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Queen Berngerd, The Bard and the Dreams

[Picture: Manuscript of The Bard and the Dreams]




_Copyright in the United States of America_ _by Houghton_, _Mifflin & Co. for Clement Shorter_.


Long ere the Sun the heaven arrayed, For her morning gift her Lord she prayed: "Give me Samsoe to have and to hold, And from every maiden a crown of gold." _Woe befall her_, _Berngerd_.

The King he answered Berngerd thus: "Madam, crave something less of us, For many a maid lives 'neath our sway To 'scape from death could the like not pay." _Woe befall her_, _Berngerd_.

"My gentle Lord, then hear my prayer, Suffer not ladies the scarlet to wear; And, Sir, you must grant me this boon beside, Let no boor's son a good courser ride." _Woe befall her_, _Berngerd_.

"What ladies can buy to wear they are free, And hindrance none they shall meet from me; If the son of a Boor can a horse support, 'Fore God, I'll never destroy his sport!" _Woe befall her_, _Berngerd_.

"My Lord, we'll that matter let drop to the ground; With chains of steel let the land be bound, So that man or woman thereout or therein Withouten toll cannot hope to win." _Woe befall her_, _Berngerd_.

"How should we so much steel obtain, As to bind therewith the land and main? O Madam! some mercy and kindness shew, Or expect the curse of the people now." _Woe befall her_, _Berngerd_.

"To Ribe, to winter there, we'll depart, There smiths we shall find well skilled in their art; Both locks and keys will we have made, And toeen and iron palisade." _Woe befall her_, _Berngerd_.

"Faggot and coal shall the boor give free, The smith shall work without thanks or fee. My Lord, be persuaded, I rede ye do, Much benefit thence shall to thee accrue." _Woe befall her_, _Berngerd_.

"My father was King in the land before me, And a King for his father also had he; The Kings of the Danes to live contrive Without Boor and Burger skinning alive." _Woe befall her_, _Berngerd_.

"Sir, what would a peasant more Than a latticed window and wicker door? What shall a peasant keep in his stall Save one draught ox and a cow withall? _Woe befall her_, _Berngerd_.

"Each peasant's wife of a son made light Shall give me an ounce of gold so bright; But if to a daughter birth she give, Only the half I'm content to receive." _Woe befall her_, _Berngerd_.

The King he turned on his other side, He'd heard enough to suffice for that tide. As soon as sleep his brow came o'er, Dagmar he thought stood his face before. _Woe befall her_, _Berngerd_.

"The bitter flower, Sir King, you hold, Brings you trouble, as I foretold. Be sure if this year you seek the fray, You suffer not Berngerd at home to stay. _Woe befall her_, _Berngerd_.

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