Secular

Choral score

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Text:

Hagalaz (wrath of nature), Sowilo (sun)...

Dark grows the sun,
and in summer soon 
Come mighty storms: 
would you know yet more?

Brothers will fight one another
and kill one another
the world will be a hard place to live in.

skeggold, skalmold, (an age of the axe, an age of the sword,) 
vindold, vargold, (an age of storms, an age of wolves,) 
Before the world sinks in the sea,
there will be no man left who is true to another.

The old tree sighs
when the giant shakes it— 
Yggdrasil still stands,
but it trembles.
Skelfr Yggdrasils 
askr standandi.

The sun turns black,
the earth sinks into the sea, 
the bright stars
fall out of the sky.
Flames scorch
the leaves of Yggdrasil,
a great bonfire
reaches to the highest clouds.

Here is a house, 
here is a neighborhood. 
Here is a street, a door, a room, a window. 
Here is a drought, here a beetled pine. 
Here is a wildfire leaping from limb to roof.

There is a law of lightning, law of wood. 
There is a need to burn, to lose, to grow. 
There is the charred scar, there the flying ash.
To dwell is not to shelter, we should know.

Here are the people packing their cars to flee.
Here are the photos in frames, the pets on leashes.
Here are the children bewildered, coughing smoke. 
Here are the firemen climbing the hills in the heat.

Berkana (growth), Dagaz (day)...

I see the earth
rise a second time
from out of the sea,
green once more. 
Waterfalls flow,
and eagles fly overhead, 
hunting for fish
among the mountain peaks.

We are the street, we are the neighborhood.
We are the garden living and dying to bloom.
We are the parched yards, we are the trembling deer. 
We are the long walk looking to find our home.

I see the earth rise a second time. 
Rise.

- Poetic Edda: Völuspá (41, 46, 55, 57), translated by Dr. Jackson Crawford, sung in English and Old Norse. Used with permission. “The Fires,” by David Mason. Used with permission.