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« NOW, says he, have I sung in my august abode, my sublime verses; which are both necessary to the

sons of men, and useless to the sons of men. Blessed 6 be he who hath sung them! Blessed be he who “ hạth understood them! May they profit him who

hath retained them! Blessed be they who have lent an ear to them !"

THE END OF THE EDDA.

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AND OTHER

ANCIENT POEMS.

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THOUGHT

proper to subjoin to the EDDA the following pieces, selected out of that vast multitude of verses which we find preserved in the ancient Chronicles.

These are such as appeared to me'most expressive of the genius and manners of the ancient inhabitants of the north, and most proper to confirm what I had advanced in the preceding Volume ; as also to shew that the Mythology contained in the EDDA hath been that of all the northern Poets, and the religion of many nations drest out with fictions and allegories.

I shall first of all present the ODE which Regner Lodbrog composed in the torments preceding his death. This Ode was dictated by the Fanaticism of Glory, animated by that of Religion. Regner, who was a celebrated Warrior, Poet, and Pirate, reigned in Denmark about the beginning of the ninth century: after a long series of maritime expeditions into the most distant countries, his fortune at length failed him in England. Taken prisoner in battle by his adversary Ella, who was king of a part of that island, he perished by the bite of serpents, with which they had filled the VOL. II.

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dungeon

dungeon he was confined in. He left behind him several sons, who revenged this horrible death, as Regner himself had foretold in the following verses. There is some reason, however, to conjecture that this prince did not compose more than one or two stanzas of this Poem, and that the rest were added, after his death, by the Bard, whose function it was, according to the custom of those times, to add to the funeral splendor, by singing verses to the praise of the deceased. that as it may, this Ode is found in several Icelandic Chronicles; and its versification, language, and stile, leave us no room to doubt of its antiquity. Wormius has given us the text in Runic Characters, accompanied with a Latin Version and large notes, in his Literatura Runica. Vid. p. 197. It is also met with in M. Biorners's collection. Out of the twenty-nine strophes of which it consists, I have only chosen the following, as being what I thought the generality of my readers would peruse with most pleasure. I have not even always translated entire stanzas; but have sometimes reduced two stanzas into one, in order to spare the Reader such passages as appeared to me uninteresting and obscure *

Our elegant Author having Bat an ingènious Friend having taken great liberties in his Trans- translated from the French this lation of this and the following part of M. Mallets Book, I hate Odes, in order to accommodate got leave to insert his version, and them to the taste of French Read shall take the liberty to refer the ers, it was once intended here, in- 'more curious Reader to the påm. stead of copying the French, to phlet above-mentioned; which have given extracts from the more the Translator professes he occaliteral Version of all these Poemssionally consulted in the following formerly published, which hath pages. There the Obts 'here abeen so often quoted in the Notes bridged may be seen at large, Con. to this work : viz. The Five fronted with the Icelandic OrigiPieces OF Runic POETRY, nals, and accompanied with two TRANSLATED FROM THE IĆE. Other ancient Pieces of Northern LANDIC LANGUAGE, 1763. 8vo. "Poetry,

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E fought with swords *, when, in my early

youth, I went towards the east, to prepare a bloody prey for the ravenous wolves : ample « food for the yellow-footed eagle. The whole ocean « seemed as one wound: the ravens waded in the s blood of the slain.

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* WE FOUGHT WITH SWORDS. exactly, “. WE STRUCK, or cur, The Icelandic original, biuggum,“ or HackED AND HEWED WITH or buiggum, is a word of the sanie • Swords." Wormius has renorigin as the Anglo-Saxon beawan. dered it, as in the text, Pugnavi. Germ. bouwen. Low Dutch, bau- mus ensibus. But Bartholin seems wen, bouwen. Engl. to bew. From to have come nearer the exact the same root comes also our idea in Secuimus ensibus. Our Rustic word, to bough. The pas- Author, M. Mallet, renders it, sage therefore of the text might Nous nous sommes battus à coups d' perhaps have been rendered more Epées.

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