Axel Thordson and Fair Valborg a ballad

#English # Irish # Scottish # Welsh #Poetry
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Excerpt AXEL THORDSON AND FAIR VALBORG. At the wide board at tables play,   With pleasure and with glee aboundingThe ladies twain in fair array,   The game they play is most astounding. How fly about the dies so small,   Such sudden turnings are they making;And so does Fortune’s wheel withal,   We scarcely know the route ’tis taking. Dame Julli grand, and Malfred Queen,   At tables were their time employing;Not distant on the floor was seen   A child with pear and apple toying. Upon the floor the child it walked,   It played with apples and with flowers;Then in Sir Axel Thordson stalked,   Was bound for Rome’s imperial towers. He greets the Dames repeatedly,   At courtesy he had no master;He loved the child in secrecy,   But fate had doomed them much disaster. His eyeballs brimming full of tears   Full tenderly her cheek he patted:“O would thou wast of fitting years,   With Axel Thordson to be mated!” Answered his youngest sister straight,   Thus answered she her gallant brother:“Though she this night to woman’s state   Had won, ye might not wed each other.” Answered the Damsel’s mother high,   And she the simple truth has stated:“A worthy pair I don’t deny,   But, oh! ye are too near related.” A gold ring off his arm he drew,   To play with that he fondly bade her;To years of reason when she grew   To palen and to pine it made her. “That I’ve betrothed thee, little bride,   In mind I beg that thou wilt carry;And now from out the land I’ll ride,   With foreign masters long to tarry.” Sir Axel out of the country hied,   His breast with love and valour glowing.In cloister they have placed his bride,   Instruction to receive in sewing. They taught to her the silken scam,   They taught her writing, taught her reading;Through land and city soon the fame   Of Valborg’s virtue goes, and breeding. The noble ways that she displays   Attract the general admiration,And though full young she’s ranked among   The very sages of the nation. And there eleven years she stay’d,   Till God had called away her mother;The Queen to court then took the maid,   Selecting her ’fore every other. Served at the Emperor’s court meantide   The knight, with gold his spurs were glaring;A glittering faulchion decked his side,   And truly knightly was his bearing. Sir Axel lies in pomp and state   As well beseems so rich a noble;But he at night no rest can get,   His dreams are full of woe and trouble. Sir Axel in the chamber high   Doth lie on softest silk and fairest,But sleep alas has fled his eye,   He’s ever thinking of his dearest. Sir Emmer’s child, his Valborg fair,   He dreamt sat drest in costly fashion;And Hogen, son of the King, by her   Sat softly pleading for his passion. The morning sun its lustre shed,   The lark’s sweet voice on high was ringing;Sir Axel started from his bed,   His clothes upon him swiftly flinging. He saddled straight his good grey horse,   Within the wood he’ll take his pleasure;His dreams from out his head he’ll force   By listening to the wild bird’s measure. When to the wood Sir Axel wan,   Where blushing roses thick were growing;In foreign garb he met a man   Upon a pilgrimage was going. “Now pilgrim good a merry morn,   Say, whither, whither art thou faring?Thou’rt from the land where I was born,   For that thy vestments are declaring.” “My native land is Norroway,   From Gild’s high race I boast my being;To Rome’s famed town I’ve vowed to stray,   My mind is bent the Pope on seeing.” “From Gildish race if thou be sprung,   Then pilgrim thou art my relation;Has Valborg me from memory flung...?
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