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Undisturbed by the foeman, to watch us as onward we sweep,

And still feel at the clang of our war-trump the wild frenzy leap

In his breast 'neath the cold wave. Aye still will it throb at the cry

Which calls Odin's true warriors to conquer, the Roman


to die.

"For he stood yester eve by my couch: and his golden hair streamed,

As 'twas wont on the morn of the battle: the emeralds


On his neck in the flickering fire-light; and pointing his


Crimson yet with the hated foe's life-blood, where yonder oak glade

Slopes southward, he said, the while flashing, like summer's blue skies

When the passing cloud darts forth its lightning, his storm-darkened eyes:

'Ye have burnt the foul lair of the snake, shut your ears to the lay,

Which she wove to entice you to slumber, forgetful of fray,

Sweet words stealing over the senses and soothing the breast,

While their echo crept drowsily lulling war's fever to rest.


"For she lay clothed in beauty and power; and a

treacherous smile

Lit her eye, whose dark lustre, enchanting the soul, would


To forgetfulness. Ah! how I longed, when I gazed on her charms,

By her spells bound to rest where the war-shout, the clanging of arms,

Might be borne from afar, like dim echoes in ocean's green


In soft sighs through my dreams, as I languished the wise maiden's slave.


"But I thought of the voice that had wakened the silent

oak glade

On whose twilight I burst first of mortals a child, as I


From my comrades in thought of the beautiful city, the queen

Of the South, with her vineyards and palaces, nestling between (3)

Vine-crests, whence our minstrels had told us foul demons enthroned

Hurled their bolts on the foeman, who, scorning their spells, thus atoned

With his life for his daring. And childlike I longed to


All her beauties, and taste of her wisdom, the treasures,

the lore

That had strewn the world's nations beneath her, to bear her great name

O'er new lands on my lips and my sword, as I won her fresh fame.

(3) "Les dieux l'habitent, et des feux supernaturels protégent, dit on, ses remparts; une puissance inconnue lance la foudre sur l'ennemi qui ose l'approcher." Recits de l'Hist. Rom.-THIERRY.


"Then a strain sad and sweet, full of awe, from the still shadows stole,

Singing, how in the years that were past the rich towers of the troll

With his wealth and his wisdom had lured the untaught forest child

To the serfdom of vice; how there watched, where the calm waters smiled,

In the depths of the bright southern sea the fierce shark for his prey :

How a monster more terrible, hid midst Rome's luxury,


Like a serpent coiled 'neath a grape-cluster,-whose chains were at first

All roses, then grew to be fetters no mortal could burst. And then swept louder notes through the forest which told

me that I,

If I spurned her enchantments, might drink with glad ears her death-cry

In the sunrise of Freedom.

'The pure golden dawn of the north

Soon shall scare,' they said, 'night's shadows brooding o'er earth, leaping forth

From these forests, and bearing the lamp of a day that shall shed

Its bright rays far and wide o'er the world, when her glory has fled.

Be but pure, and thy standards (4) shall hang o'er her darkness.' The lay

Then died out midst the whisper of leaves, and I passed

on my way.

(4) Clara palam vox edita luco est :

"Alpibus Italiæ ruptis penetrabis ad urbem." "

CLAUDIAN Bell. Get. v. 545.


"Then our billows leapt dashing o'er Greece, but the cry ever rung

Midst the din of the battle, "Goths, on to the city!" "Twas sung

By the breezes that played round the Parthenon, when half in awe

I watched her the world owned her mistress ere Rome, and I saw

The bright shrines of her gods and the Ocean's innumerous smile

That had borne on her squadrons to victory, musing the


How her glory had fallen, as Rome's too was destined to fall;

Even so might the Gothic name die.


And I left her to moulder in silence.

Then I heard pity's


"For Rome's legion's came,

With a son (5) of the North at their head, the last stay of

her fame,

Who had heard the soft notes of her music and fought with the brand

Of her name on his brow, bearing Odin's fierce strength in the hand

That could bind the false mistress it served. Such a lot in my dream

Had I envied, ere destiny called me. The forest-fed


Dashed against his proud eagles, and fell as the surge from the shore:

(5) Stilicho.

Once again the wave leapt and recoiled, and the vultures hung o'er

The dark plains which the sword and the fever had strewn with our dead,

Till we longed in despair to creep after as northward they


But the serpent's fangs turned on her saviour, and, like the foul weed

That drags down the fair flower which supports it, she crushed him; her meed

For his truth.


"So the barriers were broken, the voice echoed 'Rome!' Till we poured through the Apennine passes and looked on the home

Of the tyrant that preyed on the world. Then there hung o'er her head

Dark clouds fraught with doom, as the vultures soared

watching our dead,

Naught availed her false smiles, her enchantments, her frowns, or her gold.

If our sword ever faltered, that voice in the thunder clap


'Strike! spare not.' The tempest burst o'er her and temple and tower

Before Odin and Christ sank in ruins midst flames, in the hour

When the Goth stood (6) a victor within Cæsar's palace and heard

(6) "Hear the song of ASGARD, warriors of the Goths! Did not ALARIC the King love it well? Did I not sing it before him in the palace of the Caesars, till he swore, for all the Christians that he was, to go southward in search of the holy city?"

Hypatia, ch. iii.

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