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Ermeline a ballad   By: (1859-1937)

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With lance upraised so haughtily Sir Thunye rides from Alsey town; On land and main he was, I ween, A daring knight of high renown.

Sir Thunye rides in good green wood, He fain will chase the nimble hare; And there he meeteth the Dwarf’s daughter, All with her band of maidens fair.

Sir Thunye rides in good green wood, To chase the nimble hart and hind; And there he meets the Dwarf’s daughter, Beneath the linden bough reclin’d.

She rested ’neath the linden’s shade, The gold harp in her hand was seen: “O yonder I spy Sir Thunye ride, I’ll bring him to my feet, I ween.

“Now sit ye down, my maids so small, And sit you down my little foot boy; For I the Runic note will play, Till field and meadow bloom with joy.”

Then struck she amain the Runic stroke, The harp began so sweet to ring, The wild bird on the twig that sat Forgot its merry song to sing.

The wild bird on the bough that sat Forgot its merry song to sing; The wild hart running in the shaw Forgot forthwith to leap and spring.

Then bloomed the mead, the bough burst forth, As wildly rang that Runic strain; Sir Thunye fiercely spurred his steed, But, ah! to ’scape he strove in vain.

It was the knight Sir Thunye then From his good courser bounded he; He went up to the Dwarf’s daughter, And took his seat beside her knee.

“Hail to thee, Daughter of the Dwarf! Do thou become my wedded wife, And I’ll respect and honor thee, All, all the days I gain in life.

“Here sitt’st thou, Daughter of the Dwarf, A rose amongst the lilies all; No man can see thee in this world But thee his own he fain would call.”

“Now list to me, Sir Thunye the knight, Give up, I beg, this amorous play; I have already a bridegroom bold, The King whom all the dwarfs obey.

“My father sits within the hill, He marshals there his elfin power; Next Monday morn my bridegroom bold Shall bear me to his elfin bower.

“My mother in the hill doth sit, And plays with gold that round is strewn; But I stole away from out the hill, To play upon my harp a tune.”

“O ere the Dwarf shall thee possess, And his shall be a bliss so high, O I will lose my youthful life, And break my faulchion willingly.”

Then answered straight the Dwarf’s daughter, And with a frown thus answered she: “O thou may’st gain a lovelier bride, But ne’er, Sir Knight, wilt thou gain me.

“Now haste away, Sir Thunye the knight, I rede thee for thy life take heed; My father and my bold bridegroom I ween will both be here with speed.”

It was her mother, the Dwarf’s Lady, She peeped from out the mountain’s side; And she was aware of Sir Thunye there, Standing beneath the linden wide.

Out came her mother, the Dwarf’s Lady, And anger shone upon her face: “Now hear Wolfhilda, daughter mine, But ill beseems thee such a place.

“Thou’dst better sit within the hill, And sew the linen white as snow, Than come to strike the gold harp here, Beneath the verdant forest bough.

“The King of the Dwarfs has wedded thee. Thy free consent he sought and won; Yet thou hast dared Sir Thunye here To chain with stroke of magic Rune.”

It was the daughter of the Dwarf Must weeping into the mountain flee; Devoid of sense Sir Thunye went Behind her, nor could hear nor see.

But hear what did the wife of the Dwarf: With silk so soft a stool she spread, And there he sat till crow of cock, As though he had been stark and dead.

But hear what did the wife of the Dwarf: The book of power forth she brought, Therewith she broke the Runic thrall, Wherein the hero had been caught.

“Now have I freed thee from the Runes, They never more can thee oppress: This have I done for honor’s sake, My daughter thee shall not possess... Continue reading book >>

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