Music Of The Waters - online book

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214             Music of the Waters.
discarded the old pagan flag of the raven, a new one was vouchsafed them by Heaven and sent down to them—-under this they became victorious. It was a red flag with a white cross, still the national ensign by sea and land.
Amongst the Danish national songs there is one com­memorative of this :—
" The Dannebrog, 'tis known, The Dannebrog, 'tis known, It fell from Heaven down ; Yes, it fell from Heaven down ! It floats upon the mast, The soldier grasps it fast. And no flag in the world besides, like ours, From Heaven was ever cast."
Danish poetry lacks the polish of southern national song, both as to rhyme and rhythm. Indeed, it recalls the times of our own Chaucer and Gower. It is rough and romantic, and not at all wanting in vigour and expressive­ness. Perhaps climate regulates poesy as it does the human constitution. All Scandinavian national songs abound in reiterations.
The Vikings (sea-rovers or pirates), who played so im­portant a part during the Danish conquests, were not Vi-kings, but Vik-kings (Veekings), so called, says Mr. Worsaae in his account of the Danes and Norwegians, either from the Icelandic Vik (Danish Vig), a bay of the sea, or from Vig, battle or slaughter. The latter, I fancy, seems the more probable ; although many may place more reliance on Mr. Worsaae's first solution. There is much that remains shrouded in obscurity concerning these northern lands, and there is a terse saying very appropriate to Scandinavian researches :—
" What is hits is histories, What is missed is mysteries."
The Danish people are not musical when compared with

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