Friday, December 29, 2006

The Twelfth Viking

At the Battle of Poitiers in 732, the Frankish king Charles Martel defeated the Saracens and pushed the forces of Islam back into the Iberian Peninsula. It was not until 1492 that the Moors were finally thrown out of Europe, but in the meantime the Islamic virus was contained in Spain and Portugal, and thus kept out of the heart of Western Europe.

One of Charles Martel’s comrades-in-arms at Poitiers was a warrior of the North known as Ogier le Danois, later Holger Danske, or Holger the Dane. Although Holger was a historical figure, little is known of him, and most of the written material about him is drawn from legend.

Holger DanskeAccording to the chroniclers, Holger had previously done battle with the Franks over their incursions into Danish territory. But in 732 the menace of the Saracens forced him to set aside his differences with Charles Martel and journey southwards to fight side-by-side with the Frankish forces against the common enemy.

At the end of his days, Holger, like King Arthur, retired to a secluded keep to enter a twilight sleep from which he will awake in the hour of his country’s need. The location most frequently cited for Holger’s rest is Kronborg castle at Helsingør (or “Elsinore”, per Shakespeare).

Hans Christian Andersen has distilled the popular form of the ancient tale into one of his stories:

Men pragten i det hele er dog det gamle Kronborg og under det er det at Holger Danske sidder i den dybe mørke kælder hvor ingen kommer, han er klædt i jern og stål og støtter sit hoved på de stærke arme; hans lange skæg hænger ud over marmorbordet hvori det er vokset fast, han sover og drømmer, men i drømme ser han alt hvad der sker heroppe i Danmark. Hver juleaften kommer en Guds engel og siger ham at det er rigtigt, som han har drømt, og at han godt kan sove igen, for Danmark er endnu ikke i nogen ordentlig fare! men kommer det i en, ja, så vil den gamle Holger Danske rejse sig så bordet revner, når han trækker skægget til sig! så kommer han frem og slår så det høres i alle verdens lande.

This is in formal Danish, so I made a go of translating it. Forgive me, Kepiblanc, Yorkshireminer, Asger, and all the rest! I am a novice at the tongue of the Vikings:

Kronborg CastleBut the fairest sight of all is the old castle of Kronborg, and under it sits Holger Danske in the deep, dark cellar which no one enters; he is clad in iron and steel and rests his head on his stalwart arm; his long beard hangs down upon the marble table where it has become stuck fast; he sleeps and dreams, but in his dreams he sees everything that comes to pass in Denmark. Every Christmas Eve an angel of God comes to tell him that all he has dreamed is true, and that he may go to back to sleep again, for Denmark is not yet in any danger! but if it should ever come, then old Holger Danske will rouse himself, and the table will break apart as he pulls out his beard! Then he will come forth, and strike a blow that shall be heard throughout all the countries of the world.

Now, if even a trace of the blood of the Men of the North runs in your veins, or if you have lived long enough among them to have acquired some of their spirit, the hair on the back of your neck will rise when you read these words, and you will say, “Yes! This is the hero, the man who will defend us during the troubles that are surely coming.”
- - - - - - - - - -
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Holger Danske has put me in mind of my favorite English poet, Ted Hughes.

Hughes was a Yorkshireman, and the blood of the Danes runs thick in the veins of Yorkshire. Especially in the North Riding — the closer one gets to Whitby, the more natural blond hair in evidence, and the more obvious the Danish place names.

Ted Hughes wrote a number of poems that touched on the Men of the North, and I’ve collected some samples below. Warning to our Danish readers: this is modern poetic English! It may try your skills a bit, but your efforts will be rewarded. I made my way through the Holger story in Danish, so fair is fair; now it’s your turn.

First sample:

The Warriors of the North

Bringing their frozen swords, their salt-bleached eyes,
             their salt-bleached hair,
The snow’s stupefied anvils in rows,
Bringing their envy,
The slow ships feelered Southward, snails
             over the steep sheen of the water-globe.

Thawed at the red and black disgorging of abbeys,
The bountiful, cleft casks,
The fluttering bowels of the women of dead burghers,
And the elaborate, patient gold of the Gaels.

To no end
But this timely expenditure of themselves,
A cash-down, beforehand revenge, with extra,
For the gruelling relapse and prolongueur of their blood

Into the iron arteries of Calvin.

And another one:


Against the rubber tongues of cows and
             the hoeing hands of men
Thistles spike the summer air
And crackle open under a blue-black pressure.

Every one a revengeful burst
Of resurrection, a grasped fistful
Of splintered weapons and Icelandic frost thrust up
From the underground stain of a decayed Viking.

They are like pale hair and the gutturals of dialects.
Every one manages a plume of blood.
Then they grow grey, like men.
Mown down, it is a feud. Their sons appear,

Stiff with weapons, fighting back over the same ground.

The third section of Ted Hughes’ “Gog” evokes Holger the most strongly. This is a deep, dark, and difficult poem, and parts of it are not suitable for family reading. It deals with the lifelong and ultimately futile efforts of Everyman to escape from the softness and weakness of his mother and establish his own manhood without being sucked in and corrupted by the softness and weakness of his wife.

This is the opening stanza:

Gog (Part III)

Out through the dark archway of earth, under the ancient lintel
             overwritten with roots,
Out between the granite jambs, gallops the hooded
             horseman of iron.
Out of the wound-gash in the earth, the horseman mounts,
             shaking his plumes clear of dark soil.
Out of the blood-dark womb, gallops bowed
             the horseman of iron,
The blood-crossed Knight, the Holy Warrior, hooded with iron,
             the seraph of the bleak edge,
Gallops along the world’s ridge in moonlight.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

We all know about the Twelfth Imam, the super-bad Muslim guy at the bottom of the well in Persia. When Armageddon arrives, when Gog grapples with Magog and battle rages across the plain at Megiddo, the Twelfth Imam will awaken and lead the armies of Islam to their final victory, establishing the kingdom of Allah here on Earth.

Forget the Twelfth Imam.

We’ve got our own dude sitting on the bench. Call him the Twelfth Viking. He’s suited up, ready to join the contest as soon as he’s required.

The Men of the North form the core of the Counterjihad. They are already in action, clearing the back alleys of Anbar Province, riding point in Kabul, and forming up in self-organized groups to defend our borders with Mexico.

As I’ve said before, it’s not race that’s the issue here, it’s culture. The culture of the Danes, the Norsemen, the English, and the Celts. The culture of the hardy and self-reliant Men of the North, always ready to defend their ancient liberties with a ferocity that their enemies can scarcely imagine. The culture of productive enterprise and armed self-determination that has spread to all corners of the globe.

Holger Danske is the man who best represents us. He’ll be there in the hour of our greatest need.

The Twelfth Viking — I can see his eyelids fluttering even now…


bordergal said...

In that hour the great Battle of the field of Gondor was over; and not one living foe was left within the circuit of the Rammas. All were slain save those who fled to die, or to drown in the red foam of the River. Few ever came eastward to Morgul or Mordor; and to the land of the Haradrim came only a tale from far off: a rumour of the wrath and terror of Gondor.

Cindi said...

From your lips to God's ears, Baron.

Louis Spielman said...

In 1961, the American science fiction and fantasy author, Poul Anderson, published a novel about Holger Danske entitled Three Hearts and Three Lions.

Its a delightful evening's read and was one of the favorite books of my y

Mikael said...

Excellent translation of the Danish Baron! And a very good article. Made my heart swell.

Exile said...

Well done Baron. An impeccable translation.

Asger Trier Engberg said...

Very good translation Baron :-)

The resistance in Denmark is gathering wind and force, and guess who sits there in the corner watching over us?

Check it out on

Frank said...

Baron said:
"As I’ve said before, it’s not race that’s the issue here, it’s culture."

That may or may not be wholly true. I don't know. But its a sad state of affairs that we can't question it without attracting unwelcome this corner of the north anyway.

Bastiat said...

If Holger awakes, will Arthur, Barbarossa, and Bran the Blessed join him?

The Holger / Martel story would make a ripping good movie. Minor problem with the whole un-PC vanquishing of the Muslims, though. Well, I can dream can't I?

Baron, can you recommend any good books about Martel ?

Baron Bodissey said...

Bastiat --

I don't know Martel the way I know Jan III Sobieski. But here are links to a couple of blogs that may give you good advice:

What Would Charles Martel Do?
Charles Martel

Baron Bodissey said...

Mr. C --

I haven't read that book yet, but I'm familiar with the Goths. They were a Germanic tribe who spoke a dialect separate from Common Germanic, the ancestor of English, Dutch, the Scandinavian languages, and German.

All the Germanic-speaking tribes (and the Celts) originated in that same region you describe.

The Scythians are identified by their archeological remains (no writing), so their actual language group is only an assumption based on the general evidence.

I'm perplexed by the "originated in Scandinavia" part. I've never heard of that one before. I thought they came from the east to settle Scandinavia.

Gothenburg is "Goth Town", incidentally.

Yorkshireminer said...

Dear Baron,
an excelent translation, we will make a Viking out of you yet, but then I don't thing that really matters a Virginian and American Patriot is good enough. In many ways your are better equipted to to face what is going to happen. Your faith. I have read a little of the history of your Civil War and what still astounds me was how much the revivalist movement in the ranks of the Army of the Confederacy grew and steeled the will to resist. The army of the Confederacy was always religious but its conviction and faith seem to grow during Grants last campaign from the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbour to the siege of Petersburg. But then Bishop Polk was also a Southern General. I have to admit Baron as a Yorkshire man I never read Ted Hughes. but I did read his wifes poetry. I am certainly going to remedy that in the next few months, after having read your short extracts, not having had a formal education I have always beat my own path through the schrubery of British and european Culture, A pick and mix exercise that still serves me well now. I think you are right. I think you are right that there is some basic set of values that permeats all the countries of Northern Europe. I certainly feel more affinity with the Scots than I do with londoners or the French and as for the Scandinavian countries. Denmark is certainly my second home. I do know if it has anything to do with a common ancestory but I certainly feel it.

1389 said...

Reminds me of Kraljevic Marko:

Marko, the King's Son (Hero of the Serbs)

Who is to say that the torch has not been passed to us?

JBroneske said...

Great site, love the poetry and the story of Holger Danske. I disagree with you on one important point...that "it is not about race, but about culture". Race begets cannot plug and play. Inserting an African or an Arab into Danish "culture" does not make him a Dane and never will.

Keep up the good work!

OBloodyHell said...

> In 1961, the American science fiction and fantasy author, Poul Anderson, published a novel about Holger Danske entitled Three Hearts and Three Lions.

Wow, I'd completely forgotten about that book. I first read it twenty-odd years ago, and I do recall it as one of my favorites from Poul Anderson. I do highly recommend both that and the (wholly unrelated) The Man Who Counts short story 'The Three Cornered Wheel' for anyone interested in Poul Anderson. PA's "future history" involving the Polesotechnic League are all entertaining reads.

Unknown said...

"According to the chroniclers, Holger had previously done battle with the Franks over their incursions into Danish territory. But in 732 the menace of the Saracens forced him to set aside his differences with Charles Martel and journey southwards to fight side-by-side with the Frankish forces against the common enemy."

I think the point is rather that he was not forced to do this, but chose to do so by his own free will. He could easily have stayed at home by the fire, letting the Franks do the dirty work while getting welcomely weakened in the process. After all, even if they couldn't have achieved victory without him, it would have been a while until the Muslims would've reached Denmark. But apparently, he came down all the way from Denmark to give his foes a hand in this matter. Anyway, I guess that may be just what you wanted to imply by saying he was forced. ;)

Unknown said...

"...and some say he dwells in timeless Avalon til France the Fair is in danger, and some say he sleeps beneath Kronborg Castle til the hour of Denmark's need, but to all, he is the Defender" - Poul Anderson, "Three Hearts and Three Lions"

Come back soon, Holger. We need you.

E.D. Kain said...

I am a good mix of Scottish, Swedish, and Norwegian and the stories of the Vikings always stirred my blood. Thanks for this, it is a tremendous post!

Simon Ranger said...

"The Men of the North form the core of the Counterjihad. They are already in action, clearing the back alleys of Anbar Province,...."

Excellent article on Holger Danske. I had never heard of this Norse legendary hero but I am so glad I know now. And in reference to the above quote from your blog, one of those "Men of the North" is my eldest son, who even now as I write is a U.S. Marine posted in Anbar Province, doing his part in "clearing the back alleys: of that province. And just as an aside: my son exhibits his/our family's northern European ancestry. He is 6'4", blond haired; blue eyed and every bit a well conditioned Marine "Devil Dog." The Viking blood lives on in my part of America!

setnaffa said...

I'm only 25% Danish and 25% Swedish; but I don't plan to submit to anything that doesn't recognize Christ as our One Lord...

May it be that the current Muslims have a real awakening and develop a saving faith in the only one who can save them from their sins...

Castor said...

Funny how much the "real" vikings loved freedom in April 1940: Denmark surrendered to Germany after 11 (eleven) shots had been fired!

Zenster said...

Max: Funny how much the "real" vikings loved freedom in April 1940: Denmark surrendered to Germany after 11 (eleven) shots had been fired!

How precious! An itinerant Armchair General drops by to piss in the punchbowl. Let's see if he can explain how tiny Denmark had even the ghost of a chance to survive Germany's adjacent war machine much less somehow manage to go on and save the life of nearly every single Jew living within its borders.

After that, I'm sure Max will be happy to regale us with a concise and fact-based refutation of Winston Churchill's assertion that Denmark's World War II resistance movement was a "model for all nations large or small".

Finally, here's hoping he will also cough up a resonable explanation for why, unlike any other European nation, Denmark was allowed to fly its own flag during the entire war.

Enquiring minds want to know!

Jimmy Crackcorn said...


That is much like the same criticism leveled at Poland which lasted about 3 weeks. Polish warriors in medieval times were considered some of the most brave and fearless of warriors. There were accounts, although I have now heard that these stories were probably made up that the Polish cavalry charged Panzer tanks.

But, no matter how brave you are, if you are outmatched by modern technology, you will most definitely lose unless some miracle happens.

There is no shame on Denmark in my mind.

Zenster said...

F W Cybulski: Polish warriors in medieval times were considered some of the most brave and fearless of warriors.

I should think that Europe has much to thank Poland for, even if its WWII record was not altogether sterling. After all, Sobieski and his Polish cohort repulsed the Muslim invaders at Vienna in 1683, thereby avoiding a rather nasty turn of events for the Continent as a whole.

More over, it is extremely gratifying to see Polish immigrants to other European countries proving themselves to be highly motivated and productive workers, quite unlike some Muslim colonists we are all too familiar with.

Henning said...

According to the Danish Wikipedia:
(my quick translation, supposedly from a legend, therefore written centuries after he existed)
"… The Turks shall come, and all of Denmark or the entire Christianity is to perish, the enemies shall water their horses i Viborg Lake; Then shall Holger Danske stand up […]win victory; but the blood is flowing so high it reaches the knees, and there are no more Danes left than they can sit around a table; but then there will be peace for many years."

So as to the person commenting on not to submit to anything that doesn't "recognize Christ as our One Lord"… Perhaps he should just have considered the white on red cross behind Holger on the picture, is a Christian symbol, although the flag was not known before 1219 AD (legend: where it fell from the skies, as a sign from God, when Danish crusaders were surrounded in Estonia and yet won).

Holger is described here as living in 732 AD, but this was the time of the Christianization of the region. As a half-viking, you should recognize that your ancestors were christianized some point in history, and those who lived before are still family.

Holger Danske 732
First appearance of Danish (any national flag) flag 1219
The statue depicted in the picture is from 1907.
So the cross or flag behind Holger on the picture is constructed, as to link Denmark to Holger Danske (the Dane), but the flag is a symbol for Christianity as well.

Dave Baeckelandt said...

Great post and great blog. Great call to action!

Adrijaco said...

Read also "Deutschland" ein Wintermärchen. Heinrich Heine.
Caput 14,15 & 16.

Rotbart unserem heimlichen Kaiser
Friedrich I "Barbarossa" 1122-1190
He lives in the mountain Kyffhäuser with his men.....

Ein Marstall ist der erste Saal,
Und dorten kann man sehen
Viel tausend Pferde, blankgeschirrt,
Die an den Krippen stehen.

Sie sind gesattelt und gezäumt,
Jedoch von diesen Rossen
Kein einziges wiehert, kein einziges stampft,
Sind still, wie aus Eisen gegossen.

Im zweiten Saale, auf der Streu,
Sieht man Soldaten liegen,
Viel tausend Soldaten, bärtiges Volk,
Mit kriegerisch trotzigen Zügen.

Sie sind gerüstet von Kopf bis Fuss
Doch alle diese Braven,
Sie rühren sich nicht, bewegen sich nicht,
Sie liegen fest und schlafen.

Hochaufgestapelt im dritten Saal
Sind Schwerter, Streitäxte, Speere,
Harnische, Helme, von Silber und Stahl,
Altfränkische Feuergewehre.

Sehr wenig Kanonen, jedoch genug
Um eine Trophäe zu bilden.
Hoch ragt daraus eine Fahne hervor,
Die Farbe ist schwarz-rot-gülden.

Der Kaiser bewohnt den vierten Saal
Schon seit Jahrhunderten sitzt er
Auf steinernem Stuhl, am steinernen Tisch,
Das Haupt auf den Armen stützt er.

And so on. Wonderful reading.
I hope that for you who don't read German a good translation exists.

Aad M.

Atte Houtsma said...

We in Frisia have a king called Redbard he fought the christians and the Franks, he is protecting Frisia lake Holger the Dane protects Denmark. In this age he would fight the islam he is against monitistish religons who whant to discripe what people must think. He is starting to awake aswell to defend the Frisian people.

Unknown said...

Love an african striving for the same virtue of freedom and true character I hope I can say well done and you need more publicity

Daniel said...

Steven M. Collins affirms Western Europeans are so called lost tribes of Israel. Therefore we are relatives to the Jews:

Anonymous said...

Awesome post, my friend. I just stumbled across your blog today, and I am proud to join the counter-jihad (would calling it a "crusade" be taking it too far?)

I am an American who is currently serving in Afghanistan (with a previous deployment to Iraq), so I have gained a unique perspective of our supposed muslim "allies" here. The oligarchs who make multiculturalism a priority in the American military continue to preach that islam is a religion of peace to American soldiers, but more and more of us are seeing the truth as we work with these people. More than once we have had arms raised against us by our supposed Afghan muslim "allies" because we accidentally offended them or their religion in some way.

While the West is built on solid Judeo-Christian principles of hard work, freedom, and God-given natural rights (though we are by no means perfect), these people are lazy, quick to abuse power, corrupt, greedy, and will even kill their own children and claim that Americans did it if it means they get reparations money from us (I have witnessed that happen twice already).

Excellent work. Count me as a regular reader!

Unknown said...

As a proud American who has family that originated from the Basque highlands region of Spain, (never conquered by Muslim Moors as well as Romans or Visigoths) one of our family crests has a hand of a woman holding the decapitaed head of a Moor general who tried to conquer a highland valley containing six towns. The six towns joined together to defeat the Moor army and all other Moor incursions to keep its independence. I support all who defend Western Civilization against the Muslim/Sharia/political correctness cancer that has spread trying erase centuries of western "Age of Enlightenment" growing pains. An ocean of blood has been spilled to get us where we are today and it looks like we'll have to fight and spill some more blood to keep our liberties and freedoms. Here's to Holger Danske (beer in hand) Twelfth Viking's fury from the north.
Shawn from California

Alainet said...

- Why is he with one eye?
- why is it that in Islamic book the Quran of 1400 years back, they are warned from man coming close to the end of time, called in their book as i remember "Al Maseeh Al Dajal", with a one eye, that will call that he is the Saviour of people?
why is it that fighting a religions of people of the Jewish/Christianity/Islam that calls for a one god Idea, is considered a thread?
- why is it that the one god Idea has to be dissolved? why is it wrong?
-Is it a war against Islam or is it a war on all religions that calls of one creator?!

all these questions come up when i sow the picture, as i read many books of religions, and i am confused now...

Dian said...

One of the most important resistance groups in Denmark under the Nazi occupation was called "Holger Danske". FYI.

Anonymous said...

Why are you so afraid to acknowledge race? Why do you constantly say that it's about culture? Would you be happy with a nation of Arabs who knew the Eddas and spoke your language? That's absurd.

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned earlier little about Polish history so I wil give you some facts
- For hundreds of years Poland was a guardian of eastern borders of Europe averyday day fighting Turks and Tatars, Poland was called "przedmurze chrześcijaństwa" - Fortifications of Christianity
- We created a volunteer common defense to protect our country and attack the enemy lands. For example colonel Pretewicz 1500-1563 used to organize prevention attacks on Ottoman grounds near the Black Sea.
- Polish king Jan III sobieski was the hero of the famous siege of Vienna

But that and much more is in the late past. Lets move to WW II

- Defending of Danzig Post Office 1 september 1939, 55 Polish postman fought against 200 german solidiers - they stand for over 15 hours
- Siege of Westerplatte, 1-7 september 1939, 200 Polish infantryman agaisnt 4000 germans
- Battle near Wizna river, 7-10 september 1939, 360 Polish infantry soldiers commanded by captain Raginis stand against 4200 german infantryman, 350 tanks and Luftwaffe commanded personally by famous Hainz Guderian the father of blitzkrieg... Swedish metal band Sabaton made a song about it called "40:1"
- Poland never used cavalery against tanks it's nazi propaganda
- Polish pilots served in RAF during the Battle of England, and the rest of the war - all that time under Polish flag
- Warsaw Getto Uprising in 1943
- Warsaw Uprising in 1944
Polish forces were also in Tobruk, Monte Casino,Arnhem and many other battles of WW II always first to fight and last to surrender

Kilauea Poetry said...

I went to sleep (a fitful one)thinking about W. Zipper's post on "..Al-Queda Defense Attorney set to become third highest ranking official in Dept. of Justice!!
Well this was really encouraging after my cup of coffee this morning! Thanks!!

Kilauea Poetry said...

Asger left a link but had it to do with travel? Anyway, I'd like to hear more about the resistance- thanks