Long Range Mountains, photo courtesy of Stan Collins, Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland.
Long Range Mountains, photo courtesy of Stan Collins, Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland.

Song I sing of heart’s lament, another brutal
Winter endured, spring ice hard-fast to Green-
Land shores, fiords still choked, my tribe to
Westward shores do yearn, Helluland and
Warmer climes, for life on once-green hills,
We fear will cease to exist. Sea-wanderers,
Heroes and heathens alike, we risk turning
To frozen bones, dead in our sod homes.

We shared bread crumbs with sorrows heaped,
Last of grains and goats, cold-starved livestock
Knife-butchered, lush pasturelands cold-blighted,
Still covered in ankle-deep snow, sea-sun slowly
Melting persistent ice-cape, shame of beached
Sailing longships gnaws at Viking hearts, cruel
Fates, torment of neighboring tribes, winter-
Beaten Norse Greenlandic kingdoms.

To gods we prayed, herald-hymns we sang, for
Pious priests protest know not our sins nor
Trespasses. In my heart, God has not forsaken
Us, hunger-driven from bleak shores. By flick-
Ering fires, we will embark across whale paths,
To fiord-lands of large flat-rocks, where arrow-
Shooting Skrælings dwell, paddlers of skin boats,
Eaters of frozen seal and whale flesh.

"Ingeborg," Peter Nicolai Arbo, 1868, Wikimedia photo, for this poem Brithe.
“Ingeborg,” Peter Nicolai Arbo, 1868, Wikimedia photo, for this poem Brithe.

Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Peace-Weaver, hear my
Prayers of salvation, not of soul but tribal flesh
And marrow. For I, Brithe, on bended knee have
No cross to bear, yet make sacrifice by knife,
I slice my palms, as you were crucified, my red
Wound-streams elbow dripping, spilled on
Grasslands o’er looking Norse sail-roads,
Guiding winds deliver us to new-found land.

In prayerful trance, Brithe collapsed, visions of
Leifsbuðir, vast sod-house settlements, grape-
Vines thick-growing, busy seacoast station, new
Shores for Viking exploration. As legend tells,
Brithe steered her boat by heart-compass, long-
Boats close following, making sail to Markland,
South turning, fair sea-maiden discovered Leif’s
Hamlet, verdant-meadowed Vinland.

This poem describes the Viking settlement of L’Anse aux Meadows.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L’Anse_aux_Meadows

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