December pilgrimage of Christian faith, voyage
For three bitter days and nights twixt Norway
Fiords and Iceland, icy wind-blown spray,
Shieldmaiden Brithe at long-ship helm, thirty
Norse men and women, young and old, sailing
North seas to Føroyar Islands, 1050 A.D., to
Witness visions at sacred healing henge.
Marvels of Færeyinga Sagas, sword and shield,
Across cresting seas Vikings flew, square sail
Full-billowing, searching for Streymoy Island,
Mount Kepsenni, Storm Petrels scudding, stars
Guiding, home of Christian monks, stone-slab
Church, ancient henge, six towering stones,
Lintels mounted on their heights.
Upon break of day, Norse believers, crosses
And spirits raised high, banners wind-flowing,
To monks they hailed, gifts of sheep and cows,
Preparations trekking to henge, twixt heaven
And earth stone pillars reached, love of Crīstes-
Mæsse, reverence to Holy Mother, glimmering
Voiced-visions, healer of sick and wounded.
Procession of faithful followers, led by Brithe,
Climbing snow-swept highland paths, bitter-
Breast cares released to heart-warming sunlight,
Forgotten were harsh seas, kinsmen killed,
Women battle-lost. Clang of battle gave way to
Hymns of praise, Norse souls sailed on high
Streams, warrior’s revelations.
At holy henge they knelt, prayers to Christ and
Mary, clouds descended to gebēdstow* prayer
Stones, within holy vision beheld, Mary spoke,
“Love your enemies as yourself,” charity and
Forgiveness, strange teachings as bones of
Viking foes lay sword-cleft on Albion’s distant
Yet, spirit-voices touched Norse hearts, trans-
Forming warriors to farmers, blessings of Ice-
Land and Greenland, disciples of Christ for
300 years, sheep and cattle, Viking prosperity
Was secure until Arctic bitter cold claimed their
Lands, cycles of feast and famine, Northern
Regions were not destined for Norse eternal life.
* A prayer place, place where prayers have been offered,
an oratory, courtesy of oldenglishwordhord.com @OEWordhord.
For more on the end of Viking Greenlandic habitation, see this link: http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/lia/end_of_vikings_greenland.html