Arthur Guiterman

1871-1943 / United States

Ragnarok {the Twilight Of The Gods}

HO! Heimdal sounds the Gjallar-horn:
The hosts of Hel rush forth
And Fenris rages redly
From his shackles in the North
Unleashed is Garm, and Lok is loosed,
And freed is Giant Rime;
The Rainbow-bridge is broken
By the hordes of Muspelheim.
The wild Valkyries ride the wind
With spear and clanging shield
Where all the Hates embattled
Are met on Vigrid-field;
For there shall fall the Mighty Ones
By valiant men adored--
Great Odin, Tyr the fearless,
And Frey that sold his sword. .
And Thor shall slay the dragon
Whose breath shall be his bane.
The gods themselves shall perish:
The sons of the gods shall reign!
Old Time shall sound the boding horn
Again and yet again, rouse the warring passions
That swell the hearts of men.
Revolt shall wake, and Anarchy,
With all their horrid throng--
Revenge, Destruction Rapine,
The spawn of ancient Wrong,
With all the hosts of slaughter
That our own sins must breed-
Cold Hate, Oppression's daughter,
And Rage, the child of Greed.
Then, though we stand to battle
As men have ever stood,
Down, down shall crash our temples,
The Evil and the Good;
Yea, all that now we cherish
Must pass--but not in vain.
The gods we love shall perish;
The sons of the gods shall reign!
So, strong in faith, or weak in doubt,
Or berserk-mad, we range
Our spears in that long battle
Which means not Death, but Change.
Our highest with our lowest
Must own the grim behest,
And Good shall yield for Better--
Else how should come the Best?
Yet if we win our portion
How dare we crave the whole?
And if we still press forward,
Why need we know the goal?
But those whose hearts are constant
And those whose souls are wise
Have said that from our ashes .
A nobler race shall rise
From shreds of shattered altars
To rear the Perfect Fane.
Our little gods must perish
That God I himself shall reign!
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