Vilhjálmr’s Deed

Vilhjálmr’s Deed

Vilhjálmr is my valiant
-the vilest dared smiling-
and warded me from witchcraft,
his wife who brought strife there.

Maiden against mother
-marred our joys with tar black-
fought our love to defend,
fair or foul, as bear wild.

We told her of our tale
-her tongue of snake sung false-
of wooing and wedding;
warned of my babe born soon.

My tresses she tied true
-betrayed her son, stayed not-
and combs she said became
my countenance, found me.

She spoke her evil spell
-her spite, to bite bitter-
and wrought my bairn to writhe,
her wrong now long clear.

Her stout son by me stood
-and stealthy, to quell me-
to trade from my trinkets,
trounce the pain that pounced me.

Thrice he took his throat there.
-magic thrashed flesh, lashed me-
She beguiled and argued:
his goodness could turn not.

She demanded I move
-a mouse in her house bound-
with child, low as a churl
to check our love and wreck us.

I clamoured, and to clay
-clasp by an asp cruel-
scaly felt my skin turn,
scary to bare for us.

My body and my babe lost
-bound like her hound, helpless-
stuttered to a slow stop.
Strong we vowed to fight long.

A blind beggar, blighted,
-blood into mud turning-
our hall came to hail once
and hear of our fear dark.

Wax and glass made wonder:
-but will always still mine-
a newborn yet to nurse
and news to confuse her.

She cried at his christening
-her crime without rhyme was-
and explained her plotting
with plaintive and vain sighs.

Thus Vilhjálmr, revealing
-my voice can’t rejoice yet-
her scandalous scheming
did scrape off her shaping.

Her knots were brought to naught,
-my nerves fail to serve me-
Her combs were caught and kept,
her kid stayed hid no more.

My left shoe was shaken,
-her shackles crack slowly-
and my flesh again flowed,
and fleet my feet became.

We return for a time
to tell of this fell mother
and doughty Vilhjálm’s deed
whose deep love reap glory.