Olaf Åsteson

Olaf Åsteson

Come listen to me and hear my song,
     The song of a wondrous youth,
I’ll sing of Olaf Åsteson
Who slept many days, ’tis the truth.
Yes, it was Olaf Åsteson
Who lay so long a-sleeping.*

The Dream Song of Olaf Åsteson, a fifth-century Norwegian saga of which only fragments exist today, describes the spiritual experiences of Olaf Åsteson, who falls asleep on Christmas Eve and dreams until the feast of the Epiphany on January 6th. This saga has fascinated me since I discovered it years ago, and I always read it this time of year. There’s something about stepping into something so ancient that girds me for the New Year.

*Translation by Eleanor C. Merry

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