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 Diderik, Many kemps have felt their power.
“They are heroes strong and bold Who have battles often won;Feared are they in every land Where their names’ renown has gone.”
In walked he, the good Dane King, Glittering like the morning star:“Which of ye, my Danish swains, Will attend my friend to war?”
Stalked the King along the floor, Bore a gold cup in his hand:“Which of ye, my courtmen, will, Follow Wolf with shield and brand?”
To their mouths their hats they held, None to answer him made haste,Save bold Vidrik Verlandson, Of them all he made a jest.
It was Vidrik Verlandson Of his comrades made a sport:“Sure ’tis but to guzzle mead We are gathered here at court.”
Wrathful Diderik straight became, Frantic at that word he grew;Off he smote two warriors’ heads, At the King’s foot them he threw.
Then spake Vidrik Verlandson, His whole thought on honor lies:“We’ll dispatch our messenger And not go in stealthy guise.”
It was youthful Hammergray Hurried from the city gate;Every one on him that looked Lost his voice and colour straight.
Hark away, young Hammergray, Gold is glittering on thy breast;Ne’er was found or hawk or hound Could with Hammer’s speed contest.
Pearls upon his bosom shone, Folks thereat astounded gaze:Fowl was none beneath the sun Could with youthful Hammer race.
Swift into the King’s high hill Bounded youthful Hammergray:He was nimble at the tongue, And could speak in gallant way.
“King of Brattens Vendel, hail! And the rest that fill your hall;Ulf Van Yern to-morrow comes To avenge his father’s fall.”
“Better had he be at home Tending sheep beneath the height,Better than a message send That he thither comes to fight.
“Better had he crawl at home Like a worm the rock beneath,Than the war-like struggle dare Where his father sank in death.
“He at home had better stay, Crouch and shake the bush below;One blow only stood his sire, He’ll not stand me half a blow.”
“King of Brattens Vendel, hear, Keep your tongue behind your tooth;Quickly grows the young whelp up, Full of threatening fangs his mouth.”
“In the world no warrior wight Lives for whom I need to care,Save ’tis Vidrik Verlandson, And I trow he’ll not be there.”
Answered then the Hammergray, Answered to the Monarch’s fright:“It is Vidrik Verlandson Will our army lead in fight.”
Rose a Brattens Vendel kemp, And he shouted lustily:“Well, full well, I Vidrik know, Offspring of a blacksmith he.
“Once was I at Birtingsborg As the kempions drank their fill,There he played a play which lives In my mind, and ever will.
“Fifteen kemps to death he smote, And he deemed it but as game;Nigh at hand I gazing stood, Ashy pale my cheeks became.”
“Listen now, young Hammergray, Strongly I entreat of thee,If of Vidrik aught thou know, Not to keep it hid from me.”
“Sick in bed if Vidrik lay, Nor could sword nor buckler yield,Many a Danish swain you’d find Would await you in the field.”
Loudly answered then the King, Through his veins rushed courage warm:“I’ll to-morrow, if I live, Meet ye in the battle’s storm.”
From beside the King’s right hand Rose a kemp, a stalwart one:“What care we for such like foes...?