The live man victorious
Rode spurring from the fight;
In a glad voice and glorious
He sang of his delight,
And dead men three, foot-loose and free,
Came after in the night.
’Twas a fierce night when old Mawgan died:
Men shuddered to hear the rolling tide:
The wreckers fled fast from the awful shore,
They had heard strange voices amid the roar.
“Out with the boat there,” someone cried,—
“Will he never come? We shall lose the tide:
His berth is trim and his cabin stored,
He’s a weary long time coming aboard.”
The old man struggled upon the bed:
He knew the words that the voices said;
Wildly he shrieked as his eyes grew dim,
“He was dead! He was dead when I buried him.”
Hark yet again to the devilish roar!
“He was nimbler once with a ship on shore;
Come, come, old man, ’tis a vain delay,
We must make the offing by break of day.”
Hard was the struggle, but at the last
With a stormy pang old Mawgan passed,
And away, away, beneath their sight,
Gleamed the red sail at pitch of night.
Svend Dyring he rideth adown the glade;
I myself was young.
There he has wooed him so winsome a maid;
Fair words gladden so many a heart.
Together were they for seven years,
And together children six were theirs;
Then came Death abroad through the land,
And blighted the beautiful lily-wand.
Svend Dyring he rideth adown the glade,
And again hath he wooed him another maid.
He hath wooed him a maid and brought home a bride,
But she was bitter and full of pride.
When she came driving into the yard,
There stood the six children weeping so hard.
There stood the small children with sorrowful heart;
From before her feet she thrust them apart.
She gave to them neither ale nor bread;
“Ye shall suffer hunger and hate,” she said.
She took from them their quilts of blue,
And said, “Ye shall lie on the straw we strew.”
She took from them the great wax light,
“Now ye shall lie in the dark at night.”
In the evning late they cried with cold,
The mother heard it under the mould.
The woman heard it in the earth below:
“To my little children I must go.”
She standeth before the Lord of all:
“And may I go to my children small?”
She prayed Him so long and would not cease,
Until He bade her depart in peace.
“At cock-crow thou shalt return again;
Longer thou shalt not there remain!”
She girded up her sorrowful bones,
And rifted the walls and the marble stones.