Hail to you Isa, indomitable Dame
among that family of Spirits which Óðinn
brought through with a terrible scream
when he hung on the lonely, wind-swept tree
for nine long days and nine even longer nights.
You can withstand every blow and every scheming attack
flung your way, nor can anything in all Miðgarðr
cause you to budge unless you will it.
And that is another of your lessons,
for though all may seem still and quiet as a tomb
when winter reigns, there is still sound in the distance
and movement beneath the surface
which those with senses keen enough may perceive.
You are a merciless teacher who gives no room for error,
so that it is said that your touch can cause instant frostbite
but your heart is much colder still, and yet you are not this way
out of idle cruelty, but rather through necessity
– for when the dreaded Fimbulwinter covers the earth
and those ravening wolves drag the Sun and Moon
down from their place in the heavens, then only those
who have been hardened by a steady diet of suffering,
and had their wills sharpened like a spear that has sent
uncounted hosts swiftly to the abode of gloomy Hela,
they and they alone shall survive to witness the return
of shining Baldr, the dear son of queenly Frigga.