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How Sire Gaddabout unto his nuptials came

After Goethe's "Ritter Kurts Brautfahrt" Sire Gaddabout one spring-tide morn his sturdy dappled steed did mount. for he would wed the highly born Maid Ethrelda Holyfount He plucked his lute and sang an air, but scarce a league was trod than came a cry. "Beware, beware! Here comes the knave, Sire Heaviplodde. "Sire Heaviplodde, my mortal foe? Seeks he this day a fight? 'Tis him or me a mortal blow must soon dispatch to endless night." Sir Heaviplodde in armor black rode up to mock and jeer. Then said he, holding high a a sack: "Your head will serve as souvenir." "Make good, black knight, your foolish boast," stern-faced Sire Gaddabout did cry, "or by ye saints your wretched ghost full soon the Stygian strait must ply." The shields did clash, the horses snort, the dust did fly, the swords did ring, and, to cut a long tale short, 'twas Heaviplodde who knew death’s sting. A fulsome wench with babe at breast stood steadfast in the way. Sire Gaddabout at her behest stopped for to hear what she might say. She raised her babe for him to see, she cocked her head and with a sneer said:" Knight at arms, remember me? You left behind this souvenir." On seeing this the knight did blush. He bade his squire go fetch some beer. Then said he to the young girl "Hush, this bag of gold should help out, dear." Past hill, past hamlet, wood and mire, he rode with noble carriage. Might even yet the fates conspire to dash all hopes of marriage? Who stood with visage grim and old to guard the way before? A man in black held up a scroll, whereon were writ the debts of yore. Not all the gold the knight did hold, not lands, not herds, his dowry, could e'er redeem his debts of old accrued in youthful folly. "I have sinned" the knight did weep, "and mercy is my plea. I must to church my pledge to keep in holy matrimony." The grim collector smiled and said: "As bridegroom you today are free. Your past is like a shadow fled. What counts today is what shall be."

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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Date: 11/23/2017 7:49:00 AM
Brilliant ballad, I loved it. Great work.
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