Flash: Bragi

“Bragi” by Carl Wahlbom (1810-1858), Public Domain

There are those who claim the long-bearded one was just a ninth century midgard man named Bragi Boddason who traveled from hall to hall, plying gay tunes and romantic verse for an evenings meal. I say Nay, for I was blessed to hear the tales spun from the bardic god.

Twas only chance his and my paths crossed one night in a northern meadhall. He honored me with first tale after the king had waved us forward. And so I, with my merger skill, did share of news from my travels and twisted a tale about the Pennsic Wars.

Then he, Odinson and spawn of the giantess Gunnlod, did touch his hand to golden dwarven harp. Rune-shaped words fell from tattooed tongue and mesmerized with tale and song. Poetry is too mild a word for what I heard. Epic epeitath fell fire for armshiver. Warrior wept from sodden woesounds. Larksong and buoyant bells flashed forward for feastfamily festivity.

And I, not a sound could make.

My ears still rung with the runewords and yet my mind can not comprehend. Some mornings I wake hearing the harpstring, tears flowing for I will not hear it again.

Blessed are you who haven’t experienced this glory, and I fully pity you its lack.

But know you, the first thing you will hear in Valhalla’s hall after being let down by the Valkyrie maid will be Bragi’s harp for he is the Skald of Asgard. While he, for a time, did walk the earth in the guise of a midgard man, he is god born from a honeymead night.

(Words 265, first published 10/20/2019)