ansplanting to English poetry of Old Norse song came about through the scholar's agency, not the poet's. It was Gray, the scholar, that made "The Descent of Odin" and "The Fatal Sisters." They were intended to serve as specimens of a forgotten literature in a history of English poetry. In the "Advertisement" to "The Fatal Sisters" he tells how he came to give up the plan: "The Author has long since drop'd his design, especially after he heard, that it was already in the hands of a Person well qualified to do it justice, both by his taste, and his researches into antiquity." Thomas Warton's History of English Poetry was the execution of this design, but in that book no place was found for these poems.
In his absurd _Life of Gray_, Dr. Johnson said: "His translations of Northern and Welsh Poetry deserve praise: the imagery is preserved, perhaps often improved, but the language is unlike the language of other poets." There are more correct statements in this sentence, perhaps, than in any other in th
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