A NORSE RETELLING OF CLEMENT MOORE’S CHRISTMAS CLASSIC, A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS.
By Skade of the Norwegian Fish Club Odin.
‘Twas the evening of Yuletide, and all through the hall
Not a creature was stirring, from Jarl down to thrall.
The hearthstone was crowded with children-sized boots
Filled with carrots and apples and hay and grass-shoots.
The children themselves were all snug in their beds,
While visions of valkyries danced in their heads.
As for Faðir and me, we had just settled in
With a nice warm glögg nightcap filled up to the brim.
We were just drifting off for the long winter’s night
When the cows and the horses and chickens took fright!
They made such a commotion out back in their byre –
Could it be bandits? Or raiders? Or fire?!
I grabbed Faðir’s hand and our feet hit the floor,
And we each grabbed a sword as we raced for the door.
We opened the door and peered out the doorway,
And the full moon above shone as brightly as midday.
At first we saw nothing – the night-time was silent.
But then, ever closer, came something quite violent!
Cresting the hill, heading straight for the hall
Came an army on horseback, all raring to brawl!
There were legions of warriors, ghostly and pale,
And a phalanx of warrior women as well!
And there at the head of this great ghostly horde
Rode a man clothed in grey brandishing a greatsword!
With ravens above and just one flashing eye,
We knew that a visit from Odin was nigh!
We ran back in the house and jumped back into bed
And pretended to sleep the sleep of the dead.
And as we pretended, the door was flung wide,
And in strode Allfather with a bag at his side.
He marched to the hearth and regarded the boots
And removed all the hay and the carrots and fruits.
And in place of those gifts, he left some of his own:
Toys carved from wood and flutes made of bone,
Sweet cakes and berries and nuts baked with honey,
And in little Þrud’s boot, a fluffy white bunny.
Then he turned on his heel and called out the door,
“Here Sleipnir, more bounty than you could ask for!”
And he laughed as his eight-legged steed munched away
On the apples and carrots and grass-shoots and hay.
“Now Brynhild! Now Sigrun, now warriors all,
Let us bless this host and bless this hall!”
Then he leapt on his steed and rallied his thanes,
And Sleipnir leaped forward and strained at his reins.
And I heard him exclaim as they rode out of sight,
“Happy Yuletide to all! And to all a good night!”
By Lori Woodard of the Norwegian Fish Club Odin ©2019 Author Reserves All Rights
My family has a Yule tree and log, and we will be celebrating Weihnachten/Julfest tomorrow night. How will your family be celebrating this holiday season?