« AnteriorContinuar »
Stretch'd on his shield, like the steel-girt slain
Burst on him through the gloom.
"The morning wind blows free,
“I have put out the holy sepulchral fire,
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,
“ 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,
But the slayer shall avenge the dead !”
That sword its fame had won
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,
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,
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,
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,
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.
“ At the feast and
“ Regner! tell thy fair-hair'd bride