Page images
PDF
EPUB

Τ Η Ε

ELOGIUM OF HACON.

AN ODE.

T ,

HE Goddesses of Destiny' who preside over ૮ “ go to chuse, among the princes of the illustrious « race of Yngvon, him who is to perish, and go to s dwell in the palace of the Gods *.

« Gondula,

Eight stanzas are here omit- Run. Poet. p. 63, et seq.-One ted, which the Reader may see of them presents a fine picture of at large in che Five Pieces or a youthful Chieftain.

« The leader of the people had just before cast aside his armour ; he had put off his coat of mail: he had thrown them down in the field a little before the beginning of the battle. He was playing with the sons of renowned men when he was called forth to defend his kingdom. The gallant king now stood under his golden helmet."

N.B. The Translator has bor- some passages, which M. Mallet rowed here and there a word or seems to have superadded to the two from that version, which he original without sufficient foundahath inclosed between two in- tion. Let the curious Reader verted commas "'; he hath also compare the two Versions. T. distinguished by the same marks,

[ocr errors][merged small]

« Gondula, one of these Goddesses,' leaned on « the end of her lance, and thus bespake her com“ panions :' The assembly of the Gods is going to be o increased : the enemies of' Hacon * come to in« vite this prince, with his numerous host, to enter the “ palace of Odin.

RC Thuś spake these beautiful nymphs of war: who

were seated on their horses ; who were covered “ with their shields and helmets, and appeared full of “ some great thought.

or Hacon heard their discourse: Why, said he to “one of them, why hast thou thus disposed of the 6 battle ? Were we not worthy to have obtained from the Gods a more perfect victory? « she replied, who have given it to thee : it is we « who have put thine enemies to flight.

It is we,

« Now, proceeded she, let us úrge forward our “ horses across those' green and verdant worlds which

are the residence of the Gods. Let us go tell Odin " that the king is coming to visit him in his palace.

66 When

* Rather, “ The Gods invite of inviting them to their eternal « Hacon.” Our Author seems to abode. We have seen it establishhave here departed from the ori. ed as a sacred truth in the EDDA, ginal without necessity. The dy- “ Odin is called the Father of ing a violent death was so far “ Battles, because he adopts for from being considered as 'an evil « his children all those who are by the ancient Scandinavians, or « slain with their swords' in their as the act of an eitemy, that the " hands :" i. e, in battle. See Fa. Gods could not do then a greater BLE X. p. 44.

T. favour, than to take that method

6. When the father of the Gods hears this news, he

says, Hermode and Brago, my sons, go to meet the “ king: A king, admired by all men for his valour,

now approacheth to our hall. ..

“ At length king Hacon approaches, and, arriving from the battle, is still all besprinkled and running “ down with blood. At the sight of Odin he cries

out, Ah! How severe and terrible doth this God ap

[ocr errors]

pear to me!

The God Brago replies; Come, thou that wast s the terror of the most illustrious warriors: Come “ hither, and rejoin thine eight brethren: the heroes

who reside here, shall cultivate peace with thee. « Go drink ALE therefore in the full circle of the (Gods,

[ocr errors]

“ But this brave king cries out: I will still retain

my arms: a hero ought carefully to preserve his “ mail and helmet : it is dangerous to be a moment 6 without the sword * in one's hand.

“ Then was fully seen how religiously this king had “ sacrificed ever to the Gods: since the great celestial " council, and all the inferior Gods, received him

among them with respectful salutations.

[ocr errors]

“ Happy is the day on which that king is born, who 6 thus gains to himself such favour from the Gods. “ The age in which he hath lived, shall remain among

men in happy remembrance.

[ocr errors]

“ The wolf Fenris shall burst his fetters, and dart s with rage upon his enemies, before so good a king

or shall

* O: lance.

" shall again appear upon the earth ; which is now « reduced to a desolate state of widowhood by his

loss.

« Riches perish; relations die; the countries are 56 laid waste; but king Hacon will dwell for evet “ with the Gods; white his people give themselves up " to sorrow."

VOL. II.

Аа

ISHALL

[ocr errors]

I

SHALL only produce one piece more, but one

much more considerable than any of the preceding, and which, by the many little circumstantial strokes it abounds with, will give us a still deeper insight into the manners and genius of the times we wish to know. It is extracted from a Collection of ancient historical Monuments of the North, published by Mr. E. J. BIORNER, a learned Swede, under the title of “ Nordiska Kampedater," &c. i. e. “ The « Exploits of the northern Kings and Heroes, &c. “ Stockholm, 1737.” This Author published the following piece from a manuscript preserved in the Archives of the College of Antiquities in Sweden, and accompanied it with a Swedish and Latin Version. I have been as much assisted by the former, as I have been careful to keep at a distance from the latter: for Mr. Biorner, who had faithfully followed his original in the one, hath employed so many rhetorical flourishes in the other, or, to say the truth, a style throughout so puffy and inflated, that instead of an ancient northern Scald, one would think one was hearing a boy newly come from studying his rhetoric. This loose and faithless manner of translating, cannot, in my opinion, be too much condemned, especially in works of genuine antiquity; of which the principal merit consists in the simplicity and original spirit of the composition.

It would be a frivolous objection to urge, that, as this piece rather belongs to the antiquities of Sweden, than to those of Denmark, it therefore ought not to be inserted in the present work. Those who know the two nations, are not to learn, that anciently the manners and customs of them both were so much the same, that the compositions of the one kingdom might easily be attributed to the other, without causing any

material

« PreviousContinue »