Home  »  Complete Poetical Works by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  »  Part First. The Musician’s Tale: The Saga of King Olaf. X. Raud the Strong

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

Tales of a Wayside Inn

Part First. The Musician’s Tale: The Saga of King Olaf. X. Raud the Strong

“ALL the old gods are dead,

All the wild warlocks fled;

But the White Christ lives and reigns,

And throughout my wide domains

His Gospel shall be spread!”

On the Evangelists

Thus swore King Olaf.

But still in dreams of the night

Beheld he the crimson light,

And heard the voice that defied

Him who was crucified,

And challenged him to the fight.

To Sigurd the Bishop

King Olaf confessed it.

And Sigurd the Bishop said,

“The old gods are not dead,

For the great Thor still reigns,

And among the Jarls and Thanes

The old witchcraft still is spread.”

Thus to King Olaf

Said Sigurd the Bishop.

“Far north in the Salten Fiord,

By rapine, fire, and sword,

Lives the Viking, Raud the Strong;

All the Godoe Isles belong

To him and his heathen horde.”

Thus went on speaking

Sigurd the Bishop.

“A warlock, a wizard is he,

And the lord of the wind and the sea;

And whichever way he sails,

He has ever favoring gales,

By his craft in sorcery.”

Here the sign of the cross

Made devoutly King Olaf.

“With rites that we both abhor,

He worships Odin and Thor;

So it cannot yet be said,

That all the old gods are dead,

And the warlocks are no more,”

Flushing with anger

Said Sigurd the Bishop.

Then King Olaf cried aloud:

“I will talk with this mighty Raud,

And along the Salten Fiord

Preach the Gospel with my sword,

Or be brought back in my shroud!”

So northward from Drontheim

Sailed King Olaf!