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the Democratic Review not long since contained a singularly wild and spirited poem, entitled the Norseman's Ride, in which the writer appears to have very happily blended the boldness and sublimity of the heathen saga with the grace and artistic skill of the literature of civilization. The poetry of the Northmen, like their lives, was bold, defiant, and full of a rude, untamed energy. It was inspired by exhibitions of power rather than of beauty. Its heroes were beastly revellers or cruel and ferocious plunderers; its heroines unsexed hoidens, playing the ugliest tricks with their lovers, and repaying slights with bloody revenge, —very dangerous and unsatisfactory companions for any other than the fire-eating Vikings and red-handed, unwashed Berserkers. Significant of a religion which reverenced the strong rather than the good, and which regarded as meritorious the unrestrained indulgence of the passions, it delighted to sing the praises of some coarse debauch or pitiless slaughter. The voice of its scalds was often but the scream of the carrion-bird, or the howl of the wolf, scenting human blood:—

Unlike to human sounds it came;
Unmixed, unmelodized with breath;
But grinding through some scrannel frame,
Creaked from the bony lungs of Death.

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Democratic Review (1)
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