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

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Queen Berngerd, The Bard and the Dreams and Other Ballads by Thomas James Wise is a captivating collection of poetry that takes readers on an enchanting journey through various realms of dreams, love, and adventure. As a lover of ballads and folktales, I thoroughly enjoyed delving into this richly woven tapestry of words.

Wise's mastery of language is evident in every stanza, as he effortlessly combines lyrical verse with captivating storytelling. Each ballad unfolds like a vivid painting, bringing to life diverse characters and scenarios. From the majestic adventures of the valiant bard to the whimsical dreams of Queen Berngerd, this collection offers a wide range of experiences that will resonate with readers of all ages.

One of the book's greatest strengths lies in its ability to transport readers to different worlds. Whether it be a mythical forest filled with magical creatures or the hauntingly beautiful landscapes of the ethereal dream realm, Wise's vivid descriptions and evocative imagery paint a vivid picture within the reader's mind. His attention to detail is exquisite, immersing the reader in every scene and making them feel like active participants in the unfolding tales.

Equally remarkable is the emotional depth that permeates these ballads. Wise skillfully explores themes of love, loss, and destiny, tapping into the universal aspects of the human experience. As readers, we become deeply invested in the characters' triumphs and struggles, feeling a range of emotions from exhilaration to heartache. This emotional connection is a testament to Wise's ability to infuse his poetry with genuine and relatable sentiments.

Additionally, the book's organization is commendable. The compilation of ballads is thoughtfully arranged, creating a seamless progression from one story to the next. This ensures a natural flow and prevents any sense of disjointedness. Furthermore, Wise provides insightful commentary before each ballad, offering valuable context and intellectual stimulation.

However, there were a few minor drawbacks that I must acknowledge. Occasionally, the pacing of the ballads seemed uneven, with some poems feeling rushed and others overly prolonged. Additionally, while the language used is undeniably beautiful, it may prove challenging for readers less familiar with ornate and intricate prose.

Nevertheless, Queen Berngerd, The Bard and the Dreams and Other Ballads is an enchanting collection that will transport readers to realms of magic, love, and adventure. Thomas James Wise's evocative language, immersive storytelling, and emotionally resonant themes make this book a treat for fans of poetry, folklore, and fantasy alike. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone seeking a captivating literary escape.

First Page:


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... Continue reading book >>

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