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~ Historical & Classical Poetry ~


To A.S. Cottle from Robert Southey

(...)
But now I know
Through wildest scenes of strange sublimity.
Building the Runic rhyme, my fancy roves;
Niflhil’s nine worlds, and Surtur’s fiery reign,
And where, upon creation’s utmost verge
The weary dwarfs who bear the weight of Heaven
Wait the long winter which no sun may cheer,
And the last sound which from Heimdallur’s trump
Shall echo through all worlds, and sound the knell
Of Earth and Heaven.

A strange and savage faith
Of mightiest power! it fram´d the unfeeling soul
Stern to inflict and stubborn to endure,
That laugh´d in death. When round the poison´d breast
Of Regner clung the viper brood, and trail´d
Their coiling length along his festering wounds,
He, fearless in his faith, the death-song pour´d,
And lived in his past fame; for sure he hoped
Amid the Spirits of the mighty dead
Soon to enjoy the fight. And when his sons
Avenged their father´s fate, and like the wings
Of some huge eagle spread the severed ribs
Of Ella, in the shield-roof´d hall they thought
One day from Ella´s skull to quaff the mead,
Their valours guerdon.'
(...)

Robert Southey (1774-1843)

In:
"Icelandic poetry" by Amos Simon Cottle (1768?-1800)
 

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