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The Hail-storm Post by :dixy98 Category :Poems Author :George Borrow Date :July 2011 Read :1942

Click below to download : The Hail-storm (Format : PDF)

The Hail-storm

From the Norse.


Sigvald Jarl was a famous Sea Rover, who, when unengaged in his predatory expeditions, resided at Jomsborg, in Denmark. He was the terror of the Norwegian coasts, which he ravaged and pillaged almost at his pleasure. Hacon Jarl, who at that time sat on the Norwegian throne, being informed that Sigvald meditated a grand descent, and knowing that he himself was unable to oppose him, had recourse to his God, Thorgerd, to whom he sacrificed his son Erling. In what manner Thorgerd assisted him and his forces, when the Danes landed, will best be learned from the bold song which the circumstance gave rise to, and which the following is a feeble attempt to translate.


When from our ships we bounded,
I heard, with fear astounded,
The storm of Thorgerd's waking,
From Northern vapours breaking;
With flinty masses blended,
Gigantic hail descended,
And thick and fiercely rattled
Against us there embattled.

To aid the hostile maces,
It drifted in our faces;
It drifted, dealing slaughter,
And blood ran out like water--
Ran reeking, red, and horrid,
From batter'd cheek and forehead;
We plied our swords, but no men
Can stand 'gainst hail and foemen.

And demon Thorgerd raging
To see us still engaging,
Shot, downward from the heaven,
His shafts of flaming levin;
Then sank our brave in numbers,
To cold eternal slumbers;
There lay the good and gallant,
Renown'd for warlike talent.

Our captain, this perceiving,
The signal made for leaving,
And with his ship departed,
Downcast and broken-hearted;
War, death, and consternation,
Pursu'd our embarkation;
We did our best, but no men
Can stand 'gainst hail and foemen.


(The end)
George Borrow's poem: Hail-Storm

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