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LORD Thomas he was a bold forester,
And a chaser of the king's deer ; Fair Eleanor was a fine woman,
And Lord Thomas he lov'd her dear.
Come riddle my riddle, dear mother, (he said,)
· And riddle us both as one ; • Whether I shall marry with fair Eleanor,
* And let the brown girl alone ?'
· The brown girl she has got houses and lands,
Fair Eleanor she has got none; * Therefore I charge thee, on my blessing,
* To bring me the brown girl home.'
And as it befel on a high holiday,
As many did more beside,
That should have been his bride.
But when he came to fair Eleanor's bower,
Ile knocked there at the ring,
To let lord Thomas within.
"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 for thee.'
• O 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 bridegroom.'
• Come riddle my riddle, dear mother, (she said.)
And riddle it all in one ; Whether I shall go to lord Thomas's wedding, • Or whether I shall tarry at home »
Ther's many that are your friends, daughter,
And many that are your foe; * Thinsure I change rou, en my blessing,
• To lonThamas's wedding don't go,
that are my
friends, mother, " If a thousand more were my foe, * Betide my life, or betide my death,
• To lord Thomas's wedding I'll go.'
She clothed herself in gallant attire,
And her merry men all in green ; And as they rid through every town,
They took her to have been a queen.
But when she came to lord Thomas's gate,
She knocked there at the ring ;
To let fair Eleanor in.
• Is this your bride ? (fair Ellen she said,)
• Methinks she looks wonderous brown; * You might have had as fair a womàn,
• As ever trod on the ground.'
* Despise her not, fair Ellen, (he said,
Despise her not unto me; • For better I love thy little-finger,
« Than all her whole body.'
This brown bride had a little penknife,
That was both long and sharp,
She prick'd fair Eleanor to the heart.
• Oh! Christ now save thee; (lord Thomas, he said,
• Methinks thou look'st wonderous wan; • Thou wast us’d for to look with as fresh a colour,
• As ever the sun shin'd on.'
• Oh! art thou blind, lord Thomas ? (she said,)
• Or can’st thou not very well see? *Oh! dost thou not see my own heart's blood
* Runs trickling down my knee?'
Lord Thomas he had a sword by his side
; As he walk'd about the hall, He cut off his bride's head from her shoulders,
And he threw it against the wall.
He set the hilt against the ground,
And the point against his heart;
More sooner they did depart.
FAIR MARGARET AND SWEET WILLIAM.
As it fell out upon a day,
Two lovers they sat on a hill ;
And could not talk their fill.
• I see no harm by you, Margaret,
* And you see none by me; .
• A rich wedding you shall see.'
Fair Margaret sate in her bower-window,
A combing of her hair ; There she espied sweet William and his bride,
As they were a riding near.
Down she laid her ivory comb,
And up she bound her hair ;
But never more came there.
When day was gone, and night was come,
And all men fast asleep,
And stood at William's bed feet.
• God give you joy, you true lovèrs,
- In bride-bed fast asleep ; "Lo! I am going to my grass-green grave,
* And I am in my winding sheet.'
When day was come, and night was gone,
And all men wak'd from sleep, Sweet William to his lady said,
My dear, I've cause to weep :
I dream'd a dream, my dear lady,
Such dreams are never good; • I dream'd my bower was full of red swine, And
my bride-bed full of blood.'
• Such dreams, such dreams, my honour'd sir,
They never do prove good ; * To dream thy bower was full of swine,
* And thy bride-bed full of blood.'
He called his merry men all,
By one, by two, and by three, Saying, I'll away to fair Margaret's bower,
"By the leave of my lady.