Thorgrim's Saga

Fimbrul winter - ice wind wailing
Sunless dark time - midwife tending
Light in darkness - Thordis birthing
Torn in birth shriek,first born breathing
Pain now ebbing - mother suckling
Hearth fire burning,Thorgrim feeding

Son of Iceland,son of Haeringr
Born to horse farm and to trading
Taught to farm and speak at Althing
Of the Old Gods - Thor to honour
Lessons learned but soon forgotten
Dreams instead of viking gold gain

Horse fight, sword fight- drunk with seamen
Hears their tales of gold and heroes
But the farm folk and his neighbours
Say that Haeringr gains no honour
Gains no honour from his wild son
From his brawling and his lusting

Goat girls, ale girls - bondars' daughters
Thorgrim's joy is loveless love play
Running free and no one heeding
'Till came Signy - green eyed witchling
'Till came Signy - soft as swan's down
Sun gold hair and moon glow silk skin

Moon-calf Thorgrim, comrades shunning
Lost in love's dream, builds his daydream
Rides to Gunnar - Signy's father
Rides to ask for handfast joining
Loud laughs Gunnar, loud laughs Signy
Pledged to Krak now - Gunnar's daughter

Thrice a bridegroom, Krak Law Speaker
Richest man in Borgarfjord.
Draupnir's droppings, rich are Krak's sons,
Gold for Gunnar, wealth and power.
Rage filled Thorgrim - rode from Signy
Rode 'till pony dropped down dying

Signy's mocking- could she mean it?
Wed for gold gain and for her fame?
Would she wed Krak - wagging grey-beard?
Stop the wedding! Stop the bedding!
Then win Signy, make her willing
Up sprang Thorgrim ran to bride feast

Ran from mountain, ran through shieling
Ran through daylight into dark night
Came to Krak's farm, came to turf wall
Came to bedding where old Krak lay
Entwined in sleep with sated Signy.
Rage and torment -Thorgrim blinding

Death blow madness - axe cut death breath
Life stream splashing - Signy waking
Thorgrim pleading - Signy screaming
Sons came running - Thorgrim taken
Thorgrim bound now, bruised and bleeding
Taken to the Althing's hearing

Law speakers listened to the story
Told by Gunnar and by Signy.
"Kill him, burn him!" so cried Krak's sons.
Signy, rich now, spoke not for him,
Althing verdict made him outlaw
Doomed to wander far from home land
Lifelong Wyrd-doom far from home land

Sailed in longship bound for Faeroes
Iceland's grey coast - leaving, parting
Gone from father and from mother
Gone from comrades, homestead, kinsfolk
Gone from Krak, but shame goes with him.
Where now Krak's sons - where now Signy?

Days passed, years passed - Norns web weaving
Widely wandered - sailing viking
Sought gold givers, shunned gift tardy
Sought he then rich East-land's gleamings
Sailed the whale's road, sailed the swan's path
Sailed not to Iceland's bitter shore.

Then to England and to Christ's men
Took for his lord - Edgar liege King
Royal housecarl, shield defender
Found new honour, served new master.
Then died Edgar - good King, friend King
Then came Redeless - Aethelred King

Housecarl no more - so to trading,
Rich he grew in Lundenwic.
Gudrun Dane-wife bore him strong sons,
Unready King paid out Dane-geld
Paid to Danesmen - stop their raiding,
Paid by taxing rich and poor men


On Brice's Day, so goes the story,
King held a feast for Danish men.
"Friendship's feasting - swords forbidden!"
But King's men told long knives to hide-
Came the feasting, came the slaughter
"Kill the Danes-kin, where you find them"

Thorgrim leaping from the feasting,
Ran to save Gudrun from death's sting
Ran through street and ran to river
Ran to find his home was burning.
Dead was Gudrun and the children-
Skull split bairns on kitchen midden

Madness caught him, wrought him, changed him
Fled with dead heart north to Jorvik,
Then to Dane King, vengeance seeking.
Swein of Denmark raised an army
Storm cock crowing - Thorgrim hating
Christ's God forsworn and Old Gods lost

Axe time, sword time - battle's clamour
Ice cold killer - greybeard Thorgrim
Bitter slayer - gives no quarter
Ipswich, Cambridge, Bedford, Thetford.
Then at Ringmere Ulfkell stood firm
Thorgrim falls to rise no more.

Now in Cnut's time comes the peace time.
Thorgrim rests now, wounds half healing
Sits in sunshine, sings his word song
Tells his stories,half remembering.
Waits for Krak's sons - will they find him?
Waits with Ousekjarr - longs for Signy.

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