Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 1 of 8 from 1860 edition

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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.