Thursday, July 31, 2008

Of Greed's Gain (Gullveigsaga)

Of greed's gain,
and nature fallen from gold too eagerly sought,
whose powers of enchantment set even the Gods' hearts
to dread,
and didst outcast the Bright, Merciful One
from heavenly seats to weeping couches of Hel.
How then first came this foul seductress
to turn the tables from satiety
so that, crying "never enough!"
the world might be plundered for dross?
From those too large to sustain proportion;
Overbearing, hungry mouths always gnashing,
amidst the rocks and bergs so barren.
Amongst the dull, as a burning pyre amongst ashes,
bright she rose,
until the heavens themselves could not ignore her,
as some cast-off fruit of Sun's womb
wretched amongst monsters she seemed, and
taking pity,
the Gods up took her swiftly
into the cloud-lands' foggy castles,
surrounded by moats of thund'rous flame.
There nurtured, there warmed,
there taught all love they shared,
and she with gifts unfolded not surpassed
with second sight and mind to make, though fearful.
Proud, the heavenly host, at this,
their adopted daughter,
who learned their ways so quickly,
and burgeoning full of promise seemed.
She knew and grew, and grew and knew,
her knowing hunger grown so hungry not
but all the world could feed it.
Yet as she gazed more on the Well
whose 'flections bring the sight,
her brightness dimmed her ashen heart
grown cold with fears and doom.
For she looked through her heart,
as all must who see ; saw Ruin,
Despair, and Worlds a'tumbling down,
whence all fair seemed foul, vain,
worthy of wretched downcast.
So she devices measured,
and cunning great, set out to spoil
to gild a world so disappointed,
setting heart's revenge
on empty hopes' tribute so to soothe
the broken promises spirit boasted proud.
Saw and spake fear,
then grief was born.
Saw and spake grief,
then greed was born,
as a lover robbed of consummation
seeks gild and bitter vengeance.
What endless wergild unpaid
a world so disappointed
by fear foreseen, believed.
Tho' sistered by love, to fear she gave
thus shared that fear far and wide,
as if it were a secret, a mystery great
and deep.
To homes she came, mixing minds
with madness, overturning comfort,
made vain enjoyment with despair.
"These gifts -- too brief! The fire comes!
and taking all down, it will burn!
So in vain are fruits and flowers,
take heed of gold and gain.
What you can, lay hold of,
lay hold of now, for
empty is the morrow, and all
goes down in fiery flames."
So fear consumes us, but will not
be consumed,
ever rising again from ashes,
unless we, God-following good,
banish her ourselves, with all
the powers the Gods have given.
For all her curses, sayeth Vanadis,
will come to naught.
Do you have the power
to face that fear?
Or will you, like she, join substance
with lies and irresponsibility, giving birth
to poison, disease, and ravenous war,
the monsters that bound should be?
Heed the Gods' lessons and let their wounds
be your lessons. She whispers
sweet lies, seducing souls
with mortality's bitterness, that we might miss
the moment of spirit's sight, that sees beyond
flames and sea's flames hoarded.
For all her curses, sayeth Vanadis,
will come to naught.
For all her curses, sayeth Vanadis,
will come to naught.


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