of my powers they shunned,
that tossed, my greatest gifts
might tumble into swampy shame.
I who eons had woven and forged
arts and wondercrafts wyrd
and delightful! Whom the highest
heavens adorned with joy,
gild-etched painstaking, detail
by detail, never once complaint!
Craftsman, the best, I learned
from the lowest and foremost.
But those dwarven powers, I swear,
I surpassed, and my gifts ought
prove it! They do! Had I not?
Are life achievements
spirit-poured blood drop by blood
drop, golden light from the veins,
to be mocked? Set striving like raffles
of ridicule, to taunt? My life's work,
to win honor for my folk, that they
might be praised in feasts of Holy Gods.
We spin the flowers! Set strings
of grass woven soil and hillock!
To soft placenta of deer, our maidens
wet-carry in wings white as down
that fruit, who warmed, babies bring.
Have you seen the Spring? For sure
the Lord and Lady frolick, but we,
attend, and weave that wealth
from winter's desert. Long months
of underground tinker and toil.
For certain, we play! Yet that play's
a task, a work of wonder, and ought,
it seems to my very sharp ears,
be praised! Why not? Wouldn't you?
Arts of brewing in yore we mastered,
that saps of world's mead-tree
might immortal youth bring
the Gods' gladdened faces to light,
and we did! We wished the wealthy sea's child
to come, be crowned as king in our dancing land!
And when harvests were needed, or psalms
to soothe, we learned new arts and harped out
songs that sang green sap into shoots,
making fruit from blossomed tune. Perhaps
you've seen a ship : study of swans,
we white-bone ivory-carved marvels of sail,
that like a skin of feathers folded up
might pocket find den and home there.
Those "boats" clumsy men make
are bastard descendants
of that ship-mother's maiden we swan-drew
of yore. That was a deed to boast of!
We downed ale men might think adder's
venom, so potent, like wash of water to us
in toasting. Those were good days!
And could God, High Father's thought
pierce through all stone and marble,
clouds and air, like spear to reach
the furthest stretch? From what sapling
would you gild a shaft so mighty,
yet hollow, filled with wind of thought
All-father charges? We did. Oh yes,
we did. Found that shoot, I'll not say here,
and hollowed, gilded, steel and ore-melt,
silvered-finish, wrapped and gave,
free of charge. Free of charge! We gave
to give! And so these you cheapen,
tumble down, made slander-fest
for cackling troll's sons? I think not!
Call me mad, my whole elfin heart rebels,
I'll not still it, nor be had. Time is ripe
to leave these haunts, let them wonder :
whence the ones who once had warded
harvests' crafts from monsters' doom?
Won't it seem then whether worthless
or priceless all those deeds we forged of old?
Time will tell ; I'll place my bet.