Bele. (Pronounced Bay’-lay.) King of Sogn, in Norway.
Helge (Hel’-gay) and Halfdan. His sons.
Ingeborg. (Ing’-e-borg.) His daughter.
Thorstein. (Tor’-stine.) A peasant, -friend
and companion-in-arms of King
Fridthjof. (Freet’-yof.) Son of Thorstein.
Hilding. Foster-father and teacher of Fridthjof and Ingeborg.
Bjorn. (B’yorn.) A sworn foster-brother of Fridthjof.
Ring. King of Ringric, in Norway.
Angantyr. (Ang’-an-teer.) Ruler of the Orkney Islands.
Atle. (At’-lay.) A berserk, and one orf Angantyr’s warriors.
Scene—Northern Norway and the Orkney Islands.
Fridthjof and Ingeborg.
In Hilding’s garden, green and fair,
Protected by his fostering care,
Two rare and stately plants were growing,
Unequaled grace and beauty showing.
The one a sturdy oak tree grew,
With lance-like stem so straight and true,
Its crown in northern tempests shaking
Like helmet plume in battle quaking.
The other like a rose sprang forth
When tardy winter leaves the north,
And spring, which in the buds lies dreaming,
Still waits with gems to set them gleaming.
Around the earth the storm-king raves,
The wrestling oak its anger braves;
The sun dissolves frost’s mantle hoary,
The buds reveal their hidden glory.
So they grew up in joy and glee,
And Fridthjof was the young oak tree;
Unfolding in the vale serenely,
The rose was Ingeborg the queenly.
Saw you those two by light of day
You seem in Freyja’s house to stay,
Where bride-pairs, golden-haired, were swinging,
Their way on rosy pinions winging.
But seeing them by moonlight pale
Round dancing in the leafy vale,
You’d think: The elf-king now advances,
And leads his queen in fairy dances.
How joyful ’twas, how lovely too,
When firs[ he learned his futhorc through;
No kings had e’er such honor brought them
As when to Ingeborg he taught them.
How joyously his boat would glide
With those two o’er the dark blue tide:
While he the driving sail was veering,
Her small white hands gave hearty cheering.
No bird’s nest found so high a spot,
That he for her could find it not;
The eagle’s nest from clouds he sundered,
And eggs and young he deftly plundered.
However swift, there ran no brook,
But o’er it Ingeborg he took;
How sweet when roaring torrents frighten,
To feel her soft arms round him tighten.
The first; spring flowers by sunshine fed,
The earliest berries turning red,
The first of autumn’s golden treasure,
He proffered her with eager pleasure.