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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.

Shetland Islands (Ultima Thule)

The Lords of Thule

By Anonymous

Anonymous translation

THE LORDS of Thule it did not please

That Willegis their bishop was;

For he was a wagoner’s son.

And they drew, to do him scorn,

Wheels of chalk upon the wall;

He found them in chamber, found them in hall;

But the pious Willegis

Could not be moved to bitterness.

Seeing the wheels upon the wall,

He bade his servants a painter call;

And said, “My friend, paint now for me,

On every wall, that I may see,

A wheel of white in a field of red;

Underneath, in letters plain to be read,—

‘Willegis, bishop now by name,

Forget not whence you came!’”

The Lords of Thule were full of shame,—

They wiped away their words of blame;

For they saw that scorn and jeer

Cannot wound the wise man’s ear.

And all the bishops that after him came

Quartered the wheel with their arms of fame.

Thus came to pious Willegis

Glory out of bitterness.