A sceptic´s way

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The fifth poem in the cycle, which focuses on the tense moment before the outbreak of Ragnarök, illustrates the fatalistic, somber tone of the cycle. Pronounced rhythmic accents and absence of rhyme have an austerity reminiscent of Old Germanic verse.

hero and hope,
dread of all life in Utgard!
Sleep-weighted, weaponless
you slept in impotent peace.
Evil thrives,
swells in the bud.
The trolls raise their battleground,
Madness breaks loose,
The time of the vultures has come.

Gierow’s critical attitude toward his own time is evident in Heimdal’s reproachful tone. The poem closes on a note of fatalism and foreboding.

Seeking the weapon’s shaft
I see your fingers groping.
Torpor has plundered calmly
him who in torpor trusts.
has lost its might.
The gods are getting older.
Sleep-drugged, blissful, inert
slept the powerful Thor.

The pessimism of this text and others in the cycle is qualified by the last poem of the cycle, which affirms a recurring pattern of genesis and destruction.


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