Herr Sinclair o'er the briny wave
His course to Norway bent;
'Midst Guldbrand's rocks he found his grave;
There, his last breath was spent.
Sinclair pass'd o'er the billows blue
For Swedish gold to fight;
He came, alas! he little knew
Norwegian dust to bite.
Bright beams that night the pale moon flung--
The vessel gently roll'd--
A mermaid from the ocean sprung
And Sinclair's fate foretold.
'Turn back, turn back, thou Scottish chief!
Hold'st thou thy life so cheap?
Turn back, or give my words belief,
Thou'lt ne'er repass this deep!'
'Light is thy song, malicious elf!
Thy theme is always ill!
Could I but reach thy hated self
That voice should soon be still!'
He sail'd one day--he sail'd for three--
With all his vassal train;
On the fourth morn--see--Norway--see!
Breaks on the azure main.
By Romsdal's coast he steers to land,
On hostile views intent;
The fourteen hundred of his band
Were all on evil bent.
With lawless might, where'er they go
They slaughter and they burn;
They laugh to scorn the widow's woe:
The old man's pray'r they spurn.
The infant in its mother's arms,
While smiling there--they kill.
But rumours strange, and wild alarms
Soon all the country fill.
The bonfires blazed--the tidings flew--
And far and wide they spread
The valley's sons that signal knew;
From foes they never fled.
'We must ourselves the country save;
Our soldiers fight elsewhere.
And cursed be the dastard knave
Who now his blood would spare!'
From Vaage, Lessoe, and from Lom,
With axes sharp and strong;
In one great mass the peasants come--
To meet the Scots they throng.
There runs a path by Lidé's side,
Which some the Kringell call;
And near it Laugé's waters glide:
In them the foe shall fall.
Now weapons, long disused, are spread
Again that bloody day.
The merman lifts his shaggy head
And waits his destined prey.
Brave Sinclair, pierced with many a ball,
Sinks groaning on the field.
The Scots behold their leader fall,
And rank on rank they yield.
'On peasants! on--ye Normand men!
Strike down beneath your feet!'
For home and peace the Scots wish'd then;
But there was no retreat.
With corpses was the Kringell fill'd;
The ravens were regaled.
The youthful blood which there was spill'd
The Scottish girls bewail'd.
No living soul went home again
Their countrymen to tell
The hope to conquer those how vain,
'Midst Norway's hills who dwell.
They raised a column on that spot,
To bid their foes beware;
And evil be that Normand's lot
Who coldly passes there!