(author's note- when I originally wrote this, more than forty years ago, the language was 
Scottish dialect,or what I fondly imagined Scottish dialect to be. In this reincarnation
I have tried to make the text more comprehensible without I hope losing the essential
flavor of the thing)


There's a castle grey , by the ocean wave
That breaks on far countree
And high in a hall, in a chamber tall
Hangs an unco' tapestry
Ah, t'was cunning wrought by a bonnie hand
'ere ever we twa were born
With auld colours pale it conjures the tale
Of the hunt for the Unicorn
Of the hunt for the single horn, dear lass
Struck off from a golden head
For the drink that's laid in a cup sa made
Can ne'er work ill, 'tis said
And wondrous wise are the ways of men
And fair, lass, always fair
That the royal kine should guzzle their wine
Wi' never a grief or care
And sure the tapestry tells it plain
Of the hunters that lie in wait
With their dogs so fierce and their iron spears
And a simpering maid for bait
But it comes to me now that I heard a tale
And it ran sommat differently
Of the beast that's born with the single horn
And the Princess Lynne-Marie

'Twas early one morn to the Princess Lynne
The royal huntsman came
And he was a stern unbending man
Of an ancient and  noble name
His honour it was that there lived no beast
That he could na' trap or kill
And yet one prize eluded his eyes
For all of his hard earned skill

'The king thy father ha' bid me hence '
Quoth the huntsman on bended knee
'I ha' tried my best at his own behest'
'But ill luck ha' come ta me'
'I ha' brought him the skin o' the spotted fawn '
'An' the pelt o' the great she-bear'
'I ha' shot the bat and the bold wild cat'
'Tho' mickle a mark was there'
'Now out fra' the castle I needs must gae '
'and sa fra' my honour shorn'
'I ha' done my best at his own request'
'But he calls for a Unicorn.'

Now Princess Lynne hath a gentle heart
And she touched on his lowered head
'Good huntsman arise and lift your eyes'
'I'll speak to my father,' she said

'Nay Princess, it wouldna serve', quoth he
'for thy father's mind is set'
'but there is a boon, that I crave eftsoon'
'to succour my honour yet'
'for the Unicorn is a canny beast'
'and the Unicorn is fey'
'And devil a man there lives who can '
'approach him near , they say'
'Only a maid sa pure an' bright '
'may charm his wayward heart'
'an' the King, thy father, ha' bid me hence'
'for the hunt that's about to start'
'for the hunt that goes forth for lack o' a maid
'were finished 'ere we begin'
'An' none in the land there be, saith he, '
'Sa' pure as my daughter Lynne'

So out from the castle they travelled down
Wi' Lynne on her mount bestrode
And the King's huntsman and all his van
Behind to the wood they rode
They rode within to the forest's heart
Where  it all was hushed and still
Where a pool lay deep in the moss asleep
At the foot of a wee green hill
'Twas there the Princess did seat herself
And the huntsmen drew back to wait,
With their dogs so fierce and their iron spears,
For the perilous ways of fate.

An age passed by in the forest green
And dreamed on a wee green hill
Till a bird sang high with a single cry
Like a trumpet loud and shrill

Then He stepped out from the woods around
And oh he was wondrous fair
And his coat was bright and his horn was white
As he stood in the forest there
And his eyes were golden brown, dear lass
And deep as the forest pool
With an ancient pride that he held inside
Sa never a man should rule
Aye, the pride of the free north wind was there
As he gazed to the princess down
And they met there in the silent air
The blue and the golden brown

The Unicorn looked to the wood around

Where the Huntsman and all did hide

With their dogs so fierce and their iron spears
And a cruel crossbow beside
He turned to the Princess once again
And she thought in her heart he smiled
As he trotted there with a dancer's care…

And the simple trust of a child

And he hath touched his velvet nose
To the cheek of Lynne-Marie
And he hath lowered his golden head
To rest on the Princess' knee…

Then out from covert the Huntsman burst
With a score of men that came
With their dogs so fierce and their iron spears
To win him a noble name
They ringed the wee hill with spears so sharp
And waited the given word
But the Princess seemed in a curious dream
As if she had not heard
And still the Unicorn had not moved ,
Nor showed that he kenned his doom
'Till the Huntsman cried,'Princess, move aside'
'That the spears may ha' fair room.'

Then she raised her head and her eyes blazed bright
As the crown in her sable hair
And the Huntsman paled and his strong heart quailed
For he saw that his death was there
With a shaking hand he cast his spear-
Aside to the mossy ground
And gestured then to his waiting men
That ringed the wee hill around
'We'll back ta the castle gae, my lads'
'an' prison ourselves within'
'For I'd rather the path to the Kings full wrath'
'then ta tilt wi' his daughter Lynne.'
Oh, whiles they muttered and whiles they stared
But lowered their spears anon
Like a pack of dogs of the hills and bogs
When they see that their prey hath gone

Then the Princess stroked on the lowered head
And tenderly whispered she:
'Thou art wondrous fair, but thy world is there:'
'Heart of my heart, go free!'

The Unicorn turned in a silken flash
And he hurtled the ring of men
Yet paused in his stride on the other side
As he turned to her once again
And laughter was in his eyes that never
A mortal danger knew
With lifted head it seemed he said
'And what will become of you?'
'Go back, go back to the world of men'
'To the life for which you're born'
'but naught that's done can prison the one'
'Who hath freed the Unicorn.'

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