Nature groaned like Paul foretold,
Winter was everlasting.
Dead men drunkenly stumbled in the dark,
And in Hesse, insignificant times were passing.
Or so it seemed in ancient Germany,
With broken and splintered tribes,
But in the coldest, bleakest winter,
Hope began to thrive.
Boniface, a Man of God,
Had his heart pricked by the God of Love.
He came to proclaim to his Germanic brothers
That Salvation came from Above.
But one thing stood in the way of Boniface
And his Missionary Brothers,
As long as the Thunder Oak stood in Hesse,
They would never trust in something so ‘Other.’
“Tree of Death
Tree of Life
Give to Thor
He’ll win your fight”
That is what the Gothi’s said all those years ago.
Death Death Death
Fear for your soul!”
Was Boniface’s counter as he read from his scrolls.
Yet none would hear the sacred cry
From The Baptist of the Germans.
They served their Thor and Odin well,
And only wanted to be heathens.
Then Boniface approached the Thunder Oak
And he Challenged Thor’s strength and might.
Boniface: “Nothing but death will come from this tree-
Until it falls this night!
I hereby defy the god of thunder!
May Thor strike me down!
Or else I fell his thunder oak!”
Then the world shook with the sound,
Of the axe-head wielded by Boniface’s hands,
Striking deeply into the trunk-
Of that mighty and ancient symbol of their god
The seemingly weakest of axe-blows sunk.
Boniface: “Choose now to serve The Lord of Heaven!
The Christ Child comes to you!
Bow down and worship his almighty glory!
All of you, right now! Do!”
The People began to gather around
And the Chieftains and Gothi’s protested.
But then they began to confer for a moment-
About who would be most likely bested.
“Surely Thor will strike him down!”
Many began to think,
And the thought of seeing such a mighty sight,
Began to settle and sink.
The head gothi stood and declared to Boniface:
Gothi: “This must be some sort of joke!
But if you want to commit suicide,
Please continue chopping the Thunder Oak!
Thor will rend the heavens open,
And strike you with his bolt!
Then all of Hesse will know
You were nothing but a dolt.
Your God is fairy tales and myth!
And nothing more than that!”
Just then the Thunder oak buckled,
And began to crack.
Chop went the axe for the lives sacrificed
Chop went the axe for every lie told
Chop went the axe proclaiming the gothi regime dead.
Chop went the axe as witness against their sins bold.
Chop went the axe against the sorcerers-
Who kept the land in fear.
Chop went the axe and the whole land shuddered.
The new spring was finally here.
No eye or ear could believe, but their unbelief melted inside
The Thunder Oak fell as Jehovah’s wind blew.
The Long Winter had finally died.
Boniface: “You all come from a broken representative head.
This tree is a symbol of that.
But forgiveness is something God offers you freely.
You will not die from lack.”
Boniface chopped through the rubble at the base of the tree,
And a small oak sapling stood there erect.
Boniface: “Let this small tree be a symbol
Of your new head who is perfect.
Though do not leave it outside in the cold.
Take it, and let it’s light shine-
Inside your homes every year on this day.
Let your hearts toward his love entwine-
Your hearts together and toward him,
And instead of sacrificing men,
Give gifts to one another out of love.
It will teach you then-
Of the never-ending love God has for us.
In winter or in spring,
And that he will one day come again.
And to him, let us sing!”
And so, though the Hessians created gods, for reasons they didn’t know,
The True God found them once again, and washed their sins white as snow.
He melted their hearts of stone and ice,
And grafted their branch back into the tree of life.