by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)
Translation by Harry Arbuthnot Acworth (1849 - 1933)

Sigrid (Scene)
Language: English  after the English 
 Sigrid sits in her high abode,
 The haughty Queen of Svithiod,
 And to the West looks she
 For Norroway's King, whose suit is told
 By the ring from Ladè's temple old,
 Which lies upon her knee.

 Lady, lady, lances gleam
 On the farther side of the border stream;
 Lady, the horses ford the flood,
 They cross the meadow, and pass the wood,
 You may hear the iron hoof-stroke beat
 On the ringing stones of the village street;
 Rank on rank come spearmen tall,
 But the crest of Olaf is o'er them all,
 And the peace strings bind his sword;
 See he alights, he mounts the stair,
 The Norroway King with the golden hair,
 Queen Sigrid, greet thy lord.

OLAF (Tenor).
 Sigrid, hail! with royal hand
 Knit to thee Norroway's King and land,
 And the ring of Ladè upon thy knee
 We will change to a cross for thee and me.

SIGRID (Soprano).
 Olaf, hail! my hand is thine,
 But the gods of old I will not resign;
 Bow thou to thy Cross for woe or weal,
 But where I have knelt, I still must kneel.

 Queen of Svithiod! hearken well,
 Thy gods are mute on fiord and fell,
 Nor ever shall their voice again
 Be heard where Christ hath ris'n to reign.

 I hear them speak! from pole to pole
 The Norland gods their thunder roll;
 For Norland folk their swordthe rod
 For slaves who own the Southland god.

 I will give my body and soul to flame
 Ere I take to my heart a heathen dame;
 Thou hast not beauty, thou hast not youth,
 Shall I buy thy land at the cost of truth?

 King Olaf rises; sisters, say
 Why does he thrust the Queen away,
 Why dash his glove on the oaken floor,
 And turn and stride towards the door?
 The gods protect the wrong'd and weak!
 The glove has struck Queen Sigrid's cheek,
 See the flash of her haughty eye,
 See her stately form drawn high!
 Haste thee, O haste, King Olaf, fly.

 Thou art gone! nay, spur not through the gate;
 I am one that can watch and wait;
 By yonder glove on the oaken floor,
 By my father's head and the soul of Thor,
 By the hand she offered, Sigrid saith,
 That Sigrid yet shall be Olaf's death.


Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Harold Ryan

This text was added to the website: 2009-10-03
Line count: 61
Word count: 389