a Cornish legend
Richard B Gillion
The priest of St Germans, one Dando of old,
Was known for his love of song,
But more for his love of women, wine and food
And hunting the whole day long, day long ...
One Sunday in Autumn, the leaves turning brown,
A hunt he announced and there came
Thirty jolly fellows to join in his sport,
So eager to share in his game, his game ...
The horses were saddled, the wine it was drunk
And Dando he ordered the chase;
Careless of fences, of gardens or of fields,
The strongest led off in the race, the race ...
As they rode through the parish out onto the moor,
A darkness in the mist took shape;
A stranger appeared who outrode them in chase,
The darkness still forming his cape, his cape ...
The success of the hunt grew with each passing hour
As strength was beginning to fail;
The catch was brought forward and laid on the ground
And Dando he shouted for ale, for ale ...
The last of the ale being drunk some hours past,
Dando was heard for to tell,
"I shall have ale, whatever it costs,
Though I need to go get it in hell, in hell ..."
The stranger they'd seen stepped forward in view,
From his cloak drew a horn of gold,
From which Dando did drink, till the last drop was gone
And his strength was renewed as of old, of old ...
"The most wondrous of ales and the finest on earth
To satisfy gods and men!"
"The drink of devils," was the stranger's reply;
"Then I wish that I were one of them, of them ..."
The stranger alighted and with deftness of hand,
The catch to his saddle he tied;
Mounted again with effortless ease,
In an instant was ready to ride, to ride ...
Dando in fury roared out, "Those are mine!"
"What I have, I will hold," said the stranger
"Though I ride to hell fire, I shall take them again,"
Vowed Dando, fearing no earthly danger, earthly danger ...
"Not the danger of earth shall face you this day,"
Lifting Dando to seat him before;
"Your words be fulfilled, to hell fire we ride."
Into mist they sped o'er the moor, the moor ...
The men stood and gaped as the hounds ran in chase
O'er the moor to the Lynher's swift stream
Dando, stranger and hounds plunging in without pause
A great flame turning water to steam, to steam ...
On dark, windy nights, the folk of St Germans
Bar the doors, for fear of disaster,
For Dando and his hounds, can be heard riding out
Seeking souls to take home to his master, his master ...
The Legend of Dando
~ St Germans