Pagan Praise to Freyr

From time to time, I get to write longer poems that have a more central role in a ritual, as opposed to my poetic calls, which generally serve as part of the opening of a ritual. Today’s poem is one of those centerpieces — a longer praise poem to Freyr (a flokkr, since it does not have a refrain) in 12 stanzas of ljóðaháttr with a galdralag ending. I wrote it for the main ritual at Pittsburgh’s Pagan Pride Day 2013, which took place this past Saturday, September 14. The ritual was a harvest blessing primarily in honor of Freyr, performed by the Asatru kindred that I’m a member of: the Hearth of Yggdrasil.

The ritual also featured a gifting to the Pittsburgh PPD community of a blót bowl and drinking horn, which were formally named “Pride” and “Purpose” respectively — hence the second-to-last line of the poem which features those names. Presenting it was a new challenge in delivery for me — it was an outdoor location with the attendees spread out in a fairly large circle. There was no microphone, the trees and grass seemed to just absorb speech, and to top it off, I had to compete with the constant droning of Pittsburgh’s Parkway East in the background. The poem is titled “Pagan Praise to Freyr.”

For Pittsburgh pagans
I pour this mead,
gained from the gladsome Lady.
Gathered together
at this grithful stead,
we honor Ingvi now!

With Freyr today
his fruits we enjoy
and celebrate well the season
while peering forward
and planning the future,
for all in time must end.

Though he’s fated to fall
in that future battle,
—the infamous Ragnarök—
his fruits and frith
will flourish again
in the realm that’s raised anew.

As well for us,
our winters will end,
followed by harvest fruits,
for life anew
is lurking always
beyond the drapes of death.

So here with pride
we praise our Lord,
that great and famous god,
the son of Njörð
and his sister-wife:
the grand and glorious Freyr.

This lord of elves
lives with the Aesir:
a union of tribes through truce.
This god of the Vanir
to Gerð is married:
a union of life and land.

All love Ing
for his excellent boons,
the peace and plenty he brings.
Wide it wanders,
his wagon of blessing,
and now we name his gifts.

For the fruitful fields
and fertile wombs
—the harvests great and good—
we gladly give
our gracious thanks
to the ruler of rain and growth.

For the pleasure and passion
that the people enjoy
—the lust and libido he brings—
we gladly give
our gracious thanks
to the master of phallic might.

For the famous frith
and fortunate weal
—the peace and luck in life—
we gladly give
our gracious thanks
to the god of rightful riches.

In mead with might,
we mix our thanks
and pour that potion to Freyr.
We strengthen the bonds
that bind us together
through a glad exchange of gifts.

Thus may he gift
our great community
for the blessing we bring in frith.
As Pittsburgh Pagans,
we give praise today!
With Pride and Purpose we hail,
and we hail to fruitful Freyr!

Copyright © 2013 Eirik Westcoat.
All rights reserved.

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