“Guests from Overseas,” Nicholas Roerich, 1901, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Wikipedia.

Part 6: Waters no Longships Sailed

Destiny and fate as one, earth turned upon
Itself, forces dormant since antiquity arose,
Old and new gods united as one, rumors of
Ultima Thule realized, darkness, raging seas
Descended on Norse lands, sea passages
Congealed, ships in fiords frozen. Heights
Of Skellig Mhór, Father Blàthan witnessed
This and more, Christian enclaves growing
Along Irish shores, highlands, parishioners
In stone churches secure, word of God spread
Across British Isles. For Father Blàthan, one
Task yet awaited: return of Sister Muriel.

Lo! For seafaring Vikings, warriors took to
Waters no longships sailed, striped wings
Stretched to limits, wind in rigging wailing,
By frozen-slush, south they plowed, axe-
Sharp spray cut face and body, Irish treasure
Promised, Norsemen persevered until clouds
And sea one-merged, snows in flurries fell,
Sticking leaden flakes, ship low-sinking,
Free-board one hand high, shipping waves,
Single comber swallowed whole, fates of
Mardoll were fulfilled, upon Shetland Isles,
Norsemen lived to tell this tale.

Longship unmasted, shredded sails, sea-
Ship breathed her last, soul relinquished
To icy brine, marooned on desolate isles,
On hands and knees, Norsemen to Christ
Prayed, followers they would become, such
Deeds and dares, if sailing past reach of
Thule seas. Thus were ice-plights across all
Norse-lands, boats frozen fast, they prayed
For sun, blazing ball of thawing flame, iron-
Smiths pounded Odin’s hammer into Christ’s
Cross, promise of navigating silver seas if
To Christianity they converted.

“The Virgin of Navigators,” Alejo Fernandez, 1531-1536, Wikepedia.

For feats of Skellig Mhór, some said Father
Blàthan advanced Christianity 500 years,
Preventing Norse warriors from plundering
Irish churches, bloody-beach battles never
Occurred. Reeling wildly, Mardoll, would-be
Norse queen, collapsed mid-magic spells.
In front of all, she writhed within her lair.
Lo! In shimmering light appeared, young
Woman no one knew, Sister Muriel, recalling
Father Blathan’s first question on heights of
Skellig Mhór, she asked aloud, “Who is Christ?
Are Irish churches safe this day?

Yes, Sister Muriel has returned, though her adventures are far from
over. 
To far northern regions she must sail, time and sea-tales twisted.
Thanks for reading.

For more on mytical Ultima Thule: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thule

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