The Truth About Vikings

This saga was composed in response to one Odd Oddson, who filked my Battle Of The Dyle and retold the story in an entirely inaccurate, slanderous and (worst of all!) pro-Viking manner. I called this “a blatant attempt to snatch Vik-story from the jaws of Dyle-feat”.

Technical notes for fellow wordsmiths: This employs the complex ABCD-ABCD rhyme-scheme I call the Adicote Rhyme, in honour of my Baroness. You can see this scheme elsewhere, in Songs Of The West and How Is It, Why Is It, and other songs. Note the double acrostic: I’m sure you’ll figure that out. The Gerard-Manley-Hopkinsesque style of the poem is my own approximation of the bizarre word-making style of early sagas; it also makes rhyming a little easier, which is important given the bloody alliteration. I think this is the only way to get a complex rhyme scheme and alliteration to work together.

[August 1998]

Horns on his head-top     Heathen sea-hood
All of his actions     Only for airs-taking
Growing no grain-crop     Regarding no god-good
Aimless attraction     Not earning honour-making
Rude on the brine-road     Young raiders and reevers
Turning their toy-boats     Here toward town-shores
Heartless unhallowed     At heart hell-believers
Early their evil-gloats     Taint all our creed-lores
How in our heart-strings     This horror here stands
Over our earnest     Entreaties to angel-home
Raidings and reevings     Destroying our realm-lands
Rape-sons of Hengist     Harrassing our new-Rome
Into the eve-mist     Out of our eye-sight
Bear-bullies back creep     Under the bleak moon
Loves lying death-kissed     No sign of life-light
Endless their end-sleep     Death is their fortune.