His protest, it is needless to say, was unavailing, and all who respect his memory must regret that the sunset of life failed to give him that insight into the future which is poetically ascribed to it.
The poets, and the poetically minded authors of the sagas, who are the only authorities, have told the story with many circumstances of romance.
But the result of these conditions and of his own inadequate conception of the proper limits of his art is that his best poetry is clogged with a great mass of alien matter, which no treatment in the world could have made poetically endurable.
The Praefatio begins by stating that the emperor Ludwig the Pious, desirous that his subjects should possess the word of God in their own tongue, commanded a certain Saxon, who was esteemed among his countrymen as an eminent poet, to translate poetically into the German language the Old and New Testaments.
This belief in individual immortality is expressed poetically and obscurely: it is later than the eschatology of the people.
Egypt is called in Hebrew Mizraim, ~:-ig~, possibly a dual form describing the country in reference to its two great natural and historical divisions of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt: but Mizraim (poetically sometimes Mazor) often means Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt being named Pathros, the south land.
The name Scotland for this geographical area of northern Britain (the Caledonia of the ancients - a name still poetically used for Scotland) originated in the 11th century, when (from the tribe of Scots) part of it was called Scotia (a name previously applied to what is now Ireland); and the name of Scotland became established in the 12th and 13th centuries.
The coarse myth told by Ovid, in which Anna plays a trick on Mars when in love with Minerva, is probably an old Italian folk-tale, poetically applied to the persons of these deities when they became partially anthropomorphized under Greek influence.
The Christian passages, which are poetically of no value, are evidently of literary origin, and may be of any date down to that of the extant MS. The curious passage which says that the subjects of Hrothgar sought deliverance from Grendel in prayer at the temple of the Devil, " because they knew not the true God," must surely have been substituted for a passage referring sympathetically to the worship of the ancient gods.
One may also be permitted to hold that the mythic figure of the dragon, if used poetically, is a highly serviceable one, and consider that " in the beginning God fought with the dragon, and slew him " would have formed an admirable illustration of the passages just now referred to, especially to those in the Apocalypse.
Yet, for the most part, they either relate to objects thoroughly incapable of poetic treatment, where the writer's endeavour is rather to expound the matter fully than to render it poetically beautiful, or else expend themselves on short isolated subjects, generally myths, and are erotic in character.
And if some of the incidents (those of the third book in particular) seem to belong to the beginning of the war, it must be considered that poetically, and to the hearers of the Iliad, the war opens in the third book, and the incidents are of the kind that is required in such a place.
The term "day star" (so rendered in the Revised Version) was used poetically by Isaiah for the king of Babylon: "How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning!