The Unicorn Is Noble

-A Medieval German Folk Song

I stood in the Maytime meadows By roses circled round Where many a fragile blossom Was bright upon the ground And as though the roses called them And their wild hearts understood, The little birds were singing In the shadows of the wood. The nightingale among them Sang sweet and loud and long, Until a greater voice than hers Rang out above her song. For suddenly between the crags, Along a narrow vale The echoes of a hunting horn Came clear along the gale. The hunter stood beside me Who blew that mighty horn, I saw that he was hunting The noble unicorn. The unicorn is noble, He keeps him safe and high Upon a narrow path and steep Climbing to the sky And there no man can take him, He scorns the hunter’s dart And only a virgin’s magic power Shall tame his haughty heart. What would be now the state of us But for this unicorn And what would be the fate of us, Poor sinners, lost, forlorn? Oh may He lead us on and up, Unworthy though we be, Into His Father’s kingdom To dwell eternally.

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