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Glittering lances are the loom
Where the dusky warp we strain, Weaving many a soldier's doom,
Orkney's woe, and Randver's bane.
See the grisly texture grow!
('Tis of human entrails made) And the weights, that play below,
Each a gasping warrior's head.
Shafts for shuttles, dipt in gore,
Shoot the trembling cords along. Sword, that once a monarch bore, Keep the tissue close and strong.
Mista, black terrific maid,
Sangrida, and Hilda, see! Join the wayward work to aid :
'Tis the woof of victory.
Ere the ruddy sun be set,
Pikes must shiver, javelins sing, Blade with clattering buckler meet,
Hauberk crash, and helmet ring.
(Weave the crimson web of war)
Let us go, and let us fly,
Where they triumph, where they die.
As the paths of fate we tread,
Wading through th' ensanguin'd field, Gondula, and Geira, spread
O'er the youthful king your shield.
We the reins to slaughter give,
Ours to kill, and ours to spare : Spite of danger he shall live.
(Weave the crimson web of war.)
They, whom once the desert-beach
Pent within its bleak domain, Soon their ample sway shall stretch
O'er the plenty of the plain.
Low the dauntless Earl is laid,
Gor'd with many a gaping wound: Fate demands a nobler head;
Soon a King shall bite the ground.
Long his loss shall Eirin* weep
Ne'er again his likeness see; Long her strains in sorrow steep;
Strains of immortality!
Horror covers all the heath,
Clouds of carnage blot the sun. Sisters, weave the web of death :
Sisters, cease : the work is done.
Hail the task, and hail the hands!
Songs of joy and triumph sing ! Joy to the victorious bands ;
Triumph to the younger King.
Mortal thou, that hear'st the tale,
Learn the tenor of our song. Scotland, through each winding vale
Far and wide the notes prolong.
Sisters, hence with spurs of speed:
Each her thundering falchion wield; Each bestride her sable steed.
Hurry, hurry to the field.
THE DESCENT OF ODIN.*
FROM THE NORSE TONGUE.
UPROSE the King of Men with speed,
*The original is to be found in Bartholinus, de Causis contemnendae Mortis ; Hafniæ, 1689, quarto.
Upreis Odinn allda gautr, &c. + Niflheimr, the Hell of the Gothic nations, consisted of nine worlds, to which were devoted all such as died of sickness, old age, or by any other means than in battle. Over it presided Hela, the Goddess of Death,
Onward still his way he takes,
Right against the eastern gate,
What call unknown, what charms, presume To break the quiet of the tomb ? Who thus afflicts my troubled sprite, And drags me from the realms of night? Long on these mouldering bones have beat The winter's snow, the summer's heat, The drenching dews, and driving rain! Let me, let me sleep again. Who is he, with voice unbless'd, That calls me from the bed of rest?
A Traveller, to thee unknown,
Mantling in the goblet see
Once again my call obey.
In Hoder's hand the Hero's doom ; His brother sends him to the tomb. Now my weary lips I close : Leave me, leave me to repose.
Prophetess, my spell obey, Once again arise, and say, Who the Avenger of his guilt, By whom shall Hoder's blood be spilt?
In the caverns of the west, By Odin's fierce embrace compress’d, A wondrous Boy shall Rinda bear, Who ne'er shall comb his raven-hair,