Fridthjof's Saga, by Esaias Tegnér


King Ring’s Death.

Golden mane flowing,

Skinfaxe duteous

Draweth the spring sun more bright than before;

Morning beams glowing

Doubly as beauteous,

Sport in the hall; — there’s a knock at the door.

Though his heart grieveth,

Enters the stranger;

Pale sits the king, while the queen’s gentle breast

Billow-like heaveth;

Singeth the ranger

A song of departure, with sorrow oppressed.

“Bathes now the billow

Winged steed flying,

Sea-horse is longing to flee from the strand;

Glad will he follow

Him who is hieing

Far from his home and his well beloved land.

“The arm-ring I give thee,

Ing’borg, receive it.

Holiest memories with it remain.

Ne’er let it leave thee:

Fridthjof, believe me

Truly forgives. Thou’lt not see him again.

“No more beholding

The smoke’s upward motion

Northland I’ll see. Truly man is a slave;

Fate is unyielding;

Far on the ocean

There is my fatherland, there is my grave.

“When in your roaming

Stars the vault cover,

Go not with Ingeborg down to the strand;

Lest in the gloaming

You should discover

Fridthjof, the outlawed, cast up on the sand.”

“Sad is the hearing,”

Ring said, replying,

“When a man moans like a weak maiden’s sigh.

Valhal is nearing,

E’en now the sighing

Death song I hear. Every mortal must die.

“No one can frighten,

Or by complaining

Change the allotment the norns have set down;

Sorrow thou’lt lighten

O’er the land reigning, —

Take thou my queen, for my son guard the crown.

“True is it spoken,

Loved and respected

Peaceful I’ve reigned, over mountain and vale;

Yet have I broken

Shields, unprotected,

Landward and seaward, without turning pale.

“Now shall the bleeding

Geirs-odd relieve me, —

Dying in bed ill befits Northland’s kings;

Not worth my heeding,

Death shall receive me, —

Life’s pain is equal to that which death brings.”

Then carved he rightly

Letters all glowing, —

Death runes to Odin on arm and on chest;

Shine now so brightly

Blood-drops o’erflowing,

Dyeing the silvery hair on his breast.

“Bring for my drinking

The horn with wine flowing;

Skoal to thy honor, thou land of my birth!

Minds deeply thinking,

Harvest fields growing, —

Peaceful exploits have I loved on the earth.

“Vain amid slaughter

Bloody and daring,

Sought I for peace, — she fled in dismay.

Now the mild daughter

Of heaven appearing,

Beckons me hence to Valhal away.

“Hail ye immortals!

Sons of high heaven!

Earth disappears; Gjallarhorn to a feast

Opens the portals;

By the gods given,

Blessedness crowns as a helmet the guest!”

Speaking intently,

Ing’borg’s hand loyal,

Also his son’s, and his friend’s, too, he pressed;

Eyelids close gently, —

Spirit so royal

Flies with a sigh to the Allfather’s breast.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:00