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Lord Thomas and Annet

No: 73; variant: 73D

  1. LORD THOMAS he was a bold forrester, And a chaser of the king’s deer; Fair Ellinor was a fair woman, And Lord Thomas he loved her dear.
  2. ‘Come riddle my riddle, dear mother,’ he said, ‘And riddle us both as one, Whether I shall marry Fair Ellinor, And let the brown girl alone.’
  3. ‘The brown girl she has got houses and lands, And Fair Ellinor she has got none; Therefore I charge you on my blessing To bring me the brown girl home.’
  4. And as it befell on a high holidaye, As many did more beside, Lord Thomas he went to Fair Ellinor, That should have been his bride.
  5. But when he came to Fair Ellinor’s bower, He knocked there at the ring; But who was so ready as Fair Ellinor For to let Lord Thomas in.
  6. ‘What news, what news, Lord Thomas,’ she said, ‘What news hast thou brought unto me?’ ‘I am come to bid thee to my wedding, And that is bad news to thee.’
  7. ‘Oh God forbid, Lord Thomas,’ she said, ‘That such a thing should be done; I thought to have been thy bride my own self, And you to have been the brid’s-groom.
  8. ‘Come riddle my riddle, dear mother,’ she sayd, ‘And riddle it all in one; Whether I shall go to Lord Thomas’s wedding, Or whether I shall tarry at home.’
  9. ‘There’s many that are your friends, daughter, And many that are your fo; Therefore I charge you on my blessing, To Lord Thomas’s wedding don’t go.’
  10. ‘There’s many that are my friends, mother, If a thousand more were my foe, Betide my life, betide my death, To Lord Thomas’s wedding I’le go.’
  11. She cloathed herself in gallant attyre, And her merry men all in green, And as they rid thorough everye towne, They took her to have been a queene.
  12. But when she came to Lord Thomas’s gate, She knocked there at the ring; But who was so ready as Lord Thomas To lett Fair Ellinor in.
  13. ‘Is this your bride?’ Fair Ellin she sayd, ‘Methinks she looks wondrous browne; Thou mightest have had as fair a woman As ever trod on the ground.’
  14. ‘Despise her not, Fair Ellin,’ he sayd, ‘Despise her not now unto mee; For better I love thy little finger Than all her whole body.’
  15. This browne bride had a little penknife, That was both long and sharp, And betwixt the short ribs and the long Prickd Fair Ellinor to the heart.
  16. ‘Oh Christ now save thee,’ Lord Thomas he said, ‘Methinks thou lookst wondrous wan; Thou wast usd for to look with as fresh a colour As ever the sun shin’d on.’
  17. ‘Oh art thou blind, Lord Thomas?’ she sayd, ‘Or canst thou not very well see? Oh dost thou not see my own heart’s blood Runs trickling down my knee?’
  18. Lord Thomas he had a sword by his side, As he walked about the hall; He cut off his bride’s head from her shoulders, And he threw it against the wall.
  19. He set the hilte against the ground, And the point against his heart; There was never three lovers that ever met More sooner they did depart.