Warrior Lore: Scandinavian Ballads

Warrior Lore: Scandinavian Ballads

ABOUT Ian Cumpstey

Ian Cumpstey
Ian Cumpstey lived and worked in Sweden for eight years. He has now returned to England, and lives in Cumbria. He is an associate member of the Swedish to English literary translators association. He has published two collections of translations of Scandinavian folk ballads: Lord Peter a More...


Warrior Lore is a collection of Scandinavian folk ballads in a new English verse translation.

The ballads in Warrior Lore have echoes of Norse mythology and medieval heroic legends. They tell stories of champions and fighters, Vikings, and trolls. There are riddles, and there are appearances from Thor, Loki, Sigurd, and other figures from the myths of the Edda and from history. These narrative ballads were part of an oral folk music tradition in Scandinavia, and were first written down around 1600, although the ballads themselves are older.

The legendary hero Widrick Waylandsson comes face to face with a troll in the forest. Thor resorts to cross-dressing in a bid to recover his stolen hammer. The daughter of a King of Sweden is abducted from a convent in the Swedish countryside. A young fighter has to show off his prowess in skiing and shooting for King Harald Hardrada. And more...

All the ballads included are:
Widrick Waylandsson's Fight with Long-Ben Reyser; Twelve Strong Fighters; Hilla-Lill; Sir Hjalmar; The Hammer Hunt; The Stablemates; Sven Swan-White; The Cloister Raid; Heming and the Mountain Troll; Heming and King Harald.

"A charming introduction to Scandinavian Lore." -- Sam Smith, in The Journal (once 'of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry')