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ADVERTISEMENT. The Author had once thoughts (in concert
with a Friend) of giving the HISTORY OF ENGLISH POETRY: In the Introduction to it he meant to have produced fome specimens of the Style that reigned in ancient times among the neighbouring nations, or those who had subdued the greater part of this Island, and were our Progenitors : The following three Imitations made a part of them. He has long since dropped his design, especially after he had heard, that it was already in the hands of a Person well qualified to do it justice, both by his taste, and his researches into antiquity.
IN the Eleventh Century Sigurd, Earl
of the Orkney-Islands, went with a fleet of ships and a considerable body of troops into Ireland, to the assistance of Siftryg with the filken beard, who was then making war on his father-in-law Brian, King of Dublin : the Earl and all his forces were cut to pieces, and Siêtryg was in danger of a total defeat; but the enemy had a greater loss by the death of Brian, their King, who fell in the
adion. On Christmas-day, (the day of the battle) a Native of Caithness in Scotland faw. at a distancē a number of
perfons on horseback riding full speed towards a hill, and seeming to enter into it. Curiosity led him to follow them, till looking through an opening in the rocks, he saw twelve gigantic figures resembling women: they were all employed about a loom ;
and as they wove they sung the following dreadful Song; which when they had finished, they tore the web into twelve pieces, and each taking her portion) galloped Six to the North and as many to the South.
TOW the storm begins to low'r,
(Haste, the loom of Hell prepare,) * Iron-fleet of arrowy show'r
+ Hurtles in the darken'd air.
Note—The Valkyriur were female Divinities, Servants of Odin (or Woden) in the Gothic mythology. Their names fignify Chusers of the slain. They were mounted on fwift horses, with drawn swords in their hands; and in the throng of battle selected such as were destined to slaughter, and condučled them to Valkalla, the hall of Odin, or paradife of the Brave ; where they attended the banquet, and served the departed Heroes with horns of mead and ale. * How quick they wheeld; and flying, behind
them shot Sharp fleet of arrowy shower
Milton's Parad. Regain'd. + The noise of battle hurtled in the air.
Shakesp. Jul. Cæfar.