Alice Cary

April 26, 1820 - 1871


The Deserted Fylgia

by Alice Cary

A Scandinavian warrior, having embraced Christianity and being attacked by disease which he thought mortal, was naturally anxious that a spirit who had accompanied him through his pagan career should not attend him into that other world, where her society might involve him in disagreeable consequences. The persevering Fylgia. however, in the shape of a fair maiden, walked on the waves of the sea, after her Viking's ship.

Like a meteor, radiant, streaming,
Seems her hair to me,
And thou bear'st her feet like lilies,
Dark and chilly sea!

Wannish fires enclasp her bosom,
Like the Northern Light,
And like icicles her fingers
Glisten, locked and white.

On the blue and icy ocean,
As a stony floor,
Toward thy boat, oh, dying Viking,
Walks she evermore!

Like a star on morning's forehead,
When the intense air,
Sweeping o'er the face of heaven,
Lays its far depths bare --

Is the beauty of her smiling,
Pale and cold and clear --
What, oh, fearful, dying Viking,
Doth the maiden here?

Moaningly his white lips tremble,
But no voice replies --
Starlight in the blue waves frozen,
Seem his closing eyes.

Woman's lot is thine, oh Fylgia,
Mourning broken faith,
And her mighty love outlasting
Chance and change and death!


Copyright 1855
Boston: Ticknor And Fields