Hildeburhʼs Lament IV

Many miles over
Markland we rode.
Then wended our way,
The whaleroad taking,
In whorl helmed
When Finn’s helmsward,
Farman, asked me
ʻʻLady Hildeburh,
Why look you unhappy?
Is not the sea’s scent
The smell of brine,
The wind in your face,
While winging the foam,
A gladdening sight?ʼʼ
ʻʻForgive me captain,
I am a markmaiden;
Where mares run free,
On heath under heaven,
My heart’s dwelling is.
The sea’s surging
Sore reminded me
Of whirling, wind tossed,
Waves of grassland…ʼʼ
I stopped ’fore tears
Could tear the facade
Of cool and calm.
Keen was the wind
Cutting my words off
To the kind seaman,
My throat throttled
By thoughts of home.
Would I ever see
Its soil again?
Finn and Folcwald
Were forging anew
Plans for expansion,
Possibly southwards,
Leaving me oft
To look at miles
Of watery wastelands
From worm shaped prow.


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