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* There were six of us all together,
Norsemen of Helgoland; In two days and no more
We killed of them threescore,
And dragged them to the strand!”
Here Alfred the Truth-Teller
Suddenly closed his book,
And lifted his blue eyes,
With doubt and strange surmise
Depicted in their look.
And Othere the old sea-captain
Stared at him wild and weird,
Then smiled, till his shining teeth
Gleamed white from underneath
His tawny, quivering beard.
And to the King of the Saxons,
In witness of the truth,
A WIND came up out of the sea,
And said, “ O mists, make room for me.”
It hailed the ships, and cried, “Sail on,
Ye mariners, the night is gone.”
And hurried landward far away,
Crying, “ Awake! it is the day.”
It said unto the forest, “Shout!
Hang all your leafy banners out!”
It touched the wood-bird's folded wing, And said, “ O bird, awake and sing."
And o'er the farms, “ O chanticleer,
It whispered to the fields of corn, “ Bow down, and hail the coming morn."
It shouted through the belfry-tower,
It crossed the churchyard with a sigh,