Snow softens the spring, spring melts the snow, forth.
In Ingvi-Frey’s hall in Ljossalfheim, a golden mound –
the bright wheat never fails, the barley never sleeps,
and burgeoning autumn is a stranger, summer reigns.
Frey descends to the mound like Frodi come winter,
churning glory on his wheel for the nine sacred realms.
Felled by the Harvest, he is John Barleycorn, his body
the ale we drink, blood the honey that spices our mead.
Gerda, his sweet shining-arm bride, dons dun and black.
She descends to Jotunheim, to Gymir’s hall, past flames
that wreathe her father’s mansion, to her herb garden.
Walled in earth, briar, and sod, Gerda sleeps, the dark
enfolds her into a cocoon with her lover, though worlds
apart, they follow the traceries of wyrd to the other’s heart.
Pound like a drum does the heart of a god, sing like a flute
does the breath of a slumbering Etin maiden. Spring dreams
of Summer, Winter dreams of Spring, Freyr quickens Gerda
and her belly swells, at the Root of the World Tree she births
the first flower, defiant pink rose, and its fragrance would
slay the worlds themselves if it but lasted more than a day.
From its pressed juice flows the light of spring’s warmth,
Sunna is warmed by Freyr and Gerd’s passions, husband
and wife rise from barren death to blossoming life, rains
come and feed grass, sedge, and harrow, the hills of Barri
are made holy, and frith flows like wine, like wine, wine.