His protest, it is needless to say, was unavailing, and all who respect his memory must regret that the sunset of life failed to give him that insight into the future which is poetically ascribed to it.
The poets, and the poetically minded authors of the sagas, who are the only authorities, have told the story with many circumstances of romance.
But the result of these conditions and of his own inadequate conception of the proper limits of his art is that his best poetry is clogged with a great mass of alien matter, which no treatment in the world could have made poetically endurable.
The Praefatio begins by stating that the emperor Ludwig the Pious, desirous that his subjects should possess the word of God in their own tongue, commanded a certain Saxon, who was esteemed among his countrymen as an eminent poet, to translate poetically into the German language the Old and New Testaments.
One may also be permitted to hold that the mythic figure of the dragon, if used poetically, is a highly serviceable one, and consider that " in the beginning God fought with the dragon, and slew him " would have formed an admirable illustration of the passages just now referred to, especially to those in the Apocalypse.