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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Challenge of Thor

This Norse ballad of Longfellow is brilliant.

Regarding Thor's militaristic nature, while I do emphasize "peace," I am paradoxically a "warrior" (being a double Aries - I can't help myself), so I do understand the "Fighters for Peace" concept, although I reserve the right to make fun of it and, consequently, myself. I do appreciate the sentiment in this poem, in that it throws Thor's hammer down before "the Galilean." This ballad concisely epitomizes a major battle on this planet and within human nature.

Longfellow might observe that it is evidently within my Nordic nature to defy the Galilean...
The Challenge of Thor
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I AM the God Thor,
I am the War God,
I am the Thunderer!
Here in my Northland,
My fastness and fortress,
Reign I forever!

Here amid icebergs
Rule I the nations;
This is my hammer,
Miƶlner the mighty;
Giants and sorcerers
Cannot withstand it!

These are the gauntlets
Wherewith I wield it,
And hurl it afar off;
This is my girdle;
Whenever I brace it,
Strength is redoubled!

The light thou beholdest
Stream through the heavens,
In flashes of crimson,
Is but my red beard
Blown by the night-wind,
Affrighting the nations!
Jove is my brother;
Mine eyes are the lightning;
The wheels of my chariot
Roll in the thunder,
The blows of my hammer
Ring in the earthquake!

Force rules the world still,
Has ruled it, shall rule it;
Meekness is weakness,
Strength is triumphant,
Over the whole earth
Still is it Thor's-Day!

Thou art a God too,
O Galilean!
And thus singled-handed
Unto the combat,
Gauntlet or Gospel,
Here I defy thee!

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