Their strong and persevering bands explore, &c.
Such is the character usually given of the inhabitants of Daelarne or Dalecarlia.
BOOK THE SECOND.
So to the town, &c.
Klopstock, Book 3.
This passage may remind the reader of Burns’s
vest of Coila, in his
“Vision, Duan First.” The resemblance was unintentional.
Slanderers of Heaven, &c.
The character here given of the Romish Bishops of Sweden at the time of the grand revolution, is supported by the historical accounts of Trolle, Brask, and others.
—— and protecting
Thro’ a long age, bid battle’s trumpet cease.
Gustavus was disturbed during the first years of his reign, by the restless machinations of Christiern and Trolle: but from 1532 to 1560, when he died (Sept. 29), the kingdom enjoyed a profound peace. The same may be said of the earlier part of his son Eric’s reign.
The mighty seraph ceas’d ——
This speech, and the whole intervention of the Guardian Genius of Sweden, is introduced in order to elevate the subject, by ascribing the calamities of Sweden to a supernatural arm, and by giving, as it were, a divine direction to the sword of Gustavus. Its more immediate use is to bring about the main design of the poem, by persuading Gustavus to relinquish his design of self-banishment, and renew his patriotic efforts.
Th’ angelic Power his
sacred arm applied
To push the vessel o’er the yielding tide—
Virg. AEn. 10.
Soren Norbi (Gallice Severin), one of the most renowned adherents of Christiern, was employed by him on many occasions, during the war with Steen Sture. It was by his intercession that Christina, the widow of that Governor, was saved from death. According to Vertot, he wished to marry her, and, by the means of her influence and his master’s unpopularity, procure himself elected Administrator. He also concealed many Swedish gentlemen from the rage of Christiern. He defeated the generals of Gustavus in their first attempt upon Stockholm, and afterwards routed one of that hero’s armies in Finland. But his fleet was at last burnt by the Lubeckers, under the command of Gustavus, and he was compelled to retire to Gothland, where he purposed to erect an independent kingdom of his own. This design being defeated, he continued to harass Gustavus and the Lubeckers in various ways, ’till they at length expelled him from Sweden. He now collected his remaining forces, and retreated to Narva, where he was seized and imprisoned by the Russians. After remaining some time in confinement, he was at length released at the instance of Charles the Fifth of Germany, in whose service he died, at the siege of Florence. According to Puffendorff, his death happened in 1539.