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10

THOMAS RYMER

TRU

*RUE Thomas lay oer yond grassy bank,

And he beheld a ladie gay,
A ladie that was brisk and bold,

Come riding oer the fernie brae.

Her skirt was of the grass-green silk,

Her mantel of the velvet fine,
At ilka tett of her horse's mane

Hung fifty silver bells and nine.

True Thomas he took off his hat,

And bowed him low down till his knee: “All hail, thou mighty Queen of Heaven! For

your peer on earth I never did see.

در

“O no, O no, True Thomas,” she says,

“That name does not belong to me; I am but the queen of fair Elland,

And I'm come here for 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.

Brae: hill
Carp: chant tales

Syne: then
Tett: lock

Weird: fat

“But ye maun go wi me now, Thomas,

True Thomas, ye maun go wi me, For ye maun serve me seven years,

Thro weel or wae as may chance to be.”

She turned about her milk-white steed,

And took True Thomas up behind,
And
aye

wheneer her bridle rang,
The steed flew swifter than the wind.

For forty days and forty nights

He wade thro red blude to the knee, And he saw neither sun nor moon,

But heard the roaring of the sea.

O they rade on, and further on,

Until they came to a garden green: “Light down, light down, ye ladie free,

Some of that fruit let me pull to thee.”

“O no, O no, True Thomas,” she says,

“That fruit maun not be touched by thee, For a' the plagues that are in hell

Light on the fruit of this countrie.

“But I have a loaf here in my lap,

Likewise a bottle of claret wine, And now ere we go farther on,

We'll rest awhile, and ye may dine.”

When he had eaten and drunk his fill,
"Lay down your head upon my knee,"

” The lady sayd, "ere we climb yon hill,

And I will show you fairlies three.

ies: wonders

“O see not ye yon narrow road,

So thick beset wi thorns and briers?
That is the path of righteousness,

Tho after it but few enquires.

"And see not ye that braid, braid road

That lies across yon lillie leven?
That is the path of wickedness,

Tho some call it the road to heaven.

“And see not ye that bonny road

Which winds about the fernie brae?
That is the road to fair Elland,
Where

you

and I this night maun gae.

“But, Thomas, ye maun hold your tongue,

Whatever you may hear or see,
For gin ae word you should chance to speak,

You will neer get back to your ain countrie.”

He has gotten a coat of the even cloth,

And a pair of shoes of velvet green,
And till seven years were past and gone
True Thomas on earth was never seen.

Old Ballad

Even: smooth

Leven: glade

Lillie: lovely I

LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI

O "

WHAT can ail thee, knight-at-arms,

Alone and palely loitering!
The sedge has withered from the lake,

And no birds sing.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms!

So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel's granary is full,

And the harvest's done.

I see a lily on thy brow

With anguish moist and fever dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose

Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,

Full beautiful-a faery's child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,

And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,

And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,

And made sweet moan.

I set her on my pacing steed,

And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing

A faery's song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,

And honey wild, and manna dew, And sure in language strange she said

“I love thee true.”

She took me to her elfin grot,

And there she wept, and sighed full sore, And there I shut her wild, wild eyes

With kisses four.

And there she lulled me asleep,

And there I dreamed-Ah! woe betide! The latest dream I ever dreamed

On the cold hill's side.

I saw pale kings and princes too, i

Pale warriors, death-pale were they all; They cried—“La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Hath thee in thrall!”

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,

With horrid warning gaped wide, And I awoke and found me here,

On the cold hill's side.

And this is why I sojourn here,

Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

John Keats

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