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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 acknow-
ledge 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 equa-
lity 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 sug-
gestions of Urda, declares that Arthur shall never

Thou livest still; thy pure angelic mind,
Clothed in a form of beauty ev'n on earth,
From this low world's impure and suffering strife,
Has been removed to meet society

Of beings like thyself, fair, kind, and good,
To dwell in happy realms, where never tears,

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Nor pain, nor fear, can enter, but where all
Is perfect peace:
Oh! if, through favour of the good Supreme,
I where thou art may e'er aspire to be,

In thy immortal purity ev❜n thou
Again wilt own me: there our sacred love
We will retain; and heaven itself to me
Shall be more happy from thy presence there.

Book xiv

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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 be 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.]

No. XIX.

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,
Ithona sits in Thomond's lofty hall,

And bids the bards to him awake their lays-
For who like Conal claimed the mead of praise?
Sudden, ere yet they touch'd the warbling wire,
Burst mournful sounds instinctive from the lyre:
And lo! the dogs, companions of the chase,
In shuddering terror gaze on vacant space.
Their lord's sad image rises to their view;
Faint gleam his arms, and pallid is his hue.
His dimly-rolling eyes on Thomond's fair
In grief he bends; then borne aloft in air,
And wrapt in darkness on the gale he flies;
Deep mourn the faithful train, and howlings wild arise.
She marks the signs that speak her hero low;

Rends her dark tresses, beats her breast of snow,
And gives her days to solitary woeR.

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. 1. 62.) are described as being

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