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Tord of Hafsborough and Other Ballads   By: (1803-1881)

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In "Tord of Hafsborough and Other Ballads" by George Henry Borrow, readers are taken on a captivating journey through a collection of enchanting ballads that showcase the author's mastery of storytelling and deep understanding of the human condition.

Borrow's book is a treasure trove of traditional ballads, all beautifully retold with rich detail and lyrical language that effortlessly transports readers back in time. Each ballad delves into different aspects of life, whether it be love, sacrifice, honor, or the supernatural, capturing the essence of diverse emotions and experiences.

One of the remarkable features of this collection is Borrow's ability to breathe new life into these ancient ballads while still maintaining their original spirit. His meticulous attention to detail allows readers to immerse themselves in the world of these timeless stories, as if they were being passed down from generation to generation around a hearth on a cold winter's night.

Furthermore, Borrow's deep understanding of the characters and their motivations adds another layer of complexity to these ballads. From the tragic hero Tord to the mystical creatures that inhabit his world, each character is carefully crafted to resonate with readers on a profound level. It is through Borrow's masterful storytelling that we witness the joys, sorrows, and dilemmas faced by these individuals, making them feel remarkably real and relatable.

The book also offers an interesting glimpse into the traditions and customs of the time period in which these ballads were born. Borrow seamlessly weaves in historical context, allowing readers to grasp the societal factors that influenced the characters' actions and decisions. This provides a fascinating backdrop against which the ballads unfold, enhancing the overall reading experience.

Additionally, Borrow's skillful use of language creates a mesmerizing rhythm throughout the collection. His choice of words not only enhances the storytelling but also adds a musical quality to the ballads, making them even more captivating and enthralling. It is evident that Borrow meticulously crafted each verse, ensuring that they would linger in the readers' minds long after the final page is turned.

While "Tord of Hafsborough and Other Ballads" may not be a widely-known book in today's literary canon, it is a hidden gem that deserves recognition. George Henry Borrow's talent for reviving ancient stories and presenting them in a fresh, invigorating light is truly remarkable. This collection is a must-read for anyone who appreciates the power of traditional storytelling and wishes to be transported to a world brimming with magic, love, and adventure.

First Page:





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


It was Tord of Hafsborough, O’er the verdant wold would ride, And there he lost his hammer of gold, ’Twas lost for so long a tide.

It was Tord of Hafsborough, His brother he addressed: “Thou shalt away to the Norland hills, My hammer be thy quest.”

It was Lokke Leyemand, A feather robe o’er him drew; And away to the Norland mountains high O’er the briny sea he flew.

In the midst of the castle yard He smoothèd his array; Then straight he took to the castle hall, To the carlish Count his way.

“Be welcome, Lokke Leyemand, Be welcome my castle to; Say! how fare things in Hafsborough? With the land how does it go?”

“O, well fare things in Hafsborough, And well in the country all; Tord has his golden hammer lost, Therefore seek I your hall.”

“Tord he shall not his hammer get, Thou back may’st carry him word; Full five and ninety fathoms deep It lies in the earth interred... Continue reading book >>

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