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  • Cuthbert

    Cuthbert

    Heaved, the helmsman's oar sleights

    waves trough and crest combing fights

    so in each salty pit the dragon bit

    and the figurehead's bite

    eats the sea's driven flight

    slaking the salty draught foaming,

    every trim of the sail closing the goal

    is an oar stroke saved for the swinging

    berserker the fist long grips an axe haft

    that feeds on the blood of life's keening.

    And raiders bold, like wolves on the fold,

    from the sea's dark heart come careening

    * * *
    In the hall as the fire sinks lower

    Grendel is the gale's rap of the door

    or, what is worse, the monster's mother,

    on just such a night the torch-light fleers

    mead-horns drunk-dry slip-slide to the floor

    then tonsured minds grown restive with fear

    see Cuthbert take the road from Jarrow

    York the aim, step out for the morrow

    Frater borne, a litter of sorrow.

    * * *
    In times ahead faith's purity's stained

    when Jorvik as York Viking became

    and Eric Blood-Axe ruler acclaimed.

    Yet followers all the Minster drew

    from Sainted Bones pillagers anew

    Normans from Norsemen pilgrims grew

  • #2
    You have a wonderful and skillful wield with epic ideas. This piece reads to me as blending of Beowulf and the universal ideal of good overcoming/converting evil?

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    • #3
      I've always been surprised at how quickly
      the Vikings assimilated into other cultures
      when they invaded other areas becoming
      French in Normandy and within two
      generations losing Norse names in
      Britain, Knut becoming Canute
      for instance

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      • #4
        How to catch a Viking, you put salt on their tail. Or is that a Robin, hood winked I’m sure. Yes you sure can spin, dodge and weave. I felt I was there on the deck, heave ho my men. We came we saw we conquered. Legend and myth make a hardy story. Well done, well done indeed.

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