Horizons and herring made us Vikings
No estuary beyond our sixteen oars and shallow-drafts.
Silver arm-rings we wore, bound by allegiance,
Chained thralls shared our graves
Ninety miles a day in a fair wind
Sea-sick abaft oak prows and reeling sails.
Monks in towers prayed for stormy seas but
Stiff with salt it was nuns not gold we wanted
After conquest we traded and wed, proud to convert,
Bequeathing towns; Dublin, Waterford, Cork.
More than pirates we were despite what the Annalists say.
My genes berth in your veins like longships