George Borrow

(1803-1881 / England)

The Hail-Storm (From The Norse) - Poem by George Borrow

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When from our ships we bounded,
I heard, with fear astounded,
The storm of Thorgerd’s waking,
From Northern vapours breaking;
With flinty masses blended,
Gigantic hail descended,
And thick and fiercely rattled
Against us there embattled.

To aid the hostile maces,
It drifted in our faces;
It drifted, dealing slaughter,
And blood ran out like water—
Ran reeking, red, and horrid,
From batter’d cheek and forehead;
We plied our swords, but no men
Can stand ‘gainst hail and foemen.

And demon Thorgerd raging
To see us still engaging,
Shot, downward from the heaven,
His shafts of flaming levin;
Then sank our brave in numbers,
To cold eternal slumbers;
There lay the good and gallant,
Renown’d for warlike talent.

Our captain, this perceiving,
The signal made for leaving,
And with his ship departed,
Downcast and broken-hearted;
War, death, and consternation,
Pursu’d our embarkation;
We did our best, but no men
Can stand ‘gainst hail and foemen.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010



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