Adventure was always in their hearts,
those Viking men of old,
sailing into unknown parts,
in their search for gold.
Odin and Thor, their gods so feared,
with hammer and sword in hand,
were with them as each coast they neared,
to raid that trembling land.
From Denmark’s island of Odanse,
my ancestors, they set sail,
dragons heads, their fearful glance,
to make the bravest pale.
To Rogueland Fjord in Norway,
to join a Viking fleet,
and reaching England, that very next day,
for pillage and treasure sweet.
They then went North around Scotland,
and made Tiree their base.
But the clans they were, so close at hand,
in the glen, for them to face.
The Vikings suffered dreadfully,
many killed and captured men.
Beached longships lost so painfully,
only forty sailed again.
Of my family boats, only one escaped,
now only thirty Vikings strong.
Of those alive but captured,
their treatment was hard and long.
But in time, became the men at arms,
for the Scottish Laird,
freed at last, and starting farms,
and in that land, they fared.
My own branch, it sailed on,
settling in the Irish South,
helping Dublin Town to grow,
close by the Liffey’s mouth.
Generations marrying Celtic maids,
the two branches slowly grew,
no longer thoughts of Viking raids,
now Irish or Scottish true.
It was the potato famine,
when so many from Ireland fled,
and my grandfather, to England came,
so I’m an Englishman instead.
But in my genes, I love the sea,
from the Irish, poetry too.
What a strange mixture for all to see,
but that is probably true of you.