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[399] vigor of language, reminds us of the Sword Chant, the Wooing Song, and other rhymed sagas of Motherwell.

The Norseman's Ride.

by Bayard Taylor.
The frosty fires of northern starlight
     Gleamed on the glittering snow,
And through the forest's frozen branches
     The shrieking winds did blow;
A floor of blue and icy marble
     Kept Ocean's pulses still,
When, in the depths of dreary midnight,
     Opened the burial hill.

Then, while the low and creeping shudder
     Thrilled upward through the ground,
The Norseman came, as armed for battle,
     In silence from his mound,—
He who was mourned in solemn sorrow
     By many a swordsman bold,
And harps that wailed along the ocean,
     Struck by the scalds of old.

Sudden a swift and silver shadow
     Came up from out the gloom,—
A charger that, with hoof impatient,
     Stamped noiseless by the tomb.
“Ha! Surtur,1 let me hear thy tramping,
     My fiery Northern steed,
That, sounding through the stormy forest,
     Bade the bold Viking heed!”

He mounted; like a northlight streaking
     The sky with flaming bars,
They, on the winds so wildly shrieking,
     Shot up before the stars.
“Is this thy mane, my fearless Surtur,
     That streams against my breast

1 The name of the Scandinavian god of fire.

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Bayard Taylor (1)
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