Jack London.

Romantic Ballads, Translated from the Danish; and Miscellaneous Pieces online

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Then tell me, God, what I've to thank thee for.

But to recur to him who rests beneath -
He had a heart enthusiastic, warm,
And form'd for love - no prejudice dwelt there;
He roam'd about the world to find a heart
Which felt with his, he sought, and found it not.

Or if he found it, providence stepp'd in,
And tore the cherish'd object from his sight,
Or fill'd its mind with visions weak and vain -
Could he survive all this? ah, no! he died, -
Died by the hand which injur'd none but him.

And did he die unpitied and unwept, -
Most probably, for there are fools who think
'T is crime in man to take what is his own -
And 't was on account they laid him here,
Within this sweet, unconsecrated, spot.

There comes a troop of maidens and of youths
Home from their labour - hark! they cease their song,
And, pointing to the grave, with trembling hands,
They make a circuit, thinking that in me
The ghost of the self-murderer they view -
Which, fame says, wanders here.


The Right Honourable the Earl of Albemarle

T. Amyot, Esq., _London_

F. Arden, Esq. _London_, 5 copies

Mr. A. Austin

The Right Rev. Father in God Henry Bathurst, Lord Bishop of Norwich

Mr. W. Bacon

Mr. A. Barnard

Mr. P. Barnes

Mr. Barwell

Mr. Bell, _Diss_

N. Bolingbroke, Esq.

J. Bowring, Esq., _Hackney_

W. Burrows, Esq., _Stoke_

Miss Burrows

W. Burt, Esq. Jun.

Thomas Campbell, Esq., London

S. Clarke, Esq., _Berghapton_

Mr. T. Clarke

Mr. P. Clarke

Mr. P. Clayton

N. Cobham, Esq. _Exeter_, 2 copies

Rev. C. Codd, _Dereham_

J. H. Cole, Esq.

Mrs. Coleman

Mr. W. Cooper

Mr. E. Cooper, _Dereham_

Mr. G. Cooper, _Dereham_

W. Cross, Esq.

H. Custance, Esq., _Weston Longueville_

Rev. Custance

E. Dashwood, Esq., _Colchester_

T. G. O'Donnahoo, Esq., _London_, 5 copies

Mr. Doughty, _Brockdish_

T. Dyson, Esq., _Diss_

Mr. Elliot

Dr. Evans

F. Farr, Esq., _Beecles_

G. Fitzmaurice, Esq., _London_, 2 copies

J. Fletcher, Esq., _London_

R. Fowler, Esq., _London_

J. Geldart, Esq.

B. Girling. Esq., _Dereham_

Rev. W. Girling

Mr. Green

C. Greville, Esq. M.P.

T. Gurdon, Esq., _Letton Hall_, _Suffolk_, 2 copies

Mrs. Gurdon, 2 copies

H. Gurney, Esq. M.P.

R. H. Gurney, Esq. M.P.

Miss Anne Gurney

Mr. W. Hankes

Capt. Hare, _Stow Hall_, 2 copies

Mr. W. Harper

J. Harvey, Esq.

Sir R. J. Harvey

G. Harvey, Esq.

R. Hawkes, Esq.

Mrs. Hawkes

B. R. Haydon, Esq., _London_

W. Herring, Esq.

Mr. Higham, _London_

Mr. Hobart

Mr. Holly

T. Hudson, Esq.

Mr. R. Hull

N. Islay, Esq., _Croydon_

Mr. G. Jay

S. Johnson, Esq., _London_

P. Johnstone, Esq., _London_

Mr. Juby

Rev. J. Kennedy, _Templemore_, _Tipperary_

Mr. R. Kerrison

Mr. E. Kerrison

Capt. Langford

E. Lombe, Esq.

Mrs. Lloyd, _Bawdeswell_

Miss Lloyd, _Bawdeswell_

Miss L. Lloyd, _Bawdeswell_

Miss E. Lloyd, _Bawdeswell_

Mr. R. Lloyd

Mr. J. Lloyd, _Welsh Pool_

Mr. H. Marshall, _Ashby_

Mr. H. Marshall, _Norwich_

Mr. W. Matchett

Rev. C. Millard

Mr. Mills, _Pulham_

Mr. F. Mills

A. Morrison, Esq., _Eaton Hall_

Mrs. Morrison

G. Morse, Esq.

Rev. G. Munnings, _Dereham_

J. Neales, Esq., _London_

Mr. Newton

Mr. E. Newton

Mr. W. Nichols

Mr. B. Norgate

T. Oliver, Esq., _Yarmouth_

C. S. Onley, Esq. M.P.

J. Parkinson, Esq.

Mr. P. Paterson, _Glasgow_

Mrs. J. Pertwee, _Fingringhoe Hall_

R. Plumptre, Esq.

Mr. Press

Mr. P. Pullen

W. Quarles, Esq., _Foulsham_

W. Rackham, Esq.

Mr. W. Roberts

J. Robertson, Esq., _London_

W. Robertson, Esq., _London_

Etienne Compte de la Roche, _Brest_, 2 copies

N. Simpson, Esq., _London_

W. Slous, Esq., _London_

Sir James Smith

J. Sparham, Esq., _Palgrave_

Mr. W. Stark

Mr. J. Stark

J. Stewart, Esq.

R. Stoughton, Esq., _Sparham_

Rev. A. T. Suckling

Mr. P. Thompson, _London_

Mr. J. Thompson, _Dereham_

J. Timbs, Esq., _London_

Mr. G. Thurtell, _Eaton_

Mr. J. Thurtell

Mr. B. Sadler

S. Salter, Esq., _London_

Capt. R. Sayer

P. Scott, Esq.

Mr. Sendall

Mrs. Simpson

W. Simpson, Esq. Jun.

W. W. Simpson, Esq., _London_

Mrs. E. Thurtell

Mr. J. Turner, _London_

Mr. Turner

J. Vincent, Esq., _London_

S. Weir, Esq., _Manchester_

Rev. G. Widrow, _Manchester_

Mr. Wilson

Mr. Winter

Mr. I. Wiseman

Hon. Col. Wodehouse

E. Wodehouse, Esq. M.P.

D. Woods, Esq., _Dereham_

Mr. I. Young, _London_, 2 copies

Mr. L. Young, _London_

A Bibliographical Note by Clement Shorter.

George Borrow commenced his literary career with a translation of
Klinger's "Faustus" in 1825, and by a compilation of "Celebrated Trials"
in the same year. Both these books appeared in London while he was
engaged as a bookseller's hack, as described in "Lavengro." In 1826
Borrow returned to Norwich, and there he issued from the printing-house
of S. Wilkin, in the Upper Haymarket, these "Romantic Ballads." He had
worked hard at collecting subscribers, and two hundred copies were
reserved for Norwich at half a guinea each copy; the remaining three
hundred out of an edition of five hundred were sent to London. Some of
these bear the imprint of John Taylor, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, 1826,
while the remainder bear the imprint of Wightman & Cramp, of Paternoster
Row, in the same year. Dr. Knapp only knew of the Taylor edition,
because that is referred to in the correspondence. Copies, however, of
the Wightman & Cramp edition are in existence, and the title-page will be
found reproduced with those of the first and second issue in the opening
pages of this volume. Borrow sent copies to Lockhart, and Cunningham
advised gifts to other reviewers; but not a single review of the book
appeared. Yet his subscription list "amply paid all expenses," as Borrow
states in a letter to Cunningham. That list reveals the fact that such
diverse persons as Dr. Bathurst, Bishop of Norwich, and Thurtell, the
murderer of Mr. Weare, were among the Norwich subscribers, while Benjamin
Haydon, John Timbs, and Thomas Campbell paid their half-guineas from
London. Thurtell, we may add, was hanged before the book appeared.

Facsimile of Borrow's Manuscript from the Collection of Clement Shorter.

{i:Manuscript of The deceived Merman - part 1: borrow1.jpg}

{i:Manuscript of The deceived Merman - part 2: borrow2.jpg}


{f:1} The goddess of death - according to the Northern mythology.

{f:2} The paradise of the Northern mythology.

{f:3} Moe in Danish signifies Maid, and is pronounced nearly like "May."
May is Old English for Maid.

{f:4} The Fairies. - Ellefolk. _Dan_.

{f:5} Giants. - Jette. _Dan_.

{f:6} Dovrefeld is the highest mountain in Norway, and in Europe.

{f:7} Some of the many powers attributed to "Runic verses" will be found
described in the song so intituled, in the latter part of this volume.

{f:8} Boune, to get ready.

{f:9} Rede, advise. Raader. - Dan.

{f:10} Woxen, grown. Voxen. - Dan.

{f:11} Jesus Christ.

{f:12} Grene shaw, green wood. - Old English.

{f:13} Brute-carl, dyre-carl. - _Original_.

{f:14} By this nose under the chin must be understood, that the elf has
so long and crooked a nose, that it reaches and turns up under his chin.
Crooked noses are, in all stories, allowed to be an ingredient of
fiendish physiognomy.

{f:15} Svobt udi maard. - _Original_.

{f:16} Slaae mig et mit Ledemod sonder.

{f:17} Burly, strong.

{f:18} Rok og teen. The Rok is no longer used in England, though still
common in the North. It is a hazle stick, more than a yard long, round
which the wool is wound. It is affixed to the side of the spinner, under
the left arm.

{f:19} By scattering "Runes," or Runic letters, over graves, provided
they formed a particular rhyme, the ancient Scandinavians imagined that
the dead might be aroused.

{f:20} Han laerer de Kiaempers Ryg at verke.

{f:21} To ride at Dyst, to battle on horseback.

{f:22} It was formerly the custom in Denmark, upon St. John's day, to
celebrate the arrival of Summer, by troops of youths and maids going out
into the woods, and thence returning bedecked with leaves and branches.
This ceremony was called "bringing Summer to town."

{f:23} Blank, clear, shining. - _Dan_.

{f:24} Called in Danish Kiaempe-steene; these stones either mark the
burial place of a warrior, or the spot where some very remarkable
circumstance has occurred.

{f:25} These were ancient Danish monarchs renowned in song and tale, for
warlike exploits and strange adventures. Not far from the Bridge of Vaere
in the diocese of Roeskild, is King Frode's grave-hill, which, according
to tradition, contains immense treasures, and is the richest in all the
land. "Around the King's neck is a gold chain, so long that its other
end reaches round his feet." _See Thiele's Danske Folkesagn_.

{f:26} Denmark's wisest and greatest king. He entertained a warm
friendship for James the First of England, and, attended by his court,
came to London to visit him. The ceremonies and rejoicings which this
event gave rise to, are well described in an old German book, at present
in the British Museum.

{f:27} Tordenskiold Juul and Hvidtfeld - celebrated Danish admirals. The
memory of Tordenskiold is sacred among the peasantry, on account of the
victories obtained by him over the Swedes. It is reported of him in
Jutland, that when the shot of the enemy was directed thick and fast
against him, he would shake the leaden bullets from out the folds of his

{f:28} In the Northern mythology, the God of war and strength. He is
girded by a belt of bear-sinews, and bears a hammer called "Miolner,"
which means the shatterer, and with which he destroys giants, demons, and
other foes of Odin the supreme God.

{f:29} See preface to "Waldemar's Chase," p. 115.

{f:30} It was frequently the practice of the ancient Norsemen, after
having entombed their dead kings and heroes, to plant oaks or other trees
over them, in order to prevent their remains being disturbed with
facility. In that sublimest of all poems, "The Incantation of Hervor,"
is a passage to the following effect:

Hervadr, Hiorvadr, Hrani and Angantyr,
I wake ye all under the roots of the trees.

{f:31} Between the islands of Ferroe the Sea exhibits a phenomenon,
called, in the dialect of the Islanders, the Boff. Whilst the salt
stream runs strong and glassy through its narrow channel, it is suddenly
deformed by seven successive breakers, huge and foamy, which occur
without any apparent cause, and infallibly overwhelm any boat which may
chance to be in the way of their fury.

{f:32} The ancient Northern god of music and poetry.

{f:33} A mountain in the Scottish Highlands.

{f:34} The Duergar, or Dwarf-elves, of Scandinavia are famous for the
dexterity with which they fabricate ornaments of every kind, from the
gold which they dig out of the depths of the hills.

{f:35} Kemp, a warrior. - _Old Eng_. _Dan_. Kiempe.


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Online LibraryJack LondonRomantic Ballads, Translated from the Danish; and Miscellaneous Pieces → online text (page 6 of 6)