Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
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William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
 
A Northern Rune
By Charles Sangster (1822–1893)
 
LOUD rolleth the rune, the martial rune
  Of the Norse King-harpist bold;
He ’s proud of his line, he ’s erect as the pine
  That springs on the mountains old.
Through the hardy North, when his song goes forth,        5
  It rings like the clash of steel;
Yet we have not a fear, for his heart ’s sincere,
  And his blasts we love to feel.
 
        Then, hi! for the storm,
        The wintry storm,        10
  That maketh the stars grow dim;
        Not a nerve shall fail,
        Not a heart shall quail,
  When he rolls his grand old hymn.
 
Oh, hale and gay is that Norse King grey,        15
  And his limbs are both stout and strong;
His eye is as keen as a falchion’s sheen
  When it sweeps to avenge a wrong.
The Aurora’s dance is his merry glance,
  As it speeds through the starry fields;        20
And his anger falls upon Odin’s halls
  Like the crash of a thousand shields.

        Then, hi! for the storm, &c.
 
His stately front has endured the brunt
  Of Scythian rack and gale,
As the vengeful years clashed their icy spears        25
  On the boss of his glancing mail;
When he steps in his pride from his halls so wide,
  He laughs with a wild refrain;
And the Elfins start from the iceberg’s heart,
  And echo his laugh again.

        Then, hi! for the storm, &c.
        30
 
When the woods are stirred by the antlered herd,
  He comes like a Nimrod bold,
And the forest groans as his mighty tones
  Swoop down on the startled fold;
In his mantle white he defies the Night,        35
  With the air of a King so free;
Then hurrah for the rune, the North-King’s rune,
  For his sons, his sons are we!

        Then, hi! for the storm, &c.
 
 
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