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“ We fought with swords, in the day of that great “ fight, wherein I sent the inhabitants of Helsing to “ the Hall of Odin. Thence our ships carried us to “ Ifa *: there our steel-pointed launces, reeking with
gore, divided the armour with a terrible clang : " there our swords cleft the shields asunder.
“ We fought with swords, that day wherein I saw “ ten thousand of my foes rolling in the dust near a “ promontory of England. A dew of blood distilled « from our swords. The arrows which flew in search “ of the helmets bellowed through the air. The plea“ sure of that day was equal to that of clasping a fair « virgin in my arms †.
Or the Vistula.
here exerted his usual good taste + I cannot help thinking, that in selecting, when he finds he has the Reader will censure our in- omitted such stanzas as the folgenious Author, as not having lowing, particularly the two last.
" We fought with swords, in the Northumbrian land. A furious storm descended on the shields : many a lifeless body fell to the earth. It was about the time of the morning, when the foe was compelled to Ay in the battle. There the sword sharply bit the polished helmet. The pleasure of that day was like kissing a young widow at the highest seat of the table."
“ We fought with swords, in the Flemings land: the battle widely raged before king Freyr fell therein. The blue steel, all reeking with blood, fell at length upon the golden mail. Many a virgin bewailed the slaughter of that morning.”
“ We fought with swords, that day when I made " to struggle in the twilight of death, that young “ chief, so proud of his flowing locks * ; he who spent “ his mornings among the young maidens; he who “ loved to converse with the handsome widows.
What is the happy portion of the « brave, but to fall in the midst of a storm of ar
rows *? He who flies from wounds, drags a tedious « miserable life : the dastard feels no heart in his bo
66 * * * * * *
“ We fought with swords: a young man should “ march early to the conflict of arms: man should at“ tack man, or bravely resist him. In this hath al“ ways consisted the nobility of the warrior. He who
" We fought with swords; the spear resounded; the banners reflected the sunshine upon the coats of mail. I saw many a warrior fall in the morning : many' a hero in the contention of arms. Here the sword reached betimes the heart of my son : it was Egill deprived Agnar of life. He was a youth who never knew what it was to fear.”
“ We fought with swords, in the isles of the south. There Herthiose proved victorious: there died many of my valiant warriors. In the shower of arms Rogvaldur fell: I lost my son. In the play of arms came the deadly spear: his lofty crest was dyed with gore. The BIRDS OE PREY BEWAILED HIS FALL: THEY LOST HIM THAT PREPARED THEM BANQUETS." Vid. Five Pieces of Run. Poet. p. 31, 32, 35, &c.
* He means Harald, furnamed Harfagre, or Fairlocks, king of Norway.
T. † Literally, a hail-storm of darts. Une grêle de traits, T.
« aspires to the love of his mistress, ought to be 6. dauntless in the crash of swords.
« We fought with swords : but now. I find for cer«. tain, that men are drawn along by fate : there are « few can evade the decrees of the Destinies. Could
I have thought the conclusion of my life reserved 6. for Ella, when, almost expiring, I shed torrents of « blood? When I thrust forward my ships into the & Scottish gulphs? When I gained such abundant or spoil for the beasts of prey ?
We fought with swords: I am still full of joy, 4. when I think that a banquet is preparing for me in $. the palace of the Gods. Soon, soon, in the splendid « abode of Odin, we shall drink BEER out of the ". seulls of our enemies. A brave man shrinks not at “ death. I shall utter no words expressive of fear as " I enter the hall of Odin.
"We fought with swords. Ah! if my sons knew 6. the sufferings of their father: if they knew that « poisonous vipers tore his intrails to pieces! with what « ardour, would they wish to wage cruel war! For I
gave a mother to my children, from whom they in« herit a valiant heart.
“ We fought with swords: but now I touch upon of my last moments. A serpent already gnaws my
heart. Soon shall my sons black their swords in the « blood of Ella: their rage is in flame: those valiant “ youths will never rest till they have avenged their
“ We fought with swords, in fifty and one battles “ under my floating banners. From my early youth
“ I have learnt to dye the steel of my lance with “ blood; and thought I never could meet with a king
valiant than myself. But it is time to cease: 66 Odin hath sent his Goddesses to conduot me to his “ palace. I am going to be placed on the highest « seat, there to quaff goblets of BEER with the Gods. “ The hours of my life are rolled away. I will die " laughing,"
REMARKS ON THE PRECEDING ODE.
WILL not anticipate the reflections that necessa
rily occur to the Reader on perusing this Poem; but will only observe, that it strongly confirms what I have advanced in the former part of this work, concerning the peculiar sentiments of the northern nations with regard to the fair sex. It has been commonly supposed, that we owe to the Laws of Chivalry, (i. e. to an institution so late as the eleventh century) that spirit of generosity, which formerly rendered the ladies the umpires of the glory and honour of the male sex; which made their favours the object and the reward of virtuous and gallant actions; which caused the care of serving, defending, and pleasing them, to be considered as the sweetest and most noble of all duties; and which hath, even to this day, entailed on them a respect and deference, of which there is not the least idea in other climates. But it is certain, that long before the eleventh century, this manner of thinking had been familiar, and, as it were, naturalized among the Germans and Scandinavians.
Let us call to mind what Tacitus says of the respect shewn by these nations to their women. The Romans by no means introduced sentiments of this kind into the countries they conquered. It was not from them that they weré adopted in Spain, France, England, &c. Whence comes it then, that after the fall of the Roman Empire, we find this spirit of gallantry all of a sudden spread so wide ?
We see plainly, that this spirit, so peculiar to the northern nations, could only be spread and diffused by themselves. Formed and cherished by their religious prejudices, by their passion for war, and the chastity natural to their women, at the same time inti