Wednesday 28 November 2018

Brorson: 'Jeg gaaer i fare, der jeg gaaer'

i walk in danger where i tread

I walk in danger where I tread,
my soul would e’er remind me
that Satan stands behind, ahead
with fetters that would bind me;
his hidden hell-fire’s ray
can oft lead me astray
if from my post I once have fled.
I walk in danger where I tread.

I walk in hardship where I tread –
foul sin, I must forswear it;
should God’s rod rain upon my head,
with patience I must bear it;
I often see no way
along which to assay
when setbacks’ mists around me spread.
I walk in hardship where I tread.

I walk but deathwards where I tread,
all certainty’s denied me,
each day or hour is one more thread
with which he now has tied me,
a tiny breath of air
can end the whole affair
and to eternity I’m sped.
I walk but deathwards where I tread.

I walk midst angels where I tread,
whose loving care’s eternal,
and Satan’s power provokes no dread
in such a host supernal.
Begone, world’s cares malign!
An angel stronghold’s mine
though hairs be harmed upon my head.
I walk midst angels where I tread.

I walk with Jesus where I tread,
close by his side he keeps me,
he shelters through the blood he’s shed
and helps me fight if needs be.
And where he once has trod
I too will seek to plod
though some would see me fail instead.
I walk with Jesus where I tread.

I walk to heaven where I tread,
so let my heart be cheerful,
its sole goal where all pain is shed
and sin leaves no one tearful.
Begone, world’s pomp and state!
I gaze on heaven’s gate,
all love of worldly goods now dead.
I walk to heaven where I tread.


Thursday 22 November 2018

Monday 19 November 2018


Swedish heroic ballad: 'Konung Göstaf I. och Dahlkarlarne'

King Gustav I and the Men of Dalarna

To Dalarna King Gustav rides
To parley with his Swedes,
But Christian lies at Södermalm,
On stolen pork he feeds,
Christian sits safe in Stockholm,
He guzzles both wine and mead.

Listen good men of Dalarna
To all I have to say:
:|: Will you with me to Stockholm go
For there the Jutes to slay? :|:

The men of Dalarna answered him
They answered every one:
:|: Good Friday’s battle we still recall,
Much slaughtering then was done. :|:

To this King Gustav did reply:
He answered with this prayer:
:|: May God our Father in Heaven ensure
That we now better fare. :|:

The men of Dalarna answered him
Who bore the Swedish crown:
:|: Will you our battle-leader be
And take back Stockholm town? :|:

Snow grouse and squirrel in the tree
Our arrows seek and find;
:|: That bloodhound Christian surely then
To such a fate’s assigned. :|:

I’ll gladly your battle-leader be,
King Gustav told them true,
:|: If you will swear allegiance
And follow my banner blue. :|:

Then all the men of Dalarna
They answered one and all:
:|: We’ll gladly risk both life and limb
To make that tyrant fall. :|:

The man of Dalarna armed themselves,
Not one whole day but two,
:|: To fight alongside King Gustav
And see the battle through. :|:

Gladly King Gustav then set out,
O’er Tuna bridge he rode;
:|: In numbers that the Danes amazed,
The men from Dalarna strode. :|:

Across the Tuna heath they spread,
this army of valiant men;
:|: Greater in number than the king
At one look could take in. :|:

He and his men at speed advanced,
They Stockholm would set free;
:|: Their shower of arrows thicker fell
Than hail does on the sea. :|:

He and his men they forged ahead
And made for Stockholm town;
:|: Their shower of arrows thicker fell
Than rain from clouds pours down. :|:

The men from Dalarna then did shoot,
Their bows they drew and twanged;
:|: Thicker the swarm of arrows was
Than the seashore’s grains of sand. :|:

The men from Dalarna had their sport,
Their arrows did skip and nip;
:|: Two Jutlanders the third one bore
Up on their pikestaff’s tip. :|:

The miller’s wife she then came out
And loudly she did chide:
:|: The sacks of grain have all been ground,
Who’s to carry them inside? :|:

They are not sacks of grain that’s ground,
In spite of what you say;
The highest Jutlanders they are
That of late in Malm did lie,
The poorest Jutlanders they are
That from arrows came to die.

My head is simply splitting,
My limbs are heavy as lead;
:|: I’ve drunk marsh rosemary’s foul brew
That in Dalecarlia’s bred. :|:

My side is also aching,
All movement leaves me bent;
:|: I’ve tasted the herring sour and rank
That from Dalecarlia’s sent. :|:

From out their houses people came
Onto Stockholm’s streets they stepped;
:|: It caused delight to watch the Jutes
That from their horses leapt. :|:

A knight there was called Eric,
He moaned as if in pain :
:|: May Lord God help us Jutes, our land
We ne’er will see again! :|:

King Gustaf rode on his noble steed
Around the battlefield;
:|: I thank you, my men of Dalarna,
For faith that did not yield. :|:

At my side you have battled
As faithful Swedes and true;
If God me further life shall grant,
I’ll make this up to you.
If God me further life shall grant,
I’ll make this up to you.

To see the original, go to here

Sunday 18 November 2018

Saturday 17 November 2018

The opening of the Flemish epic 'Van Den Vos Reynaerde' (13th century)

Willem, die den Madoc maecte,
Daer hi dicke omme waecte,
Hem vernoyede so haerde,
Dat davonturen van Reinaerde
In Dietsce onghemaket bleven,
(Die hi hier hevet vulscreven)
Dat hi die vite dede soeken,
Ende hise naden walscen boeken
In Dietsce dus hevet begonnen.
God moete ons siere hulpe onnen! [...]

Het was in enen Sinxendaghe
Dat beide bosch ende haghe
Met groenen loveren waren bevaen:
Nobel, die coninc, hadde ghedaen
Sijn hof craieren over al,
Dat hi waende, hadde hijs gheval,
Houden te wel groten love.
Doe quamen tes coninx hove
Alle die diere, groot ende clene,
Sonder vos Reinaert allene.
Hi hadde te hove so vele mesdaen,
Dat hire niet ne dorste gaen:
Die hem besculdich kent ontsiet.
Also was Reinaerde ghesciet;
Ende hier omme scuwedi sconinx hof,
Daer hi in hadde cranken lof.
Doe al dat hof versamet was,
Was daer niemen, sonder die das,
Hine hadde te claghene over Reinaerde,
Den fellen metten roden baerde.

Willem, who did Madoc write,
often till very late at night,
was so disgruntled by the thought
that Reynard’s deeds remained unwrought
in our mother tongue to date
(for Aernout found the task too great)
that from French accounts he gleaned
what of Reynard’s life he weened
in our language folk might read.
This mighty task we wish godspeed! [...]

Whitsuntide had clothed in green
both shrub and wood, a perfect scene
for King Nobel’s summoned court
to which all subjects had to report,
it was, he thought, the perfect chance,
throughout his kingdom to enhance
his glory and his royal fame.
The animals to his court then came
great and small in a single line,
but of Reynard – not a sign.
He’d at court done so much wrong
that he was loath to come along.
He had everything to fear
and his guilt was all too clear,
so he shunned the royal court
where his standing was as nought.
When the assembly was complete
all called Reynard an evil cheat,
except for the badger, and did crave
justice for the red-bearded knave.