Sunday, 12 May 2013

B.S. Ingemann poem, set to music by Niels W. Gade

On Sjølund’s plains so pleasing

On Sjølund’s plains so pleasing
down by the Baltic shore,
where woods with wreaths are friezing
the flower-strewn meadow-floor,
where silver streams now softly
glide past the ruin’s foot,
in ancient times a lofty
royal castle there once stood.

In golden halls so stately
a merry life was led,
where all did pleasure greatly
and jesting words were said:
King Valdemar had built there
his stronghold to defend
his life against all ill there
until the world should end.

With hunters he went riding,
upon his milk-white steed,
o’er hill and dale, fast striding
no danger did he heed;
but at the hounds’ loud baying,
the horn’s shrill calls far-flung,
they all forgot their praying
no holy mass heard sung.

Long since deep in the earth has
King Valdemar been laid,
in legends strange and terse has
his Hunt though been portrayed.
The farmer, poor man, crosses
himself aghast from fright
when hounds and hunters’ horses
tear past him late at night.

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