Glitt'ring lances are the loom

Where the dusky warp we strain, Weaving many a soldier's doom,

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,
Join the wayward work to aid;

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 our friends the conflict share,

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


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 wliom 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 san: 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 ;
Joy to the victorious bands,

Triumph to the younger king.

Mortal, thou that hear'st the tale,

Learn the tenor of our song;
Scotland! thro' each winding vale

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.

* Ireland.



From the Norse Tongue.

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UPROSE the king of men with speed,

And saddled straight his coal-black steed;
Down the yawning steep he rode
That leads to Hela's * drear abode.
Him the Dog of Darkness spy'd;
His shaggy throat he open'd wide,
While from his jaws with carnage fillid,
Foam and human gore distill'd;
Hoarse he bays with hideous din,
Eyes that glow and fangs that grin,
And long pursues with fruitless yell
The father of the pow'rful spell.
Onward still his way he takes,
(The groaning carth beneath himn shakes)
Till full before his fearless eyes
The portals nine of hell arise.

Right against the eastern gate,
By the moss-grown pile he sate,
Where long of yore to sleep was laid
The dust of the prophetic maid,
Facing to the northern clime,
Thrice lie trac'd the Runic rhyme,
Thrice pronounc'd, in accents dread,
The thrilling verse that wakes the dead,
Till from out the hollow ground
Slowly breath'd a sullen sound.

Proph. What call unknown, what charms presume
To break the quiet of the tomb?

Niflheimr, 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 it presided Hela, the goddess of Death.

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Who thus afflicts my troubled sprite,
And drags me from the realms of night?
Long on these mould'ring bones have beat
The winter's snow, the summer's heat,
The drenching dews and driving rain!
Let me, let me sleep again.
Who is he, with voice unblest,
That calls me from the bed of rest?

Odin. A traveller, to thee unknown,
Is he that calls, a warrior's son.
Thou the deeds of light shalt know:
Tell me what is done below,
For whom yon glitt'ring board is spread,
Drest for whom yon golden bed?

Proph. Mantling in the goblet see
The pure beverage of the bee,
O'er it hangs the shield of gold ;
'Tis the drink of Balder bold:
Balder's head to death is given;
Pain can reach the sons of heav'n!
Unwilling I my lips unclose;
Leave me, leave me to repose.

Odin. Once again my call obey :
Prophetess! arise and say,
What dangers Odin's cluild await,
Who the author of his fate?

Proph. In Hoder's hand the hero's doom;
His brother sends him to the tomb,
Now my weary lips I close;
Leave me, leave me to repose.

Odin. Prophetess! my spell obey;
Once again arise, and say,
Who th' avenger of his guilt,
By whom shall Hoder's blood be spilt?

Proph. In the caverns of the west,
By Odin's fierce embrace comprest,
A wondrous boy shall Rinda bear,
Who ne'er shall comb his raven-hair,

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Nor wash his visage in the stream,
Nor see the sun's departing beaun,
Till he on Hoder's corse shall smile
Flaming on the fun'ral pile.
Now my weary lips I close;
Leave me, leave me to repose.

Odin. Yet awhile my call obey;
Prophetess! awake and say,
What virgins these in speechless woe,
That bend to earth their solemn brow,
That their flaxen tresses tear,
And snowy veils that float in air?
Tell me whence their sorrows rose,
Then I leave thee to repose.

Proph. Ha! no traveller art thou;
King of Men, I know thee now;
Mightiest of a mighty line-

Odin. No boding maid of skill divine
Art thou, no prophetess of good,
But mother of the giant-brood !

Proph. Hie thee hence, and boast at home,
That never shall enquirer come
To break my iron sleep again
Till Lok * has burst his tenfold chain;
Never till substantial Night
Has re-assum'd her ancient right,
Till wrapt in flames, in ruin hurld,
Sinks the fabric of the world.

• Lok is the evil being, who continues in chains till the twilight of the gods approaches, when he shall break his 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 mytholo:ý, see Introduction a 1 Histoire de Danemarc, par Monsieur Mallet, 1755, 4to. or rather a translation of it published in 1770, and entitled Northern Antiquities, in which some njistakes in the original are judiciously corrected.

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