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Tam Lin

The steed that my true love rides on is lighter than the wind
With silver he is shod before, with burning gold behind.

I forbid you maidens all, that wear gold in your hair,
To come and go by Carter Hall, for young Tam Lin is there.

Janet's belted her green kirtle a little above her knee,
And she's away to Carter Hall as fast as she can hie.

She had not pulled a double rose, a rose but only two,
When up then started young Tam Lin, says "Lady, pull no more."

"Why pulls thou the rose, Janet, and why breaks thou the wand?
And why comes thou to Carter Hall withouten my command?"

"Carter Hall it is my own, my father gave it me.
I'll come and go by Carter Hall and ask no leave of thee."

Now, Janet's belted her green kirtle a bit above her knee,
And she is to her father's hall as fast as she can hie.

Then up spoke her father dear, and he spoke meek and mild:
"E'er alas, sweet Janet," he says, "I think you go with child."

"If that I go with child, father, it's my self shall bear the blame,
There's ne'er a lord about your hall shall get the babe his name."

"For if my love was an earthly knight, as he's an elfin grey,
I would not trade my own true love for any knight you have."

When she came to Carter Hall, Tam Lin was at the well.
"Oh tell to me, Tam Lin," she says, "how came you here to dwell?"

"When I was from hunting come, then from my horse I fell,
The Queen of Faeries caught me up in yon green hill to dwell.

"But at the murk and midnight hour, the faerie-folk will ride,
And they that would their true loves win, at Miles-cross they must bide."

"Oh, first let pass the black, lady and then let pass the brown,
But quickly run to the milk white steed, pull ye his rider down."

"They'll turn me to a bear so grim and then a lion bold,
But hold me fast and fear me not, as ye shall love your child."

"At last they'll turn me in your arms into the burning lead
Then throw me into well water, o throw me in with speed."

So well she minded what he did say and young Tam Lin did win,
Soon covered him with her green mantle, as blithe's a bird in spring.

Up then spoke the Queen of Faeries, and an angry queen was she,
"Shame betide her ill-fared face, an ill death may she die."

"But had I known, Tam Lin," she said, "what now this night I see,
I'd've taken out thy two grey eyes, put in two eyes of tree."

The steed that my true love rides on is lighter than the wind.
With silver he is shod before, with burning gold behind.

 
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