And so the grim, grave Norns, those horned crones,
being truth-speakers of elder age,
upended their pouch of knucklebones
to cast the future upon its stage;
clad in grey cloaks in haggard cloth
to conceal the gaunt want of Winter’s moods
while their hair frosts like Icelandic froth
that limn the cold Northern latitudes;
whose voices are as the cracking fjords
or chill winds through whispery trees,
promising wealth, fame, or rallying hordes
for or against—forking destinies.
And all heroes must come to mortal ends,
as folk small or great, pauper to king,
at the mercy of the Wyrding trends,
echoing on in songs Man may sing.
Nor will the gods outlast the Twilight
when forces of chaos rise again,
and though the Aesir rally to fight,
the Norns have decreed they cannot win.
For like the bones with which they cast
to read runes and know what is now come,
the future is written by the past:
bones of gods from a fallen kingdom.
And Baldur falls, though born of glory,
and Thor also, venom in his veins,
and Odin himself, his famed story
coming to an end after great pains.
For ambition is a steed running strong,
a horse named Greyfell that carries far
and yet always to an end, ere long,
as Skuld snaps the reins neath a fell star.

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