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Marsk Stig's Daughters - and other Songs and Ballads - - - Translator: George Borrow
by Thomas J. Wise
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Transcribed from the 1913 Thomas J. Wise pamphlet by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org



MARSK STIGS DAUGHTERS AND OTHER SONGS AND BALLADS

BY GEORGE BORROW

LONDON: PRINTED FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION

1913



CONTENTS

PAGE

Marsk Stigs Daughters 7

The Three Expectants 11

Translation: One Summer morn, as I was seeking 13

The English Gipsy 14

Gipsy Song 16

The Heart is heavy, Brother 17

Song: Nastronds blazes 19

Lines: To read the great mysterious Past 21

MARSK STIGS DAUGHTERS

Two daughters fair the Marshal had, O grievous was their fate and sad.

The eldest she took her sisters hand And away they went to Swedens land.

Home from the Stevn King Byrgye rode; Up to him Marsk Stigs daughters trode.

What women ye who beset my gate? What brings ye hither at eve so late?

Daughters of Stig, the Marshal brave, So earnestly thee for help we crave.

Hence, hence away, ye outcasts two, Your sire accurst my uncle slew.

Guiltless are we of Eriks blood, So wide we wander in quest of food.

The eldest she takes her sisters hand, And away they went into Norways land.

Home from the Ting King Erik rode Up to him Marsk Stigs daughters trode.

What women are ye whom here I view, And what may ye in my country do?

Daughters of Stig, the Marshal brave So earnestly thee for help we crave.

To brew and bake full well ye know Alas, Sir King, not so, not so.

To brew and bake we do not know, We never stoopd to employ so low.

To spin red gold that is our pride, Our mother taught us ere she died.

And we can weave galloon as well As the maidens with the Queen that dwell.

We can weave red gold with wool, But oh, our hearts with grief are full.

Had Marsk Stig stayd in Denmark green, Different far our fate had been.

Had Ingeborg not chancd to die, We had not borne this misery.

King Erik replied in gentle tone: I knew your father like my own;

He was a man in heart and hand, Whose like lives not in any land.

Oer them he threw his mantle red, To the ladies chamber them he led.

He bade them no more tears to shed, For he would stand in their fathers stead.

The eldest sister began the weft, The youngest finished what she left.

In the first lace she wove so true The Virgin Mary and Christ Jesu.

And in the second of Norway land She wove the Queen and her maiden band.

Of the antlerd hart they wove the chase, They wove themselves with pallid face.

They wove with nimble fingers small Of God the holy Angels all.

The youngest sister the woof up caught, And that before the Queen she brought.

Then into her eyes the tears they came, Thou art not our Mother, Queenly Dame.

Wert thou our mother or sister dear, With praises thou our hearts wouldst cheer.

But in thine eye no praise I see, Misfortune is our destiny.

The eldest sickend, and sick she lay, The youngest tended her night and day.

The eldest died of grief of heart, The youngest livd with sorrow and smart.



THE THREE EXPECTANTS

There are three for my death that now pine, Though one and all wondrous civil; Would that all of them hung on a line, My children, the worms, and the Devil.

My body, my soul, and my gear, When down to the grave I descend, The three hope among them to share, And to revel on time without end.

But there is not one of the three, To the others though kindly affected, For both of their shares would agree To resign his own portion expected.

The Devil, so harsh and austere, Who only in evil hath joy, Would scorn to take body and gear For my soul, that sweet beautiful toy.

My children would rather possess The gear I have toild so to gather, Though for me fervent love they profess, Than the body and soul of their father.

The worms, though my children will make A lament when Im laid in the hole, Would my body in preference take To my gear or my beautiful soul.

Oh, Christ! who wast hung on a tree, And wast piercd by a fool in his madness; Since each of them plundring would be, Send each disappointment and sadness.



TRANSLATION

One summer morn, as I was seeking My ponies in their green retreat, I heard a lady sing a ditty To me which sounded strangely sweet.

I am the ladye, I am the ladye, I am the ladye loving the knight; I in the green wood neath the green branches In the night season sleep with the knight.

Since yonder summer morn of beauty Ive seen many a gloomy year; But in my mind still lives the ditty That in the green wood met my ear.

I am the ladye, I am the ladye, I am the ladye loving the knight; I in the green wood neath the green branches In the night season sleep with the knight.



THE ENGLISH GIPSY

He

As I to the town was going one day My Roman lass I met by the way. Said I, Young maid, will you share my lot? Said she, Another wife youve got. Ah, no! to my Roman lass I cried, No wife have I in the world so wide; And you my wedded wife shall be, If you will consent to come with me.

She

As I to the town was going one day I met a young Roman upon the way. Said he, Young maid will you share my lot? Said I, Another wife youve got. No, no! the handsome young Roman cried. No wife have I in the world so wide; And you my wedded wife shall be, If you will share my lot with me.



GIPSY SONG

Up, up, brothers, Cease your revels! The Gentiles coming Run like devils.

I do not like your way of life Ye men of Christian creed; Id rather live the kind of life Which forest foxes lead.



OUR HEART IS HEAVY, BROTHER

The strength of the ox, The wit of the fox, And the leverets speed; All, all to oppose Their numerous foes The Romany need.

Our horses they take, Our wagons they break, And us they seize In their prisons to coop, Where we pine and droop For want of breeze.

When the dead swallow The fly shall follow Across the sea, Well then forget The wrongs we have met, And forgiving be Brother, of that be certain.



SONG

Nastronds blazes, How fierce ye roar! The deepmost deeps feel Valhals power.

Sulphurous blazes, Which with dismay Strike een the Aser, Our voice obey!

Poisonous blazes, Harden a spear For Valhals may!

Poisonous blazes. Harden a spear For Valhals may!

Poisonous blazes, Harden a spear For Valhals may!

In juice of rue And trefoil too, In marrow of bear And blood of trold, Be coold the spear, Three times coold, When hot from fire Of Nastrond dire, For Valhals may.

Whom it woundeth It shall slay.

Whom it woundeth It shall slay.

Whom it woundeth It shall slay.



LINES

To read the great mysterious Past They are yearning; But to mist the writings old fast, fast Are turning.

O, how inviting The deeds of yore! But the ancient writing Mist sweeps oer.

* * * * *

LONDON: Printed for THOMAS J. WISE, Hampstead, N.W.

Edition limited to Thirty Copies.

THE END

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