All Their Voices

Words and thoughts in devotion to the Divine


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Next!

I woke up this morning with the name Väinämöinen going through my head for no reason I could discern, so although I have no connection to the Finns whatsoever, I know who will be the subject of my new-deity-of-the-month poem for July.

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Hymn to Forseti

Forseti at Jud

Hail, Forseti, justice-bringer
from the halls of great and mighty,
to the homes of small and timid,
over all you see and judge them.
Winnow right from wrong, you judge them,
telling truth from lies for all men,
finding out the secret misdeeds,
reconciling all who seek you.
Mediating, all-presiding,
wielding truth like Thor’s own hammer,
honest, fair to all who come hence.
For you are impartial always–
You, renowned among all Aesir
for your skill bestowing judgment,
and for that, we ever praise you,
praise the one who metes out justice,
thank you for the gifts you give us:
Hail, Forseti, justice-bringer!


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“The Discourse of Thought and Memory”, or, “Twa Corbies Reminisce”

“Twa Corbies’, Steeleye Span

(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

We think when there is no one else to think.
We remember when no one else can.

That knight, murdered,
his body hidden behind the old fallen wall:
Only his hound, his hawk,
and his wife knew where he lay;
they, and his killer,
and us.
(The man who murdered him was his wife’s new lover, by the way.)
Sure, we fed; I ate his eyes.
I’m a raven, after all.
What would you expect me to eat, oats?
And yes, we plucked the golden hair
from his head to pad our nest:
(Muninn was ready to lay a clutch of eggs.
We are ravens, after all.)
But when we had eaten, and taken what we needed,
we took one other thing from him:
the knowledge of his situation.
And this we carried with us,
back to Valhalla, back to the Allfather,
and there we shared it with him,
and then there was one more who knew
of the man’s murder.

What he did with that knowledge is,
of course, his secret.

We are ravens, after all.
But perhaps not just ravens.