Gwin King of Norway
Come, kings, and listen to my song:
When Gwin, the son of Nore,
Over the nations of the North
The nobles of the land did feed
Upon the hungry poor;
They tear the poor man's lamb, and drive
from their door.
`The land is desolate; our wives
And children cry for bread;
Arise, and pull the tyrant down!
Let Gwin be
Gordred the giant rous'd himself
From sleeping in his cave;
He shook the hills, and in the clouds
Beneath them roll'd, like tempests black,
The num'rous sons of blood;
Like lions' whelps, roaring abroad,
their nightly food.
Down Bleron's hills they dreadful rush,
Their cry ascends the clouds;
The trampling horse and clanging
Like rushing mighty floods!
Their wives and children, weeping loud,
Follow in wild array,
Howling like ghosts, furious as wolves
bleak wintry day.
`Pull down the tyrant to the dust,
Let Gwin be humblèd,'
They cry, `and let ten thousand lives
Pay for the
From tow'r to tow'r the watchmen cry,
`O Gwin, the son of Nore,
Arouse thyself! the nations, black
clouds, come rolling o'er!'
Gwin rear'd his shield, his palace shakes,
His chiefs come rushing round;
Each, like an awful thunder
With voice of solemn sound:
Like rearèd stones around a grave
They stand around the King;
Then suddenly each seiz'd his spear,
clashing steel does ring.
The husbandman does leave his plough
To wade thro' fields of gore;
The merchant binds his brows in
And leaves the trading shore;
The shepherd leaves his mellow pipe,
And sounds the trumpet shrill;
The workman throws his hammer
To heave the bloody bill.
Like the tall ghost of Barraton
Who sports in stormy sky,
Gwin leads his host, as black as night
pestilence does fly,
With horses and with chariots--
And all his spearmen bold
March to the sound of mournful song,
around him roll'd.
Gwin lifts his hand--the nations halt;
`Prepare for war!' he cries--
Gordred appears!--his frowning brow
our northern skies.
The armies stand, like balances
Held in th' Almighty's hand;--
`Gwin, thou hast fill'd thy measure up:
swept from out the land.'
And now the raging armies rush'd
Like warring mighty seas;
The heav'ns are shook with roaring war,
dust ascends the skies!
Earth smokes with blood, and groans and shakes
To drink her children's gore,
A sea of blood; nor can the
See to the trembling shore!