“Promise,” Sergey Solomko, WikiArt.

Part 2: Stefán’s Greenland Spells

Roll of waves and time, blessed ceremony of
Honey held coin-faced curse, from Faroe Isle
Seaside firth, Stefán heard clarion call sailing
Seas, adventures joining stout men renowned,
Vikings exploring Greenland western coast.
Face and hands work-worn, Dagný felt first
Quickening of their child, seed of mighty man,
Sea-crested horizon, long-ship disappearing,
Sheep awaited tending, house and hearth,
All duties alone Dagný performed, except
For shepherd dog, Ekho, at her side.

Thus, spring into summer spread, Stefán with
Fellow Norse sword-men, Brattahlid homesteads
Visited for meat fire-roasting, hardy ale song,
Ship repairs, sailed north amongst open leads,
Greenland western settlements, islands and
Fiords, first Stefán beheld massive ice islands
In evening light, pastel shades of blue, green,
Violet, hundreds south flowing in midnight
Sun. Man possessed by such majesties, Stefán
Pleaded longboat anchor in iceberg wake.

Upon mighty face of towering ice, young Stefán
Climbed, water cascading all round, above mast-
Head pennants, two ships tall, to horizon fixed
His gaze, dazzling shapes, sea parading. Lo!
Chants he sang to Christ, pagan gods, gallant
Norse battle-killed. “O! To blood-bathed blades,
Look not toward shore, destiny lies with wind-
Stretched sails, by such sights my heart is
Pierced.” Lo! Honeycomb blesséd hex, Stefán
From towering slopes, into icy waters fell.

“Arctic Scene,” William Bradford, 1878, WikiArt.

Pulled aboard, “Dafneý” first word spoken, yet
Another wonder Stefán marked, sailing further
North, icebergs glacier calving, avalanche of
Thunderous ice, roaring, rolling, hard waves
Riding, His mind taken, Stefán shouted, “Womb
Of mountain stone, peaks snow-crested, ancient
Birthing pains, islands live-writhing, lost I am to
Greenland spells.” Collapsed, breathing barely,
Stefán ventured too far from Faroe Isles, heart
Ice-crushed, weary husband was home-bound.

Young Stefán, Greenland mind-enchanting adventures endured,
next Dagný and companion Ekho will have equal turn to explore.  

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