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.