My Household member, Jensen, was up to receive his AOA. His persona is a Finnish Viking from the 9th century. I was asked to create words for him. I've been aware of the Lay of Igor for a little while, and was delighted to be able to use it as the source material for Jensen. The words are evocative and beautiful.
Might it not behove us, brethren,
to commence in ancient strains
the lay of Johannes Mikken, known as Jensen,
son of Lochleven?
If you were to see the glory of a Northern warrior,
like a nightingale would you soar over the tree of wisdom,
flying in your mind up under the clouds and
crying at the wonder of such a vision.
The bards of the court of the East
would sing Johannes’ song thus:
The day is kindled by the dawn,
A mist has covered the plain;
the trill of the nightingale has fallen asleep,
the chatter of ravens has awakened.
The sons of the North have barred the broad plains
with their mighty shields,
seeking honor for themselves
and glory for their Queen.
Jensen, whose his mind is strong in courage,
whose heart is quick with valour and, thus
imbued with martial spirit, is on this day Awarded Arms.
Done this day [INSERT DAY] at the Black Rose Ball in the Barony Bridge, AS 51.
Might it not behove us, brethren, to commence in ancient strains the stern lay of Igor's campaign, Igor, son of Sviatoslav?
Then let this begin according to the events of our time and not according to the cunning of Boyan. For he, Boyan the Seer, when composing a song to someone, soared in his thoughts over the tree (of wisdom), ran as agrey wolf over the land, flew below the clouds as a blue-grey eagle.
When he recalled the feuds of former times he would let loose ten falcons upon a flock of swans. And the first swan overtaken was the first to sing a song to old Iaroslav, to brave Mstislav, who slew Rededia before the Kasog regiments, and to handsome Roman, son of Sviatoslav.
Boyan, however, did not let loose ten falcons upon the flock of swans. But rather he lay his wise fingers upon the living strings and they sounded lauds to the princes. Let us begin this narration, brethren, from the old times of Vladimir to this present time of lgor, who strengthened his mind with courage, who quickened his heart with valour and, thus imbued with martial spirit, led his valiant regiments against the Kuman land in defence of the Russian land
II. PRINCE IGOR PREPARES HIS CAMPAIGN.
lgor looked up at the bright sun, and saw that all his warriors became enveloped in darkness. And Igor spoke to his army:
"Brethren and warriors! it is better to be killed in battle, than to become a captive. Let us mount our swift steeds, brethren! Let us view the blue river Don."
And the prince's mind was seized by ambition. And the desire to drink from the great river Don concealed the evil omens from him. And he spoke:
"I want to break a lance at the Kuman frontier. I want, oh, my Russians, either to drink with you Don (water) from my helmet, or to leave my head there.
Oh, Boyan, the nightingale of yore! If you were to sing the glory of the (Russian) campaign, like a nightingale would you soar over the tree (of wisdom), soaring in your mind up under the clouds and singing the glory of both these ages. You would race along the trail of Trojan, over the prairies and the mountains. And the god Veles' grandson would sing Igor's song (thus),
"It is not a storm that has driven the falcons over the wide prairies. It is a flock of jackdaws racing toward the great river Don."
Or you, Boyan the Seer, grandson of god Veles, would sing:
"Steeds neigh beyond the river Sula. Glory resounds in the city of Kiev. Trumpets blare in the city of Novgorod. Banners fly over the city of Putivl."
The Lay of Igor’s Campaign translations referenced: