Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ETHELSTAN: RUNILDA'S CHANT, by GEORGE DARLEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ETHELSTAN: RUNILDA'S CHANT, by             Poem Explanation         Poet's Biography
First Line: O'er the wild gannet's bath
Last Line: Steeds of the ocean!
Subject(s): Aethelstan, King Of England (d. 939); Athelstan, King Of England (d. 939)

O'er the wild gannet's bath
Come the Norse coursers!
O'er the whale's heritance
Gloriously steering!
With beaked heads peering,
Deep-plunging, high-rearing,
Tossing their foam abroad,
Shaking white manes aloft,
Creamy-neck'd, pitchy-ribb'd,
Steeds of the ocean!
O'er the Sun's mirrors green
Come the Norse coursers!
Trampling its glassy breadth
Into bright fragments!
Hollow-back'd, huge-bosom'd,
Fraught with mail'd riders,
Clanging with hauberks,
Shield, spear, and battleaxe,
Canvas-wing'd, cable-rein'd,
Steeds of the Ocean!
O'er the Wind's ploughing-field
Come the Norse coursers!
By a hundred each ridden,
To the bloody feast bidden,
They rush in their fierceness
And ravine all round them!
Their shoulders enriching
With fleecy-light plunder,
Fire-spreading, foe-spurning,
Steeds of the Ocean!

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