Crucible Sword +ULFBERH+T. Photo courtesy of National Geographic Television.
Crucible Sword +ULFBERH+T. Photo courtesy of National Geographic Television.

Conceived by Nordic gods, hand-wrought from
Flaming iron-earth and burned-black ancestral
Bones, Ulfberht sword possessed magical powers:
Shattering shields, Penetrating armor chain-mail.

Formed in mystic crucibles, Norse villagers
Labored at ancient furnaces, forcing breath into
Glowing charcoal, blazing embryonic ingots,
Metallurgical genesis of high-carbon steel.

With measured swings, metal masters pounded
Pulses into awakening slabs of glowing heart-steel,
Determining form and shape, hammering out
Impurities, ushering purpose, bone-pain emerged.

As steaming steel gathered sword-might, black-
Smiths pounded fuller grooves, improving
Strength and far-reaching length, an unrivaled
Edged weapon destined for noble Norsemen.

Sword-magic was Odin-sealed when inlaid iron
Letters “+ULFBERH+T” were hammered into the
Knowing blade. Heated and quench tested, from
Tapered-pointed blades, poured violence, blood-lust.

For one-thousand years, secrets of the crucible
Sword remained hidden from modern man. Viking
Artisans died preserving age-old forging techniques,
Weapon-making skills wrestled from warrior graves.

This poem was inspired by the Nova PBS-Nat Geo Video “Secrets of the Viking Sword.” 
See this link: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/secrets-viking-sword.html

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