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Flames bursting thro' the central point, illume
The difmal cavern; while from realms pro-
found

Spirits unbleft arise, and wheel around

In myftic dance. There now in orgies dire,

'Gainft Britain's prince

to wreak their ruthless

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At which, if acted in day's facred light,

The fun, with horror ftruck, had backward

fled;

Or veil'd in dark'ning clouds his blazing head.

Still from the Daemons, by their potent

fpell

Controll'd, dark words of doubtful import fell,
Unpleafing to their ears: in wild despair

They beat their breafts, and rend their fnaky
hair;

Draw from their mangled fides the gufhing blood,
And sprinkle o'er the flame the purple flood;
And whilft they brave the power who rules the

skies,

Invoke their kindred fiends with fiercer cries.

Earth shakes

more black the circling vapour flows,

And the red flame with keener radiance glows.

"

Sleeps vengeance then, ye fons of baleful night,

Exclaims fierce Urda, by the lurid light

Dimly defcried; Oh fhame, oh dire difgrace!
Shall we be baffled by man's puny race?

Say

Say, have I weav'd in fate's myfterious loom
The web of Hengifts life, and ftamp'd his
doom

In vain? No, yet again our knight renown'd
Shall rife, fhall triumph, and his foes confound.
Spirits of night! reception due prépare:

Take him, my fifters, to your guardian care.
His former ftrength renew; and thro' his foul
Bid the fwoll'n tides of rage and vengeance roll.
Whate'er the impulfe of his mind infpires,
Regard, nor counteract his wild defires,

But, whilft his breaft with high-wrought fury.
glows,

Hurl him, like heaven's red bolt, to blaft our
foes.

I breathe the scent of carnage! death pursues
His courfe, and royal blood his fteel embrues!
Visions of keen delight! why interpofe

These hated clouds, and on the prospect close?
Sifters, rejoice! behold, enough is known
Fate aids our will deftruction is our own!"
Receive your charge." - This faid, fhe (wift
enfhrouds

92

Her form of terror mid encircling clouds,

And rufhing forward on the howling blaft,
The groaning foreft trembled as fhe past.

Stretch'd on his couch the Saxon monarch
lies;

The fhades of darkness swim before his eyes.
His feeble pulfe, his quick, disorder'd breath,
Appear the omens of approaching death.
But ah! not yet muft Hengift fall!

er

the pow

Of magic charms prolongs life's tranfient hour.
Again with vital heat his bofom glows,
And thro' his veins the genial current flows.

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Awaking from his death like fwoon, his

eyes

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He wildly cafts around him; whilft arife
Far different fcenes before his wond'ring view,
From thofe the Mule fo late in terror drew.
The hags abhorr'd, and all the forms of dread,
The livid flames, and dusky imoke was filed.
The difmal cave a lovelier form affum'd;
A ftately hall with pendant lamps illum'd.
From every fide reflected luftre fhines,
That mocks the fplendor of Golconda's mines.
The fapphire's blue, and topaz' golden gleams,
The ruby's glow, the cryftal's liquid beams,
Mix'd with the diamond's varied rays, unite
In glittering wreaths to captivate the fight,

A marble pillar huge, of fnow-white hue,
The centre graced, and o'er the ceiling threw
Its branches wide: the pictur'd forms between,
Of vanquifh'd chiefs, and conqu'ring knights were
feen;

And by them stood fair maids, their valour's pri

ze,

With plaufive fmiles, and love-illumin'd eyes.

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Of gentle youths, attending fpirits stand.
With notes harmonious now they footh his ear;
And now his foul with air-form'd vifions cheer.

But tho', whate'er could give to trouble
ease,

Whate'er the wifh could form, or fancy please,
Was there; no joy can gloomy Hengift find;
His late difgrace weighs heavy on his mind.

Not

Nor vifionary scenes, nor lofty ftrain,

Nor fplendid banquet, nor obfequious train,
Can pleasure yield; but as his might returns,
His foul with doubled indignation burns:

And the bright forms of hero's, conqueft-crown'd,
Whom captiv'd kings, and lovely maids fur-
round,

As will'd the fraudful fifters, in his heart
Implant more deeply envy's venom'd dart.

Immortal Goddeffes,*) whofe guardian pow

er,

In wrath he cries, o'er - watch'd my natal hour,
Infpir'd my foul, my arm with vigour ftrung,
When echoing fields with fhouts difcordant
rung,

And havock reign'd, is this your guardian aid?
The fairest kingdom, and the brightest maid
Does Hengift thus obtain? what boots the

mail

Impaffive, if in arins and love I fail?

Thro' you, on Ligon's Isle the proffer'd fight

I fhunn'd;

thro' you am deem'd a recreant

knight.

Perish the thought! a life preferv'd with shame

My foul difdains

Bc Hengift's death, or fame!"

Before his view, earth trembling wide around, Valdandi, Skulda, thro' the rifted ground

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*) Starchaterus, a Swedish Champion, feems to allude to
the influence, the fatal fifters were supposed to poffefs
at the birth of infants in the following lines:
At mihi, fi recolo, nafcenti FATA dedere
Bella fequi, belloque mori, mifcere tumultu,
Invigilare armis, vitam exercere cruentam.

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Arifing sudden, thus the knight addrest:
„Unfold the fecret wishes of thy breast.
Nor dread refufal." With collected mind
Firm and undaunted thus the king rejoin'd:
Ye awful powers, to whom I bend my knee,
Aught but the wretch he is, would' Hengift

be.

Would be as Arthur is, renown'd to fame,
And lov'd like him by Britain's faireft dame
But ah, how vain the thought! -The thought
enjoy;

66

We grant thy daring with! they fwift re

ply;

In femblance of his radiant arms to fhine;

T'affume his mien, his look, his voice, be

thine.

To guide thy courfe to thofe enchanted bow

ers,

That hold conceal'd the beauteous maid, is ours;
But that alone If thou fuccefsful prove,

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She quit her dwelling, and repay thy love,
Then Odin's race fhall fway the British thro

ne

But know, the danger's great, th' event
known.

Futurity's dark vapours intervene.

Elude our fight, and blot the coming scene."
Tho' Danger in her direft form arife,

"

I mock her terrors, and her frowns despile,
He (wift return'd; let Inogen be mine,
And to the winds I every doubt refign."

Around his head their ebon wands on high

The fifters wave, and loudly thus reply:

„Such radiant arms, redoubted chief! behold,
As Britain's champion wears, thy form en-

fold;

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Thy

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