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appearance of Odin, summoning his warriors to be ready to take the field by dawn of day; whilst Hacon, jealous of his authority, refuses to acknowledge him as superior in command, and declares that he will march beneath no other banner than his own. Valdemar, anxious to preserve unanimity, yields up his claim, and admits Hacon to an equality of power, and to a perfect independence as to the marshalling and regulation of his own forces. The priests of Odin are then described as offering, during the night, sacrifices to that deity, whilst one of them, instigated to prophetic ecstasy by the suggestions of Urda, declares that Arthur shall never
Thou livest still; thy pure angelic mind,
Of beings like thyself, fair, kind, and good,
To dwell in happy realms, where never tears,
Nor pain, nor fear, can enter, but where all
Oh! if, through favour of the good Supreme,
In thy immortal purity ev'n thou
Again wilt own me there our sacred love
Shall be more happy from thy presence there.
sway the British sceptre, until, violating every tie of concord, the most renowned of the northern heroes
Plant in each other's breast the deadly wound,
an announcement which seeming to afford them a sure presage of victory, they rush forward in two columns to meet the British army.
Towards night, Lancelot and his forces are beheld approaching in the distant horizon, and Hacon, infuriated by the sight, advances instantly to attack them; but Valdemar, well acquainted with the bravery and determination of the British warriors, arrests his course, and advises postponing the engagement until the morning, when the sun may a witness of their might; and Hacon's reluctant assent to this proposition, the suggestion of prudence and experience, closes the fourth book.
[To be continued.]
Be it thine to save
From dark oblivion Arthur's grave!
AN apostrophe to Ambition, in which the poet laments the misery and the mischief which she and her attendants, Terror and Danger, Pride and Contention, have entailed upon mankind under the specious name of glory, opens the fifth book of Arthur. Lancelot is then described, as morning beams, marshalling his troops, and after addressing them in the most animating language, he assigns to Fiacha, an Irish king, the conduct of that part of the army which he destines for the attack of the Norwegians assembled under the command of Hacon, whilst he himself, assisted by Hoel, confronts the Danes and Saxons led on by Valdemar.
The British and their allies commence the engagement by Fiacha's march against the division of Hacon, who, kindling at the view, rushes for
wards to the head of his warriors, and orders his bards to sing the song of battle, including a description of Odin, and of his punishment of the coward, and reward of the brave, which inspires his worshippers with the most enthusiastic military ardour. The action now becomes general, and Hacon and his son Sweno particularly distinguish themselves. The latter, a youth of great promise, brave and generous beyond his compeers, and the grace and pride of his country, seems deservedly a favourite with the poet, and his deeds of heroism are minutely recorded.
One of the most pleasing features of epic poetry, from Homer to the present day, has consisted of those little sketches which are so frequently given of the fallen heroes, when expiring beneath the might of their opponents, and which, from their usually mournful and pathetic strain, form a contrast so delightful with the surrounding scenes of ferocity and carnage.
Mr. Hole has been often singularly fortunate in the introduction of these touches of valedictory tenderness, or domestic affection; and in no case has he been more so, than where describing the death of Conal, as he sinks beneath the arm of Sweno, he
beautifully adds, in the very tone and spirit of
Unconscious of her much-loved hero's fall,
And bids the bards to him awake their lays-
Deep mourn the faithful train, and howlings wild arise.
Rends her dark tresses, beats her breast of snow,
B. v. p. 143.
* "The images in this passage are borrowed from Ossian. 'It was formerly the opinion,' says Mr. Macpherson, 'that the souls of heroes went immediately after their death to the hills of their country, and the scenes they frequented the most happy times of their life. It was thought too, that dogs and horses saw the ghosts of the deceased.' The opinion that dogs perceived the appearance of any supernatural being prevailed likewise in ancient Greece. Those of Eumæus (Odyss. B. xvi. L. 62) are described as being