A Sumbel Toast to the Folk

Today I finish the special sequence of elaborate sumbel toasts that I started with a toast to Odin in January and continued with a toast to the Einherjar in September. This third and final toast of the sequence was written for the third round of a typical sumbel, wherein one may present oaths, boasts, or any sort of toast that would not fit in the first two rounds. In particular, one may toast living people, which is disallowed in the first two rounds, as the living are not gods or ancestors while they are still alive! Rather than toast any one particular living person, this final toast is to the living collective of modern heathens known as the Folk. Just like the previous two toasts of the sequence, it is written as a seven stanza ljóðaháttr drápa with the final stanza ending in a galdralag couplet; the refrain is italicized. As with the other toasts, I have completely anglicized the spelling of the Norse names and words.

To the Folk’s future
forward I look,
and praise the past as well;
A full horn I raise
to the Folk today —
the modern heathen heroes.

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A Sumbel Toast to the Einherjar

In January, I posted a special longer sumbel toast to Odin and said that it was part of a three round sequence of more-elaborate-than-usual sumbel toasts. Today I present the second toast from that sequence, intended for the second round of a typical sumbel, wherein one gives toasts to heroes and ancestors. Like that Odin toast, it is written as a seven stanza ljóðaháttr drápa, with the final stanza ending in a galdralag couplet; the refrain is italicized. As with the other toast, I have completely anglicized the spelling of the Norse names and words.

Now I turn
my needful praise
to the heroes in Odin’s hall;
With mead I toast
those mighty dead
who eternally fight and feast.

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Audio for Valhalla

I’ve been in quite a mood for audio recording lately, and this is now the third week in a row for a recorded recitation. This time it’s for Valhalla, the text of which I posted back in late February.

Here is the downloadable file of me reciting the poem:
Eirik Westcoat – Valhalla

And here is the inline player:

Enjoy! Feel free to share the file. For details, see the Creative Commons link below.

This post is:
Copyright © 2013 Eirik Westcoat.
All rights reserved.

The linked audio file of Valhalla is:
Copyright © 2013 Eirik Westcoat.
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives License.

Toasts to Heroes and Ancestors

Since all of last week’s toasts were to the gods, this week I present toasts to ancestors and heroes. There are three of them, and each toast is two stanzas of ljóðaháttr.

A Toast to the Ancestors

Hail the ancestors
of elder times,
those famous folk and heroes.
They laid for our lives
the layers in the well —
the might and main of ørlög!

Today we do
our duty to them:
remembering well their works.
A fimbul full-horn
to those folk we raise.
Hail to our honorable ancestors!

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Valhalla

It is time for another lore poem. This one is not a narrative like The Six Treasures or The Mead Quest. Instead, it is a synthesis of lore on Valhalla that appears in the Poetic Edda (mostly the Grímnismál) and Prose Edda (various places).

It is written as ten stanzas of fornyrðislag. (Only the first stanza is prior to the break.) It is not anglicized at all, except for the word Valhalla. (The proper Old Norse form would be Valhöll.) A short note on an aspect of composition: the semi-riddle nature of the poem is intentional. I use various bynames of Óðinn prior to the second-to-last line, and I avoid using the name Valhalla itself until the very last word of the poem.

A spell of the lore
I speak to you now
by pouring Hropt’s
powerful drink.
I sing of that hall
high on the Tree;
to warriors dead
‘tis a welcome sight.

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A Special Sumbel Toast to Odin

It’s been nearly three months since I last posted sumbel toasts to this blog. The previous ones were short, two stanza toasts. This time, I present a longer, more formal toast in honor of Odin. It is the sort of thing that I write for the more elaborate sumbels that take place at large Asatru gatherings. It is written as a seven stanza ljóðaháttr drápa, with the final stanza ending in a galdralag couplet; the refrain is italicized. To make it more friendly to my readers, I have completely anglicized the spelling of the Norse names and words. I originally wrote it as part of a three round sequence of toasts; I may post the other two toasts at some point in the future. This is also a likely future audio recording.

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