The last ryme of True Thomas
Rudyard Kipling
Now, the king has called for preast and cup
The king has taken spur and blade.
For to dub True Thomas a belted Knight
and all for the sake of the songs he's made
They've sought him high, they've sought him low
They've sought him over dune and lee
They've found him by the milk white thorn
that gaurds the gates
of Fearie
"Now sease your song" the King, he said
"Come sease your song and get'cha dide-
for to vow your vow and watch your arms,
for I shall make ye a belted Knight.
And I'll give ya horse a'pride
wi' blazen and belt and page and squire
and keep and tail and season and law
and lands to hold
at your desire."
"I'd ha'vowed my vow in another place
and bitter oath it was on me.
And watched my arms the lee long night
where five score fighting men might flee.
My lance is tipped to the hammer strong,
my sheild is beat to the moonlight cold.
And I won my spurs in the middle world
a thousand fathoms
beneith the mold."
"And what shall I do wi'your horse a'pride
and what shall I make gimme' sword say brown?
But spill the rings of the gentle folk
and flight me kin in the fearie town?
And what I do gimme blazen and belt
wi'keep and tail and season and fee?
And what shall I make gi'me page and squire
that am a King in me hain country?
Well the King hea bit his nether lip
and smote his hand upon his knee,
"By the faith of me soul, True Thomas" he said
"You waiste no wit in courtesy."
Now the King hath dune a silver groat,
a silver groat o'Scotts money-
"If I come with your poor man's dole," he said
"True Thomas, will you harp to me?"
"Where as I harp to the children small
they press me close on either hand-
and who are you-" True Thomas said
"-that you may ride while they must stand?"
"Lie down, lie down off your horse a'pride
I trow you talk too loud and hea-
and I shall make ye a tripple word,
To thyne if ye dare ye ought noble me."
True Thomas played upon his harp
the faerie harp that could not lee
and the first least words the proud king heard
it harped the salt tear out of his eyee
"Well I see the love that I lost long signe
and I touch the hope that I may not see
and all that I did of hidden shame,
like little snakes, they hiss at me
The sun is lost, at noon at noon
the dread of doom has gripped me
True Thomas hide me under your cloak-
god wot, I'm little fit to dee.
True Thomas played upon his harp
that burled and brattled to his hand
and the next least words True Thomas made
It gaurd the king take horse and brand
"Well I hear the blood of the fighting men
I see the sun on splint and spere.
And mark the arrow out of the fern
that flys so low and sings so clear.
Advanced my standards to that war
and bid my good knights pick and ride
that err had seen as feirce a fight
that o'er was fought on the border side"
True Thomas sighed above his harp
and turned his song on the mid most string
and the last least words True Thomas made
It harped his dead youth back to the King.
"Well I am prince and I do well
to love my love withouten fear
to walk with man in fellowship
and breath my horse behind the dear.
My hounds they bay unto the dead
the buck has crouched beyond the burn-
My love she waits at her window
to wash my hands when I return."
True Thomas laid his harp away
then louted low by the sattle side.
He's taken sturrup and hunt'n rein
and set the King on his horse a'pride
"Sleep ye or wake" True Thomas said
"That low't so low that moves so long-
Sleep ye or wake till the latter sleep-
I trough you'll nere forget my song!"
"I ha'harped the shadow out of the sun
to stand before your face and cry
I had armed the Earth beneith your heel
and o'er your head I ha'dusked the sky.
I ha'harped ye up to the throne o'god,
I ha'harped ye mid most soul in three-
I ha'harped ye dune to the hinges of hell,
and ye would make
a knight of me-