State of Sweden at the commencement of the Poem—A Council—Trollio—Bernheim—Ernestus—Christiern proposes the reduction of Dalecarlia—Ernestus opposes him, is committed to prison—Christiern takes his measures to oppose a rebellion just arisen in Denmark.
The Swede I sing, by Heaven
ordain’d to save
His country’s glories from a Danish grave,
Restore her laws, her Papal rites efface,
And fix her freedom on a lasting base.
by whom impell’d
From early youth fair honour’s path he held;
By whose strong aid his patient courage rose
Superior to the rushing tide of woes,
And at whose feet, when Heaven his toils repaid,
His brightest wreaths the grateful hero laid:
Me too assist; with thy inspiring beam
Aid my weak powers, and bless my rising theme!
Stockholm to Christiern
bow’d her captive head; }
By Treachery’s axe her slaughter’d senate bled, }
And her brave chief was numbered with the dead. }
Piled with her breathless sons, th’ uncultured land
With daily ravage fed a wasteful band;
And ruthless Christiern, wheresoe’er be flew,
Around his steps a track of crimson drew.
Already, by Heaven’s dark protection led,
To Dalecarlia Sweden’s hero fled;
There, with a pious friend retired, unknown,
He mourn’d his country’s sorrows, and his own.
Those mountain peasants, negatively free,
The sole surviving friends of Liberty,
Unbought by bribes, still trample Christiern’s power,
And wait in silence the decisive hour.
when Christiern bade a herald call
His secret council to the regal hall—
Those whom his skill, selecting, had combined
To share the deep recesses of his mind:
In these the prince unshaken trust reposed,
To these his intricate designs disclosed;
Their counsel, teeming with maturest thought,
His ripening plans to full perfection brought,
Each enterprise with proper means supplied,
And stemm’d strong difficulty’s threatening tide:
The summons heard, th’ obedient train attend,
Collect, and hastening toward the palace bend.
First of their
order, as in rank and fame
Superior, Upsal’s haughty prelate came;
Erect in priestly pride, he stalk’d along,
And tower’d supreme o’er all the princely throng.
A soul congenial, and a mind replete
With ready artifice and bold deceit,
To suit a tyrant’s ends, however base,
In Christiern’s friendship had secured his place.
His were the senator’s