Category Archives: Watch-Song


The watch-song was a species of ballad, cultivated by the Minnesingers, representing stolen interviews between the lover and his mistress.  They begin generally with a parley between the knight and the warder of the castle where his lady-love is dwelling, and end with the reluctant parting of the lovers.



The sun is gone down,

And the moon upward springeth,

The night creepeth onward,

The nightingale singeth.

To himself said a watchman,

“Is any knight waiting

In pain for his lady,

To give her his greeting?

Now, then, for their meeting!”


His words heard a knight,

In the garden while roaming:

“Ah! Watchman,” he said,

“Is the daylight fast coming,

And may I not see her,

And wilt not thou aid me?”
”Go, wait in thy covert,

Lest the cock crow reveille,

And the dawn should betray thee.”


Then in went that watchman

And called for the fair,

And gently he roused her:

“Rise, lady! Prepare!

New tidings I bring thee,

And strange to thine ear;

Come, rouse thee up quickly,

Thy knight tarries near;

Rise, lady! Appear!”


“Ah, watchman!  Though purely

The moon shines above,

Yet trust not securely

That feigned tale of love:

Far, far from my presence

My own knight is straying,

And sadly repining,

I mourn his long staying,

And weep his delaying.”


“Nay, lady! Yet trust me,

No falsehood is there.”

Then up sprang that lady

And braided her hair,

And donned her white garment,

The purest of white,

And, her heart with joy trembling,

She rushed to the site

Of her own faithful knight.