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The Ballad of Thomas Tyne


Adrian Grzegorz Poniatowski

Smashwords Edition. Copyright 2013 by Adrian Poniatowski.

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The Ballad of Thomas Tyne

There was once a lovely girl in Lincolnshire,
her name was Margaret, as sweet as a flower.
Her heart was kind, her life was merry, she
loved mother and father and brother like any.
One day she went into the forest, to pick
a little berries, to gather a few mushroom s
for the family supper. And on her way she heard
a sad cry, and rushing she found an old woman
alone and desperate.

The woman asked, "Childe,
would ye be so kind, give a poor woman drink
from cool and flowing stream?" Margaret did
say, "O lady, wait no longer! Drink from skin
that swings about my side." So the girl gave
the woman cool drink to satisfy deep thirst,
but for this charity she was with trechary
repaid, for the woman was not born of mother,
but was demon in disguise. The witch snatched
poor Margaret, screaming betwixt trees, bound
her with enormous strength, and disappeared
into lair close-by. There, the witch did wish
to see the child suffer, before she ghost released,
so the witch with infernal suprise, did devise
three tortures to end her life.

"Now you are
in my power, little one. No one can aid you
in your flight. Only I can release you back
to longing home, if you complete but minor task."
At this, the child's ear pricked up, "Oh what?
Oh what should I do to gain such favor, to
return to mother, father, and my brother?"

Thereupon the witch took from rags a satchel,
searched it and opened pouch. From this a powder
as white snow spilled out upon the ground.
"These are two crystals bound in one: take
each and divide without error. If you shall
do as I command, tonight you shall return
without harm. But if you fail, or foul this
with dirt, add or subtract iota therefrom,
finish you appointed task after sunfall,
I shall cut hand from you and crush a bone."
With this, she disappeared to hunt some more.

Poor Margaret fell to ground, looking at the
pile, and she despaired and cried, saying:
"Look at this! This is but dust that is the same!
She lies, she must, for this is her design,
to bring me to my doom through torment and
home's desire. O God, be just, let your mercy
be upon me! Let not this devil have her way!"

And God hear the child's cry, the Lord had
pity upon His little one, and appointed angel
one of His, a man called Thomas Tyne. That very
day he set out from city with his wares, carrying
his art so very far away, and while passing he
heard poor Margaret's cry, and hastened on his way.
He found the child, curled in a ball, softly
crying now, and said, "Dear child, come out!
I'm old doctor Thomas Tyne."

The child was at first
scared, saying, "You are witch! You are lying
form, designed to trick me, destroy me before
day is gone!" But Thomas spoke, "No, my child,
I am from Lincolnshire, called by King to his
academy in London. I was on my way when I heard
dread screams of lost child. There, in the east
is the road and my horse. I shall deliver you
to the house you are from." Then arising, the
child more trusting, took the hand of Thomas
and went, but no more than a fathom did she go,
her hand slipped from Thomas' lame. "I cannot
go further, my limbs disobey!" And Thomas saw
and said, "It must be witch's spell that does
these wonders! She must break the bond she
established between you and lair." Margaret
spoke, returning to the lair, "She bade me
separate this powder, white as snow, into
two crystals without fail, or else she will
cut my hand and crush a bone!"

Thomas took
the powder in his hand, examined it with
interest, then said, "Child, let me pluck
this thing apart. But not by hand, but by
air I shall accomplish this." So he took

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