First Hroth Day

When Hrothgar was a boy of six
His father came and said,
“A new tradition would be this,
Now that the year’s nigh dead.

“For all that you have learned so well
I’ll place a present in the dell,
And when tomorrow morning’s lit
I’ll let you go in search if it.
And if you find it ere comes night
‘Twill be your own for your delight.”

Old Hroth, he had a long white beard,
AS deer-skin jacket burnished red,
And in the night he disappeared
When everyone had gone to bed.

Young Hrothgar heard faint sleigh-bells jing
And far-off heard his father sing,
“I’ve got a gift no boy can find
Unless he’s got a linking mind.”

At dawning Hrothgar rushed the door;
His mother’s face was shining bright.
She and Hroth sat drinking tea
While Hrothgar flew from sight.

The land was white, the snow not deep,
Small birds in branches sang their peep;
No wolves or bears were prowling round
And Hrothgar’s boots made not a sound.

He searched the dell most careful, slow,
And saw some footprints in the snow.
He followed them each where they went,
But never found a present meant.

He stopped and stood by one great oak,
Where frantic squirrels did scatter
And wondered why they did not stop.
“Oh, what could be the matter?”

A sudden flash lit up his brow
And up he climbed upon a bow,
And there, right in the squirrels’ hole,
He saw a shining fishing pole!

‘Twas oiled, smooth, some six feet long;
He pulled it out and leaped.
Then off he ran, his eyes a-gleam,
And spent all day beside a stream.

At sunset he went slushing home,
With three big fish a-dangling.
He swung the door and entered proud,
Hugged ma and pa, then said aloud,

“This new tradition is a lift,
And next year I will give a gift!”
Then papa Hroth laughed, “Ho, Ho, Ho!
If says my son, it will be so!”

And so this day goes on and on,
With linking love at winter’s dawn,
And every year it waxes great
For those who live their lives elate!

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