The weaver`s – beams – web `t is wet with blood;
Is spread now, grey, the spear-thing before,
The woof-of-the-warriors which valkyries fill
With the red-warp-of- Randver`s banesman.
Is this web woven and wound of entrails,
And heavy weighted with heads of slain;
Are blood-bespattered spears the treadles,
Iron-bound the beams, the battens, arrows:
Let us weave with our swords this web of victory!
Goes Hild to weave, and Hiorthrimul,
Sangrith and Svipul with swords brandished:
Shields will be shattered, shafts will be splintered,
Will the hounds-of-helmets the hauberks bite.
Wind we, wind we such web of darts,
Where float the flags of unflinching men!
Let not the liege`s life be taken:
valkyries award the weird of battle.
Will seafaring men hold sway over land,
Who erstwhile dwelled on outer nesses;
Is doomed to die a doughty king,
Lies slain an earl by swords e`en now.
Now awful is it to be without,
As blood-red rack races overhead;
Is the welkin gory with warrior`s blood
As we valkyries war songs chanted.
Well have we chanted charms full many
About the king`s son: may it bode him well!
Let him learn them who listens to us,
And speak these spells to spearmen after.
A certain man called Dorroth saw twelve mailed and armed persons ride toward a hut, where they were lost to his sight. Edging close to the building, he peered through a chink and saw that strange and fearful women had set up a web, where the heads of men served as weights, and their entrails formed the woof and the weft, a sword acted as a weaver`s reed, and arrows as rods. They sang the Song of the Valkyries, before tearing the web down into pieces, and each one held a part in her hand. The women then mounted their horses and rode away – six to the south and six to the north.
The Song of the Valkyries is one of the most striking poems of Norse antiquity; it is prophetic of the outcome of the great battle of Clontarf (1014), in which the Viking warlords, Sigtrygg Silkbeard, Norse King of Dublin, and the Orkney earl , Sigurth Hlothversson, were arrayed against the famous King Brian Borumha of Leinster, when great slaughter was made as the shield walls clashed.
Few lays in Old Norse can compare with the Song of the Valkyries for it`s brooding sombre power and dark magnificence: fearsome carnage did it depict in the gruesome picture of the loom; a terrible and bloody red dawn, of cloud racked incarnadined warriors, into which the battle maidens issued forth, mounted upon strident, fiery, wild horses, searching for the souls of great warriors to carry away to the great hall of Valhalla.