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THE SKELETON IN ARMOR.
“SPEAK! speak! thou fearful guest! Who, with thy hollow breast Still in rude armor drest,
Comest to daunt me! Wrapt not in Eastern balms, But with thy fleshless palms Stretched, as if asking alms,
Why dost thou haunt me?"
Then, from those cavernous eyes
Gleam in December;
From the heart's chamber.
“I was a Viking old !
No Saga taught thee!
"Far in the Northern land, By the wild Baltic's strand, I, with my childish hand,
Tamed the gerfalcon; And, with my skates fast-bound, Skimmed the half-frozen Sound, That the poor whimpering hound,
Trembled to walk on.
"Oft to his frozen lair
Fled like a shadow ;
Sang from the meadow.
“But when I older grew, Joining a corsair's crew, O'er the dark sea I flew
With the marauders. Wild was the life we led; Many the souls that sped, Many the hearts that bled, By our stern orders.
"Many a wassail-bout Wore the long Winter out; Often our midnight shout
Set the cocks crowing, As we the Berserk's tale Measured in cups of ale, Draining the oaken pail,
Filled to o'erflowing.
"Once as I told in glee
gaze on me,
Fell their soft splendor.
“I wooed the blue-eyed maid, Yielding, yet half afraid, And in the forest's shade
Our vows were plighted. Under its loosened vest Fluttered her little breast, Like birds within their nest
By the hawk frighted.
“Bright in her father's hall
Chanting his glory;
To hear my story.
"While the brown ale he quaffed,
The sea-foam brightly,
Blew the foam lightly.
"She was a Prince's child,
I was discarded!
Her nest unguarded ?