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Glitt'ring lances are the loom
Where the dusky warp we strain, Weaving many a soldier's doorn,
Orkney's woe and Randver's bane.
See the grisly texture grow,
('Tis of human entrails made) And the weights that play below
Each a gasping warrior's head.
Shafts for shuttles dipp'd in gore,
Shoot the trembling cords along; Sword that once a monarch bore,
Keep the tissue close and strong.
Mista, black, terrific maid!'
Sangrida and Hilda see,
'Tis the woof of victory.
Ere the ruddy sun be set
Pikes must shiver, jav'lins sing, Blade with clatt'ring buckler meet,
Hauberk clash, and helmet ring.
(Weave the crimson web of war).
Let us go, and let us fly,
Where they triumph, where they die.
As the paths of Fate we tread,
Wading thro' th' ensanguin'd field, Gondula and Geira, spread
O'er the youthful king your shield.
We the reins 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 shall 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 Erin * weep,
Ne'er again his likeness see; Long her strains in sorrow steep,
Strains of immortality!
Horror covers all the heath,
Clouds of carnage blot the son: Sisters, weave the web of death:
Sisters, cease, the work is done.
Hail the task, and hail the hands!
Songs of joy and triumph sing ;
Triumph to the younger king.
Mortal, thou that hear'st the tale,
Learn the tenor of our song;
Far and wide the notes prolong.
Sisters! hence with spurs of speed;
Each her thund'ring falchion wield; Each bestride her sable steed:
Hurry, hurry, to the field.
From the Norse Tongue.
U PROSE the king of men with speed,
Right against the eastern gate,
Proph. What call unknown, what charms presume To break the quiet of the tomb?
* Nifheimr, the hell of the Gothic nations, consisted of nine worlds, to which were devoted all such as died of sick ness, old age, or by any other means than in battle: over 10 presided Hela, the goddess of Death.
Odin. A traveller, to thee unknown,
Proph. Mantling in the goblet see
Odin. Once again my call obey:
Proph. In Hoder's hand the hero's doom;
Odin. Prophetess! my spell obey;
Proph. In the caverns of the west,
Nor wash his visage in the stream,
Odin. Yet awhile my call obey;
Proph. Ha! no traveller art thou;
Odin. No boding maid of skill divine
Proph. Hie thee hence, and boast at home,
• Lok is the evil being, who continues in chains till the twilight of the gods approaches, when he shall break 115 bonds; the human race, the stars, and sun, shall disappear, the earth sink in the seas, and fire consume the skies, even Odin himself, and his kindred deities, shall perish. For a farther explanation of this mytholoy, see Introduction a 1 Histoire de Danemarc, par Monsieur Mallet, 1755, 4to, or rather a translation of it published in 1770, and entitled Northern Antiguities, in which some noistakes in the original are judi ciously corrected.