The Dark Hereafter

1. The Dark Hereafter

Afflicted with sorrows,
Yet glorified in victory,
Much moved by their summons,
The night-helm glode away,
Quickly departed,
Light came thereafter,
The rushing noise of dawn!

The powerful collected heathens,
Savage, in heaps they thronged,
Their war-trappings sung,
They brandished their arms,
Angry in mood,
Under walls of shields!

They had in rune and had in rime craft,
Written, greedy for power,
The end of men, in life or death,
The cold-hearted fiercely shouted!

Oft their minds went to dim shadows,
Besieged by the devil's lore,
When they of savaged spirits,
Believed the lies!

Then they found those prudent of mind,
Their lives in space expired,
Dead bones ring echoes in broken lives,
Forthwith to divide, body and mind!

2. Pariah's Path

Accursed for ever and driven to exile,
Thou shalt be punished, for deeds of death,
The earth shall not yield thee, of her fruits,
By thy hands her soil stained, with proud men's blood!

The green land, shall withhold from thee,
Her beauty and delights,
In sadness and dishonour,
Shalt thou, depart from thy home!

As thou hast slain thy brother,
Loathed of thy kin,
A lowly pariah,
Shalt wander the earth!

Look not for pity, in this world,
For thou are lost in love and favour,
Weary the ways you must wander,
In dread and of woe!

Whenever one shall meet you,
In your guilt, near or far,
By his hate reminded,
Of his brother's death!

His life was shed,
So thou art scourgest,
And thou must go,
Away from all men's sight!

3. Ensigns Of Victory

Then they bruited abroad in new districts,
Throughout there men were widely dispersed,
A mighty campaign, to the disgust of men,
From whom the Lord's law would hide!

Proclaimed throughout the lands, as far as the sea,
Surrounded they in every city, their walls they did invade,
Their fates forever altered, all hope like towers burned,

That Christ's cross in earth was buried, had been found,
The best of victorious signs, which before or after,
Holy under the heavens, was ever reared aloft!

Swift were they to ride, as though the early Romans,
Over the deep sea the lords lands seek out,

"Though ye them all should banish, work your hostility,
Ye here will derive, in that vengeance, an inglorious journey".

"I now a sword against you, with wrathful hand,
Purpose to bear, or worldly weapon,
Nor shall this field of God, through bloodshed, be furtive".

Twas to the warrior the most welcome of tidings,
Their banner of victory raised high over the crowds!

4. Green Cathedral

The winds are loud,
The oceans sway,
Yet strong remain the stony cliffs,
Hold their place o'er watery strife.

At times I must, below the earth,
The waves of change dive under,
The sea from above, they stir,
The streams, they mix,
But mountains arise,
Firm solace of ground,
Where we, sure of foot,
Watch them dissolve together.

Where the water gently laps,
At gravelled shores,
Where heather blooms
As free men keep unfailing watch.
A quiet place, a lonely place,
I shall go to it, for one last time,
...and be carried,
By those who knew me in life,
Take me and empty me,
From a vessel and leave me there alone.

5. Led Astray In The Forest Dark

They awaited the maiden's return,
Astray she was in forest dark,
Her only friend was the homeward path,
Hidden by the spreading snow

Could she but not, follow starry trails
She would not be lost, amongst these spruces dark

Wooden arms embraced the foreign guest
Sad was their song unto her
The halls of the mountain king,
Clamour for Christian blood

[The Netherworld:]
"Near at hand; a maiden in grief
Hands joined in prayer
A Litany rises to heaven above."

From springs above
Upon her head
Drop by drop as blood
From Jesus Christ

[The Maiden:]
"Lonely, in forest deep,
Tonight, I feel and fear,
No one remembers me."

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