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The Dalby Bear and Other Ballads   By: (1803-1881)

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There goes a bear on Dalby moors, Oxen and horses he devours.

The peasants are in deep distress The laidly bear should them oppress.

Their heads together at length they lay, How they the bear might seize and slay.

They drove their porkers through the wood, The bear turn’d round as he lay at food.

Outspoke as best he could the bear: “What kind of guests approach my lair?”

Uprose the bear amain from his food, A christian man before him stood.

A little hour together they fought, The bear to the earth the man has brought.

Fast came a knight as he could make, He heard the heart of the peasant break.

The bear upon him fiercely glar’d; “Thou needst not hurry, I’m prepar’d.”

“And thou by me shalt be stoutly met, So thou may’st vapour and thou may’st threat.

“If thou hast spear and nimble hand, I’ve claws and teeth at my command.”

They fought for a day, they fought for two, And so on the third they continu’d to do.

But when to night the fourth day drew, The bear to the earth the warrior threw.

“Thou wilt no victory gain from me, Thou haughty knight, thou may’st certain be.

“I late was the son of a powerful King, A Queen me into the world did bring.

“My Step dame chang’d me, as you see, She’d ruin me to eternity.

“About the wild forest I have run, To the boors much scathe and violence done.

“In winter and in summer’s tide In peace for me they could not bide.

“But they may thank my cruel Dame, For ’twas through her I a bear became.

“She plac’d around my neck so tight An iron band in wrath and spite.

“If thou this accursed band canst break Thy life from thee I will not take.”

“O I will help thee from thy thrall; Maria’s son who has power for all

“Will loosen from thee this stubborn band, Full able thereto is his right hand.”

O’er him the cross the knight did make, The iron burst from the bruin’s neck.

He became a youth as fair as day, His father’s realm he went to sway.

A noble maid awaits the knight, The hand of the Monarch’s sister bright.

They liv’d together in honor and joy, To the cruel Stepdame’s great annoy.

A hard flint rock she soon became, For herself she earn’d both woe and shame.


Down o’er the isle in torrents fell On a Thursday morn the rain; To fetch his bride now forth shall ride Sir Tygge Hermandsen.

Sir Tygge out of the window look’d, The brooks ran boisterously; “To ride out now would bring me woe, So dear no bride I’ll buy.

“But hear thou, Nilaus Benditson, Long shanks has thy good steed; I beg for the love of the God above You’ll fetch my bride with speed.”

Then answer’d Nilaus Benditson, In his sleeve thus answer’d he: “If me thou dispatch thy bride to fetch I’ll trick thee certainly.”

It was Nilaus Benditson, He rode the bride to meet; There hung silk sheen and sendal green Before his courser’s feet.

They clad themselves in silken cloth, And in cloth of gold beside; In long array to the Kirk their way They took with the youthful bride.

The bride before the holy Kirk door Like a blooming rose did stand; Oft did she turn to the water, to learn If the bridegroom was at hand.

Then answer’d Nilaus Benditson, He stood by the bride so close: “The brooks so roar’d that to cross the ford He fear’d would wet his hose.”

They plac’d the bride on the bridal bench With pomp and honor high; Oft would they turn to the water to learn If the bridegroom bold drew nigh... Continue reading book >>

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