Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 4/The dying heroes
THE DYING HEROES, FROM UHLAND.
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The Scandinavian swords rose midst the host,
Like billows toss’d;
And in the moonlight, on that bloody plain,
The noble twain,
Mightier than all, amidst the dead and dying,
The beauteous Sven and aged Ulf were lying.
“Oh, Father! must I, in my youth’s bright day,
Thus pass away?
No more a mother’s hand my locks of gold
Will fondly hold;
No more my love, whilst other maids are sleeping,
Will watch for me—her sweet eyes dim with weeping.”
“She’ll deeply mourn—yet still in dreams with thee
Will ever be;
And be consoled, for soon will that sad smart
Break her true heart;
And then in Odin’s halls, whilst mead is quaffing,
The maid thou’lt meet—the golden-tressed and laughing.”
“Ah! would that I had won myself a name
Of deathless fame!
To my forefathers equal could I prove
In war and love.
Neglected now the harps are silent lying,
Whilst thro’ their strings the mournful breeze is sighing.”
“Now near and nearer draws, in floods of light,
These high imperial courts, whence bolts are hurled
That shake the world.
Soon, with the good and great from us departed,
We there shall rest, for ever joyous-hearted.”
“Oh, Father! wherefore call me hence away,
In youth’s bright day;
Ere yet brave deeds on many a battle-field
Adorn my shield?
Ah! shall I, ’midst those true and mighty spirits,
Obtain the place which my high courage merits?”
“Yes! there is One who to each noble deed
Will give due meed,
And crown the man who for his country dies
Beyond the skies.
Rejoice—rejoice—the vanquished foe is flying!
Heav’n opens—see! ’tis there our goal is lying.”