Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  King Olaf and Earl Sigvald

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII. 1876–79.

Stet Haven (Stettiner-Haff)

King Olaf and Earl Sigvald

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

ON the gray sea-sands

King Olaf stands,

Northward and seaward

He points with his hands.

With eddy and whirl

The sea-tides curl,

Washing the sandals

Of Sigvald the Earl.

The mariners shout,

The ships swing about,

The yards are all hoisted,

The sails flutter out.

The war-horns are played,

The anchors are weighed,

Like moths in the distance

The sails flit and fade.

The sea is like lead,

The harbor lies dead,

As a corse on the sea-shore,

Whose spirit has fled!

On that fatal day,

The histories say,

Seventy vessels

Sailed out of the bay.

But soon scattered wide

O’er the billows they ride,

While Sigvald and Olaf

Sail side by side.

Cried the Earl: “Follow me!

I your pilot will be,

For I know all the channels

Where flows the deep sea!”

So into the strait

Where his foes lie in wait,

Gallant King Olaf

Sails to his fate!

Then the sea-fog veils

The ships and their sails;

Queen Sigrid the Haughty,

Thy vengeance prevails!