Young Waters

A poem by George Wharton Edwards

About Yule, when the wind blew cool;
And the round tables began,
A' there is come to our king's court
Mony a well-favoured man.

The queen looked o'er the castle wa',
Beheld baith dale and down,
And then she saw young Waters
Come riding to the town.

His footmen they did rin before,
His horsemen rade behind;
Ane mantle of the burning gowd
Did keep him frae the wind.

Gowden graith'd1 his horse before,
And siller shod behind;
The horse young Waters rade upon
Was fleeter than the wind.

Out then spake a wily lord,
Unto the queen said he:
"O tell me wha's the fairest face
Rides in the company?"

"I've seen lord, and I've seen laird,
And knights of high degree,
But a fairer face than young Waters
Mine eyen did never see."

Out then spake the jealous king
And an angry man was he:
"O if he had been twice as fair,
You might have excepted me."

"You're neither laird nor lord," she says,
"But the king that wears the crown;
There is not a knight in fair Scotland,
But to thee maun bow down."

For a' that she could do or say,
Appeased he wad nae be;
But for the words which she had said,
Young Waters he maun dee.

They hae ta'en young Waters,
And put fetters to his feet;
They hae ta'en young Waters,
And thrown him in dungeon deep.

"Aft I have ridden thro' Stirling town,
In the wind but and the weet;
But I ne'er rade thro' Stirling town
Wi' fetters at my feet.

"Aft have I ridden thro' Stirling town,
In the wind but and the rain;
But I ne'er rade thro' Stirling town
Ne'er to return again."

They hae ta'en to the heading-hill
His young son in his cradle;
And they hae ta'en to the heading-hill
His horse but and his saddle.

They hae ta'en to the heading-hill
His lady fair to see;
And for the words the queen had spoke
Young Waters he did dee.

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