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Grimmer and Kamper The End of Sivard Snarenswayne and other ballads   By: (1859-1937)

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Thomas James Wise's collection of ballads, "Grimmer and Kamper: The End of Sivard Snarenswayne and Other Ballads," is a remarkable anthology that encapsulates the essence of medieval folklore in a captivating manner. Wise's extensive research and profound understanding of the genre shine through in every poem, making this book a true gem for lovers of balladry and those interested in the rich tapestry of old-world legends.

One of the most striking elements of this collection is Wise’s keen ability to transport readers back in time, effortlessly immersing them in an era fraught with epic battles, heroic deeds, and complex moral dilemmas. Through his seamless storytelling, Wise paints vivid portraits of characters like Sivard Snarenswayne, whose tragic fate is explored in depth through various ballads. The tales not only capture the reader's imagination but also offer profound reflections on honor, loyalty, sacrifice, and the fragility of human existence.

Wise’s language and poetic style are a testament to his skill as a wordsmith. Each ballad carries its own unique rhythm and evocative imagery, masterfully crafted to engage the reader's senses and emotions. Whether describing the vast landscapes, the tumultuous clashes of sword and shield, or the tender moments of love and loss, Wise's lyrical prowess shines through, captivating readers from the very first stanza to the final lines.

Despite the collection's emphasis on medieval themes, Wise's approach to storytelling remains refreshingly accessible and relatable. The emotions and dilemmas faced by the characters resonate with universal human experiences, providing insights into the complexities of human nature that transcend time and cultural backgrounds. Through this universality, Wise bridges the gap between the modern reader and the ancient melodies of these ballads.

However, it is important to note that there are a few instances where the book's historical accuracy may be called into question. It has been suggested that Wise may have taken some liberties with the authenticity of certain ballads, potentially straying from the original narratives. While this criticism does not detract significantly from the overall enjoyment of the collection, it does urge readers to approach the book with a discerning eye.

In summary, "Grimmer and Kamper: The End of Sivard Snarenswayne and Other Ballads" is a captivating collection that transports readers to an era steeped in myth and legend. Thomas James Wise's intricate storytelling, linguistic finesse, and ability to breathe life into ancient characters make this book an extraordinary addition to the pantheon of balladry. Despite minor concerns regarding historical accuracy, the emotional depth and universal resonance of these tales affirm Wise's unmistakable talent and ensure this collection's place as a must-read for fans of traditional folklore and lovers of poetic storytelling.

First Page:





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


Grimmer walks upon the floor, Well can Grimmer wield his sword: “Give to me fair Ingeborg, For the sake of Christ our Lord.”

“Far too little art thou, lad, Thou about thee canst not hack; When thou comest ’mong other kemps, Ever do they drive thee back.”

“Not so little, Sire, am I, I myself full well can guard; When I fight with kempions I Gallantly can ply my sword.”

“Kamper dwells in Birting’s land, For a stalwart kemp he’s known; Thou shalt wed my daughter, if Thou to earth canst hew him down.”

Rage and grief his bosom filled, Grimmer through the door retires: “What answer did my father give?” Beauteous Ingeborg inquires.

“Kamper dwells in Birting’s land, And he bears a warlike name; If I him to death can smite, I may thee with honour claim... Continue reading book >>

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