Зображення сторінки

the other Christians of the land and the town saw that Klaus was gaining the upper hand over his foes, they fell upon them tumultuously on every side, and in a few hours the Pagan king and all his army were slain, except a few who escaped, by the swiftness of their horses, into the castle, taking with them the princess. In a few hours after the battle, however, they agreed to give up the fortress and the princess, on condition of their lives being spared, and permission given them to depart. Klaus granted this, as they were so few, and let them go in peace.

When Klaus entered the castle, there was great joy among all the Christians that God had so humbled the Pagans by his arm, and had delivered the princess from her fiery death; the old queen and the rescued princess waited on him in the chamber of the castle, and declared themselves happy at having been freed by such a man; and though he behaved modestly, as beseemed a brave and knightly soldier, and would only follow after them, the old queen said, “Where is the princess on earth who would noť be honoured by such a man, and such a hero, walking with her hand in hand ?”

But the queen had thought, immediately on seeing Klaus, and her counsellors had also whispered, “Where could be found a man like this, who could elevate Christianity and subdue the Pagans ? Has not God brought him like a miracle through the storm, and shown him as the king and saviour of the people ?” She had also had many pleasant thoughts as to her daughter, but these she concealed in her heart, and thought, “God will bring this about, if it is to be.” And so it happened, and what Valentine had foretold was fulfilled, that he who bravely ate his way through the Pancake Hill, would one day become a king.

Klaus had been but a few hours in the apartments of the castle, ere he felt his whole heart changed; he felt that he had seen a woman from whom his eyes could never waver. The princess was certainly the most beautiful of her time in the whole world. He felt with pleasure the trembling of his heart; but he considered at the same time that he was the son of a village bailiff, and she the daughter of a king. At these thoughts he struck his forehead, and cried, “Klaus, Klaus, what art thou about in thy folly ? • Thorough' will here help thee nothing." For Klaus, with all his great deeds, remembered his early days, and remained sincerely humble and lowly before God, to whom alone he attributed all his greatness. Of his own chivalry and beauty, which might have won the hearts of all the women in the world, he was quite unconscious. He consequently passed, blinded and astonished at the charms of the beautiful princess, a painful and sleepless night; and as he considered his desire an impossibility, he determined to depart again early in the morning, with his comrades, to his ships, and to seek relief from his sorrows in the wild element of ocean, as if the flames of love could only be cooled and extinguished by water.

It was scarcely dawn, and the light had begun to peep fearfully through the curtains, when Klaus called together his men, and there was a running and crowding about the castle yard, so that the princess and the queen awoke, and perceived with astonishment and affright that Klaus was about to re-embark. The old queen did not long hesitate : she saw that she must act promptly; she therefore dressed herself hastily, threw her royal mantle about her, and proceeded to Klaus's chamber; she proposed to him, and even begged earnestly, that he would consent to become king, urging the danger yet existing from the relatives of the king he had slain and the remaining Pagans, and concluded by offering him her daughter: to this the delighted Klaus was unable to reply; he could not go, he could not speak; he could only bow, and blush, and be silent. He did this, however, in a manner which greatly pleased the queen, for she understood he would not depart with his ships, and so she took him by the hand, and he was quiet and obedient as a little child, and suffered her to conduct him whithersoever she chose.

She led him into the chamber of her daughter, the princess, joined their hands together, and blessed them. They were both well pleased, but could not utter a word; for the princess had experienced the same feelings as Klaus. Immediately she saw him, it seemed as though a voice would burst from her heart, “That is the man, and no other !" For if the princess was called the most beautiful, Klaus might with equal justice be called her equal. Klaus remained, and the ships lay at anchor in the bay, and no eye was longer directed to the wind. All were landed, and no one thought any more of sails, ropes, or helms, but the men dressed themselves in their gayest apparel for the wedding. This was solemnised within a few weeks, and the princess took Klaus Avenstaken for her husband, who was thenceforward called Klaus, King of Jutland.

When he had subdued the Pagans, and reduced the country to peace by forts and castles, he thought with desire and love of his old parents, his brothers, sisters, and friends, and without delay commenced his journey to them, taking with him only his queen, together with a thousand of his warriors to form a royal escort. They thus travelled over the Elbe towards the south, and after they had journeyed four days, at the dawn of the fifth, when he saw they were not far from his home, he ordered his escort to remain, and rode forward with his queen, accompanied by only a single page. It was about noon of the fifth day, and as the clock struck twelve, that they rode into Dimmelshusen, directly to his father's house. They, however, urged their horses through the village at their utmost speed, that the people who saw them might not recognise them nor betray their approach to his parents. When they arrived before Peter Avenstaken's house, King Klaus sprang quickly from his horse, and cried “Thorough” so heartily, that it echoed through the whole village. Peter, who with his wife and children was just then at dinner, jumped up at the sound, and saw a man and a woman with golden crowns on their heads. But he saw instantly that it was his son. And when the king and the queen had entered, and taken their seats at the table of the old folks, and had eaten and drunk with them in humility to God and love to them, Peter was overcome with joy, and | hardly knew what to say, though, through the excess of joy, he spoke | almost too much. He whispered into the ear of his wife, what was not quite right at such a moment: “Now, Margaret, has my Klaus still remained a Klaus ? Could thy John have become greater ?”

Klaus remained many days and many weeks with his parents, living | happily with them, making rich presents to them, his brothers and sisters, and the children of the neighbours; but the old Valentine he took with him, saying, “Dear Valentine, thou shalt relate to my sons also, the pleasant and inspiring stories, how every intelligent man, with God's help, can be something; and thereby form them to brave warriors and heroes.” Valentine agreed willingly, for he presumed much upon King Klaus, thinking to himself that it was entirely owing to him that he had become a king. The king also took his youngest brother, and his youngest sister; the former he made a count, and the latter a countess; and there are yet living many eminent people in the world who have descended from them. Before his departure, however, he stipulated that when his father died the patrimony should descend to him, for which he paid his brothers ten times its value. His father and brothers promised this, and kept their words. For he said, “I will send one of my sons here, who shall be a peasant, and his children and children's children shall remain peasants, for peasants are older and endure longer than kings.”


SIR CAULINE. [PERCY'S 'Reliques of Ancient English Poetry' will furnish us with several Ballad-stories. We have already given the 'Heir of Linne.' Wordsworth speaks of the following poem as “the exquisite ballad of Sir Cauline,” and as an example of "true simplicity and genuine pathos."]

In Ireland, far over the sea,

There dwelleth a bonny king;
And with him a young and comely knight,

Men call him Sir Cauline.
The king had a lady to his daughter,

In fashion she had no peer,
And princely wights that lady wooed

To be their wedded feere. (feere, mate, conso:rt.
Sir Cauline loveth her best of all,

But nothing durst he say,
Nor descreeve his counsel to no man, (descreere, describe.
But dearly he loved this may.

(may, maiden. Till in a day it so befell,

Great dill to him was dight, (dill, grief; dight, prepared.
The maiden's love removed his mind,

To care-bed went the night.
One while he spread his arms him fro',

One while he spread them nigh-
And ah! but I win that lady's love,

For dole now I must die.
And when our parish Mass was done,
Our king was bowne to dine,

(bowne, ready. He says, Where is Sir Cauline,

That is wont to serve the wine ?
Then answered him a courteous knight,

And fast his hands 'gan wring,
Sir Cauline is sick, and like to die,

Without a good leeching.
Fetch me down my daughter dear,
She is a leech full fine,

(leech, physician.
Go take him dough, and the baken bread,
And serve him with the wine so red,
Loth I were him to tine.

(tine, lose.

Fair Christabelle to his chamber goes,

Her maidens following nigh,-
O well, she saith, how doth my lord ?

O sick, thou fair lady!
Now rise up wightly, man, for shame, (wightly, vigorously.

Never lġe so cowardly,
For it is told in my father's hall,

You die for love of me.
Fair lady, it is for your love
That all this dill I drye,

(drye, suffer.
For if you would comfort me with a kiss,
Then were I brought from bale to bliss,

No longer would I lie.
Sir knight, my father is a king,

I am his only heir :
Alas and well you know, sir knight,

I never can be your feere.
O lady, thou art a king's daughter,

And I am not thy peer,
But let me do some deeds of arms,
To be your bacheleere.

(bacheleere, lover. Some deeds of arms if thou wilt do,

My bacheleere to be,
But ever and aye my heart would rue

Giff harm should hap to thee. (giff, if.
Upon Eldridge hill there groweth a thorn,
Upon the moor's broad inge,

(inge, plain. And dare ye, sir knight, wake there all night,

Until the fair morning ? For the Eldridge knight, so mickle of might, (eldridge, Will examine you beforne,

\[fearful. And never man bare life away,

But he did him scath and scorr..
That knight he is a foul paynim,

And large of limb and bone,
And but if Heaven may be thy speed,

Thy life it is but gone.
Now on the Eldridge hills I'll walk,

For thy sake, fair lady,
And I 'll either bring you a ready token,

Or I'll never more you see.

« НазадПродовжити »