I sing the Goddess that is in all,
who gilds the wheat and sun born rye,
who, in dreaming plains we seek her call
In the greenwood, in the elms that fall
from sundered root to shaken ply
Her eternal verse brings breath to all
In the hornèd moons that nightly rule
her silver sisters dance the sky
and from dreaming plains attend her hall
Even in the sore and weeping gall
there is the ballad which brings release
there is the Goddess of great and small
In streams deep and mountains tall
from lover’s rage to felled knight’s wreath
Zöe sings her song, who is in all
Do not dread and shrink from winter’s pall
or of Luna’s chill bite be dismayed
For Zöe, dying, sleeps in snowy shawl
And Springs born to sing the gilded corn
so broken hearts are once more allayed
when mourning moons break to Sun of Morn
---from The Princess of Aenya
by Nick Alimonos with Michael-Israel Jarvis
SONG OF ILMARINEN
Let me run the hills of Ilmarinen
With soles in soil and grass
where braids play the gale
And sun splashes sharp shoulders
I wrap the sky around me
And birth myself to freedom
Let the universe swell my lungs
And stars scorch my heart
my feet pound the river rock
as I run the hills of Ilmarinen
At Sternbrow Hill the armies came
with copper on their heads all gleaming
and copper swords in belts a shining
and copper spears in hands a bristling
met men with men to kill and maim
at Sternbrow Hill they came
they fought till from the hills they bled
met sword with spear till all lay dead
at Sternbrow Hill
they came to die; they came to kill
Red on White
I wept for him,
this man I’ve killed,
his eyes wide and lustrous before the night,
before the Taker, unseeing.
My boots pock the snow against a ruined ear.
Red on white.
Out of the East a wind laments,
soft as a lover’s kiss;
What mother will never bear his sight?
Or son come out his loins?
Alas, he will never again know Aenya’s beauties,
this mountain’s glory spread in virgin white.
I weep for whom I’ve killed
And leave him to be buried by the drift
though he was my brother, as all men are,
A damnable grin along my still wet steel,
whispers that I follow.
And on I tread. On I tire.
From Glyphs on a Septheran wall
First came the Xexaz
And the Quid bowed to them
And the Ilman bowed to them
And the Seps bowed to them
But with Time the Seps envied
And stole the fire of the stars
And stole the words from the minds
And the Life from the Xexaz
Now the Quid hid in the waters
And the Ilman of the mountains in the clouds
And the Ilman of the woods in the woods
But the Ilman of the land hid in himself
and became Man
Then was the Seps
And Man bowed to them.
Song of Strom
I am wanting to arise and go forth singing
hymns ancestral of our kindred lore.
Lay ear to me and listen—
hear my song and be inspired.
Ages past my forefathers sang them,
and my father as he carved his ax
and I nipped my mother’s teat.
When the world was in its youth,
there were but gods and giants
and their wars were bloody, endless,
until the day that Magmus, King of Giants,
sent Peace, a Nymph, to the gods,
who spoke of truce between gods and giants.
One god and one giant were to meet atop Mount Krome,
highest of mountains.
Being bravest and strongest,
Strom the Thunderer, Red-Bearded, Red-Knuckled,
set forth to meet Magmus, King of Giants.
They talked peaceably, dividing the world in twain—
one half each for their kind.
But there was but a small patch,
upon which Hoarfrost stands,
which both giant and god claimed for their own.
As they could not agree on this small parcel,
Magmus, King of Giants, challenged Strom.
Each would drink his full, and whoever drank more fully
would lay claim to this land.
So Magmus filled his cup—massive as a mountain—
and drank until done.
But Strom the Thunderer, Mightiest of Gods, Red-Bearded, Red-Knuckled,
said unto him,
Fool giant, who thinks I can be bested, drink you so little?
So Magmus offered up his cup—massive as a mountain—
which his sister Wizzeria hath made
from the stars for Strom to drink.
Strom drank from it, and drank and drank and drank.
But when his belly was to bursting,
he saw that he had not drunk so much.
Look you, sayeth Magmus, your cup is not yet empty,
you dranketh less than I, and so the disputed hill is mine!
And Strom hung his head in shame, leaving from the mountain.
Distraught as was the Thunderer,
he went down to the Open Sea,
to his brother Sargonus, White-Eyed, Foam-Haired,
and saw that Sargonus was deeply troubled.
My Sea! Sargonus declared,
The waters have fallen! Look you, Brother!
And when Strom looked, he flew into an awful rage,
knowing he had been deceived, and his cup bewitched,
refilling from the Sea again and again as he drank from it.
Outraged, Strom the Thunderer, Red Bearded, Red Knuckled, took up his hammer
and flew in a storm of rage atop Mount Krome.
But the giants lay in wait for him, to ambush him.
THREE there were!
Lunestes, the Four-Armed, Whose Head Scrapes the Stars, Brother to Magmus,
and Wizzeria, Hag, Bewitcher, Mother of Bogrens and Horg, Sister to Magmus.
But Strom’s fury could not be matched,
the battle lasting not days, not cycles, but seven times seven years.
The heavens blazed and thundered from the din of battle
and the earth trembled fearfully.
Never was there such battle known,
and henceforth the world was torn asunder,
into the Light and into the Dark.
Magmus and Wizzeria were fallen,
their skulls crushed by the Thunderer’s mallet,
and from Magmus’ bones did the god fashion Mountains,
and made he the Hills from Magmus’ teeth,
and made he the River from the giant’s blood,
and made he Men, and all the races of men kind,
from the god’s own sweat,
and from Wizzeria’s eye did he cast up the evil moon, which we call Eon.
But Lunestes, Four-Armed, Whose Head Scrapes the Stars, he let live,
binding the giant between earth and sky,
so that he may lift the greater moon to the heavens
and in eternal penance keep it,
so that oath-breakers and deceivers may look upon the moon and be dismayed.
When the battle was won,
the giants of the world lay down in the earth,
fearing the Thunderer’s wrath,
craven before Strom’s wrath,
and there they remain to this day,
asleep in stone.
But weary from battle,
Strom the Thunderer, Mightiest of Gods, Red-Bearded, Red-Knuckled,
lay down his hammer—
which neither god nor giant could lift—
atop the sacred plateau known as Strom’s Hammer.
And Strom went into the mountain and lay himself down,
to awake when giants come again to lay claim to the world.