Welcome! This is a blog dedicated to collecting my medieval brewing research, and my Norse poetry and storytelling projects.
You’re probably wondering where the title of this blog comes from.
The Althyng Song
(lyrics by: Michael Dixon)
Swan-road rolled with silvered water
breaking ‘tween the broad, tarred oar-blades –
tearing through the thurse of ship-tree’s
roiling waves – to whip the froth.
Runes were burnt in blackened carvings
on the blades that beat the sea-skin;
cutting flesh of foaming swell-rolls,
we drove on to Eastern shore.
Drink the foam of fjord-bone dwellers.
Drink the mead of mimir’s giver.
Drink the blood of bold Kvasir.
Drink the ale of Althyng kin.
We hauled through to hills on shoreline
’til we found the Farmstead’s Vale,
looking for the laws of free-men
and the god who gave us verse.
Where are elves and Aesir meeting?
Where is hall, hard-roofed with shields?
In the gleaming, golden sunlight,
our Val-father waits the end.
But today we tell no dark tales –
Seeress’ speech we spurn for drinking.
“How fair elves and how fair Aesir?”
Talk of not until the dawn.
Mention not the Midgard serpent;
hear my toasts to the Hel-taken
and my brothers, brought from battle;
may they fight in Asgard’s fields.
Thrives this day a Thyng-peace sacred.
For this day, the feud-blade resting.
Wind and waves, our wyrd has found us –
put us here at peace with kin.
Red the ball of bone-fort’s lodging
makes us seek the mead-filled horn.
More than ale, I offer word-gifts –
Odin’s drink. The draughts are deep.
[chorus] x 2
If you’re unfamiliar with Norse poetry and the concept of kennings, this may sound like nonsense to you. It’s OK – I’ll make posts about that stuff at some point. “Odin’s drink,” “the drink of dwarves,” “Odin’s mead,” and many other such phrases all – essentially – mean “poetry,” and can also secondarily refer to wisdom – a concept closely associated with poetry in Norse culture.
“The draughts are deep” in reference to such a thing means that the poetry is both ample and full. There’s lots of it, it has a lot of meaning, and the poets have much to share.
So welcome, friends. Pull up a chair, and have a drink. The draughts are deep.