The Lay of Wolf-Time
Behold! the World Corpse,
the First Born and First Dead.
from whom rivers flow and winds blow,
within whom seeds take root and lands take stead.
The Fatherland’s Harvest has come,
and with it the culling of Warm Times.
whom shall cut the Gold, whom to thresh the Green?
before the frozen blades of conquest come to reap our hoardful sum.
Wolf calls stir the gates to shut and hearken the arrow’s whistle,
in the defence of Middle-Home, the Son of Jord stirs and takes flight.
neither soon nor late is the strike, and comes with Grinding and Gnashing
the fate of candles burnt to the base.
Time claims all that it bears, holding shears to the slack
of Godborn and Man.
of Three made One, each sight blind to the other,
all gaze and entwine their hands beneath the same waters.
“Comes for blood, stays for flesh,” said the elder,
high upon the heath. Though blind his eyes and deaf his ears,
wisdom from his lips escape and linger high on the winds.
the children make rumours, say he is mad.
Yet even the chieftains listen to his ramblings.
For Hrungnir’s Heartland is not far from Middle-Home,
and common are the hunting parties.
persistent are the sons of Ice Waves,
and unwilling to return, even when their welcome is worn.
“Us - that is us,” says the guest, the wanderers seated at the feast.
they are asked from where they hail, yet their mouths are filled
just as quickly, and are weary with words.
from Van-Home, far have they travelled, to sup at the table of Glad.
All of Black-Home grows quiet, the forge of the Open One has
ceased its billows. Yet work persists in the home of Flame,
where hammers fall upon the Bright Blade,
making it ready.
And yet in fair Bright-Home, where time is not known,
the sand of her glass slips free. Will the High Children know
when time has come to pay a visit?
will they know how to greet their guest?
Before the swordsman greets his dying day,
he will remember all faces he has seen and sigh,
for if he has not seen them since he shall soon.
or if not, wish them a fair path along their own way.
All of the Dead know Her name and so too
the Living. Yet all stricken dumb when brought
before the Gate of Corpses. The song of the Spinner’s Son,
ringing true in ancient fields, speaks of those quaking
to be without second thought.
“Old was I when the land young and green,”
spoke the elder, high upon the heath.
“with rede I spoke with the wayfarer
of tenebrous times, come and gone, and soon to pass.”
Things of Men speak long without meaning,
be they good or ill in speech. Yet for all the times of speaking,
the era of good speech has passed. The age of action has come,
and with it, screams for blood.
“Are all of them dead?” asked the Chieftain of the bloodied Swordsman.
“gone,” heaved the second to the first, “but not for long.”
as the Swordsman drowned in his own wounds, the Chieftain left
the Dead to the Dead.
Made of the Impossible, the Unbreakable has been sundered,
the Fen-Dweller’s prison turned to the dust of Nothing.
let slip the Bane of the War-Host,
the yawning maw ever-hungry for slaughter.
New blood is spilled from the womb,
old blood is torn from the grave.
yet none have blood to spare,
when the bonds of All are set to waive.
“All is flame,” spoke the fearful Remnant,
hidden in the Holt beneath the Tree.
“this is not the end,” rebuked the other,
as they waited with baited breath.
That which slithers, poisons, and bites comes forward,
the Bane of Thunder rises from the Firstborn’s Blood to join
the Fray-Without-Victor. The Crusher’s fatal blow struck,
and for all of Nine steps is the victory savoured.
“Is it standing?” asked the Chieftain, peering toward the High-Home,
its Crossroads a crumbling ruin and towers of gold shattered.
over the Heath, all could be seen. the Elder sat there, still
watching with empty eyes and dumb ears.
Must the child of Day and Night be orphaned?
its parents’ demise hurling all the lands of Brightness into
a cloak of Shadow.
ravenous swords unsheath themselves from the Armoury of Hunger.
Return! to the Plains of Splendour, that we may rest!
alas, no such rest awaits those who fight so gladly now,
though it be a well-earned one.
for theirs shall sustain yours.
To the Field of Battle all go after the Great Winter has melted,
yielding to the Bright Blade’s maw. The Decrepit Steersman’s hulk
moors on the backs of the worm-eaten, ferrying the Escaped forward
hurling themselves into the Fray-Without-Victor.
Nothing is the beginning, and from Nothing All
take shape in dust, flame, and ice.
and to Nothing must All go to wait for a time,
before All will know their being once again.
Now, read through it again and this time, pay close attention to the first word at the beginning of each stanza.
- runicbasso posted this