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Then, from those cavernous eyes
Pale flashes seemed to rise,
As when the northern skies

Gleam in December;
And, like the water's flow
Under December's snow,
Came a dull voice of woe
From the heart's chamber.

"I was a Viking old!

My deeds, though manifold,
No Skald'in song has told,

No Saga taught thee!
Take heed, that in thy verse
Thou dost the tale rehearse,
Else dread a dead man's curse!

For this I sought thee.

“Far in the northern land,

By the wild Baltic's strand,
I, with my childish hand,

Tamed the ger-falcon;
And, with my skates fast-bound,
Skimmed the half-frozen Sound,
That the poor whimpering hound

Trembled to walk on.

“Oft to his frozen lair

Tracked I the grisly bear,
While from my path the hare

Fled like a shadow;
Oft through the forest dark
Followed the were-wolf's bark,
Until the soarmg lark

Sang from the meadow. “But when older I grew,

Joining a corsair's crew,
O'er the dark sea I flew

With the marauders.
Wild was the life we led;
Many the souls that sped,
Many the hearts that bled,

By our stern orders.

“Many a wassail-bout

Wore the long winter out;
Often our midnight shout

Set the cocks crowing,
As we the Berserk's tale
Measured in cups of ale,
Draining the oaken pail,

Filled to o'erflowing.

" Once as I told in glee

Tales of the stormy sea,
Soft eyes did gaze on me,

Burning yet tender;
And as the white stars shine"
On the dark Norway pine,
On that dark heart of mine

Fell their soft splendour. " I wooed the blue-eyed maid,

Yielding, yet half afraid,
And in the forest's shade

Our vows were plighted.
Under its loosened vest
Fluttered her little breast,
Like birds within their nest

By the hawk frighted. " Bright in her father's hall

Shields gleamed upon the wall,
Loud sang the minstrels all,

Chanting his glory;
When of old Hildebrand
I asked his daughter's hand,
Mute did the minstrels stand

To hear my story..
" While the brown ale he quaffed,

Loud then the champion laughed,
And as the wind-gusts waft

The sea-foam brightly,
So the loud laugh of scorn,
Out of those lips unshorn,
From the deep drinking-horn

Blew the foam lightly.

“ She was a prince's child,

I but a Viking wild,
And though she blushed and smiled,

I was discarded!
Should not the dove so white
Follow the sea-mew's flight,
Why did they leave that night

Her nest unguarded !

“ Scarce had I put to sea,

Bearing the maid with me,-
Fairest of all was she

Among the Norsemen !--
· When on the white sea-strand,
Waving his armed hand,
Saw we old Hildebrand,

With twenty horsemen.

" Then launched they to the blast,

Bent like a reed each mast,
Yet we were gaining fast,

When the wind failed us;
And with a sudden flaw
Came round the gusty Skaw,
So that our foe we saw

Laugh as he hailed us.

“ And as to catch the gale

Round veered the flapping sail,
Death! was the helmsman's hail,

Death without quarter!
Mid-ships with iron keel
Struck we her ribs of steel;
Down her black hulk did reel

Through the black water!

As with his wings aslant

Sails the fierce cormorant,
Seeking some rocky haunt,

With his prey laden,
So toward the open main,
Beating to sea again,
Through the wild hurricane,

Bore I the maiden.

“ Three weeks we westward bore,

And when the storm was o'er,
Cloud-like we saw the shore

Stretching to leeward !
There for my lady's bower
Built I the lofty tower,
Which, to this very hour,

Stands looking seaward.

“ There lived we many years;

Time dried the maiden's tears ;
She had forgot her fears,

She was a mother;
Death closed her mild blue eyes,
Under that tower she lies;
Ne'er shall the sun arise

On such another!

“ Still grew my bosom then,

Still as a stagnant fen!
Hateful to me were men,

The sunlight hateful!
In the vast forest here,
Clad in my warlike gear,
Fell I upon my spear,

Oh, death was grateful!

“ Thus, seamed with many scars

Bursting these prison-bars,
Up to its native stars

My soul ascended!
There from the flowing bowl
Deep drinks the warrior's soul,
Skoal! to the Northland! Skoal!"5

-Thus the tale ended.


It was the schooner Hesperus,

That sailed the wintry sea;
And the skipper had taken his little daughter

To bear him company.

Blue were her eyes as the fairy-flax,

Her cheeks like the dawn of day,
And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds,

That ope in the month of May.

The skipper he stood beside the helm,

His pipe was in his mouth,
And he watched how the veering flaw did blow,

The smoke now west, now south.
Then up and spake an old sailor,

Had sailed the Spanish Main, “I pray thee, put into yonder port,

For I fear a hurricane.

“Last night, the moon had a golden ring,

And to night no moon we see!”
The skipper, he blew a whiff from his pipe,

And a scornful laugh laughed he.'
Colder and louder blew the wind,

A gale from the north-east;
The snow fell hissing in the brine,

And the billows frothed like yeast.
Down came the storm, and smote amain

The vessel in its strength; She shuddered and paused, like a frightened steed,

Then leaped her cable's length.

“Come hither! come hither! my little daughter,

And do not tremble so;
For I can weather the roughest gale,

That ever wind did blow.”

He wrapped her in his seaman's coat

Against the stinging blast;
He cut a rope from a broken spar,

And bound her to the mast.
"O father! I hear the church-bells ring;

Oh, say, what may it be?” ""Tis a fog-bell on a rock-bound coast !"

And he steered for the open sea.

“O father! I hear the sound of guns ;

Oh, say, what may it be?” “Some ship in distress, that cannot live

In such an angry sea!”
"O father! I see a gleaming light;

Oh, say, what may it be?
But the father answered never a word,

A frozen corpse was he.

Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark,

With his face turned to the skies, The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow

On his fixed and glassy eyes. Then the maiden clasped her hands and prayed

That saved she might be; And she thought of Christ, who stilled the wave

On the Lake of Galilee. And fast through the midnight dark and drear,

Through the whistling sleet and snow, Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept :

Towards the reef of Norman's woe.

And ever the fitful gusts between

A sound came from the land;
It was the sound of the trampling surf

On the rocks and the hard sea-sand.

The breakers were right beneath ber bows,

She drifted a dreary wreck,
And a whooping billow swept the crew..

Like icicles from her deck.

She struck where the white and fleecy waves

Looked soft as carded wool;..
But the cruel rocks, they gored her side

Like the horns of an angry bull.

Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice,

With the masts went by the board;

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