Sharpe and the Queen of Elfland's Daughter
This is a direct result of the Fan Fiction story
I wrote, "Across the Wall"
or "Sharpe's Stardust". Some readers might recognize
the Ballad of Thomas the Rhymer here.
Richard Sharpe lay o’er yon grassy bank
An’ he heard a lady crying
A lady t’was in some trouble
So for her he went a-scrying.
He came across a wall of stone
And listened well, he did
Her sobs were from the other side
Her form, the wall it hid.
He marched along the wall of stone
That around the world did reach
Until he came across the tetchy guard
That sat right at the breach
“Evening sir,” polite he says
As through the breach he tried
“You shall not pass!” the guard he stood
“You shall not pass!” He cried
“Pardon sir,” polite he says
“A lady’s in need o’ aid.”
“A fairy lure! You shall not go.
Cross and ye’ll be dead.”
But Sharpe, a rogue he is, he feigned.
He seemed quite at a loss.
But once the back o’ the guard was turned
In a thrice, he was across.
He ran along yon brawny wall
‘til he beheld a lady bright
Alone and greatly woe begone
A sighing in the night
Sharpe he knelt down on the grass
A true gentleman was he
“Dear lady, are ye hurt?” he asked
“Let me succor bring to thee.”
“Richard, ye maun come to me.
If succor be yer goal.
Fer termorrow in far Market.
They sell my body whole.”
Then she was dragged by magic fierce
Out from his strong warm arms
And naught that he could do, that night
Could keep her from this harm
With three step run and three step walk
He traveled the forest deep
To Market he had pledged to go
An’ many miles afore he’d sleep
Market was in a frenzy deep
The crowds in it did flock
Fer rumor said an Elfland Princess
Was fer sale upon the block
The maid was fair, her hair was bright
Her skin a pearly sheen
The bids flew fast and furious
But Sharpe’s own purse was mean.
The crowd was thick the guards were armed
And Sharpe he did despair
Fer t’was nae route to rescue his lady
Nae way he was aware.
But a puckish lad had seen the look
O’ true love between the pair
“Offer yer heart,” he whispered
“Bid high, if ye but dare.”
The word first crept and then it flew
That love was bid that day
And love would win the Princess
For highest it would weigh
“Gi o’ yer heart, me bonny lad.”
“Yer sash o’ rank must part”
“Gi o’er what makes ye a man, my lad.”
“If ye wish ter win yer heart.”
Around his waist sat the bright red sash
The symbol o’ his rank
Sharpe he raised it wi’ his hands
Untied it from round his flanks.
The Market Master took the bid
He weighed it in his hand.
A bit o’ silk as red as blood
The mark of Sharpe’s command.
A pile of gold sat on the scale
Two thousand bright gold crowns
But a scrap o’ blood red silk when weighed
Took it crashing down.
An’ to this day, this tale they tell
O’ the man from the other side
That bid his rank, his heart, his love
And won his fairy bride.