252. The Royal Games
Just as the darkness of a Norwegian night was about to fall,
A hundred torches were lit, slowly burning bright with flames,
As the king ordered the contestants to begin the royal games.
The first of the great tournaments was the battle axe throw,
Helgi, an accurate hurler, hit the bulls eye, he put on a show,
Helgi was certain he would win as the contest came to a climax,
Until Beinir placed his weapon through the handle of Helgi' s axe !
King Thorleik had his high seat moved so that he would catch,
What was an exciting final competition of the leg wrestling match,
None of the warriors had the strength, or the incredible leg pull,
Of Ornolf, the winner, who from the waist down, was built like a bull.
The strangest contest that anyone could enter and possibly win,
Was the knife drop, from ten feet, onto the muscle's bare skin,
You continued on if your muscle was not punctured, only red,
The brave competitor lost if the sharp knife stuck, and he bled.
The final competition was to the death, and was fought by slaves,
The winners gained their freedom, the losers won their graves,
These competitors were taken from many a far away shore,
When the king went a Viking, or when his enemies made war.
When the competitions were over, all were invited in by the king,
Here In his great hall the winners were each given a gold arm ring,
And the night was filled with much drinking, and an occasional song,
King Thorleik' s feast was magnificent, and lasted all the night long !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2014.