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Queen Berngerd, The Bard and the Dreams and other ballads   By: (1859-1937)

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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.

[Picture: Manuscript of The Bard and the Dreams]




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


Long ere the Sun the heaven arrayed, For her morning gift her Lord she prayed: “Give me Samsoe to have and to hold, And from every maiden a crown of gold.” Woe befall her , Berngerd .

The King he answered Berngerd thus: “Madam, crave something less of us, For many a maid lives ’neath our sway To ’scape from death could the like not pay.” Woe befall her , Berngerd .

“My gentle Lord, then hear my prayer, Suffer not ladies the scarlet to wear; And, Sir, you must grant me this boon beside, Let no boor’s son a good courser ride.” Woe befall her , Berngerd .

“What ladies can buy to wear they are free, And hindrance none they shall meet from me; If the son of a Boor can a horse support, ‘Fore God, I’ll never destroy his sport!” Woe befall her , Berngerd .

“My Lord, we’ll that matter let drop to the ground; With chains of steel let the land be bound, So that man or woman thereout or therein Withouten toll cannot hope to win.” Woe befall her , Berngerd .

“How should we so much steel obtain, As to bind therewith the land and main? O Madam! some mercy and kindness shew, Or expect the curse of the people now.” Woe befall her , Berngerd .

“To Ribe, to winter there, we’ll depart, There smiths we shall find well skilled in their art; Both locks and keys will we have made, And toeen and iron palisade.” Woe befall her , Berngerd .

“Faggot and coal shall the boor give free, The smith shall work without thanks or fee. My Lord, be persuaded, I rede ye do, Much benefit thence shall to thee accrue.” Woe befall her , Berngerd .

“My father was King in the land before me, And a King for his father also had he; The Kings of the Danes to live contrive Without Boor and Burger skinning alive.” Woe befall her , Berngerd .

“Sir, what would a peasant more Than a latticed window and wicker door? What shall a peasant keep in his stall Save one draught ox and a cow withall? Woe befall her , Berngerd .

“Each peasant’s wife of a son made light Shall give me an ounce of gold so bright; But if to a daughter birth she give, Only the half I’m content to receive.” Woe befall her , Berngerd .

The King he turned on his other side, He’d heard enough to suffice for that tide. As soon as sleep his brow came o’er, Dagmar he thought stood his face before. Woe befall her , Berngerd .

“The bitter flower, Sir King, you hold, Brings you trouble, as I foretold. Be sure if this year you seek the fray, You suffer not Berngerd at home to stay. Woe befall her , Berngerd .

“If she with her flatteries blind your eyes, The child will weep in the cradle that lies. Take her with you, I rede and beseech, How that will boot you time will teach.” Woe befall her , Berngerd .

The King has proclaimed through the whole country, To the war with him each tenth man should hie. “My dearest Lady, worthy thou art In the field of honour to bear a part.” Woe befall her , Berngerd .

The first shaft shot on the battle day To the heart of Berngerd found its way; No soul was seen with a tearful eye— Who for Berngerd would sorrow or sigh? Woe befall her , Berngerd ... Continue reading book >>

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