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What dangers Odin's child await,
In Hoder's hand the hero's doom ;
Prophetess, my spell obey,
In the caverns of the west,
Who ne'er shall comb his raven-hair, dress of Thorbiorga, one of these prophetesses, is described at large in Eirik's Rauda Sogu, (apud Bartholin. lib. i. сар. .
“ She had on a blue vest spangled all over with stones, a necklace of glass beads, and a cap made of the skin of a black lamb lined with white cat-skin. She leaned on a staff adorned. with brass, with a round head set with stones ; and was girt with an Hunlandish belt, at which hung her pouch full of magical instruments. Her buskins were of rough calf-skin, bound on with thongs studded with knobs of brass, and her gloves of white cat-skin, the fur turned inwards,” &c. They were also called Fiolkyngi, or Fiolkunnug, i. e. Multi-scia; and Visindakona, i. e. Oraculorum Mulier; Nornir, i. e. Parcæ, Gray.
Ver. 66. Who ne'er shall comb his raven-hair] King Harold made (according to the singular custom of his time) a solemn
Nor wash his visage in the stream,
Yet a while my call obey;
Ha! no traveller art thou,
vow never to clip or comb his hair, till he should have extended his sway over the wbole country. Herbert's Iceland. Translat.
Ver. 75. What virgins these, in speechless woe] “ It is not certain,” says Mr. Herbert, “what Odin means by the question concerning the weeping virgins; but it has been supposed that it alludes to the embassy 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,“ ter trium gigantum :" probably Angerbode, who from her name seems to be
no prophetess of good;" and who bore to Loke, 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.
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 be 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. Mason.
THE TRIUMPHS OF OWEN*.
From Mr. Evans's Specimens of the Welsh Poetry: London,
1764, quarto, p. 25, and p. 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,
Big with hosts of mighty name,
* The original Welsh of the above poem was the composition of Gwalchmai lhe son of Melir, immediately after Prince Owen Gwynedd had defeated the combined fleets of Iceland, Denmark, and Norway, which had invaded his territory on the coast of Anglesea.
Ver. 4. Gwyneth] North Wales.
This the force of Eirin hiding,
Dauntless on his native sands
Ver. 14. Lochlin] Denmark.
Ver. 20. The dragon son of Mona stands] The red dragon is the dev of Cadwallader, which all his descendants bore on their banners. Mason.
Ver. 23. There the thund'ring 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.