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~ Historical & Classical Poetry ~

Thor and Sif...

In wide Thrudvanger’s land
(So ancient Scalds indite)
A palace vast doth stand:
Unmatch’d in breadth and height.
Its halls with burnish’d gold
Are richly fretted o’er;
Their number, rightly told,
Five hundred and two score.

Blue lakes and verdant fields
Smiling around are spread,
Studded with copper shields
The palace glows in red.
From distant earth its walls
Some radiant meteor seem;
Far off the warrior hails
In purple splendour gleam.

There sits on golden throne
Aloft the god of war,
Save Odin, yields to none
’Mongst gods great Aser-Thor.
He gives what warriors feel
When first the battle joins;
His gauntlets are of steel,
A belt binds up his loins.

His hammer, Miölner hight,
All weapons far exceeds;
Where falls its massive weight
No leeches fee there needs.
And when his strength ’gins melt,
When hot the battle bums,
He girds him up his belt
And two-fold it returns.


From out some murky cloud,
Pendent in middle air,
His wheels oft creak aloud—
Then mortals thunder hear.


Sif, tall and fair with native grace.
To none in beauty need give place
Save her whom Odin called to light
To make the erst dull world more bright.
Fair tho’ she be, to Freya ne’er
Can stately Sif in form compare.
    Not hers the clear eye’s speaking glance,
Age-frozen blood might make to dance:
Or heart which passion ne’er had felt.
Like snow ’neath mid-day sun to melt.
.        .        .        .        .        .
Sif seems some Amazon to be,
Her look replete with dignity,
Her eye beams no impassioned glance,
But rests in cold indifference.
Her round arms, form’d alike to prove
The contests or of war or love;
Her swan-like bosom’s faultless curve
Would Bragi’s golden lyre deserve.
Smaller tho’ Freya’s hand, not snow
Than Sif’s, fresh fallen on mountain brow,
More white, nor softer virgin down
Of Eyder-fowl, nor breast of swan.
Two pencill’d brows of darkest brown
Meet on her front, and seem to frown:
What gentler beauty would deface
To hers but adds another grace;
Her pearly teeth, of dazzling white,
With ruby lips form contrast bright;
But her first charm, past all compare,
Is her long, silken, amber hair.

From Adam Gottlob Oehlenschläger (1779-1850)      Short Biography of Adam Oehlenschläger

Translation by Grenville Pigott, in "A Manual of Scandinavian Mythology, Containing a
Popular Account of the Two Eddas and of the Religion of Odin" (London, 1839)