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That their flaxen tresses tear,
Ha! no traveller art thou,
No boding maid of skill divine
Hie thee hence, and boast at home,
afterwards sent by Frigga to try to redeem Balder from the infernal regions, and that Odin betrays his divinity by mentioning what had not yet happened." Iceland. Translat. p. 48.
Ver. 86. But mother of the giant brood] In the Latin "mater trium gigantum:" probably Angerbode, who from her name seems to be "no prophetess of good;" and who bore to Lok, as the Edda says, three children, the wolf Fenris, the great serpent of Midgard, and Hela, all of them called giants in that system of mythology. MASON.
To break my iron sleep again,
THE TRIUMPHS OF OWEN*.
From Mr. Evans's Specimens of the Welsh Poetry; London, 1764, quarto, p. 25, and page 127. Owen succeeded his father, Griffith app Cynan, in the principality of North Wales, A. D. 1137. This battle was fought in the year 1157.
Jones's Relics, vol. ii. p. 36.
OWEN's praise demands my song,
Ver. 90. Till Lok has burst his tenfold chain] 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.
*The original Welsh of the above poem was the composition of Gwalchmai the son of Melir, immediately after Prince Owen Gwynedd had defeated
Fairest flower of Roderic's stem,
Big with hosts of mighty name,
Dauntless on his native sands
the combined fleets of Iceland, Denmark, and Norway, which had invaded his territory on the coast of Anglesea.
Ver. 4. Gwyneth] North Wales.
Ver. 14. Lochlin] Denmark.
Ver. 20. The dragon son of Mona stands] The red Dragon is the device of Cadwallader, which all his descendants bore on their banners.
There the thundering strokes begin,
Where his glowing eyeballs turn,
Ver. 23. There the thundering strokes begin] "It seems (says Dr. Evans, p. 26,) that the fleet landed in some part of the Firth of Menai, and that it was a kind of mixed engagement, some fighting from the shore, others from the ships: and probably the great slaughter was owing to its being low water, and that they could not sail.
THE DEATH OF HOEL.
Selected from the Gododin of Aneurin,* styled the monarch of the Bards. He flourished about the time of Taliessin, A. D. 570. See Mr. Evans's Specimens, pp. 71 and 73.
Had I but the torrent's might,
With headlong rage and wild affright
To rush, and sweep them from the world!
Too, too secure in youthful pride, By them, my friend, my Hoel died,
* "Aneurin with the flowing Muse, King of Bards, brother to Gildas Albanius the historian, lived under Mynyddawg of Edinburgh, a prince of the North, whose Eurdorchogion, or warriors wearing the golden torques, three hundred and sixty-three in number, were all slain, except Aneurin and two others, in a battle with the Saxons at Cattraeth, on the eastern coast of Yorkshire. His Gododin, an heroic poem written on that event, is perhaps the oldest and noblest production of that age." Jones's Relics, vol. i. p. 17.
Ver. 3. Upon Deira's squadron hurl'd] The kingdom of Deira included the counties of Yorkshire, Durham, Lancashire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland.