To Nanna

For Emma.

Hear my prayers O Far-distant One,
the beautiful, the chaste, the unflinchingly loyal
Nanna Nepsdóttir, who is so rich in blessings
that she dispenses boons to all her fellow Ásynjur,
as when she gave Frigg a finely spun robe of purest linen,
and Fulla who keeps the Queen’s secrets was gifted
a finger-ring which gleamed brightly
as the smile of Sunna with unbraided hair.
Höðr, blinded by love, sought Nanna’s hand in marriage
but what is a hand compared to a heart?
And hers belonged forever to Borr’s grandson,
the brave, the brilliant, the breathtakingly fair Baldr,
and has ever since they met as youths
in that dark elf-haunted wood.
He was hunting the boar, and she was hunting him
and from that day when they embraced
beneath the gold-green leaves with the music of gentle rain
falling down all around them to love by,
that day and every day since the two have been inseparable.
Nanna bore her man a fine son, handsome and strong,
Forseti that can reconcile feuding parties
and put to sleep grievous suits before they’re hatched,
dweller in shining Glitnir of the silver roof and golden pillars,
with a spring in Heligoland so pure its water must be collected in silence.
Oh, how you must miss him.
Nanna, I know that yours was a happy union, for you, Goddess,
were willing to follow your Baldr into the dark
when that dart of humble mistletoe sent him down
to the sunless realm of Hela and her cold and colorless denizens.
You wait with Baldr yet, and will not return
to look upon the happy face of your boy
or the deathless ones in Ásgarðr
until the world above is born anew from the ash and ruin
left by blazing Surtr and his swarthy Giant horde.
Never once do you falter or doubt your husband
nor the great destiny that is his to bear, alone but for you;
Nanna, I plead, teach me to love the people in my life
with a measure of the love you give lucky Baldr
and I will remember him in song
and the other things dear to that fathomless heart of yours.


2 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Gangleri's Grove and commented:
    love this. Nanna doesn’t get nearly enough devotion, and people don’t realize, I think, what a sacrifice she *chose* to make. There was no reason for Her also to go to Helheim and when She did, She left Her son behind. She chose between Her two loves out of constancy of affection.

    Like


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