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And the undiscovered deep;
I could not eat nor sleep

For thinking of those seas.

"To the northward stretched the desert,

How far I fain would know;
So at last I sallied forth,
And three days sailed due north,

As far as the whale-ships go.

66 To the west of me was the ocean,

To the right the desolate shore, But I did not slacken sail

For the walrus or the whale,

Till after three days more.

" The days grew longer and longer,

Till they became as one,
And southward through the haze
I saw the sullen blaze

Of the red midnight sun.

“And then uprose before me,

Upon the water's edge,
The huge and haggard shape
Of that unknown North Cape,

Whose form is like a wedge.

[graphic]

“ The sea was rough and stormy,

The tempest howled and wailed, And the sea-fog, like a ghost, Haunted that dreary coast,

But onward still I sailed.

“Four days I steered to eastward,

Four days without a night:
Round in a fiery ring
Went the great sun, O King,

With red and lurid light.”

Here Alfred, King of the Saxons,

Ceased writing for a while ;

And raised his eyes from his book, With a strange and puzzled look,

And an incredulous smile.

But Othere, the old sea-captain,

He neither paused nor stirred,
Till the King listened, and then
Once more took

up
his

pen,
And wrote down every word.

“ And now the land," said Othere,

“ Bent southward suddenly, And I followed the curving shore And ever southward bore

Into a nameless sea.

" And there we hunted the walrus,

The narwhale, and the seal;
Ha! 'twas a noble game!
And like the lightning's flame

Flew our harpoons of steel.

6 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,

· Raising his noble head, He stretched his brown hand, and said,

6 Behold this walrus-tooth!”

17

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