Inspire me Lewis, while I sing Of th’ enamour’d “Water King” Or rather, do thou tell the tale Of the lady’s stolen veil, Thou know’s to mix thy lore terrific, As ’Pothecaries mix their physic, And to disguise what’s pois’nous in’t Thou puttest romantic peppermint. Of thee in vain, the boon I ask, Then I must undertake the task.
Now water kelpies round me rise And glare upon me with their eyes! Down yelping fiends, while I unfold The tale ye wish not to be told. But out alas! my wits they scare I cannot stand their horrid stare! They threaten me with open jaws (And much I fear their teeth & claws.) If I their thieving pranks should tell In cities I must ever dwell, And never on the water’s brink Dare with “the Muse to sit & think.”
But though I must not, dare not say What happen’d but the other day I sure may give a hint or so To warn the ladies where they go!
Ye damsels who approach the sea And think yourselves at liberty To pick up mussel-shells & shrimps Bethink ye of the water imps! Who watch at their stern king’s behest For lady who may please him best Who when at last they think they’ve found In form of zephyr’s they surround In seeming wanton play they steal Some riband, or perhaps a veil! And if the last, no hand can save her The Water King is sure to have her! It binds her to him like a spell He bears her to his rocky cell! And ah! dear lady who can help ye When married to grim water kelpie!!!