Hail to the Dead

Hail to the Dead who walk under my feet

To fungus and plant, animal and insect

Hail to the Dead who walk with me

To Elements and Gods, Disir and Väter

Hail to the Dead who walk over my head

To stars and skies, Þjazi’s Eyes watching

Hail to the Dead who gird the Worlds

To Ymir’s corpse, and Helheim’s hosts

Hail to the Dead all around

From highest ground to deepest grave

From burial mound and mountain high

From ash and bone, blood and soul

Hail to the Holy Dead


Death’s Defender waits

She watches, white eyed, white-haired

Over the Dead’s grim Gate


Her spear glistens in the snow

Arms arrayed in black

and sword hangs on Her hip


None but the invited pass

Beyond Gjallarbu’s gaze

Beneath the wary watcher




She stands dressed in black, spear in hand and sword on hip

Her armor silent as Her gaze pours from Heilheim’s Gate

Death’s sentinel stands tall


The weary souls, the old, those who died in life’s embrace

The scientist and swordsmith, the veteran, the peaceful and the passionate

All walk the long and winding road to Gjallarbru


The addict and the shiverer, the starved and sold and stricken

Walk together in Death’s invitation

She watches their steps upon the well-trod road


The Dead pass by with Her assent

Welcomed home into the Hall

No fear, but welcome for every single soul


She shuts the Gate behind Them

Her sacred duty never done

For Hel and the Mighty Dead