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The Ballad of the Three Kings

This song is by Leslie Fish.

Three Kings rode out on the road to Hell
Ravens flew on the gale
The night wind rang like an iron bell
And hissed with sleet and hail
Three Kings rode out on the road to Hell
And onto Death's highway;
The King of the Britons, the King of the Huns
And the King of Norroway

The King of the Britons was helmed with gold
And rode a stallion white:
"Though all men go when they are cold
Yet I go not in fright
A goodly king who loved his folk
And guarded them with the rod
-- And stake, and gallows -- against themselves
Will surely go to God!"

The King of the Huns was helmed with steel
And rode a stallion red:
"Proud must my father's spirit feel
Of me, who crowned my head
Halfway across a world in pain
That I did mightily win:
Surely I go to my fathers' side
And not to the evil Djinn."

The King of Norway was crowned with wings
And rode a stallion grey;
"High and lustily my heart sings
For Odhinn guests me today
I died in bed, but first I hung
Full many a squealing thrall
On Odhinn's tree, with rune on tongue:
I go now to Odhinn's hall!"

Three Kings rode out on the road to hell
And a bloody-breasted hound
Bayed where the darkening waters fell
Icy beneath the ground
Three Kings a final judgment won
From the High Gods' lips that day:
The Devil took the Briton, the Djinni took the Hun
And Hel took Norroway


Lyrics by:

Poul Anderson / Gordon R. Dickson

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