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Tam Lin

No: 39; variant: 39B

  1. I FORBID ye, maidens a’, That wear goud on your gear, To come and gae by Carterhaugh, For young Tom Line is there.
  2. There’s nane that gaes by Carterhaugh But they leave him a wad. Either their things or green mantles, Or else their maidenhead.
  3. But Janet has kilted her green kirtle A little above her knee, And she has broded her yellow hair A little above her bree, And she has gaen for Carterhaugh, As fast as she can hie.
  4. When she came to Carterhaugh Tom Line was at the well, And there she fand his steed standing, But away was himsell.
  5. She hadna pu’d a double rose, A rose but only twae, Till up then started young Tom Line, Says, Lady, thou’s pu nae mae.
  6. Why pu’s thou the rose, Janet? Why breaks thou the wand? Why comest thou to Carterhaugh Withouthen my command?
  7. ‘Fair Carterhaugh it is my ain, My daddy gave it me; I’ll come and gae by Carterhaugh, And ask nae leave at thee.’
  8. Janet has kilted her green kirtle A little aboon her knee, And she has snooded her yellow hair A little aboon her bree, And she is on to her father’s ha, As fast as she can hie.
  9. Four and twenty ladies fair Were playing at the ba, And out then came fair Janet, The flowr amang them a’.
  10. Four and twenty ladies fair Were playing at the chess, Out then came fair Janet, As green as ony glass.
  11. Out spak an auld grey-headed knight, Lay owre the castle wa, And says, Alas, fair Janet, For thee we’ll be blam’d a’.
  12. ‘Had your tongue, you auld grey knight, Some ill dead may ye die! Father my bairn on whom I will, I’ll father nane on thee.’
  13. Out then spak her father dear, He spak baith thick and milde; ‘And ever alas, sweet Janet,’ he says, ‘I think ye gae wi childe.’
  14. ‘If that I gae wi child, father, Mysell bears a’ the blame; There’s not a laird about your ha Shall get the bairnie’s name.
  15. ‘If my lord were an earthly knight, As he’s an elfish grey, I wad na gie my ain true-love For nae lord that ye hae.’
  16. Janet has kilted her green kirtle A little aboon her knee, And she has snooded her yellow hair A little aboon her bree, And she’s away to Carterhaugh, As fast as she can hie.
  17. When she came to Carterhaugh, Tom Line was at the well, And there she faund his steed standing, But away was himsell.
  18. She hadna pu’d a double rose, A rose but only twae, Till up then started young Tom Line, Says, Lady, thou’s pu na mae.
  19. Why pu’s thou the rose, Janet, Out owr yon groves sae green, And a’ to kill your bonny babe, That we gat us between?
  20. ‘O tell me, tell me, Tom,’ she says, ‘For’s sake who died on tree, If eer ye were in holy chapel, Or christendom did see.’
  21. ‘Roxburgh he was my grandfather, Took me with him to bide, And ance it fell upon a day That wae did me betide.
  22. ‘Ance it fell upon a day, A cauld day and a snell, When we were frae the hunting come, That from my horse I fell.
  23. ‘The Queen of Fairies she came by, Took me wi her to dwell, Evn where she has a pleasant land For those that in it dwell, But at the end o seven years, They pay their teind to hell.
  24. ‘The night it is gude Halloween, The fairie folk do ride, And they that wad their true-love win, At Miles Cross they maun bide.’
  25. ‘But how shall I thee ken, Thomas, Or how shall I thee knaw, Amang a pack o uncouth knights The like I never saw?’
  26. ‘The first company that passes by, Say na, and let them gae; The next company that passes by, Say na, and do right sae; The third company that passes by, Then I’ll be ane o thae.
  27. ‘Some ride upon a black, lady, And some ride on a brown, But I ride on a milk-white steed, And ay nearest the town: Because I was an earthly knight They gae me that renown.
  28. ‘My right hand will be glovd, lady, My left hand will be bare, And thae’s the tokens I gie thee, Nae doubt I will be there.
  29. ‘Then hie thee to the milk-white steed, And pu me quickly down, Cast thy green kirtle owr me, And keep me frae the rain.
  30. ‘They’ll turn me in thy arms, lady, An adder and a snake; But hold me fast, let me na gae, To be your warldly mate.
  31. ‘They’ll turn me in your arms, lady, A grey greyhound to girn; But hald me fast, let me na gae, The father o your bairn.
  32. ‘They’ll turn me in your arms, lady, A red het gad o iron; Then haud me fast, and be na feard, I’ll do to you nae harm.
  33. ‘They’ll turn me in your arms, lady, A mother-naked man; Cast your green kirtle owr me, To keep me frae the rain.
  34. ‘First dip me in a stand o milk, And then a stand o water; Haud me fast, let me na gae, I’ll be your bairnie’s father.’
  35. Janet has kilted her green kirtle A little aboon her knee, And she has snooded her yellow hair A little aboon her bree, And she is on to Miles Cross, As fast as she can hie.
  36. The first company that passd by, She said na, and let them gae; The next company that passed by, She said na, and did right sae; The third company that passed by, Then he was ane o thae.
  37. She hied her to the milk-white steed, And pu’d him quickly down; She cast her green kirtle owr him, To keep him frae the rain; Then she did all was orderd her, And sae recoverd him.
  38. Then out then spak the Queen o Fairies, Out o a bush o broom: ‘They that hae gotten young Tom Line Hae got a stately groom.’
  39. Out then spak the Queen o Fairies, Out o a bush of rye: ‘Them that has gotten young Tom Line Has the best knight in my company.
  40. ‘Had I kend, Thomas,’ she says, ‘A lady wad hae borrowd thee, I wad hae taen out thy twa grey een, Put in twa een o tree.
  41. ‘Had I but kend, Thomas,’ she says, ‘Before I came frae hame, I had taen out that heart o flesh, Put in a heart o stane.’