Heimdall (a poem)
by Augusta Learned
Published in St. Nicholas Magazine

Painting by Constantine Hansen, 1861



In the Elder Edda I read it
That volume of wonder lore
How Heimdall a god of credit
Was watchman at Heaven's door.

The sight of his eye was keenest
Of all in Asgard's towers
For he saw when earth was greenest
Pale Autumn amid the flowers.

His ear was the best at hearing
Of all above or below
When the Spring time's step was nearing
He heard the grasses grow.

He heard the talk of the fishes
Deep down in the silent sea
And even the unbreathed wishes
Of chick in its shell heard he.

He heard the feathers growing
And wool on the old sheep's back
And even the light cloud snowing
Far off on the sunbeam's track.

He knew what birds are thinking
That brood o'er the crowded nest
Ere their fledgeling's eyes are blinking
And the song is warm in the breast.

And why were his senses keener
Than all in that magic clime
Than Odin and Thor and Hænir
And Baldur of Asenheim

I think it is only guessing
Heimdall was loving as wise
And Nature who bent in blessing
Anointed his ears and eyes. 

And should we but love undoubting
Perchance ah who can tell
We might hear the corn blade sprouting
And the tiny leaf bud swell.