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And Pales loves the straw-built shed
Warm with the breath of kine; And Venus loves the whispers
Of plighted youth and maid, In April's ivory moonlight,
Beneath the chesnut shade.
“But thy father loves the clashing
Of broadsword and of shield :
From the fresh battle-field :
Than his own dreadful frown, When he sees the thick black cloud of smoke Go
up from the conquered town. "And such as is the War-god,
The author of thy line,
Even such be thou and thine.
His bath and his perfumes; Leave to the sordid race of Tyre
Their dyeing-vats and looms;
The rudder and the oar;
And scrolls of wordy lore.
Roman, the sword is thine,
The legion's ordered line;
Which, with their laurelled train,
To Jove's eternal fane.
“Beneath thy voke the Volscian
Shall vail his lofty brow: Soft Capua’s curled revellers
Before thy chairs shall bow: The Lucumoes of Arnus
Shall quake thy rods to see; And the proud Samnite's heart of steel
Shall yield to only thee.
“ The Gaul shall come against thee
From the land of snow and night; Thou shalt give his fair-haired armies
To the raven and the kite.
“ The Greek shall come against thee,
The conqueror of the East. Beside him stalks to battle
The huge earth-shaking beast, The beast on whom the castle
With all its guards doth stand, The beast who hath between his eyes
The serpent for a hand. First march the bold Epirotes,
Wedged close with shield and spear; And the ranks of false Tarentum
Are glittering in the rear.
The ranks of false Tarentum
Like hunted sheep shall fly: In vain the bold Epirotes
Shall round their standards die : And Apennine's grey vultures
Shall have a noble feast On the fat and the eyes
Of the huge earth-shaking beast.
“Hurrah ! for the good weapons
That keep the War-god's land.
In a stout Roman hand.
That through the thick array
Hews deep its gory way.
“Then where, o'er two bright havens,
The towers of Corinth frown; Where the gigantic King of Day
On his own Rhodes looks down;
Beneath the laurel shades ;
Of dark-red colonnades;
Sheltered from waves and blasts, Bristles the dusky forest
Of Byrsa's thousand masts;
Amidst the northern ice;
The camel bears the spice;
Far o'er the western foam,
By her Sigurd's blood-stained bier,
As with equal death opprest, Gudrun sat; she shed no tear,
Her hand she smote not on her breast: Word, nor sign, nor act might show The wonted course of woman's woe.
Sages came, the wisest they,
But vain the aids from art they borrow; Can rhetoric soothe, or reason sway,
That stern mood of deepest sorrow, When the heart to bursting swells, Yet no tear its anguish tells ?
Round her pressed a widowed train,
Sisters they, in grief united,
Each her own sad tale recited :
Vainly; for her anguished mind,
Stunned beneath that sudden blow, Hardens, to itself confined,
Nor opens to another's woe. Hard and cold was Gudrun's soul, Nor sigh would rise, nor tear would roll.
Last did youthful Gulrand speak
"Matrons, though in wisdom old,
Age's counsels, all too cold,
With hurrying hand, from Sigurd's bier,
Swept she then the pall away:
To his cold lip thy warm lip lay;
Gudrun turned-one hurried glance
On that much-loved form she threw-
Had pierced the breast to her so true;
She saw, and sank, and low reclined
Hid in the couch her throbbing head :
Her burning cheek was crimsoned red:
Translated, in “Conybeare's Anglo-Saxon Poetry," from an Icelandic Poem.