238. Odin' s Sacrificial Climb
An ancient tale of All- father Odin, and his sacrificial climb.
Against the objections of his friends, and Frigga, his wife,
Odin decided that to gain knowledge he must risk his life.
On his horse he rode very fast, further than the gates of Hel,
Along the way he passed three monstrous maidens at a well.
When All- father came to the end of the deepest depth of the roots,
Odin grabbed on with strong arms, and pushed up with his boots.
When Odin came upon the gnawing Nidhogg he showed no fear,
All-father pushed away the great beast with the point of his spear.
Odin climbed for days, finally reached the trunk of the great tree,
But his heart was uplifted by the first branch that he could see.
Then Odin spotted something monstrous where the foliage interweaves,
To his horror he saw hideous serpents gnawing incessantly on the leaves.
All- father stretched out for a branch, but it turned out to be fake,
It recoiled, and hissed at his touch, that hideous brown snake.
Odin carefully climbed passed them through a crevice in the bark,
Then All- father rested as the nine worlds began to go dark.
In the morning he was awakened by what he thought was a skunk !
As it turned out it was only Ratatosk running back down the trunk.
Odin yelled angrily at the mangy squirrel as it quickly ran passed,
" Where are you going squirrel ? And why are you traveling so fast ?"
Ratatosk replied : " Quickly I am traveling to the deepest part of the tree !
I have a message from the eagle, and that is where Nidhogg will be ! "
As afternoon turned to evening, Odin noticed something on the outermost parts,
When All- father climbed closer he saw Dain, and Dvalin, and the rest of the harts.
The deer were darting back and forth, on the green leaves they were feeding,
Odin could almost feel Yggdrasil' s pain, as the voracious harts were eating.
As Odin slowly struggled up the last branch, and made it to the top,
On the last branch sat a rather large eagle , that forced All- father to stop.
When Odin stood face to face with the eagle, he looked the great beast in the eyes,
Then the eagle opened his sharp beak, and spoke words to Odin' s surprise !
" I know why you have come ! You have succeeded ! Your journey is at an end,
I wish you luck in your never-ending quest for knowledge, my good friend ! "
Odin swore to himself that it smiled as it spread its great wings and flew away,
Then the eagle circled back and said : " My friend, I will be back in nine days ! "
Odin hung himself for nine days and nine nights on that windswept tree,
Until his mind and his spirit were no longer burdened, but allowed to run free.
Then with his strength slowly ebbing, and in his one eye a last tear,
Odin quickly stabbed himself deeply, with the sharp end of his spear.
There was no one to bring the All- father bread, or anything to eat,
As his life's blood flowed from his wound, and dripped off of his feet.
Odin hung there limply suffering all alone, and tormented by the pain,
Until from the sky came healing waters, in the form of a magical rain.
Odin was grateful, but from where they came from he could not tell,
These magical waters dissolved the bindings that held him, and he fell.
As he struggled with exhaustion and pain, he noticed something lying all around,
Then crying out loud with joy, he gathered up the magical runes that he found.
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2014.