'My strength is failing fast,'
Said the Sea-king to his men;
'I shall never sail the seas
Like a conqueror again.
But while yet a drop remains
Of the life-blood in my veins,
Raise, O raise me from the bed;
Put the crown upon my head
Put my good sword in my hand;
And so lead me to the strand
Where my ship at anchor rides


If I cannot end my life
In the bloody battle strife,
Let me die as I have lived,

On the sea.'

They have raised King Balder up,
Put his crown upon his head,
They have sheath'd his limbs in mail

And the purple o'er him spread;
And amid the greeting rude.
Of a gathering multitude

Borne him slowly to the shore
All the energy of yore


From his dim eye flashing forth –
Old sea-lion of the north;
As he looked upon his ship

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Riding free,

And on his forehead pale Felt the cold refreshing gale, And heard the welcome sound

Of the sea.

They have borne him to the ship

With a slow and solemn tread;
They have placed him on the deck
With his crown upon his head,
Where he sat as on a throne;
And have left him there alone,
With his anchor ready weigh'd,
And the snowy sail display'd
To the favoring wind once more
Blowing freshly from the shore;
And have bidden him farewell

Saying, 'King of mighty men,
We shall meet thee yet again,
In Valhalla, with the monarchs

Of the sea.'

Underneath him in the hold

They had placed the lighted brand; And the fire was burning slow

As the vessel from the land,

Like a stag-hound from the slips,
Darted forth from out the ships;
There was music in her sail
As it swell'd before the gale,
And a dashing at her prow
As it cleft the waves below,
And the good ship sped along,

Scudding free,

As on many a battle morn
In her time she had been borne,
To struggle and to conquer

On the sea.

And the King with sudden strength
Started up and paced the deck,
With his good sword for his staff,

And his robes around his neck:
Once alone, he waved his hand

To the people on the land;
And with shout and joyous cry
Once again they made reply,
Till the loud exulting cheer
Sounded faintly on his ear;
For the gale was o'er him blowing
Fresh and free;

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And ere yet an hour had past He was driven before the blast, And a storm was on his path,

On the sea.

And still upon the deck

While the storm about him rent,

King Balder paced about

Till his failing strength was spent.

Then he stopp'd a while to rest Cross'd his hands upon his breast, And look'd upwards to the sky, With a dim but dauntless eye; And heard the tall mast creak, And the fitful tempest speak Shrill and fierce, to the billows

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Rushing free,

And within himself he said, 'I am coming, oh, ye dead! To join you in Valhalla,

O'er the sea.'

And Balder spake no more,
For his strength began to fail,-
But he look'd upon the sky

As he heard the tempest wail.
To the storm the tall mast bent,
And the sails to shreds were rent;
When from hold and cabin, quick
Rush'd the smoke out, curling thick,
Creeping up amid the shrouds,

Black as wreaths of autumn clouds, When the lightning from their bosoms Flashes free;

And the dancing waves upsprung,
And a lurid radiance flung

On the sky, and on the waters

Of the sea.

And Balder moved no limb, And no sound escaped his lip; And he look'd, yet scarcely saw The destruction of his ship: Nor the fleet sparks mounting high, Nor the glare upon the sky;Scarcely heard the billows dash, Nor the burning timber crash;· Scarcely felt the scorching heat That was gathering at his feet, Nor the fierce flames mounting o'er him


But the life was in him yet, And the courage to forget All his pain, in his triumph

On the sea.

Once alone a cry arose,
Half of anguish, half of pride,
As he sprang upon his feet

With the flames on every side.
'I am coming!' said the king,
'Where the swords and bucklers ring-
Where the warrior lives again
With the souls of mighty men
Where the weary find repose,
And the red wine ever flows;
I am coming, great All-father,

Unto Thee!

Unto Odin, unto Thor,

And the strong true hearts of yore

I am coming to Valhalla,

O'er the sea.'

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