THE WORKS OF GEORGE BORROW, VOL.7
* "Grimmer and Kamper."
* The base text is a redacted version of DgF 26Bb "Liden Grimmer og Hjelmer Kamp".
* For a Danish text, see Vedel's I, Nr. 21, entitled "Liden Grimmer oc Kamper" available online.
GRIMMER AND KAMPER
GRIMMER walks upon the floor,
Well can Grimmer wield his sword :
' Give to me fair Ingeborg,2.
For the sake of Christ our Lord.'
' Far too little art thou, lad,
Thou about thee canst not hack ;
When thou comest 'mong other kemps,3.
Ever do they drive thee back.'
' Not so little, Sire, am I,
I myself full well can guard ;
When I fight with kempions I4.
Gallantly can ply my sword.'
' Kamper dwells in Birting's land,
For a stalwart kemp he 's known ;
Thou shalt wed my daughter, if5.
Thou to earth canst hew him down.
Rage and grief his bosom filled,
Grimmer through the door retires :
' What answer did my father give ? '
Beauteous Ingeborg inquires.
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' Kamper dwells in Birting's land,
And he bears a warlike name ;
If I him to death can smite,7.
I may thee with honour claim.'
Answered him the fair young maid :
' Ah ! my father seeks thy death;
Kamper for thee is far too strong,8.
He will work thee rueful scathe.
' But I'll lend a helm to thee,
Thou may'st trust upon in fight;
And an acton I'll provide,9.
Whereupon no sword will bite.
' I'll give thee a faulchion good,
And a harness on to put
; On earth's ground no sword is found10.
Through that harness which can cut.
' I will give to thee a sword
In thy youthful hand to bear ;
Thou therewith mayst iron cleave,11.
E'en as though it water were.'
Kamper stands on Birtingsborough,
Thence so far he sees and wide :
' What can be that little wreck12.
Hitherward that seems to glide ? '.
It was little Grimmer bold
Steered his vessel straight to land ;
'Twas the bulky Kamper then
Tow'rds him stretched a friendly hand.
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' Welcome, little Grimmer, be !
Here no harm thou hast to fear ;
Half my land I'll give to thee,14.
And my sister's daughter dear.'
' Ne'er will I that Ingeborg,
My beloved, should hear such shame,
That I thy sister's daughter took,15.
And thy friend that I became.
' But we'll go to Vimming's hill,
And do battle, as is fit;
One of us his life shall lose,16.
Ere the ring of death we quit.'
Thereto answered Kamper bold,
He had such an eager hand :
' I'll the first blow have, forsooth,17.
'Tis on my own earth we stand.'
The first blow big Kamper struck,
Given 'twas with wrathful yell;
He so hard has Grimmer struck,18.
Down to earth young Grimmer fell.
Upstood little Grimmer then,
Quickly little Grimmer rose :
' Thou shalt also stand me one,19.
Ere the sun sinks to repose.'
The next blow was Grimmer's own,
Fierce he hewed with his right hand ;
He hewed on Kamper's golden helm,
To his heart down went the brand.
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Kamper bellowed as he fell,
Dead upon the earth so hard :
' Would to God that of my case21.
Knew my brother Rodengard !'
Joyous little Grimmer was,
That the fight to end had come ;
Gold and silver much he took,22.
To the maid he bore it home.
Blood forth streaming from his wound
Lies the mighty Kamper dead ;
Grimmer lives, the brave young swain,23.
Carries off his gold so red.
When he had the victory won,
Little space he tarried there ;
Joyous sailed his men away,24.
Joyous with their booty fair.
Standing on the battlement,
Looks the Damsel towards the strand '
Yonder I my youth espy,25.
See his vessel touch the strand.'
Thanks to brave young Grimmer be,
For his faith he kept so well;
On next Monday morn, at dawn,
Grimmer's bridal feast befell.
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