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* We The tune will only be admired by those whose ears have been accustomed to ancient ecclesiastical music. The second version of the melody was given me by a lady at Reykjavik; it is evidently a modern corruption of the old tune. As a little variety to these pieces, I transcribe one pretty little air which in style is quite different from those melodies which are unquestionably of Icelandic origin.
Alleluiah ! trumpet pealing,
Alleluiah 1 at the clashing
Alleluiah! victory gained l
Alleluiah ! upward streaming,
Alleluiah 1 throng in singing
It was morning before the party broke up, and the guestroom was converted into a bed-chamber for Mr. Briggs, Grímr and me.
The following day was Sunday. After breakfast I walked outside the farm to look out upon the sea. The great Húnafloi, a mighty bay, out of which branch numerous fjords, lay to the north, calm and blue, with a line of Snowy mountains rising out of it, far off on the horizon. These I take to have been Sandfell and Burfell, distant between forty and fifty miles. At first, I mistook them for soft white clouds, lit by the morning sun, but, on examining them through my telescope, I was able to distinguish the pearly range— Faintly, flushing, phantom fair, A thousand shadowy pencilled valleys, And snowy dells in golden air. Two little fishing boats skimmed over the Sea, like gulls, and were reflected in the azure surface. The scene might have been taken for a Mediterranean peep—had it not been for the icy wind which puffed up from off the Arctic Ocean. “Padre l’” said a sepulchral voice near me, which made me start in alarm; “Padre I come and pour balm into a lacerated bosom.” I looked round, and saw that the portly Mr. Briggs was reposing in the lee of a cowshed, wrapped in a warm rug. “Well l’” said I; “let me hear now that story which you would not confide to me last night.” “That story is comprehended in four words, my fat friend; “I am in love l’” “I judged so by the hints you gave me, and also by the languishing glances which I saw you casting at one of the bridesmaids, over your stock-fish and butter. “Is she not an angel, a houri ?” exclaimed the enraptured Mr. Briggs. “Your Ariadne is certainly very beautiful,” I replied. “How does the love-making progress 2" “Wery badly,” sighed the fat man; “I only know one Icelandic expression; that is, ‘ver-thu sool l’ (may you be blessed 1) I have said it to her at least fifty times, till I think she is tired of that remark, and quite thirsts for a new one. Now, Padre you have arrived in the nick of time. Tell me the Icelandic for—Adored angel, I fling myself at your feet, a grovelling victim of your charms l’” I stopped my friend and advised him strongly to join company with me, and try to forget the eyes.
* The Icelandic words are of a sacred nature, so that I have not chosen to *dapt secular words to this graceful melody. The verses which I have given * original, and are added to facilitate the performance of the little piece.
“Not the eyes so much l’’ interrupted the enamoured Swain; “but the nose, the adorable nose !” If the flame could not be smothered, I recommended him to return to Iceland next summer and propose. Mr. Briggs agreed to my suggestion, and so the matter was settled. In the meantime, horses had been brought round to the farm door; and the guests, including the lady whom Mr. Briggs adored, departed. Scarcely were they gone than the church-bell rang for service. It would not have been etiquette to have chimed for worship till the guests had departed, lest they should think that the parson wished to take an unfair advantage of their presence in his house, and force them to listen to his Sunday discourse. Mr. Briggs, Grímr, and I went to church, and were accommodated in the chancel near the altar. At Melr the holy table stood free from the east wall, and was not enclosed within rails. Against the east wall was a poorly painted triptych, and on the altar two glass candlesticks, not matching each other, one being intended for three lights, the other for a single candle. The holy table was vested in a blue cloth, with a triangle surrounded by flames, in the centre. The men sat in the choir, and the women in the nave. The clerk occupied a seat, like a returned stall, against the Screen. This man, an odd old fellow with large horn spectacles, lighted the altar candles, consisting of two tallow dips, and Snuffed them at intervals during the service with his previously wetted fingers. Enter the Archdeacon in cassock without girdle; the clerk proceeds to vest him, throwing an alb over his head, then a chasuble of crimson velvet, with a gold cross down the back. In doing this he so ruffles the parson's hair, that he licks his hand, and plasters the hair down with it. The priest advanced to the altar and took up his position between it and the east end, facing the congregation, in the manner prevalent in the Basilica churches at Rome. This is unusual. Grimr told me that he had never seen the priest in this position elsewhere, and that it was occupied in this case only because there were no communion rails. The appearance of the minister looking towards his congregation over a gaudily-draped table, between glass candlesticks, reminded one unpleasantly of a conjuror.
Raising his powerful but not musical voice, the priest sang, “Latum us bithjal" (Let us pray); then he chanted the collect for the day. This was followed by the Epistle and Gospel, not said from different sides of the altar, as in English and Roman churches, but from the middle. Before the Epistle, was said “Pistilinn skrifar postulinn Pál " (the Apostle Paul wrote the Epistle), and before the Gospel, “Guthspjallith skrifar guthspjallamathurinn Marcus” (the Evangelist Mark wrote the Gospel). This was followed by “Guthi se lof ok dyrth fyrir sinn glethilegan bothskap !” (Praise and glory be to God for His joyful message 1) sung by the clerk. Both Epistle and Gospel were chanted to a plain tune. The Lord's Prayer, which came next, was similarly chanted.
The people remained seated during the prayers till the Paternoster was said, when they rose, but sat down again, to sing the following hymn: —