To Meili

Hail to you Meili, lovely son of charming Óðinn
and brother and dear companion of Thor the Thunderer.
Your mother is a mystery; the majority call you
gentle child of Frigga the far-seeing Goddess,
while scholars of some sense would have you be
the offspring of Jörð who loves bees
and the flowers they help propagate
in every color contained in shimmering Bifröst;
but Egill Skallagrímsson the great warrior-poet sang
that honey-haired princess Xenodike
was wooed by Glapsviðr at a banquet
her father hosted to celebrate the bond
of guest-friendship they’d sworn
after taking in the suppliant king of the Gods,
who was wont to travel to distant lands in disguise
to test the wisdom, hospitality and strength
of those he encountered –
and I am inclined to believe him,
for you, O Meili, strong of arm,
often in the grip of poetic frenzy,
smasher of cities, rider of the untameable wind-horse,
you who know secret incantations
that can only be spoken
by the light of Máni,
you who hold the horn
with which libations are poured out
on the graves of the heroically slain,
you who are familiar with the coin that must be paid
to Sigyn’s attendant, Victory;
aching exhaustion, lungs on fire
and hardly able to draw a breath,
the sharp pain of the gash,
torn muscles and broken bones,
the familiar copper taste in your mouth,
limbs like lead and so heavy you don’t know
how to move them anymore,
but still somehow you manage to do it anyway,
and keep going until you can
deal death to the one who harmed you.
Only one who has been through this and worse
has anything of value to say about you,
Meili who is kind
to his father’s wolves and ravens –
may your name often
be upon our lips,
and your stories
full of bravery, daring,
adventure and love affairs aplenty,
never be far from our minds.