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Under its loosened vest
By the hawk frighted.
When of old Hildebrand
"While the brown ale he quaffed,
The sea-foam brightly,
"She was a Prince's child, I but a Viking wild,
And though she blushed and smiled,
Should not the dove so white
Among the Norsemen ! -
With twenty horsemen.
When the wind failed us;
"And as to catch the gale
'Death without quarter!'
Hateful to me were men,
The sunlight hateful!
"Thus, seamed with many scars,
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.
[The idea of this poem came from an old tower at Newport, Rhode Island, which was by many believed to have been built before the English colonists came, and from a skeleton, wearing something like armor, that had been found at Fall River, Massachusetts. Longfellow's tale is supposed to be told by a Norse (Norwegian) viking, or pirate, who had fled across the ocean with his wife, built the tower, and, after her death, killed himself in his grief.]
balms, ointments, such as would have been used in embalming a mummy; skald, poet; sa'ga, a tale about heroes; gris'ly, horrible; were'wolf, a man who has been transformed into a wolf; cor'sair, pirate; ma raud'ers, plunderers, robbers; was'sail bout, drinking feast; Ber'serk's tale, tale told of or by a Berserk, a fierce or mad warrior; plight'ed, pledged, promised; sea mew, sea gull; Skaw, a cape or headland; quarter, mercy; fen, marsh; gear, armor; skoal, health.
1. Read the poem through. Where is the scene laid? Compare in this respect with The Neckan. 2. From this poem, what kind of a sea would you judge the Baltic to be? 3. Compare this picture of the Baltic with that in The Neckan. 4. Who is speaking in the first stanza? 5. Which stanzas contain the skeleton's reply? 6. To what does the speaker compare the maid in the eighth stanza? To what in the twelfth? To what does he compare his escape with her? 7. Tell in your own words the story the skeleton tells.
Word Study: Was and Were.-1. I was a Viking old! 2. Our vows were plighted.
In the first sentence how many persons or things are spoken of? In the second?
Rules. - Was is used in speaking of one person or thing. Were
is used in speaking of more than one person or thing. Were is used with you whether one or more than one is meant. Examples: Father, were you out in the storm? The children were nestled all snug in their beds.
Written Exercise. -I. Fill in the blanks in the following sentences with was or were. Read aloud until the form becomes familiar.
6. Oh, green
fighting for the crown.
you ever a little child like me?
bursting their brown.
the corn as I rode on my way,