Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

(8 December 1832 – 26 April 1910 / Kvikne)

Ballad Of Tailor Nils


If you were born before yesterday,
Surely you've heard about Tailor Nils, who flaunts him so gay.

If it's more than a week that you've been here,
Surely you've heard how Knut Storedragen got a lesson severe.

Up on the barn of Ola-Per Kviste after a punchin':
"When Nils heaves you again, take with you some luncheon."

Hans Bugge, he was a man so renowned,
Haunting ghosts of his name spread alarm all around.

"Tailor Nils, where you wish to lie, now declare!
On that spot will I spit and lay your head right there."--

"Oh, just come up so near, that I know you by the scent!
Think not that by your jaw to earth I shall be bent!"

When first they met, 't was scarce a bout at all,
Neither man was ready yet to try to get a fall.

The second time Hans Bugge slipped his hold.
"Are you tired now, Hans Bugge? The dance will soon be bold."

The third time Hans fell headlong, and forth the blood did spurt.
"Why spit you now so much, man?" -- "Oh my, that fall did hurt!"--

Saw you a tree casting shadows on new-fallen snow?
Saw you Nils on a maiden smiling glances bestow?

Have you seen Tailor Nils when the dance he commences?
Are you a maiden, then go!--It's too late, when you've lost your senses.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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