The sun is quenched. The evening breeze is stealing
Upon earth’s children with its lullaby,
And sunset tints in myriad circles wheeling
Around the brim of heaven’s rosy sky,
O’er hill and dale their azure hues revealing,
A vision now of Valhal passeth by;
Then unexpected comes with rustling motion,
An image, gold and flames from western ocean.
A wondrous Hagring now the heavens covers.
(The name that Valhal gives hath lovelier sound),
And over Balder’s grove it gently hovers.
A golden chaplet set in emerald ground;
Resplendence everywhere the eye discovers,
Such lustre mortals ne’er before had found.
It stops and sinks to earth, not disappearing,
But where the temple stood, a temple rearing.
An imaged Breidablik its wall upreareth,
(So burnished silver on the cliff had shone),
Each pillar cut of deep blue steel appealeth,
The altar is a single precious stone,
A power unseen the vaulted roof upbeareth,
A winter sky with sparkling stars o’erstrewn;
And there with golden crowns and robes befitting,
Of azure splendor. Valhal’s gods are sitting.
With rune-writ shields, the maids of fateful power,
The noble norns, within the portal stand,—
Three rosebuds springing in a single flower,
A grave and yet a fascinating band;
While Urd is pointing to the ruined tower,—
The new one Skuld doth greet with welcome hand;
But scarce restored is Fridthjof, filled with blended
Delight and wonder, ere the scene is ended.
“From you, Time’s maidens, comes illumination,—
Thine, hero-father, is the token good:
The wasted shrine I’ll build on sure foundation,
In beauty shall it stand where erst it stood;
How excellent to thus make expiation,
By peaceful deeds to atone for actions rude!
The outcast still may hope who sues in meekness,—
The White God softens, and forgives his weakness.
“All hail, ye myriad stars in splendor beaming!
With joy I watch you silent tread the skies;
And welcome, Northern-lights. above me streaming,—
No more a flaming temple to mine eyes:
Grow green, O grave! and from the wave bright gleaming,
Thou wondrous melody again arise.
I’ll sleep upon my shield, and dream how heaven
Forgets the faults its mercy hath forgiven.
Completed now was Balder’s temple. Not
As heretofore with fence of wood; of hammered steel,
With golden knobs upon each bar, was built the fence
Round Balder’s ground. Like steel-clad champions ranged for war,
With halberds and with golden helms, there stood it now
On guard around the sanctuary of the god.
Of giant stones alone the massive wall was built,
And joined with active skill, a noble giant work
For all eternity (as is Upsala’s shrine,)