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All the prayers he knew by rote,
He could preach like Chrysostome,
A learned clerk,
A man of mark,
He was quarrelsome and loud,
And impatient of control, Boisterous in the market crowd, Boisterous at the wassail-bowl,
Would drink and swear, Swaggering Thangbrand, Olaf's Priest.
In his house this malecontent
Could the King no longer bear,
One summer day
There in Iceland, o'er their books
Pored the people day and night,
“ All this rhyme
Is waste of time!”
To the alehouse, where he sat,
Came the Scalds and Saga-men;
When o'er his beer
Began to leer
All the folk in Alftafiord
Boasted of their island grand; Saying in a single word, * Iceland is the finest land
That the sun
Doth shine upon!” Loud laughed Thangbrand, Olaf's Priest. And he answered: “What's the use
Of this bragging up and down,
And what vexed him most of all
With words that go
Then he smote them might and main,
“To-day we are gold,
To-morrow mould !"
Back to Norway sailed he then.
With bending head,
RAUD THE STRONG. "All the old gods are dead,
And Sigurd the Bishop said, All the wild warlocks filed;
“The old gods are not dead, But the white Christ lives and reigns, For the great Thor still reigns, And through my wide domains
And among the Jarls and Thanes His Gospel shall be spread !”
The old witchcraft is spread."
Thus to King Olaf
Said Sigurd the Bishop.
But still in dreams of the night
To Sigurd the Bishop
“ Far north in tbe Salten Fiord,
By rapine, fire, and sword,
Thus went on speaking
And the warlocks are no more "
Flushing with anger
65 A warlock, a wizard is he,
And lord of the wind and the sea;
Devoutly King Olaf.
He worships Odin and Thor;
Then King Olaf cried aloud :
So northward from Drontheim
· BISHOP SIGURD AT SALTEN FIORD.
Loud the angry wind was wailing
To the mouth of Salten Fiord.
Of the champions there on board,
Raud the Strong was wont to ride.
When the flood-gates open wide.
Raud !” cried Sigurd to the seamen;
By the witchcraft of his foes.”
And the sacred incense rose.
High amid the rain and mist.
Then with holy water sprinkled
Loud he read the Evangelist.
Steadily rowed King Olaf's ships ;
As through John's Apocalypse, -
Not a glimmer of light was seen.
With its crest and scales of green.
Bolt and bar that held the door. Drunken with sleep and ale they found him, Dragged him from his bed and bound him, While he stared with stupid wonder,
At the look and garb they wore. Then King Olaf said: “O Sea-King! Little time have we for speaking, Choose between the good and evil;
Be baptized, or thou shalt die!" But in scorn the heathen scoffer Answered: “I disdain thine offer ; Neither fear I God nor Devil;
Thee and thy Gospel I defy!" Then between his jaws distended, When his frantic struggles ended, Through King Olaf's horn an adder,
Touched by fire, they forced to glide. Sharp his tooth was as an arrow, As he gnawed through bone and marrow;
But without a groan or shudder,
Raud the Strong blaspheming died.
Up the streams of Salten Fiord.
Preached the Gospel with his sword.
Grasping, steered into the main.
Olaf and his crew again.
KING OLAF'S CHRISTMAS.
Ar Drontheim, Olaf the King
As he sat in his banquet-hall,
And his horn filled up to the brim,
As he drank, and muttered his prayers;
And laugh in the eyes of the King;