Tyr’s Wrath by Martin Chase

Crimson soil, soaked in blood

Of mine kin, of gods slaughtered

By most fiendish blade.

Their bodies strewn, entrails spilled;

Father, mother, and brethren.

 

Odin, on his own

Spear his head is impaled; Thor

By poison bolts pierced,

Frey, his flesh razed to ash;

All else, maimed, ravaged, and torn.

 

Were I mortal man,

With remaining fist, the gods

I would damn for this.

 

But these beloved dead

Are gods, as am I. Therefore

I must act, not curse.

 

Avenge my kin. That is

What I must do. Bring fire, death

Upon Harald-King

 

And his Cross-Folk, who

Lit my Fathers’ hall, and chained

My people with threat

Of hell and brimstone, blasting

Worship they sought in days old.

 

Tyrfing I draw, in bearskin cloak I clothe.

Thus, ‘gainst wicked writ and monstrous men, my

War begins. A jarl, who with law doth loathe

And condemn my ways, is the first to die.

 

His hall is by torch devoured, his fighting men,

One by one, to Asgard steel fed, his priests

By crows consumed. The tyrant himself, then

Is hewn in two, his ripped flesh left for beasts.

 

All those in his fief are now free heathen.

Axe and mead aloft, once more do they praise

My name; with loyalty undying, e’en

To Midgard’s ends, my banner they shall raise.

 

Onward then, the pagan armies proceed,

To sate War-God’s will, and see his foes bleed.

 

. . .

 

With hammer and high spirit, my war-band

Doth unchain my Northern sons, and lay

Waste to black-minded, Cross-bearing jarls and

Rapine thralls; in noose, lying monks decay.

 

Coward lords’ homes to splinters are shattered,

Cruel edicts they wrote to embers are sent.

Fief after fief falls; their foul flags tattered

At our feet; foreign skulls by iron are rent.

 

Freed men flock to my force. A savior

Am I to they, the last of their old gods,

Protector of faiths they once did savor,

Restorer of times long lost, ‘gainst all odds.

 

Ragnarok reversed, the Aesir live on

In Cross-less hearts. By my sword, shines new dawn.

 

. . .

 

Into Harald’s throne-chamber we charge, blind

With fury for indignities suffered, ones

Loved slain. Pitiful his housecarls we find,

And e’en more, his spineless pleas; thus, his bones

 

‘Neath Sleipnir’s hooves are crushed, his manhood

Severed, and his head likewise. So departs

Our binding with his life – Harald Strange-Blood,

To Nidhogg’s maw, whilst Asgard’s repair starts.

 

My children’s pagan rites once more thrive, their

Homeland their own, my once-living kin now

Revenged. Under mine sigil, they breathe free air.

Just shall be my rule; to no Cross they’ll bow.

 

But dart mine eyes across cold, silver seas.

With black sails, we’ll bring South shores to their knees.

 

. . .

 

“From highland to desert plain, pillage

And burn,” I told my reavers. “Of those who

Bear cross, star, or moon, crumble their village,

Slit their stomach, and bleeding bodies strew.”

 

“Mount their heads, blot their sun with taint-arrow,

Their brothers to cinders reduce. Maim, tear,

And ravage. Blaspheme their gods, and harrow

Them with fire and death; chain sire and son with fear.”

 

“For those who reject

The ancient ways shall be lit,

And to serpent’s maw

And searing lake the

Unfaithful we shall commit.”

 

“Thus is the edict of Tyr.”