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The traditional commentary upon this ballad informs us, that the apple was the produce of the fatal Tree of Knowledge, and that the garden was the terrestrial paradise. The repugnance of Thomas to be debarred

the use of falsehood, when he might find it convenient, has a comic effect.

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The reader is here presented, from an old, and unfortunately an imperfect MS., with the undoubted original of Thomas the Rhymer's intrigue with the Queen of Faéry. It will afford great amusement to those who would study the nature of traditional poetry, and the changes effected by oral tradition, to compare this ancient romance with the foregoing ballad. The same

' incidents are narrated, even the expression is often the

same, yet the poems are as different in appearance, as

, if the older tale had been regularly and systematically

modernized by a poet of the present day.

Incipit Propltesia Theme dc Erseldotm.

In a lande as I was lent,
In the grylting of the day,
Ay alone as I went,
In Huntle hankys me for to play:

I saw the throstyl, and the jay,

Ye mawes movyde of her song,

Ye wodwale sange notes gay,

That al the wod about range.

In that longyng as I lay,

Undir nethe a darn tre. . I was war of a lady gay,

Come rydyag ouyr a fair le;

Zogh I suld sitt to domysday,

With my tong to wrabbfi and wry,
Certenly all hyr aray,

It beth neuyr discryuyd for me.
Hyr paiira was dappyll gray,

Syclte on say neuer none,

As the son in somers day, ,

All abowte that lady shone;

Hyr sadel was of a rewel bone,

A semly syght it was to se,

Bryht with many a precyous ston?,'
And oompasyd all with crapsta;
Stones of oryens gret plente,

Her hair about her bode it hang,
She rode ouer the farnyle.

A while she blew a while she sang,
Her girths of nobil sillte they were,
ller bocals were of beryl stone,
Sadyll and brydill war - -:

With sylk and sendel about bedone,
Ilyr patyrel was of a pail tyne,

And her eroper of the erase,

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Her brydil was of gold fyne,
. On euery syde forsothe bong bells thre,
Her brydil reynes - - -
A semly syzt - - - -
Crop and patyrel - - -
In every joynt - - - -
She led thre grew hounds in a leash,
And ratcbesoowpled by her ran ;
She bar an born about her halse,
And undyr her gyrdil meny flene.
Thomas lay and sa - - -
In the banltes of - - -
IIe sayd, yonder is Mary of Might,
That bar the child that died for me,
Certes hot I may speeke with that lady bright,
Myd my hert will breke in three;
Ischal me bye with all my might
Hyr to mete at Eldyn Tree.
Thomas rathly up he rase,
And ran oner mountayn bye,
Ifit be sothe the story says,
He met her euyn at Eldyn Tree.
Thomas ltnelyd down on his kne
Undir nethe the grenewood spray,
And sayd, lovely lady, thou rue on me,
Queen of Heaven as you well may be;
But I am a lady of another countrie,
If] he pareld most of prise,
I ride after the wild fee, Q
My ratches rinnen at my devys.
If thou be pareld most of prise,
And rides a lady in strang foly,
Lovely lady, as thou art wise,
Giue you me leue to lyge ye by. "
Do way, Thomas, that were foly.
I pray ye, Thomas, late me be,
That sin will for-do all my bewtle:
Lovely ladye, rewe on me,
And euer more I shall with ye dwell,
Heremy trowth I plyght to thee,
Where you beleues in heuyn or hell.
Thomas, and you myght lygeme by,
Undir nethe this grene wode spray,
Thou would tell full hastely,
That thou had layn by a lady gay.
Lady, I mote lyg by the, , ““ _
‘ Undir nethe the grene wode tre,'
For all the gold in cbrystenty,
Suld you neuer be wryede for me.
Man on molde you will me marre,
And yet hot you may haf you will,
Trow you well, Thomas, you cheuyst ye warre;
For all my bewtie wilt you spill.
Down lyghtyd that lady bryzt,
Undir nethe the grene wode spray,
And as ye story sayth full ryzt,
Seuyn tymes by her he lay.
She seyd, man, you lyste thi play,
What berde in bouyr may dele with thee,
That maries me all this long day;
I pray ye, Thomas, let me be.
Thomas stode up in the stede,
And behelde the lady gay,
Her beyre hang downe about hyr bede.
The tone was black, the other gray,
Her eyn semyt onto before was gray,
Her gay clethyng was all away,
That be before had sene in that stede;
Her body as blo as ony bede.
Thomas sighede, and sayd, alias,
Me thynke this a dullfull syght,
That thou art fadyd in the face,
Before you shone as son so bryzt. .
Take thy lone, Thomas, at son and mono,
At gresse, and at euery tte,
This twelvmonth sall you with me gone,
Medyl erth you sall not se,
Alas, be seyd, ful we is me,
I trow my dedes will werke me care,
Jesu, my sole tak to ye,
Whedir so euyr my body sall fare.
She rode forth with all her myzt,
Undir nethe the dome lee,

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It was derke as at midnyzt,
And euyr in water unto the he;
Through the space ofdays thre,
He horde but swowyng of a Bode;
Thomas sayd. ful we is me,
Nowe I spyll for fawte of fode;
To a garden she lede him tyte,
There was fruyte in grete plente,
Peyres and appless ther were rype,
The date and the damese,
The figge and als fylbert tre;
The nyghtyngale bredying in her neste,
The paplgaye about gan ile,
The throstylcok sang wold hafe no rest.
He pressed to pulle fruyt with his hand
As man for faute that was faynt;
She seyd. Thomas, lat al stand,
Or els the deuyl wil the ataynt.
Sche said, Thomas, I the hyzt,
To lay thi hede upon my kne,
And thou shalt see fayrer sight,
Than euyr sawe man in their kiutre.
Sees thou, Thomas, you fair way,
That lyggs ouyr yone fayr playn Y
Yonder is the way to henyn for ay,
Whan synful sawles hat‘ derayed their payne.
Sees thou, Thomas, yone secund way,
That lyggos lawe undir the ryse?
Streight is the way. sothly to say,
To the joyes of Paradyce.
Sees thou, Thomas, yone thyrd way,
That lygges ouyr yone how 2
Wide is the way, sothly to say,
. To the brynyng lyres of hell.
Sees thou, Thomas, yone fayr castells,
That standes ouyr yone fayr hill ‘I
Of town and tower it beereth the belle,
In mlddell earth is non like theretill.
Whau thou comyst in you castell gaye
I pray thu curteis man to be; -
‘What so any man to you say,
Loke thu answennon but me. ,
My lord is served at yche messe,
With xxx kuiztes feir and fro;
I sall say syttyng on the dese,
I toke thy who beyonde the le.
Thomas st as still as stone,
And beheld that ladye guye;
Than was sche fayr and ryche anoue,
And also ryal on hir palfreye.

The grewhoundes had fylde them on thedere,

The ratches coupled, by my fay,

She blewe her horn Thomas to chere,
To the castle she went her way.

The lady into the hall went,

Thomas folowyd at her hand ;

Thar ltept hyrmony a_ lady gent,
With curtusy and lawe.

Harp and fedyl both he fande,

The getern and the sawtry, '

Lut and rybib ther gon gang,

Thair was al maner of mynstralsy.
The most fertly that Thomas thoght,
When be com emyddes the llore, "
Fourty hertes to quarry were broght,
That had been befor both long and store.
Lymors lay lappyng hlode,

And ltoltes standing with dressyng ltnife,
And dressyd dere as thai wer wode,
And rewell was thair wonder.
Kuyghtes dansyd by two and thre,
All that leue long day.

Ladyes that were grct of gre,

Sat and sang of rych aray.

Thomas sawe much more in that place, Than I can descryve,

Till on a day alas, alas,

My lovelye ladye sayd to me,

Bnslt ye, Thomas, you must agayn,
Here you may no longer be:

By then zerne that you were at hame,
l sal ye bryng to Eldyu Tre.

Thomas answerd with heuy cher,

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And sayd, lowely ladye, lat ma be,
For I say ye certenly here

Haf I be hot the space of duyes three.
Sothly, Thomas, as I telle ye,

You hath been here thre yeres,

And here you may no longer be;

And I sal tele ye a skele,

To-morrowe of helle ye foule fende Amang our folke shall chuse his fee; For you art a larg man and an hende, Trowe you wele he will chuse thee. Pore all the golde that may be,

Sal you not be betrayed for me,

And thairfor sal you hens wend.
She broght him euyn to Eldyn tre,
Under nethe the grene wode spray,
In Huntle banltes was fayr to be,
Ther hreddes syng both nyzt and day.
I-‘erre ouyr yon montayns gray,
There bathe my facon :

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[The elfin queen, after restoring Thomas to earth, pours forth a string of prophecies, in which we distinguish references to the events and personages of the Scottish wars of Edward Ill. The battles of Dupplin and Halidon are mentioned, and also Black Agnes, Countess of Dunbar. There is a copy of this poem in y the Museum in the Cathedral of Lincoln, another in the

collection of Peterborough, but unfortunately they are all in an imperfect state. Mr Jamieson, in his curious collection of Scottish Ballads and Songs, has an entire copy of this ancient poem, with all the collations. The lacuna: of the former edition have been supplied from i his copy.] _

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H The spot _is rendered classical by its having given name to the beautiful melody, called the Broom 0’ the

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lle liked the wealth of fair England so well,

That he sought in her bosom as native to dwell. lle entcr'd the Humbcr in fearful hour,

And dise|nbark’d with his Danish power.

'l‘hree earls came against him with all their train,-
Two hath he taken, and one hath he slain:
Count Witikind left the Hti.mber's rich strand,
And he wasted and warr'd in Northumberland.
But the Saxon king was a sire in age,

Weak in battle. in council sage;

Peace of that heathen leader he sought,

Gifts he gave, and quiet he bought;

And the count took upon him the peaceable style Of a vassal and liegeman of Britain's broad isle.


Time will rust the sharpest sword,
Time will consume the strongest cord;
That which moulders hemp and steel
l\lortal arm and nerve must feel.

Of the Danish band, whom Count \\'itikind led,
Many wax'd aged, and many were dead ;
llimself found his armour full weighty to bear,
\\'rinklcd his brows grew, and hoary his hair;
lle lean‘d on a staff, when his step went abroad,
And patient his palfrey, when steed he bestrode;
As he grew fccbler his wildness ceased,

lle made himself peace with prelate and priest, Made his peace, and, stooping his head, Patiently listed the counsel they said;

Saint Cuthbert's bishop was holy and grave,
Wise and good was the counsel he gave.


a Thou hast murder'd, robb'd, and spoil'd, Time it is thy poor soul were assoil'd;

Priest didst thou slay, and churches burn,

Time it is now to rt-pen lance to turn;

Fiends hast thou worsliipp'd, with fiendish rite, Leave now the darkness, and wcnd into light: O! while life and space are given, _

Turn thee yet, and think of Heaven!»

That stern old lieatlicn his head he raised,

And on the good prelate he steadfastly gazed ;

it Give the broad lands on the Wear and the Tyne, My faith I will leave and I’ll cleave unto thine.»

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Ireful wait'd old Witikind's look,

His faltering voice with fury shook ;—

u Hear me, Harold, of hardcn'd heart!

Stubborn and wilful ever thou wert.

Thine outrage insane I command thee to cease,
Fear my wrath and remain at peace :-

Just is the debt of repentance I 've paid,

Richly the church has a recompense made,

And the truth of her doctrines I prove with my blade-
But reckoning to none of my actions I owe,

And least to my son such accounting will show.
Why speak I to thee of repentance or truth,

Who ne'er from thy childhood knew reason or ruth'!
Hence! to the wolf and the bear in her den ;

These are thymates, and not rational men.»

XI. Grimly smiled Harold, and coldly replied, -1 We must honour our sires, if we fear when they chide.

For me, I am yet what thy lessons have made,

I was rock'd in a buckler and fed from a blade;

An infant, was taught to clap hands and to shout, From the roofs of the tower when the flame had broke


In the blood of slain foemcn my finger to dip,

And tinge with its purple my cheek and my lip.-—

"I‘ is thou know'st not truth, that has bar|er'd in eld, For a price, the brave faith that thine ancestors held. When this wolf»-and the carcass he flung on the


u Shall awake and give food to her nurslings again, The face of his father will Harold review;

Till then, aged heathen, young Christian, adieu!»


Priest, monk, and prelate stood aghast,

As through the pageant the heathen pass'd.

A cross-bearer out of his saddle he flung,

Laid his hand on the pommel and into it sprung; Loud was the shriek, and deep the groan,

When the holy sign on the earth was thrown !

The fierce old count nnsheathed his brand,

But the calmer prelato stay'd his hand;

a Let him pass free !-Heaven knows its hour,But he must own repentance's power,

Pray and weep, and penance bear,

Ere he hold land by the Tyne and the Wear.»-
Thus in scorn and in wrath from his father is gone
Young Harold the Dauntless, Count Witikind's son.


High was the feasting in Witikind's hall,

Revell'd priests, soldiers, and pagans, and all;

And e'en the good bishop was fain to endure

The scandal which time and instruction might cure: It were dangerous, he deem'd, at the first to restrain, . In his wine and his wassail, a half-christen'd Dane. The mead flow’d around, and the ale was drain’d dry, Wild was the laughter, the song, and the cry;

With Kyrie Eleison came clztmorously in

The war-songs of Danesmen, Norweyan, and Finn, Till man after man the contention gave o'er, Outstretclfd on the rushes that strew‘d the hall floor;

l And the tempest within, having ceased its wild rout, Gave place to the tempest that thunder’d without.

. XIV.

Apart from the wassail, in turret alone,

Lay flaxen-hair'd Gunnnr, old Ermengarde's son;

In the train of Lord Harold the page was the first,

For Harold in childhood had Ermengarde nursed;
And grieved was young Gunnar his master should


Unhoused and unfriendezl, an exile from home.

He heard the deep thunder, the plashing of rain,

Ile saw the red lightning through shot-hole and pane; it And oh hi said the page, a on the shelterless wold Lord Harold is wandering in darkness and cold!

What though he was stubborn, and wayward, and wild,
He endured me because I was Erme*ngarde's child,
And often from dawn till the set of the Sun,

In the chase, by his stirrup, unchidden I run:

I would I were older, and knighthood could hear,

I would soon quit the banks of the 'I'yne and the Wear,For my mother's command with her last parting

breath, Bade me follow her nursliug in life and to death.


a It pours and it thunders, it lightens amain,

As if halt, the Destroyer, had burst from his chain!
Accurscd by the church, and expell'zl by his sirc,
Nor Christian nor Dane give him shelter or fire,

And this tempest what mortal may houseless endure!
Unaided, unmautled, he dies on the moor!

Whate'er comes of Gunnar he tarries not here.»

lle leapt from his couch and he grasp'd to his spear, Sought the hall of the feast. Undisturb'd by his tread, The tvassuilers slept fast as the sleep of the dead :

a Ungrateful and bestial !» his anger broke forth,

,¢ To forget ‘mid your gohlcts the pride of the North! And you, ye cowl'd priests, \\ho have plenty in store, Must give Gunnar for ransom a palfrey and ore.»-—


Then heeding full little of ban or of curse,

He has seized on the Prior of .Iorvaulx's purse :

Saiut l\Ieneholt's abbot next morning has miss'd

His mantle, deep furr'd from the cape to the wrist:
The seneschal's keys from his belt he has ta'en

(Well drench'd on that eve was old llildebrand's brain).
To the stable-yard he made his way, *

And mounted the bishop's palfrey gay,

Castle and hamlet behind him has cast,

And right on his way to the moorland has pass'd.
Sore snorted the palfrey, unused to face

A weather so wild at so rash a pace;

So long he snorted, so loud he neigh'd,

There auswer'd a steed that was bound beside,

And the red flash of lightning show'd there where lay Ilis master, Lord Harold, outstretclfd on the clay.

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