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Long his loss shall Eirin weep,
Ne'er again his likeness see ; Long her strains in sorrow steep :
Strains of immortality! Horror covers all the heath,
Clouds of carnage blot the sun. Sisters, weave the web of death.
Sisters, cease; the work is done. Hail the task, and hail the hands!
Songs of joy and triumph sing ! Joy to the victorious bands;
Triumph to the younger king. Mortal, thou that hearest the tale,
Learn the tenour of our song. Scotland, through each winding vale
Far and wide the notes prolong. Sisters, hence with spurs of speed :
Each her thundering falchion wield; Each besiride her sable steed.
Hurry, hurry to the field !
THE DESCENT OF ODIN.
FROM THE NORSE TONGUE.
The original is to be found in Bartholinus, de Causis contemnendæ Mortis ; Hafniæ, 1689, quarto, p. 632.
Upreis. Odinn allda gautr, fc.
UPROSE the king of men with speed,
Ver. 4. That leads to Hela's drear abode] Nitheliar, the hell of the Gothic nations, consisted of nine worlds, to which were devoted all such as died of sickness, old age, or by any other means than in battle. Over it presided Hela, the goddess of death. MASON.
Hela, in the Edda, is described with a dreadful countenance, and her body half flesh-colour, and half blue. GRAY.
Ver. 5. Him the dog of darkness spied] The Edda gives this dog the name of Managarmar. He fed upon the lives of those that were to die. MASON.
Hoarse he bays with hideous din,
Right against the eastern gate,
What call unknown, what charms presume To break the quiet of the tomb? Who thus afflicts my troubled sprite, A d drage me from the realms of night? Loug on these mouldering bones have beat The winter's snow, the summer's heat, The drenching dews, and driving rain! Let me, let me sleep again. Who is he, with vcice unblest, That calls me from the bed of rest?
Mantling in the goblet see
Once again my call obey, Prophetess, arise, and say,
Ver. 40. Tell me what is done below] Odin was anxious about the fate of his son Balder, who had dreamed he was soon to die. He was killed by Odin's other son, Hoder, who was himself slain by Vali, the son of Odin and Rinda, consonant wiih this prophecy. See the Edda.
Ver. 51. Once again my call obey] Women were looked upon by the Gothic nations as having a pecu
What dangers Odin's child await,
Prophetess, my spell obey,
liar 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 Eirik'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 stones; and was girt with an Hanlandish belt, at which hung