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Now the Storm begins to lower,
* To be found in the ORCADES OF THORMODUS Tor. FÆUS; HAFNIÆ, 1697, folio: and also in BARTHOLINUS,
VITT ER ORPIT FYRIR VALFALLI, &c.
For the better understanding this ode,' the reader is to be informed that in the eleventh century, Sigurd, earl of the Orkney-islands, went with a fleet of ships and a con. fiderabic body of troops into Ireland, to the alistance of Siętryg with the filker. beard, who was then making war on his father-in-law Brian, king of Dublin : the earl and all his forces were cut to pieces; aod Siêtryg was in danger of a total deseat; but the enemy had a greater loss, by the death of Brian, their king, who fell in the action. On Christmas-day, (the day of the battle,) a native of Caithness, 5
Glitt'ring lances are the loom,
See the griefly texture grow,
Shafts for fhuttles, dipt in gore,
in Scotland, saw at a distance, a number of persons on horse. back, riding full speed towards a hill, and seeming to enter into it. Curiosity led him to follow them, till, looking ihrough an opening in ine rocks, he saw twelve gigantic figures, resembling women: they were all employed about a loom; and as they wove, they sung the following dreadful fong; which, when they had finished, they core the web into iwelve pieces, and (each taking her portion) galloped six to the north, and as many to the south. These were the Valkyriur, fcmale divinities, servants of Odin (or Woden) in the Gothic mythology. Their name signifies Chufers of the fair. They were mounted on swift horses, with drawn swords in their hands; and in the throng of battle selected such as were dellined to slaughter, and conducted them to • Valhalla, the hall of Odin, or paradise of the brave; where they attended the banquet, and served the departed heroes with horns of mead and alc.
Mifta black, terrific Maid,
Ere the ruddy fun be fet,
(Weave the crimson web of war)
As the paths of fate we tread
We the reigns to slaughter give,
They, whom once the desert-beach
Low the dauntless Earl is laid,
Long his loss shall Eirin weep,
Horror covers all the heath,
Hail the task, and hail the hands!
Mortal, thou that hear'ft the tale,
Sisters, hence with spurs of speed:
65 E LEGY
WRITTEN IN A
BY THE SAME.
The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,