Tam Lin

No: 39; variant: 39[M]

  1. My father was a noble knight, And was much gi’n to play, And I myself a bonny boy, And followed him away.
  2. He rowd me in his hunting-coat And layd me down to sleep, And by the queen of fairies came, And took me up to keep.
  3. She set me on a milk-whtie steed; ‘Twas o the elfin kind; His feet were shot wi beaten goud, And fleeter than the wind.
  4. Then we raid on and on’ard mair, Oer mountain, hill and lee, Till we came to a hie, hie wa, Upon a mountain’s bree.
  5. The apples hung like stars of goud Out-our that wa sa fine; I put my hand to pu down ane, For want of food I thought to tine.
  6. ‘O had your hand, Tamas!’ she said, ‘O let that evil fruit now be! It was that apple ye see there Beguil’d man and woman in your country.
  7. ‘O dinna ye see yon road, Tamas, Down by yon lilie lee? Blessd is the man who yon gate gaes, It leads him to the heavens hie.
  8. ‘And dinna ye see yon road, Tamas, Down by yon frosty fell? Curst is the man that yon gate gaes, For it leads to the gates of hell.
  9. ‘O dinna ye see yon castle, Tamas, That’s biggit between the twa, And theekit wi the beaten goud? O that’s the fairies’ ha.
  10. ‘O when ye come to the ha, Tamas, See that a weel-learnd boy ye be; They’ll ask ye questions ane and a’, But see ye answer nane but me.
  11. ‘If ye speak to ain but me, Tamas, A fairie ye maun ever bide; But if ye speak to nane but me, Tamas, Ye may come to be your country’s pride.’
  12. And when he came to Fairie Ha, I wot a weel-learnd boy was he; They askd him questions ane and a’, But he answerd nane but his ladie.
  13. There was four-and-twenty gude knights’-sons In fairie land obliged to bide, And of a’ the pages that were there Fair Tamas was his ladie’s pride.
  14. There was four-and-twenty earthly boys, Wha all played at the ba, But Tamas was the bonniest boy, And playd the best amang them a’.
  15. There was four-and-twenty earthly maids, Wha a’ playd at the chess, Their colour rosy-red and white, Their gowns were green as grass.
  16. ‘And pleasant are our fairie sports, We flie o’er hill and dale; But at the end of seven years They pay the teen to hell.
  17. ‘And now’s the time, at Hallowmess, Late on the morrow’s even, And if ye miss me then, Janet, I’m lost for yearis seven.’