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Marsk Stig a ballad

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Marsk Stig he out of the country rode   To win him fame with his good bright sword;At home meantide the King will bide   In hope to lure his heart’s ador’d.

The King sends word to the Marshal Stig   That he to the fields of war should fare;Himself will deign at home to remain   And take the charge of his Lady fair.

In came the Marshal’s serving man,   And a kirtle of green that man he wore:“Of our good liege the little foot-page   Is standing out the gate before.”

Up stood the young Sir Marshal Stig,   By the side of his bed his clothes put on;And to speak the boy, the King’s envoy,   Down to the gate is the Marshal gone.

“Now hear thou, Marsk Stig Andersen,   ’Tis truth and sooth what I say to thee;Thou must away to the King’s palay,   Then mount thy horse and follow with me.

“Oh, I know nought of my Lord King’s thought   That I to thee can now declare,Except that thou to the war must go   And there thy sovereign’s banner bear.”

Then in at the door Sir Marsk Stig trode,   And a wrathful man I trow was he:“By the Saints I swear, my Lady dear,   Fulfill’d my dreary dream will be.

“For of late I dream’d that my noble horse   To chase the wild mare ran away;And that must mean that I shall be slain,   And that my steed will tramp on my life-less clay.”

“Now hold thy tongue, my noble Lord,   And do not talk thus foolishly,For Christ can protect thy life, reflect,   The blessed Christ who dwells on high.”

It was the young and bold Marsk Stig   Came riding into the Castle yard,Abroad did stand the King of the land   So fair array’d in sable and mard.

“Now lend an ear, young Marshal Stig,   I have for thee a fair emprise,Ride thou this year to the war, and bear   My flag amongst my enemies.”

“And if I shall fare to the war this year,   And risk my life among thy foes,Do thou take care of my Lady dear,   Of Ingeborg that beauteous rose.”

Then answer’d Erik, the youthful King,   With a laugh in his sleeve thus answer’d he:“No more I swear has thy lady to fear   Than if my sister dear were she.

“Full well I’ll watch Dame Ingeborg,   And guard and cherish her night and day;As little I swear has thy Lady to fear   As if thou, dear Marshal, at home didst stay.”

It was then the bold Sir Marshal Stig,   From out of the country he did depart.In her castle sate his lonely mate,   Fair Ingeborg, with grief at heart.

“Now saddle my steed,” cried Eric the King,   “Now saddle my steed,” King Eric cried,“To visit the Dame of beauteous fame   Your King will into the country ride.”

“Hail, hail to thee, Dame Ingeborg,   If thou wilt not be coy and cold,A shirt, I trow, for me thou’lt sew,   And array that shirt so fair with gold.”

“Sew’d I for thee a shirt, Sir King,   And worked that shirt, Sir King, with gold,Should Marsk Stig hear of that he’d ne’er   With favour again his wife behold.”

“Now list, now list, Dame Ingeborg,   Thou art, I swear, a beauteous star,Live thou with me in love and glee,   Whilst Marshal Stig is engag’d in war.”

Then up and spake Dame Ingeborg,   For nought was she but a virtuous wife:“Rather, I say, than Stig betray,   Sir King, I’d gladly lose my life.”

“Give ear, thou proud Dame Ingeborg,   If thou my leman and love will be,Each finger fair of thy hand shall bear   A ring of gold so red of blee.”

“Marsk Stig has given gold rings to me,   And pearls around my neck to string;By the Saints above I never will prove   Untrue to the Marshal’s couch, Sir King....