What sea-worn barks are those which throw
The light spray from each rushing prow?
Have they not in the North Sea's blast
Bowed to the waves the straining mast?
Their frozen sails the low, pale sun
Of Thule's night has shone upon;
Flapped by the sea-wind's gusty sweep,
Round icy drift and headland steep.
Wild Jutland's wives and Lochlin's daughters
Have watched them fading o'er the waters,
Lessening through driving mist and spray,
Like white-winged sea-birds on their way.
Onward they glide; and now I view
Their iron-armed and stalwart crew:
Joy glistens in each wild blue eye
Turned to green earth and summer 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.
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