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~ Historical & Classical Poetry ~

The Ballad of Hjalmar and Angantyr      The Ballad... MP3 (instrumental)

1. A man lived up in a high oak-tree,
Refrain:— Ye well-born men!—
Eleven warlike sons had he.
Refrain:— Arngrim's Sons from Africa,
They fought, they fought on Samsø

2. He had eleven sons so dear, —
The champions Hjalmar and Angantyr.

3. A ship, a ship did these warriors man,
And swift 'fore the wind was the course she ran.

4. They hoisted their sail to the mast so high:
They had faith in their strength and their valiancy.

5. Their anchor they cast in the white, white sand.
Hjalmar hastily sprang to the land.

6. Their anchor they cast in the white, white sand.
And Anganatyr eagerly sprang on the strand.

7. Angantyr eagerly sprang on the strand.
Up to his knees he sank in the sand.

8. "I drew my hose from my legs so bare
To hide the sand from my lady fair!"

9. In the garden they busked them in cloaks of skin,
And so went up to the franklin sitting there within.

10. "Here sittest thou, franklin, drinking thy wine:
I beg that thy daughter so fair may be mine!"

11. When Hjalmar stood before the board,
Angantyr straight took up the word.—

12. "Here sittest thou, franklin, drinking thy wine:
I beg that thy daughter so fair may be mine!"

13. In sorry plight was the franklin then,
For there at the board stood two mighty men.

14. "No choice so hard will I ever make;
The maiden herself must choose her mate."

15. "No choice so hard shall be made by thee:
The warrior Hjalmar shall wed with me.

16. "With Hjalmar the Brave would I wedded be,
Who is so lovely and fair to see."

17. "O franklin! Lend me a trusty blade,
We two must fight for the hand of the maid."

18. "O franklin! Lend me a sharp penknife:
Each of us surely must lose his life."

19. They fought their way forth of the hall.
They bellowed louder than any troll.

20. Till they reached a river they fought amain,
Down on their knees and then up again.
21. Down on their knees and then up again.

Refrain:— Ye well-born men!—
Till stiff and dead lay those champions twain.
Refrain:— Arngrim's Sons from Africa,
They fought, they fought on Samsø

Nora Kershaw, from: "Stories and Ballads of the Far Past. Translated from the Norse
(Icelandic and Faroese) by N. Kershaw." Cambridge, at the University Press, 1921