The Witch of the Westmerelands --- Archie Fisher


[G]Pale was the wounded knight that [C]bore the Rowan [D7]shield.
[G]Loud and cruel were the [C]ravens’ cries, that [Am]feasted on the [D7]field. Saying: 

[G]“Beck water, cold and clear, will [C]never clean your [D7]wound.
There’s [G]none but the Maid of the [C]Winding Mere can [Am]make thee hale and [D7]soond.” 

So [G]course well, my brindled hounds, and [C]fetch me the mountain [D7]hare
Whose [G]coat is as gray as the [C]wastewater or as [Am]white as the lily [D7]fair, who said: 

[G]“Green moss and heather bands will [C]never stanch the [D7]flood.”
“There’s [G]none but the Witch of the [C]Westmerelands can [Am]save thy dear life’s [D7]blood.” 

“So [G]turn, turn your stallion’s head ‘til his [C]red mane flies in the [D7]wind.”
“And the [G]rider of the [C]moon gaes by and the [Am]bright star falls be-[D7]hind.” 

And [G]clear was the paley moon when his [C]shadow passed him [D7]by.
Be-[G]low the hill was the [C]brightest star when he [Am]heard the howlet [D7]cry. Saying: 

[G]“Why do you ride this way and [C]wherefore cam’ ye [D7]here?”
I [G]seek the Witch of the [C]Westmerelands that [Am]dwells by the winding [D7]mere. 

“Then [G]fly free your good gray hawk to [C]gather the golden-[D7]rod,”
 “And [G]face your horse in-[C]to the clouds a-[Am]bove yon gay green [D7]wood.” 

“And it’s [G]weary by the Ullswater and the [C]misty brakefern [D7]way,”
“‘Til [G]through the cleft o’ the [C]Kirkstane Pass the [Am]winding waters [D7]lay.” 

He said: [G]“Lie down my brindled hound, and [C]rest you my good gray [D7]hawk.”
“And [G]thee, my steed, may [C]graze thy fill for I [Am]must dismount and [D7]walk.” 

“But [G]come when you hear my horn and [C]answer swift the [D7]call.”
“For [G]‘ere the sun shall [C]rise this morn you will [Am]serve me best of [D7]all.” 

And [G]down to the water’s brim he’s [C]borne the Rowan [D7]shield.
And the [G]goldenrod he [C]has cast in to [Am]see what the lake might [D7]yield. 

And [G]wet rose she from the lake and [C]fast and fleet gaed [D7]she.
One-[G]half the form of a [C]maiden fair with a [Am]jet-black mare’s bod-[D7]y. 

And [G]loud, long, and shrill he blew,and his [C]steed was by his [D7]side.
High [G]overhead his [C]gray hawk flew and [Am]swiftly he did [D7]ride. Saying: 

[G]“Course well my brindled hounds and [C]fetch me the jet-black [D7]mare.”
[G] “Stoop and strike, my [C]good gray hawk and [Am]bring me the maiden [D7]fair.” She said: 

[G]“Pray, sheathe thy silv’ry sword. Lay [C]down thy Rowan [D7]shield.”
“For I [G]see by the briney [C]blood that flows you’ve been [Am]wounded in the [D7]field.” 

And she [G]stood in a gown of velvet blue, bound [C]‘round with a silver [D7]chain.
She’s [G]kissed his pale lips [C]aince and twice and [Am]three times ‘round a-[D7]gain. 

And she’s [G]bound his wound with the goldenrod; full [C]fast in her arms he [D7]lay.
And [G]he has risen [C]hale and soond wi’ the [Am]sun high in the [D7]day. She said: 

[G]“Ride with your brindled hounds at heel and your [C]good gray hawk in [D7]hand.”
“There’s [G]nane can harm a [C]knight wha’s lain with the [Am]Witch of the [D7]Westmere-[G]land.”


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