Lord Thomas and Lady Margaret

No: 260; variant: 260A

  1. LORD THOMAS is to the hunting gone, To hunt the fallow deer; Lady Margaret’s to the greenwood shaw, To see her lover hunt there.
  2. He has looked over his left shoulder, To see what might be seen, And there he saw Lady Margaret, As she was riding her lane.
  3. He called on his servants all, By one, by two, by three: ‘Go hunt, go hunt that wild woman, Go hunt her far from me!’
  4. They hunted her high, they hunted her low, They hunted her over the plain, And the red scarlet robes Lady Margaret had on Would never be mended again.
  5. They hunted her high, they hunted her low, They hunted her over the plain, Till at last she spy’d a tall young man, As he was riding alane.
  6. ‘Some relief, some relief, thou tall young man! Some relief I pray thee grant me! For I am a lady deep wronged in love, And chased from my own countrie.’
  7. ‘No relief, no relief, thou lady fair, No relief will I grant unto thee Till once thou renounce all the men in the world My wedded wife for to be.’
  8. Then he set her on a milk-white steed, Himself upon a gray, And he has drawn his hat over his face, And chearfully they rode away.
  9. Lady Margaret was at her bower-window, Sewing her silken seam, And there she spy’d, like a wandering bodie, Lord Thomas begging alane.
  10. ‘Dome relief, some relief, thou lady fair! Some relief, I pray thee grant me! For I am a puir auld doited carle, And banishd from my ain countrie.’
  11. ‘No relief, no relief, thou perjured man, No relief will I grant unto thee; For oh, if I had thee within my bower, There hanged dead thou would be.’
  12. ‘No such thing, Lady Margaret,’ he said, ‘Such a thing would never be; For with my broadsword I would kill thy wedded lord, And carry thee far off with me.’
  13. ‘Oh no, no! Lord Thomas,’ she said, ‘Oh, no such things must be; For I have wine in my cellars, And you must drink with me.’
  14. Lady Margaret then called her servants all, By one, by two, by three: ‘Go fetch me the bottles of blude-red wine, That Lord Thomas may drink with me.’
  15. They brought her the bottles of blude-red wine, By one, by two, by three, And with her fingers long and small She poisond them all three.
  16. She took the cup in her lilly-white hand, Betwixt her finger and her thumb, She put it to her red rosy lips, But never a drop went down.
  17. Then he took the cup in his manly hand, Betwixt his finger and his thumb, He put it to his red rosy lips, And so merrily it ran down.
  18. ‘Oh, I am wearied drinking with thee, Margaret! I am wearied drinking with thee!’ ‘And so was I,’ Lady Margaret said, ‘When thou hunted thy hounds after me.’
  19. ‘But I will bury thee, Lord Thomas,’ she said, ‘Just as if thou wert one of my own; And when that my good lord comes home I will say thou’s my sister’s son.’