This lad of whom I write is a miracle of the Master in a facsimile universe.Hearken to his tale.-Lamathrath of the Nexus
The Lay of Sigurd of Outremer
After the days of the Norse shield wall
But twenty–one years before Pope Urban’s call
In The frozen lands of the North
A new babe, the son of a Jarl came forth
At the height of it all, Lady Signy stood on her legs
And screamed forth a call of “Grat Gudde Vhair est deg?”
The baby came forth and his father praised God.
And yet, as the months wore on, it was odd.
He was not turning or crawling about
And all he could do was flounder like a trout
is my son but a ban-child of sin?
Will I ever see him bear arms with his kin?
As the boy Sigurd grew, he much feared the church
As he saw his friends play with their swords of birch.
Ever the cloister would be in his gaze.
That was where he thought he’d spend all his days
one night at age of knighthood it did rain
And the rush of the fjord winds addled his brain
He went high on a hill and stood out on a tor
where his ancestors said there thunder-raged Thor
“God, if you give me full use of my legs,
I’ll die in your service! Grot Gude, Vhair ist deg?”
The lightning crashed down and struck upraised arm
the thrall in the barnyard saw all the harm
And carried him home in his strong stout arms.
Erik and Signy prayed long by his bed
That their son would not go to be with the dead.
And when his head lifted, they praised their great God.
But then, there was something quite wonderfully odd.
His arms were no longer stiffened and weak
but now for a broadsword soon would they seek
He stood upon his two legs now quite strong
Jumped up on the table and laughed loud and long.
Surely a miracle had happened now
But then he suddenly remembered his vow
Like the sword Gram, his heart was now shattered
For to be a warrior was all that now mattered
but lo! All the young man’s hope now was not lost
For news from the South on the sea swept across.
During this time Sigurd had trained at arms
And was the best of all in art of war-charms
A call to the faithful to unsheathe the sword
And free the Holy Land from the paynim horde.
Now young Sigurd could die for the Lord
by fighting and bearing holy cross and sword!
The night before was to depart for the East,
His father, Jarl Erik, held a great feast.
And at the feast presented his son with a gift
That was very sharp and heavy to lift.
It was his great-great-grandfather’s sword.
Passed down from the days of the Viking hordes.
The steel was far better than a modern blade
and would serve Sigurd well in the crusade
It was inscribed with Ulfbehrt, the legend’ry Smith
And had long protected their kin and their kith.
Bidding family goodbye Sigurd took the cross
And by ship across the Hellespont tossed.
He wore conical helmet and gleaming Norse mail,
Bore sturdy kite shield to turn Seljuq-nail
Unlike most ridders, however, he wore
A deep wine red surcoat with rood white pallor.
His horse was as black as the sin that men fear
And, nodding back to old times, was named Sleipnir.
He came to Antioch with Bohemond’s men
And saw in great shock, holy war? Nay! Sin!
Moslems and Coptics, roasted like sheep.
Jewesses and Orthodox tramped in the streets.
This was not the power of Christ’s resurrection.
Sigurd’s soul had one recourse: insurrection!
Slaying crusader and Muslim alike,
He fled Bohemond’s evil puissant pike.
Quothe he then, “I can only bring peace.
I want none of this carrion, brute, battle-feast!
Those who slay the innocent in this land will
Feel this sharp justice: my Norse watered steel!
As long as I walk the earth as a true swordsman,
I’ll defend all: Byzantine, Moslem or Norman
I can neither go home nor give up my sword.
I surely surrender my fate to the Lord.”