Valhalla

*Stories around the hearth
Stories around the hearth

The torches smokely burning in the feasting hall
Cast a wan light across the laden benches.
Tonight we eat our fill and quench our thirsts
For in the springtide morning,
At the rising of the sun,
We steer our dragon prowed ships questing across
The Emerald seas,
Riding on the towering waves.

Ever with a glance across our shoulders
Backward to our hearths in the east,
We sail westwards in search of fame and glory,
New lands to conquer, to the clash of sword and shield.
Riches to plunder to fill our ships,
And offer gifts to the Gods.
Comrades to care for after blood-red battle,
Lying wounded and dying.
Victories to celebrate and sometimes to fly
From overwhelming numbers.

And at the years waning,
To sail homewards with the onset of winter.
Braving the battering seas,
Returning to our loved ones
To sit again in the hall and see
The empty seats of comrades fallen to the foe.
And raise our horns and mead cups in salute.
And cry to the Gods 'Our thanks!'
That after Winter's cold and darkness
There is a promise of another Summer to come.

Now join with me in the cry
That guides the spirits of our fallen heroes
Winging across the Rainbow Bridge
To the doors at the Hall of the Slain.
And shakes the seat of Odin's throne
And the very foundations of Asgard,
The kingdom of the Gods:

VALHALLA!! VALHALLA!!

Ælfric Halfdansson, 1992