Friday, 9 September 2011


Kateverse folksong, about a middle-aged farmer from Langdale who led the notable Levermoss band in the Rising. More distinguished for care, canniness, and steadfastness than any extraordinary fighting ability, he appears briefly as a very minor character in Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland. On his own homeground, he is a major folk hero, and his compatriots are probably right that the whole enterprise would have failed in its darkest hour without him.


Edgar, Edgar, rise from your bed!
Edgar, bold and free,
Tell me what you saw with the dawn,
When they come from the high country?
"I looked east, where hope was least,
And I saw a ragged throng –
With a witch that crept, and a cat that leapt,
And a mind that made mine strong!"

Edgar, Edgar, turn from your plough!
Edgar, bold and grim,
Tell me what you saw in the noon,
And the word you have for him?
"I looked south, in the wild boar’s mouth,
And I saw my master's gate,
With a gallows high for the likes of I,
And a heart that made mine hate!"

Edgar, Edgar, stride from the woods!
Edgar, bold and proud,
Tell me what you made in the mirk,
When the Sun was laid in shroud?
"In northern moss, in grief and loss,
I lay with my beaten band,
Till we ran with the cat and the dog to the hog,
And I fought him hand and hand!"

Edgar, Edgar, speak from the shade!
Edgar, bold and grey,
Tell me what you glimpse in the gloam
Now the pig, he has passed away?
"I look back, to the River black,
And I see that I spent my life
For a cause as good as a poor man could,
And a tale I can bring to my wife.
A cause as good as a poor man could –
But it’s time I was home to my wife!"

I'm glad I could give him something of his own at last.

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