Thomas Rymer

No: 37; variant: 37B

  1. As Thomas lay on Huntlie banks– A wat a weel bred man was he– And there he spied a lady fair, Coming riding down by the Eildon tree.
  2. The horse she rode on was dapple gray, And in her hand she held bells nine; I thought I heard this fair lady say These fair siller bells they should a’ be mine.
  3. It’s Thomas even forward went, And lootit low down on his knee: ‘Weel met thee save, my lady fair, For thou’rt the flower o this countrie.’
  4. ‘O no, O no, Thomas,’ she says, ‘O no, O no, that can never be, For I’m but a lady of an unco land, Comd out a hunting, as ye may see.
  5. ‘O harp and carp, Thomas,’ she says, ‘O harp and carp, and go wi me; It’s be seven years, Thomas, and a day, Or you see man or woman in your ain countrie.’
  6. It’s she has rode, and Thomas ran, Until they cam to yon water clear; He’s coosten off his hose and shon, And he’s wooden the water up to the knee.
  7. It’s she has rode, and Thomas ran, Until they cam to yon garden green; He’s put up his hand for to pull down ane, For the lack o food he was like to tyne.
  8. ‘Hold your hand, Thomas,’ she says, ‘Hold your hand, that must not be; It was a’ that cursed fruit o thine Beggared man and woman in your countrie.
  9. ‘But I have a loaf and a soup o wine, And ye shall go and dine wi me; And lay yer head down in my lap, And I will tell ye farlies three.
  10. ‘It’s dont ye see yon broad broad way, That leadeth down by yon skerry fell? It’s ill’s the man that dothe thereon gang, For it leadeth him straight to the gates o hell.
  11. ‘It’s dont ye see yon narrow way, That leadeth down by yon lillie lea? It’s weel’s the man that doth therein gang, For it leads him straight to the heaven hie.’
  12. It’s when she cam into the hall– I wat a weel bred man was he– They’ve asked him question[s], one and all, But he answered none but that fair ladie.
  13. O they speerd at her where she did him get, And she told them at the Eildon tree; . . . . . . . . . . .