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The Gold Horns
written by "Oehlenschläger, Adam Gottlob, 1779-1850"
...rapture.  His first act, after breakfast, was to destroy a whole volume of his own MS. poetry, which was ready for press, and for which a publisher had promised him a handsome sum of money.  His next was to sit down and write The Gold Horns, a manifesto p. 8of his complete conversion to the principles of romanticism.  Later in the day he presented himself again at Steffens’ lodgings, bringing the lyric with him, “to prove,” as he says, “to Steffens that I was a poet at last beyond all doubt or question.”  His new friend received him with solemn exultation.  “Now you are indeed a poet,” he said, and folded him in his arms.  The conversion of Oehlenschläger to romanticism meant the conquest of Danish literature by the new order of thought. Oehlenschläger has explained what it was that suggested to him the leading idea of his poem.  Two antique horns of gold, discovered some time before in the bogs of Slesvig, had been recently stolen from the national collection at Rosenborg, and the thieves had melted down the inestimable treasures.  Oehlenschläger treats these horns as the reward for genuine antiquarian enthusiasm, shown in a sincere and tender passion for the ancient relics of Scandinavian history.  From a generation unworthy to appreciate them, the Horns had been withdrawn, to be mysteriously restored at the due romantic hour.  He was, when he came under p. 9the influence of Steffens, absolutely ripe for conversion, filled with the results of his Icelandic studies, and with an imagination redolent of Edda and the Sagas.  To this inflammable material, Henrik Steffens merely laid the torch of his intelligence. It is impossible to pretend that Borrow has caught the enchanting beauty and delicacy of the Danish poem.  But he has made a gallant effort to reproduce the form and language of Oehlenschläger, and we have thought it not without interest to...

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