Romsdal part III

A Poem By Caleb // 2/9/2018

Fog had hid the highest cliff-tops,
Made a secret of the mountains,
Fold on fold the white fleece mantle
Made a cloak for giant’s shoulders.

All alone the Romsdal rider
Rode up to the fear-dark forest —
There before her open death-door
Thorstein stopped his horse to tether.

Thorstein hoped that luck would love him
As he stepped into the darkness,
For he thought a hive of killers
Must be waiting in the forest.

Fifteen men in arms together
There had vanished at the new-moon,
Never more were seen in sunlight;
How could one man face such danger?

Thorstein stole along the pathway
Sought his fate beneath the branches
Where the hunting night-wolf wanders,
Red-toothed howling over blood-prey.

Through the world of shadow walking
Thorstein saw part from the path-way
Branching off a crooked by-way,
Twixt the trees there twisting, turning.

Turning Thorstein took the byway,
Long he followed where it led him,
Till he came into a clearing
Where a horn-beamed hall was standing.

Thorstein thought then as he stood there:
"He who holds the horn-beamed hall here
Hunts upon the forest highway
Hails to hell-death hard-helmed fighters.”

So beneath its large fir lintel
Thorstein passed, and there before him,
Lay a table white with linen,
Bright with silver cup and platter.

Finest food awaited someone,
And a big bed, richly curtained;
Thorstein thought by its dimensions
Great must be the man who sleeps there.

Piled betwixt the bed and chimney
On the wide board floor were lying
Many chests and huge sacks bulging,
All with pillage overflowing —

Saxon silver, cloth from Friesland,
Furs from Jamtland, combs of antler,
Saddles, spears and strong steel mail-coats,
Woven belts, and Viking ingots.

Night was falling in the forest
And the hearth-fire low was burning,
Thorstein stirred the flickering flame up,
For this foe unknown sat waiting.

Then he heard a horse-hoof clatter,
Drawing toward him through the forest,
So he climbed among the treasures,
Nestled down mid sacks and boxes.

Comments

What comes next, I wonder?

You stopped at such a crucial moment. (or so it seems.) This story proves very intriguing and I'm hoping to hear more soon. I do have to say, I particularly liked a certain few verses:

Fog had hid the highest cliff-tops,
Made a secret of the mountains,
Fold on fold the white fleece mantle
Made a cloak for giant’s shoulders.

This one was very poetic--hence it's being in a poem. But I thought the descriptions fitting and very distinct, somehow. It fit the piece very well.

Saxon silver, cloth from Friesland,
Furs from Jamtland, combs of antler,
Saddles, spears and strong steel mail-coats,
Woven belts, and Viking ingots.

This one I think I liked because of the unusual words and how they all fit together within the meter. It helps me see in my mind. Looking forward to more.

Libby | Mon, 02/12/2018

“The gospel alone is the power of God unto salvation.
Therefore, suffer, yes. Be misunderstood, yes. Be shamed, yes. But do not be ashamed. For the joy set before you, take up your cross, follow Jesus, be shamed and despise the shame!" -- John Piper

Exciting as ever! Looking

Exciting as ever! Looking forward to the next installment ...

Hannah D. | Sat, 02/17/2018

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton

Thanks

Libby, the verse about the treasure was fun to research.

You also bring up something I think about a lot in writing which is things fitting. I want to be poetic in Romsdal but in a stark kind of way -- there are certain kinds of words and phrases I can't use. Look at the words Keats uses to describe a stained-glass window (there are no stained-glass windows in Romsdal)

A casement high and triple-arch'd there was,
All garlanded with carven imag'ries
Of fruits, and flowers, and bunches of knot-grass,
And diamonded with panes of quaint device,
Innumerable of stains and splendid dyes,
As are the tiger-moth's deep-damask'd wings;
And in the midst, 'mong thousand heraldries,
And twilight saints, and dim emblazonings,
A shielded scutcheon blush'd with blood of queens and kings.

I could not adorn this old Norwegian story with this style of words and phrases from the English tradition (though they work well in the world of Keats' poem) but words like 'fog' and 'fleece' work in old Norway and I think a metaphor with giants does too.

Caleb | Mon, 02/19/2018

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

I have to echo what Libby

I have to echo what Libby said. :) the first verse particularly stood out to me. I love the flow and rhythm. Well done.

Damaris Ann | Mon, 02/19/2018

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

"Fear-dark forest" is so

"Fear-dark forest" is so satisfyingly terrifying; you have a way of evoking a detailed image in your word combinations.

AmandaMR | Wed, 02/28/2018

"Come, travel with me in dreams far, far beyond the range of the possible and the known." ~Charles Baudelaire

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