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Proud Signild and Other Ballads   By: (1859-1937)

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


Proud Signild’s bold brothers have taken her hand, They’ve wedded her into a far distant land.

They’ve wedded her far from her own native land, To her father’s foul murderer gave they her hand.

And so for eight winters the matter it stood, Their face for eight winters she never once view’d.

Proud Signild she brews, and the ruddy wine blends; To her brothers so courteous a bidding she sends.

Sir Loumor then laughed to his heart’s very core— Not once had he laughed for eight winters before.

To the top of the castle proud Signild she goes, And thence she so many a wistful look throws.

And now she perceives down the green hillock’s side Her seven bold brothers so furiously ride.

Proud Signild she stands on the castle’s high peak, She hears in the courtyard her seven brothers speak.

Proud Signild she hastes her array to put on, And unto the hall to Sir Loumor she’s gone.

“Now hear thou, Sir Loumor, thou lord, great and fine, “Wilt welcome these seven bold brothers of mine?”

“I’ll welcome these seven bold brothers of thine, Proud Signild, as if they were brothers of mine.”

Sir Loumor again a wild laughter outsent, And the hard marble wall by that laughter was rent.

Then outspake the child in the cradle that lay, No word had the child ever spoke till that day:

“It shows that no good is about to take place, When my father he laughs in my dear mother’s face.”

With his foot he the cradle has spurned with such force That out rolled the baby, a blood besprent corse.

So matters passed on ’till of evening the fall, To the evening repast the relations went all.

Sir Loumor her lord she placed at the board’s head, To the stools at the bottom her brothers she led.

To Sir Loumor she handed the stout ruddy wine, To her brothers she only sweet milk will assign.

Sir Loumor pretended to drink deep and fast, But in secret the wine down beneath him he cast.

Proud Signild now to the bed chamber wends, And the bed she prepares for her dear beloved friends.

The bed she outspreads on the hard rugged stone, And that to prevent them from sleeping was done.

And under their sides she placed slily their knives, Which well they might trust in defence of their lives.

She also has placed underneath their bed heads Their actons of steel, and their keen naked blades.

’Twas late, late at night, and the lights were burnt low, And away to their couches it lists them to go.

No sooner proud Signild had sunk to repose, Than from her white side dread Sir Loumor arose.

To the hall, the dark hall, took Sir Loumor his way, Proud Signild’s seven brothers intending to slay.

To the side of the bed upon tip toe he drew, And the seven bold brothers he traitorously slew.

In his fell hand uptakes he both faulchion and knife, And each of the sleepers deprived he of life.

In a bowl he collects of the murdered the gore, And that he brings in the proud Signild before.

In, in at the door way Sir Loumor he sped, From Signild’s cheek faded the beautiful red.

“Sir Loumor, my lord, thy looks fill me with fright, Say where hast thou been in the midst of the night?”

“I’ve been to the hall, if the truth I must tell, I heard my two hunting hawks screech there, and yell.”

“O why of thy hawks art thou talking, my lord? May God in his mercy my dears brothers guard.”

Sir Loumor produced of her brothers the gore, And that by her foot he has placed on the floor.

“Now drink thou, proud Signild, my much beloved Dame, This blood from the veins of thy brothers that came... Continue reading book >>

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