Vedergällningen



The Vulture    

King Vallemo was a wise old man.
He married off his daughter in a foreign land.

One day she stood in her bridal gown,
The next in bands of iron bound.

"And why do you do this to me?"
"For you were no maiden when you came to me."

"Oh had I a trusty friend and true
To carry these words to my father now!"

Then the old vulture came to her:
"Let me be your speedy messenger.

"If I could get food for my young from you,
I could be there in an hour or two."

"Then lay your young at my breast, if you will,
So that while you are gone they may eat their fill."

"King Vallemo, here you sit free from sorrow.
Your daughter will burn at the stake tomorrow."

"Fly away, old vulture, as quick as you can -
My daughter has married an honest man."

"If you won't believe what you hear from me
Look here at my claw, I am carrying her key.

" King Vallemo into the stable strode,
Saddled his black horse, and off he rode.

And when they came to the foreign lord's hall
The black horse whinnied high up on the wall.

The black horse lifted his mighty foot
And struck the lord in his cruel heart's root.

Then the king and his daughter sat on the black steed
And rode back home at a gentle speed.

Euchari    

O Euchari In leta via

The sun's warmth trickled into you
Like the fragrance of balm.
The sun's warmth trickled into me
Like the fragrance of balm.
All moving things breathe steadily
Sweeping across the ground
The sun's warmth trickled into you
Like the fragrance of balm.

O Euchari In leta via

Your hands reach out for me
In the heat of our longing.
My hands reach out for you
In the heat of our longing.
All moving things breathe heavily
Sweeping across the ground.
Your hands reach out for me
In the heat of our longing.

O Euchari In leta via

Halling Jåron     

Jåron, Jåron, the lassie from Halling,
Lay with the lads both morning and evening
Half crazy Jåron, tiny and wizened,
Lying with the lads nineteen to the dozen.

Jåron, Jåron, the lassie from Halling,
Lay with the lads both morning and evening
Half crazy Jåron, tiny and wizened,
Lying with the lads nineteen to the dozen.

 

Vengeance

Before the cock crew I was born
- Far are the paths that I follow -
My mother was dead before the dawn
- Long, long she awaited her sorrow

My father travelled the country round,
- Far are the paths that I follow -
An ill stepmother to me he found.
- Long, long she awaited her sorrow

Into a needle she conjured me
And said that longing would torture me
And then she turned me into a knife
And said I would suffer all my life.

She turned me into a pair of shears
And said I'd be stunted all my years.
A grey wolf then she made of me,
And said no good would come of me.

Under this curse I was to suffer
- Far are the paths that I follow -
Till I drank the blood of my own brother.
- Long, long she awaited her sorrow

So then I lay in hiding
- Far are the paths that I follow -
Till my stepmother came riding.
- Long, long she awaited her sorrow

By the bridgehead I lay watching
Till I saw her horse approaching.
And as she passed I caught her
And down from her horse I brought her.

In vengeance cruel and bloody
I took the child from her body.
And when I had drunk my brother's blood,
I became a knight, gallant and good.

 

Nine Years    

The very first gift that her stepmother gave:
"Nine years you shall bear your unborn babe."

Kari has gone to Lord Peder's room:
"How long must a woman bear a child in her womb?"

- In secret my sorrows wake me -

"Forty weeks with child she must go
- So long bore Mary Our Lord long ago."

When nine long years had almost passed,
She longed to return to her father at last.

Herr Peder has called for his good grey steed
And bidden his young men ride with speed:

"Pass very gently o'er the bridge as you ride,
In case men be roused from their beds in the night."

"Pass very gently through the village streets,
In case barking dogs waken men from their sleep.

When that she came to her father's home,
Before her stood her father alone.

"Father dear, this is no time for glee,
Rejoicing is not what I bring with me.

"Once I departed, a brisk young maid,
And now I am returning, as heavy as lead

"When I departed a maiden was I -
And now I am returning, now I must die."

 

Woeful tones     

In woeful tones I mean to tell
A tale of dread and wonder
Whoever hears it, listen well,
And on its meaning ponder.
In Gibbau, by the Penne sea,
In Pomerania, in Germany,
These strange events unfolded.

A farmer lived in poverty there
Whose children were so many
That he was driven in despair
To beg for food and money.
The eldest daughter bade adieu
To sisters, brothers and parents too,
To earn a servant's wages.

Some time later her father's soul
This earthly life departed.
Her mother, who was lame and old,
By stick and crutch supported,
Upon her wealthy daughter called
For help with the father's funeral,
As is a daughter's duty.

"Why come to me?" the daughter said
"Give him a pauper's burial!
I'll waste no money on the dead,
Nor let my mind be troubled.
Everyone sees the clothes I wear,
But what does anybody care
What grave the old man lies in?"

Such words of cruelty dismayed
Her nobler-hearted mistress.
She sent both money and food to aid
The family in her kindness.
The mistress gave two new-baked loaves
And bade the daughter carry those
Home to her needy mother.

When she had gone a little way,
Carrying the bread in anger,
Despising her mistress's charity
And cursing her starving mother,
She came to a mud patch damp and deep
- And this is what she did to keep
Her fine new shoes unsullied:

No stone nor plank nor bridge was there
To help her on her journey.
To leave her path she did not care
- That way was long and dirty.
The loaves of bread she threw straight down
As stepping-stones to drier ground
But this she soon regretted.

Her feet stuck fast immediately
When on the bread they landed.
In vain she tried to pull them free,
She cursed and swore and ranted.
For like a stone stuck in the ground
Her legs sank helpless deeper down
- She could not even move them.

She cries aloud,
"Alas that I spurned
The pleas of my kind old mother!
This is the punishment I`ve earned,
A wretched, sinful daughter!"
Each passer-by for help she begs,
But none can free her earthbound legs
However hard they struggle.

She had not spoken her last words
In a voice trembling with terror
Before the ground she stood on stirred
And opened wide beneath her.
In silent prayer her hands she clasped
And sank until the earth at last
All trace of her had covered.

All you who hear this tale, take care,
Lest your own pride betray you.
Remember likewise to beware
The tricks that greed can play you.
Let this maid's fate warn everyone
The sin of luxury to shun
And vain, conceited living.    

 

Herr Holkin    

"Herr Holkin has my favour won
- Promise me wild roses -
To pledge my heart to him alone."
- While the others are asleep he's at play in the evening -

"And if Herr Holkin has won your heart,
- Promise me wild roses -
From me and my home you must depart."
- While the others are asleep he's at play in the evening

And the queen would all her maidens warn
- Promise me wild roses -
And teach them to keep their honour from harm
- While the others are asleep he's at play in the evening

"Oh had I a trusty friend and true
- Promise me wild roses -
To carry word to Herr Holkin now!"
- While the others are asleep he's at play in the evening

The falsest maid was quick to speak:
- Promise me wild roses -
"It's I am the messenger you seek."
- While the others are asleep he's at play in the evening

And when she came to Herr Holkin's home,
- Promise me wild roses -
Before her stood Holkin all alone.
- While the others are asleep he's at play in the evening

"I'm sent by Kerstin to you to say
- Promise me wild roses -
You must ride to her ere the close of day.
- While the others are asleep he's at play in the evening

"She has born a daughter to you today,
- Promise me wild roses -
And she is blacker than the blackest clay."
- While the others are asleep he's at play in the evening

"Then give to her these bottles of wine
To drink all sorrow away from her mind.

"Tell her no more to grieve or sorrow,
And I will ride to her tomorrow."

Then the wine from the bottles this false maid drank
And filled them with water by the riverbank.

"This water is a token Herr Holkin sent
That he never will ride to you again."

Herr Holkin stood not far away
- Promise me wild roses -
And heard every word that this maiden did say.
- While the others are asleep he's at play in the evening

"O Kerstin, don't turn away from me.
- Promise me wild roses -
Untrue to you I will never be."
- While the others are asleep he's at play in the evening

"Let the false maid be buried alive in the clay,
- Promise me wild roses -
For an innocent heart she tried to betray."
- While the others are asleep he's at play in the evening

 

Ink     

Bring to me pen and ink and some paper,
I´ve a letter I want to write to you.
You will find there is none I hold dearer,
I will always be constant and true.

For the rocks will split and shatter just like ice,
And the sun in the heavens cease to shine,
And the forest will turn into a white dove,
Ere, my dear, you and I will parted be.

All my hours at the dice I would squander,
All my hours playing music in vain.
When I met you I pined away no longer,
Now I never will lose you again.

For the rocks will split and shatter just like ice,
And the sun in the heavens cease to shine,
And the forest will turn into a white dove,
Ere, my dear, you and I will parted be.

Bring to me pen and ink and some paper,
I´ve a letter I want to write to you.
You will find there is none I hold dearer,
I will always be constant and true.

For the rocks will split and shatter just like ice,
And the sun in the heavens cease to shine,
And the forest will turn into a white dove,
Ere, my dear, you and I will parted be.

   


Brun -The Robber    

Brun rides off to the maiden's home
- Brun sleeps all alone -
Before him the maiden stands alone
- The howling wind and rainstorms lash the northern mountains
Three northerners lie dead there -

His mantle of blue Brun spreads so wide,
- Brun sleeps all alone -
Lifts up the maiden, and away he rides.
- The howling wind and rainstorms lash the northern mountains
Three northerners lie dead there -

And Brun rides many a weary mile
- Brun sleeps all alone -
Until he longs to rest for a while.
- The howling wind and rainstorms lash the northern mountains
Three northerners lie dead there -

"Now hear me, maiden, I'll tell you plain:
- Brun sleeps all alone -
Fifteen maids in this place I have slain."
- The howling wind and rainstorms lash the northern mountains
Three northerners lie dead there -

And Brun lay down with that maiden fair,
- Brun sleeps all alone -
Till sweet sleep overcame him there.
- The howling wind and rainstorms lash the northern mountains
Three northerners lie dead there -

Her braids of gold the maiden unties
- Brun sleeps all alone -
And binds Brun hand and foot where he lies.
- The howling wind and rainstorms lash the northern mountains
Three northerners lie dead there -

"Rise up now, Brun, as quick as you can,
- Brun sleeps all alone -
For I never will slay a sleeping man."
- The howling wind and rainstorms lash the northern mountains
Three northerners lie dead there -

Her knife of gold she takes in her hand
- Brun sleeps all alone -
And stabs young Brun to the quick where he stands.
- The howling wind and rainstorms lash the northern mountains
Three northerners lie dead there -

"Lie there till the ravens and dogs have their fill,
- Brun sleeps all alone -
And my maiden's virtue will be with me still.
- The howling wind and rainstorms lash the northern mountains
Three northerners lie dead there -

"Lie there, lie there on the ground so cold,
- Brun lies all alone -
And still I will keep my maiden's gold."
- The howling wind and rainstorms lash the northern mountains
Three northerners lie dead there -



Translation by Alistair Cochrane    

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