Armour worn by the Danish troops at the massacre of Visby, Gotland, in 1361
That day the sky was as if newly born.
We fortified ourselves with an old hymn,
I one of the few from Eke parish
in the peasant army scraped together
in the hope of casting the Danes out into the sea.
But many were disabled, others ill.
with scythes and fear as weapons
against King Valdemar’s iron-clad mercenaries.
The citizens up on Visby walls
let themselves be rid of us.
Before the mercenary’s raised axe
– the sun’s glint told me it was an axe –
I was an exhausted ox.
My wife sought my body in vain.