[EE]N WARE GESCHIEDENIS te Doornik in Brabant voorgevallen


[EE]N WARE GESCHIEDENIS te Doornik in Brabant voorgevallen


hoe een militair, die gecondemneerd was om te sterven, op het oogenblik dat hij zoude doodgeschoten worden, van Z.M. den Koning pardon bekwam; door de trouwe liefde van zijn beminde. Op een Aangename Wys.

Translation: A new song about a true history in which happened in Doornik, Brabant; how a soldier, who was condemned to die, upon the moment that he would be shot dead; of his Royal Highness the King received a Pardon; by the loyal love of his beloved, who had done a prostration for him. On a pleasant tune.

Digital Object

Image notice

Full size images of all song sheets available at the bottom of this page.

Image / Audio Credit

Den Haag KB: Lbl KB Wouters 03075. Nederlandse Liederenbank

Set to tune of...

Op een Aangename Wys


1. Lend me your ear; bystanders! worthy friends,
Hear that which recently happened in Doornik,
This true event will make you discover
How drunkenness brings humanity into sorrow,
This painting shows you real life;
How that a virgin saves her lover’s life;
Love makes humanity boldly strive,
Here takes a lad from the grave to the nuptial bed.
2. The drunkenness causes many accidents,
She makes a human into a hideous beast,
And can repress a good virtue in the heart;
It has been the misfortune of many a person,
The drunkenness consumes body and soul; 
[It] is rash, and knows no rank nor state;
Such people can learn from this strange case
Of this lad; a Belgian soldier.
3. A true Belgian, a young one, will you hear,
Very neat in shape, good-looking in body and limbs.
Who had since long chosen martial service
And amongst his comrades set the gold standard,
He was beloved by his officers,
And comrades, but had a bad fault;
The strong spirits, when he went to celebrate bluntly,
He did a deed which would so sadly grieve him.
4. Upon a certain day he moved to his post
He arrived very neat and proper at the Guard;
But left in haste and unpetitioned,
Whilst he thus did not observe duty or the martial discipline,
He swirled and drank, and came back entirely drunk
And arrived lost, late at night,
His head running wild, clothes loose and open,
In short; in a very unsuitable state.
5. The Lieutenant, a man of good morals,
Asked this young man very calmly:
How he could transgress his duty so badly?
And have done this bad deed against justice;
A drunk lad, heated by strong spirits,
Gave an angry answer to his officer.
He provoked this gentleman with curses, cursing, stamping,
Making a terrible racket in the Guard.
6. He continued on, and became worse over time,[1]
Rashly grabs his officer by his head,
Tears the epaulet boldly from his shoulder,
And appeared frantic, entirely robbed of reason,
The Lieutenant finally becomes tired of it,
After long patience, gave him his punishment;
He drew from leather;[2] and in this anger, hewed
The drunken lad’s left arm off.
7. He sobered up out of shock and was bound,
Put in a small room where he bemoaned his deed,
Oh God, he called, forgive me my sins,
Whereto I was reduced by the drunkenness!
The Lieutenant went to make a report,
Of this instance to the General;
He stood abashed of such a strange case;
And instantly formulated a warrant.
8. There sat the lad, and continued to bemoan his fate,
The War council rendered his verdict for [his] death,
Then told him that in few days,
[He would] die in the open field by being shot,[3]
My judges! (says this fellow), I am worthy of them,
My sentence I very willingly accept;
The verdict you gave is very justified,
I am not worth it to be in the King’s service.
9. This soldier, he had devoted his heart and mind,
And loyal love to a girl,
[Whom] had been courted by him for a long time.
She soon came to hear this sad case,
Her sad eye then shed hot tears,
It sounded like a clap of thunder in her ears,
Her sad soul suffers formidable pains.
10. She instantly had a sad plea written,
And threw herself down before the King’s feet,
The good Monarch always wants to remain compassionate
Though does not answer her with much on this occasion,
She returns full of sad mourning thoughts,
Her youthful eye pours many a hot tear;
She suffers full of fear the sleepless nights,
And is affected by hope and fear.
11. Now came to meet at the last moment,
That this lad had to suffer his punishment,
Death awaited him with spread jaws,
Every mortal was sympathetic to his fate,
A young man reluctantly treads forward,
The dull drum makes a mournful sound,
His hanging head shows his sorrows,
Whilst his heart keeps expressing sad sighs.
12. He came upon the field and says: my comrades!
Fare well eternally; I die entirely prepared;
My bad behaviour also does not deserve mercy,
I bid you farewell to eternity;
Just one request you must promise me,
If you meet my worthy love here
When my death will rob my life,
That you will greet her for the last time in my name.
13. Then he kneeled down! The blindfold over his eyes,
The priest has done his final duty,
The platoon (though moved by his fate),
It already aims their guns;
But sees a liaison officer galloping [here],
Calls: halt! Pardon! This young man is free;
Soldiers! Will you appreciate your good Monarch,
His goodness helps this young man out of suffering.
14. The joyful cheers rose up to Heaven,
And with applause they call: Long live the King!
The loyal young woman pushes through the busy swarm,
And presses, moved, her lover to her chest,
The General had the priest brought there,
United through matrimony the young pair,
Both their joy knew no limits now,
His coffin became the marriage altar.
15. What joy! After so much suffering and objections,
The young man he received a pension;
Which in the future loyally all years
Could support them in domestic life;
Now he thanked his beloved King too;
Especially his beloved young woman,
And tasted then, in his quiet abode,
A true happiness and satisfaction.
16. So people see that loyal love can give,
When one is in need and in danger of death,
Love granted this young man life,
And has kept him from an early death,
This young woman is worth to be praised,
Every thinking human honours her in memory,
May love be a leader to this pair,
Preserve them continually from disaster and sadness.




[1] ‘hoe langs hoe stouter’ literally translates to ‘the longer, the worse.’
[2] i.e. unsheathed his sword.
[3] ‘door het lood’ refers to the lead bullet used to shoot him in the open field.




“[EE]N WARE GESCHIEDENIS te Doornik in Brabant voorgevallen,” Execution Ballads, accessed April 23, 2024, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/execution-ballads/items/show/1262.

Output Formats