A single horn at the warder’s gate1
Was sounding at eventide :2
Now who art thou, quoth the warder bold,3
Who so late and lone dost ride ?4
Oh ! an aged warrior-knight am I,5
From the distant battle-plain ;6
Where the bravest troops of Normandy7
In their gory mail lie slain.8
Now Heaven forefend, the warder said,9
That thy tale it true should be ;10
Or that ever the Norman arms should yield11
To the Saxon chivalry !12
But hie thee within, thou aged man,13
And the cup we’ll fill with wine ;14
And thou of the good old wars shalt speak,15
That were fought in Palestine.16
When the midnight hour was rung and past,17
From the warder’s grated door18
A youthful knight with his lady bright19
Fast gallop’d o’er the moor !20
No aged man, but a courtly youth,21
To the gate so late did ride ;22
And his love-won lives in his castle now,23
A fair and honour’d bride !24