On the gray sea-sands King Olaf stands, Northward and seaward He points with his hands. With eddy and whirl The sea-tides curl, Washing the sandals Of Sigvald the Earl. The mariners shout, The ships swing about, The yards are all hoisted, The sails flutter out. The war-horns are played, The anchors are weighed, Like moths in the distance The sails flit and fade. The sea is like lead The harbor lies dead, As a corse on the sea-shore, Whose spirit has fled! On that fatal day, The histories say, Seventy vessels Sailed out of the bay. But soon scattered wide O'er the billows they ride, While Sigvald and Olaf Sail side by side. Cried the Earl: "Follow me! I your pilot will be, For I know all the channels Where flows the deep sea!" So into the strait Where his foes lie in wait, Gallant King Olaf Sails to his fate! Then the sea-fog veils The ships and their sails; Queen Sigrid the Haughty, Thy vengeance prevails!
- by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882), "King Olaf and Earl Sigvald", appears in Tales of a Wayside Inn, in The Musician's Tale; The Saga of King Olaf, no. 18, first published 1863 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
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This text was added to the website: 2009-10-02
Line count: 40
Word count: 167