George Borrow

(1803-1881 / England)

The Heroes Of Dovrefeld (From The Old Danish) - Poem by George Borrow

On Dovrefeld, in Norway,
Were once together seen
The twelve heroic brothers
Of Ingeborg, the queen:

And they were all magicians,
Possest of mighty art,
Who freely read the Runic,
And knew the rhyme by heart.

The first could turn the lightning,
And quench its ruddy gleam:
The second, with a whisper,
Could still the running stream:

The third beneath the water
Could dive like any fish:
The fourth could get provision
By striking on his dish:

The fifth upon the gold harp
So pleasantly could play,
That all the men who heard him
Began to dance away:

The sixth, he had a bugle,
And when he blew a blast,
The stoutest of his foemen
Would fly before him fast:

The seventh, unimpeded,
Through solid hills could roam:
The eighth could walk the ocean,
When billows were in foam:

The ninth could draw, by magic,
The fishes from the deep:
The tenth was never weary,
Nor overcome by sleep:

The eleventh bound the dragon
Which crept among the grass;
And all he wish’d to happen
Was sure to come to pass:

The twelfth, who was reputed
The wisest of the band,
Knew what was going forward
In every foreign land.

And now, forsooth, I tell ye,
Who listen to my strain,
That such a set of brothers
Will ne’er be seen again.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010



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