Monday, January 6, 2014

The Jarl's Death

This poem is a poetic translation of an Old Norse poem, Endu Rima "Battle's End". It is in dróttkvætt. It has many kennings in it, most of which I leave the reader to puzzle out. The only one I´ll give you is "Troll-woman's horse troop" in verse three. It is from one of several Old Norse kennings for "wolf/wolves" which are often represented as the troll or the giant's horse. This kenning means "the wolf-troop" or the Northern invaders.

I hope you'll enjoy the poem.


The Jarl's Death
Witnessed I wolf-feeder
wise of warriors quarrel
Sternly blade Tyr storm browed
striped swords edge with gore-gild.
Army Thor you offered
Elder dragon fell play
gulls of battle, gallant
good king you fed blood-feast.

Iron-fisted wolf-jarl
attacked you, fame attractor
raiders found retainers
ready to make heads fly
Wisest spear-point wielder
won you victory's sun-burst
Low the ring trees laid you
Lord of men - gold-hoarder.

Troll-woman's horse troop
attracted spear-play fractious
Swayed the birches Southern
sundered in edge-thunder.
Fell in life-flood's fullness
friend of wound-gulls ended.
Suffered jarl-Thor sacred
slain for victory's gaining.

Spied I sudden spear-flight
severed war-garb hardened -
Foemen ringed you fifty
found you with Hirðmen rounded.
Shoulder high bore shield god
steadfast in sword-headwind.
The branches of your breaking
bring night fall to my bright soul.


I have composed music for the poem:


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