gnawers I will run

Bed-shame never shall I see!

Hear the black song of this reaver –

The straw-death shall not have me!

Hear above the cold tree breaker

calling down the valkyrie.

 

Hanging god give me no pity

my battle-sweat runs hot within

It need not be a field of honor;

I shall not die as cattle-kin!

 

Odin grant me one more battle

that I may die on warriors ground

Guide my soul to meet the Æsir,

You whom sacrifice has bound.

 

My life is yet an uncut thread!

deaf to Mimir’s warning be –

With shield-gnawers I will run

Bed-shame never shall I see!

Hear the black song of this reaver –

The straw-death shall not have me!

Hear above the cold tree breaker

calling down the valkyrie.

 

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This is a song for a warrior who has been told by the norns that if he lifts a sword again, he will turn to stone. They have already named him river-bone (stone.) He knows his body will break if he puts on his armor. But he will not, as any good Norse warrior would not, lay in his bed and wait, but chooses to join his brothers at war anyway, calling on the valkyries to come as he asks Odin for one final battle before the norns sever the threads of  his life if he battles. We don’t know what happens, only what his will is.

I may make this into a story at some point too.

This poem/song is inspired by Talen Wristbiter, whose warrior-spirit raised my muse today – her spear held to my back until I finished it – by writing about how he has been told that  he must stop fighting (and working) for his health, but how he refuses to stop fighting and working because those things give him purpose and meaning, without which life cannot be truly lived. That fierceness of spirit felt brave, and foolish, and admirable, and I was (and remain) in awe of it.

Thank you my war-brother. May your days on the field be many. -aneleda