Parting of the Dalecarlians with their kindred: briefly delineated, like the scene in the 5th Lusiad. Some episode may naturally be here introduced.—The Genius blows his angelic trumpet, as a prelude to the war: its effects.—The army of Gustavus, increased on its way by new multitudes, reaches the castle at midnight.—Negligence of the guard.—Gustavus, Ernestus, and Adolphus, signalize themselves. Valour of the Governor.—The fort is stormed.—General slaughter of the Danes by the incensed Dalecarlians.—Clemency of Gustavus to the Governor, and all he could save from the fury of his soldiers.—The tribes who had adhered to Christiern, send intelligence to Stockholm of the revolt.—Trolle, in the absence of Christiern, calls a council.
The action, from the council in Book 1, to the taking of the castle, in Book 10, occupies four days.
The remaining books, ten or fourteen in number, will be occupied with a detail of the long and various war waged by Gustavus against Christiern, and the poem will conclude with his coronation. Many events afford great scope for poetry; such as the hero’s constancy under his defeat by Trolle, his subsequent victory over that prelate, the adventures of Steen Sture’s widow, the death of Gustavus’s mother and sister, the burning of Norbi’s fleet, the coronation of Gustavus, &c.
1. Where, in the midst of vast infinitude, &c.
This is the conclusion of the 9th hook of the Messiah, where Obaddon, or Sevenfold Revenge, one of the angels of death, carries the Soul of Judas Iscariot to hell.
—— Where, in the midst, &c.
Orig. “Where God has set bounds to infinitude:” an expression authorized by Milton: “stood vast Infinitude confined.”
2. From Ida’s peak high Jove beheld, &c.
An intelligent person suggested to the author, that to compose a new version of Homer, in the style and measure of Scott’s Marmion, would be a feasible idea. He observed, that Scott’s style, and his circumstantial descriptions, bore much resemblance to those of Homer and that the rapid flow of Scott’s verse was happily accommodated to the swift succession of events, and fiery impetuosity of the Iliad; corresponding with the dactylic hexameter of the old poet. These hints induced the author to attempt the above translation.
3. Through these fair scenes, &c.
This description has been preferred to that of the fountain of Narcissus in Ovid. Crucius, Lives of the Roman Poets.
4. Quid nos Immerita, &c.
An ironical defence of piracy.
5. D. Pauli Conversio, 94. Quin etiam, ut perbibent, &c.
Alluding to his transportation into the third heaven.
—— 142. AEterni vulnera leti.
The scripture phrase “eternal death.”
—— 178. Britannia.