The Laidley Worm
THE LAIDLEY WORM
The king is gone from Bamborough Castle
Long may the princess mourn,
Long may she stand on the castle wall,
Looking for his return.
It fell out on a day that the King,
Brought the Queen with him home,
And all the lords in the country,
To welcome them did come.
"Oh! Welcome, father," the lady cries,
"Unto our halls and bowers;
And so are you, my step-mother,
For all that's here is yours."
The envious Queen replied at last,
"Ye might have excepted me;
In a few hours I will her bring,
Down to a low degree."
"I will liken her to a laidley worm,
That warps about the stone,
And not till Childy Wynd comes back,
Shall she again be won.
Word went east and word went west,
And over the sea did go,
The Child of Wynd got wit of it,,
Which filled his heart with woe.
He called straight his merry men all,
They thirty were and three,
"I wish I were at Spindleston,
This desperate worm to see."
They built a ship without delay,
With masts of the rowan tree,
With fluttering sails of silk se fine,
And set her on the sea.
The worm leapt up, and the worm leapt down,
She plaited round the stane,
And aye as the ship came to the land,
She banged it off again.
The Child then ran out of her reach,
The ship on Budle sand,
And, jumping into the shallow sea,
Securely got to land.
"Oh! Quit thy sword and bend thy bow,
And give me kisses three;
If I'm not won e'er the sun goes down,
Won I never shall be."
He quitted his sword and bent his bow,
He gave her kisses three,
She crept into the hole a worm,
But out stept a lady.