Kelda's Saga

Sigurd's grandsire long held this land,
Delv'd the black land, made it rich land.
Sigurd took it richly wrought it,
Wedded Solveig dowry bringing,
Land increasing wealth and standing.
Neighbour Aelfric looked with longing.

Then came Brice Day; Dane-folk dying,
With fire and sword, came Aelfric's men
Sword blades flashing, Sigurd falling,
Solveig's heart blood stains the hearth stone.
High the flames burn, charred the roof beam,
Girl-child Kelda, dry-eyed watching.

To the wild woods, flees with sister.
Kelda, Ela, now fend alone.
Who to trust now? No farm safe now,
Neighbour's land lust brought this slaughter.
Father slain now, also Mother.
Homeless sisters, forced to wander.

Hunter Kelda, skilled in bow-song,
Hunts the wild deer, raids her neighbour.
Deep wood hovel is their shelter.
Hunts to live now, cares for Ela,
Steals from Aelfric seeks her vengeance,
Grows from girl-child into woman.

See how Kelda loves the wild-wood,
Loves the bleak fen and the birds' flight,
Rain washed skies and scouring wind.
But now Ela longs for her home
Near to townsfolk, warmth and laughter
Longs for husband and for children.

West home seeking, Ela parting.
Now lone dweller, Kelda seeking
In the deep wood where no birds sing,
Lives the Green Man, sacred guardian
Of the old ways and the oak grove.
Swears to Odinn; Kelda pledges.

Fast on foot flight, warrior maiden
Yields to no man, hunts the Saxon.
Sharp her spear point, swift her arrow,
Then she finds it - hers by conquest!
How came Saxon by this Dane sword?
Prised from dead hand, Kelda claims it.

Sword-song rising, Kelda singing,
Runs through green-wood, runs to war-play.
Shuns the Saxon, seeks the Dane-folk,
Then finds Ousekjarr where the Jarl rules,
Offers sword arm, spear and bow-string.
But half Saxon, thus is Ousekjarr.

Now trains Kelda as a Drengur,
Now fights Kelda, hear her sword sing,
Now see Kelda at the forge fire,
Now works Kelda anvil ringing,
Now shoots Kelda, arrows winging,
Now lives Kelda, free soul soaring.

Then came Sven's folk, Dane folk, war horde,
'Venging Brice Day, seek new kingdom.
Longships creeping up the Ouse flood.
"Come, let's join them!" Kelda urges,
Ousekjarr split now, some are Saxon
Kelda leaves them, joins the Dane band.

Brave Ulfcytel leads the Saxons,
Falls on Vikings close by Thetford.
Now he turns them, holds them, kills them.
"Destroy their ships!" Ulfcytel cries.
Saxon spearmen seek to sink them,
Kelda's arrow starts Saxon flight.

Gaining honours Kelda marching
Battles winning, sailing Viking.
Returns again to Ousekjarr home.
Takes the peace way, forging plough's share
Rich land yielding, Jarl's folk thriving
'Till came burning, Sven's men raiding.

Sacked was Thetford, turning southward,
Came to Ringmere and Ulfcytel.
Dark the bee-storm, flighting dart sting,
See her sword swing hear her laugh ring,
Kelda killing, kin avenging.
Saxons breaking, Mareshead fleeing.

Far over fen, Dane men raiding,
Killing, burning, raping, stealing.
Kelda sickens, turns from slaughter,
Will not kill them - peaceful farm folk.
Seeks now rest from bone-break, blood-let.
Seeks her own folk, back to Ousekjarr.

Dane and Saxon building England,
Canute now king, one folk now binding.
Kelda waits now, waits with Ousekjarr,
Waits 'till foe-man shows his war shield,
Kelda smithing, land grant farming,
Sword is kept keen, kept for Aelfric.

Thorgrim Islendingr

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