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The Maiden Hind (Jomfru i hindeham)

[DgF 58, trad. Danish]

Jomfru i hindeham is a traditional Danish ballad. It can be found in in Povl Abrahamsen and Erik Dal's The Heart Book: The Tradition of the Danish Ballad (1965) and translated as The Maiden Hind in Axel Olrik's A Book of Danish Ballads (1939).

Gordon Bok sang The Maiden Hind on his 2009 album Other Eyes. He noted:

This song speaks from a time when we were much more closely connected to the other animals, who have been—and still are—our best teachers of the ways to live in this world.

Emily Portman learned The Maiden Hind from Chris Coe and sang it with The Furrow Collective in 2016 on their second album, Wild Hog. They commented in their liner notes:

Chris Coe taught Emily the Danish ballad of The Maiden Hind and it was Chris, along with Pete Coe, who composed the melody. The Danish original is entitled Jomfru i hindeham and it was translated into English by Eleanor Mary Smith Dampier in A Book of Danish Ballads (1939). F.J. Child draws a connection between the Danish song and the ballad of Leesome Brand (Child 15). Emily adapted the rhythm into 5/4 time, for which she is particularly partial! The moral could be interpreted as “listen to your mother”.

This video shows The Furrow Collective at The Borderline, London, on March 3, 2015:

Lyrics

Gordon Bok sings The Maiden Hind The Furrow Collective sing The Maiden Hind

The mother to her son did say,
    In the greenwood
“The little hind thou shalt not slay!”
    That bears the band of gold

The mother to her son did say,
“The little hind you must not slay!”

“You may slay the hart and shoot the doe
But the little hind thou must let go.”

“Hunt the deer and shoot the doe
But the little hind you must let go!”

Sir Peter rode in greenwood bound
And the little hind played before his hound.

Peter hunted the woods all around
But the little hind played before his hound.

The little hind sported his feet before
And he thought on his mother’s words no more.

And when it played all at his feet,
His mothers words he did forget.

He spanned his crossbow with hand and knee
And he shot the hind beside a tree.

He took his bow by hand and knee
And shot the hind beneath the tree.

His gloves from off his hands he drew
To flay the hind without ado.

His took his gloves from off his hands
To flay the hind where he did stand.

Her neck he flayed and shining there
Was his sister’s golden hair.

Her neck he flayed and there he found
His sister’s golden hair.

He has found in her bosom cold
His little sister’s rings of gold.

He saw within her breast so cold
His sister’s rings, red beaten gold.

In her side with sore affright
He has found her hands so white.

In her side strange to his side
His sister’s hands, lily-white.

His hunting-knife to the ground he threw
“Now has my mother’s tale come true!”

His knife upon the ground he threw,
“So has my mother’s tale come true!”

Cold on the river falleth the rime,
There’s luck for the lad who can take it in time.

Cold on the river falls the rime,
There’s luck for the man who takes his time.

Far the crane flieth up in the sky,
Lucky the lad who from trouble can fly!

High the crane flies in the sky,
Lucky the man who from trouble can fly!