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yet sorrow dwelt not in his soul. But when the war. rior thought on the past, his proud heart heaved against his side: forth flew his sword from its place: he wounded Harold in all the winds. One daughter, and only one, but bright in form and nild of soul, the last beam of the setting line, remained to Sigurd of all his race. His son, in Lulan's battle slain, beheld not his father's flight from his foes. Nor finished seemed the ancient line! The splendid beauty of bright-eyed Fithon covered still the fallen king with renown. Her arm was white like Gormal's snow; her bosom whiter than the foam of the main, when roll the waves beneath the wrath of the winds. Like two stars were her radiant eyes, like two stars that rise on the deep, when dark tumult embroils the night. Pleasant are their beams aloft, as stately they ascend the skies. Nor Odin forgot, in aught, the maid. Her form scarce equalled her lofty mind. Awe moved around her stately steps. Heroes loved—but shrunk away in their fears. Yet, midst the pride of all her charms, her heart was soft and her soul was kind. She saw the mournful with tearful eyes. Transient darkness arose in her breast. Her joy was in the chase. Each morning, when doubtful light wandered dimly on Lulan's waves, she roused the resounding woods to Gor. mal’s head of snow. Nor moved the maid alone, &c.
The same versified.
Where fair-hair'd Harold, o'er Scandinia reign'd, And held with justice what his valor gain'd, Sevo, in snow, his rugged forehead rears, And, o'er the warfare of his storms, appears Abrupt and vast.—White wandering down his side A thousand torrents, gleaming as they glide, Unite below, and, pouring through the plain, łłurry the troubled Torno to the main.
Gray, on the bank, remote from human kind, By aged pines half-shelter'd from the wind, A homely mansion rose, of antique form, For ages batter'd by the polar storm. To this, fierce Sigurd fled from Norway's lord, When fortune settled on the warrior's sword, In that rude field, where Suecia’s chiefs were slain, Or forc’d to wander o'er the Bothnic main. Dark was his life, yet undisturb’d with woes, But when the memory of defeat arose, His proud heart struck his side; he grasp'd the spear. And wounded Harold in the vacant air. One daughter only, but of form divine, The last fair beam of the departing line, Remain’d of Sigurd's race. His warlike son Fell in the shock which overturn'd the throne. Nor desolate the house ! Fionia's charms Sustain'd the glory which they lost in arms. White was her arm as Sevo's ofty snow, Her bosom fairer than the waves below When heaving to the winds. Her radiant eyes Like two bright stars, exulting as they rise, O'er the dark tumult of a stormy night, And gladd’ning heaven with their majestic light. In nought is Odin to the maid unkind, Her form scarce equals her exalted mind; Awe leads her sacred steps where'er they move, And mankind worship where they dare not love. But mix’d with softness was the virgin's pride, Her heart had feeling, which her eyes denied; Her bright tears started at another's woes, While transient darkness on her soul arose. The chase she lov’d; when morn with doubtful beam Came dimly wand'ring o'er the Bothnic stream. On Sevo's sounding sides she bent the bow, And rous’d his forests to his head of snow. Nor moved the maid alone, &c.
One of the chief improvements, in this edition, is the care taken in arranging the poems in the order of time; so as to form a ki.d of regular history of the age to which they relate. The writer has now resigned them forever to their fate. That they have been well received by the public appears from an extensive sale; that they shall continue to be well received, he may venture to prophesy, without the gift of that inspiration to which poets lay claim. Through the medium of version upon version, they retain, in foreign languages, their native character of simplicity and energy. Gen uine poetry, like gold, loses little, when properly trans fused; but when a composition cannot bear the test of a literal version, it is a counterfeit which ought not to pass current. The operation must, however, be per formed with skilful hands. A translator who cannot equal his original, is incapable of expressing its beau. ties.
London, Aug. 15, 1778.
THE AER A C F OSSIA N.
lNQUIRIEs into the antinuities of nations afford mole pleasure than any real advantage to mankind. The ingenious may form systems of history on probabilities and a few facts; but, at a great distance of time, their accounts must be vague avd uncertain. The infancy of states and kingdoms is as destitute of great events, as of the means of transmitting them to posterity. The arts of polished life, by which alone facts can be preserved with certainty, are the production of a well. formed community. It is then historians begin to write, and public transactions to be worthy remem brance. The actions of former times are left in ob scurity, or magnified by uncertain traditions. Hence it is that we find so much of the marvellous in the ori #. of every nation; posterity being always ready to
:lieve anything, however fabulous, that reflects honor on their ancestors.
The Greeks and Romans were remarkable for this weakness. They swallowed the most absurd fables concerning the high antiquities of their respective nations. Good historians, however, rose very early
DISSERTATION, ETC. 45.
amongst them and transmitted, with lustre, their great