Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
Lord Thomas and Fair Annet
LORD THOMAS 1 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,        5
  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:’        10
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,        15
  And let Faire Annet bee?’
‘The nut-browne bride haes gowd and gear,
  Fair Annet she has gat nane;
And the little beauty Fair Annet haes
  O it wull soon be gane.’        20
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,        25
  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, billie,
  And her kye into the byre;        30
And I sall hae nothing to mysell
  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,        35
  And set Fair Annet free?’
‘I’se rede ye tak Fair Annet, Thomas,
  And let the browne bride alane;
Lest ye sould sigh, and say, Alace,
  What is this we brought hame!’        40
‘No, I will tak my mither’s 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 Annet’s father,        45
  Twa hours or it wer day,
And he is gane unto the bower
  Wherein Fair Annet lay.
‘Rise up, rise up, Fair Annet,’ he says,
  ‘Put on your silken sheene;        50
Let us gae to St. Marie’s Kirke,
  And see that rich weddeen.’
‘My maides, gae to my dressing-roome,
  And dress to me my hair;
Whaireir yee laid a plait before,        55
  See yee lay ten times mair.
‘My maides, gae to my dressing-roome,
  And dress to me my smock;
The one half is o’ the holland fine,
  The other o’ needle-work.’        60
The horse Fair Annet rade upon,
  He amblit like the wind;
Wi’ siller he was shod before,
  Wi’ burning gowd behind.
Four and twanty siller bells        65
  Wer a’ tyed till his mane,
And yae tift o’ the norland wind,
  They tinkled ane by ane.
Four and twanty gay gude knichts
  Rade by Fair Annet’s side,        70
And four and twanty fair ladies,
  As gin she had bin a bride.
And whan she cam to Marie’s Kirk,
  She sat on Marie’s stean:
The cleading that Fair Annet had on        75
  It skinkled in their een.
And whan she cam into the kirk,
  She shimmered like the sun;
The belt that was about her waist
  Was a’ wi’ pearles bedone.        80
She sat her by the nut-browne bride,
  And her een they wer sae clear,
Lord Thomas he clean forgat the bride,
  When Fair Annet drew near.
He had a rose into his hand,        85
  He gae it kisses three,
And reaching by the nut-browne bride,
  Laid it on Fair Annet’s knee.
Up then spak the nut-browne bride,
  She spak wi’ meikle spite:        90
‘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        95
  Into my mither’s wame.’
The bride she drew a long bodkin
  Frae out her gay head-gear,
And strake Fair Annet unto the heart,
  That word spak nevir mair.        100
Lord Thomas he saw Fair Annet wex pale,
  And marvelit what mote bee;
But whan he saw her dear heart’s blude,
  A’ wood-wroth wexed hee.
He drew his dagger that was sae sharp,        105
  That was sae sharp and meet,
And drave it 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;        110
Then strake the dagger until his heart,
  And fell deid by her side.
Lord Thomas was buried without kirk-wa,
  Fair Annet within the quiere,
And o’ the ane thair grew a birk,        115
  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.        120
Note 1. First printed as a broad-sheet during the reign of Charles I. It was published by Percy in the Reliques, 1765, “with some corrections.” The story with differences in details is popular in Norse ballads. [back]

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