good Friday it happened in Caithness that a man called Dorroth went out
of doors. He saw twelve persons ride toward a stone hut. There they were
lost to his sight. When he came up to the hut and looked through a chink
in the wall he saw that some women were rinside and had set up a web.
Heads of men served as weights, mens entrails formed the woof and weft,
a sword did as a weavers reed, and arrows as the rods. They sang this
song, called Song of the Valkyries. Then they tore the web down and into
pieces, and each one held on to what she had in her hands. Dorroth left
the opening and went home; but the women mounted their horses and rode
away- six to the north and six to the south.
Widely is flung, warning of slaughter,
the weavers-beams-web: tis wet with blood;
is spread now, grey, the spear-thing before,
the woof-of-the-warriors which valkyries fill
with the red-warp-of- Randvrs-banesman.
Is this web woven and wound of entrails,
and heavy weighted with heads of slain;
are blood-bespattered spears the treadles,
iron-bound the beams, the battens, arrows:
let us weave with our swords this web of victory!
Goes Hild to weave, and Hiorthrimul,
Sangrith and Svipul, with swords brandished:
shields will be shattered, shafts will be splintered,
will the hound-of-helmets the hauberks bite.
Wind we, wind we the web-of-darts,
and follow the atheling after to war!
Will men behold shields hewn and bloody
where Gunn and Gondul have gaurded the thane.
Wind we, wind we such web-of-darts
as the young war-worker waged afore-time!
Forth shall we fare where the fray is thickest,
where friends and fellows gainst foemen battle!
Wind we, wind we the web-of-darts
where float the flags of unflinching men!
Let not the lieges life be taken:
valkyries award the weird of battle.
Will seafaring men hold sway over lands,
who erstwhile dwelled on outer nesses;
is doomed to die a doughty king,
lies slain an earl by swords een now.
Will Irish men eke much ill abide:
twill not ever after be out of mens minds.
Now the web is woven, and weapons reddened -
in all lands will be heard the heroes fall.
Now awful is it to be without,
as blood-red rack races overhead;
is the welkin gory with warriors blood
as we valkyries war-songs chanted.
Well have we chanted charms full many
about the kings son: may it bode him well!
Let him learn them who listens to us,
and speak these spells to spearmen after.
Start we swiftly with steeds unsaddled -
hence to battle with brandished swords!
© 2000 Hringari Oðinssen