Friday, November 04, 2022

Beneath the Boughs of Yggdrasil

Lignum Vitae
by Dorothy Sayers 

"And the leaves of the Tree were for the healing of the nations." 

When I am grown so weary, my hands can keep no hold
Of the heavy water of living, in its jar of mortal gold,
And it slips and spills in the ocean; then I shall sink to sleep
Beneath the boughs of Yggdrasil, where the sea-ways are deep,
Or peer from slumberous eyelids to see the smooth, black stem
Stretch up to the world's foundations, and know that it beareth them;
While dim through the roofs of water I shall hear, and hardly hear
How the birds of Bran the Blessed sing Aves all the year.
The waves of God will go over me, the waves and the great, green flood,
Where the ash-buds break to blossom in a red gleam like blood.
Yggdrasil, Yggdrasil! . . . the branches sweep and spread
Till the Tree of the whole world's sorrow shadows my dreaming head;
And never a wind comes near it, but the leaves swing quietly
Night and day to the swinging of the sea, of the salt sea.

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