had given to his consort, Queen Langneth,
at the time of their marriage, a very precious
and peculiar ring. This pledge of her husbandís regard was, it is stated,
given by the frail queen to one of the
courtiers. One day, after a royal hunt in the forest of Clydesdale, the
king, in passing, discovered this courtier sleeping off the fatigue of the
chase underneath a tree, and on his finger he
observed his royal nuptial gift.
adroitly slipped the ring off the finger of the sleeper without
awakening him, and cast it into the river. He then went
home in a jealous rage, and demanded from the queen
the ring he had given her, on pain of
death should she fail to produce it.
the first instance she sent to the courtier,
asking him to return the ring;
but, of course, he was unable to comply with her urgent request, although
how he had lost it, he did not know.
In her despair, the queen went to
St. Mungo, confessed all, and implored his aid. The saint pitied his fair
penitent, who may have been more foolish than guilty; at all events, he
lost no time in assisting her out of her most sorry plight, as he ordered
a line to be cast into the river, and to have the first fish caught
brought alive to him; and ofl
this being done, he took from its mouth
the ring in question, which he handed to the queen, who returned it to her
husband, who was satisfied, and they lived happily ever after. This is
"the fish that never swam" of the popular rhyme.