In the Witch-Tower

Well I know Thee, Wandering One

Wending where Thou wilt

Yet when Thou goest by My gate

Gladly I will guide Thee hither

No grinning girl will I send out

To greet Thee, but I Myself

Will bring Thee the brimming brew

Sweet mead to moisten Thy mouth

And a kiss sweeter still for Thy soul

Come beneath My mighty boughs

Grimnir, come within My gardh

Greatly giving Thy three gifts—

Runes and Redes and Roaring Ale

So eager am I under Mine eaves

To welcome Thee warmly

Wide-armed and willing

Let Me lead through leafy bowers

Bring Thy steps to stony stair

Rising to My twisted tower

Tarry not amid My trees, but

Free from fetters, fearless follow

Come in, come in, come bide awhile

Well Thou knowest how to wend

Thy way between My wards and webs

Not for Thee are My thorns thickly

Woven; I as any Wood-Wife

Gladly glisten now before Thee

Amber-wet in cleft of pine

Walk the way well-laid and loving

Come then up My spiral path

Find Thee now within Mine hall, and

Hie Thee to its harrow-heart

Here gainsay Me not what Thou gavest Gunnlodh—

Dark-cloak, I deem Thy need be as dire!

Come to Me, within My coils of

Brísingamen burning brightly

On My breasts, twin tongues flickering

Licking up in love’s fire feasting

Now ’tis Thee in ring of fire

Bound, but I can set Thee free

For the runes Thou sharest freely

Thou hast given self to Self

For the ways We will be working

Thou must offer Self to Me

Wouldst Thou now as wood become,

Feeding flames that laugh in lust?

Come be coal bare to My burning

Naked to My need-fire’s longing

Come, gainsay Me not what Thou gavest Gunnlodh—

Dark-cloak, I deem Thy need be as dire!

From throat to thigh I am as honey

To Thy runewise tongue-blade flicking

Carve upon Me with Thy kisses

Thy Golden Eagle, give wings to glory

Falcon feathers move beneath Me

Unfurling, enfolding, wings beat as one

Fanning flames between Our breasts

And kindling the forge—come, now let Us work

Anvil am I, awaiting the iron

Let Thine hammer set Me to singing

Our forge-glow glimmering through Mine hall

Fast will I hold and rise to Thee ringing

Till idis and alf dance upon My mound

By the red-gold light of all love-haunted harrows

Now, gainsay Me not what Thou gavest Gunnlodh—

Dark-cloak, I deem Thy need be as dire!

Together held tight, Our talons entwined

Now will I trace Thy rune stave risted

Göndlir, Thy wand will never know redder

Than the oil of My Rose pressed in Our love

Blessed by My Bloom, Thy runes need no blood.

Odhinn! I have named Thee

And though I do love Thee for Thyself

‘Tis not for Thee Mine heart acheth this eve

For rightly Thou remindest Me

Of that other Wanderer

For Whom My tears yet fall, fiery golden

For Whom yet bloometh the Rose of Mine heart

Now, clasp Me close, and make Me to remember

Now, clasp Me close, and make Me to forget

Whirling within, the might ariseth

Waxing, waiting, driving faster

Now there is neither help nor halting

Only onward, deeper delving

Till Thine hammer findeth My mark

And from this spark setting fire to soul

Making molten that red gold flowing through flesh

Till lightning-lashed, with thunder’s throat

I wail Our will on the winds of Wyrd

I am the harrow hot by Our art

O’erflowing with Thine offering

I am the forge of every Craft

Anvil singing with Thy strength

Splitting spiral-tower spinning

Spells upwelling, now o’erspilling

Flinging fires high from holy forge

Now We hurtle, screaming skyward

Awestruck by Our brightness rising

Stars are stilled on the roads of night

Wyrd now wingeth forth to the Worlds

As mists on the moors, as wisps on the winds

Come, Mine Odhinn, fare We forth

On the winds between the Worlds

Gathering all the ghosts who wander

Taking them into Our train

Riding o’er every land, lake and wood

Town and mound and hill and dale

Tremble all the fearful ones while

True folk bless Us on Our paths

Runes Thou hast to write Thy will

O’er that of fool or foe

Weaving webs where’er I will

I entangle all foresworn

Mighty Thy stave to stir Thy will

Strong My strands to bind My spell

None know the Power of Our Forge

The fearful beauty of Our Craft

None may work Wyrd as We do

None may guess what ends We have

Wyrd now wingeth forth to the Worlds

As mists on the moor, as wisps on the winds

by Alfgeir Starkhendr

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