Morgan B

Epilogue – a Fragment from the ‘Song of Uos-brhu-Dabh’

[…Uos-brhu-Dabh] brought forth a horn,

a brazen thing of power wrought

to summon wyrm-kin to sky,

a call to war; he blew it long,

the note a fearful tone of doom.

It passed through heavens,

it called through earth,

was heard by beast and bird and man

and great trees shook and mountains wept,

the clouds made way and rivers froze;

the horn-blast lingered, faded slow.

And then there passed a peace in heaven,

a still on earth – a silence prospered,

the like of which was known to few.

The call it was to every wyrm,

the kin of those who battled gods,

fought well to hold their earthly lands

when ancient ones, the first-born kin

had wish to conquer all that lived –

the dragons would have none of that.

They shredded flesh, ground skull and bone

of those who would be all worlds’ kings,

cremated many, slashed and tore

til stronger, greater, gods were formed

who fought with fire, lightning, wind,

and breath and sword met storm and hail

and death-counts tallied high for all,

until a peace was reached at last:

the last few gods made good their homes

in Heofenroost and Westenthorn,

while wyrm-kin held the worlds between.

And then, they went their many ways,

to sulk in burrows, sleep in caves,

their glories lost, their tales forgot

as endless tribes soon filled the lands,

to rule what once were battlefields,

cremation grounds, and lakes of blood

for two great races; shapers of worlds.

A swarm of dragons, dozens strong,

once exiled far, the barrows’ guests,

from every burrow, every cave,

every hollow, every peak –

from every place where dragons dwelt,

those solitary, sulking things,

misunderstood and hated sore,

there came a rumble, then a cry.

Barrows burst, the earth upheaved;

the ground gave birth and mountains fell

as brothers, sisters, kin of Skróth,

the ageless, wondrous serpent-kin,

came to the call of Uos-brhu-Dabh,

the blacksmith of the golden eyes,

their timeless kin, their onetime lord,

the one who stayed the gods’ advance,

fought back the foe in former days

when gods were many, tribes and kin;

[…]

The wyrm-kin flew, like battle-geese

eclipsed the eye of Sóli, soared;

the terror unlike any seen

by living eyes, or even thought,

by minds still sane; the sight was sore,

held fast minds and fettered hearts.

And the wyrm-kin choir chanted forth,

in ancient tongue and poetic weave

a song of glory, victory,

not heard by any ear yet made,

yet carved since time’s dawn in every heart

of serpent-kind, to one day be sung;

and terror smother all who heard;

black fire rode the winds ahead,

raced over […]

And mortals, gods, and foes alike

could but stare [...]

as once again the worlds burned,

the work of wyrms – and gods’ own pride [...]

and thus, so passed the end of things,

of gods and tribes, of lands and speech,

and wisdom, works and books and treasures;

above the flame-fields and the wreckage

of the worlds they once helped shape,

the wingéd ones, the sky-born stood,

their burning victory, a pyre

for all that walked and spoke and crawled

until, the birds gave voice to morning,

the bloody dawn they greeted loud;

the raven was the first to speak,

he called his kin, the dew-winged ones,

to feast and flock, to fatten well –

some things, then, would still remain.

And then the wyrm-kin went their ways,

to caves and holes and pits returned,

to waken when the ash had fled,

and seek another world to share.”

  • Author: Morgan B (Offline Offline)
  • Published: July 31st, 2022 08:56
  • Comment from author about the poem: A rough, unused section written for an accompanying text to the 'Gyldlandsaga', which proved to be just too many words even for a final degree project. This was the only section that got written up to any level of quality. The purpose of the piece was to write an apocalyptic end to the created fantasy world, echoing the Runic phrase used at the very start of the epic: "Þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg" ("As that passed, so may this"), a quote from the OE elegaic poem 'Deor'. The (fictional) bavkground to this piece is as follows: "Known only in one very damaged manuscript, the earliest portions of which are illegible, with many leaves or even folios missing, and damaged sections towards the end. Faint notes in the margin – the same hand as that which composed the rest of the Saga – indicate that this apocalyptic piece forms part of the climax of a much longer work, a sequel – or prequel – perhaps describing the primeval war between gods and dragons – to the original saga. The thin, often faint, lettering also suggests that this may merely have been a draft work. Skróth – the dragon of the Saga whose name is the Skarlic word for ‘kill’ - was, in elder times, known by their serpent-tongue title of Uos-brhu-Dabh, or ‘Smith of the Golden Eyes’, for it was their hand which forged the legendary war-brand Tyeuz-gwhena which, borne by the Child of the Northern Star, Womba the Wise, slew both Queen Fyrfax and her lord upon the fields of Ealdenward. In this piece, it seems, Skróth again plays a leading role but this time in bringing an end to the world of mortals, rather than saving it. As to what led to this event, we may never know."
  • Category: Fantasy
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