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 The gray-haired Hersir trembled
As a flame by wind is blown;
A weird power moved his white lips,
And their voice was not his own!
‘The Ae;sir thirst!’ he muttered;
“The gods must have more blood
Before the tun shall blossom
Or fish shall fill the flood.
“The Ae;sir thirst and hunger,
And hence our blight and ban;
The mouths of the strong gods water
For the flesh and blood of man!
“Whom shall we give the strong ones?
Not warriors, sword on thigh;
But let the nursling infant
And bedrid old man die.”
‘So be it!’ cried the young men,
‘There needs nor doubt nor parle.’
But, knitting hard his red brows,
In silence stood the Jarl.
A sound of woman's weeping
At the temple door was heard,
But the old men bowed their white heads,
And answered not a word.
Then the Dream-wife of Thingvalla,
A Vala young and fair,
Sang softly, stirring with her breath
The veil of her loose hair.
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