> Folk Music > Songs > The Maid of Neidpath

The Maid of Neidpath

[ Roud 8318 ; Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)]

Rachel Newton sang Sir Walter Scott’d poem The Maid of Neidpath, set to her own music, in 2018 on her album West.


Rachel Newton sings The Maid of Neidpath

O lovers’ eyes are sharp to see,
And lovers’ ears in hearing;
And love in life’s extremity
Can lend an hour of cheering.
Disease had been in Mary’s bower,
And slow decay from mourning,
Though now she sits on Neidpath’s tower
To watch her love’s returning.

All sunk and dim her eyes so bright,
Her form decay’d by pining,
Till through her wasted hand, at night,
You saw the taper shining;
By fits, a sultry hectic hue
Across her cheek was flying,
By fits, so ashy pale she grew,
Her maidens thought her dying.

Yet keenest powers to see and hear
Seem’d in her frame residing;
Before the watch-dog prick’d his ear,
She heard her lover’s riding;
Ere scarce a distant form was kenn’d,
She knew, and waved to greet him;
And o’er the battlement did bend,
As on the wing to meet him.

He came—he passed—an heedless gaze,
As o’er some stranger glancing;
Her welcome, spoke in faltering phrase,
Lost in his courser’s prancing—
The castle arch, whose hollow tone
Returns each whisper spoken,
Could scarcely catch the feeble moan
Which told her heart was broken.