‘O if my love were an earthly knight,
   As he is an elfin gay,
I wadna gie my ain true-love
   For nae laird that ye hae.

‘The steed that my true-love rides on
   Is fleeter nor the wind;
Wi’ siller he is shod before,
   Wi’ burning gold behind.’

Out then spak’ her brither dear—
   He meant to do her harm:
‘There grows an herb in Carterhaugh
   Will twine3 you an’ the bairn.’

Janet has kilted her green kirtle
   A little abune her knee,
And she has snooded her yellow hair
   A little abune her bree,
And she’s awa’ to Carterhaugh
   As fast as she can hie.

She hadna pu’d a leaf, a leaf,
   A leaf but only twae,
When up and started young Tam Lin,
   Says, ‘Ladye, thou’s pu’ nae mae.

‘How dar’ ye pu’ a leaf?’ he says,
   ‘How dar’ ye break the tree?
How dar’ ye scathe4 my babe,’ he says,
   ‘That’s between you and me?’

‘O tell me, tell me, Tam,’ she says,
   ‘For His sake that died on tree,
If ye were ever in holy chapel
   Or sain’d5 in Christentie?’

‘The truth I’ll tell to thee, Janet,
   Ae word I winna lee;
A knight me got, and a lady me bore,
   As well as they did thee.

‘Roxburgh he was my grandfather,
   Took me with him to bide;
And ance it fell upon a day,
   As hunting I did ride,

‘There came a wind out o’ the north,
   A sharp wind an’ a snell,6
A dead sleep it came over me
   And frae my horse I fell;
And the Queen o’ Fairies she took me
   In yon green hill to dwell.

‘And pleasant is the fairy land
   For those that in it dwell,
But ay at end of seven years
   They pay a teind7 to hell;
I am sae fair and fu’ o’ flesh
   I’m fear’d ’twill be mysell.

‘But the night is Hallowe’en, Janet,
   The morn is Hallowday;
Then win me, win me, an ye will,
   For weel I wat ye may.

‘The night it is gude Hallowe’en,
   The fairy folk do ride,
And they that wad their true-love win,
   At Miles Cross they maun bide.’—

‘But how should I you ken, Tam Lin,
   How should I borrow8 you,
Amang a pack of uncouth9 knights
   The like I never saw?’—

‘You’ll do you down to Miles Cross
   Between twel’ hours and ane,
And fill your hands o’ the holy water
   And cast your compass roun’.

‘The first company that passes by,
   Say na, and let them gae;
The neist company that passes by,
   Say na, and do right sae;
The third company that passes by,
   Then I’ll be ane o’ thae.

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

‘For some ride on the black, ladye,
   And some ride on the brown;
But I ride on a milk-white steed,
   A gowd star on my crown:
Because I was an earthly knight
   They gie me that renown.

‘My right hand will be gloved, ladye,
   My left hand will be bare,
And thae’s the tokens I gie thee:
   Nae doubt I will be there.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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