In Runic odes from the Norse tongue we see an early example of the rediscovery of the heathen past of our ancestors. Thomas James Mathias refers to Ragnarök as something part of a “dark mythology”, and to Loki as an “evil being”. In that sense, we can speculate that the author still had a very Christian look on the mythology of his Germanic ancestors. Considering the fact that Runic odes from the Norse tongue was first published in 1790, this is not at all surprising.
As stated in the introduction of Runic odes from the Norse tongue:
“These curious remains of the most remote Northern Antiquity are taken from the Treatise of Bartholinus on the causes of the contempt of death among the Danes.
They are attempted from the originals, in that manner which Mr. Gray conceived best adapted to transfuse the wild spirit of Norse poetry into the English language.”
All in all, Runic odes from the Norse tongue is a delightful read, and the English poetical style used gives it all the more spirit.
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