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Old English Maxims for Barding

Ask me the old words, and don’t hide your thoughts, your deepest-held secrets from me.


I won’t share my wisdom if you mask yours, hide the truth of your heart.


Wise men trade in truths.


On Nature and Nations

The frost must freeze, and fire burn up wood,

the earth must blossom, the ice build bridges,

water must wear its helmet, locking down wondrously

the sprouts of the earth.  

A tree must stand in the earth

losing its leaves—the bare branches must mourn.

Winter is the coldest,

the spring most icy—it’s cold for the longest—

the summer the most sun-beautiful—the heaven is hottest—

the harvest is most blessed, it brings to men

the whole year’s crops, what God sends to them.

The seas often bring a storm,

the ocean in grim seasons—they begin to be driven furiously

darkening a distance from land, whether or not it stands firmly.

The cliff-walls hold out against them—the winds are against them too.

So the seas will be serene—

when the winds do not rouse them—

so the nations shall be united, when they have come together,

sitting together in harmonious conclave, and when they keep their companionship,

keen men have a powerful nature. 

So many men are upon the earth, so are their ideas—

each of them has its own mind. The truth is the trickiest.  

Sagacious words befit every pledge—

songs to minstrels, and wisdom to men.



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