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Low the dauntless earl° is laid,
Gored with many a gaping wound:
Fate demands a nobler head;

Soon a king shall bite the ground.

Long his loss shall Eirin weep,

Ne'er again his likeness see; Long her strains in sorrow steep: Strains of immortality!

Horror covers all the heath,

Clouds of carnage blot the sun. Sisters, weave the web of death; Sisters, cease; the work is done.

Hail the task, and hail the hands!
Songs of joy and triumph sing!
Joy to the victorious bands;
Triumph to the younger king.

Mortal, thou that hearest the tale,
Learn the tenor of our song.
Scotland, through each winding vale
Far and wide the notes prolong.

Sisters, hence with spurs of speed:

Each her thundering falchion wield:

Each bestride her sable steed.

Hurry, hurry to the field!

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UPROSE the king of men with speed,
And saddled straight his coal-black steed;
Down the yawning steep he rode,
That leads to Hela's drear abode.°
Him the dog of darkness spied;
His shaggy throat he opened wide
(While from his jaws, with carnage filled,
Foam and human gore distilled :)
Hoarse he bays with hideous din,


Eyes that glow, and fangs that grin;


And long pursues with fruitless yell,
The father of the powerful spell.

Onward still his way he takes,

(The groaning earth beneath him shakes.) Till full before his fearless eyes


The portals nine of hell arise.

Right against the eastern gate,°
By the moss-grown pile he sate;
Where long of yore to sleep was laid
The dust of the prophetic maid.°
Facing to the northern clime,
Thrice he traced the Runic rhyme;
Thrice pronounced, in accents dread,

The thrilling verse that wakes the dead:


Till from out the hollow ground
Slowly breathed a sullen sound.




What call unknown, what charms presume
To break the quiet of the tomb?
Who thus afflicts my troubled sprite,
And drags me from the realms of night?
Long on these mouldering bones have beat
The winter's snow, the summer's heat,
The drenching dews, and driving rain!
Let me, let me sleep again.

Who is he, with voice unblest,

That calls me from the bed of rest?




A traveller, to thee unknown,
Is he that calls, a warrior's son.
Thou the deeds of light shalt know;
Tell me what is done below,

For whom yon glittering board is spread,
Dressed for whom yon golden bed?

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Balder's head to death is given.
Pain can reach the sons of heaven!
Unwilling I my lips unclose:
Leave me, leave me to repose.


Once again my call obey,°
Prophetess, arise, and say,

What dangers Odin's child await,
Who the author of his fate?


In Hoder's hand the hero's doom;
His brother sends him to the tomb.
Now my weary lips I close:
Leave me, leave me to repose.


Prophetess, my spell obey,

Once again arise, and say,

Who the avenger of his guilt,

By whom shall Hoder's blood be spilt?


In the caverns of the west,
By Odin's fierce embrace comprest,
A wondrous boy shall Rinda bear,
Who ne'er shall comb his raven-hair,

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Nor wash his visage in the stream,
Nor see the sun's departing beam,
Till he on Hoder's corse shall smile,
Flaming on the funeral pile.
Now my weary lips I close:
Leave me, leave me to repose.


Yet a while my call obey:
Prophetess, awake, and say,

What virgins these,° in speechless woe,
That bend to earth their solemn brow,
That their flaxen tresses tear,

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No boding maid of skill divine Art thou, nor prophetess of good;


But mother of the giant brood!


Hie thee hence, and boast at home,

That never shall inquirer come

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