Page images


Till April starts, and calls around
The sleeping fragrance from the ground,
And lightly o'er the living scene
Scatters his freshest, tenderest green.

[blocks in formation]

The hues of bliss more brightly glow
Chastised by sabler tints of woe,
And, blended, form with artful strife
The strength and harmony of life.


See the wretch that long has tossed

On the thorny bed of pain
At length repair his vigour lost

And breathe and walk again:
The meanest flowret of the vale,
The simplest note that swells the gale,
The common sun, the air, the skies,

To him are opening Paradise. 17547



[blocks in formation]

Ere the ruddy sun be set,

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 through th' ensanguined field, Gondula and Geira, spread

O'er the youthful king your shield.

[blocks in formation]

Mortal, thou that hear'st the tale,

Learn the tenor of our song.
Scotland, through each winding vale

Far and wide the notes prolong.


Sisters, hence with spurs of speed;

Each her thundering falchion wield;
Each bestride her sable steed.

Hurry, hurry to the field! 1761.




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 spied:
His shaggy throat he opened wide,
While from his jaws, with carnage filled,
Foam and human gore distilled;
Hoarse he bays with hideous din,
Eyes that glow and fangs that grin,
And long pursues with fruitless yell
The Father of the powerful spell.
Onward still his way he takes
(The groaning earth beneath him 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 he traced the runic rhyme,
Thrice pronounced in accents dread
The thrilling verse that wakes the dead;
Till from out the hollow ground
Slowly breathed a sullen sound.



25 40


Prophetess. What call unknown, what charms, pre

To break the quiet of the tomb ?
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,

35 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?

Prophetess. Mantling in the goblet see
The pure bev'rage of the bee;
O'er it hangs the shield of gold;
'Tis the drink of Balder bold:
Balder's head to death is giv'n;
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 child await,
Who the author of his fate?

Prophetess. In Hoder's hand the hero's doom; 55 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

60 Who th' avenger of his guilt, By whom shall Hoder's blood be spilt?

Prophetess. 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,


« PreviousContinue »