Page images
PDF
EPUB

Never, till substantial Night
Has reassum'd her ancient right;
Till wrap'd in flames, in ruin hurld,
Sinks the fabric of the world.

“ toire de Dannemarc, par Mons. Mallet,” 1755, Quarto; or rather a translation of it published in 1770, and intitled “Northern Antiqui. “ ties;” in which some mistakes in the original are judiciously corrected.

rThe EDITOR thinks he shall render not an unacceptable service to the

Reader of taste, by inserting here a literal version of the original Poem, of which the foregoing is an imitation. The Reader may find a pleasure in comparing the rugged materials of the Skald with the poJished stanzas and arrangements of the poet. It will be perceived, that either from choice, or the want of a complete Copy, Mr. Gray has passed over the first five stanzas.] I.

If in the vision dim

A secret terror lurked.
Deep to consult,
The gods all met;
To talk aloud,

111.
The goddesses;

The oracles replied
Debate the holy synod shook That Vller's (27) friend elect,
On Ballder's late

The darling of all beings, .
Portentous dreams.

Was summoned to his fate:

Anguish seized
II.

Freya [28] and Suafne,

And the celestial host :
By turbid slumbers tossed

Firm they resolved to send
The hero weened, he saw
Amid the gloom of night
His genius disappear:

IV.
The giants prostrate asked An embassy around
The power of oracles,

To nature's general race, (27] Vller the son of Sifia, noted among the gods for beauty, archery, and skill in skaiting.

[28] Or Frigga, the wife of Odin.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

[29) If, in the progress of the Ode, the motive of Odin's descent, the dream of Rallder, had been again hinted at, the abrupt simplicity with which this stanza sets out might account for Mr. Gray's omitting the five preceding ones.

[blocks in formation]

[30] Vegtamr, Valtams, names of toil and war.

[31] Mr. Gray follows the common explication of this perplexed passage, and makes Haudr, or Hother, the brother of Ballder. Saxo, whose information cannot have been much inferior to Snorro's, makes him the son of Hodbrodd, Ballder's rival for Nanna, and the declared enemy of the Asi. Lib. iii. Hist. Dan. i.

XVII. ODIN.
Volva, say on!
What Virgins those [32]
That flow in tears,
And heavenward throw
Their snowy veils!
This answer yet
E'er thou repose.

XIX. ODIN.
Volva, thou art not!
Thou, wizard none !
The dam thou art
Of giant-cubs!

XVIII. VOLVA.
Vegtamr, thou art not
As I weened!
Odin, thou art
The sire of men !

XX. VOLVA.
Ride home Odin,
And triumph now!
And thus fare he
Who breaks my sleep,
Till Lock redeemed
His fetters bursts !
And twilight blasts
The eve of gods!

[32] The oracles had told that Ballder might be redeemed from Hela, by what they knew could not happen, the unanimous intercession of the sex. Odin, after having received answers to every question th coincided with the decrees of fate, makes use of an artifice to come at the knowledge of Ballder's final destiny, by inventing a vision of female lamentation, and betrays himself by this trick to the prophetess, who saw only realities.

THE TRIUMPHS OF OWEN.

A FRAGMENT.

FROM THE WELCH,

(From Mr. Evans's specimens of the Welch Poetry (33); London, 1764,

Quarto. Owen succeeded his father Griffin in the principality of North Wales, A. D. 1120. This battle was fought near forty years afterwards.

OWEN's praise demands my song,
Owen swift, and Owen strong;
Fairest flower of Roderic's stem,
Gwyneth's shield (g), and Britain's gem.

(8) Gwyneth. North Wales. [33] The following is the prose version of Mr. Evans, p. 25. Panegyric upon Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales, by

Gwalchmai, the son of Melir, in the year 1157. 1. I will extol the generous Hero, descended from the race of Roderic,

the bulwark of his country; a prince eminent for his good qualities, the glory of Britain, Owen the brave and expert in arms, a Prince

that neither hoardeth nor coveteth riches. 2. Three fleets arrived, vessels of the main; three powerful fleets of the

first rate, furiously to attack him on the sudden: one from Jwerddyn (Ireland), the other full of well-armed Lochlinians (Danes

« PreviousContinue »