Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Fraud, Part III

This is the final part of an extended poem draft. Part I, Part II.

How subtle are the gods! But cleverness and doom
are partners hand in hand. The treachery of gods
to gods will bring an end. The fraudulence of gods
will sprout with fiercest force, and to them bring a night.
The honor of the gods must ever be maintained.
By treaty and by troth we net the world around;
by covenant we rule, by word that never dies.
In this our power lies, the truth within our blood,
and bale of fate are those who pass the bounds of trust,
though they be gods on high. You sing for joy for Freya.
This is a righteous joy. But sorrow in its seed
in joy's own birth was sown. Now hear, and hearing, dread:
Because the gods with cheat have turned the word of trust,
the evening doom will come. Because dishonor ruled
though but a moment's time in Aesir's thought and deed,
and of dishonor's fruits the gods have all a taste,
the evening doom will come. Because by rot of troth
all gods have tasted joy, the twilight doom will come.
Because by death of truth the gods have kept their joy
the death of gods will come. Because with trick the gods
have countered covenant, a number marks our days.

And all in silence heard. Then hammer-bearing Thor
with lightning in his eyes rose up with stormy wrath.

Who here knows not the source of all our new-found woe?
Of all the gods, who sowed the seed that birthed this course?
One god holds all the blame: red Loki is his name.
Hear now! The doom begun it may not be undone
but by the pain of one who made it to be born.
With iron born of stars let Loki now be bound,
with steel from heaven far that subtlety confounds,
that in these holy halls the doom may be forestalled.

What fools are now the gods who clamor for my pain!
To such I give no thought but merciless disdain!
Who were the ones who begged my aid in saving spring?
All through the razor-edge of cleverness all sing
of all the lovely joys of spring-encircled Freya.
Are cowards newly found behind high Asgard's wall?
If death will come, no bond will stay that ceaseless doom;
on all of us it falls like evening in its gloom.
But you will still have spring! Raise up your song and sing
and face the mask of death that nears with every breath.
And I, I spit on all who seek to pass the blame
so that the coming death might never on them fall.

Not even gods can stay the fate we now will face.
Our truth is now corrupt and we will not repent
and give the spring to Hrim. The twilight doom will come.
But slowed its steps may be and fate at walking pace
may march its stayless march. The flame has broken bond,
corrupted holy troth; let flame in steel be bound
and space against the night the gods will have from Loki.

And from the holy house, the city of the gods,
the god of flame was thrown and bound with chains of steel
beneath a serpent's tongue, that for a little while
the twilight might delay before the horns of war
ring out in holy Asgard. Then Naglfar will sail;
its pilot will be Hrim, who will tear down his wall;
then Loki will return and consummate his war,
and vengeance will destroy, and flame devour, the gods.

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