WORD was brought to the Danish king
That the love of his heart lay suffering,
And pin-d for the comfort his voice would bring;
(Oh! ride as though you were flying!)
Better he loves each golden curl
On the brow of that Scandinavian girl
Than his rich crown jewels of ruby and pearl;
And his rose of the isles is dying!

Thirty nobles saddled with speed,
Each one mounting a gallant steed
Which he kept for battle and days of need;
(Oh! ride as though you were flying!)
Spurs were struck in the foaming flank;
Worn-out chargers stagger-d and sank;
Bridles were slacken-d, and girths were burst;
But ride as they would, the king rode first,
For his rose of the isles lay dying!

His nobles are beaten, one by one;
They have fainted, and falter-d, and homeward gone;
His little fair page now follows alone,
For strength and for courage trying.
The king look-d back at that faithful child;
Wan was the face that answering smil-d;
They passed the drawbridge with clattering din,
Then he dropp-d; and only the king rode in
Where his rose of the isles lay dying!

The king blew a blast on his bugle horn;
No answer came; but faint and forlorn
An echo return-d on the cold gray morn,
Like the breath of a spirit sighing.
The castle portal stood grimly wide;
None welcom-d the king from that weary ride;
For dead, in the light of the dawning day,
The pale sweet form of the welcomer lay,
Who had yearn-d for his voice while dying!

The panting steed, with a drooping crest,
Stood weary.
The king return-d from her chamber of rest,
The thick sobs choking in his breast;
And, that dumb companion eyeing,
The tears gush-d forth which he strove to check;
He bowed his head on his charger-s neck:
-O steed-that every nerve didst strain,
Dear steed, our ride hath been in vain
To the halls where my love lay dying!�