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TO THE READER. Why then a final note prolong, Or lengthen out a closing song; Unleșs to bid the gentles speed, Who long have listed to my rede ? To statesmen grave, if such may deign To read the minstrel's idle strain, Sound head, clean hand, and piercing wit, And patriotic heart-as Pitt! A garland for the hero's crest, And twined by her he loves the best. To every lovely lady bright, What can I wish but faithful knight? To every faithful lover too What can I wish but lady true? And knowledge to the studious sage ; And pillow to the head of age. To thee, dear schoolboy, whom my lay Has cheated of thy hour of play, Light task, and merry holiday! To all, to each, a fair good night, And pleasing dreams, and slumbers light!
THOMAS THE RHYMER.
Ancient. TRUE THOMAS lay on Huntlie bank;
A ferlie he spied wi' his ee; And there he saw a ladye bright,
Come riding down by the Eildon Tree. Her shirt was o'the grass-green silk,
Her mantle o' the velvet fyne; At ilka tett of her horse's mane,
Hung fifty siller bells and nine. True Thomas, he pulled aff his cap,
And louted low down to his knee, 'All hail, thou mighty Queen of Heaven!
For thy peer on earth I never did see.' Oh no, oh no, Thomas,' she said,
That name does not belang to me; I am but the Queen of fair Elfland,
That am hither come to visit thee. 'Harp and carp, Thomas,' she said;
Harp and carp along wi' me; And if ye dare to kiss my lips,
Sure of your bodie I will be.'
Betide me weal, betide me woe,
That weird shall never daunton me. Syne he has kissed her rosy lips,
All underneath the Eildon Tree.
She mounted on her milk-white steed;
She's ta'en true Thomas up behind : And aye, whene'er her bridle rung,
The steed flew swifter than the wind.
Oh, they rade on, and farther on;
The steed gaed swifter than the wind; Until they reached a desert wide,
And living land was left behind.
Light down, light down, now, true Thomas,
And lean your head upon my knee; Abide and rest a little space,
And I will show you ferlies there.
"Oh, see ye not yon narrow road,
So thick beset with thorns and briers ? That is the path of righteousness,
Though after it but few enquires.
"And see ye not that braid braid road,
That lies across that lily leven? That is the path of wickedness,
Though some call it the road to heaven.
* And see not ye that bonny road,
That winds about the fernie brae?
Oh, they rade on, and farther on,
And they waded through rivers aboon the knee, And they saw neither sun nor moon,
But they heard the roaring of the sea.
It was mirk mirk night, and there was nae stern light,
And they waded through red blude to the knee, For a' the blude that's shed on earth
Rins through the springs o' that countrie.
Syne they came on to a garden green.
And she pu'd an apple frae a tree'Take this for thy wages, true Thomas;
It will give thee the tongue that can never lee.'
He has gotten a coat of the even cloth,
And a pair of shoes of velvet green: And till seven years were gane and past,
True Thomas on earth was never seen.
The sun blinked fair on pool and stream: And Thomas lay on Huntlie Bank,
Like one awakened from a dream. He heard the trampling of a steed,
He saw the flash of armour flee, And he beheld a gallant knight
Come riding down by the Eildon Tree.
Of giant make he 'peared to be :
Wi' gilded spurs, of faushion free.
Some uncouth ferlies show to me.' Says-Christ thee save, Corspatrick brave!
Thrice welcome, good Dunbar, to me! Light down, light down, Corspatrick brave!
And I will show thee curses three, Shall gar fair Scotland greet and grane,
And change the green to the black livery. "A storm shall roar this very hour,
From Ross's hills to Solway sea.' "Ye lied, ye lied, ye warlock hoar,
For the sun shines sweet on fauld and lea.'