Lake Semerwater Wensleydale


Deep asleep, deep asleep,

Deep asleep it lies,

The still lake of Semerwater

Under the still skies


And many a fathom

Many a fathom

Many a fathom below,

In a king’s tower and a queens bower

The fishes come and go


Once there stood by Semerwater

A mickle town and tall;

Kings’s tower and queen’s bower

And the wakeman on the wall.


Came a beggar halt and sore:

“I faint for lack of bread!”

Kings tower and queen’s bower

Cast him forth unfed


He knocke’d at the door of eller’s cot,

The eller’s cot in the dale.

They gave him of their oatcake,

They gave him of their ale.


He cursed aloud that city proud,

He cursed it in its pride;

He has cursed it into Semerwater

There to Bide


King’s tower and queen’s bower,

And a mickle town and tall;

By glimmer of scale and gleam of fin

Folk have seen them all.

King tower and queen’s bower,

And weed and reed in the gloom;

And a lost city in Semerwater,

Deep asleep till Doom.


Sir William Watson