Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE VIKING, by WHITLEY STOKES

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THE VIKING, by            
First Line: Bitter in sooth is the wind to-night
Last Line: Give him his sword, and set him free!'

'BITTER in sooth is the wind to-night,
Rousing the wrath of the white-haired sea;
But smooth-sea-sailing is no delight
To Norroway's heroes fierce and free.

'Strong and swift are the waves to-night,
Roaring over the reefs a-lee:
Stronger, swifter thy ranks in fight,
Charging thy foes till they break and flee.

'Bright and keen are the stars to-night,
Sending their shafts to pierce the sea:
Brighter thy swords when they flash and smite,
Keener thy darts when they drench the lea.

'Glad are the hearts of thy gods to-night:
Odin, the Father, is fain to see
Eyeballs of fire and arms of might,
Sea-kings sailing in warriors' glee.

'Why do I launch this lay to-night,
I, a singer from Christentie?
Thor is stronger than Christ the White:
Therefore I praise thy gods and thee.

'Little but song have I to-night:
Guerdon of gold give thou to me:
Laud the singer who sings aright:
Give him his sword, and set him free!'

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