ned off a deep drinking horn. Then he sprang from his seat, and seized the Bragi cup, on which vows were wont to be vowed. Once more he paused, set down the Bragi cup again, and asked--
"But Skald, say now, quickly, --Oft hast thou seen her-- This men avoider. Beautiful is she? This breaker of men's wits, Would the bride's wreath become her?"
"Nor soft nor gentle, Is she, nor lovely, But proud and stately Stands her tall form. Nor could another Carry so fitly The crown of a king."
Then Halfred again took up the Bragi cup, strode forward to the highest step which led to his seat of honour, and paused where exactly in the centre was burned into the oaken floor a circle, in red runes, so small that a man could only tread therein with one foot. Halfred kneeled down, planted his left foot within the circle, and lifted the Bragi cup in his right hand, high above his head.
And all were very eager to hear what he would now say; for this was the strongest, the most