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 “You must take from out your cellar cask of wine and flask and can;
The homely mead I brew you may serve a peasant man.”
“Most willingly, fair Elsie, I'll drink that mead of thine,
And leave my minstrel's thirsty throat to drain my generous wine.”
“Now break your shield asunder, and shatter sign and boss,
Unmeet for peasant-wedded arms, your knightly knee across.
And pull me down your castle from top to basement wall,
And let your plough trace furrows in the ruins of your hall!”
Then smiled he with a lofty pride; right well at last he knew
The maiden of the spinning-wheel was to her troth plight true.
“Ah, roguish little Elsie! you act your part full well:
You know that I must bear my shield and in my castle dwell!
“The lions ramping on that shield between the hearts aflame
Keep watch o'er Denmark's honor, and guard her ancient name.
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