Ruins of Hvalsey Church in Greenland, constructed from ashlar stone slabs. Photo by Jon Vidar Sigurdsson.
Ruins of Hvalsey Church in Greenland, constructed from ashlar stone slabs. Photo by Jon Vidar Sigurdsson.

As daughter of stalwart Viking seafarers, Brithe
Worshiped under Odin god-warrior’s reign,
Sword-wielding heaven-provider. Ravaging
Foreign shores, raiding years brought plenty
Until meeting lowly Christian priests. No heavy
Leather or armor for protection, they wore dark-
Woolen hooded cloaks, steadfast to their one
God-son and His holy cross-shield, delicate
Hand-inked words, copied sacred manuscripts.

Advent of Christianity to Norse days brought
Warring clan infighting, lives lost, bloodletting
To serve by Odin-might or die for Christ’s love
Divine. As fitted Ashar rock slabs were laid for
God’s Hvalsey Church,  Holy Spirit descended,
Dove-like upon young Brithe. Praise-songs to
Sunlit mountains, white-crested fiords, she came
Forth, and on bended knee accepted Christ,
Bread of Life, savior-guide on icy whale-path seas.

Upon her first communion, young Brithe received
A mystic dream from Christ-Odin-Father. Amidst
Dazzling clouds, yoked voices spoke as one, sun
And moon, ice and sea, to bring Christianity to
Greenlandic Vikings. When she awakened, Brithe
Recalled her visions to warrior-lord Olaf. With
A cross of fine wood bearing Christ carved of
Whalebone, Brithe traveled by boat to Viking
Clans, teaching of His love and salvation.

Preserved as Norse hand-scribed legend, Brithe’s
Teachings await translation. While Viking warriors
Have long departed Greenland’s southern shores,
Slab-thick walls of Hvalsey Church have prevailed,
Still standing. When warm winds grace rounding
Mountain grasslands, Brithe’s witness-words
Gently echo, enduring faith to both her lords,
Christ and Father Odin, surf of holy ocean-waters
Ever smoothing jagged pagan tidelands.

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