Tam Lin

O I forbid you maidens a'
That wear gowd on your hair,
To come, or gae by Carterhaugh,
For young Tom-lin is there.

There 's nane that gaes by Carterhaugh
But they leave him a wad;
Either their rings, or green mantles,
Or else their maidenhead.

Janet has kilted her green kirtle,
A little aboon her knee;
And she has broded her yellow hair
A little aboon her bree;
And she 's awa to Carterhaugh
As fast as she can hie.

But when she cam to Carterhaugh
Tom-lin was at the well,
And there she fand his steed standing
But away was himsel.

She had na pu'd a double rose,
A rose but only tway,
Till up then started young Tom-lin
Says, 'Lady, thou 's pu' nae mae.

Why pu's thou the rose, Janet,
And why breaks thou the wand?
Or why comes thou to Carterhaugh
Withoutten my command?

Carterhaugh it is my ain,
My daddie gave it me;
I'll come and gang by Carterhaugh,
And ask nae leave at thee.

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 to her father's ha,
As fast as she can hie.

Four and twenty ladies fair
Were playing at the ba,
And out then cam the fair Janet,
Ance the flower amang them a'.

Four and twenty ladies fair
Were playing at the chess,
And out then cam the fair Janet,
As green as ony glass.

Out then spak an auld grey knight,
Lay o'er the castle-wa,
And says, Alas, fair Janet for thee
But we'll be blamed a'.

Haud your tongue, ye auld-fac'd knight,
Some ill death may ye die,
Father my bairn on whom I will,
I'll father nane on thee.

Out then spak her father dear,
And he spak meek and mild,
And ever alas, sweet Janet, he says,
I think thou gaes wi' child.

If that I gae wi' child, father,
Mysel maun bear the blame;
There 's ne'er a laird about your ha,
Shall get the bairn's name.

If my Love were an earthly knight,
As he 's an elfin gray;
I wad na gie my ain true-love
For nae lord that ye hae.

The steed that my true-love rides on,
Is lighter than the wind;
Wi' siller he is shod before,
Wi' burning gowd behind.

Janet has kilted her green kirtle
A little aboon her knee;
And she has snooded her yellow hair
A little aboon her brie;
And she ‘s awa to Carterhaugh
As fast as she can hie.

When she cam to Carterhaugh,
Tom-lin was at the well;
And there she fand his steed standing,
But away was himsel.

She had na pu'd a double rose,
A rose but only tway,
Till up then started young Tom-lin
Says, Lady thou pu's nae mae.

Why pu's thou the rose Janet,
Amang the groves sae green,
And a' to kill the bonie babe
That we gat us between.

O tell me, tell me, Tom-lin she says,
For 's sake that died on tree,
If e'er ye was in holy chapel,
Or Christendom did see.

Roxbrugh he was my grandfather,
Took me with him to bide,
And ance it fell upon a day,
That wae did me betide.

Ance it fell upon a day,
A cauld day and a snell,
When we were frae the hunting come
That frae my horse I fell.

The queen o' Fairies she caught me,
In yon green hill to dwell,
And pleasant is the fairy-land;
But, an eerie tale to tell!

Ay at the end of seven years
We pay a tiend to hell;
I am sae fair and fu' o' flesh
I'm fear'd it be mysel.

But the night is Halloween, lady,
The morn is Hallowday;
Then win me, win me, an ye will,
For weel I wat ye may.

Just at the mirk and midnight hour
The fairy folk will ride;
And they that wad their truelove win
At Milescross they maun bide.

'But how shall I thee ken, Tam Lin,
Or how my true-love know,
Amang sae mony unco knights
The like I never saw.'
29.
'O first let pass the black, lady,
And syne let pass the brown;
But quickly run to the milk-white steed,
Pu' ye his rider down.
30.
'For I'll ride on the milk-white steed,
And ay nearest the town,
Because I was an earthly knight
They gie me that renown.
31.
'My right hand will be glov'd, lady,
My left hand will be bare,
Cockt up shall my bonnet be
And kaim'd down shall my hair;
And thae's the tokens I gie thee -
Nae doubt I will be there:
32.
But how shall I thee ken, Tom-lin,
O how my truelove know,
Amangsae mony unco knights
The like I never saw.

O first let pass the black, Lady,
And syne let pass the brown;
But quickly run to the milk-white steed,
Pu ye his rider down:

For I’ll ride on the milk-white steed,
And ay the nearest town;
Because I was an earthly knight
They gie me that renown.

My right hand will be glov’d, lady,
My left hand will be bare;
Cockt up shall my bonnet be,
And kaim’d down shall be my hair;
And thae’s the tokens I gie thee,
Nae doubt I will be there.

They 'll turn me in your arms, lady,
Into an ask and adder,
But hald me fast and fear me not,
I am your bairn's father.

They 'll turn me to a bear sae grim,
And then a lion bold;
But hold me fast and fear me not,
As ye shall love your child.

Again they 'll turn me in your arms
To a red het gaud of airn;
But hold me fast and fear me not,
I'll do to you nae harm.

And last they 'll turn me in your arms,
Into a burning lead;
Then throw me into well-water,
O throw me in wi' speed!

And then I'll be your ain true love,
I'll turn a naked knight:
Then cover me wi' your green mantle,
And cover me out o' sight.

Gloomy, gloomy was the night,
And eerie was the way,
As fair Jenny in her green mantle
To Milescross she did gae.

About the middle o' the night
She heard the bridles ring;
This lady was as glad at that
As any earthly thing.

First she let the black pass by,
And syne she let the brown;
But quickly she ran to the milk-white steed,
And pu'd the rider down.

Sae weel she minded what he did say
And young Tom-lin did win;
Syne cover'd him wi' her green mantle,
As blythe 's a bird in Spring.

Out then spak the queen o' Fairies,
Out of a bush o' broom;
Them that has gotten young Tom-lin,
Has gotten a stately groom.

Out then spak the queen o' Fairies,
And an angry queen was she;
Shame betide her ill-fard face.
And an ill death may she die,
For she 's taen awa the boniest knight
In a' my companie.

But had I kend, Tom-lin, she says,
What now this night I see,
I wad hae taen out thy twa green een,
And put in twa een o' tree.