raven's wing


Viking Prayer

Lo, there do I see my Father
Lo, there do I see my Mother
And my Sisters and my Brothers
Lo, there do I see the line of my people
back to the beginning
Thay do bid me to take my place among them in the Halls of Valhalla
Where the Brave may live forever
(Dated around 100 through 110 A.D.)


Calling Home

I call you home brother
For it is time for peace
I call you home brother
For it is time to rest
I call you home brother
For it is time to sleep
Come home brother
In peace
To rest
And sleep
(Kieron Morgan)


Self Pity

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.
(D H Lawrence)


In Flanders Field

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
(John McCrae, May 1915)


Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
(John Masefield 1878–1967)


Because I Fly

Because I fly
I laugh more than other men
I look up an see more than they,
I know how the clouds feel,
What it's like to have the blue in my lap,
to look down on birds,
to feel freedom in a thing called the stick...
who but I can slice between God's billowed legs,
and feel then laugh and crash with His step
Who else has seen the unclimbed peaks?
The rainbow's secret?
The real reason birds sing?
Because I Fly,
I envy no man on earth.
(Grover C. Norwood)


Impressions of a Pilot

Flight is freedom in its purest form,
To dance with the clouds which follow a storm;
To roll and glide, to wheel and spin,
To feel the joy that swells within;
To leave the earth with its troubles and fly,
And know the warmth of a clear spring sky;
Then back to earth at the end of a day,
Released from the tensions which melted away.
Should my end come while I am in flight,
Whether brightest day or darkest night;
Spare me your pity and shrug off the pain,
Secure in the knowledge that I'd do it again;
For each of us is created to die,
And within me I know,
I was born to fly.
(Gary Claud Stokor)


The Isles of the Blest

Once, when Bran the Blessed was with his warriors in his royal hall,
a woman strangely dressed and fair appeared upon the Door of the great hall.  
No one saw her enter, and none could tell whence she had come,
but the gates of the place were tight shut.
Then she sang these verses to Bran, while all the host were listening:

I bring a branch of Evin's apple-tree,
Alike in form to those you know;
Twigs of white silver upon it grow,
And buds of crystal blossom fair to see.

There is an island far beyond this land,
Around which glisten white sea horses;
Against its shores, they flow in their white courses;
Upon four pillars strong, that island stands.

Delight of eye, that glorious plain,
Where hosts hold. Games that know no end;
Coracle and chariot there do contend,
Southward o'er that white and silver plain.

On columns of white bronze, the isle stands tall;
Their beauty through the aeons is unfurled.
The fairest land through all the world,
Where myriads of fragrant flowers fall.

An ancient tree there is in flower,
Where on bright birds each hour call.
In sweetest harmony they all
Combine to sing the passing of each hour.

No sorrow known, nor grieving there;
No sickness, death or suffering.
Such is the life of fair Evin;
A life that in this world is all too fare.

And if you see that Silver Land,
Where dragon-stones and crystals rain;
The sea-borne waves along the foaming main,
Sweep crystal tresses across your hand.

And at the rising of the sun,
Comes one who lights the level lands.
He rides upon the sea-washed sands,
And paints the ocean red now day's begun.

A host then comes across the shining sea,
And row their craft most skilfully to land,
To where the shining stones in circles stand
From which arise a music sweet and free.

Through ages long unto the gathered throng
They sing a song that sorrow never stained;
A hundred voices all in chorus reigned,
In praise of life, and life's eternal song.

Evna of many shapes beside the sea,
Whether it be far or it be near,
Women in colours bright clad wander here,
Surrounded by the clear and shining sea.

And if you hear the sweet voice of the stones
And the songbirds of the Peaceful Land,
Those women will walk close at hand;
No one who comes need walk alone.

Good health and happiness those women share,
In the land where peals of laughter sound;
The Land of Peace, where purity is found;
Immortal life and lifelong joy are there.

So sink not on your bed of rest,
Nor let the mind's confusion overwhelm;
Across the clear sea,
Set fast your helm,
And sail unto the Islands of the Blest.
(author unknown)



The guns were silent, and the silent hills
had bowed their grasses to a gentle breeze
I gazed upon the vales and on the rills,
And whispered, "What of these?' and "What of these?
These long forgotten dead with sunken graves,
Some crossless, with unwritten memories
Their only mourners are the moaning waves,
Their only minstrels are the singing trees
And thus I mused and sorrowed wistfully

I watched the place where they had scaled the height,
The height whereon they bled so bitterly
Throughout each day and through each blistered night
I sat there long, and listened - all things listened too
I heard the epics of a thousand trees,
A thousand waves I heard; and then I knew
The waves were very old, the trees were wise:
The dead would be remembered evermore-
The valiant dead that gazed upon the skies,
And slept in great battalions by the shore.

Leon Gellert (a combatant at Gallipoli)