Anonymous: Four Poems from Kormak’s Saga

The Moon of Her Eyelash

The moon of her eyelash—that valkyrie
of herb-surf, adorned with linen—
shone hawk-sharp upon me
beneath her brows’ bright sky;
but that beam from the eyelid-moon
of the goddess of the golden torque
will later bring trouble to me
and to the ring-goddess herself.

A Cow’s Inquisitive Feeder

A cow’s inquisitive feeder
asked me how I liked pot-snakes;
red round the eyelids he seems to me
from time spent at home in the kitchen.
I know that that grimy no-gooder,
that bruiser with filthy matted hair
—the one who manured the homefields—
was treated like a bitch and beaten.

Tooth-gnasher I have now Slain

Tooth-gnasher I have now slain,
my killings are now thirty-one;
and my own teeth I show in a grin;
let men bear these words from the slaying.
The god of the rowing-bench steeds
will come to all the better a realm;
though ageing, he’ll more often stain
with gore the swan of the blood’s seat.

Goddess of Arm’s Fires

Goddess of arm’s fires, we repose
on either side of a screen;
the mighty fates have their way,
and are hostile; I see it clearly.
Yet whenever we share a bed,
we have not a care in the world,
so dear are you, sea-goddess,
to the sword of the love-hair’s island.

Translated by Diana Whaley

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