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~ Historical & Classical Poetry ~

Runic Odes from the Norse Tongue

ODE II.

The Renovation of the World, and Future Retribution


The Gods (or Dœmones) meet on the Top of Mount Inda, and sing the following prophetic Song of Triumph.

Now the spirit's plastic might,
Brooding o'er the formless deep,
O'er the dusk abysm of night,
Bids creation cease to sleep !

Instant from the riven main
Starts the renovated earth;
Pine-clad mountain, shaded plain;
See, 'tis nature's second birth.

Now the waters glide along,
Murm'ring fountain, rapid flood;
Eagles soar on pinion strong,
Tyrants of the finny * brood.

Gods on Inda spread the board
Such was the supreme decree:
Swell the strains in full accord,
Strains of holiest harmony!

" Pour the sparkling beverage high;
" Be the song with horror fraught:
" Lab'ring earth, and ruin'd sky,
" Fill the soul and fix the thought.

" Odin next inspire the verse,
" Gor'd by the relentless fang;
" Ęther felt the conflict fierce,
" Dying groan, and parting pang.

" Where is now his vaunted might?
" Where the terror of his eye?
" Fled for aye from scenes of light:
" Pour the sparkling beverage high..

"Lo ! they fleet in radiant round
" Years of plenty, years of joy:
" Sorrow's place no more is found,
" Cares that vex, or sweets that cloy.

" From the kindly teeming foil,
" Ripen'd harvests wave unsown;
" Wherefore need the peasant's toil?
" Nature works, and works alone.

" Ask you whose the scepter'd sway?
" 'Tis to lordly Balder giv'n
" Mark him there in bright array,
" Stalking through the halls of heav'n.

" Hoder holds united reign;
" Latest times their strength shall prove
" Monarchs of the bleak domain.
" Know'st thou now what's done above ?

" Is it blest delusion's hour?
" Rolls mine eye in frenzied trance?
" Beams of glory round me show'r;
" Troops of radiant forms advance.

" Founded on that firm-set rock,
" Rising view the dome of gold
" Fix'd secure from wintry shock:
" There the good, and there the bold.

" High in tracts of troubled air
" Justice waves her awful sword :
" Vice appall'd, with hideous stare,
" Shrinks ere spoke the dooming word.

" Conscience comes, a tort'ring fiend,
" Bids his minions round him roll;
" Fell Remorse, the breast to rend,
" Agony, to storm the soul.

" In Nastronda's northern plain
" Hark, th' envenom'd portals ope :
" Respite there is none of pain,
" Cheerless all, without a hope.

" Dog-ey'd Lust, Adult'ry foul,
" Murder red with many a stain,
" At the fatal entrance scowl
" Bound in adamantine chain.

" Mark the house; if right we deem,
" 'Tis of scales serpentine built;
" Round it brawls a turbid stream:
" Mortal, such th' abode of guilt.

" Knowst thou now what's done above?
" Knowst thou now the deeds of Night?
They spoke : the feast of joy and love
Glow'd on Inda's glist'ring height.

Thomas James Mathias (1754?-1835)
 

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