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INTRODUCTIONBorrow and the Kjæmpeviser. The modern poetical literature of Denmark opens with a collection of epical and lyrical poems from the Middle Ages, which are loosely connected under the title of Kjæmpeviser or Heroic Ballads.  Of these the latest scholarship recognises nearly 500, but in the time of Borrow the number did not much exceed 200.  These ballads deal with half-historic events, which are so completely... more...

FINNISH ARTSORSIR THOR AND DAMSEL THURE. Sir Thor was a knight of prowess tried,The son of a king he was beside. He was a knight excelled by none,At home such deeds of might he’d done. And not alone in his native home,But manhood had he displayed at Rome. He faithfully served the emperor,And hatred to all his foes he bore. King of Norroway was his sire,His fame spreads over the world entire. He was a King both aged and grey,So he... more...

Faustus, having long struggled with the shadows of Theology, the bubbles of Metaphysics, and the ignes-fatui of Morality, without being able to bring his mind to a firm conviction, at length cast himself into the dark fields of Magic, in the hope of forcing from Nature what she had so obstinately withheld from him.  His first attainment was the remarkable invention of Printing; but his second was horrible.  He discovered, almost... more...

ELLEN OF VILLENSKOV. There lies a wold in Vester Haf,   There builds a boor his hold;And thither he carries hawk and hound,   He’ll stay through winter’s cold. He takes with him both hound and cock,   He means there long to stay;The wild deer in the wood that are   For his arrival pay. He hews the oak and poplar tall,   He fells the good beech tree;Then fill’d was the laidly... more...

YOUNG SWAIGDERorTHE FORCE OF RUNES It was the young Swaigder,   With the little ball he played;The ball flew into the Damsel’s lap,   And pale her cheeks it made. The ball flew into the Damsel’s bower.   He went of it in quest;Before he out of the bower came,   Much care had filled his breast! “The ball, the ball thou shouldst not fling,   Shouldst cast it not at me;There sits... more...


ULF VAN YERN It was youthful Ulf Van Yern   Goes before the King to stand:“To avenge my father’s death   Lend me warriors of thy band.” “Of my kemps I’ll lend thee them   Who to follow thee consent;Ask’st thou Vidrik Verlandson   Thou wilt further thy intent. “I will lend thee of my men,   Thou shalt have the very flower;Vidrik, and stark... more...

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... more...

The Welsh style themselves Cymry or Cumry, a word which, in their language, means a number of people associated together.   They were the second mass of population which moved from Asia into Europe.  They followed and pushed forward the Gael or Gauls; were themselves impelled onward by the Slowaks or Sclavonians, who were themselves hunted, goaded, and pestered by a wild, waspish race of people, whom, for want of a better name, we will... more...

THE VERNER RAVEN The Raven he flies in the evening tide,   He in day dares not intrude;Whoever is born to have evil luck   In vain may seek for good. Lustily flies the Verner Raven,   High o’er the wall he’s flown,For he was aware that Irmindlin fair   Sate in her bower alone. He southward flew, and he northward flew,   He flew high up in the cloud;And he beheld May... more...

THE PLEASANTRIES OF COGIA NASR EDDIN EFENDI ‘A breeze, which pleasant stories bears,Relicks of long departed years.’ The story goes, one of the stories of a hundred, that Cogia Nasr Eddin Efendi one day ascending into the pulpit to preach, said, ‘O believers, do ye not know what I am going to say to you?’  The congregation answered, ‘Dear Cogia Efendi, we do not know.’  Then said the Cogia,... more...