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  Norn - the Language of Orkney

A fine example of the survival of the Norse language in Orkney's more remote areas was documented by Scottish author Sir Walter Scott, after a visit to the county in 1814.

"A clergyman, who was not long deceased, remembered well when some remnants of the Norse were still spoken in the island called North Ronaldshaw. When [Thomas] Gray's Ode, entitled the "[The] Fatal Sisters", was first published, or at least first reached that remote island, the reverend gentleman had the well-judged curiosity to read it to some of the old persons of the isle, as a poem which regarded the history of their own country.

They listened with great attention to the preliminary stanzas:

"Now the storm begins to lour,
Haste the doom of hell prepare,
Iron sleet of arrowy shower
Hurtles in the darkened air."

But when they had heard a verse or two more, they interrupted the reader, telling him that they knew the song well in the Norse language, and had often sung it to him when he asked them for an old song.

They called it "The Magicians" or the Enchantresses."

For more on this song/poem, known as the Darraðarljoð, click here.

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External Links
Saga of Burnt Njal

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