The English And Scottish Popular Ballads

by FRANCIS JAMES CHILD.

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109A: Tom Potts


109A.1	all you lords of Scottland faire,
	And ladyes alsoe, bright of blee,
	There is a ladye amongst them all,
	Of her report you shall heare of me.
109A.2	Of her bewtye shee is soe bright,
	And of her colour soe bright of blee;
	Shee is daughter to the Lord Arrndell,
	His heyre apparrant for to bee.
109A.3	le see that bryde,' Lord Phenix sayes,
	'That is a ladye of hye degree,
	And iff I like her countenance well,
	The heyre of all my land shee'st bee
109A.4	To that ladye fayre Lord Phenix came,
	And to that like-some dame said hee,
	Now God thee saue, my ladye faire,
	The heyre of all my land tho'st bee.
109A.5	'Leaue of your suite,' the ladye sayd;
	'You are a lord of honor free;
	You may gett ladyes enowe att home,
	And I haue a lour in mine owne countrye.
109A.6	'I haue a louer true of mine owne,
	A servinge-man of a small degree;
	Thomas a Pott, itt is his name,
	He is the first loue that euer I had, and the last that hee shalbee.'
109A.7	'Giue Thomas a Pott then be his name,
	I wott I ken him soe readilye;
	I can spend forty pounds by weeke,
	And hee cannott spend pounds three.'
109A.8	d giue you good of your gold,' said the ladye,
	Hee was the first loue that euer I had,
	'And alsoe, sir, of your fee!
	Hee was the first lour that euer I had,
	And the last, sir, shall hee bee.'
109A.9	With that Lord Phenix was sore amoued;
	Vnto her father then went hee;
	Hee told her father how itt was proued,
	How that his daughter's mind was sett.
109A.10	'Thou art my daughter,' the Erle of Arrndell said,
	'They heyre of all my land to bee;
	Thou'st be bryde to the Lord Phenix,
	Daughter, giue thou'le be heyre to mee.'
109A.11	For lacke of her loue this ladye must lose,
	Her foolish wooing lay all aside;
	The day is appoynted, and freinds are agreede;
	Shee is forcte to be the Lord Phenix bryde.
109A.12	With that the lady began to muse-+-
	A greeued woman, God wott, was shee-+-
	How shee might Lord Phenix beguile,
	And scape vnmarryed from him that day.
109A.13	Shee called to her her litle foote-page,
	To Iacke her boy, soe tenderlye;
	Sayes, Come thou hither, thou litle foote-page,
	For indeed I dare trust none but thee.
109A.14	To Strawberry Castle, boy, thou must goe,
	To Thomas Pott there as hee can bee,
	And giue him here this letter faire,
	And on Guilford Greene bidd him meete me.
109A.15	Looke thou marke his contenance well,
	And his colour tell to mee;
	And hye thee fast, and come againe,
	And forty shillings I will giue thee.
109A.16	For if he blush in his face,
	Then in his hart hee'se sorry bee;
	Then lett my father say what hee will,
	For false to Potts I'le neuer bee.
109A.17	And giue hee smile then with his mouth,
	Then in his heart hee'le merry be;
	Then may hee gett him a loue where-euer he can,
	For small of his companye my part shalbe.
109A.18	Then one while that the boy hee went,
	Another while, God wott, rann hee,
	And when hee came to Strawberry Castle,
	There Thomas Potts hee see.
109A.19	Then he gaue him this letter faire,
	And when he began then for to reade,
	They boy had told him by word of mouth
	His loue must be the Lord Phenix bryde.
109A.20	With that, Thomas a Pott began to blushe,
	The teares trickeled in his eye:
	'Indeed this letter I cannot reede,
	Nor neuer a word to see or spye.
109A.21	'I pray thee, boy, to me thou'le be trew,
	And heer's fiue marke I will giue thee;
	And all these words thou must peruse,
	And tell thy lady this from mee.
109A.22	'Tell her by faith and troth shee is mine owne,
	By some part of promise, and soe itt's be found;
	Lord Phenix shall neuer marry her, by night nor day,
	And bidd that ladye for mee pray;
	Without he can winn her with his hand.
109A.23	'On Gilford Greene I will her meete,
	And bidd that ladye for mee pray;
	For there I'le loose my liffe soe sweete,
	Or else the wedding I will stay.'
109A.24	Then backe againe the boy he went,
	As fast againe as he cold hye;
	The ladye mett him fiue mile on the way:
	'Why hast hou stayd soe long?' saies shee.
109A.25	'Boy,' said the ladye, 'Thou art but younge;
	To please my mind thou'le mocke and scorne;
	I will not beleeue thee on word of mouth,
	Vnlesse on this booke thou wilt be sworne.'
109A.26	'Marry, by this booke,' the boy can say,
	'As Christ himselfe be true to mee,
	Thomas Pott cold not his letter reade
	For teares trickling in his eye.'
109A.27	'If this be true,' the ladye sayd,
	'Thou bonny boy, thou tells to mee,
	Forty shillings I did thee promise,
	But heere's ten pounds I'le giue itt thee.
109A.28	'All my maids,' the lady sayd,
	'That this day doe waite on mee,
	Wee will fall downe vpon our knees,
	For Thomas Pott now pray will wee.
109A.29	'If his fortune be now for to winn-+-
	Wee will pray to Christ in Trinytye-+-
	I'le make him the flower of all his kinn,
	Ffor they Lord of Arrundale he shalbe.'
109A.30	Now lett vs leaue talking of this ladye faire,
	In her prayer good where shee can bee;
	And I'le tell you hou Thomas Pott
	For ayd to his lord and master came hee.
109A.31	And when hee came Lord Iockye before,
	He kneeled him low downe on his knee;
	Saies, Thou art welcome, Thomas Pott,
	Thou art allwayes full of thy curtesye.
109A.32	Has thou slaine any of thy fellowes,
	Or hast thou wrought me some villanye?
	'Sir, none of my fellowes I haue slaine,
	Nor I haue wrought you noe villanye.
109A.33	'But I haue a loue in Scottland faire,
	I doubt I must lose her through pouertye;
	If you will not beleeue me by word of mouth,
	Behold the letter shee writt vnto mee.'
109A.34	When Lord Iockye looked the letter vpon,
	The tender words in itt cold bee,
	'Thomas Pott, take thou no care,
	Thou'st neuer loose her throughe pouertye.
	'Thomas Pott, take thou no care,
	Thou'st neuer loose her throughe pouertye.
109A.35	'Thou shalt have forty pounds a weeke,
	In gold and siluer thou shalt rowe,
	And Harbye towne I will thee allowe
	As longe as thou dost meane to wooe.
109A.36	'Thou shalt haue fortye of thy fellowes faire,
	And forty horsse to goe with thee,
	And forty speares of the best I haue,
	And I my-selfe in thy companye.'
109A.37	'I thanke you, master,' sayd Thomas Pott,
	'Neither man nor boy shall goe with mee;
	I wold not for a thousand pounds
	Take one man in my companye.'
109A.38	'Why then, God be with thee, Thomas Pott!
	Thou art well knowen and proued for a man;
	Looke thou shedd no guiltlesse bloode,
	Nor neuer confound no gentlman.
109A.39	'But looke thou take with him some truce,
	Apoint a place of lybertye;
	Lett him provide as well as hee cann,
	And as well provided thou shalt bee.'
109A.40	And when Thomas Pott came to Gilford Greene,
	And walked there a litle beside,
	Then was hee ware of the lord Phenix,
	And with him Ladye Rozamund his bryde.
109A.41	Away by the bryde rode Thomas of Pott,
	But noe word to her that he did say;
??	Away by the bryde rode Thomas of Pott,
	But noe word to her that he did say;
	But when he came Lord Phenix before,
	He gaue him the right time of the day.
109A.42	'O thou art welcome, Thomas a Potts,
	How fares they lord and master att home,
	Thou serving-man, welcome to mee!
	How fares they lord and master att home,
	And all the ladyes in thy cuntrye?'
109A.43	'Sir, my lord and my master is in verry good health,
	I wott I ken itt soe readylye;
	I pray you, will you ryde to one outsyde,
	A word or towe to talke with mee.
109A.44	'You are a nobleman,' sayd Thomas a Potts,
	'Yee are a borne lord in Scottland free;
	You may gett ladyes enowe att home;
	You shall neuer take my loue from mee.'
109A.45	'Away, away, thou Thomas a Potts!
	Thou seruing-man, stand thou a-side!
	I wott there's not a serving-man this day,
	I know, can hinder mee of my bryde.'
109A.46	'If I be but a seruing-man,' sayd Thomas,
	'And you are a lord of honor free,
	A speare or two I'le with you runn,
	Before I'le loose her thus cowardlye.'
109A.47	'On Gilford Greene,' Lord Phenix saies, 'I'le thee meete;
	Neither man nor boy shall come hither with mee;'
	'And as I am a man,' said Thomas a Pott,
	'I'le haue as few in my companye.'
109A.48	With that the wedding-day was stayd,
	The bryde went vnmarryed home againe;
	Then to her maydens fast shee loughe,
	And in her hart shee was full faine.
109A.49	'But all my mayds,' they ladye sayd,
	'That this day doe waite on mee,
	Wee will fall downe againe vpon our knees,
	For Thomas a Potts now pray will wee.
109A.50	'If his fortune be for to winn-+-
	Wee'le pray to Christ in Trynitye-+-
	I'le make him the flower of all his kinn,
	For the lord of Arrundale he shalbe.'
109A.51	Now let vs leaue talking of this lady fayre,
	In her prayers good where shee can bee;
	I'le tell you the troth how Thomas a Potts
	For aide to his lord againe came hee.
109A.52	And when he came to Strawberry Castle,
	To try for his ladye he had but one weeke;
	Alacke, for sorrow hee cannott forbeare,
	For four dayes then he fell sicke.
109A.53	With that his lord and master to him came,
	Sayes, I pray thee, Thomas, tell mee without all doubt,
	Whether hast thou gotten the bonny ladye,
	Or thou man gange the ladye withoute.
109A.54	'Marry, master, yett that matter is vntryde;
	Within two dayes tryed itt must bee;
	He is a lord, and I am but a seruing-man,
	I doubt I must loose her through pouertye.'
	'Why, Thomas a Pott, take thou no care;
	Thou'st neuer loose her through pouertye.
109A.55	'Thou shalt haue halfe my land a yeere,
	And that will raise thee many a pound;
	Before thou shalt loose thy bonny ladye,
	Thou shalt drop angells with him to the ground.
109A.56	'And thou shalt haue forty of thy fellowes faire,
	And forty horsses to goe with thee,
	And forty speres of the best I haue,
	And I my-selfe in thy companye.'
109A.57	'I thanke you, master,' sayd Thomas a Potts,
	'But of one thinge, sir, I wold be faine;
	If I shold loose my bonny ladye,
	How shall I increase your goods againe?'
109A.58	'Why, if thou winn thy lady faire,
	Thou maye well forth for to pay mee;
	If thou loose thy lady, thou hast losse enoughe;
	Not one penny I will aske thee.'
109A.59	'Master, you haue thirty horsses in one hold,
	You keepe them ranke and royallye;
	There's an old horsse, -+-for him you doe not care-+-
	This day wold sett my lady free.
109A.60	'That is a white, with a cutt tayle,
	Ffull sixteen yeeres of age is hee;
	Giffe you wold lend me that old horsse,
	Then I shold gett her easilye.'
109A.61	'Thou takes a foolish part,' the Lord Iockye sayd,
	'And a foolish part thou takes on thee;
	Thou shalt haue a better then euer he was,
That	forty pounds cost more nor hee.'
109A.62	'O master, those horsses beene wild and wicked,
	And litle they can skill of the old traine;
	Giffe I be out of my saddle cast,
	They beene soe wild they'le neuer be tane againe.
109A.63	'Lett me haue age, sober and wise;
	Itt is a part of wisdome, you know itt plaine;
	If I be out of my sadle cast,
	Hee'le either stand still or turne againe.'
109A.64	'Thou shalt haue that horsse with all my hart,
	And my cote-plate of siluer free,
	And a hundred men att thy backe,
	For to fight if neede shalbee.'
109A.65	'I thanke you, master,' said Thomas a Potts,
	'Neither man nor boy shall goe with mee;
	As you are a lord off honor borne,
	Let none of my fellowes know this of mee.
109A.66	'Ffor if they wott of my goinge,
	I wott behind me they will not bee;
	Without you keepe them vnder a locke,
	Vppon that greene I shall them see.'
109A.67	And when Thomas came to Gilford Greene,
	And walked there some houres three,
	Then was he ware of the Lord Phenix,
	And four men in his companye.
109A.68	'You haue broken your vow,' sayd Thomas a Pott,
	'Your vowe that you made vnto mee;
	You said you wold come your selfe alone,
	And you haue brought more then two or three.'
109A.69	'These are my waiting-men,' Lord Phenix sayd,
	'That euery day doe waite on mee;
	Giffe any of these shold att vs stirr,
	My speare shold runn throwe his bodye.'
109A.70	'I'le runn noe race,' said Thomas Potts,
	'Till that this othe heere made may bee:
	If the one of vs be slaine,
	The other forgiuen that hee may bee.'
109A.71	'I'le make a vow,' Lord Phenix sayes,
	'My men shall beare wittnesse with thee,
	Giffe thou slay mee att this time,
	Neuer the worsse beloued in Scottland thou shalt bee.'
109A.72	Then they turned their horsses round about,
	To run the race fore egarlye;
	Lord Phenix he was stiffe and stout,
	He has runn Thomas quite thorrow the thye.
109A.73	And beere Thomas out of his saddle faire;
	Vpon the ground there did hee lye;
	He saies, For my liffe I doe not care,
	But for the loue of my ladye.
109A.74	But shall I lose my ladye faire?
	I thought shee shold haue beene my wiffe;
	I pray thee, Lord Phenix, ryde not away,
	For with thee I will loose my liffe.
109A.75	Tho Thomas a Potts was a seruing-man,
	He was alsoe a phisityan good;
	He clapt his hand vpon his wound,
	With some kind of words he stauncht the blood.
109A.76	Then into his sadle againe hee leepe;
	The blood in his body began to warme;
	He mist Lord Phenix bodye there,
	But he run him quite throw the brawne of the arme.
109A.77	And he bore him quite out of his saddle faire;
	Vpon the ground there did he lye;
	He said, I pray thee, Lord Phenix, rise and fight,
	Or else yeeld this ladye sweete to mee.
109A.78	'To fight with thee,' quoth Phenix, 'I cannott stand.
	Nor for to fight, I cannott, sure;
	Thou hast run me through the brawne of the arme;
	Noe longer of thy spere I cannott endure.
109A.79	'Thou'st haue that ladye with all my hart,
	Sith itt was like neuer better to proue,
	Nor neuer a noble-man this day,
That	will seeke to take a pore man's loue.'
109A.80	'Why then, be of good cheere,' saies Thomas Pott,
	'Indeed your bucher I'le neuer bee,
	For I'le come and stanche your bloode,
	Giff any thankes you'le giue to mee.'
109A.81	As he was stanching the Phenix blood,
	These words Thomas a Pott cann to him proue:
	'I'le neuer take a ladye of you thus,
	But here I'le giue you another choice.
109A.82	'Heere is a lane of two miles longe;
	Att either end sett wee will bee;
	The ladye shall sitt vs betweene,
	And soe will wee sett this ladye free.'
109A.83	'If thou'le doe soe,' Lord Phenix sayes,
	'Thomas a Pott, as thou dost tell mee,
	Whether I gett her or goe without her,
	Heere's forty pounds I'le giue itt thee.'
109A.84	And when the ladye there can stand,
	A woman's mind that day to proue,
	'Now, by my faith,' said this ladye faire,
	'This day Thomas a Pott shall haue his owne loue.'
109A.85	Toward Thomas a Pott the lady shee went,
	To leape behind him hastilye;
	'Nay, abyde a while,' sayd Lord Phenix,
	'Ffor better yett proued thou shalt bee.
109A.86	'Thou shalt stay heere with all thy maids-+-
	In number with thee thou hast but three-+-
	Thomas a Pott and I'le goe beyond yonder wall,
	There the one of vs shall dye.'
109A.87	And when they came beyond the wall,
	The one wold not the other nye;
	Lord Phenix he had giuen his word
	With Thomas a Pott neuer to fight.
109A.88	'Giue me a choice,' Lord Phenix sayes,
	'Thomas a Pott, I doe pray thee;
	Lett mee goe to yonder ladye faire,
	To see whether shee be true to thee.'
109A.89	And when hee came that ladye too,
	Vnto that likesome dame sayd hee,
	Now God thee saue, thou ladye faire,
	The heyre of all my land thou'st bee.
109A.90	Ffor this Thomas a Potts I haue slaine;
	He hath more than deadlye wounds two or three;
??	Ffor this Thomas a Potts I haue slaine;
	He hath more than deadlye wounds two or three;
	Thou art mine owne ladye, he sayd,
	And marryed together wee will bee.
109A.91	The ladye said, If Thomas a Potts this day thou haue slaine,
	Thou hast slaine a better man than euer was thee;
	And I'le sell all the state of my lande
	But thou'st be hanged on a gallow-tree.
109A.92	With that they lady shee fell in a soone;
	A greeued woman, I wott, was shee;
	Lord Phenix hee was readye there,
	Tooke her in his armes most hastilye.
109A.93	'O Lord, sweete, and stand on thy feete,
	This day Thomas a Pott aliue can bee;
	I'le send for thy father, the Lord of Arrundale,
	And marryed together I will you see:
	Giffe hee will not maintaine you well,
	Both gold and land you shall haue from me.'
109A.94	'I'le see that wedding,' my Lord of Arrundale said,
	'Of my daughter's loue that is soe faire;
	And sith itt will no better be,
	Of all my land Thomas a Pott shall be my heyre.'
109A.95	'Now all my maids,' the ladye said,
	'And ladyes of England, faire and free,
	Looke you neuer change your old loue for no new,
	Nor neuer change for no pouertye.
109A.96	'Ffor I had a louer true of mine owne,
	A seruing-man of a small degree;
	Ffrom Thomas a Pott I'le turne his name,
	And the Lord of Arrundale hee shall bee.'

109B: Tom Potts


109B.1	 OF all the lords in Scotland fair,
	 And ladies that been so bright of blee,
	 There is a noble lady among them all,
	 And report of her you shall hear by me.
109B.2	 For of her beauty she is bright,
	 And of her colour very fair;
	 She's daughter to Lord Arundel,
	 And of her colour very fair;
	 She's daughter to Lord Arundel,
	 Approvd his parand and his heir.
109B.3	 'I'le see this bride,' Lord Phenix said,
	 'That lady of so bright a blee,
	 And if I like her countenance well,
	 The heir of all my lands she'st be.'
109B.4	 But when he came the lady before,
	 Before this comely maid came he,
	 'O God thee save, thou lady sweet,
	 My heir and parand thou shalt be.'
109B.5	 'Leave off your suit,' the lady said,
	 'As you are a lord of high degree;
	 And I have a lord in mine own country.
109B.6	 'For I have a lover true of mine own,
	 A serving-man of low degree,
	 One Tommy Pots it is his name,
	 My first love and last that ever shall be.'
109B.7	 'If that Tom Pots is his name,
	 I do ken him right verily;
	 I am able to spend fourty pounds a week,
	 Where he is not able to spend pounds three.'
109B.8	 'God give you good of your gold,' she said,
	 'And ever God give you good of your fee;
	 Tom Pots was the first love that ever I had,
	 And I do mean him the last to be.'
109B.9	 With that Lord Phenix soon was movd;
	 Towards the lady did he threat;
	 He told her father, and so it was provd,
	 How his daughter's mind was set.
109B.10	 'O daughter dear, thou art my own,
	 The heir of all my lands to be;
	 Thou shalt be bride to the Lord Phenix,
	 If that thou mean to be heir to me.'
109B.11	 'O father dear, I am your own,
	 And at your command I needs must be;
	 But bind my body to whom you please,
	 My heart, Tom Pots, shall go with thee.'
109B.12	 Alas! the lady her fondness must leave,
	 And all her foolish wooing lay aside;
	 The time is come, her friends have appointed,
	 That she must be Lord Phenix bride.
109B.13	 With that the lady began to weep;
	 She knew not well then what to say,
	 How she might Lord Phenix deny,
	 And escape from marriage quite away.
109B.14	 See calld unto her little foot-page,
	 Saying, I can trust none but thee;
	 Go carry Tom Pots this letter fair,
	 And bid him on Guilford Green meet me.
109B.15	 For I must marry against my mind,
	 Or in faith well proved it shall be;
	 And tell to him I am loving and kind,
	 And wishes him this wedding to see.
109B.16	 But see that thou note his countenance well,
	 And his colour, and shew it to me;
	 And go thy way and hie thee again,
	 And forty shillings I will give thee.
109B.17	 For if he smile now with his lips,
	 His stomach will give him to laugh at the heart;
	 Then may I seek another true-love,
	 For of Tom Pots small is my part.
109B.18	 But if he blush now in his face,
	 Then in his heart he will sorry be;
	 Then to his vow he hath some grace,
	 And false to him I will never be.
109B.19	 Away this lacky-boy he ran,
	 And a full speed forsooth went he,
??	 Away this lacky-boy he ran,
	 And a full speed forsooth went he,
	 Till he came to Strawberry Castle,
	 And there Tom Pots came he to see.
109B.20	 He gave him the letter in his hand;
	 Before that he began to read,
	 He told him plainly by word of mouth,
	 His love was forc'd to be Lord Phenix bride.
109B.21	 When he lookd on the letter fair,
	 The salt tears blemished his eye;
	 Says, I cannot read this letter fair,
	 Nor never a word to see or spy.
109B.22	 My little boy, be to me true,
	 Here is five marks I will give thee;
	 And all these words I must peruse,
	 And tell my lady this from me.
109B.23	 By faith and troth she is my own,
	 By some part of promise, so it's to be found;
	 Lord Phenix shall not have her night nor day,
	 Except he can win her with his own hand.
109B.24	 On Guilford Green I will her meet;
	 Say that I wish her for me to pray;
	 For there I'le lose my life so sweet,
	 Or else the wedding I mean to stay.
109B.25	 Away this lackey-boy he ran,
	 Even as fast as he could hie;
	 The lady she met him two miles of the way;
	 Says, Why hast thou staid so long, my boy?
109B.26	 My little boy, thou art but young,
	 It gives me at heart thou'l mock and scorn;
	 I'le not believe thee by word of mouth,
	 Unless on this book thou wilt be sworn.
109B.27	 'Now by this book,' the boy did say,
	 'And Jesus Christ be as true to me,
	 Tom Pots could not read the letter fair,
	 Nor never a word to spy or see.
109B.28	 'He says, by faith and troth you are his own,
	 By some part of promise, so it's to be found;
	 Lord Phenix shall not have you night nor day,
	 Except he win you with his own hand.
109B.29	 'On Guilford Green he will you meet;
	 He wishes you for him to pray;
	 For there he'l lose his life so sweet,
	 Or else the wedding he means to stay.'
109B.30	 'If this be true, my little boy,
	 These tidings which thou tellest to me,
	 Forty shillings I did thee promise,
	 Here is ten pounds I will give thee.
109B.31	 'My maidens all,' the lady said,
	 'That ever wish me well to prove,
	 Now let us all kneel down and pray
	 That Tommy Pots may win his love.
109B.32	 'If it be his fortune the better to win,
	 As I pray to Christ in Trinity,
	 I'le make him the flower of all his kin,
	 For the young Lord Arundel he shall be.'
109B.33	 Let's leave talking of this lady fair,
	 In prayers full good where she may be;
	 Now let us talk of Tommy Pots;
	 To his lord and master for aid went he.
109B.34	 But when he came Lord Jockey before,
	 He kneeled lowly on his knee:
	 'What news, what news, thou Tommy Pots,
	 Thou art so full of courtesie?
109B.35	 'What tydings, what tydings, thou Tommy Pots,
	 Thou art so full of courtesie?
	 Thou hast slain some of thy fellows fair,
	 Or wrought to me some villany.'
109B.36	 'I have slain none of my fellows fair,
	 Nor wrought to you no villany,
	 But I have a love in Scotland fair,
	 And I fear I shall lose her with poverty.
109B.37	 'If you'l not believe me by word of mouth,
	 But read this letter, and you shall see,
	 Here by all these suspitious words
	 That she her own self hath sent to me.'
109B.38	 But when he had read the letter fair,
	 Of all the suspitious words in it might be,
	 'O Tommy Pots, take thou no care,
	 Thou'st never lose her with poverty.
109B.39	 'For thou'st have forty pounds a week,
	 In gold and silver thou shalt row,
	 And Harvy Town I will give thee
	 As long as thou intendst to wooe.
109B.40	 'Thou'st have forty of thy fellows fair,
	 And forty horses to go with thee,
	 Forty of the best spears I have,
	 And I my self in thy company.'
109B.41	 'I thank you, master,' said Tommy Pots,
	 'That proffer is too good for me;
	 But, if Jesus Christ stand on my side,
	 My own hands shall set her free.
109B.42	 'God be with you, master,' said Tommy Pots,
	 'Now Jesus Christ you save and see;
	 If ever I come alive again,
	 Staid the wedding it shall be.'
109B.43	 'O God be your speed, thou Tommy Pots,
	 Thou art well proved for a man;
	 See never a drop of blood thou spil,
	 Nor yonder gentleman confound.
109B.44	 'See that some truce with him you take,
	 And appoint a place of liberty;
	 Let him provide him as well as he can,
	 As well provided thou shalt be.'
109B.45	 But when he came to Guilford Green,
	 And there had walkt a little aside,
	 There was he ware of Lord Phenix come,
	 And Lady Rosamond his bride.
109B.46	 Away by the bride then Tommy Pots went,
	 But never a word to her did say,
	 Till he the Lord Phenix came before;
	 He gave him the right time of the day.
109B.47	 'O welcome, welcome, thou Tommy Pots,
	 Thou serving-man of low degree;
	 How doth thy lord and master at home,
	 And all the ladies in that countrey?'
109B.48	 'My lord and master is in good health,
	 I trust since that I did him see;
	 Will you walk with me to an out-side,
	 Two or three words to talk with me?
109B.49	 'You are a noble man,' said Tom,
	 'And born a lord in Scotland free;
	 You may have ladies enough at home,
	 And never take my love from me.'
109B.50	 'Away, away, thou Tommy Pots;
	 Thou serving-man, stand thou aside;
	 It is not a serving-man this day
	 That can hinder me of my bride.'
109B.51	 'If I be a serving-man,' said Tom,
	 'And you a lord of high degree,
	 A spear or two with you I'le run,
	 Before I'le lose her cowardly.
109B.52	 'Appoint a place, I will thee meet,
	 Appoint a place of liberty;
	 For there I'le lose my life so sweet,
	 Or else my lady I'le set free.'
109B.53	 'On Guilford Green I will thee meet;
	 No man nor boy shall come with me:'
	 'As I am a man,' said Tommy Pots,
	 'I'le have as few in my company.'
109B.54	 And thus staid the marriage was,
	 The bride unmarried went home again;
	 Then to her maids fast did she laugh,
	 And in her heart she was full fain.
109B.55	 'My maidens all,' the lady said,
	 'That ever wait on me this day,
	 Now let us all kneel down,
	 And for Tommy Pots let us all pray.
109B.56	 'If it be his fortune the better to win,
	 As I trust to God in Trinity,
	 I'le make him the flower of all his kin,
	 For the young Lord Arundel he shall be.'
109B.57	 When Tom Pots came home again,
	 To try for his love he had but a week;
	 For sorrow, God wot, he need not care,
	 For four days that he fel sick.
109B.58	 With that his master to him came,
	 Says, Pray thee, Tom Pots, tell me if tho doubt
	 Whether thou hast gotten thy gay lady,
	 Or thou must go thy love without.
109B.59	 'O master, yet it is unknown;
	 Within these two days well try'd it must be;
	 He is a lord, I am but a serving-man,
	 I fear I shall lose her with poverty.'
109B.60	 'I prethee, Tom Pots, get thee on thy feet;
	 My former promises kept shall be;
	 As I am a lord in Scotland fair,
	 Thou'st never lose her with poverty.
109B.61	 'For thou'st have the half of my lands a year,
	 And that will raise thee many a pound;
	 Before thou shalt out-braved be,
	 Thou shalt drop angels with him on the ground.'
109B.62	 'I thank you, master,' said Tommy Pots,
	 'Yet there is one thing of you I would fain;
	 If that I lose my lady sweet,
	 How I'st restore your goods again?'
109B.63	 'If that thou win the lady sweet,
	 Thou mayst well forth, thou shalt pay me;
	 If thou loosest thy lady, thou losest enough;
	 Thou shalt not pay me one penny.'
109B.64	 'You have thirty horses in one close,
	 You keep them all both frank and free;
	 Amongst them all there's an old white horse
	 This day would set my lady free.
109B.65	 'That is an old horse with a cut tail,
	 Full sixteen years of age is he;
	 If thou wilt lend me that old horse,
	 Then could I win her easily.'
109B.66	 'That's a foolish opinion,' his master said,
	 'And a foolish opinion thou tak'st to thee;
	 Thou'st have a better then ever he was,
	 Though forty pounds more it cost me.'
109B.67	 'O your choice horses are wild and tough,
	 And little they can skill of their train;
	 If I be out of my saddle cast,
	 They are so wild they'l ner be tain.'
109B.68	 'Thou'st have that horse,' his master said,
	 'If that one thing thou wilt tell me;
	 Why that horse is better than any other,
	 I pray thee, Tom Pots, shew thou to me.'
109B.69	 'That horse is old, of stomach bold,
	 And well can he skill of his train;
	 If I be out of my saddle cast,
	 He'l either stand still or turn again.'
109B.70	 'Thou'st have the horse with all my heart,
	 And my plate-coat of silver free;
	 An hundred men to stand at thy back,
	 To fight if he thy master be.'
109B.71	 'I thank you master,' said Tommy Pots;
	 'That proffer is too good for me;
	 I would not, for ten thousand pounds,
	 Have man or boy in my company.
109B.72	 'God be with you master,' said Tommy Pots;
	 'Now, as you are a man of law,
	 One thing let me crave at your hand;
	 Let never a one of my fellows know.
109B.73	 'For if that my fellows they did wot,
	 Or ken of my extremity,
	 Except you keep them under a lock,
	 Behind me I am sure they would not be.'
109B.74	 But when he came to Guilford Green,
	 He waited hours two or three;
	 There he was ware of Lord Phenix come,
	 And four men in his company.
109B.75	 'You have broken your vow,' said Tommy Pots,
	 'The vow which you did make to me;
	 You said you would bring neither man nor boy,
	 And now has brought more than two or three.'
109B.76	 'These are my men,' Lord Phenix said,
	 'Which every day do wait on me;
	 [If] any of these dare proffer to strike,
	 I'le run my spear through his body.'
109B.77	 'I'le run no race now,' said Tommy Pots,
	 'Except now this may be;
	 If either of us be slain this day,
	 The other shall forgiven be.'
109B.78	 'I'le make that vow with all my heart,
	 My men shall bear witness with me;
	 And if thou slay me here this day,
	 In Scotland worse belovd thou never shalt be.'
109B.79	 They turnd their horses thrice about,
	 To run the race so eagerly;
	 Lord Phenix he was fierce and stout,
	 And ran Tom Pots through the thick o th' thigh.
109B.80	 He bord him out of the saddle fair,
	 Down to the ground so sorrowfully:
	 'For the loss of my life I do not care,
	 But for the loss of my fair lady.
109B.81	 'Now for the loss of my lady sweet,
	 Which once I thought to have been my wife,
	 I pray thee, Lord Phenix, ride not away,
	 For with thee I would end my life.'
109B.82	 Tom Pots was but a serving-man,
	 But yet he was a doctor good;
	 He bound his handkerchief on his wound,
	 And with some kind of words he stancht his blood.
109B.83	 He leapt into his saddle again,
	 The blood in his body began to warm;
	 He mist Lord Phenix body fair,
And	 ran him through the brawn of the arm.
109B.84	 He bord him out of his saddle fair,
	 Down to the ground most sorrowfully;
	 Says, Prethee, Lord Phenix, rise up and fight,
	 Or yield my lady unto me.
109B.85	 'Now for to fight I cannot tell,
	 And for to fight I am not sure;
	 Thou hast run me throw the brawn o th' arm,
	 That with a spear I may not endure.
109B.86	 'Thou'st have the lady with all my heart;
	 It was never likely better to prove
	 With me, or any nobleman else,
	 That would hinder a poor man of his love.'
109B.87	 'Seeing you say so much,' said Tommy Pots,
	 'I will not seem your butcher to be;
	 But I will come and stanch your blood,
	 If any thing you will give me.'
109B.88	 As he did stanch Lord Phenix blood,
	 Lord, in his heart he did rejoyce!
	 'I'le not take the lady from you thus,
	 But of her you'st have another choice.
109B.89	 'Here is a lane of two miles long;
	 At either end we set will be;
	 The lady shall stand us among,
	 Her own choice shall set her free.'
109B.90	 'If thou'l do so,' Lord Phenix said,
	 'To lose her by her own choice it's honesty;
	 Chuse whether I get her or go her without,
	 Forty pounds I will give thee.'
109B.91	 But when they in that lane was set,
	 The wit of a woman for to prove,
	 'By the faith of my body,' the lady said,
	 'Then Tom Pots must needs have his love.'
109B.92	 Towards Tom Pots the lady did hie,
	 To get on behind him hastily;
	 'Nay stay, nay stay,' Lord Phenix said,
	 'Better proved it shall be.
109B.93	 'Stay you with your maidens here-+-
	 In number fair they are but three-+-
	 Tom Pots and I will go behind yonder wall,
	 That one of us two be proved to dye.'
109B.94	 But when they came behind the wall,
	 The one came not the other nigh;
	 For the Lord Phenix had made a vow,
	 That with Tom Pots he would never fight.
109B.95	 'O give me this choice,' Lord Phenix said,
	 'To prove whether true or false she be,
	 And I will go to the lady fair,
	 And tell her Tom Pots slain is he.'
109B.96	 When he came from behind the wall,
	 With his face all bloody as it might be,
	 'O lady sweet, thou art my own,
	 For Tom Pots slain have I.
109B.97	 'Now have I slain him, Tommy Pots,
	 And given him death's wounds two or three;
	 O lady sweet, thou art my own;
	 Of all loves, wilt thou live with me?'
109B.98	 'If thou hast slain him, Tommy Pots,
	 And given him death's wounds two or three,
	 I'le sell the state of my father's lands
	 But hanged shall Lord Phenix be.'
109B.99	 With that the lady fell in a swound,
	 For a grieved woman, God wot, was she;
	 Lord Phenix he was ready then
	 To take her up so hastily.
109B.100	'O lady sweet, stand thou on thy feet,
	 Tom Pots alive this day may be;
	 I'le send for thy father, Lord Arundel,
	 And he and I the wedding will see.
109B.101	'I'le send for thy father, Lord Arundel,
	 And he and I the wedding will see;
	 If he will not maintain you well,
	 Both lands and livings you'st have of me.'
109B.102	'I'le see this wedding,' Lord Arundel said,
	 'Of my daughter's luck that is so fair;
	 Seeing the matter will be no better,
	 Of all my lands Tom Pots shall be the heir.'
109B.103	With that the lady began for to smile,
	 For a glad woman, God wot, was she;
	 'Now all my maids,' the lady said,
	 'Example you may take by me.
109B.104	'But all the ladies of Scotland fair,
	 And lasses of England that well would prove,
	 Neither marry for gold nor goods,
	 Nor marry for nothing but only love.
109B.105	'For I had a lover true of my own,
	 A serving-man of low degree;
	 Now from Tom Pots I'le change his name,
	 For the young Lord Arundel he shall be.'

109C: Tom Potts


109C.1	 IN Scotland there are ladies fair,
	 There's ladies of honor and high degree,
      Refrain:	Hey down, down a down derry
	 But one excels above all the rest,
	 And the Earl of Arundel's daughter is she.
      Refrain:	With hey down, derry down,
	 Lang derry down derry
109C.2	 Both knights and lords of great account
	 Comes thither a wooing for this ladie's sake:
	 It fell on a day that Earl Arundell said,
	 Daughter, which of these lords will you take?
109C.3	 Or which of them now likes thee best?
	 Speak truth to me, but do not lie;
	 Speak truth to me, and do not jest,
	 Who must heir my livings when as I die?
109C.4	 Lord Fenix is a lord of high degree,
	 And hath both lands and livings free;
	 I tell thee, daughter, thou shalt him have,
	 If thou wilt take any counsell at me.
109C.5	 With that the young lady fell down of her knee,
	 And trickling tears ran down her eye:
	 'As you are my father, and loves me dear,
	 My heart is set where it must be.
109C.6	 'On a serving-man which is so poor,
	 For all he hath is but pounds three;
	 He was the first lover that ere I had,
	 And the last I mean him for to be.'
109C.7	 With that her father was sore offended,
	 And fast he rode at that same tide,
	 Untill he to the Lord Fenix came,
	 And fast he rode at that same tide,
109C.8	 The yong ladie cald up Jack, her foot-boy:
	 'I dare trust no man alive but thee;
	 Thou must go my errand to Strawberry Castle,
	 To the place where Tomy o'th Potts doth lye.
109C.9	 'And carry this letter, in parchment fair,
	 That I have sealed with mine own hand;
	 And when Tomey looks this letter upon,
	 Be sure his countenance thou understand.
109C.10	 'And if he either laugh or smile,
	 He is not sorry at his heart;
	 I must seek a new love where I will,
	 For small of Tomey must be my part.
109C.11	 'But if he wax red in the face,
	 And tricling tears fall from his eyes,
	 Then let my father say what he will,
	 For true to Tomey I'le be always.
109C.12	 'And thou must tell him by word of mouth,
	 If this letter cannot be read at that tyde,
	 That this day sennight, and no longer hence,
	 I must be Lord William Fenix bride.'
109C.13	 The boy took leave of his lady gay,
	 And to Strawberry Castle he did him fast hie;
	 A serving-man did guide him the way
	 To the place where Tomey o'th Pots did lie.
109C.14	 'O Christ thee save, good Tomey o'th Pots,
	 And Christ thee save as I thee see;
	 Come read this letter, Tomey o'th Potts,
	 As thy true-love hath sent to thee.'
109C.15	 Then Tomey he waxed red in the face,
	 And trickling tears ran down his eyes;
	 But never a letter could he read,
	 If he should be hanged on th'gallow-tree.
109C.16	 'Shee bid me tell you by word of mouth,
	 If this letter could not be read at this tide,
	 That this day sennight, and no longer hence,
	 She must be Lord William Fenix bride.'
109C.17	 'Now in faith,' said Tomey, 'She is mine own,
	 As all hereafter shall understand;
	 Lord Fenix shall not marry her, by night or day,
	 Unless he win her by his own hand.
109C.18	 'For on Gilforth Green I will her meet,
	 And if she love me, bid her for me pray;
	 And there I will lose my life so sweet,
	 Or else her wedding I will stay.'
109C.19	 He cald this boy unto accounts;
	 Think whether he loved this lady gay!
	 He gave him forty shilling for his message,
	 And all he had was but pounds three.
109C.20	 The boy took his leave of Tomey o'th Potts,
	 Fearing that he had staid too late;
	 The young lady did wait of his comming,
	 And met him five miles out of the gate.
109C.21	 'O boney boy, thou art not of age,
	 Therefore thou canst both mock and scorn;
	 I will not beleeve what my love hath said,
	 Unlesse thou on this book be sworn.'
109C.22	 'Now, in faith, gay lady, I will not lye,'
	 And kist the book full soon did he:
	 'One letter he could not read at that time,
	 If he should have been hangd at gallo-tree.
109C.23	 'He said in faith you are his own,
	 As all hereafter shall understand;
	 Lord Fenix shall not marry you by night or day,
	 Unlesse he winn you with his own hand.
109C.24	 'For on Gilforth Green he will you meet,
	 And if you love him, you must for him pray;
	 And there he will lose his life so sweet,
	 Or else your wedding he will stay.'
109C.25	 Let us leave talking of the boy,
	 That with his gay lady is turned home;
	 Now let us go talk of Tomey o'th Potts,
	 And how to his master he is gone.
109C.26	 When Tomey came his master before,
	 He kneeled down upon his knee:
	 'What tidings hast thou brought, my man,
	 As that thou makes such courtesie?'
109C.27	 'O Christ you save, dear master,' he said,
	 'And Christ you save as I you see;
	 For God's love, master, come read me this letter,
	 Which my true love hath sent to me.'
109C.28	 His master took this letter in hand,
	 And looked ore it with his eye;
	 'In faith, I am fain, my man,' he said,
	 'As thou hast a lady so true to thee.'
109C.29	 'I have a lady true to me,
	 And false to her I'le never be;
	 But ere this day sennight, and no longer hence,
	 I must lose my love through povertie.
109C.30	 'Lord Fenix he will her have,
	 Because he hath more wealth then I:'
	 'Now hold thy tongue, my man,' he said,
	 'For before that day many a one shall die.
109C.31	 'O Tomey,' said he, 'I love thee well,
	 And something for thee I will doo;
	 For Strawberry Castle shall be thine own
	 So long as thou dost mean to woo.
109C.32	 'One half of my lands I'le give thee a year,
	 The which will raise thee many a pound;
	 Before that thou lose thy bonny sweet-hart,
	 Thou shalt drop angels with him to the ground.
109C.33	 'I have thirty steeds in my stable strong,
	 Which any of them is good indeed,
	 And a bunch of spears hangs them among,
	 And a nag to carry thee swift with speed.
109C.34	 'My sute of armour thou shalt put on-+-
	 So well it becomes thy fair body-+-
	 And when thou comst on Gilford Green
	 Thou'll look more like a lord then he.
109C.35	 'My men shall all rise and with thee go,
	 And I my self with thee will ride;
	 And many a bloody wound will we make
	 Before that thou shalt lose thy bride.'
109C.36	 'Now Christ reward you, dear master,' he said,
	 'For the good will you bear to me;
	 But I trust to God, in a little space,
	 With my own hands to set her free.
109C.37	 'I'le none of your horses, master,' he said,
	 'For they cannot well skill of their trade;
	 None but your gray nag that hath a cut tail,
	 For hee'll either stand or turn again.
109C.38	 'One spear, master, and no more,
	 No more with me that I will take,
	 And if that spear it will not serve my turn,
	 I'le suffer death for my true-love's sake.'
109C.39	 Early in the morning, when day did spring,
	 On Gilforth Green betime was he;
	 There did he espie Lord Fenix comming,
	 And with him a royall company.
109C.40	 Gold chains about their necks threescore,
	 Full well might seem fine lords to ride;
	 The young lady followed far behind,
	 Sore against her will that she was a bride.
109C.41	 There Tomey passed this lady by,
	 But never a word to her did say;
	 Then straight to Lord Fenix he is gone,
	 And gives him the right time of the day.
109C.42	 'O Christ you save, Lord Fenix,' he said,
	 'And Christ you save as I you see;'
	 'Thou art welcome, Tomey o'th Potts,' he said,
	 'A serving-man into our company.
109C.43	 'O how doth thy master, Tomy o'th Potts?
	 Tell me the truth and do not lye;'
	 'My master is well,' then Tomey replide,
	 'I thank my lord, and I thank not thee.
109C.44	 'O Christ you save Lord Fenix,' he said,
	 'And Christ you save as I you see;
	 You may have choyce of ladies enough,
	 And not take my true-love from me.'
109C.45	 With that Lord Fenix was sore offended,
	 And fast away he rode at that tide;
	 'God forbid,' Lord Fenix he said,
	 'A serving-man should hold me from my bride!'
109C.46	 But afterward Tomey did him meet,
	 As one that came not thither to flye,
	 And said, Lord Fenix, take thou my love,
	 For I will not lose her cowardly.
109C.47	 'O meet me here tomorrow,' he said;
	 'As thou art a man, come but thy sell;
	 And if that I come [with] any more,
	 The divell fetch my soul to hell.'
109C.48	 And so this wedding-day was staid,
	 The lady and lords they turned home;
	 The lady made merry her maidens among,
	 And said, Tomey I wish thou may win thy own.
109C.49	 Early in the morning, when day did spring,
	 On Gilforth Green betime was he;
	 He waited long for Lord Fenix comming,
	 But Lord William Fenix he could not see.
109C.50	 He waited long and very long,
	 Untill the sun waxed very high;
	 There was he ware of Lord Fenix coming,
	 And with him other men three.
109C.51	 'Thou art a false thief, Lord Fenix,' he said,
	 Thou promisedst me to come by thy self,
	 And thou hast brought other men three.
109C.52	 'But in regard I call thee thief,
	 Because thou hast broken promise with me,
	 I vow, and you were as many more,
	 Forsaken sure you should not be.'
109C.53	 'These are my men,' Lord Fenix said,
	 'That every day do wait on me;
	 If any of them do strike a stroke,
	 In faith then hanged he shall be.'
109C.54	 They fetcht a race and rode about,
	 And then they met full eagerly;
	 Lord Fenix away by Tomey's body glowd,
	 And he ran him quite thorow the thigh.
109C.55	 Out of his saddle bore him he did,
	 And laid his body on the ground;
	 His spear he ran thorow Tomey's thigh,
	 In which he made a grievous wound.
109C.56	 But Tomey quickly start up again;
	 For as he was a physitian good,
	 He laid his hand upon the wound,
	 And quickly he did stanch the blood.
109C.57	 Full lightly he leaped to his saddle again,
	 Forth of it long he did not stay;
	 For he weighed more of the ladie's love
	 Then of any life he had that day.
109C.58	 They fetched a race and rode about,
	 The blood in Tomey's body began to warm;
	 He away by Lord Fenix body glowde,
	 And he ran him quite through the arm.
109C.59	 Out of his saddle bore him he hath,
	 Of from his steed that mounted so high;
	 'Now rise and fight, Lord Fenix,' he said,
	 'Or else yeeld the lady unto me.'
109C.60	 'I'll yeeld the lady unto thee;
	 My arm no more my spear will guide;
	 It was never better likely to prove,
	 To hold a poor seving-man from his bride.'
109C.61	 'But if thou wilt thus deal then with me,
	 Lest of this matter should rise any voice,
	 That I have gotten the victory,
	 Then thou shalt have another choice.
109C.62	 'Yonder is a lane of two miles long;
	 At either end then stand will we;
	 Wee'l set the lady in the midst,
	 And whether she come to, take her, for me.'
109C.63	 'If thou wilt thus deal,' said Fenix then,
	 'Thou'll save my credit and honor high;
	 And whether I win her, or go without her,
	 I'le be willing to give ten pounds to thee.'
109C.64	 There was a lane of two miles long;
	 The lady was set in the middle that tide;
	 She laught and made merry her maids among,
	 And said, Tomey o'th Pots, now I'le be thy bride.
109C.65	 Now all you ladies of high degree,
	 And maides that married yet would be,
	 Marry no man for goods or lands,
	 Unlesse you love him faithfully.
109C.66	 For I had a love of my own, she said,
	 At Strawberrie Castle there lived he;
	 I'le change his name from Tomey o'th Pots,
	 And the yong Earl of Arundell now he shall be.

Next: 110. The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III