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IV. -QUEEN SIGRID THE HAUGHTY.
QUEEN SIGRID the Haughty sat proud and aloft
In her chamber, that looked over meadow and croft.

Heart's dearest,

Why dost thou sorrow so?
The floor with tassels of fir was besprent,
Filling the room with their fragrant scent.
She heard the birds sing, she saw the sun shine,
The air of summer was sweeter than wine.
Like a sword without scabbard the bright river lay
Between her own kingdom and Norroway.
But Olaf the King had sued for her hand,
The sword would

be sheathed, the river be spanned.
Her maidens were seated around her knee,
Working bright figures in tapestry.
And one was singing the ancient rune
Of Brynhilda's love and the wrath of Gudrun.
And through and round it, and over it all
Sounded incessant the waterfall.
The Queen in her hand held a ring of gold,
From the door of Ladé's Temple old.
King Olaf had sent her this wedding gift,
But her thoughts as arrows were keen and swift.
She had given the ring to her goldsmiths twain,
Who smiled, as they handed it back again.
And Sigrid the Queen, in her haughty way,
Said, “Why do you smile, my goldsmiths, say?”
And they answered: “O Queen ! if the truth must be told,
The ring is of copper, and not of gold !”
The lightning flashed o'er her forehead and cheek,
She only murmured, she did not speak :
“If in his gifts he can faithless be,
There will be no gold in his love to me.”
A footstep was heard on the outer stair,
And in strode King Olaf with royal air.
He kissed the Queen's hand, and he whispered of love,
And swore to be true as the stars are above.
But she smiled with contempt as she answered: “O King,
Will you swear it, as Odin once swore, on the ring ?”

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And the King: “O speak not of Odiy to me,
The wife of King Olaf a Christian must be."
Looking straight at the King, with her level brows,
She said, “I keep true to my faith and my vows.'
Then the face of King Olaf was darkened with gloom,
He rose in his anger and strode through the room.
" Why, then, should I care to have thee ?” he said,
- A faded old woman, a heathenish jade!”
His zeal was stronger than fear or love,
And he struck the Queen in the face with his glove.
Then forth from the chamber in anger he fled,
And the wooden stairway shook with his tread.
Queen Sigrid the Haughty said under her breath,
· This insult, King Olaf, shall be thy death!”

Heart's dearest,
Why dost thou sorrow so?

V. -THE SKERRY OF SHRIEKS.

Now from all King Olaf's farms

His men-at-arms
Gathered on the Eve of Easter;
To his house at Angvalds-ness

Fast they press,
Drinking with the royal feaster.
Loudly through the wide-flung door

Came the roar
Of the sea upon the Skerry;
And its thunder loud and near

Reached the ear,
Mingling with their voices merry.
“ Hark!” said Olaf to his Scald,

Halfred the Bald,
“ Listen to that song, and learn it !
Half my kingdom would I give,

As I live,
If by such songs you would earn it!
“For of all the runes and rhymes

Of all times,
Best I like the ocean's dirges,
When the old harper heaves and rocks,

His hoary locks
Flowing and flashing in the surges !"

Halfred answered: “I am called

The Unappalled !
Nothing hinders me or daunts me.
Hearken to me, then, O King,

While I sing
The great Ocean Song that haunts me."
I will hear your song sublime

Some other time,'
Says the drowsy monarch, yawning,
And retires; each laughing guest

Applauds the jest;
Then they sleep till day is dawning.
Pacing up and down the yard,

King Olaf's guard
Saw the sea-mist slowly creeping
O'er the sands and up the hill,

Gathering still
Round the house where they were sleeping.
It was not the fog he saw,

Nor misty flaw,
That above the landscape brooded;
It was Eyvind Kallda's crew

Of warlocks blue,
With their crs of darkness hooded !
Round and round the house they go,

Weaving slow
Magic circles to encumber
And imprison in their ring

Olaf the King,
As he helpless lies in slumber.
Then ath wart the vapours dun

The Easter sun Streamed with one broad track of splendour! in their real forms appeared

The warlocks weird, Awful as the Witch of Endor. Blinded by the light that glared,

They groped and stared Round about with steps unsteady; From his window Olaf gazed,

And, amazed,
“Who are these strange people?" said he.
“Eyvind Kallda and his men !"

Answered then
From the yard a sturdy farmer;

While the men-at-arms apace

Filled the place,
Busily buckling on their armour.
From the gates they sallied forth,

South and north,
Scoured the island coast around them,
Seizing all the warlock band,

Foot and hand
On the Skerry rocks they bound them.
And at eve the King again

Called his train,
And, with all the candles burning,
Silent sat and heard once more

The sullen roar
Of the ocean tides returning.
Shrieks and cries of wild despair

Filled the air,
Growing fainter as they listened;
Then the bursting surge alone

Sounded on;
Thus the sorcerers were christened!
“Sing, O Scald, your song sublime,

Your ocean-rhyme,
Cried King Olaf: “it will cheer me!"
Said the Scald, with pallid cheeks,

“ The Skerry of Shrieks Sings too loud for you to hear me!"

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VI.—THE WRAITH OF ODIN.

The guests were loud, the ale was strong,
King Olaf feasted late and long;
The hoary Scalds together sang;
O’erhead the smoky rafters rang.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.
The door swung wide, with creak and din;
A blast of cold night-air came in,
And on the threshold shivering stood
A one-eyed guest, with cloak and hood.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang. The King exclaimed, “O graybeard pale! Come warm thee with this cup of ale.” The foaming draught the old man quaffed, The noisy guests looked on and laughed,

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

Then spake the King: “Be not afraid;
Sit here by me. The guest obeyed,
And, seated at the table, told
Tales of the sea, and Sagas old,

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang,
And ever, when the tale was o'er,
The King demanded yet one more;
Till Sigurd the Bishop smiling said,
'Tis late, O King, and time for bed.”

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.
The King retired; the stranger-guest
Followed and entered with the rest;
The lights were out, the pages gone,
But still the garrulous guest spake on.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.
As one who from a volume reads,
He spake of heroes and their deeds,
Of lands and cities he had seen,
And stormy gulfs that tossed between.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.
Then from his lips in music rolled
The Havamal of Odin old,
With sounds mysterious as the roar
Of billows on a distant shore.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.
“Do we not learn from runes and rhymes
Made by the gods in elder times,
And do not still the great Scalds teach
That silence better is than speech ?”

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.
Smiling at this, the King replied,

Thy lore is by thy tongue belied; For never was 1 so enthralled Either by Saga-man or Scald.”

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang. The Bishop said, “ Late hours we keep! Night wanes, O King ! 'tis time for sleep!". Then slept the King, and when he woke The guest was gone, the morning broke.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.
They found the doors securely barred,
They found the watch-dog in the yard,
There was no footprint in the grass,
Anl none had seen the stranger pass.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

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