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112 THOMAS THE EUTMEE.
Tt was mirk mirk night, and there was nae stern 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, es
And she pu'd an apple frae a tree— " Take this for thy wages, true Thomas ;
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 ! to
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, n
" For as I say, so must it be."—
70. The traditional commentary upon this ballad informs us, that the apple was the produce of the fatal Tree of Knowledge, and that the garden was the terrestrial paradise. The repugnance of Thomas to be debarred the use of falsehood, when he might find it convenient, has a comic effect.