by Leslie Fish

Sigurd was an Odin-man, the last of Pagan-kind,
For Chruchmen ruled the countryside and all men they could find.
Yet Sigurd prayed to Odin-god with heart and soul and mind
In hope that he would reach Valhalla.

Sigurd died in battle, crying "Odin!" to the last.
beyond the reach of Churchmen's Heaven his soul speeded past.
But when he reached the Bifrost Bridge he found the gates barred fast.
Alas no entry to Valhalla!

Odin's voice called to him then: "The gate I'll not unbar,
For we are under seige. With Churchmen's Heaven we're at war,
Yet I shall keep my pledge to you. Though you must wander far
Still I shall bring you to Valhalla."

The Winds of Time took Sigurd then, and whipped him down the years.
They burned away his memories of love and hope and fears,
And left him as a new-born babe whose foremost cry and tears
Were for lost promise of Valhalla.

This age and name fit ill on him. He grew to man's estate
A thoughful, bookish, lonely lad who felt betrayed by fate,
Who dreamed and read and oft' regretted he was born too late
For the age of Odin and Valhalla.

He came upon Anachronists who kept the ancient skills.
Gladly did he join with them, and practiced with a will,
For he felt an old hope stirring as he prsisted still:
A long step closer to Valhalla.

He called himself "Lord Sigurd" now. He dressed in black bearskin.
He hasened through his duties to his mundane work and kin,
For in the weekend combat he could feel the veil wear thin
'Til it seemed he could almost reach Valhalla

In time he won a baron's rank. The folk bowed down before.
At length a Herald rose and spake: "Milord, you could do more.
Pray bring your skills with us this year, out to the eastern War.
It's the next best thing to old Valhalla.

So Sigurd went to war that year, and stared at what he found:
The ancient-garbed and armored folk, the clanging battleground,
The market-place, the mead-halls, and the campsite sprawling 'round --
And he felt time shift him to Valhalla.

For lo, the warriors battled there so merrily all day,
And maidens resurredcted every one the strokes would slay,
Then at the mead-hall they would feast and sing the night away --
Oh, it fit all descriptions of Valhalla!

'Twas true it wasn't perfect; there was War but once a year,
With lesser revels once a month in kingdoms far and near,
And all the dreary lesser days, the Mundane world was here --
But it was close enough to call Valhalla.

Be careful of what paradise you deal
What hope you make other dreamers feel
For if too many hear it
they will struggle to draw near it
And in the search they just might make it real!

So every War and revel, go to the feasting-hall
And there you'll find a Viking-lord named Sigurd standing tall
and giving thanks to Odin for the pledge kept after all
Sining, "Yo ho, Welcome to Valhalla!"
For we have made our own Valhalla
For we are the builders of Valhalla