“Boats,” Nicholas Roerich, 1901, WikiArt.

Listen now to legend-might of folk-kings!
Eldest daughter of Styrmir, daughter of
Hræfna, Muriel was able seafaring maiden.
Born of blacksmith family, Styrmir was
Protector-provider of his clan, hammer
Heart-fire wielding, sparks spraying, blade-
Edge forming, base-earth to cunning steel.

Hræfna turned her daughter’s gaze from
Father’s metal pounding to silvered-wavéd
Fiord waters, net mending, ways of fish
Taking, longboat sailing. Here, Muriel
Awakened, christened by bow-plowing
Spray of heaving brine swells, life of sea
Love-fame, god-fearing ocean glory.

Told amongst mead-hall fires, to outlying
Coasts Muriel’s heart yearned, unbridled
Desire of icy whale-paths, songs of Mark-
Land, dreams of Vinland, she grew from
Mother-taught sea-child to breast-armored
Shieldmaiden. So keen her western visions,
Viking elders gave her water-karve, shields
And swords her father hand-crafted.

Yea, legend tells she navigated by sun and
Stars, communed in mystic ways with sea
And moon. With Welling-Wave, goddess
Hrönn, she made wave-song, avoiding
Perilous ice-islands. By needle magic, she
Navigated unscathed to icy shores, grey-
Plumed smoke of Grimsvötn molten-fire.

Armed with shield and sword, Viking raiders
Landed, first Norsemen to set foot on verdant
Grasslands, beckoning expansion of their
Rule and realm. Muriel, however, with water-
Karve remained. In cold surf on bended knee,
She gave humbled thanks and homage to
Goddess Hrönn, guide of white-crested seas.

At Muriel’s bidding, Viking raiders built a head-
High cairn on a nearby hilltop. Made of water-
Smoothed sea-rock, Muriel placed a rounded
Flat white stone, honoring Gmot, moon god,
Guiding sea-companion. Viking raiders saw it
As invading sea-glory. To Muriel, her cairn was
Heart-built homage to Nordic gods she loved.

Loyal to Viking tribal elders, Muriel and raiders
Returned home on Nordic ocean ways, claiming
Snaeland for their king. A new world to explore,
They settled snowy ice-land without need of
Warring bands. Honoring accomplished deeds,
Elders sent a dozen snekke ships, with warrior-
Rulers, families, and their slaves, treacherous
Wave voyage steered by seafaring Muriel.

Lost to cruel wind-waves, two longboats
Capsized during raging storms, landing on
Hammered shores, hulls wave-battered, proud
Masts shattered, Viking families lifeless,
Drowned, bitter ice-land dead. As sign from
Hrönn, their supply chests saved, foundering
Amongst rocks, keys waist-found on lifeless
Women, once loving mothers to their clan.

For forty Viking dead, raiders blamed lowly
Christian monks who lived in stone-house
Isolation. By axe and sword-hate, they killed
The monks for sins they’d not commit, a stain
On raiders Muriel would not forgive. With a
Handful of loyal followers, Muriel left ice-land
Her wave-karve loaded with stores, ever
Sailing westward to harkening, foreign shores.

Harp-bard fire-songs tell how Muriel reached
Greenland long before Eric Red. Rune stories
Recall she sailed west to Labrador, living her
Allotted days. Decades later, Viking explorers
Found her cairn a moonstone as its crown.
By sea-songs, Meriel lived a god-protected life.
When feebled by old age, with weighted stones,
She sea-greeted Hrönn in depths off Labrador.

My sterling and enameled Viking Ship brooch.

Modern legend relates that when venturing
Along Labrador Straits, trawlermen ride quietly
The welling waves for moonlight sea-songs
Whispered in ship’s rigging. As a guiding spirit,
Muriel chants her ancient wave-song, watching
Over hardy mariners as they tend their fishing
Nets, specially kindred souls with Viking blood
Coursing through their veins.

This is my first effort at a longer legend-type poem of the Viking era, using terms and structure of these early works. The name “Muriel” originates from Old Celtic: muir – sea
and geal – bright or shining, or “Shining Sea,” an appropriate
name for the seafaring heroine.

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