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The poet having praised the hero of Lexington, at the expense of the old knight who went
Clinking about in foreign lands
to appease The landlord's wrath, the others' fears,
A tale of the Decameron, told
called the The Falcon of Ser Federigo', Ser Federigo lavished his wealth in wooing one who wed his rival, when, withdrawing to a small farm, the last of his domain, he spent his time in raising wine and fruit.
His only forester and only guest
That entrance gave beneath a roof of thatch. One day the son of her he loved, now a widow, comes to see his falcon, and fancies it so much that he falls sick of desire to possess it, and is likely to die. To gratify his desire to possess the falcon, Monna Giovanna visits the recluse.
They found Ser Federigo at his toil,
Ser Federigo kills the falcon to furnish a breakfast for his guests, at the close of which the lady prefers with many apologies her request, and learns the truth. Three days later the chapel-bell tolled the death of the child of grief.
Three months by; and lo! a merrier chime
But now with servitors to do his will,
“ All things come round to him who will but wait.” Next comes “The Legend of Rabbi Ben Levi', the tale of the Spanish Jew, a man
Well versed in Hebrew books,
Then the Sicilian,
Clean shaven as a priest
Shot sideways, like a swallow's wings, tells the story of King Robert, of Sicily', the subject being the Scripture sentence : * Deposuit potentes de sede, et exaltavit humiles.' This the king denies, is taught its truth by a bitter experience, acknowledges his error, and is reïnstated in his kingdom by the angel who has acted in the king's place, thus :
He beckoued to King Robert to draw nigher,
Rose like the throbbing of a single string,—
Then the musician, “the blue-eyed Norseman'at whose playing
The wood-fire clapped its hands of flame, told his tale, The Saga of King Olaf'. It is the longest and most perfect story of the book, a fantastic grouping of old Scandinavian legends. The god Thor defies Christ,
And King Olaf heard the cry,
Laid his hand upon his sword,
Northward into Drontheim Fiord.
There he stood as one who dreamed;
On the armor that he wore;
“I accept thy challenge, Thor!”
Having slain Iron-Beard,
King Olaf from the doorway spoke:
“Choose ye between two things my folk, To be baptized or given up to slaughter."
And seeing their leader stark and dead,
The people with a murmur said,
So all the Drontheim land became
A Christian land in name and fame,
Then he conquers Raud the Strong:
Be baptized, or thou shalt die ! ” Raud the Strong blaspheming died. But in scorn the heathen scoffer Then baptized they all that region, Answered: “I disdain thine offer; Swarthy Lap and fair Norwegian, Neither fear I God nor Devil;
Far as swims the salmon, leaping, Thee and thy Gospel I defy!”
Up the streams of Salten Fiord.
Then between his jaws distended,
Touched by fire, they forced to glide.
In their temples Thor and Odin
Preached the Gospel with his sword.
She was the grandest of all vessels,
Half so fine as she !
'Mid the roar of cheer on cheer!
Then he marries Thyri, and to avenge an insult to her,
Something worse they did than that ;
And what vexed him most of all
With words that go
Sprawling below, “This is Thangbrand, Olaf's priest.”
Hardly knowing what he did,
Then he smote them might and main,
“To-day we are gold,
To-morrow mould !” Muttered Thangbrand, Olaf's priest.
Much in fear of ax and rope,
Back to Norway sailed he then,
With bending head,
Olaf at last is vanquished in a sea-fight, and leaps into the sea. And
There is told a wonderful tale,
As he swam beneath the main ;
Was King Olaf seen again!
Then the nun of Nidaros in her chamber hears the moral of the Saga from the lips of Saint John the beloved :