Poems

Olaf Trygvason

Broad the sails o'er the North Sea go;
High on deck in the morning glow
Erling Skjalgsson from Sole
Scans all the sea toward Denmark:
'Cometh never Olaf Trygvason?'

Six and fifty the ships are there,
Sails are let down, toward Denmark stare
Sun-reddened men;-then murmur:
'Where is the great Long Serpent?
Cometh never Olaf Trygvason?'

When the sun in the second dawn
Cloudward rising no mast had drawn,
Grew to a storm their clamor:
'Where is the great Long Serpent?
Cometh never Olaf Trygvason?'

Silent, silent that moment bound,
Stood they all; for from ocean's ground
Sighed round the fleet a muffled:
'Taken the great Long Serpent,
Fallen is Olaf Trygvason.'

Ever since, through so many a year,
Norway's ships must beside them hear,
Clearest in nights of moonshine:
'Taken the great Long Serpent,
Fallen is Olaf Trygvason.'



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