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Under its loosened vest
Fluttered her little breast,
Like birds within their nest

By the hawk frighted.
"Bright in her father's hall
Shields gleamed upon the wall,
Loud sang the minstrels all,
Chanting his glory;

When of old Hildebrand
I asked his daughter's hand,
Mute did the minstrels stand
To hear my story.

"While the brown ale he quaffed,
Loud then the champion laughed,
And as the wind gusts waft

The sea-foam brightly,
So the loud laugh of scorn,
Out of those lips unshorn,
From the deep drinking horn
Blew the foam lightly.

"She was a Prince's child, I but a Viking wild,

And though she blushed and smiled,
I was discarded!

Should not the dove so white
Follow the sea mew's flight,











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Among the Norsemen ! -
When on the white sea strand,
Waving his armëd hand,
Saw we old Hildebrand,

With twenty horsemen.
"Then launched they to the blast,
Bent like a reed each mast,
Yet we were gaining fast,

When the wind failed us;
And with a sudden flaw
Came round the gusty Skaw,
So that our foe we saw
Laugh as he hailed us.

"And as to catch the gale
Round veered the flapping sail,
'Death!' was the helmsman's hail,

'Death without quarter!'
Midships with iron keel
Struck we her ribs of steel;
Down her black hulk did reel
Through the black water!

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Hateful to me were men,

The sunlight hateful!
In the vast forest here,
Clad in my warlike gear,
Fell I upon my spear,
Oh, death was grateful!

"Thus, seamed with many scars,
Bursting these prison bars,
Up to its native stars
My soul ascended!
There from the flowing bowl
Deep drinks the warrior's soul,
Skoal! to the Northland! skoal!"
Thus the tale ended.


[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.

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6. Oh, green

fighting for the crown.

And bright

you ever a little child like me?

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bursting their brown.

the corn as I rode on my way,
the dews on the blossoms of May.

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