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

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TORD OF HAFSBOROUGH AND OTHER BALLADS

BY GEORGE BORROW

LONDON: PRINTED FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION

1914

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

TORD OF HAFSBOROUGH

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.

“Tord he shall not his hammer get, To thee I vow and swear, Save he give me Damsel Fridleifsborg, With all his goods and gear.”

It was Lokke Leyemand, O’er himself the feather robe drew; And with his answer back amain O’er the briny sea he flew.

“Thou never wilt get thy hammer of gold, Upon that thou may’st rely, Unless he have Damsel Fridleifsborg, And all our property.”

Then answered straight the proud Damsel, Upon the bench as she sate: “Ye’d better give me a Christian man, Than the laidly trold for mate.

“But we will take our old father, And deck so fine his head, And we’ll carry him to the Northern hills, To stand for bride in my stead.”

And now to the house of the merry bridegroom They the young old bride convey; Upon her dress no gold was spared, For a verity I say.

And so they took the lovely bride, On the bride bench placed her frame; And to skink before the bride himself The carlish Count he came.

Then she ate six oxen bodies, And three fat swine beside; Loaves seven hundred were her meal, Ere for a draught she cried.

Before her thirst she could assuage She drank ten casks of ale; She set the can once more to her mouth And to hickuping then she fell.

The carlish Count strode up and down, And wrung his hands so sore: “O whence can this young bride be come? She does so much devour!”

The Count he called to his Botelere: “Thou hadst better broach away, For we have here such a wondrous bride, She’ll drink for ever and aye.”

Answered then Lokke Leyemand, ’Neath his sleeve he laughed with glee: “For full eight days she has not ate. She longed so much for thee.”

Outspake the laidly carlish Count, And thus the Count did cry: “O, call ye in my serving swains, Bid them come instantly.

“Go, fetch me hither the hammer of gold, Glad I’ll surrender it; If I can either in honour or shame, Of such a young bride be quit.”

The Kempions eight in number were, Who the hammer brought on a tree; They laid it down so courteously Across the young bride’s knee.

It was then the youthful bride Took up the hammer big; I tell to ye for a verity She swung it like a twig.

First she slew the carlish count, That throld both laid and tall; And then as they strove to ’scape through the door, She slew the little trolds all.

The guests and the Norland men each one So downcast were of mood; Blows from the hand of the bride they got That robbed their cheeks of blood... Continue reading book >>




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