Page images
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Now the Storm begins to lower,
(Hafte, the loom of Hell prepare,)
Iron-sleet of arrowy shower
Hurtles in the darken'd air.


* To be found in the ORCADES OF THORMODUS Tor. FÆUS; HAFNIÆ, 1697, folio: and also in BARTHOLINUS,


For the better understanding this ode,' the reader is to be informed that in the eleventh century, Sigurd, earl of the Orkney-islands, went with a fleet of ships and a con. fiderabic body of troops into Ireland, to the alistance of Siętryg with the filker. beard, who was then making war on his father-in-law Brian, king of Dublin : the earl and all his forces were cut to pieces; aod Siêtryg was in danger of a total deseat; but the enemy had a greater loss, by the death of Brian, their king, who fell in the action. On Christmas-day, (the day of the battle,) a native of Caithness, 5

Glitt'ring lances are the loom,
Where the duky warp we ftrain,
Weaving many a Soldier's doom,
Orkney's woe, and Randver's bane.


See the griefly texture grow,
('Tis of human entrails made,)
And the weights, that play below,
Each a gasping Warrior's head.


Shafts for fhuttles, dipt in gore,
Shoot the trembling cords along.
Sword, that once a Monarch bore,
Keep the tissue close and strong.


in Scotland, saw at a distance, a number of persons on horse. back, riding full speed towards a hill, and seeming to enter into it. Curiosity led him to follow them, till, looking ihrough an opening in ine rocks, he saw twelve gigantic figures, resembling women: they were all employed about a loom; and as they wove, they sung the following dreadful fong; which, when they had finished, they core the web into iwelve pieces, and (each taking her portion) galloped six to the north, and as many to the south. These were the Valkyriur, fcmale divinities, servants of Odin (or Woden) in the Gothic mythology. Their name signifies Chufers of the fair. They were mounted on swift horses, with drawn swords in their hands; and in the throng of battle selected such as were dellined to slaughter, and conducted them to Valhalla, the hall of Odin, or paradise of the brave; where they attended the banquet, and served the departed heroes with horns of mead and alc.

Mifta black, terrific Maid,
Sangrida, and Hilda see,
Join the wayward work to aid;
'Tis the woof of victory.


Ere the ruddy fun be fet,
Pikes must shiver, javelins sing,
Blade with clattering buckler meet,
Hauberk crash, and helmet ring.


(Weave the crimson web of war)
Let us go, and let us fly,
Where our Friends the conflict share,
Where they triumph, where they die.


As the paths of fate we tread
Wading thro' th' enfanguin'd field :
Gondula, and Geira, spread
O’er the youthful King your shield.

We the reigns to slaughter give,
Ours to kill, and ours to spare:
Spite of danger he shall live.
(Weave the crimson web of war.)


They, whom once the desert-beach
Pent within its bleak domain,
Soon their ample sway fhall stretch
O'er the plenty of the plain.


Low the dauntless Earl is laid,
Gor'd with many a gaping wound:
Fate demands a nobler head;
Soon a King shall bite the ground.


Long his loss shall Eirin weep,
Ne’er again his likeness fee;
Long her strains in forrow steep,
Strains of Immortality!


Horror covers all the heath,
Clouds of carnage blot the sun.
Sisters, weave the web of death;
Sisters, cease ; the work is done.


Hail the task, and hail the hands!
Songs of joy and triumph fing!
Joy to the victorious bands;
Triumph to the younger King.


Mortal, thou that hear'ft the tale,
Learn the tenour of our song.
Scotland, thro' each winding vale
Far and wide the notes prolong.

Sisters, hence with spurs of speed:
Each her thundering faulchion wield;
Each beftride her fable steed.
Hurry, hurry to the field.





The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, 5
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds ;
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The mopeing owl does to the moon complain 10
Of such as, wand'ring near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,

The rude Forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. 20

« EelmineJätka »