Tuesday, September 10, 2019

‘Star Sailors’

On the great island
At the center of the world
Lived two kindreds,
Both of whom were
Captivated by the sky
And longed to wander
Among the lights thereof.

In the west was Jotunheim,
A land of barren
Hills and mountains,
But her people
Were resourceful
And renowned for works
Made by their hands:
Great cities, and fine clocks
Of many gears,
And machines for mining
And refining ore.

But as their skillfulness increased,
So too did their pride,
Grim deceiver,
Dark destroyer of souls.
Their yearning to journey
To the sky was not borne
Out of love for what they saw,
But to make greater
The power and splendor
Of their people and cities.

At their yearly assembly
It was decided to appoint
Their finest engineers
To fashion a machine
To carry them to the stars
And other worlds
And bring back the best
Resources they found among them.

The Jotun scientists
Pored over their books
Of mightcraftlore
For many days
And many sleepless nights
And contrived an iron tower
With an engine
At its base that breathed
Fire many times hotter
Than any dragon’s.
Inside was ample room
For the valuable ores
They hoped to find.

The whole country
Aided in building
This greatest of their works,
And the day of its flight
Quickly arrived.
The illustrious crew,
Who were not few in number,
Climbed within and lit the fire,
And the iron ship
Began a slow, heavy ascent.

But the iron of the ship
Did in no wise
Wish to leave the earth
From which it came,
Which it knew as its only home.
And so, as the tower
Climbed higher, the iron
Reached the more strongly for the ground.
The straight path upward
Of the ship began to curve.
The crew tried to counter
But was too late.
The nose was now
Aiming downward,
And the engine sped them
Toward the hard, rocky ground.

The impact created a fiery blast
That sundered the crew from the living.
But it also pierced the pride
Of all of Jotunheim.
Their failure so enraged them
That fire began to consume
Their bodies from within,
One after another,
Until bone and ashes
Alone remained in their great cities,
While their souls descended
To the frozen wastes
At the roots of the world,
There to await the final doom
The All-Father will give
When the world is re-fashioned.

Now in the east was Idavoll,
A land of lush grasses and trees,
With many rivers and lakes besides.
They loved the care
Of living things
Above all else,
Whether herb or worm or ox,
And lived in simple homes.
When news came of the fate
Of their kinsmen
In Jotunheim,
They grieved exceedingly,
And prayed for mercy for their souls.

And they began to be troubled
In their hearts about themselves also.
For they too longed to sail the skies,
But seeing the fate of their kin,
They were unsure
Of the goodness
Of this longing,
And what it might
Bring about for them
If they pursued it to the end.
They agreed to a fast
Among themselves,
Bread and water
With a little salt,
And prayed without ceasing
To God the Father of All
To know if they should
Forsake the sky.

After seven days,
An answer came.
A group of men
At the Sacred Grove,
Holy to God,
Had not left that place
During the fast.
And on the seventh day
The voice of the Great Father
Spoke to them, saying,
‘Do not be afraid
Any longer, you and all
Of Idavoll.
I have seen your hearts
And know that your desire
To sail the skies is pure.
You do not seek
Riches and power
But only to enjoy
The beauty and wonder
Of what you see,
Just as I also did
When the making
Of them was finished.
I will send to you
My servant Mimir,
Who will guide you to the stars
And back home again.
Listen to him,
And go, and embrace
All you find in the heavens
With the same pure love
You have for the wyrts
And beasts of the earth.’

And straight upon
The ceasing of the voice,
Mimir, a mighty lord of Heaven,
Appeared.  He looked of the race of men,
Yet the holiness
That flowed from him
Made all men bow their heads
In rev’rence.
But he comforted them,
And had them lift
Their countenances.

All Idavoll
Hearkened to his words.
He counselled them
To weave together
Fine strands of willow wood
Into the shape of a boat,
With a little rudder
Towards the aft.
For the willows
Are friends of the earth
And the air, and do not
Favor one over the other.

Hringhorn they called it,
And when it was made,
Lo! it began to float in the air.
The men tied it fast
To a great ever-green,
And Mimir, rising up
And standing in the stern,
Called the several men
Who had heard the words
Of the Father
To join him in the ship.
‘Now is the time
We shall depart,’
Said Mimir to the men.
‘Untether the boat,
And we will go
Thither, to yonder sky.’
They obeyed, and quickly,
Quickly, the little ship
Rose from the earth to the heavens.
The men of Idavoll
Were struck with awe.
Never had such beauty
Met their eyes or been
Imagined in their hearts:
Spheres aflame in fires
Of brilliant hues;
Others frozen,
Clear and smooth without blemish;
Many-faceted crystals
Hurtling along,
Leaving sparkling
Trails of diamond dust behind.

Now Mimir directed them
To a nearby globe,
A world like the one they left.
But as they set down upon it,
They saw it had no life:
Gently rolling hills, lakes,
And soft soil for seed
It had, but nothing grew,
Nothing breathed, but they themselves.
Then the voice of God
Spoke again to them:
‘It has been my will
From the beginning
That man would fill
And rejoice in the whole cosmos
I have made.  The longing
In your hearts for the sky
Was given to you by me,
But I would not allow it
To be fulfilled until this time,
When mankind has shown
Itself worthy of taking up
This task.  Return home now,
And gather together
Whosoever wills,
And bring them back here
To make this a living world.’

Into the boat, into the air,
They went once again.
But before they sailed away
From this new world,
Mimir took one of the crystals
Of the sky-sea
And placed it in the aft.
And as they homeward fared,
A crystal trail
Stretched from thence to Idavoll.
And at the command
Of the Great Father,
It hardened all together.
This was the birth of Breithablik,
The first crystal bridge between worlds.
By it, the people of Idavoll
Were able to carry the stores
Needed to begin life
On the new world.
And the songs and the stories,
The gardens and the barns,
And all the ways of Idavoll
Grew up in a new land,
And very little seemed
Unfamiliar to anyone
Who fared from one to the other.

This is the beginning
Of how the worlds
Were settled in
Distant ages past,
This the origin
Of the crystal bridges
Linking many worlds:
The faith and humility
Of the farmers and herdsmen
Of Idavoll,
Which lifted them to the skies.


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!


  1. I love this! Thank you very much for posting it. Before I share it I want to get the attribution correct. Is it original? It 'sounds' Norse.

  2. Dear LiberTarHeel,

    I wrote it, may it please God. I did use names from Norse mythology, though.