THE WORKS OF GEORGE BORROW, VOL.7


* "Grimmer and Kamper."
* The base text is a redacted version of DgF 26Bb "Liden Grimmer og Hjelmer Kamp".
* For a Danish text, see Vedel's I, Nr. 21, entitled "Liden Grimmer oc Kamper" available online.
 
 
 
THE SONGS OF SCANDINAVIA
GRIMMER AND KAMPER
1.
GRIMMER walks upon the floor,
Well can Grimmer wield his sword :
' Give to me fair Ingeborg,
For the sake of Christ our Lord.'

2.
' Far too little art thou, lad,
Thou about thee canst not hack ;
When thou comest 'mong other kemps,
Ever do they drive thee back.'

3.
' Not so little, Sire, am I,
I myself full well can guard ;
When I fight with kempions I
Gallantly can ply my sword.'

4.
' Kamper dwells in Birting's land,
For a stalwart kemp he 's known ;
Thou shalt wed my daughter, if
Thou to earth canst hew him down.

5.
Rage and grief his bosom filled,
Grimmer through the door retires :
' What answer did my father give ? '
Beauteous Ingeborg inquires.

47 ( ⇒ )

 
THE SONGS OF SCANDINAVIA
 
6.
' Kamper dwells in Birting's land,
And he bears a warlike name ;
If I him to death can smite,
I may thee with honour claim.'

7.
Answered him the fair young maid :
' Ah ! my father seeks thy death;
Kamper for thee is far too strong,
He will work thee rueful scathe.

8.
' But I'll lend a helm to thee,
Thou may'st trust upon in fight;
And an acton I'll provide,
Whereupon no sword will bite.

9.
' I'll give thee a faulchion good,
And a harness on to put
; On earth's ground no sword is found
Through that harness which can cut.

10.
' I will give to thee a sword
In thy youthful hand to bear ;
Thou therewith mayst iron cleave,
E'en as though it water were.'

11.
Kamper stands on Birtingsborough,
Thence so far he sees and wide :
' What can be that little wreck
Hitherward that seems to glide ? '.

12.
It was little Grimmer bold
Steered his vessel straight to land ;
'Twas the bulky Kamper then
Tow'rds him stretched a friendly hand.

48( ⇒ )

 
AND OTHER POEMS AND BALLADS
 
13.
' Welcome, little Grimmer, be !
Here no harm thou hast to fear ;
Half my land I'll give to thee,
And my sister's daughter dear.'

14.
' Ne'er will I that Ingeborg,
My beloved, should hear such shame,
That I thy sister's daughter took,
And thy friend that I became.

15.
' But we'll go to Vimming's hill,
And do battle, as is fit;
One of us his life shall lose,
Ere the ring of death we quit.'

16.
Thereto answered Kamper bold,
He had such an eager hand :
' I'll the first blow have, forsooth,
'Tis on my own earth we stand.'

17.
The first blow big Kamper struck,
Given 'twas with wrathful yell;
He so hard has Grimmer struck,
Down to earth young Grimmer fell.

18.
Upstood little Grimmer then,
Quickly little Grimmer rose :
' Thou shalt also stand me one,
Ere the sun sinks to repose.'

19.
The next blow was Grimmer's own,
Fierce he hewed with his right hand ;
He hewed on Kamper's golden helm,
To his heart down went the brand.

49( ⇒ )

 
THE SONGS OF SCANDINAVIA
 
20.
Kamper bellowed as he fell,
Dead upon the earth so hard :
' Would to God that of my case
Knew my brother Rodengard !'

21.
Joyous little Grimmer was,
That the fight to end had come ;
Gold and silver much he took,
To the maid he bore it home.

22.
Blood forth streaming from his wound
Lies the mighty Kamper dead ;
Grimmer lives, the brave young swain,
Carries off his gold so red.

23.
When he had the victory won,
Little space he tarried there ;
Joyous sailed his men away,
Joyous with their booty fair.

24.
Standing on the battlement,
Looks the Damsel towards the strand '
Yonder I my youth espy,
See his vessel touch the strand.'

25.
Thanks to brave young Grimmer be,
For his faith he kept so well;
On next Monday morn, at dawn,
Grimmer's bridal feast befell.

50( ⇒ )


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