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Баллада Стивенсона «Вересковый мед» на английском

From the bonny bells of heather
⁠They brewed a drink long-syne,
Was sweeter far than honey,
⁠Was stronger far than wine.
They brewed it and they drank it,
⁠And lay in a blessed swound
For days and days together
⁠In their dwellings underground.

There rose a king in Scotland,
⁠A fell man to his foes,
He smote the Picts in battle,
⁠He hunted them like roes.
Over miles of the red mountain
⁠He hunted as they fled,
And strewed the dwarfish bodies
⁠Of the dying and the dead.

Summer came in the country,
⁠Red was the heather bell;
But the manner of the brewing
⁠Was none alive to tell.
In graves that were like children's
⁠On many a mountain head,
The Brewsters of the Heather
⁠Lay numbered with the dead.

The king in the red moorland
⁠Rode on a summer's day;
And the bees hummed, and the curlews
⁠Cried beside the way.
The king rode, and was angry,
⁠Black was his brow and pale,
To rule in a land of heather
⁠And lack the Heather Ale.

It fortuned that his vassals,
⁠Riding free on the heath,
Came on a stone that was fallen
⁠And vermin hid beneath.
Rudely plucked from their hiding,
⁠Never a word they spoke:
A son and his aged father—
Last of the dwarfish folk.

The king sat high on his charger,
⁠He looked on the little men;
And the dwarfish and swarthy couple
⁠Looked at the king again.
Down by the shore he had them;
⁠And there on the giddy brink—
"I will give you life, ye vermin,
⁠For the secret of the drink."

There stood the son and father
⁠And they looked high and low;
The heather was red around them,
⁠The sea rumbled below.
And up and spoke the father,
⁠Shrill was his voice to hear:
"I have a word in private,
⁠A word for the royal ear.

"Life is dear to the aged,
⁠And honor a little thing;
I would gladly sell the secret,"
⁠Quoth the Pict to the King.
His voice was small as a sparrow's,
⁠And shrill and wonderful clear:
"I would gladly sell my secret,
⁠Only my son I fear.

"For life is a little matter,
⁠And death is nought to the young;
And I dare not sell my honor
⁠Under the eye of my son.
Take him, O king, and bind him,
70⁠And cast him far in the deep;
And it 's I will tell the secret
⁠That I have sworn to keep."

They took the son and bound him,
⁠Neck and heels in a thong,
And a lad took him and swung him,
⁠And flung him far and strong,
And the sea swallowed his body,
⁠Like that of a child of ten;—
And there on the cliff stood the father,
Last of the dwarfish men.

"True was the word I told you:
⁠Only my son I feared;
For I doubt the sapling courage
⁠That goes without the beard.
But now in vain is the torture,
⁠Fire shall never avail:
Here dies in my bosom
⁠The secret of Heather Ale."