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mately connected with their customs and manners, IT could not but follow them into all their settlements, and there would continue to maintain its influence for many ages. But afterwards, when the nations descended from them became more civilized and wealthy, the splendid and shewy effects which this fine spirit of gallantry then produced, would easily dazzle the eyes of inquirers, and prevent them from discerning the origin of it among so rude a race of men as their Gothic ancestors : so that at present, when one would trace it up to its real source, we have strong prejudices to encounter and surmount..
of king REGNER, the genius of Chivalry itself will seem to speak in that composed by a Norwegian prince, named HARALD THE VALIANT, which is found in an old Icelandic Chronicle, called Knytlinga Saga. This piece is of much later date than the preceding: but it is yet sufficient to show, that these northern people had learned to combine the ideas of love and military valour, long before those very nations themselves, whose taste and manners they had afterwards so strong an inclination to adopt. Harald the Valiant lived about the middle of the eleventh century. He was one of the most illustrious adventurers of his time. He had traversed all the seas of the north, and carried his piratical incursions as far as the Mediterranean itself, and the coast of Africa. He was at length taken prisoner, and detained for some time at Constantinople. He complains in this Ode, that the glory he had acquired by so many exploits, had not been able to make any impression on Elissif *, the daughter of Jarislas, king of Russia.
* In the original, as given by Bartholin, it is ELIZABETH.
THE O DE
HARALD THE VALIANT.
Y ships have made the tour of Sicily : then
were we all magnificent and splendid. My “ brown vessel, full of mariners, rapidly rowed to the « utmost of my wishes. Wholly taken up with war, “ I thought my course would never slacken ; and yet
a Russian maiden scorns me,
“ In my youth I fought with the people of Dron. " theim. Their troops exceeded ours in number. It
was a terrible conflict: I left their young king dead “ in the field : and yet a Russian maiden scorns me.
“ One day we were but sixteen in a vessel : a «c storm arose, and swelled the sea: it filled the loaded “ ship, but we diligently cleared it out. Thence I “ formed hopes of the happiest success : and yet a « Russian maiden scorns me.
“ I know how to perform eight exercises * : I fight valiantly; I sit firmly on horseback; I am inured
► See the Five Pieces of Runic Poetry, p. 80.
" to swimming; I know how to run along in scates ; « I dart the launce ; and am skilful at the oar: and
yet a Russian maiden scorns me.
“ Can she deny, that young and lovely maiden, « that on the day, when posted near a city in the « southern land, I joined battle, that then I valiantly « handled my arms, and left behind me lasting monu“ ments of my exploits? and yet a Russian maiden
“ I was born in the high country of Norway, where « the inhabitants handle their bows so well. But I « preferred guiding my ships, the dread of peasants, among
the rocks of the ocean: and far from the « habitations of men, I have run through all the seas “ with my vessels: and yet a Russian maiden scorns
the preceding; it is called in the ancient Chronicles, the ELOGIUM OF HACON. This prince was son of the famous Harald, surnamed Harfagre, or FairLocks, the first king of all Norway. He was slain in the year 960, in a battle wherein eight of his brothers fell along with him. Eyvind, or Evinder, his cousin, a 'celebrated Scald, who was called THE CROSS OF POETS, on account of his superior talents for verse, was present at this battle, and afterwards composed this Ode, to be sung at the funeral of his relation. It is Snorro himself, to whom we owe the EDDA, that hath preserved this Ode in his Chronicle of Norway.