(FROM THE GERMAN OF GRÜN.)
From jousting homeward rides the Earl;
To meet him comes his trusty churl.
“Halt! halt there! Wherefore run’st thou? Say!
O whither wends my churl his way?”
“I stray in quest of roof and bed,
I seek for where to lay my head.”
“Of roof and bed! Speak out and tell,
Hath aught at home befall’n not well?”
“Not aught of weight. Thy wee white hound
Lies deadly hurt upon the ground.”
“My true dog dead upon the ground!
Now, tell me, what hath harmed the hound?”
“Thy charger sprang on him in fear;—
Then dashed into the drowning weir.”
“My goodly horse! my stable’s pride!
What terror drove him to the tide?”
“Methinks in fright I saw him run
As from the window fell thy son.”
“My son! He hath not lost his life?
Who guards then now mine own true wife?”
“When dead before her feet she spied
The little Lord, she swooned and died.”
“If woe on woe so quickly fall,
Why stay’st thou not to watch the Hall?”
“The Hall! Alas! what hall? Thine own
In dust and ashes down is thrown.
“Thy dead wife sleeps upon her bier;
The fire hath caught her robe and hair;
“The flames flare up from tower and stall;
Thy men are burned within thy hall:
“Fate me alone hath spared to tell,
In gentle words, how all befel.”