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Kings of the main their leaders brave,
The chiefs of the Vakingr, or Scandinavian pirates, assumed the title of Sakonungr, or Sea-kings. Ships, in the inflated language of the Scalds, are often termed the serpents of the ocean.
Of that Sea-Snake, tremendous curid,
The jormungandr, or Snake of the Ocean, whose folds surround the earth, is one of the wildest fictions of the Edda. It was very nearly caught by the god Thor, who went to fish for it with a hook baited with a bull's head. In the battle betwixt the evil demons and the divinities of Odin, which is to precede the Ragnarockr, or Twilight of the gods, this Snake is to act a conspicuous part. The dread maids were the l'alcyriur, or Selectors of the Slain, dispatched by Odin from Valhalla, to choose those who were to die, and to distribute the contest. They are well known to the English reader, as Gray's l'atal Sisters,
Ransack'd the graves of warriors old,
The northern warriors were usually entombed with their arms, and their other treasures. Thus Angantyr, before commencing the duel in which he was slain, stipulated, that if he fell, his sword Tyrfing should
be buried with him. His daughter, Hervor, afterwards took it from his tomb. The dialogue which passed betwixt her and Angantyr's spirit on this occasion has been often translated. The whole history may be found in the Hervarar-Saga. Indeed, the ghosts of the northern warriors were not wont tamely to suffer their tombs to be plundered ; and hence the mortal heroes had an additional temptation to attempt such adventures ; for they held nothing more worthy of their valour than to encounter supernatural beings.-BARTHOLINUS, De causis contempte a Danis mortis, lib. i. cap. 2, 9, 10, 13.
To inch.- Page 146.
Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffined lie.- Page 147.
The beautiful chapel of Roslin is still in tolerable preservation. It was founded in 1446, by William St. Clair, Prince of Orkney, Duke of Oldenburgh, Earl of Caithness and Stratherne, Lord St. Clair, Lord Niddesdale, Lord Admiral of the Scottish Seas, Lord Chief Justice of Scotland, Lord Warden of the three Marches, Baron of Roslin, Pentland, Pentlandmoor, &c., Knight of the Cockle, and of the Garter, (as is affirmed,) High Chancellor, Chamberlain, and Lieutenant of Scotland. This lofty person, whose titles, says Godscroft, might weary a Spaniard, built the castle of Roslin, where he resided in princely splendour, and founded the chapel, which is in the most rich and florid style of Gothic architecture.
Among the profuse carving on the pillars and buttresses, the rose is frequently introduced, in allusion to the name, with which, however, the flower has no connexion; the etymology being Rosslinnhe, the promontory of the linn, or water-fall. The chapel is said to appear on fire previous to the death of any of his descendants. This superstition, noticed by Slezer in his Theatrum Scotia, and alluded to in the text, is probably of Norwegian derivation, and may have been imported by the Earls of Orkney into their Lothian dominions. The tomb-fires of the north are mentioned in most of the Sagas.
The Barons of Roslin were buried in a vault beneath the chapel floor.
Like him, of whom the story ran,
The ancient castle of Peel-town in the Isle of Man, is surrounded by four churches, now ruinous. Through one of these chapels there was formerly a passage from the guard-room of the garrison.
Did to St. Bride of Douglas make.-- Page 151. This was a favourite saint of the house of Douglas, and of the Earl of Angus in particular ; as we learn from the following passage : The Queen-regent had proposed to raise a rival noble to the ducal dignity ; and discoursing of her purpose with Angus, he answered, “Why not, madam ? we are happy that have such a princess, that can know and will acknowledge men's services, and is willing to recompense it : in order to apprize the Southern reader of its legitimate sound ;-Grahame being, on the other side of the Tweed, usually pronounced as a dissyllable.
For fair Florinda's plunder'd charms to pay.
Page 173. Almost all the Spanish historians, as well as the voice of tradition, ascribe the invasion of the Moors to the forciable violation committed by Roderick upon Florinda, called by the Moors, Caba or Cava. She was the daughter of Count Julian, one of the Gothic monarch's principal lieutenants, who, when the crime was perpetrated, was engaged in the defence of Ceuta against the Moors. In his indignation at the ingratitude of his sovereign, and the dishonour of his daughter, Count Julian forgot the duties of a Christian and a patriot, and, forming an alliance with Musa, then the caliph's lieutenant in Africa, he countenanced the invasion of Spain by a body of Saracens and Africans, commanded by the celebrated Tarik; the issue of which was the defeat and death of Roderick, and the occupation of almost the whole peninsula by the Moors. Voltaire, in his General History, expresses his doubts of this popular story, and Gibbon gives him some countenance; but the universal tradition is quite sufficient for the purposes of poetry.
The Tecbir war-cry and the Lelie's yell.
Page 184. The Tecbir (derived from the words Allah acbar, God is most mighty,) was the original war-cry of the
Saracens. It is celebrated by Hughes in the Siege of Damascus :
We heard the Tecbir; so these Arabs call, Their shout of onset, when, with loud appeal, They challenge Heaven, as if demanding conquest. The Lelie, well known to the Christians during the crusades, is the shout of Allah illa Allah, the Mahomedan confession of faith. It is twice used in poetry by my friend Mr. W. Stewart Rose, in the Romance of Partenopex, and in the Crusade of St. Lewis.
By Heaven, the Moors prevail !~the Christians
Page 185. Count Julian, the father of the injured Florinda, with the connivance and assistance of Oppas, Archbishop of Toledo, invited, in 713, the Saracens into Spain. A considerable army arrived under the command of Tarik, or Tarif, who bequeathed the wellknown name of Gibraltar (Gibel al Tarik, or the mountain of Tarik) to the place of his landing. He was joined by Count Julian, ravaged Andalusia, and took Seville. In 714, they returned with a still greater force, and Roderick marched into Andalusia at the head of a great army, to give them battle, The field was chosen near Xeres.
Orelia, the courser of Don Roderick, mentioned in the text, was celebrated for her speed and form. She is mentioned repeatedly in Spanish 'romance, and also by Cervantes,