Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Pole of Scorn

Know you how to sing a tune?
Know you how to carve a rune?
Know you how to cast a spell?
Aye, I know that very well.

Then go into the mountains wild,
And take a virgin undefiled,
Carve her name upon a rock,
And descry the entrails of a cock.

If critics say your song’s unfit,
Drain their speeches of all wit,
Shrink their clothes so they don’t fit
And drown them in the people’s spit.

Make all their words seem dyslexic,
Churn their stomachs with dyspeptic,
Fill their drinking cups with arsenic,
And let their wives be anorexic.

Know you how to read a line?
Know you how to prick with tine?
Know you how dye with blood?
Aye, I know that well and good.

Then go into the hazel wood
And cut yourself a wand that’s good,
Lead poor dobbin from the field
And lay his head upon your shield.

If raiders come and steal your corn,
Carve magic runes upon your horn,
Blow hard a blast for Odin’s ear
To fill their thieving hearts with fear.

Call up the winds to tear their sails,
And pincers cruel to rip their nails,
Close all ears to their woeful wails,
And clap them into stinking jails.

Know you how to tie a knot?
Know you how to pray a lot?
Know you how to blot a life?
Aye, I have my trusty knife.

Then go into their drinking halls,
Splash their blood upon the walls,
Cut the hand that lifts the cup
And drive them out with headstrong tup.

If kings and princes rape your wives,
Blast their skin with deadly hives,
Drive them mad with nettle stings,
And close up tight their fleshy rings.

Set their sacred flags on fire,
Fill their friends with hateful ire,
Drive them out from every shire,
And make their library books expire.

Now you know the secret skald,
Avoid offending poets bald,
Lest heirs to Egil’s Pole of Scorn
Make you wish you’d ne’er been born.

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