A Minyan’s Lament

Author’s Note: This might require at least a superficial understanding of Greek and Germanic mythology to fully appreciate.

Hills rolling down to the turquoise sea,
Their slopes mantled green with cypress and cedar.
Stags and goats bounding in the berry bushes,
Fish shimmering in the streams and shores.
Sunlit summers and breezy winters,
But only the highest peaks knew icy cold.
This land we of Minyas called our home.

The trees gave us timber for our longhouses
And for the boats from which we fished.
The wildlife gave us meat for our pots,
And hides for clothes to cover our pale skins.
The hills gave us stone for our shrines,
And copper ore for our own defense.
For all this we of Minyas thanked our Aesir.

We thanked Wodan the Warrior,
He of one eye and two ravens.
We thanked Donar the Thunderer,
He of the hammer and two goats.
We even thanked Loki the Cunning,
He of the great wolf and greater serpent.
Yet not even our faith could save we of Minyas.

From the craggy wastes of the East came the hordes,
Trampling forest and plain under their sandals and chariots.
They bore tawny faces and hair black like pitch,
But they hid these under blazing suits of bronze.
They called themselves Hellenes and swore by Olympus,
Which they claimed rose from our country.
They told we of Minyas that we stood in their way.

At first we turned to the south searching for allies,
For only they had the numbers to crush the Hellenes.
We rowed across the sea to the black kingdom of Kemet,
Land of shining tombs and columned temples.
We knelt before the Pharaoh and tugged at his kilt,
Yet he merely wrote us off as unwashed barbarians.
We of Minyas had to face our destruction alone.

We struck the Hellenes with more strength than bears,
And we roared from our hearts with more valor than lions.
Yet our axes shattered on their shields and breastplates.
Not even our arrows could puncture their protection.
The Hellenes drenched their spears red with our blood.
They slaughtered women and children as they did our warriors.
And then we our Minyas saw our longhouses bloom into flames.

Over time the Hellenes ripped our hills asunder,
Plundering our stone for their acropolises.
They cut down our forests and butchered all our game.
They swamped our waters with their wastes.
Our souls may rest in the warmth of Wodan’s hall,
But no heavenly feast can soothe our loss.
All we of Minyas can do is mourn our former home.


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