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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.

Wadling, the Lake

Tearne Wadling

By Percy’s Reliques

  • Tearne-Wadling is the name of a small lake near Hesketh in Cumberland, on the road from Penrith to Carlisle. There is a tradition that an old castle once stood near the lake, the remains of which were not long since visible. Tearne, in the dialect of that country, signifies a small lake, and is still in use.

  • KING ARTHUR lives in merry Carleile,

    And seemely is to see;

    And there with him queene Guenever,

    That bride soe bright of blee.

    And there with him queene Guenever,

    That bride so bright in bowre:

    And all his barons about him stoode,

    That were both stiffe and stowre.

    The king a royale Christmasse kept,

    With mirth and princelye cheare;

    To him repaired many a knighte,

    That came both farre and neare.

    And when they were to dinner sette,

    And cups went freely round:

    Before them came a faire damsélle,

    And knelt upon the ground.

    A boone, a boone, O kinge Arthúre,

    I beg a boone of thee;

    Avenge me of a carlish knighte,

    Who hath shent my love and mee.

    At Tearne-Wadling his castle stands,

    Near to that lake so fair,

    And proudly rise the battlements,

    And streamers deck the air.

    Noe gentle knighte, nor ladye gay,

    May pass that castle-walle:

    But from that foule discurteous knighte,

    Mishappe will them befalle.

    Hee ’s twyce the size of common men,

    Wi’ thewes, and sinewes stronge,

    And on his backe he bears a clubbe,

    That is both thicke and longe.

    This grimme baróne, ’t was our harde happe,

    But yester morne to see;

    When to his bowre he bare my love,

    And sore misused mee.

    And when I told him, King Arthúre

    As lyttle shold him spare;

    Goe tell, sayd hee, that cuckold kinge,

    To meete mee if he dare.

    Upp then sterted king Arthúre,

    And sware by hille and dale,

    He ne’er wolde quitt that grimme baróne,

    Till he had made him quail.

    Goe fetch my sword Excalibar:

    Goe saddle mee my steede;

    Nowe, by my faye, that grimme baróne

    Shall rue this ruthfulle deede.