Loud sounded the music in Fridthjof’s hall,
His ancestors’ praises sang poets all.
O’erwhelmed with sadness
Is Fridthjof, he hears not their songs of gladness.
The earth has again donned her mantle of green
And dragon-ships breasting the waves are seen
But Fridthjof, pondering,
Is at the moon gazing or in the woods wandering.
How fortunate was he but lately, and glad,
For Helge and Halfdan as guests he had;
And with the brothers,
Came Ingeborg; Fridthjof scarce saw the others.
He sat by her side and her soft hand he pressed;
He felt in the pressure returned him thrice blest,
On her whom he honored beyond all praising.
In glad conversation recalling their plays,
When life’s morning dew presaged bright future days
For memory truthful
Keeps life’s rosy gardens in noble minds youthful.
How fondly she greets him from dale and from park,
From loving names growing in White birchen bark,
From hills where flourish
The oaks which the ashes of heroes nourish.
“’Tis never so pleasant at home as here,
For Halfdan is childish and Helge severe;
Tho kings attending
To nothing but prayers and praise unending.
“And no one (nor could she her blushes hide)
To whom my complainings I may confide.
The palace building,
How stifling compared with the groves of Hilding.
“The doves that we petted, and tamed and fed,
By hawks oft affrighted away have fled;
One pair remaineth,
Let Fridthjof take one, one Ing’borg retaineth.
“She’ll long like another her friend to
And homeward returning will fly to me:
Your message, bind it
Beneath her flee pinion,—there none will find it.”
All day they sat whispering side by side,
Nor ceased the low murmur at eventide;
So breathe in whispers
The zephyrs through lindens at twilight vespers.
But now she has gone, and his joy forsooth
Has gone with the maiden. The blood of youth
His cheek is mounting,
He silently sighs while the past recounting.
His grief at her absence he sent by the dove,
Which joyous set out with its message of love;
But oh! new sorrow,
It stayed with its mate, nor returned on the morrow.
His conduct to Bjorn was displeasing; said he:
“What ails our young eagle, he seems to be
Like some shy sparrow,—
Has his breast or his pinion been pierced by an arrow?
“What wilt thou, Fridthjof? We have for
The yellow bacon, and the good, brown mead;
And poets singing,
Their jubilant music forever ringing.
“The steeds impatiently stamp in the stalls,—
To the chase! to the chase! the falcon calls;
But Fridthjof retaineth
His gloom. He hunteth in clouds and complaineth.