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Alf the Freebooter Little Danneved and Swayne Trost and other Ballads   By: (1859-1937)

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ALF THE FREEBOOTER LITTLE DANNEVED AND SWAYNE TROST

AND OTHER BALLADS

BY GEORGE BORROW

LONDON: PRINTED FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION

1913

Copyright in the United States of America by Houghton , Mifflin & Co. for Clement Shorter .

SIR ALF THE FREEBOOTER Song the First

Sir Alf he is an Atheling, Both at Stevn and at Ting. {5} Know ye little Alf ?

Alf he builds a vessel stout, For he will rove and sail about.

Alf he builds a vessel high, The trade of pirate he will try.

He draws on the sand a circle mark, And with a bound he gained the bark.

Upon the prow Alf foremost stood, And Copenhagen’s koggers view’d.

O’er the wide sea he flung a look, He knew the course the vessels took.

“There koggers nine salute mine eyes, All, all they bear shall be my prize.”

Alone into a boat he goes, And briskly to the koggers rows.

“Well met, ye Courtmen, clad in mail Unto what haven do ye sail?”

“Unto that haven we are bound, Where Alf is likeliest to be found.”

“What will ye on the man bestow Who unto ye Sir Alf can show?”

“Silver and gold to him we’ll give, All he can wish for shall he receive.

Presents of worth he shall not miss, The robber’s vessel shall be his.”

“And what shall be the pirates’ lot, If Alf the pirate escape you not?”

“His mariners we’ll hew and slay, Himself we will in irons lay.”

“Ha! little Alf ye here may see, Slight victory ye shall win from me!”

“Up, up and board, my gallant crew, Cable and rope asunder hew!”

Till he was weary Alf he hew’d, In fifteen Courtmen’s gore he stood.

He captured all the koggers nine, And sailed for Norway o’er the brine.

To Rostock in the tiding goes, Then palened many a cheek of rose.

Widow and child lamented sore, This hurtful hawk had made them poor.

But they must thole this damage all, Their tears but bootless, bootless fall. Know ye little Alf ?

SIR ALF THE FREEBOOTER Song the Second

Sir Alf will not stay in Norroway land, For he passes his time there wearily; Full fifteen lordships in fief he holds, He can live thereout right merrily.

Sir Alf he walks on the verdant wold, Conning his breviary; There meets him Bendit Rimaardson, For God of his sins was weary.

“Good morrow, good day, thou little Sir Alf, Thou art a valiant noble, But if thou become the King’s prisoner to day, The land will know less trouble.”

“I am not the little Sir Alf, I vow by the holy Mary; I am but a little mass boy, Sir, To the priest the wine I carry!”

Bendit lifted his high, high hat, And upon his visage staring, Said: “Thou art the little Norwegian Alf, If mine eyes are the truth declaring.

“Thou wast a school boy along with me, Thou darest not deny it; And well at the school I remember thee, Thou gavest us no quiet.”

“If thou be Bendit Rimaardson, Thou art my near relation; If to day thou wilt swear thou knowest me not, Thou wilt do me an obligation.”

But straight they took the little Sir Alf, And gyves to his legs they fastened; And away, away to Helsingborg, With the captive Alf they hastened.

“Now take little Alf to the chamber high, To the hall of the regal tower, That the Queen at her ease, and her maids, if they please. May behold this thief of power.”

Then up and spake the Danish Queen, On first little Alf espying: “The man that I see cannot surely be he, Whose fame through the world is flying.”

“Though I of stature be little and mean, I’ve every manly talent, And ne’er wilt thou bear thy lord an heir, Half, half so good and gallant... Continue reading book >>




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