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We the reins to Slaughter give,

Ours to kill, and ours to spare : Spite of danger he shall live :

(Weave the crimson web of war.) They, whom once the desert-beach

Pent within its bleak domain, Soon their ample sway shall stretch

O'er the plenty of the plain.

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!

Songs of joy and triumph sing ! Joy to the victorious bands;

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 ;

Each her thundering falchion wield;
Each bestride her sable steed:

Hurry, hurry to the field.

THE DESCENT OF ODIN

AN ODE.

[From the same.

e.]

IN BARTHOLINUS, DE CAUSIS CONTEMNENDÆ MORTIS;

HAFNIÆ, 1689, QUARTO.

Upreis Odinn allda gauir, &c.
UPROSE the King of Men with speed,
And saddled straight his coal-black steed
Down the yawning steep he rode,
That leads to Hela's * drear abode.
Him the Dog of Darkness spied,
His shaggy throat he open'd wide,
While from his jaws, with carnage fill'd,
Foam and human gore distillid;
Hoarse he bays with hideous din,
Eyes that glow, and fangs that grin ;
And long pursues, with fruitless yell,
The father of the powerful spell.

* Nifheimr, 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,
Till full before his fearless eyes
The portals nine of Hell arise.

Right against the eastern gate,
By the moss-grown pile he sate ;
Where long of yore to sleep was laid
The dust of the prophetic maid.
Facing to the northern clime,
Thrice he trac'd the Runic rhyme;
Thrice pronounc'd, in accents dread,
The thrilling verse that wakes the dead;
Till from out the hollow ground
Slowly breath'd a sullen sound.. (sume,

Pr. What call unknown, what charms pre-
To 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 ?

0. 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,
Drest for whom yon golden bed ?

Pr. Mantling in the goblet see
The pure beverage of the bee,

O'er it hangs the shield of gold;
'T is the drink of Balder bold :
Balder's head to death is given,
Pain can reach the sons of Heaven!
Unwilling I my lips unclose:
Leave me, leave me, to repose,

0. Once again my call obey, Prophetess, arise, and say, What dangers Odin's child await, Who the author of his fate? 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 Hodet'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,

That their flaxen tresses tear,
And snowy veils, that float in air.
Tell me whence their sorrows rose :
Then I leave thee to repose.

Pr. Ha! no traveller art thou,
King of Men, I know thee now,
Mightiest of a mighty line. —

0. No boding maid of skill divine
Art thou, nor prophetess of good;
But mother of the giant-brood !

Pr. Hie thee hence, and boast at home,
That never shall inquirer come
To break my iron-sleep again;
Till Lok * has burst his ten-fold chain.
Never, till substantial Night
Has re-assum'd her ancient right;
Till wrapp'd in flames, in ruin hurld,
Sinks the fabric of the world. ,

* 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. For a further explanation of this mythology, see Mallet's Introduction to the History of Denmark, 1755, quarto.

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