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About the dwelling of Siggeir, and lay the torch therein.
Then they drew their swords and watched it till the flames began to win
Hard on to the mid-hall's rafters, and those feasters of the folk,
As the fire-flakes fell among them, to their last of days awoke.
By the gable-door stood Sigmund and fierce Sinfiotli stood
Red-lit by the door of the women in the lane of blazing wood:
To death each doorway opened, and death was in the hall.
Then amid the gathered Goth-folk 'gan Siggeir the king to call:
"Who lit the fire I burn in, and what shall buy me peace ?
Will ye take my heaped-up treasure, or ten years of my fields' increase,
Or half of my father's kingdom? O toilers at the oar, O wasters of the sea-plain, now labour ye no more! But take the gifts I bid you, and lie upon the gold, And clothe your limbs in purple and the silken women hold!"
But a great voice cried o'er the fire: "Nay no such
men are we,
No tuggers at the hawser, no wasters of the sea: We will have the gold and the purple when we list such things to win ;
But now we think on our fathers, and avenging of our kin.
Yea, and I wot that the daylight thine eyes had never
Save for a great king's murder and the shame of a mighty queen.
But let thy soul, I charge thee, o'er all these things prevail
To make thy short day glorious and leave a goodly tale."
She kissed him and departed, and unto Sigmund
As now against the dawning grey grew the winter bent:
As the night and the morning mingled he saw her face once more,
And he deemed it fair and ruddy as in the days of
Yet fast the tears fell from her, and the sobs upheaved her breast:
And she said: "My youth was happy; but this hour belike is best
Of all the days of my life-tide, that soon shall have an end.
I have come to greet thee, Sigmund, then back again must I wend,
For his bed the Goth-king dighteth: I have lain therein, time was,
And loathed the sleep I won there but lo, how all things pass,
And hearts are changed and softened, for lovely now
Yet fear not my forgetting: I shall see thee in my dreams
A mighty king of the world 'neath the boughs of the Branstock green,
With thine earls and thy lords about thee as the Volsung fashion hath been:
And there shall all ye remember how I loved the Volsung name,
Nor spared to spend for its blooming my joy, and my life, and my fame.
For hear thou: that Sinfiotli, who hath wrought out our desire,
Who hath compassed about King Siggeir with this sea of a deadly fire,
Who brake thy grave asunder-my child and thine he is,
Begot in that house of the Dwarf-kind for no other end than this;
The son of Volsung's daughter, the son of Volsung's
Look, look! might another helper this deed with thee have done?"
And indeed as the word she uttereth, high up the red flames flare
To the nether floor of the heavens: and yet men see them there,
The golden roofs of Siggeir, the hall of the silver door
That the Goths and the Gods had builded to last for
She said: "Farewell, my brother, for the earls my candles light
And I must wend me bedward lest I lose the flower of night."
And soft and sweet she kissed him, ere she turned about again,
And a little while was Signy beheld of the eyes of
And as she crossed the threshold, day brightened at her back
Nor once did she turn her earthward from the reek and the whirling wrack,
But fair in the fashion of Queens passed on to the heart of the hall.
And then King Siggeir's roof-tree upheaved for its utmost fall,
And its huge walls clashed together, and its mean and lowly things
The fire of death confounded with the tokens of the
A sign for many people on the land of the Goths it lay,
A lamp of the earth none needed, for the bright sun brought the day.
CHANTS FOR SOCIALISTS.
THE MARCH OF THE WORKERS.
is this, the sound and rumour? What is this that all men hear,
Like the wind in hollow valleys when the storm is
Like the rolling on of ocean in the eventide of fear? 'Tis the people marching on.
Whither go they, and whence come they? What are these of whom ye tell?
In what country are they dwelling 'twixt the gates of heaven and hell?
Are they mine or thine for money? Will they serve a master well?
Still the rumour's marching on.
Forth they come from grief and torment; on they wend toward health and mirth,
All the wide world is their dwelling, every corner of the earth.
Buy them, sell them for thy service! Try the bargain what 'tis worth
For the days are marching on.