Thair is a knichte rydis through the wood,
And a doughty knichte is tree,
And sure hee is on a message sent,
He rydis see hastilie.
Hee passit the aik, and hee passit the birk,
And nee passit monie a tre,
Bot plesant to him was the saugh sae slim,
For beneath it hee did see
The boniest ladye that ever he saw,
Scho was see schyn and fair.
And there scho sat, beneath the saugh,
Kaiming hir gowden hair.
And then the knichte—"Oh ladye brichte,
What chance hes brought you here,
But say the word, and ye schall gang
Back to your kindred dear."
Then up and spok the Ladye fair—
"I have nae friends or kin,
Bot in a littel boat I live,
Amidst the waves' loud din."
Then answered thus the douchty knichte—
"I'll follow you through all,
For gin ye bee in a littel boat,
The world to it seemis small."
They gaed through the wood, and through the wood
To the end of the wood they came:
And when they came to the end of the wood
They saw the salt sea faem.
And then they saw the wee, wee boat,
That daunced on the top of the wave,
And first got in the ladye fair,
And then the knichte sae brave;
They got into the wee, wee boat,
And rowed wi' a' their micht;
When the knichte sae brave, he turnit about,
And lookit at the ladye bricht;
He lookit at her bonie cheik,
And hee lookit at hir twa bricht eyne,
Bot hir rosie cheik growe ghaistly pale,
And scho seymit as scho deid had been.
The fause fause knichte growe pale wi frichte,
And his hair rose up on end,
For gane-by days cam to his mynde,
And his former luve he kenned.
Then spake the ladye,—"Thou, fause knichte,
Hast done to mee much ill,
Thou didst forsake me long ago,
Bot I am constant still;
For though I ligg in the, woods sae cald,
At rest I canna bee
Until I sucke the gude lyfe blude
Of the man that gart me dee."
Hee saw hir lipps were wet wi' blude,
And hee saw hir lyfelesse eyne,
And loud hee cry'd, "Get frae my syde,
Thou vampyr corps uncleane!"
Bot no, hee is in hir magic boat,
And on the wyde wyde sea;
And the vampyr suckis his gude lyfe blude,
Sho suckis hym till hee dee.
So now beware, whoe're you are,
That walkis in this lone wood;
Beware of that deceitfull spright,
The ghaist that suckle the blude.
Author: James Clerk Maxwell
Source: Poem Hunter
Note: This was written in 1845, when Maxwell was 14 years old.