Verse > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow > Complete Poetical Works
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882).  Complete Poetical Works.  1893.
Tales of a Wayside Inn
Part First.
The Musician’s Tale: The Saga of King Olaf.
XVIII. King Olaf and Earl Sigvald
ON the gray sea-sands
King Olaf stands,
Northward and seaward
He points with his hands.
With eddy and whirl        5
The sea-tides curl,
Washing the sandals
Of Sigvald the Earl.
The mariners shout,
The ships swing about,        10
The yards are all hoisted,
The sails flutter out.
The war-horns are played,
The anchors are weighed,
Like moths in the distance        15
The sails flit and fade.
The sea is like lead,
The harbor lies dead,
As a corse on the sea-shore,
Whose spirit has fled!        20
On that fatal day,
The histories say,
Seventy vessels
Sailed out of the bay.
But soon scattered wide        25
O’er the billows they ride,
While Sigvald and Olaf
Sail side by side.
Cried the Earl: “Follow me!
I your pilot will be,        30
For I know all the channels
Where flows the deep sea!”
So into the strait
Where his foes lie in wait,
Gallant King Olaf        35
Sails to his fate!
Then the sea-fog veils
The ships and their sails;
Queen Sigrid the Haughty,
Thy vengeance prevails!        40

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