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~ Historical & Classical Poetry ~

Ring´s Dirge

The' hero-sprung sov'reign
Sits in his barrow,
Battle- blade by him,
Buckler on arm;
Chafing, his courser
Close to his side neighs,
Pawing with gold-hoof
The earth-girded grave.

Royally Ring now
Rides over Bifrost;
Rocks with the burden
The arch-bended bridge.
Wide-ope spring Valhal's
Vast-vaulted portals,
Th' Ases his hands glad
Hurry to grasp.

Far on a foray
Fights puissant Thor, but
Welcomes with wine-cup
Allfather's wink.
Frey round the chieftain's
Crown plaiteth corn-ears,
Frigg binds bright-hued
Blue-flow'rs among.

White-bearded bard, ag'd
Brage, his gold-harp
Sweeps and yet softer
Stealeth the lay;
Lull'd by the lyre-tones
Vanadis listens,
Bent o'er the board her
Bosom of snows.

Swords, 'mid cleft helmets
Savagely sing, and
Fierce-boiling billows
Blood-red still run.
Arm-strength, which good gods
Give to the warrior,
Brutal as berserk
Bites on the shield.

Hail, then, to Valhal
Heav'n-honor'd prince, whose
Shield his sav'd country
Shelter'd with peace!
Type of tried strength, soft
Temper'd by love, like
Incense rich-rising,
Reach'dst thou the sky!

Words wise and chosen
Valfather whispers,
Seated by Saga,
Sokvabek's maid;
So clang the chieftain's
Silver-clear tones, like
Mimer's fount flowing
Freshly and deep.

Furious feudmen
Forset' appeases,
Doomer where Urd's bright
Welling waves flow;
So on the doom-stone,
Dreadful but dear, wise
Ring hasten'd, heroes 1
Hands to disarm.

Generous gifts, too,
Gave he rich, scatt'ring
Round him dwarf-day-shine,
Dragon-bed bright;
Glad from his princely
Palm went the present;
Light from his lips flew
Love, pity, hope!

Welcome, then, wise one!
Valhal's-heir, welcome !
Long shall the Northland
Laud thy lov'd name!
Brage, the mead-horn
Holding, hails courteous,
Ring, norn's peace-pledge,
Prince from the North.

From the "Fridthjof´s Saga"by Esaias Tegner,
transl. by George Stephens, in: "Viking Tales of the North.",
CANTO XXL, pp.327 (1901)


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