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Workmen sweating at the forges

Fashioned iron bolt and bar,
Like a warlock's midnight orgies
Smoked and bubbled the black cauldron

With the boiling tar.
Did the warlocks mingle in it,

Thorberg Skafting, any curse?
Could you not be gone a minute
But some mischief must be doing,

Turning bad to worse?
'Twas an ill wind that came wafting,

From his homestead words of woc;
To his farm went Thorberg Skafting,
Oft repeating to his workmen,

Build ye thus and so. After long delays returning,

Came the master back by night; To his ship-yard longing, yearning, Hurried he, and did not leave it

Till the morning's light. “ Come and see my ship, my darling!"

On the morrow said the King; “Finished now from keel to carling; Never yet was seen in Norway

Such a wondrous thing !"' In the ship-yard, idiy talking,

At the ship the workmen stared: Some one all their labour baulking, Down her sides had cut deep gashes,

Not a plank was spared ! “Death be to the evil-doer!”

With an oath King Olaf spoke;
“ But rewards to his pursuer!"
And with wrath his face grew redder

Than his scarlet cloak.
Straight the master-builder, smiling,

Answered thus the angry King: Cease blaspheming and reviling, Olaf, it was Thorberg, Skafting,

Who has done this thing?"
Then he chipped and smoothed the planking,

Till the King rlelighted, sworc, With much lauding and much thanking, “Handsomer is now my Dragon

Than she was before !"

Seventy ells and four extended
On the


the vessel's keel. High above it, gilt and splendid, Rose

the figure-head ferocious
With its crest of steel.

Then they launched her from the tressels,

In the ship-yard by the sea;
She was the grandest of all vessels,
Never ship was built in Norway

Half so fine as she!
The Long Serpent was she christened,

'Mid the roar of cheer on cheer!
They who to the Saga listened
Heard the name of Thorberg Skafting

For a hundred year!


SAFE at anchor in Drontheim bay
King Olaf's fleet assembled lay,

And, striped with white and blue,
Downward fluttered sail and banner,
As alights the screaming lanner;
Lustily cheered, in their wild manner,

The Long Serpent's crew.
Her forecastle man was Ulf the Red;
Like a wolf's was his shaggy head,

His teeth as large and white;
His beard, of gray and russet blended,
Round as a swallow's nest descended;
As standard-bearer he defended

Olaf's flag in the fight.
Near him Kolbiorn had his place,
Like the King in garb and face,

So gallant and so hale;
Every cabin-boy and varlet
Wondered at his cloak of scarlet;
Like a river, frozen and star-lit,

Gleamed his coat of mail.
By the bulkhead, tall and dark,
Stood Thrand Rame of Thelemark,

A figure gaunt and grand;
On his hairy arm imprinted
Was an anchor, azure-tinted;
Like Thor's hammer, huge and dinted

Was his brawny hand.

Einar Tamberskelver, bare
To the winds his golden hair,

By the mainmast stood;
Graceful was his form, and slender,
And his eyes were deep and tender
As woman's, in the splendour

Of her maidenhood.

In the fore-hold Biorn and Bork
Watched the sailors at their work:

Heavens! how they swore!
Thirty men they each commanded,
Iron-sinewed, horny-handed,
Shoulders broad, and chests expanded,

Tugging at the oar.
These, and many more like these,
With King Olaf sailed the seas,

Till the waters vast
Filled them with a vague devotion,
With the freedom and the motion,
With the roll and roar of ocean

And the sounding blast.
When they landed from the fleet,
How they roared through Drontheim's street,

Boisterous as the gale! How they laughed and stamped and pounded, Till the tavern roof resounded, And the host looked on astounded

As they drank the ale !
Never saw the wild North Sea
Such a gallant company

Sail its billows blue !
Never, while they cruised and quarrelled,
Old King Gorm, or Blue-Tooth Harald,
Owned a ship so well aprarelled,

Boasted such a crew !


A LITTLE bird in the air
Is singing of Thyri the fair,

The sister of Svend the Dane;
And the song of the garrulous bird
In the streets of the town is heard,
And repeated again and again.

Hoist up your sails of silk,
And flee away from cach other.

To King Burislaf, it is said,
Was the beautiful Thyri wed,

And a sorrowful bride went she;
And after a week and a day,
She has fied away and away,
From his town by the stormy sca

Hoist up your sails of silk,

And flee away from each other.
They say, that through heat and through cold,
Through weald, they say, and through wold,

By day and by night, they say,
She has fied; and the gossips report
She has come to King Olaf's court,
And the town is all in dismay.

Hoist up your sails of silk,

And flee away from each other.
It is whispered King Olaf has seen,
Has talked with the beautiful Queen;

And they wonder how it will end;
For surely, if here she remain,
It is war with King Svend the Dane,
And King Burislaf the Vend !

Hoist up your sails of silk,

And flee away from each other.
O, greatest wonder of all !
It is published in hamlet and hall,

It roars like a flame that is fanned!
The King-yes, Olaf the King-
Has wedded her with his ring,
And Thyri is Queen in the land !

Hoist up your sails of silk,
And flee away from each other.


NORTHWARD Over Drontheim,
Flew the clamorous sea-gulls,
Sang the lark and linnet

From the meadows green;
Weeping in her chamber,
Lonely and unhappy,
Sat the Drottning Thyri,

Sat King Olaf's Queen.
In at all the windows
Streamed the pleasant sunshine,
On the roof above her

Softly cooed the dove;

But the sound she heard not,
Nor the sunshine heeded,
For the thoughts of Thyri

Were not thoughts of love.
Then King Olaf entered,
Beautiful as morning,
Like the sun at Easter

Shone his happy face;
In his hand he carried
Angelicas uprooted,
With delicious fragrance

Filling all the place. Like a rainy midnight Sat the Drottning Thyri, Even the smile of Olaf

Could not cheer her gloom; Nor the stalks he


her With a gracious gesture, And with words as pleasant

As their own perfume.
In her hands he placed them,
And her jewelled fingers
Through the green leaves glistened

Like the dews of morn;
But she cast them from her,
Haughty and indignant,
On the floor she threw them

With a look of scorn.
“ Richer presents,” said she,
“Gave King Harald Gormson
To the Queen, my mother,

Than such worthless weeds;
" When he ravaged Norway,
Laying waste the kingdom,
Seizing scatt and treasure

For her royal needs.
“But thou darest not venture
Through the Sound to Vendland,
My domains to rescue

From King Burislaf;
“Lest King Svend of Denmark,
Forked Beard, my brother,
Scatter all thy vessels

As the wind the chaff.”

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