“Come with me, warrior bold. I shall carry you over the Rainbow Bridge,
to the Hall of the Slain,” quote the woman in mail.
“I do not wish to leave my comrades,
to become an exile from the lands of the north,
and to cast aside my lovers,” I replied.
“Come with me, Woden will invest you with a fine suit of mail.
He will give to you a sharp sword, and a helm traced in gold,
do not delay,” said the fair maid, with flashing eyes.
Her fiery steed reared, and pulled on its reins.
“I shall not leave this realm. There are many kingdoms I have not seen,
wines I have not quaffed, and fair maids I have not yet embraced.”
“Warrior, come with me and you will do battle each day for Woden, and win glory.
You will feast each night in his mead hall.
You will know the love of the daughters of Woden.
None are as fair as we who ride the sky,
and call the warriors to come and fight the final battle.
I do call you to war against the demons of ice, on the day of the Doom of the Gods.”
“The sky of this realm is bright with stars,
and the scent of flowers in the meadows draws me to them.
I am loath to leave this kingdom,” I replied.
I knew the tales of ages past, but I was loath to leave the world I knew.
“Your bravery is known even in the realm of Woden.
Come, warrior, I will be your handmaid, and serve you at the mead hall, in
highest honor. I am said to be the fairest of all my sisters.
Each night I lie with the warrior who wins the cast of the dice. Yet I
will turn from all others, and gladly be your whore each night.”
“Fair you are, shield maiden. You do tempt me.
Very well, we will follow the rainbow to the hall of Woden.”
And so I was called to fight on the day of the doom of the gods, and dwell in the lands
of Woden, the All Father.