Imágenes de páginas

Stretch'd on his shield, like the steel-girt slain
By moonlight seen on the battle-plain,
In a speechless trance lay the warrior there,
But he wildly woke when the torch's glare

Burst on him through the gloom.

"The morning wind blows free,
And the hour of chase is near:
Come forth, come forth, with me!
What dost thou, Sigurd, here?

“I have put out the holy sepulchral fire,
I have scatter'd the dust of my warrior-sire !
It burns on my head, and it weighs down my heart;
But the winds shall not wander without their part

To strew o'er the restless deep !

" In the mantle of death he was here with me now,There was wrath in his eye, there was gloom on his

brow; And his cold still glance on my spirit fell With an icy ray and a withering spell —

Oh! chill is the house of sleep!”

“The morning wind blows free,
And the reddening sun shines clear ;
Come forth, come forth, with me!
It is dark and fearful here!"

“ He is there, he is there, with his shadowy frown! But gone from his head is the kingly crown, The crown from his head, and the spear from his

hand, They have chased him far from the glorious land

Where the feast of the gods is spread!

“ He must go forth alone on his phantom steed,
He must ride o'er the grave-hills with stormy speed;
His place is no longer at Odin's board,
He is driven from Valhalla without his sword !

But the slayer shall avenge the dead !”

That sword its fame had won
By the fall of many a crest,
But its fiercest work was done
In the tomb, on Sigurd's breast !


His arms,

The Valkyriur, or Fatal Sisters of Northern mythology, were supposed to single out the warriors who were to die in battle, and be received into the halls of Odin.

When a Northern chief fell gloriously in war, his obsequies were honoured with all possible magnificence. gold and silver, war-horse, domestic attendants, and whatever else he held most dear, were placed with him on the pile. His dependants and friends frequently made it a point of honour to die with their leader, in order to attend on his shade in Val. halla, or the Palace of Odin. And lastly, his wife was generally consumed with him on the same pile.

See Mallet's Northern Antiquities, Herbert's Helga, &c.

Tremblingly fash'd th' inconstant meteor light,
Showing thin forms like virgins of this earth,
Save that all signs of human joy or grief,
The flush of passion, smile or tear, had seem'd
On the fix'd brightness of each dazzling cheek
Strange and unnatural.


The Sea-king woke from the troubled sleep

Of a vision-haunted night, And he look'd from his bark o'er the gloomy deep, And counted the streaks of light;

For the red sun's earliest ray

Was to rouse his bands that day,
To the stormy joy of fight!

But the dreams of rest were still on earth,

And the silent stars on high, And there waved not the smoke of one cabin-hearth 'Midst the quiet of the sky ;

And along the twilight bay

In their sleep the hamlets lay,
For they knew not the Norse were nigh!

The Sea-king look'd o'er the brooding wave:

He turn'd to the dusky shore, And there seem'd, through the arch of a tide-worn

cave, A gleam, as of snow, to pour;

And forth, in watery light,

Moved phantoms, dimly wbite, Which the garb of woman bore.

Slowly they moved to the billow side ;

And the forms, as they grew more clear, Seem'd each on a tall pale steed to ride, And a shadowy crest to rear,

And to beckon with faint hand

From the dark and rocky strand, And to point a gleaming spear.

Then a stillness on his spirit fell,

Before th unearthly train,
For he knew Valhalla's daughters well,

The choosers of the slain !

And a sudden rising breeze

Bore across the moaning seas To his ear their thrilling strain :

There are songs in Odin's Hall, For the brave, ere night to fall ! Doth the great sun hide his ray?He must bring a wrathful day! Sleeps the falchion in its sheath ?Swords must do the work of death! Regner !-sea-king !-thee we call !There is joy in Odin's Hall.

the song,

“ At the feast and
Thou shalt be remember'd long !
By the green isles of the flood
Thou hast left thy track in blood !
On the earth and on the sea,
There are those will speak of thee!
'Tis enough-the war-god's call-
There is mead in Odin's Hall !

“ Regner! tell thy fair-hair'd bride
She must slumber at thy side!
Tell the brother of thy breast
Ev'n for him thy grave hath rest!
Tell the raven-steed which bore thee,
When the wild wolf fled before thee,
He too with his lord must fall
There is room in Odin's Hall !

« AnteriorContinuar »