GÆSCLIGCRYMBLINGAS



Gæscligcrymblingas, by Ariel Bolton

 

Hwæt!

A is for Alhwin, whom nematodes ate

That’s not an untypical Old English fate

And Æ is young Ælfred, attacked by his thanes

B is for Byrhtnoth, beheaded by Danes

C is for Cynewulf, caught with a wench

D is for Dufenal, duped by the French

E is for Eormanric (Passed. So must you)

F is Finn’s in-laws, their numbers too few

G is for Grendel, who wasn’t well-armed

H is for Hrothgar, whom Grendel alarmed

I is Iohannes, gone off of his head

J’s Juliana, who’s boiled in hot lead

K is King Harthacnut’s ale-soaked convulsion

L is Pope Leo’s blind, tongue-less expulsion

M is for Monsters, maligned by the critics

N is when Nynian ran out of Pict-tricks

O is for Ottuel, who drank beyond reason

P is King Peada’s queen plotting treason

Q is for Quentavic, raided and dead

R is a Ruin, its lichen stained red

S is a Sparrow’s swoop into the night

T is for Tostig, his troops turned to flight

Ð is for Ðeodric, thrown from his throne

Þ is for Þryðhild, her deeds now unknown

U is for Ulfcytel’s ungracious host

V is for Vikings invading the coast

W’s a Waymunding, whiffed by a lizard

X is an Exile, exposed in a blizzard

Y’s for Ysopa, unwise when he charged in

Z’s a Zoomorphic grotesque in the margin

Heroes get bludgeoned, burned, boiled, even bitten

So may we all be: our wyrd’s fully written.

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Ariel Bolton’s short stories have appeared in Flash Fiction Online and the anthology Myriad Lands.  She is currently based in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, where she tries to make a living with her PhD in medieval studies–an epic quest if ever there was one.  You can read her blog at arielbolton.com.

 


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