Henry's Songbook

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True Thomas

  • (Trad - Child 37A)

    True Thomas lay on Huntly Bank
    A ferlie he spied wi' his ee
    An' then he spied a lady bright
    Come ridin' doun by the eildon tree

    Her shirt was o' the grass green silk
    Her mantle o' the velvet fine
    At ilka tet o' her horse's mane
    Hung fifty siller bells and nine

    True Thomas he pu'd aff his cap
    And louted low doun tae his knee
    All Hail, thou mighty Queen of Heaven
    Thy peer on Earth I never did see

    O no, o no, Thomas, she said
    That name does not belong to me
    I am but the Queen of fair Elfland
    Hither come to visit thee

    Harp an' carp, Thomas, she said
    Harp an' carp along with me
    And if you dare to kiss my lips
    Sure of your body I will be

    Betide me weel, betide me woe
    That wierd sall never daunton me
    Syne he has kissed her ruby lips
    All underneath the eildon tree

    Now ye maun go wi' me, she said
    True Thomas, ye maun go wi' me
    An' ye maun serve me seiven years
    Thro' weel or woe, as chance may be

    She's mounted on her milk white steed
    An' ta'en True Thomas up behind
    Oh whenever her bridle rang
    The steed flew swifter than the wind

    But Thomas, ye maun haud yer tongue
    Whatever ye may hear or see
    If word ye speak in Elfinland
    Ye'll never get back tae yer ain countrie

    Syne they came tae a garden green
    She's pu'd an apple frae a tree
    Take this for wages, True Thomas
    Ye'll have the tongue that never can lee

    They rade on an' further on
    The steed flew swifter than the wind
    Till they reached a desert wide
    An' livin' land was left behind

    Licht doun, licht doun, Thomas, she said
    An' lean yer head upon my knee
    Abide and rest a little space
    And I will show you ferlies three

    See ye not yon narrow road
    So thick beset wi' thorns and briars
    That is the path of righteousness
    Tho' after it but few enquires

    An' see ye not yon braid, braid road
    That lies across the lily Leven
    That is the path of wickedness
    Some call it the road tae Heaven

    An' see ye not yon bonnie road
    That winds aboot the fernie brae
    That is the road tae fair Elfland
    Where thou and I this night maun gae

    (as sung by Clan Alba)

    ferlie - magical sight, wonder;
    ilka tet - every strand;
    louted - genuflected;
    wierd - fate; daunton - deter;
    syne - then;
    licht doun - dismount

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aktualisiert am 03.05.2002