PE 02 True Thomas
(aka Thomas The Rhymer)
Child #37 - 1400's French
Thomas lay upon the grassy bank
And beheld a lady gay,
Come ridin' oh so brisk and bold
Along the fernie brae.
Her skirt was of the silk so green
And her coat, the velvet fine,
And at each toss her horse's mane
Rang fifty bells and nine.
And Thomas did salute her
Bending down upon his knee
He said, "Well met, enchanting one,
You're the flower of this country"
And as he looked upon her
Oh, so blind in love fell he,
That he has kissed her rosy lips
All 'neath the Eildon tree.
"Well now you've kissed me Thomas,
You must ride away with me.
To serve my will for seven years,
What e'er your chance may be."
She's mounted up her snow white steed
And pulled Thomas up behind.
And, aye, when e'er her bridle rang,
They flew swift as the wind.
And on they rode, and farther on,
'Til they spied a garden green.
And she said, "Light down dear Thomas,
For we near my fair country."
"And take this bread and wine,
And lay your head down on my knee,
For when your fill you've eaten,
I will show you ferlies three."
"See you not, yon rode to paradise,
How it winds through thorn and tree.
The broad road leads to the gates of Hell,
Though fair it seems to be."
"But see you not yon farther road,
Winding round the lily lee?
That is the road to my fair land,
Whence you must go with me."
"But mark you Thomas, hold your tongue,
And answer only unto me,
For should you speak unto another,
Your own home you ne'er shall see."
When Thomas came into the hall,
Oh, a well-bred man was he.
They've asked him questions, one and all,
But not a word spoke he.
It's a woven clouds she's made the roof,
And of flowered vines the walls.
And jewels did shower down as rain,
That night, among them all.
And each day brought Thomas wonders,
Never seen by mortal eye.
And each night brought Thomas wonders,
As next to the Lady he did lie.
But she rose, and said, "True Thomas,
Now it's time we were away,
For seven years have passed and gone,
Though it seems like seven days."
"If it's seven years my Lady,
Since my face on earth was seen,
Pray give to me some token,
That I may prove where I have been."
And it's on she rode and farther on,
To the Huntlie Banks rode she,
And she's put him down upon the ground,
Beside the Eildon tree.
"If you'd have a token Thomas,
A rare token shall it be.
For the gift I give you Thomas,
Is a tongue that cannot lie."
But he cried, "I pray you Lady,
And give not that gift to me.
For how shall I counsel prince or lord,
Or court a fair lady?"
"Be careful in your silence,
As you're careful in what you say.
May your truth outlive them all," she said,
As she turned, and rode away