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We the reins to Slaughter give,
(Weave the crimson web of war.)
They, whom once the desert-beach
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 Eirin weep,
Ne'er again his likeness see; Long her strains in sorrow steep, Strains of immortality!
Horrour covers all the heath,
Clouds of carnage blot the Sun. Sisters, weave the web of death;
Sisters, cease, the work is done.
Hail the task, and hail the hands!
Triumph to the younger king.
Mortal, thou that hear'st the tale, Learn the tenour of our song. Scotland, through each winding vale Far and wide the notes prolong.
Sisters, hence, with spurs of speed;
THE DESCENT OF ODIN
[From the same.]
IN BARTHOLINUS, DE CAUSIS CONTEMNENDE MORTIS; HAFNIE, 1689, QUARTO.
Upreis Odinn allda gauir, &c.
UPROSE the King of Men with speed,
* Niflheimr, the Hell of the Gothic nations, consisted of nine worlds, to which were devoted all such as died of sickness, old age, or by any other means than in battle: over it presided Hela, the goddess of death.
Onward still his way he takes,
(The groaning Earth beneath him shakes,,
Right against the eastern gate,
Pr. What call unknown, what charms preTo break the quiet of the tomb? Who thus afflicts my troubled sprite, And drags me from the realms of night? Long on these mouldering 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?
O. 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 glittering board is spread,
Pr. Mantling in the goblet see
O'er it hangs the shield of gold;
0. Once again my call obey,
Pr. 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. 0. Prophetess, my spell obey: Once again arise, and say, Who th' avenger of his guilt, By whom shall Hoder's blood be spilt? Pr. 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, Nor wash his visage in the stream, Nor see the Sun's departing beam: Till he on Hoder's corse shall smile Flaming on the funeral pile. Now my weary lips I close : Leave me, leave me, to repose.
0. Yet awhile my call obey, Prophetess, awake, and say, What virgins these, in speechless woe, That bend to earth their solemn brow, с с 3
That their flaxen tresses tear,
Pr. Ha! no traveller art thou,
0. No boding maid of skill divine
Pr. Hie thee hence, and boast at home,
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. further explanation of this mythology, see Mallet's Introduction to the History of Denmark, 1755, quarto.