Anonymous Olde English

Lord Thomas And Fair Annet - Poem by Anonymous Olde English

Lord Thomas and fair Annet
Sat all day on a hill
When night was come and sun was set
They had not talked their fill.

Lord Thomas said a word in haste
And Annet took it ill;
I winna wed a dowerless maid
Against my parents' will

You're come of the rich, Thomas,
And I'm come of the poor
I'm o'er low to be your bride
And I winna be your whore

O fair Annet, O fair Annet
This night you've said me no
But long or ever this day month
I'll make your heart right woe

Come riddle my riddle dear mother, he said
Come riddle it all in one
Whether I will take fair Annet
Or bring the brown girl home

The nut-brown maid has gold and gear
Fair Annet she has none
And the little beauty fair Annet has
O it will soon be gone

Sheep will die in cots, mother
And oxen die in byre
And what's this world's wealth to me
An I get not my heart's desire

Where will I get a pretty little boy
That'll run my errands soon
That will run to fair Annet's bower
And bid her to my wedding

She mauna put on the black, the black
Nor yet the dowie brown
But the scarlet so red, and the kerchief so white
And her bonny locks hanging down

She has called her maries to her bower
To lay gold in her hair
Where'er you put a plait before
See you lay ten times more

When Annet was in her saddle set
She flamed against the fire
The girdle around her middle small
Was worth an earl's hire

The horse fair Annet rode upon
He bounded like the wind
With silver he was shod before
With burning gold behind

And when she came into the kirk
She shimmered like the sun
The belt that was about her waist
Was all with pearls bedone

Is this your bride, Lord Thomas ? she said
I think she's wondrous brown
You might have had as fair a bride
As e'er the sun shined on

Despise her not fair Annet, he said
Despise her not now unto me
For better I love thy little finger
Than all her whole body

Then out and spoke the nut-brown bride
And she spoke out of spite
O where got you that rose-water
That washed your face so white ?

O I did get the rose-water
Where you will ne'er get none
For I did get that rose-water
Into my mother's womb

The bride she drew a long bodkin
From out her gay headgear
And struck fair Annet to the heart
A deep wound and a sair

O art thou blind Lord Thomas, she said
Or do you not well see
O do you not see my own heart's blood
Run trinkling down my knee ?

He drew his dagger that was so sharp
That was so sharp and meet
And drove it into the nut-brown bride
That fell dead at his feet

O dig my grave, Lord Thomas he said
Dig it both wide and deep
And lay fair Annet by my side
And the brown girl at my feet

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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