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                                              HUNTER'S WARNING 
               I have a tale, all grim forbode 
               of one who sought the night. 
              He mounted, then in darkness rode 
               to work upon the height. 
               Control and power over all, 
               the essence of his quest. 
              The people he would hold in thrall. 
               Ill omen was his crest. 
               He found a cliff beside the sea. 
               A glowing circle cast, 
              with magic burnt the Sacred Tree 
               and drawing sword, stood fast. 
               The ocean swelled, and gale winds cried- 
               a storm of ice and chill. 
              Bright lightnings slashed and burned the sky 
               imposed by dark'ning will. 
               A gateway through the Other World 
               was opened by his hand, 
              For from the clouds a funnel swirled 
               and Bifrost's road did stand. 
               A raucous army then came down 
               and rode upon that coast. 
              Weird hoofbeats rang upon the ground 
               from steeds who were as ghosts. 
               Just from the Hunt they had returned 
               to challenge fox, and deer. 
              And from the leader, one eye burned 
               and sighted down his spear. 
               'What magus honors not my name?', 
                a booming voice then cried. 
              'What fool does play this ill wrought game? 
                Best answer quick - or die.' 
                 'My title matters not, O Lord.', 
                  the sly tongued one did speak. 
                'We share the spirit of the sword- 
                  your wisdom I would seek.' 
               'My secrets will I gladly give 
                to all who share my way- 
               but test ye must, to die or live- 
                one chance to go or stay.' 
                 'Though death is not the thing I crave, 
                  your questions will I bear. 
                 And favour lacking, to the grave 
                  and thralldom will I swear.' 
                 'But I am learn'ed, wise and strong 
                  so if your test surpassed 
                 you must then swear before your throng 
                  your power you will pass.' 
               The Hunt Lord scowled, and it was done, 
               then said with frosty breath: 

           'Unto me you will answer one- 
               what purpose does serve death?' 
                 'My foes have often met their end. 
                  I glory in the kill. 
                 My way will use the death to bend 
                  the people to my will.' 
               The Goddess Freyja then impart: 
              'What say you of the dove? 
              What use to you are things of heart? 
               Regard ye what of love?' 
                 'I scorn all love, I favour wrath, 
                  tis best left for the meek. 
                 And peaceful ways cross not my path, 
                  tis only for the weak.' 
              'War is my art, so answer this:', 
               spoke grim one handed Tyr. 
             'Affairs of state, when go amiss- 
               is honor in your sphere?' 
                 'All honor I return to friends 
                  and other Lords deserved. 
                 I say again, foes meet their ends 
                  when wrath has been incurred.' 
              'Unto us now, one more reply 
               before you hear our will. 
              of spells and power - magic high, 
               of what does this fulfill? 
                 'To honor you, I would enshrine, 
                  the world then I would take. 
                 To snare, all shiftless peoples bind 
                  with forces I would wake.' 
               All Asgard's dwellers, looking grim, 
               then nodded to this king. 
              Triumphant mein came over him- 
               his darkened soul did ring. 
               But Odin set his rage filled face- 
               the mages blood ran cold. 
             'Ye think that thou hast won our grace 
               with naked evil bold?' 
              'All death is but the way to birth 
               and peace is men's desire. 
              Our way is to renew the Earth- 
               despoiling not in ire.' 
              'This and the magics meant to heal 
               and guide on wisdom's path. 
              So this is why the powers wield- 
               you have incurred our wrath.' 
              'But go in sorrow - life we give, 
               along with this one curse- 
              That ever long as you shall live 
               your life now is reversed.' 
              'Harm with your magic, and you die 
               a death forever long. 
              Hurt with your guile, and you shall cry- 
               your way is twisted, wrong.' 
               They rode like leaves upon the wind. 
               Ensorcelled mage grew mad. 
              He wanders - never trust or friends. 
               Just woe, dark soul, nomad. 

             Pay heed, all seekers on the path 
               to shadow's knowledge earned. 
              To evil go, you gain the wrath 
               of Powers great and stern. 
                   - J.A. Bordeaux  8 Mar 89 

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