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For whom yon glittring board is spread,
Drest for whom yon golden bed?

PROPHETESS.
Mantling in the goblet see
The pure bev'rage of the bee;
O’er it hangs the shield of gold;
'Tis the drink of Balder bold:
Balder's head to death is giv'n.
Pain can reach the Sons of Heav'n!
Unwilling I my lips unclose:
Leave me, leave me to repose.

ODIN. Once again my call obey [3]. Prophetess, arise, and say,

[3] Women were looked upon by the Gothic nations as having a peculiar insight into futurity; and some there were that made profession of magic arts and divination. These travelled round the country, and were received in every house with great respect and honour. Such a woman bore the name of Volva Seidkona or Spakona. The dress of Thorbiorga, one of these prophetesses, is described at large in Eirick's Rauda Sogu, (apud Bartholin. lib. i. cap. iv. p. 688.) “ She had on a “ blue vest spangled all over with stones, a necklace of glass beads, and " a cap made of the skin of a black lamb lined with white cat-skin. « She leaned on a staff adorned with brass, with a round head set with

What dangers Odin's Child await,
Who the Author of his fate?

PROPHETESS.
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.

ODIN.
* Prophetess, my spell obey,
Once again arise, and say,
Who th’ Avenger of his guilt,
By whom shall Hoder's blood be spilt ?

PROPHETESS.
. In the caverns of the west,
By Odin's fierce embrace comprest,

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6 stones; and was girt with an Hunlandish belt, at which hung her « pouch full of magical instruments. Her buskins were of rough calf« skin, bound on with thongs studded with knobs of brass, and her « gloves of white cat-skin, the fur turned inwards,” &c. They were also called Fiolkyngi, or Fiol-kunnug ; i. e. Multi-scia: and Visindakona ; i. e. Oraculorum Mulier, Nornir; i. e. Parcæ.

A wond'rous Boy shall Rinda bear,
Who ne'er shall comb his raven-hair,
Nor wash his visage in the stream,
Nor see the sun's departing beam,
Till he on Hoder’s corse shall smile
Flaming on the fun’ral pile.
Now my weary lips I close :
Leave me, leave me to repose.

ODIN.
Yet awhile my call obey;
Prophetess, awake, and say,
What Virgins these, in speechless woe [4],
That bend to earth their solemn brow,
That their flaxen tresses tear,
And snowy veils, that float in air.
Tell me whence their sorrows rose:
Then I leave thee to repose.

[4] These were probably the Nornir or Parcæ, before-mentioned; their names were Urda, Verdandi, and Skulda; and they were the dispensers of good destinies. As their names signify Time past, present, and future, it is probable they were always invisible to mortals: therefore when Odin asks this question on seeing them, he betrays himself to be a God; which elucidates the next speech of the Prophetess.

PROPHETESS. Ha! no Traveller art thou, King of Men, I know thee now; Mightiest of a mighty line

ODIN.
No boding Maid of skill divine
Art thou, nor Prophetess of good;
But mother of the giant-brood [5]!

PROPHETESS.
Hie thee hence, and boast at home,
That never shall Enquirer come
To break my iron-sleep again;
Till Lok has burst his tenfold chain (f);

[5] In the Latin, “ Mater trium Gigantum.” He means, therefore, probably Angerbode, who, from her name, seems to be “ no Prophetess « of good,” and who bore to Loke, as the Edda says, three children; the Wolf Fenris, the great Serpent Midgard, and Hela, all of them called Giants in that wild but curious system of mythology.

(f) Till Lok has burst his tenfold chain. Lok is the Evil Being, who continues in chainst

ues in chains till the Twilight of the Gods approaches; when he shall break his bonds; the human race, the stars, and sun, shall disappear; the earth sink in the seas, and fire consume the skies: even Odin himself and his kindred deities shall perish. For a farther explanation of this mythology, see “ Introduction a l'His

Never, till substantial Night Has reassum'd her ancient right; Till wrap'd in flames, in ruin hurld, Sinks the fabric of the world. “ toire de Dannemarc, par Mons. Mallet,” 1755, Quarto; or rather a translation of it published in 1770, and intitled, “ Northern Antiqui“ ties;" in which some mistakes in the original are judiciously corrected.

(The EDITOR thinks he shall render not an unacceptable service to the

Reader of taste, by inserting here a literal version of the original Poem, of which the foregoing is an imitation. The Reader may find a pleasure in comparing the rugged materials of the Skald with the polished stanzas and arrangements of the poet. It will be perceived, that either from choice, or the want of a complete Copy, Mr. Gray has passed over the first five stanzas. ]

If in the vision dim

A secret terror lurked.
Deep to consult,
The gods all met;
To talk aloud,

III.
The goddesses;

The oracles replied
Debate the holy synod shook That Viler's * friend elect,
On Ballder's late

The darling of all beings,
Portentous dreams.

Was summoned to his fate:

Anguish seized
II.

Freya + and Suafne,

And the celestial host;
By turbid slumbers tossed

Firm they resolved to send
The hero weened, he saw
Amid the gloom of night
His genius disappear:

iv.
The giants prostrate asked An embassy around

The power of oracles, To nature's general race, * Vller the son of sifia, noted among the gods for beauty, archery, and skill in skaiting. + Or Frigga, the wife of Odin.

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