The Noble Knight and the Loathing Lady
From fortress grim and castle white
Through brightest day and darkest night
Came oft a fair and noble knight
With his standard flying high.
Dressed fine in bright cuirass and greaves
He roved or hoved just as he pleased
And slew opponents with great ease
With sword both sure and sound.
He had a gallant, noble air
Sunlight golden was his hair
He won the hearts of ladies fair
His favours numbered many.
But there was one who would not deign
To give him her love, he longed in vain
Each encounter was the same:
Her loathing matched his love.
On the lea and on the strand
He begged oft for her fair white hand
Harsh ever was her reprimand
She never would consent.
"On my heart and on my head,
I'd ne'er to one like thee be wed!"
Scornfully the maiden said…
His heart was brast in twain.
"A war-lord will my husband be
That all the land shall surely see
That none's as strong or brave as he,"
The maiden then she said.
"Maid I am a noble lord,
All my lands are fair and broad
And I defend them with my sword,"
The knight said earnestly.
"Nay, lands or not I'll never be
Wed to a knight as poor as thee!"
The maiden told him moodily
And her countenance was bitter.
"You'll never want for anything,
I'll dress you up with golden rings
And treasures to your bower bring."
The knight would not give in.
"Gold or brass, I could not stand
To give one like you my fair white hand."
Scornful was her reprimand
The maiden turned away.
The mournful knight took up his sword
And joined the soldiers sent abroad
In Palestine he waged a war
All in the Lady's name
Always it was his spirit yearned
For that love he thought he'd earned
Alas it was when he returned
His heart was brast once more.
On his way home he met a sight:
His own fair made all robed in white
Married to another knight
It broke his noble heart
He turned his horse and off he yode
For hours and hours, on he rode
Caring not where his war-horse trode
There was nothing left for him.
He rode up to the mountain heights
The day gave way unto the night
His heart was black, his tears were bright
He gazed far down below
In the vale, at end of day
The procession wound its merry way
The bride was smiling, bright and gay
The knight wept at the sight.
He cast his gaze towards the skies
Beneath the stars he closed his eyes
Wild were the revellers cries
When they saw his body fall
Cuirass and greaves did brightly gleam
Someone let out a scream
The noble knight of great esteem
Lay still within the vale
The maiden's face like her robes where white
"Indeed," she said, "I know this knight,
"To tease him once was my delight,
Though he always had my heart."
The wedding was her father's plan
To marry her to a wealthy man
And so he gave away her hand:
She could not have her knight.
The knight was buried in the vale
And it surely is the strangest tale
That oft when there is storm and gale
His spirit there is seen
His horse goes galloping up the heights
Ridden by the forlorn knight
Beneath the stars on stormy nights
Longing for his love.
She lived her life, and when she died
She came along the mountainside
Dressed in white, a ghostly bride
To meet her noble knight
And in the place where his body lay
The two did meet, then flew away
And oft in the night, or so they say,
Their laughter can be heard.
And so it was the noble knight
Finally won his lady bright
Together they yode into the light
Thus here ends the tale.