The Song of Haffir the Northman

I have been composing this tale in various forms and styles in my head for almost a year now, and finally decided I would just write what came to mind, not paying much mind to form, meter, or anything else. Content, as they say, is king. Enjoy.

The hero once departed returned with Wyrm’s head

A glorious battle, the warrior proclaimed

With wingspan and flames, great Haffir was opposed

A Northman met by his only finest match

 

All sat silent on mead-benches as Haffir told his tale

Shields sailed to ancient north-watched realms for glory-fame

When tales of native farm hands piqued sailor’s ear

A vast horde of gold and earth hearts sitting for the take

 

But Haffir knew that such wealth is greed-guarded

A thief is seldom welcome to brimming vaults

“Who guards this trove?” Haffir had put forth

“Kirknir the Ancient” was the answer recieved

 

Haffir’s pride knew no bounds,

by thrilling greed he was driven

He took a company of ten strong men

and set out seeking a golden prize

 

One was lost to the sea, another man by wolves

One was taken by mountains, a further man by river

Haffir drove ever on, with goldlust he was infected

“Gold and glory”, on he went to battle and riches

 

Foul spirits of mutinous desire festered in other hearts,

Men who had had enough of death and glory

Wives they each had, sons and daughters too

Property they owned, and lives away from battle and sea.

 

But onwards went Haffir, restraining not the doubting men

A simple token of respect among shields he sent them with

“My purpose need not be yours, my brothers.”

Simple promise was given to return one day and revel.

 

A brave blizzard surged forth, urging to test a Northman’s resolve

Haffir bravely sallied, but mournfully sang that he could not cut his foe:

“What a short battle this would be if the mountain fought as man!”

Under well-won furs and skins, Haffir waited out the sea-bone’s wrath

 

Then he came to a great and nervous climb, a vertigo to inflame the fears

Haffir lost his beloved troll-slayer, the axe named Unstoffsbane

He pitched and clung to his sword and dagger, and continued

Up and higher on he went, until he for a moment saw storied Bifrost!

 

Resolve restrengthened, knowing that Asgard was watching,

Haffir met the cavity of the Earth’s worthy tooth

Inside he knew was a beast of savage power and godly age

He gripped his shield and went to meet wyrm-named Kirknir.

 

His visit not suffered long, nor to witty words entreated

A riddle was not asked, nor was kind civility given

Kirknir roared, his bellow shaking the ages around them

He spread his killer wings, up and to the skies he veered

 

Haffir had no arrows, nor rope a dragon to catch, he could only go back down,

“The Treasure or the People!” balefully laughed the Wyrm

Haffir knew his choice, riches or the right, and so cursed what he was to do,

And the Northman gave chase to ancient flames

 

Haffir chased for glory, as he would not have more gold

But he knew this was the better choice, for the village down below.

Honor overcame greed, and threw him in the path of skyborne fire

A Wyrm could fall to daggers, if delivered by skilled hand

 

Against fire-wind Haffir braced shield-first

He weathered the heat and torch spit

And approached ever closer to his mark

Dagger drawn, ready for blood

 

Kirknir the Ancient, Kirknir the Fool

The Ancient Wyrm who made his last mistake

Swooped down to devour tiny Haffir

Wyrm’s pride misjudged the human, a fatal err

 

Kirknir fell upon miniscule foe, claws ready to wreave

Haffir’s claw buried in Wyrmflesh to core, the sunset spraying forth

For a single unarmored scale was found by northern blade

Kirknir the Ancient bellowed and fell, culled from his skies at last

 

Haffir roared with fury and triumph

As his legendary foe laid his head

The Northman whooped and thumped his chest

He had a glorious story to tell!

 

And so the two-toned fate the Norns had woven

Kirknir fell on fields of autumn waters

And Haffir took the head as hard won token

He brought it back as proof of valor, so all may see glory.

 

Haffir the brave, Haffir the strong!

Haffir the foolish, Haffir the wrong!

But when the time to do right came to him that day,

Let it be known that not even wyrms could stand in Haffir’s way!

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