Martin Lightfoot's Song

Poem By Charles Kingsley

Come hearken, hearken, gentles all,
Come hearken unto me,
And I'll sing you a song of a Wood-Lyon
Came swimming out over the sea.

He ranged west, he ranged east,
And far and wide ranged he;
He took his bite out of every beast
Lives under the greenwood tree.

Then by there came a silly old wolf,
'And I'll serve you,' quoth he;
Quoth the Lyon, 'My paw is heavy enough,
So what wilt thou do for me?'

Then by there came a cunning old fox,
'And I'll serve you,' quoth he;
Quoth the Lyon, 'My wits are sharp enough
So what wilt thou do for me?'

Then by there came a white, white dove,
Flew off Our Lady's knee;
Sang 'It's I will be your true, true love,
If you'll be true to me.'

'And what will you do, you bonny white dove?
And what will you do for me?'
'Oh, it's I'll bring you to Our Lady's love,
In the ways of chivalrie.'

He followed the dove that Wood-Lyon
By mere and wood and wold,
Till he is come to a perfect knight,
Like the Paladin of old.

He ranged east, he ranged west,
And far and wide ranged he-
And ever the dove won him honour and fame
In the ways of chivalrie.

Then by there came a foul old sow,
Came rookling under the tree;
And 'It's I will be true love to you,
If you'll be true to me.'

'And what wilt thou do, thou foul old sow?
And what wilt thou do for me?'
'Oh, there hangs in my snout a jewel of gold,
And that will I give to thee.'

He took to the sow that Wood-Lyon;
To the rookling sow took he;
And the dove flew up to Our Lady's bosom;
And never again throve he.

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