“Thou sea, who mak’st thy dark caves bright
With myriad pearls’ refulgent light,
Give me the best; I’ll weave the clearest
A necklace for my Ing’borg dearest.”
“Thou ornament of Odin’s throne,
Eye of the world, O golden sun,
Wert thou but mine, thy blazing splendor
I’d give a shield to my defender.”
“Thou guide in Odin’s house at night,
Thou pale moon with thy lovely light,
Were thou but mine, thy pearly lustre
’Mid Ing’borg’s golden hair should cluster.”
But Hilding said: “My foster-son,
Your reason is by love outrun;
The norns are partial in bestowing
The blood that in her veins is flowing.
To Odin high, where bright stars shine,
Ascendeth her ancestral line;
No hope may son of Thorstein nourish,
For like with like alone can flourish.”
But Fridthjof smiled: “My race,”
“Goes down unto the valiant dead;
The forest-king I slew, and merit
Thereby, the honor kings inherit.
“The free-born man will never yield,
He owns the world’s unconquered field;
For fate can bind what she has broken,
And hope is crowned with kingly token.
“All power is noble; Thor presides
In Thrudvang, where all strength abides;
There worth, and not descent, is leader,—
The sword is e’er a valiant pleader.
“I’d fight the world for my sweet bride,
Yea, though the thunder-god defied.
Be glad and brave, my lily, never
Shah mortal dare our lives to sever.”
King Bele And Thorstein.
King Bele, sword-supported, in the palace stood;
And with him Thorstein, Viking’s son, the peasant good.
His ancient war companion, grown old in glory,
His brow was scarred like rune-stones, his hair was hoary.
They stood, as on the mountain two temples stand
To honored gods devoted, now half in sand;
And many words of wisdom the walls are saying,
And holy recollections through domes are straying.
“The evening steals upon me,” king Bele
“The helmet now is heavy, and stale the mead;
The fate of man grows darker, but all the clearer
High Valhal shines before me, as death draws nearer.
“My sons I here have summoned, and Thorstein’s
For they should cling together, as we have done;
But I would give the eaglets some words of warning—
Words may in death be sleeping ere dawns the morning.”
Obedient to the mandate, the three advance—
First, Helge, dark and gloomy, with sullen glance;
He dwelt amid diviners; the hand he proffered
Was red with blood of victims, on altars offered.
The next who came was Halfdan, a light-haired swain:
His countenance was noble, but weak and vain;
He gaily bore a falchion, with which he gestured,
And seemed a youthful maiden, in armor vestured.