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that, he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too, but that lock went desperately hard ; yet the key did open it. Then they thrust open the gate to make their escape with speed; but that gate, as it opened, made such a creaking, that it waked Giant Despair, who, hastily rising to pursue his prisoners, felt his limbs to fail, for his fits took him again, so that he could by no means go after them. Then they went on, and came to the King's highway again, and so were safe.



Othere, the old sea-captain,

Who dwelt in Helgoland,
To King Alfred, the Lover of Truth,
Brought a snow-white walrus-tooth,

Which he held in his brown right hand.
His figure was tall and stately,

Like a boy's his eye appeared;
His hair was yellow as hay,
But threads of a silvery gray

Gleamed in his tawny beard.

Hearty and hale was Othere,

His cheek had the color of oak;
With a kind of laugh in his speech,
Like the sea-tide on a beach,

As unto the king he spoke.

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And Alfred, King of the Saxons,

Had a book upon his knees,
And wrote down the wondrous tale
Of him who was first to sail

Into the Arctic seas.

“So far I live to the northward,

No man lives north of me; To the east are wild mountain-chains, And beyond them meres and plains;

To the westward all is sea.

“So far I live to the northward,

From the harbor of Skeringes-hale, If you only sailed by day, With a fair wind all the way,

More than a month would you sail.

" I own six hundred reindeer,

With sheep and swine beside; I have tribute from the Finns, Whalebone and reindeer-skins,

And ropes of walrus-hide.

“I ploughed the land with horses,

But my heart was ill at ease,
For the old seafaring men
Came to me now and then,

With their sagas of the seas; —

“Of Iceland and of Greenland,

And the stormy Hebrides,

And the undiscovered deep;-
I could not eat nor sleep

For thinking of those seas.

“ To the northward stretched the desert,

How far I fain would know;
So at last I sallied forth,
And three days sailed due north,

As far as the whale-ships go.

" To the west of me was the ocean,

To the right the desolate shore.
But I did not slacken sail
For the walrus or the whale,

Till after three days more.

“The days grew longer and longer,

Till they became as one,
And southward through the haze
I saw the sullen blaze

Of the red midnight sun.

“ And then uprose before me,

Upon the water's edge,
The huge and haggard shape
Of that unknown North Cape,

Whose form is like a wedge.

“ The sea was rough and stormy,

The tempest howled and wailed,

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