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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 (d),

Ne'er again his likeness see;

(d) Long his loss shall Eirin weep.

Ireland.

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 tenour of our song. Scotland, thro' each winding vale

Far and wide the notes prolong.

Sisters, hence with spurs of speed :

Each her thundering faulchion wield; Each bestride her sable steed.

Hurry, hurry to the field.

THE DESCENT OF ODIN.

AN ODE.

FROM THE NORSE-TONGUE.

[The original is to be found in Bartholinus, de causis contemnende mortis; Hafniæ, 1689, Quarto.

Upreis Odinn allda gautr, &c.]

U PROSE the King of Men with speed,
And saddled strait his coal-black steed:
Down the yawning steep he rode,
That leads to Hela's drear abode (e).
Him the Dog of Darkness spied [1];
His shaggy throat he open’d wide,
While from his jaws, with carnage fillid,
Foam and human gore distillid:

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re) That leads to Hela's drear abode. Nifi heimr, 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.

[1] The Edda gives this dog the name of Managarmar; he fed upon the lives of those that were to die.

Hoarse he bays * with hideous din,
Eyes that glow, and fangs that grin;
And long pursues, with fruitless yell,
The Father of the powerful spell.
Onward still his way he takes,
(The groaning earth beneath him shakes,)
Till full before his fearless eyes
The portals nine of Hell arise.

Right against the eastern gate, By the moss-grown pile he sate; Where long of yore to sleep was laid The dust of the prophetic Maid. Facing to the northern clime, Thrice he trac’d the Runic rhyme; Thrice pronounc'd, in accents dread, The thrilling verse that wakes the Dead; Till from out the hollow ground Slowly breath'd a sullen sound.

* Several Editions have it brays. It is not, however, the nature of the dog, but of the ass, to bray. To bay is, according to Johnson, to bark, as a dog at a thief.

PROPHETESS.
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 mould'ring 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 unblest,
That calls me from the bed of rest?

ODIN.
A Traveller, to thee unknown,
Is he that calls, a Warrior's Son.
Thou the deeds of light shalt know;
Tell me what is done below [2],

[2] Odin, we find both from this Ode and the Edda, was solicitous about the fate of his son Balder, who had dreamed that he was soon to die. The Edda mentions the manner of his death when killed by Odin's other son Hoder; and also that Hoder was himself slain afterwards by Vali the son of Odin and Rinda, consonant with this prophecy.

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