Sunday, 30 September 2012


In Poul Anderson's Hrolf Kraki's Saga (New York, 1973), we see not only the adventures of war but also the benefits of peace, won by warfare:

years of happiness;
the welfare and safety of folk;
righteous laws and judgments;
good harvets;
burgeoning markets;
growth of towns;
sowing of new fields;
man dwelling at peace with his neighbor;
troopers attending the king but also looking after their own ships and farms;
Bjarki taking fine gifts to his parents in the Uplands;
Svipdag seeking furs in Finland;
Hjalti sailing to England;
warriors trading up Russian rivers, along the Rhine and among the Franks;
every night a feast in the king's hall;
boards buckling under meat;
horns always filled;
skalds chanting;
wanderers yarning;
Hrolf giving gifts;
weapon drill, care of steel, hunting, fishing, fowling, wrestling, horse and boat races, stallion fights, draughts, gambling, children.
The narrator tells us that in all this "...are no tales to tell - only, afterward, memories." (p. 235) Again, a comment made in a fantasy novel rings true in reality.

"There is nothing to tell about those seven years of peace, save that Denmark has never forgotten them." (p. 236)

I suggest that the summary of those years has told us a great deal!

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

And we again live in troubled times. A Western civlization which has lost both self confidence and is under attack by an external foe: jihadist Islam. Will we again find leaders like King Hrolf? I hope so!