Sir Roland

Whan he cam to his ain luve's bouir
He tirled at the pin,
And sae ready was his fair fause luve
To rise and let him in.

'O welcome, welcome, Sir Roland,' she says,
'Thrice welcome thou art to me;
For this night thou wilt feast in my secret bouir,
And to-morrow we'll wedded be.'

'This night is hallow-eve,' he said,
'And to-morrow is hallow-day;
And I dreamed a drearie dream yestreen,
That has made my heart fu' wae.

'I dreamed a drearie dream yestreen,
And I wish it may cum to gude:
I dreamed that ye slew my best grew hound,
And gied me his lappered blude.'

* * * * *

'Unbuckle your belt, Sir Roland,' she said,
And set you safely down.'
O your chamber is very dark, fair maid,
And the night is wondrous lown.'

'Yes, dark, dark is my secret bouir,
And lown the midnight may be;
For there is none waking in a' this tower
But thou, my true love, and me.'

* * * * *

She has mounted on her true love's steed,
By the ae light o' the moon;
She has whipped him and spurred him,
And roundly she rade frae the toun.

She hadna ridden a mile o' gate,
Never a mile but ane,
When she was aware of a tall young man,
Slow riding o'er the plain,

She turned her to the right about,
Then to the left turn'd she;
But aye, 'tween her and the wan moonlight,
That tall knight did she see.

And he was riding burd alane,
On a horse as black as jet,
But tho' she followed him fast and fell,
No nearer could she get.

'O stop! O stop! young man,' she said;
'For I in dule am dight;
O stop, and win a fair lady's luve,
If you be a leal true knight.'

But nothing did the tall knight say,
And nothing did he blin;
Still slowly ride he on before
And fast she rade behind.

She whipped her steed, she spurred her steed,
Till his breast was all a foam;
But nearer unto that tall young knight,
By Our Ladye she could not come.

'O if you be a gay young knight,
As well I trow you be,
Pull tight your bridle reins, and stay
Till I come up to thee.'

But nothing did that tall knight say,
And no whit did he blin,
Until he reached a broad river's side
And there he drew his rein.

'O is this water deep?' he said,
'As it is wondrous dun?
Or is it sic as a saikless maid,
And a leal true knight may swim?'

'The water it is deep,' she said,
'As it is wondrous dun;
But it is sic as a saikless maid,
And a leal true knight may swim.'

The knight spurred on his tall black steed;
The lady spurred on her brown;
And fast they rade unto the flood,
And fast they baith swam down.

'The water weets my tae,' she said;
'The water weets my knee,
And hold up my bridle reins, sir knight,
For the sake of Our Ladye.'

'If I would help thee now,' he said,
'It were a deadly sin,
For I've sworn neir to trust a fair may's word,
Till the water weets her chin.'

'Oh, the water weets my waist,' she said,
'Sae does it weet my skin,
And my aching heart rins round about,
The burn maks sic a din.

'The water is waxing deeper still,
Sae does it wax mair wide;
And aye the farther that we ride on,
Farther off is the other side.

'O help me now, thou false, false knight,
Have pity on my youth,
For now the water jawes owre my head,
And it gurgles in my mouth.'

The knight turned right and round about,
All in the middle stream;
And he stretched out his head to that lady,
But loudly she did scream.

'O this is hallow-morn,' he said,
'And it is your bridal-day,
But sad would be that gay wedding,
If bridegroom and bride were away.

'And ride on, ride on, proud Margaret!
Till the water comes o'er your bree,
For the bride maun ride deep, and deeper yet,
Wha rides this ford wi' me.

'Turn round, turn round, proud Margaret!
Turn ye round, and look on me,
Thou hast killed a true knight under trust,
And his ghost now links on with thee.'

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Andrew Lang

Andrew Richard Lang FRS CBE was a British scientist and crystallographer. more…

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"Sir Roland" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 28 Mar. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/2817/sir-roland>.

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