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AN OLD NORSE SONG

Bersi, the champion, famed in his day,
Ag├Ęd and bedridden, drowsily lay.
Halldor, the baby, the grandfather's pride,
Cooed in his cradle the pallet beside.
Recklessly rocking, the cradle fell o'er;
Halldor, the baby, was cast on the floor!
Strengthless to succor his torment and joy,
Bersi, the champion, sang to the boy:
"Lorn, by the fireside helpless we lie,
Grandchild and grandfather, Halldor and I.
'Youth' is the ailment that hindereth thee;
'Age' is the sickness that conquereth me.
Weep not, O grandson, but bravely endure;
Time is thy healer--but what is my cure?"