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material error or mistake. Besides, the Poem in question hath been claimed, in their turn, by the Danish Literati, as a production of their own country: and it hath even been printed, nearly the same as it is given here, in a collection of ancient Danish Songs * For my part, I am inclined to think, that it was sung indifferently throughout all Scandinavia, and that each people placed the scene of action among themselves, in order to have the honour of those prodigious feats of valour which are so largely described in it. Examples of this kind are frequent enough in all remote ages.
With regard to the time when this Poem was composed, if we may judge from the language of the original as we have it at present, it should seem to be of the thirteenth or fourteenth century: but it certainly must be of a far more distant period; since the manners described in it, and the Pagan religion, which is more than once alluded to, incontestibly belong to times preceding the tenth century. It is therefore very probable, that the language and style of this Poem have been occasionally reformed and modernized, as often as was necessary to render it intelligible. Its being so general a favourite throughout the north, must have invited more Poets than one, to do the public this acceptable service. Mr. Biorner informs us, that he himself had heard it sung in his youth, with some slight alterations, by the peasants of Medelpadia and Angermania, Provinces which lie to the north of Stockholm. As to what he asserts farther, that the Heroes celebrated in it must have lived in the third century, it is a point very difficult to maintain with any certainty.
* See N. 20. in Centur, Cant. Danic. prior Part. prim. ab And. Vellaio compil. et edit. Ann. 1695. cum cent. sec. a Per. Syvio.
THE HISTORY OF CHARLES AND GRYMER, SWEDISH KINGS; AND OF HIALMAR, THE SON OF
HAREC, KING OF BIARMLAND,
HERE was a king named CHARLES, who com
manded valiant warriors; in Sweden were his dominions; where he caused to reign repose and joy. Widely extended and populous was his country; and his army was composed of chosen youths. His queen, who was herself most beautiful, had borne bim a lovely daughter, called INGUEGERDA ; whose lively and graceful accomplishments, daily increasing, were no less the objects of admiration, than was the splendor of her birth and fortune. The breast of the king was replete with felicity.
The defence of the king's power and dominions were intrusted to the care of a valiant count (A), named ERIC. This warrior had past his life amidst the clash of swords and javelins, and bad vanquished many a
mighty mighty Hero. His wife, a lady of illustrious birth, bad brought him a son, named GRYMER ; a youth early distinguished in the profession of arms; who well knew how to dye his sword in the blood of his enemies, to run over the craggy mountains, to wrestle, play at chess, trace the motions of the stars, and to throw far from him heavy weights; in short, he was possessed of every accomplishment that could perfect and compleat 'the Hero. By the time he was twelve years old, no one durst contend with him, either with the sword, the bow, or at wrestling. He frequently shewed his skill in the chamber of the damsels, before the king's lovely daughter. Desirous of acquiring her regard, he displayed his dexterity in handling his weapons, and the knowledge he had attained in the sciences he had learned. At length he ventured to make this demand : « Wilt thou, O fair « Princess, if I may obtain the king's consent, accept « of me for a husband ?" To which she prudently replied: I must not make that choice myself; but go " thou, and offer the same proposal to my father.”
* The English Translator could Grund, to GRYMER and GRUN, bere only follow the French of Der; as presuming they are in M. Mallet, not being able to pro- the original (according to the ucure either the original or any sual Icelandic idiom) Gryms and other Version. He has, however, Grundr : the final r is, in translz- altered two of the names, which tion, either dropt or retained, at
in French are written Grym and pleasure of the writer. T.
This gallant young man proceeded directly to the king, and respectfully addressing him, said, “ O King! of Give me in marriage thy rich and beautiful daughter.” He answered, in a rage, "Thou hast learned in some de
gree to handle thy arms; thou hast acquired some 5 honourable distinctions ; but hast thou ever gained a « victory, or given a banquet to the savage beasts that “ delight in blood? 6 Whither shall I go then, O “ King, said GRYMER, that I may dye my sword in 5 crimson, and render myself worthy of this fàir en#chanting maiden ?" " I know a man, replied the
king, who has made himself terrible by the keen
ness of his sword : the strongest shields he cuts in • pieces; he wins in combats the most splendid ar« mour; and loads all his followers with riches. His * name is HIALMAR: he is the son of HAREC, who
Biarmland * I know not a braver man, nor one who commands more gallant warriors. Go “ then, without delay, attack this Hero, and thus give
a proof of thy valour. Assail him with undaunted
resolution, and cause him soon to bite the dust : then “ will I give thee the fair INGUEGERDA, all bedecked “ with gold, and with her, beside, great store of c riches. Consider well the honour thou wilt acquire “ by subduing so illustrious a chieftain as Hialmar. In “ the mean time, thy.destined bride shall be kept safe « for thee till thy return, and they shall take care to « adern her with splendid attire.” GRYMER instantly returned to the fair INGUEGERDA, and with looks full of love, respectfully saluted her.
" What answer " hast thou received,” said she, “ from the king ? “ Tell me; it is what I am impatient to know.” Before he could find words to reply, his colour alternately came and went. At length he uttered this short sentence. “ The king has directed me to the fearless “ Hialmar: nor can I obtain thee till I have deprived « him of life.” Then INGUEGERDA exclaimed, with grief, “ Alas! My father has devoted thee to death! « But behold a sword that can penetrate through and « embrue in blood the best tempered armour.
Handle “ it well in battle, and strike heavy blows.” GRYMER viewed with attention the edge of this sabre, which he called, from an assurance of its efficacy, TRAUSTA, (i. e. Comforter.) At the same time his mistress presented him with a suit of armour; at the sight of which GRYMER vowed never to yield or give way when he was in sight of HIALMAR. Then he went to his father : “ The time is come, said he, in the which “ I may now acquire glory: Give me, without delay,
This Province is thought to padia, Angermania, &c. Others be that tract of country known at suppose it to have been to the cast present by the names of Medel of the gulph of Bothnia. T.
vessels and soldiers: I cannot wait for them longer."" “ I will entrust thee,” replied his father, “ with fifteen “ galleys, and one large and splendid ship. Thou art « permitted to chuse thyself the most excellent arms, « and to select those warriors whom thou most re« gardest.”
An assembly was then immediately convoked ; to which numbers resorted from the most distant parts of the country. GRYMER selected a fine troop, all composed of the bravest warriors. Each of them pressed to follow him with a noble ardour. Soon to the shore of the sea marched this chosen and valiant band. They launch their vessels, richly bedecked, into the wide ocean. Armed with cuirasses of a shining blue, they unfurl their sails : which instantly catch the springing gale. The shrowds rattle; the white waves foam and dash against their prows. In the mean time, GRYMER prepared himself for the rude shock of battle, and to spread a carnage wide around him. Persuaded that no warrior could stand before the force of his arrows, he exacted. an oath of fidelity from his followers. These valiant Heroes steer their numerous vessels towards the shores of Gothland, eager to glut the hungry ravens, and to gorge the wolf with ample prey. The fleet now reaches the enemy's coasts : those fatal coasts, where so many warriors were soon to perish.
Thus landed GRYMER on the shores of GOTHLAND; and thus did a beauteous maiden occasion the feast that was going to be prepared for the greedy wolf, and that all those proud and valiant heroes were about to risk their lives in battle. Looking around them, they perceived an extensive encampment, which stretched along a plain, and near it a fine army drawn up, and large fires blazing. No one doubted that this was the camp wherein HIALMAR commanded. So it proved ; and that chieftain himself advancing, demanded of GRYMER'S valiant soldiers, to whom belonged these