Percy's Reliques - Lord Thomas and Fair Annet

Lord Thomas and Fair Annet

A SCOTTISH BALLAD

††††††††††† This piece seems to be composed (not without improvements) out of two ancient English ones, printed in the former part of this work. See book vii. ballad xv. and book viii. ballad iv. If this had been the original, the authors of those two ballads would hardly have adopted two such different stories: besides, this contains enlargements not to be found in either of the others. It is given, with some corrections, from a MS. copy transmitted from Scotland.

LORD THOMAS and fair Annet
Sate a' day on a hill;
Whan night was cum, and sun was sett,
They had not talkt their fill.

Lord Thomas said a word in jest,
Fair Annet took it ill:
"A'! I will nevir wed a wife
Against my ain friends will."

"Gif ye wull nevir wed a wife,
A wife wull neir wed yee."
Sae he is hame to tell his mither,
And knelt upon his knee::

"O rede, O rede, mither," he says,
"A gude rede gie to mee:
O sall I tak the nut-browne bride,
And let fair Annet bee?

"The nut-browne bride haes gowd and gear,
Fair Annet she has gat nane;
And the little beauty fair Annet has,
O it wull soon be gane!"

And he has till his brother gane
"Now, brother, rede ye mee;
A' sall I marrie the nut-browne bride,
And let fair Annet bee?

"The nut-browne bride has oxen, brother,
The nut-browne bride has kye;
I wad hae ye marrie the nut-browne bride,
And cast fair Annet bye."

"Her oxen may dye i' the house, Billže,
And her kye into the byre;
And I sall hae nothing to my-sell,
Bot a fat fadge by the fyre."

And he has till his sister gane:
"Now, sister, rede ye mee;
O sall I marrie the nut-browne bride,
And set fair Annet free?"

"Ise rede ye take fair Annet, Thomas,
And let the browne bride alane;
Lest ye sould sigh and say, Alace!
What is this we brought hame?"

"No, I will tak my mithers counsel,
And marrie me owt o' hand;
And I will tak the nut-browne bride;
Fair Annet may leive the land."

Up then rose fair Annets father
Twa hours or it wer day,
And he is gane into the bower,
Wherein fair Annet lay.

"Rise up, rise up," fair Annet, he says,
"Put on your silken sheene;
"Let us gae to St. Maries kirk;
And see that rich weddeen."

"My maides, gae to my dressing-roome,
And dress to me my hair;
Whair-eir yee laid a plait before,
See yee lay ten times mair.

"My maids, gae to my dressing-room,
And dress to me my smock;
The one half is o' the Holland fine,
The other o' needle-work."

The horse fair Annet rade upon,
He amblit like the wind,
Wi' siller he was shod before,
Wi' burning gowd behind.

Four-and-twenty siller bells
Wer a' ty'd till his mane,
And yae tift o' the norland wind,
They tinkled ane by ane.

Four-and-twenty gay gude knichts
Rade by fair Annets side,
And four-and-twenty fair ladies,
As gin she had bin a bride.

And whan she cam to Maries kirk,
She sat on Maries stean:
The cleading that fair Annet had on
It skinkled in their een.

And whan she cam into the kirk,
She shimmer'd like the sun;
The belt that was about her waist,
Was a' wi' pearles bedone.

She sat her by the nut-browne bride,
And her een they wer sae clear,
Lord Thomas he clean forgat the bride,
Whan fair Annet she drew near.

He had a rose into his hand,
And he gave it kisses three,
And reaching by the nut-browne bride,
Laid it on fair Annets knee.

Up then spak the nut-browne bride,
She spak wi' meikle spite;
"And whair gat ye that rose-water,
That does mak yee sae white?"

"O I did get the rose-water
Whair ye wull neir get nane,
For I did get that very rose-water
Into my mithers wame."

The bride she drew a long bodkin,
Frae out her gay head-gear,
And strak fair Annet unto the heart,
That word she nevir spak mair.

Lord Thomas he saw fair Annet wax pale,
And marvelit what mote bee:
But whan he saw her dear hearts blude
A' wood-wroth waxed hee.

He drew his dagger, that was sae sharp,
That was sae sharp and meet,
And drave into the nut-browne bride,
That fell deid at his feit.

"Now stay for me, dear Annet," he sed,
"Now stay, my dear, he cry'd;"
Then strake the dagger untill his heart,
And fell deid by her side.

Lord Thomas was buried without kirk-wa',
Fair Annet within the quiere;
And o' the tane thair grew a birk,
The other a bonny briere.

And ay they grew, and ay they threw,
As they wad faine be neare;
And by this ye may ken right weil,
They were twa luvers deare.

 

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