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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, A book of American explorers, chapter 1 (search)
er sky: Each broad, seamed breast has cast aside Its cumbering vest of shaggy hide: Bared to the sun, and soft warm air, Streams back the Norseman's yellow hair. I see the gleam of axe and spear; The sound of smitten shields I hear, Keeping a harsh and fitting time To Saga's chant and Runic rhyme. I.—how the Northmen discovered north America. [about the year 860, a Danish sailor named Gardar was driven upon the shores of Iceland, after which that island was settled by a colony from Norway. About a hundred years later, Greenland was settled from Iceland; Eirek the red being the first to make the voyage. With him went one Heriulf, whose son Biarni had been in the habit of passing every other winter with his father, and then sailing on distant voyages. Then happened what follows.] That same summer (985 or 986) came Biarni with his ship to Eyrar (Iceland), in the spring of which his father had sailed from the island. These tidings seemed to Biarni weighty, and he would not