THY rest was deep at the slumberer's hour If thou didst not hear the blast Of the savage horn, from the mountain-tower, As the Wild Night-Huntsman pass'd, And the roar of the stormy chase went by, Through the dark unquiet sky !
The stag sprung up from his mossy bed When he caught the piercing sounds, And the oak-boughs crash'd to his antler'd head As he flew from the viewless hounds; And the falcon soar'd from her craggy height, Away through the rushing night !
The banner shook on its ancient hold, And the pine in its desert-place, As the cloud and tempest onward roll'd With the din of the trampling race; And the glens were fill'd with the laugh and shout, And the bugle, ringing out !
From the chieftain's hand the wine-cup fell, At the castle's festive board, And a sudden pause came o'er the swell Of the harp's triumphal chord; And the Minnesinger's thrilling lay In the hall died fast away.
The convent's chanted rite was stay'd, And the hermit dropp'd his beads, And a trembling ran through the forest-shade, At the neigh of the phantom steeds, And the church-bells peal'd to the rocking blast As the Wild Night-Huntsman pass'd.
The storm hath swept with the chase away, There is stillness in the sky, But the mother looks on her son to-day, With a troubled heart and eye, And the maiden's brow hath a shade of care Midst the gleam of her golden hair !
The Rhine flows bright, but its waves ere long Must hear a voice of war, And a clash of spears our hills among, And a trumpet from afar; And the brave on a bloody turf must lie, For the Huntsman hath gone by !
Felicia Hemans : The Wild Huntsman
It is a popular belief in the Odenwald, that the passing of the Wild Huntsman announces the approach of war. He is supposed to issue with his train from the ruined castle of Rodenstein, and traverse the air to the opposite castle of Schnellerts. It is confidently asserted that the sound of his phantom horses and hounds was heard by the Duke of Baden before the commencement of the last war in Germany.
In the ancient days there went three men upon pilgrimage; one was a priest, and one was a virtuous person, and the third was an old rover with his axe. As they went, the priest spoke about the grounds of faith. 'We find the proofs of our religion in the works of nature,' said he, and beat his breast. 'That is true,' said the virtuous person.'The peacock has a scrannel voice,' said the priest, 'as has been laid down always in our books. How cheering !' he cried, in a voice like one that wept. 'How comforting !' 'I require no such proofs,' said the virtuous person. 'Then you have no reasonable faith,' said the priest. 'Great is the right, and shall prevail !' cried the virtuous person. 'There is loyalty in my soul; be sure, there is loyalty in the mind of Odin.' 'These are but playings upon words,' returned the priest. 'A sackful of such trash is nothing to the peacock.' Just then they passed a country farm, where there was a peacock seated on a rail; and the bird opened its mouth and sang with the voice of a nightingale. 'Where are you now ?' asked the virtuous person. 'And yet this shakes not me ! Great is the truth, and shall prevail !' 'The devil fly away with that peacock !' said the priest; and he was downcast for a mile or two. But presently they came to a shrine, where a Fakeer performed miracles. 'Ah !' said the priest, 'here are the true grounds of faith. The peacock was but an adminicle. This is the base of our religion.' And he beat upon his breast, and groaned like one with colic. 'Now to me,' said the virtuous person, 'all this is as little to the purpose as the peacock. I believe because I see the right is great and must prevail; and this Fakeer might carry on with his conjuring tricks till doomsday, and it would not play bluff upon a man like me.' Now at this the Fakeer was so much incensed that his hand trembled; and, lo ! in the midst of a miracle the cards fell from up his sleeve. 'Where are you now ?' asked the virtuous person. 'And yet it shakes not me !' 'The devil fly away with the Fakeer !' cried the priest. 'I really do not see the good of going on with this pilgrimage.' 'Cheer up !' cried the virtuous person. 'Great is the right, and shall prevail !' 'If you are quite sure it will prevail,' says the priest. 'I pledge my word for that,' said the virtuous person. So the other began to go on again with a better heart. At last one came running, and told them all was lost: that the powers of darkness had besieged the Heavenly Mansions, that Odin was to die, and evil triumph. 'I have been grossly deceived,' cried the virtuous person. 'All is lost now,' said the priest. 'I wonder if it is too late to make it up with the devil ?' said the virtuous person. 'Oh, I hope not,' said the priest. 'And at any rate we can but try. But what are you doing with your axe ?' says he to the rover. 'I am off to die with Odin,' said the rover.
Robert Louis Stevenson : Faith, Half Faith, and No Faith At All
The women were worthy of the men --- bold, quarrelsome, revengeful. Some were loyal, like Bergthora, who foresaw how all her sons and her husband were to be burned; but who would not leave them, and perished in the burning without a cry. Some were as brave as Howard's wife, who enabled her husband, old and childless, to overthrow the wealthy bully, the slayer of his only son. Some were treacherous, as Halgerda the Fair. Three husbands she had, and was the death of every man of them. Her last lord was Gunnar of Lithend, the bravest and most peaceful of men. Once she did a mean thing, and he slapped her face. She never forgave him. At last enemies besieged him in his house. The doors were locked --- all was quiet within. One of the enemies climbed up to a window slit, and Gunnar thrust him through with his lance. "Is Gunnar at home ?" said the besiegers. "I know not --- but his lance is," said the wounded man, and died with that last jest on his lips. For long Gunnar kept them at bay with his arrows, but at last one of them cut the arrow string. "Twist me a string with thy hair," he said to his wife, Halgerda, whose yellow hair was very long and beautiful. "Is it a matter of thy life or death ?" she asked. "Ay," he said. "Then I remember that blow thou gavest me, and I will see thy death." So Gunnar died, overcome by numbers, and they killed Samr, his hound, but not before Samr had killed a man.
Andrew Lang : The Sagas
Allfather's curse on nithings is stronger than that on evil-doers: therefore we too must despise weaklings and those who associate with them more than those who actively seek us harm; both take us to hell, but the weak feign it is the way to heaven.
Poolets of gas, wholly unseen lurk upon the straight journey not one difference hold these little self-held atmospheres: no harm do they the world remains the same previous, within, and out. If you refuse the walk, they float, and catch one even still. Yet whichways they know you, you may be sure a deeper understanding fills and kills: corruption of the past; the empty present; future voided. Use continues to the normal air, though slighted dead time. After, one can say endure, --- but not then.
The second time I have had Hammerheart played beside an open grave. Aware these things go in threes, I did not linger; cemeteries are nice places to visit, but you wouldn't want to make one your permanent home.
Now that the wind called my name And my star had faded now hardly a glimpse up in the empty space And the wise one-eyed great father in the sky stilled my flame
For the ones who stood me near And you few who were me dear I ask of thee to have no doubts and no fears
For when the great clouds fills the air And the thunder roars from o, so far away up in the sky Then for sure you will know that I have reached the joyous hall up high
With my bloodbrothers at side All sons of father with one eye We were all born in the land of the blood on ice
And now you all who might hear my song Brought to you by the northern wind have no fear Though the night may seem so everlasting and forever dark
There will come a golden dawn At ends of nights for all yee on whom Upon the northstar always shines
The vast gates to hall up high Shall stand open wide and welcome you with all its within And Oden shall hail us bearers of a pounding hammerheart
Hildr Valkyrie joined the German band Femegericht this year. The illustrious Court of the Holy Vehm was of course founded by Karl the Great, an enemy of the Norse religion, yet who carried forward the Germanic tradition into it's transition into High Mediæval christianity.
Here is Hildr singing an Ode to Allfather, with the video arranged by BornInMidgard1987 on YouTube: