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Lyr Req: True Thomas (14th century version)

DigiTrad:
THOMAS THE RHYMER
TRUE THOMAS
TRUE THOMAS (2)


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GUEST,CapriUni@aol.com 15 Aug 01 - 12:52 PM
Sorcha 15 Aug 01 - 01:00 PM
MMario 15 Aug 01 - 01:02 PM
Sorcha 15 Aug 01 - 01:05 PM
Jeri 15 Aug 01 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,CapriUni 15 Aug 01 - 02:18 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Aug 01 - 03:12 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 15 Aug 01 - 03:53 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Aug 01 - 08:21 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 15 Aug 01 - 09:04 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Jan 02 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,HRMitchell 10 Sep 11 - 08:19 PM
Jim Dixon 13 Sep 11 - 02:51 PM
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Subject: 14th C. version of 'True Thomas' ?
From: GUEST,CapriUni@aol.com
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 12:52 PM

Hello!

I am currently researching stories and songs about storytellers themselves, to examine what they say about the roles storytelling plays in human societies. As part of this research, I'm collecting various versions of Child Ballad #37 ("True Thomas" or "Thomas the Rhymer"), which tells the story of Thomas of Erceldoun of Scotland, who went into the service of the Queen of Elfland as a prophet.

I found one version on the "Digital Tradition Mirror" site by Danny Carnahan, with this footnote at the bottom:

[Written by Danny Carnahan after a Child ballad. " Based on the 13th century legend of Thomas Rymer of Erceldoun. Thomas was said to have visited the land of Faery and returned with the gift of prophecy and tongue that could not lie. Most recent versions of the ballad leave off at the point where Thomas is taken to the other world, but one 14th century version recounts what happened aft on this older story."]

I'd like to use this longer version, because it goes into more detail about what the realm of Faery was ;-) like, but I'd rather use the original version, and not the rewrite by Mr. Carnahan, for copyright reasons.

I've done a web search, and I *did* find the original version once, but when I've gone back to look for it, I can't find the page (yes, I was being lazy, and didn't bookmark it :::Sigh:::). The odd thing is, it doesn't even show up in my computer's "history" folders -- but I *know* I saw it. I even remember the background color and font. I've found many *references* to the longer version in essays *about* the song, and in prose retellings, but not the lyrics themselves.

It is, to say the least, "Argh!"-ish.

Can anyone here help?

Thank you, Ann


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long, 14th C. version of 'True Thoma
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 01:00 PM

I don't know if it will help, but here(click) is the one in the DT. I thought you might have seen it at the Contemplator site, but the lyrics aren't there.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TRUE THOMAS (from Child)
From: MMario
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 01:02 PM

Three Versions from Child:

Child 37A
TRUE 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 horses 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.

O no, O no, True Thomas, she says,
That name does not belong to me;
I am but the queen of fair Elfland,
And Im come here for to visit thee.

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,
Well rest a while, and ye may dine.

When he had eaten and drunk his fill,
Lay down your head upon my knee,
The lady sayd, e:re we climb yon hill,
And I will show you fairlies three.

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 Elfland,
Whe
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.


Child 37B
As Thomas lay on Huntlie banks--
A wat a weel bred man was he--
And there he spied a lady fair,
Coming riding down by the Eildon tree.

The horse she rode on was dapple gray,
And in her hand she held bells nine;
I thought I heard this fair lady say
These fair siller bells they should a be mine.

Its Thomas even forward went,
And lootit low down on his knee:
Weel met thee save, my lady fair,
For thourt the flower o this countrie.

O no, O no, Thomas, she says,
O no, O no, that can never be,
For Im but a lady of an unco land,
Comd out a hunting, as ye may see.

O harp and carp, Thomas, she says,
O harp and carp, and go wi me;
Its be seven years, Thomas, and a day,
Or you see man or woman in your ain countrie.

Its she has rode, and Thomas ran,
Until they cam to yon water clear;
Hes coosten off his hose and shon,
And hes wooden the water up to the knee.

Its she has rode, and Thomas ran,
Until they cam to yon garden green;
Hes put up his hand for to pull down ane,
For the lack o food he was like to tyne.

Hold your hand, Thomas, she says,
Hold your hand, that must not be;
It was a that cursed fruit o thine
Beggared man and woman in your countrie.

But I have a loaf and a soup o wine,
And ye shall go and dine wi me;
And lay yer head down in my lap,
And I will tell ye farlies three.

Its dont ye see yon broad broad way,
That leadeth down by yon skerry fell?
Its ills the man that dothe thereon gang,
For it leadeth him straight to the gates o hell.

Its dont ye see yon narrow way,
That leadeth down by yon lillie lea?
Its weels the man that doth therein gang,
For it leads him straight to the heaven hie.

Its when she cam into the hall--
I wat a weel bred man was he--
Theyve asked him question But he answered none but that fair ladie.

O they speerd at her where she did him get,
And she told them at the Eildon tree;
. . . . . .
. . . . .


Child 37C
TRUE Thomas lay on Huntlie bank,
A ferlie he spied wi his ee,
And there he saw a lady 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 horses mane
Hang fifty siller bells and nine.

True Thomas, he pulld 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.

O no, O 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.

Now, ye maun go wi me, she said,
True Thomas, ye maun go wi me,
And ye maun serve me seven years,
Thro weal or woe, as may chance to be.

She mounted on her milk-white steed,
Shes taen True Thomas up behind,
And aye wheneer her bridle rung,
The steed flew swifter than the wind.

O they rade on, and farther on--
The steed gaed swifter than the wind--
Untill they reached a desart 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 shew you ferlies three.

O see ye not yon narrow road,
So thick beset with 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 that lily leven?
That is the path of wickedness,
Tho some call it the road to heaven.

And see not ye that bonny road,
That winds about the fernie brae?
That is the road to fair Elfland,
Where thou and I this night maun gae.

But, Thomas, ye maun hold your tongue,
Whatever ye may hear or see,
For, if you speak word in Elflyn land,
Yell neer get back to your ain countrie.

O they rade on, and farther on,
And they waded thro 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 thro red blude to the knee;
For a the blude thats shed on earth
Rins thro the springs o that countrie.

Syne they came on to a garden green,
And she pud an apple frae a tree:
Take this for thy wages, True Thomas,
It will give the tongue that can never lie.

My tongue is mine ain, True Thomas said;
A gudely gift ye wad gie to me!
I neither dought to buy nor sell,
At fair or tryst where I may be.

I dought neither speak to prince or peer,
Nor ask of grace from fair ladye:
Now hold thy peace, the lady said,
For as I say, so must it be.

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.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long, 14th C. version of 'True Thoma
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 01:05 PM

Looks like there might be a lot of information here--Tam Lin. Go to Google and type "child ballad #37" in the search box. Lots of stuff comes up.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long, 14th C. version of 'True Thoma
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 01:14 PM

There are three version's in the DT, incuding Carnahan's.
This one seems closer to his.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long, 14th C. version of 'True Thoma
From: GUEST,CapriUni
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 02:18 PM

Thanks, guys, for replying to my request:

Sorcha -- actually, it was the three versions of "True Thomas" in DT that started my search (all three versions there, though, end before he actually gets to Elfland. ... I then went to Google and typed out Child #37, and did find a *lot* of information, including (I think) the original long version, but try as I might to reproduce the search I can't find it again.

MMario -- Yes, it looks like version "b" is the one I'm seeking, maybe I'll type "Child #37b" into Google, and see what comes up.

Jeri -- Yes, that version is much like Carnahan's... unfortunatlely, I have no tune for it, and the meter of the lyrics doesn't match the tune I *do* have...

Thank you all, again!

Ann


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long, 14th C. version of 'True Thoma
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 03:12 PM

The 15th (not 14th) century text presumably referred to (Thomas Off Ersseldoune) is given by Child in his appendix to Thomas Rhymer, reproduced from Dr. J. A. H. Murray's "Early English Text Society" edition of the five variant copies.  It runs to 66 stanzas; Child does not reprint the long list of prophesies appended, as they were irrelevant to his purposes.  There is no evidence that the earlier poem was ever sung, of course, and we can't know for sure that it was ancestor to the traditional ballad.  A text is available online:  Thomas of Erceldoune;  Unfortunately, no proper information is given as to source, and the suggested dates may be some fifty years too early; it appears to be substantially the same as Child's preferred text, however, and might do at a pinch if you can't get his book through a public library.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long, 14th C. version of 'True Thoma
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 03:53 PM

THOMAS OFF ERSSELDOUNE

Thornton MS., leaf 149...


Als I me wente pis endres daye,
Ffull faste in mynd makand my mone,
In a mery mornynge of Maye,
By Huntle bankkes my self allone,

I herde pe jaye and pe throstelle'
The mawys menyde of hir songe,
pe wodewale beryde als a belle,
That alle pe wode a-bowte me ronge.

it is in the big books by Sir Francis Child... ttr


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long, 14th C. version of 'True Thoma
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 08:21 PM

Capital Thorn Þ is expressed thus in html:  Þ

Lower case thorn þ  thus:    þ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Long, 14th C. version of 'True Thoma
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 09:04 PM

Thus, and so: I thank you though...

I feel tiny.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THOMAS OF ERCELDOUNE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Jan 02 - 12:14 PM

Copied from Nemed Cuculatii/Library/Faerie Lore (The link given by Malcolm Douglas above.) ^^
THOMAS OF ERCELDOUNE

Als I me wente this endres daye
Full faste in mynd makand my mone
In a mery mornynge of Maye
By Huntley bankkes myselfe allone,

I herde the jaye and the throstyll cokke;
The mavys menyde hir of hir songe;
The wodewale beryde als a belle,
That alle the wode abowte me ronge.

Allone in longynge thus als I laye
Undyrenethe a semely tree,
Saw I whare a lady gaye
Cam rydyng over a lovely lee.

If I solde sytt to domesdaye,
With my tonge, to wrobbe and wrye,
Certanely that lady gaye,
Never bese scho askryede for mee.

Hir palfraye was a dappill graye;
Swylke one ne saughe I never none.
Als dose the sonne on someres daye,
That faire lady hirselfe scho schone.

Hir selle it was of roelle bone--
Full semely was that syghte to see--
Stefly sett with precyous stones
And compaste all with crapotee,
Stones or oryente, grete plentey.

Hir hare abowte hir hede it hange.
Scho rade over that lovely lee;
A whylle scho blewe, another scho sange.
Hir garthes of nobyll sylke thay were,

The bukylls were of berelle stone;
Hir steraps were of crystalle cleve
And all with perelle over-by-one.
Hir payetrelle was of yral fyne,

Hir cropoure was of orphare;
And als clere golde hir brydill it schone.
One aythir syde hange bellys three.

Scho led three grehoundis in a lesshe,
And sevene raches by hir thay rone.
Scho bare an horne abowte hir halse
And undir hir belte full many a flone.

Thomas laye and sawe that syghe
Undirnethe ane semly tree.
He sayd, "Yone es Marye, moste of myghte,
That bare that Childe that dyede for mee.

Bot if I speke with yone lady bryghte,
I hope myne herte will bryste in three!
Now sall I go with all my myghte,
Hir for to mete at Eldoune Tree."

Thomas rathely upe he rase,
And he rane over that mountayne hye.
Gyff it be als the storyee says,
He hir mette at Eldone Tree.

He knelyde downe appone his knee
Undirnethe that grenwode spraye
And sayd, "Lufly ladye! rewe one me,
Qwene of Hevene, als thou wele maye!"

Then spake that lady milde of thoghte:
"Thomas, late swylke wordes be.
Qwene of Hevene ne am I noghte,
For I tuke never so heghe degree,

Bote I ame of ane other countree.
If I be payrelde most of prysse,
I ryde aftyre this wylde fee;
My raches rnnys at my devyse."

"If thou be parelde moste of prysse,
And here rydis thus in thy folye,
Of lufe, lady, als thou erte wysse,
Thou gyffe me leve to lye thee bye."

Scho sayde, "Thou mane, that ware folye.
I praye thee, Thomas, thou late me bee;
For I saye thee full sekirye,
That synne will fordoo all my beauty."

"Now, lufly ladye, rewe on mee,
And I will ever more with thee dwelle--
Here my trouthe I will thee plyghte--
Whethir thou will in hevene or helle."

"Mane of Molde, thou will me marre,
Bot yitt thou sall hafe all thy will;
And trowe it wele, thou chevys the werre,
For alle my beauty will thou spylle."

Downe thane lyghte that lady bryghte
Undernethe that grenewode spraye;
And als the storye tellis full ryghte,
Sevene sythis by hir he laye.

Scho sayd, "Man, thee lykes thy playe.
Whate byrde in boure maye delle with thee?
Thou merrys me all this longe daye;
I praye thee, Thomas, late me bee!"

Thomas stode upe in that stede,
And he byhelde that lady gaye.
Hir hare it hange all over hir hede;
Hir eghne seme owte that are were graye;

And alle the riche clothynge was awaye
That he byfore sawe in that stede;
Hir a schanke blake, hir other graye,
And all hir body lyke the lede.

Thomas laye and sawe that syghe
Undirnethe that grenewod tree.
Then said Thomas, "Allas! Allas!
In faythe this es a dullfull syghte.
How arte thou fadyde thus in the face,
That schane byfore als the sonne so bryghte!"

Scho sayd, "Thomas, take leve at sonne and mone
And als at lefe that grewes on tree.
This twelmoneth sall thou with me gone,
And medill-erthe sall thou none see."

He knelyd downe appone his knee
Undirnethe that grenewod spraye
And sayd, "Lufly lady, rewe on mee,
Mylde qwene of Hevene, als thou beste maye.

Allas," he sayd, "and wa es mee!
I trowe my dedis wyll wirke me care;
My saullle, Jhesu, byteche I thee,
Whedir-some that ever my banes sall fare."

Scho ledde hym in at Eldone Hill
Undernithe a derne lee
Whare it was dirke als mydnyght myrke,
And ever the water till his knee.

The montenans of dayes three
He herd bot swoghynge of the flode.
At the laste, he sayde, "Full was es mee!
Almaste I dye, for fawte of fode."

Scho lede hym intill a faire herbere,
Whare frwte was growand gret plentee:
Pere and appill, bothe ryppe thay were,
The date, and als the damasee;

The fygge, and alsso the wyneberye;
The nyghtgales byggande on thair neste.
The papejoyes faste abowte gane flye,
And throstylles sange wolde hafe no rest.

He pressede to pulle frowyte with his hande,
Als mane for fude that was nere faynt.
Scho sayd, "Thomas, thou late thame stande,
Or elels the fende thee will atteynt.

If thou it plokk, sothely to saye,
Thi saule gose to the fyre of helle.
It commes never owte or domesdaye,
Bot ther in payne ay for to dwelle.

Thomas, sothely, I thee hyghte,
Come lygge thne hede downe on my knee,
And thou sall se the fayreste syghte
That ever sawe mane of thi contree."

He did in hye als scho hym badde.
Appone hir knee his hede he layde,
For hir to paye he was full glade.
And thane that lady to hym sayde:

"Seese thou nowe yone faire waye
That lygges over yone heghe mountayne?
Yone es the waye to hevene for aye,
Whene synfull sawles are passede ther payne.

"Seese thou yitt yone other waye,
That lygges lawe bynethe yone rysse?
Yone es the waye, the sothe to saye,
Unto the joye of paradyse.

"Seese tou yitt yone thirde waye
That ligges undir yone grene playne?
Yone es the waye, with tene and traye,
Where synfull saulis suffiris thaire payne.

"Bot seese thou nowe yone ferthe waye
That legges over yone depe delle?
Yone es the waye, so waylawaye,
Unto the birnande fyre of helle.

"Seese thou yitt yone faire castelle
That standis over yone heghe hill?
Of towne and towre, it beris the belle;
In erthe es none lyke it untill.

Forsothe, Thomas, yone es myne awenne,
And the kynges of this countree.
Bot me ware lever be hanged and drawene
Or that he wyste thou laye me by.

When thou commes to yone castelle gaye,
Ip pray thee curtase mane to bee.
And whate-so any many to thee saye,
Luke thou answere none bott me.

My lordes es sevrede at ylk a mese
With thritty knyghttis faire and free.
I sall saye, syttande at the desse,
I tuke thi speche byyone the see."

Thomas still als stane he stude,
And he byhelde that lady gaye.
Scho come agayne als faire and gude
And also ryche one hir palfraye,

Hir grewehoundis fillide with dere blode,
Hir raches couplede, by my faye.
Scho blewe hir horne with mayne and mode;
Unto the castelle scho tuke the waye.

Into the haulle sothely scho went.
Thomas folowed at hir hande.
Than ladyes come, both faire and gent,
With curassye to hir knelande.

Harpe and fethill both thay fande,
Gettern, and alsso the sawtry,
Lutte and rybyby both gangande,
And all manere of mynstralsye.

The most mervelle that Thomas thoghte
When that he stode appone the flore,
For feftty hertis in were broghte
That were bothe grete and store.

Raches laye lapande in the blode.
Cokes come with dryssynge knyfe;
Thay brittened thame als thay were wode.
Revelle amanges thame was full ryfe.

Knyghtis dawnsede by three and three.
There was revelle, gamene, and playe,
Lufly ladyes faire and fre
That satte and sange one riche araye.

Thomas dwellide in that solace
More than I yowe saye, parde,
Till one a daye, so hafe I grace,
My lufly lady sayde to mee:

"Do buske thee, Thomas. The buse agayne,
For thou may here no lengare be.
Hye thee faste with myghte and mayne.
I sall thee brynge till Eldone Tree."

Thomas sayde thane with hevy chere,
"Lufly lady, nowe late me bee,
For certis, lady, I hafe bene here
Noghte bot the space of dayes three!"

"Forsothe, Thomas, als I thee telle,
Thou hase bene here thre yere and more,
Bot langere here thou may noghte dwelle.
That skylle I sall thee telle wharefore.

Tomorne of helle the foulle fende
Amange this folke will feche his fee;
And thou arte mekill mane and hende;
I trowe full wele he wolde chese thee.

For alle the gold that ever may bee
Fro hethyne unto the worldis ende,
Thou bese never betrayede for mee.
Therefore with me I rede thou wende."

Scho broghte hym agayne to Eldone Tree
Undirnethe that grenewode spraye.
In Huntlee bannkes es mery to bee,
Wharte fowles synges bothe nyght and daye.

"Ferre owtt in yone mountane graye,
Thomas, my fawkone bygges a nest.
A fawconnes es an erlis praye;
For-thi in na place may he rest.

Fare wele, Thomas, I wend my waye,
For me byhoves over yon benttis browne."
Loo here a fytt. More es to say,
All of Thomas of Erselldowne.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Thomas (14th century version)
From: GUEST,HRMitchell
Date: 10 Sep 11 - 08:19 PM

Just for record keeping - the above mentioned link has been moved, and is now Thomas of Erceldoune at the Nemed Cuculatii website


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: True Thomas (14th century version)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 02:51 PM

The Romance and Prophecies of Thomas of Erceldoune, edited by James A. H. Murray (London: Early English Text Society, 1875) is viewable online.


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Mudcat time: 16 July 7:03 AM EDT

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