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The Giant of Bern and Orm Ungerswayne a Ballad   By: (1803-1881)

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Transcribed from the 1913 Thomas J. Wise pamphlet by David Price, email Many thanks to Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, UK, for kindly supplying the images from which this transcription was made.





It was the lofty Jutt of Bern O’er all the walls he grew; He was mad and ne’er at rest, To tame him no one knew.

He was mad and ne’er at rest, No lord could hold him in; If he had long in Denmark stayed Much damage there had been.

It was the lofty Jutt of Bern Bound to his side his glaive, And away to the monarch’s house he rode With the knights a fray to have.

Now goes the lofty Jutt of Bern Before the King to stand: “Thou shalt to me thy daughter give, And a brief for half thy land.

“Here as thou sitt’st at thy wide board, Hail Monarch of the Danes! Thou shalt to me thy daughter give, And the half of thy domains.

“Thou shalt to me thy daughter give, And divide with me thy land, Or thou shalt find a kempion good In the ring ’gainst me to stand.”

“O thou shalt ne’er my daughter get, Nor a brief for half my land, I’ll quickly find a kempion good Shall fight thee hand to hand.”

Then strode the Monarch of the Danes To his castle hall amain: “Now which of ye, my courtiers, will The lovely Damsel gain?

“Here sit ye all my Danish swains On whom I bread bestow, Now which of ye will risk his life To lay the Berner low?

“I’ll give to him my daughter dear, The wondrous lovely may, Who in the ring with Jutt of Bern Shall dare the desperate fray.”

In silence all the kempions sat, None dared reply a word, Except alone Orm Ungerswayne, The lowest at the board.

Except alone Orm Ungerswayne, He bounded o’er the board: I tell to ye in verity He spake a manly word.

“Wilt thou to me thy daughter give, And divide with me thy land? O then will I the kempion be, Against the Jutt to stand.

“And well will I your daughter win, And the prize alone will earn; I am the lad to dare the fray In the ring with the Jutt of Bern.”

It was the lofty Jutt of Bern He o’er his shoulder glar’d: “O who may yonder mouseling be, From whom those words I heard?”

“No mouseling I, though call me, Jutt, A mouseling if you will, My father was good Sigurd King Who slumbers in his hill.”

“Ha! was thy sire good Sigurd King? Thou’st something of his face, Thou hast sprung up full wondrously In fifteen winter’s space.”

It was so late at evening tide The sun had reached the wave, When Orm the youthful swain set out To seek his father’s grave.

It was the hour when grooms do ride The coursers to the rill, That Orm set out resolved to wake The dead man in the hill.

Now strikes the bold Orm Ungerswayne The hill with such a might, It was I ween a miracle It tumbled not outright.

Then stamped upon the hill so hard Young Orm with heavy foot, The arch was broke within the hill Which trembled to its root.

Then from the hill Orm’s father cried, Where he so long had lain: “O cannot I in quiet lie Within my murky den?

“Who dares so early break my rest, And troubleth thus my bones? Cannot I in quiet lie Beneath my roof of stones?

“Who seeks at night the dead man’s hill And works this ruin all? Let him fear for now I swear By Birting he shall fall.”

“I am thy son, thy youngest son, Thy Orm, O father dear; To beg a boon in mighty need I come to seek thee here.”

“If thou art Orm my youngest son, The kempion bold and brave, Last year I gave to thee of gold, All, all thy heart could crave... Continue reading book >>

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