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"And see not ye that braid, braid road, That lies across that lily leven?—— That is the path of wickedness,
Though some call it the road to heaven. "And see not ye that bonny road,
That winds about the fernie brae?-
Where thou and I this night maun gae.
Ye'll ne'er get back to your ain countrie."
O they rade on, and farther on,
And they waded through rivers aboon the knee, And they saw neither sun nor moon,
But they heard the roaring of the sea.
nirk, mirk night, and there was nae starn light,
And they waded through red blude to the knee, For a' the blude, that's shed on earth,
Rins through the springs o' that countrie.
Syne they came on to a garden green,
It will give thee 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,
He has gotten a coat of the even cloth,
True Thomas on earth was never seen.
ALTERED FROM ANCIENT PROPHECIES.
[Corspatrick (Comes Patrick), earl of March, but more commonly taking his title from his castle of Dunbar, acted a noted part during the wars of Edward I in Scotland. As Thomas of Erceldoune is said to have delivered to him his fam us prophecy of king Alex ander's death, the author has chosen to introduce him into the following ballad. All the prophetic verses are selected from Hart's publication of the Rhymer's predictions printed at Edinburgh A.D. 1615.]
WHEN seven years were come and gane,
The sun blink'd fair on pool and stream; And Thomas lay on Huntlie bank,
Like one awaken'd from a dream.
He heard the trampling of a steed,
He saw the flash of armour flee,
Come riding down by the Eildon Tree,
Says "Well met, well met, true Thomas!
"Light down, light down, Corspatrick brave,
From Rosse's Hills to Solway sea," "Ye lied, ye lied, ye warlock hoar!
For the sun shines sweet on fauld and lea." He put his hand on the earlie's head;
He shew'd him a rock, beside the sea, Where a king lay stiff, beneath his steed,* And steel-dight nobies wip'd their e'e.
King Alexander; killed by a fall from his horse, near King horn,
"The neist curse lights on Branxton Hills:
And chieftains throng wi' meikle pride.
Shall make him wink and warre to see.
And give yon southern folk a fray! Why should I lose the right is mine?
My doom is not to die this day.'* "Yet turn ye to the eastern hand,
And woe and wonder ye sall see; How forty thousand spearmen stand,
Where yon rank river meets the sea. "There shall the lion lose the gylte,
And the libbards bear it clean away; At Pinkyn Cleuch there shall be spilt
Much gentil blude that day." "Enough, enough, of curse and ban;
Some blessing shew thou now to me, Or, by the faith o' my bodie," Corspatrick said, "Ye shall rue the day ye e'er saw me!" "The first of blessings I shall thee shew, Is by a burn, that's called of bread;+ Where Saxon men shall tine the bow,
And find their arrows lack the head.
"Beside that brigg, out-ower that burn,
And knights shall die in battle keen.
The uncertainty which long prevailed in Scotland concerning the fate of James IV, is well known.
+ One of Thomas's rhymes, preserved by tradition, runs thus:
"The burn of br. id
Shall run fow reid."
Bannock-burn is the brook here meant. The Scots give the nam of bannock, to a thick round cake of unleavened bread.
"Beside a headless cross of stone,
The libbards there shall lose the gree: The raven shall come, the erne shall go,
And drink the Saxon blood sae free. The cross of stone they shall not know, So thick the corses there shall be."
"But tell me now," said brave Dunbar, "True Thomas, tell now unto me, What man shall rule the isle Britain,
Ev'n from the north to the southern sea ?"
"A French queen shall bear the son,
Shall rule all Britain to the sea: He of the Bruce's blude shall come,
As near as in the ninth degree. "The waters worship shall his race;
Likewise the waves of the farthest sea; For they shall ride ower ocean wide, With hempen bridles, and horse of tree."
WHEN seven years more had come and gone,
Then all by bonny Coldingknow,
Pitch'd palliouns took their room, And crested helms, and spears a rowe, Glanc'd gaily through the broom. The Leader, rolling to the Tweed, Resounds the ensenzie ;*
They rous'd the deer from Caddenhead,
The feast was spread in Ercildoune,
• Ensensie.-War-ery, or gathering word.
And there were knights of great renown,
Nor lack'd they, while they sat at dine,
Nor goblets of the blood-red wine,
True Thomas rose, with harp in hand,
Hush'd were the throng, both limb and tongue,
And armed lords lean'd on their swords,
And hearken'd to the tale.
In numbers high, the witching tale
Those numbers to prolong.
Float down the tide of years,
He sung King Arthur's table round:
But chief, in gentle Tristrem's praise,
For Marke, his cowardly uncle's right,
When fierce Morholde he slew in fight,
No art the poison might withstand;
Quaighs. Wooden cups, composed of staves hooped together. Alluding to Thomas the Rhymer's celebrated romance of Sis