Tegnér's Fridthjof's Saga
is come; birds sweetly warble, smiles the
sun, the woods are green,----
And, unchained, the murm’ring streamlets dancing sea-
ward down are seen.
Glowing red as Freyja’s cheeks, young op’ning rosebuds
And to life’s glad joys, to hope and courage, wakes man’s
The aged king to hunt will go, — the queen, too, shall
attend the sport,
And in motley groups, assembles gay deck’d, thronging,
all the court.
Bows are clattering, quivers rattle, fiery coursers paw
the ground, —
And th’ impatient hooded falcon screams upon his prey
See! there comes the hunt’s proud mistress, — Fridthjof!
ah! nor look, nor heed!
Star-like on a spring-cloud resting, so she sits her milk-
Half a Freyja, half a Rota, both eclips’d if she ware by, —
From her rich, light, purple bonnet, plumes blue-tinted
Wave on high.
Look not on those eyes’ bright azure! look not on those
locks of gold!
Ah! beware that waist — ‘tis tapering; nor such round,
Full breasts behold!
Gaze not at the rose and lily on her changing cheek
List not to that voice so clear, like spring’s soft music
Now the long-stretched line is ready. Hark away! O’er
hill and dale
Horns sound shrilly, and straight up to Odin’s hall the
glad hawks sail, —
Quick to lair and covert fly the screaming game from
But with outstretch’d spear the fair valkyrie gallops on
Old and feeble, Ring can now the lengthen’d chase no
Fridthjof only, dark-brow’d, silent, near him rides as
forth they sweep;
Sad, sore, gloomy thoughts are rising thickly in his
troubled breast, —
And go where he will, still croak they, mutt’ring cease-
less words unblest.
“Why, alas! free ocean left I? — to my danger rashly
Grief fares hardly on the billows, scatter’d by the
Droops the troubled viking, — danger soon to tread the
And away his black dreams vanish, dazzled by the glance
“Here how chang’d all is! unutterable longings whirl
Fultt’ring round my burning forehead. Trance-like are
Balder’s sanctuary never can forgotten be, — not yet
The oath she sware, — not she, no! no! the cruel gods
have broken it.
“Yes! the race of man they hate; its joys they view with
Fiends! to plant in winter’s bosom rosebud mine they
Winter! he the rose’s guardian! — what! his heart to feel
No! bud, leaf and stalk his cold breath slow enfrosts
with glitt’ring ice!”
Thus lamented he. And now they came where, threat’ning
Birch and elm high o’er a valley darkly-cluster’d shadows
“See this pleasant dell, how cool!” the king, his charger
“Come! I’m wearied, — here I’ll slumber; yon green bank
shall be my bed.”