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B. `Young Tam Line,' Glenriddle MS., vol. xi, No 17, 1791.
C. `Kertonha, or, The Fairy Court,' Herd, The Ancient and Modern Scots Songs, 1769, p. 300.
D. `Tom Linn.' a. Motherwell's MS., p. 532. b. Maidment's New Book of Old Ballads, p. 54. c. `Tom o Linn,' Pitcairn's MSS, III, fol. 67.
E. `Young Tamlin,' Motherwell's Note-Book, fol. 13.
F. `Tomaline,' Motherwell's MS., p. 64.
G. `Tam-a-line, the Elfin Knight,' Buchan's MSS, I, 8; `Tam a-Lin, or The Knight of Faerylande,' Motherwell's MS., p. 595. Dixon, Scottish Traditionary Versions of Ancient Ballads, Percy Soecity, XVII, 11.
H. `Young Tam Lane,' Campbell MSS, II, 129.
I. `The Young Tamlane.' Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border: a, II, 337, ed. 1883; b, II, 228, ed. 1802.
The copy in Tales of Wonder, II, 459, is A, altered by Lewis. Mr Joseph Robertson notes, Kinloch MSS, VI, 10, that his mother had communicated to him some fragments of this ballad slightly differing from Scott's version, with a substitution of the name True Tammas for Tam Lane.
The Scots Magazine for October, 1818, LXXXII, 327-29, has a "fragment" of more than sixty stanzas, composed in an abominatible artificial lingo, on the subject of this ballad, and alleged to have been taken from the mouth of a good old peasant, who, not having heard the ballad for thirty years, could remember no more. Thomas the Rhymer appears in the last lines with very great distinction, but it is not clear what part he has in the story. (note 1)
A copy printed in Aberdeen, 1862, and said to have been edited by the Rev. John Burnett Pratt, of Cruden, Aberdeenshire, is made up from Aytoun and Scott, with a number of slight changes. (note 2)
`The Tayl of the young Tamlene' is spoken of as told among a company of shepherds, in Vedderburn's Complaint of Scotland, 1549, p. 63 of Dr James A. H. Murray's edition for the Early English Text Society. `Thom of Lyn' is mentioned as a dance of the same party, a little further on, Murray, .p. 66, and `Young Thomlin' is the name of an air in a medly in "Wood's MS.," inserted, as David Laing thought, between 1600 and 1620, and printed in Forbes's Cantus, 1666: Stenhouse's ed. of The Scots Musical Museum, 1853, IV, 440. "A ballett of Thomalyn" is licensed to Master John Wallye and Mistress Toye in 1558: Arber, Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers, I, 22; cited by Furnivall, Captain Cox, &c., Ballad Society, p. clxiv.
Sir Walter Scott relates a tradition of an attempt to rescue a woman from fairydom which recalls the ill success of many of the efforts to disenchant White Ladies in Germany: "The wife of a farmer in Lothian had been carried off by the fairies, and, during the year of probation, repeatedly appeared on Sunday, in the midst of her children, combing their hair. On one of these occasions she was accosted by her husband; when she related to him the unforunate event which had separated them, instructed him by what means he might win her, and exhorted him to exert all his courage, since her temporal and eternal happiness depended on the success of his attempt. The farmer, who ardently loved his wife, set out at Halloween, and, in the midst of a plot of furze, waited impatiently for the procession of the fairies. At the ringing of the fairy bridles, and the wild, unearthly sound which accompanied the cavalcade, his heart failed him, and he suffered the ghostly train to pass by without interruption. When the last had rode past, the whole troop vanished, with loud shouts of laughter and exultation, among which he plainly discovered the voice of his wife, lamenting that he had lost her forever." The same author proceeds to recount a real incident, which took place at the town of North Berwick, within memory, of a man who was prevented from undertaking, or at least meditating, a similar rescue only by shrewd and prompt practical measures on the part of his minister. (note 3)
This fine ballad stands by itself, and is not, as might have been expected, found in possession of any people but the Scottish. Yet it has connections, though the principal feature in the story, the retransformation of Tam Lin, with Greek popular tradition older than Homer.
Something of the successive changes of shape is met with in a Scandinavian ballad: `Natergalen,' Grundtvig, II, 168, No 57; `Den förtrollade Prinsessan,' Afzelius, II, 67, No 41, Atterbom, Poetisk Kalender, 1816, p. 44; Dybeck, Runa, 1844, p. 94, No 2; Axelson, Vandring i Wermlands Elfdal, p. 21, No 3; Lindeman, Norske Fjeldmelodier, Tekstbilag til 1ste Bind, p. 3, No 10.
Though many copies of this ballad have been obtained from the mouth of the people, all that are known are derived from flying sheets, of which there is a Danish one dated 1721 and a Sedish of the year 1738. What is of more account, the style of the piece, as we have it, is not quite popular. Nevertheless, the story is entirely of the popular stamp, and so is the feature in it, which alone concerns us materially. A nightingale relates to a knight how she had once had a lover, but a stepmother soon upset all that, and turned her into a bird and her brother into a wolf. The curse was not to be taken off the brother till he drank his step-dame's blood, and after seven years he caught her, when she was taking a walk in a wood, tore out her heart, and regained his human shape. The knight proposes to the bird that she shall come and pass the winter in his bower, and go back to the wood in the summer: this, the nightingale says, the step-mother had forbidden, as long as she wore feathers. The knight sizes the bird by the foot, takes her home to his bower, and fastens the windows and doors. She turns to all the marvellous beasts one ever heard of,--to a lion, a bear, a variety of small snakes, and at last to a lothsome lind-worm. The knight makes a sufficient incision for blood to come, and a maid stands on the floor as fair as a flower. He now asks after her origin, and she answers, Egypt's king was my father, and its queen my mother; my brother was doomed to rove the woods as a wolf. "If Egypt's king," he rejoins, "was your father and its queen your mother, then for sure you are my sister's daughter, who was doomed to be a nightingale." (note 4)
We come much nearer, and indeed surprisingly near, to the principal event of the Scottish ballad in a Cretan fairy-tale, cited from Chourmouzis by Bernhard Schmidt (note 5). A young peasant of the village Sgourokepháli, who was a good player on the rote, used to be taken by the nereids into their grotto for the sake of his music. He fell in love with one of them, and, not knowing how to help himself, had recourse to an old woman of his village. She gave him this advice: that just before cock-crow he should seize his beloved by the hair, and hold on, unterrified, till the cock crew, whatever forms she should assume. The peasant gave good heed, and the next time he was taken into the cave fell to playing, as usual, and the nereids to dancing. But as cock-crow drew nigh, he put down his instrument, sprang upon the object of his passion, and grasped her by her locks. She instantly changed shape; became a dog, a snake, a camel, fire. But he kept his courage and held on, and presently the cock crew, and the nereids vanished all but one. His love returned to her proper beauty, and went with him to his home. After the lapse of a year she bore a son, but in all this time never uttered a word. The young husband was fain to ask counsel of the old woman again, who told him to heat the oven hot, and say to his wife that if she would not speak he would throw the boy into the oven. He acted upon this prescription; their nereid cried out, Let go of my child, dog! tore the infant from his arms, and vanished.
This Cretan tale, recovered from tradition even later than our ballad, repeats all the important circumstances of the forced marriage of Thetis with Peleus. Chiron, like the old woman, suggested to his protégé that he should lay hands on the nereid, and keep his hold through whatever metamorphosis she might make. He looked for his opportunity and seized her; she turned to fire, water, and a wild beast, but he did not let go till she resumed her primitive shape. Thetis, having borne a son, wished to make him immortal; to which end she buried him in fire by night, to burn out his human elements, and anointed him with ambrosia by day. Peleus was not taken into counsel, but watched her, and saw the boy gasping in the fire, which made him call out; and Thetis, thus thwarted, abandoned the child and went back to the nereids. Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, III, 13, 5, 6.
The Cretan tale does not differ from the one repeated by Apollodorus from earlier writers a couple of thousand years ago more than two versions of a story gathered from oral tradition in these days are apt to do. Whether it has come down to our time from mouth to mouth through twenty-five centuries or more, or whether, having died out of the popular memory, it was reintroduced through literature, is a question that cannot be decided with certainty; but there will be nothing unlikely in the former supposition to those who bear in mind the tenacity of tradition among people who have never known books. (note 6)
First dip me in a stand of milk, And then in a stand of water; Haud me fast, let me na gae, I'll be your bairnie's father,has an occult and very important significance which has only very lately been pointed out, and which modern reciters had completely lost knowledge of, as appears by the disorder into which the stanzas have fallen (note 7). Immersion in a liquid, generally water, but sometimes milk, is a process requisite for passing from a non-human shape, produced by enchantment, back into the human, and also for returning from the human to a non-human state, whether produced by enchantment or original. We have seen that the serpent which Lanzselet kisses, in Ulrich's romance, is not by that simple though essential act instantly turned into a woman. It is still necessary that she should bathe in a spring (p. 308). In an Albanian tale, `Taubenliebe,' Hahn, No 102, II, 130, a dove flies into a princess's window, and receiving her caresses, asks, Do you love me? The princess answering Yes, the dove says, Then have a dish of milk ready to-morrow, and you shall see what a handsome man I am. A dish of milk is ready the next morning; the dove flies into the window, dips himself in the milk, drops his feathers, and steps out a beautiful youth. When it is time to go, the youth dips in the milk, and flies off a dove. This goes on every day for two years. A Greek tale, `Goldgerte,' Hahn, No 7, I, 97, has the same transformation, with water for milk. Our b 34 has well-water only (note 8). Perhaps the bath of milk occurred in one earlier version of our ballad, the water-bath in another, and the two accounts became blended in time.
The end of the mutations, in F 11, G 43, is a naked man, and a mother-naked man in B 33, under the presumed right arrangement; meaning by right arrangement, however, not the original arrangement, but the most consistent one for the actual form of tradition. Judging by analogy, the naked man should issue from the bath of milk or fof water; into which he should have gone in one of his non-human shapes, a dove, swan, or snake (for which, too, a "stand" of milk or of water is more practical bath than for a man). The fragment C adds some slight probability to this supposition. The last change there is into "a dove but and a swan;" then Tam Lin bids the maiden to let go, for he'll "be a perfect man:" this, nevertheless, he could not well become without some further ceremony. A is the only version which has preserved an essentially correct process: Tam Lin, when a burning gleed, is to be thrown into well-water, from which he will step forth a naked knight. (note 9)
At state periods, which the ballads make to be seven years, the fiend of hell
is entitled to take his teind, tithe, or kane from the people of fairy-land:
A 24, B 23, C 5, D 15, G 28, H 15.
The fiend prefers those that are fair and fu o flesh, according to A,
G; ane o flesh and blood, D. H makes the queen fear for
herself; "the koors they hae gane round about, and I fear it will be mysel."
H is not discordant with popular tradition elsewhere, which attributes
to fairies the practice of abstracting young children to serve as substitutes
for themselves in tribute: Scott's Minstrelsy, II, 220, 1802. D 15 says
"the last here goes to hell," which would certainly not be equitable, and
C "we're a' dung down to hell," where "all" must be meant only of the
naturalized members of the community. Poor Alison Pearson, who lost her life
in 1586 for believing these things, testified that the tribute was annual. Mr
William Sympson, who had been taken away by the fairies, "bidd her sign
herself that she be not taken away, for the teind of them are tane to hell
everie year:" Scott, as above, p. 208. The kindly queen of the fairies
(note 10) will not allow Thomas of Erceldoune to be exposed
to this peril, and hurries him back to earth the day before the fiend comes
for his due. Thomas is in peculiar danger, for the reason given in A,
To morne of helle the foulle fende Amange this folke will feche his fee; And thou art mekill man and hende; I trowe full wele he wolde chese the.
The elf-queen, A 32, B40, would have taken out Tam's twa gray een, had she known he was to be borrowed, and have put in twa een of tree, B 41, D 34, E 21, H 14; she would have taken out his heart of flesh, and have put in, B, D, E, a heart of stane, H of tree. The taking out of the eyes would probably be to deprive Tam of the faculty of recognizing fairy folk thereafter. Mortals whose eyes have been touched with fairries' salve can see them when they are to others invisible, and such persons, upon distinguishing and saluting fairies, have often had not simply this power but their ordinary eyesight taken away: see Cromek's Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, p. 304, Thiele, Danmarks Folkesagn, 1843, II, 202, IV, etc. Grimm has given instances of witches, Slavic, German, Norse and Italian, taking out the heart of man (which they are wont to devour), and replacing it in some instances with straw, wood, or something of the kind; nor do the Roman witches appear to have been behind later ones in this dealing: Deutsche Mythologie, 904 f, and the note III, 312.
The fairy in the Lai de Lauval, v. 547, rides on a white palfrey, and also two damsels, her harbingers, v. 471; so the fairy princess in the English Launfal, Halliwell, Fairy Mythology, p. 30. The fairy king and all his knights and ladies ride on white steeds in King Orfeo, Halliwell, as above, p. 41. The queen of Elfland rides a milk-white steed in Thomas Rymer, A, C; in B, and all copies of Thomas of Erceldoune, her palfrey is dapple gray. Tam Lin, A 28, B 27, etc., is distinguished from the rest of his "court" by being thus mounted; all the other horses are black or brown.
Tam Lane was taken by the fairies, according to G 26, 27, while sleeping under an apple-tree. In Sir Orfeo (ed. Zielke, v. 68) it was the queen's sleeping under an ympe-tree that led to her being carried off by the fairy king, and the ympe-tree we may suppose to be some kind of fruit tree, if not exclusively the apple. Thomas of Erceldoune is lying under a semely [derne, cumly] tree, when he sees the fairy queen. The derivation of that poem from Ogier le Danois shows that this must have been an apple-tree.a Special trees are considered in Greece dangerous to lie under in summer and at noon, as exposing one to taken by the nereids or fairies, especially plane, poplar, fig, nut, and St John's bread: Schmidt, Volksleben de Neugriechen, p. 119. The elder and the linden are favorites of the elves in Denmark.
The rencounter at the beginning between Tam Lin and Janet (in the wood, D, F, G) is repeated between Hind Etin [Young Akin] and Margaret in `Hind Etin,' further on. Some Slavic ballads open in a similar way, but there is nothing noteworthy in that: see p. 41. "First they did call me Jack," etc., D 9, is a commonplace frequent occurance: see, e. g., `The Knight and Shepherd's Daughter.'
Some humorous verses, excellent in their way, about one Tam o Lin are very
well known: as Tam o the Linn, Chambers, Scottish Songs, p. 455, Popular
Rhymes of Scotland, p. 33, ed. 1870; Sharpe's Ballads, new ed., p. 44, p. 137,
No XVI; Tommy Linn, North Country Chorister, ed. Ritson, p. 3; Halliwell's
Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales, p. 271, ed. 1849; Thomas o Linn, Kinloch
MSS, III, 45, V, 81; Tam o Lin, Campbell MSS., II, 107. (Miss Joanna Baillie
tried her hand at an imitation, but the jocosity of the real thing is not
feminine.) A fool sings this stanza from such a song in Wager's comedy, `The
longer thou livest, the more fool thou art,' put at about 1568; see Furnivall,
Captain Cox, his Ballads and Books, p. cxxvii:
Tom a Lin and his wife, and his wiues mother, They went ouer a bridge all three together; The bridge was broken, and they fell in: `The deuil go with all!' quoth Tom a Lin.
"Carterhaugh id s plsin at the confluence of the Ettrick with the Yarrow, scarcely an English mile above the town of Selkirk, and on this plain they show two or three rings on the ground, where, they say, the stands of milk and water stood, and upon which grass never grows."
Translated, after Scott, by Schubart, p. 139, and Büsching's Wöchentliche Nachrichten, I, 247; by Arndt, Blütenlese, p. 212; after Aytoun, I, 7, by Rosa Warrens, Schottische Volkslieder, No 8; by Knortz, Schottische Balladen, No 17, apparently after Aytoun and Allingham. The Danish `Nattergalen' is translated by Prior, III, 118, No 116.
Johnson's Museum, p. 423, No 411. Communicated by Robert Burns.
1 O I forbid you, maidens a' That wear gown on your hair To come or gae by Caterhaugh, For young Tam Lin is there. 2 There's nane that gaes by Carterhaugh But they leave him a wad, Either their rings, or green mantles, Or else their maidenhead. 3 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. 4 When she came to Carterhaugh Tam Lin was at the well, And there she fand his steed standing, But away was himsel. 5 She had n pu'd a double rose, A rose but only twa, Till up then started young Tam Lin, Says, Lady, thou's pu nae mae. 6 Why pu's thou the rose, Janet, And why breaks though the wand? Or why comes thou to Carterhaugh Withoutten my command? 7 'Carterhaugh, it is my ain, My daddie gave it me; I'll come and gang 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 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 cam the fair Janet, Ance the flower amang them a'. 10 Four and twenty ladies fair Were playing at the chess, And out then cam the fair Janet, As green as onie glass. 11 Out then spak an aul grey knight, Lay oer the castle wa, And says, Alas, fair Janet, for thee But we'll be blamed a'. 12 '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.' 13 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.' 14 'If that I gae wi child, father, Mysel maun bear the blame; There's neer a laird about your ha Shall get the bairn's name. 15 'If my love were an earthly knight, As he's an elfin grey, I wad na gie my ain true-love For nae lord that ye hae. 16 'The steed that my true-love rides on Is lighter than the wind; Wi siller he is shod before, Wi burning gowd behind.' 17 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 awa to Carterhaugh As fast as she can hie. 18 When she cam to Carterhaugh, Tam Lin was at the well, And there she fand his steed standing, But away was himsel. 19 She had na pu'd a double rose, A rose but only twa, Till up then started young Tam Lin, Says Lady, thou pu's nae mae. 20 Why pu's thou the rose, Janet, Amang the groves sae green, And a' to kill the bonnie babe That we gat us between? 21 'Oh tell me, tell me, Tam Lin,' she says, 'For's sake that died on tree, If eer ye was in holy chapel, Or Christendom did see?' 22 Roxbrugh he was my grandfather, Took me with him to bide, And ance it fell upon a day That wae did me betide. 23 'And 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. 24 '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 feard it be myself. 25 'But the night is Halloween, lady, The morn is Hallowday; Then win me, win me, an ye will, For weel I wat ye may. 26 'Just at the mirk and midnight hour The fairy folk will ride, And they that wad their true-love win, At Miles Cross they maun bide.' 27 But how shall I thee ken, Tam Lin, Or how my true-love know Amang sae mony unco knights The like I never saw?' 28 '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. 29 '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. 30 'My right hand will be glovd, lady, My left hand will be bare, Cockt up shall my bonnet be, And kaimd down shall my hair, And thae's the takens I gie thee, Nae doubt I will be there. 31 'They'll turn me in your arms, lady, Into an esk and adder; But hold me fast, and fear me not, I am your bairn's father. 32 '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. 33 '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. 34 'And last they'll turn me in your arms Into the burning gleed; Then throw me into well water, O throw me in wi speed. 35 'An 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.' 36 Gloomy, gloomy was the night, And eerie was the way, As fair Jenny in her green mantle To Miles Cross she did gae. 37 About the middle o the night She heard the bridles ring; This lady was as glad at that As any earthly thing. 38 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. 39 Sae weel she minded whae he did say, And young Tam Lin did win; Syne coverd him wi her green mantle, As blythe's a bird in spring. 40 Out then spak the Queen o Fairies, Out of a bush o broom: 'Them that has gotten young Tam Lin Has gotten a stately groom.' 41 Out then spak the Queen o Fairies, And an angry woman was she: 'Shame betide her ill-far'd face, And an ill death may she die, For she's taen awa the bonniest knight In a' my companie. 42 'But had I kend, Tam Lin,' she says, 'What now this night I see, I wad hae taen out thy twa grey een, And put twa een o tree.'
1 I forbid ye, maidens a', That wear your goud on your gear, To come and gae to 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 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 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 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 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 of 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 your arms, lady, An adder and a snake; But hold me fast, let me na gae, To be your wardly mate. 31 `They'll turn me in your arms, lady, A grey greyhound to grin; But hald me fast, let me na gae, The father o your bairn. 32 `The'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 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 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 recovered 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 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 of stane.'
Herd, The Ancient and Modern Scots Songs, 1769, p. 300.
1 She's prickt hersell and prind hersell, By the ae light o the moon, And she's awa to Kertonha, As fast as she can gang. 2 `What gars ye pu the rose, Jennet? What gars ye break the tree What gars you gang to Kertonha Without the leave of me?' 3 `Yes, I will pu the rose, Thomas, And I will break the tree; For Kertonha should be my ain, Nor ask I leave of thee.' 4 `Full pleasant is the fairy land, And happy there to dwell; I am a fairy, lyth and limb, Fair maiden, view me well. 5 `O pleasant is the fairy land, How happy there to dwell! But ay at every seven years end We're a'dung down to hell. 6 `The morn is good Halloween, And our court a' will ride; If ony maiden wins her man, Then she may be his bride. 7 `But first ye'll let the black gae by, And then ye'll let the brown; Then I'll ride on a milk-white steed, You'll pu me to the ground. 8 `And first, I'll grow into your arms An esk but and an edder; Had me fast, let me not gang, I'll be your bairn's father. 9 `Next, I'll grow into your arms A toad but and an eel; Had me fast, le me not gang, If you do love me leel. 10 `Last, I'll grow into your arms A dove but and a swan; Then, maiden fair, you'll let me go, I'll be the perfect man. * * * * *
a. Motherwell's MS., p. 532, a North Country version. b. Maidment's New book of Old Ballads, 1844, p. 54, from the recitation of an old woman. c. Pitcairn's MSS, 1817-25, III, p. 67: "procured by David Webster, Bookseller, from tradition."
1 O all you ladies young and gay, Who are so sweet and fair, Do not go into Chaster's wood, For Tomlin will be there. 2 Fair Margret sat in her bonny bower, Sewing her silken seam, And wished to be in Chaster's wood, Among the leaves so green. 3 She let her seam fall to her foot, The needle to her toe, And she has gone to Chaster's wood, As fast as she could go. 4 When she began to pull the flowers, She pulld both red and green; Then by did come, and by did go, Said, Fair maid, let aleene. 5 `O why pluck you the flowers, lady, Or why climb you the tree? Or why come ye to Chaster's wood 'Whithout the leave of me?' 6 `O I will pull the flowers,' she said, Or I will break the tree, For Chaster's wood it is my own, I'll no ask leave at thee.' 7 He took her by the milk-white hand, And by the grass green sleeve, And laid her low down on the flowers, At her he asked no leave. 8 The lady blushed, and sourly frowned, And she did think great shame; Says, ' If you are a gentleman, You will tell me your name.' 9 'First they did call me Jack,' he said, 'And then they called me John, But since I lived in the fairy court Tomlin has always been my name. 10 So do not pluck that flower, lady, That has these pimples gray; They would destroy the bonny babe That we've got in our play.' 11 `O tell me, Tomlin,' she said, And tell it to me soon, Was you ever at good church-door, Or got you christendoom?' 12 `O I have been at good church-door, And aff her yetts within; I was the Laird of Foulis's son, The heir of all this land. 13 But it fell once upon a day, As hunting I did ride, As I rode east and west yon hill There woe did me betide. 14 `O drowsy, drowsy as I was! Dead sleep upon me fell; The Queen of Fairies she was there, And took me to hersell. 15 `The Elfins is a pretty place, In which I love to dwell, But yet at every seven years' end The last here goes to hell; And as I am ane o flesh and blood, I fear the next be mysell. 16 `The morn at even is Halloween; Our fairy court will ride, Throw England and Scotland both, Throw al the world wide And if ye would me borrow, At Rides Cross ye may bide. 17 `You may go into the Miles Moss, Between twelve hours and one; Take holy water in your hand, And cast a compass round. 18 `The first court that comes along, You'll let them all pass by; The next court that comes along, Salute them reverently. 19 `The next court that comes along Is clad in robes of green, And it's the head court of them all, For in it rides the queen. 20 `And I upon a milk-white steed, With a gold star in my crown; Because I am an earthly man I'm next to the queen in renown 21 `Then seize upon me with a spring, Then to the ground I'll fa, And then you 'll hear a rueful cry That Tomlin is awa. 22 `Then I'll grow in your arms two Like to a savage wild; But hold me fast, let me not go, I 'm father of your child. 23 `Then I'll grow in your arms two Like to an adder or a snake; But hold me fast, let me not go, To be your worthy maick. 24 `I'II grow into your arms two Then like iron in strong fire; But hold me fast, let me not go, Then you'll have your desire.' 25 She rid down to Miles Cross, Between twelve hours and one, Took holy water in her hand, and cast a compass round. 26 The first court that came along, She let them all pass by; The next court that came along Saluted reverently. 27 The next court that came along Were clad in robes of green, With Tomlin, on a milk-white steed, She saw ride with the queen. 28 She seized him in her arms two, He to the ground did fa, And then she heard a ruefull cry 'Tomlin is now awa.' 29 He grew into her arms two Like to a savage wild; She held him fast, let him not go, The father of her child. 30 He grew into her arms two Like an adder or a snake; She held him fast, let him not go, He was her earthly maick. 31 He grew into her arms two Like iron in hot fire; She held him fast, let him not go, He was her heart's desire. 32 Then sounded out throw elphin court, With a loud shout and a cry, That the pretty maid of Chaster's wood That day had caught her prey. 33 `O stay, Tomlin,' cried Elphin Queen, `Till I pay you your fee;' `His father has lands and rents enough, He wants no fee from thee.' 45 `O had I known at early morn Tomlin would from me gone, I would have taken out a heart of flesh Put in a heart of stone.'
Motherwell's Note-book, p. 13.
1 Lady Margaret is over gravel green, And over gravel grey, And she's awa to Charteris ha, Lang lang three hour or day. 2 She hadna pu'd a flower, a flower, A flower but only ane, Till up and started young Tamlin, Says, Lady, let alane. 3 She hadna pu'd a flower, a flower, A flower but only twa, 'rill up and started youna Tamlene, Atween her and the wa. 4 `How daur you pu my flower, madam? How daur ye break my tree? How daur ye come to Charter's ha, Without the leave of me?' 5 `Weel I may pu the rose,' she said, `But I daurna break the tree And Charter's ha is my father's, And I'm his heir to be.' 6 'If Charteris ha be thy father's, I was ance as gude mysell; But as I came in by Lady Kirk, And in by Lady Well, 7 `Deep and drowsy was the sleep On my poor body fell; By came the Queen of Faery, Made me with her to dwell. 8 `But the morn at een is Halloween, Our fairy foks a' do ride; And she that will her true-love win, At Blackstock she must bide. 9 `First let by the black,' he said, `And syne let by the brown; But when you see the milk-white steed, You'll pull his rider down. 10 `You'll pull him into thy arms, Let his bricht bridle fa, And he'll fa low into your arms Like stone in castle's wa. 11 They'll first shape him into your arms An adder or a snake ; But hold him fast, let him not go, He'll be your world's make. 12 `They'II next shape him into your arms Like a wood black dog to bite Hold him fast, let him not go, For he'll be your heart's delight. 13 `They'll next shape [him] into your arms Like a red-het gaud o airn; But hold him fast, let him not go, He's the father o your bairn. 14 `They'll next shape him into your arms Like the laidliest worm of Ind; But hold him fast, let him not go, And cry aye "Young Tamlin."' * * * * * 15 Lady Margaret first let by the black, And syne let by the brown, But when she saw the milk-white steed She pulled the rider down. 16 She pulled him into her arms, Let his bright bridle fa', And he fell low into her arms, Like stone in castle's wa. 17 They first shaped him into arms An adder or a snake; But she held him fast, let him not go For he'd be her warld's make. 18 They next shaped him into her arms Like a wood black dog to bite; But she held him fast, let him not go For he'd be her heart's delight. 19 They next shaped him into her arms Like a red-hot gaud o airn Buit she held him fast, let him not go, He'd be father o her bairn. 20 They next shaped him into her arms Like the laidliest worm of Ind; But she held him fast, let him not go, And cried aye "Young Tamlin" .' 21 The Queen of Faery turned her horse about Says, Adieu to thee, Tamlene! For if I had kent what I ken this night, If I had kent it yestreen, I wad had taen out thy heart o flesh, And put in a heart o stane.
Motherwell's MS., p. 64, from the recitation of widow McCormick, February, 1825.
1 She's taen her petticoat by the band, Her mantle owre her arm, And she's awa to Chester wood, As fast as she could run. 2 She scarsely pulled a rose, a rose, She scarse pulled two or three, Till up there starts Thomas On the Lady Margaret's knee. 3 She's taen her petticoat by the band, Her mantle owre her arm, And Lady Margaret's gane hame agen As fast as she could run. 4 Up starts Lady Margeret's sister, An angry woman was she: `If there ever was a woman wi child. Margaret, you are wi!' 5 Up starts Lady Margaret's mother. And an angry woman was she: `There grows ane herb in yon Kirk-yard That will scathe the babe away.' 6 She took her petticoats by the band, Her mantle owre her arm, And she's gane to yon kirk-yard As fast as she could run. 7 She scarcely pulled an herb, an herb, She scarse pulled two or three, When up starts there Thomas Upon this Lady Margret's knee. 8 `How dare ye pull a rose?' he says, `How dare ye break the tree? How dare ye pull this herb,' he says, `To scathe my babe away? 9 This night is Halloweve,' he said, `Our court is going to waste, And them that loves their true-love best At Chester bridge they'll meet. 10 First let pass the black,' he says, `And then let pass the brown, But when ye meet the milk-white steed, Pull ye the rider down. 11 'They'll turn me to an eagle,' he says, 'And then into an ass; Come, hold me fast, and fear me not, The man that you love best. 12 'They'll turn me to a flash of fire, And then to a naked man; Come, wrap you your mantle me about And then you'll have me won.' 13 She took her petticoats by the band, Her mantle owre her arm, And she's awa to Chester bridge, As fast as she could run. 14 And first she did let pass the black, And then let pass the brown, But when she met the milk-white steed, She pulled the rider down. 15 They turned him in her arms an eagle, And then into an ass; But she held him fast, and feared him not, The man that she loved best. 16 They turned him into a flash of fire, And then into a naked man; But she wrapped her mantle him about, And then she had him won. 17 `O wae be to ye, Lady Margaret, And an ill death may you die, For you've robbed me of the bravest knight That eer rode in our company.'
Buchan's MSS, I, 8; Motherwell's MS., p. 595.
1 Take warning, a' ye ladies fair, That wear gowd on your hair, Come never unto Charter's woods, For Tam-a-line he's there. 2 Even about that knight's middle O' siller bells are nine; Nae ane comes to Charter wood, And a maid returns again. 3 Lady Margaret sits in her bower door, Sewing at her silken seam; and she lang to gang to Charter woods, To pou the roses green. 4 She hadna poud a rose, a rose, Nor broken a branch but ane, Till by it came him true Tam-a-line, Says, Ladye, lat alane. 5 O why pou ye the rose, the rose? Or why brake ye the tree? Or why come ye to Charter woods, Without leave askd of me? 6 'I will pou the rose, the rose, And I will brake the tree; Cbarterwoods are a' my ain, I'll ask nae leave o thee.' 7 He's taen her by the milk-white hand, And by the grass-green sleeve, And laid her low on gude green wood, At her he spierd nae leave. 8 When he had got his wills of her, His wills as he had taen, He's taen her by the middle sma, Set her to feet again. 9 She turnd her right and round about, To spier her true-love's name, But naething heard she, nor naething saw, As a' the woods grew dim. 10 Seven days she tarried there, Saw neither sun nor meen; At length, by a sma glimmering light, Came thro the wood her lane. 11 When she came to her father's court, As fine as ony queen; But when eight months were past and gane, Got on the gown o' green. 12 Then out it speaks an eldren knight, As he stood at the yett: 'Our king's daughter, she gaes wi bairn, And we'll get a' the wyte.' 13 'O had your tongue, ye eldren man, And bring me not to shame; Although that I do gang wi bairn, Yese naeways get the blame. 14 `Were my love but an earthly man, As he's an elfin knight, I woudna gie my ain true love For a' that's in my sight.' 15 Then out it speaks her brither dear, He meant to do her harm: `There is an herb in Charter wood Will twine you an the bairn.' 16 She's taen her mantle her about, Her coffer by the band, And she is on to Charter wood, As fast as she coud gang. 17 She hadna poud a rose, a rose, Nor braken a branch but ane, Till by it came him Tam-a-Line, Says, Ladye, lat alane. 18 O why pou ye the pile, Margaret, The pile o the gravil green, For to destroy the bonny bairn That we got us between? 19 O why pou ye the pile, Margaret, The pile o the gravil gray, For to destroy the bonny bairn That we got in our play? 20 For if it be a knave-bairn, He's heir o a' my land; But if it be a lass-bairn, In red gowd she shall gang. 21 `If my luve were an earthly man As he's an elfin rae, I coud gang bound, love, for your sake, A twalmonth and a day.' 22 `Indeed your love's an earthly man The same as well as thee, And lang I've haunted Charter wood A' for your fair bodie.' 23 `O tell me, tell me, Tam-a-Line, O tell, an tell me true, Tell me this night, an mak uae lie, What pedigree are you?' 24 `O I hae been at gade church-door, An I've got Christendom; I'm the Earl o' Forbes' eldest son, An heir ower a' his land. 25 `When I was young, o three years old, Muckle was made o me; My stepmother put on my claithes, An ill, ill sained she me. 26 `Ae fatal morning I went out, Dreading nae injury, And thinking lang, fell soun asleep, Beneath an apple tree. 27 `Then by it came the Elfin Queen, And laid her hand on me; And from that time since ever I mind. I've been in her companie 28 `O Elfin it's a bonny place, In it fain woud I dwell; But ay at ilka seven years' end They pay a tiend to hell, And I'm sae fou o flesh an blude, I'm sair feard for mysell.' 29 `O tell me, tell me, Tam-aLine, O tell, an tell me true Tell me this night, an mak nae lie, What way I'll borrow you?' 30 `The morn is Halloweven night, the elfin court will ride, Through England, and thro a' Scotland, And through the world wide. 31 `O they begin at sky setting, Rides a' the evening tide; And she that will her true-love borrow, [At] Miles-corse will him bide. 32 `Ye'll do you down to Mile Cuorse, Between twall hours and ane, And full your hands o holy water, And cast your compass roun. 33 `Then the first an court that comes you till Is published king and queen; The next an court that comes you till, It is maidens mony ane. 34 `The next an court that comes you till Is footmen, grooms and squires; The next an court that comes you till Is knights, and I'll be there. 35 `I Tam-a-Line, on milk-white steed, A goud star on my crown; Because I was an earthly knight, Got that for a renown. 36 `And out at my steed's right nostril, He'll breathe a fiery flame ; Ye'll loot you low, and sain yoursel, And ye'lI be busy then. 37 `Ye'll take my horse then by the head, And lat the bridal fa; The Queen o' Elfin she'll cry out, True Tam-a-Line's awa. 38 `Then I'll appear in your arms Like the wolf that neer wood tame; Ye'll had me fast, lat me not go, Case we neer meet again. 39 `Then I'll appear in your arms Like the fire that burns sae bauld Ye'll had fast, lat me not go, I'll be as iron cauld. 40 `Then I'll appear in your arms Like the adder an the snake; Ye'll had me fast, lat me not go, I am your warld's make. 41 `Then I'll appear in your arms Like to the deer see wild; Ye'll had me fast, lat me not go, And I'll father your child. 42 `And I'll appear in your arms Like to a silken string; Ye'll had me fast, lat me not go, Till ye see the fair morning. 43 `And I'll appear in your arms Like to a naked man; Ye'll had me fast, lat me not go, And wi you I'll gae hame.' 44 Then she has done her to Miles-corse, Between twall hours an ane, And filled her hands o holy water, And kiest her compass roun. 45 The first an court that came her fill Was published king and queen; The niest an court that came her till Was maidens mony ane. 46 The niest an court that came her till Was footmen, grooms and squires; The niest an court that came her till Was knights, and he was there. 47 True Tam-a-Line, on milk-white steed, A gowd star on his crown; Because he was an earthly man, Got that for a renown. 48 And out at the steed's right nostril, He breathd a fiery flame She loots her low, an sains hersell, And she was busy then. 49 She's taen the horse then by the head, And loot the bridle fa; The Queen o Elfin she cried out, `True Tam-a-Line's awa.' 50 `Stay still, true Tam-a-Line,' she says, `Till I pay you your fee:' `His father wants not lands nor rents, He'll ask nae fee frae thee.' 51 'Gin I had kent yestreen, yestreen, What I ken weel the day, I shoud taen your fu fause heart, Gien you a heart o clay.' 52 Then he appeared in her arms Like the wolf that neer woud tame; She held him fast, let him not go, Case they neer meet again. 53 Then he appeared in her arms Like the fire burning bauld She held him fast, let him not go, He was as iron cauld. 54 And he appeared in her arms Like the adder an the snake; She held him fast, let him not go, He was her warld's make. 55 And he appeared in her arms Like to the deer sae wild; he held him fast, let him not He's father o her child. 56 And he appeared in her arms Like to a silken string; She held him fast let him not go, Till she saw fair morning, 57 And he appeared in her arms Like to a naked man She held him fast, let him not go, And wi her he's gane hame. 58 These news hae reachd thro a' Scotland And far ayont the Tay, That Ladv Margaret, our king's daughter That night had gaind her prey. 59 She borrowed her love at mirk midnight Bare her young son ere day, And though ye 'd search the warld wik Ye'll nae fand sic a may.
Campbell MSS, II, 129.
1 I forbid ye, maidens a', That wears gowd in your hair, To come or gang by Carterhauah, For young Tam Lane is there. 2 I forbid ye, maidens a'. That wears gowd in your green, To come or gang by Carterhaugh, For fear of young Tam Lane. 3 `Go saddle for me the black,' says Janet, `Go saddle for me the brown, And I 'll away to Carterhaugh, And flower mysell the gown. 4 `Go saddle for me the brown,' says Janet, `Go saddle for me the black, And I'll away to Carterhaugh, And flower mysel a hat.' * * * * * 5 She had not pulld a flowr, a flowr, A flower but only three Till up there startit young Tam Lane, Just at bird Janet's knee. 6 `Why pullst thou the herb, Janet And why breaks thou the tree? Why put you back the bonny babe That's between you and me?' 7 `If my child was to an earthly man, As it is to a wild buck rae, I would wake him the length of the winter's night And the lea land simmer's day.' 8 `The night is Halloween. Janet, When our gude neighbours will ride, And them that would their true-love win At Blackning Cross maun bide. 9 `Many will the black ride by, And many will the brown, But I ride on a milk-white steed, And ride nearest the town: Because I was a christened knight They gie me that renown. 10 `Many will the black ride by, But far mae will the brown; When ye see the milk-white stead, Grip fast and pull me down. 11 `Take in yer arms, Janet, An ask, an adder lang The grip ye get ye maun haud fast, I'll be father to your bairn. 12 `Take me in your arms, Janet, an adder and a snake; The grip ye get ye maun haud fast, I'll be your warld's make.' * * * * * 13 Up bespak the Queen of Fairies She spak baith loud and high: `Had I kend the day at noon Tam Lane had been won from me, 14 `I wad hae taen out his heart o flesh, Put in a heart o tree, That a' the maids o Middle Middle Mist Should neer hae taen Tam Lane frae me.' 15 Up bespack the Queen of Fairies, And she spak wi a loud yell: `Aye at every seven year's end We pay the kane to hell. And the koors they hae gane round about, And I fear it will be mysel.'
a. Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, II, 337, ed. 1833.
b. II, 228, ed. 1802.
1 I forbid ye, maidens a', That wear gowd on your hair, To come or gae by Carterhaugh, For young Tamlane is there. 2 `There's nane that gaes by Carterhaugh But maun leave him a wad, Either gowd rings, or green mantles, Or else their maidenheid. 3 `Now gowd rings ye may buy, maidens, Green mantles ye may spin, But, gin ye lose your maidenheid, Ye'll neer get that agen.' 4 But up then spak her, fair Janet, The fairest o a' her kin : `I'll cum and gang to Carterhaugh, And ask nae leave o him.' 5 Janet has kilted her green kirtle A little abune her knee, And she has braided her yellow hair A little abune her bree. 6 And when she came to Carterhaugh, She gaed beside the well, And there she fand his steed standing, But away was himsell. 7 She hadna pu'd a red red rose, A rose but barely three, Till up and starts a wee wee man, At lady Janet's knee. 8 Says, Why pu ye the rose, Janet? What gears ye break the tree? Or why come ye to Carterhaugh, Withouten leave o me? 9 Says, Carterhaugh it is mine ain, My daddie gave it me; I'll come and gang to Carterhaugh, And ask nae leave o thee. 10 He's taen her by the milk-white hand, Among the leaves sae green, And what they did I cannot tell. The green leaves were between. 11 He's taen her bv the milk-white hand, Among the roses red, And what they did I cannot say, She neer returnd a maid. 12 When she cam to her father's ha, She looked pale and wan; They thought she'd dreed some sair sickness, Or been with some leman. 13 She didna comb her yellow hair Nor make meikle o her head, And ilka thing that lady took Was like to be her deid. 14 It's four and twenty ladies fair Were playing at the ba; Janet, the fairest of them anes, Was faintest o them a'. 15 Four and twenty ladies fair Were playing at the chess And out there came the fair Janet, As green as any grass. 16 Out and spak an auld grey-headed knight, Lay oer the castle wa: `And ever, alas I for thee, Janet, But we'll be blamed a'!' 17 `Now hand your tongue, ye auld grey knight, And an ill deid may ye die! Father my bairn on whom I will, I'll father nane on thee.' 18 Out then spak her father dear, And he spak meik and mild `And ever, alas! my sweet Janet, I fear ye gae with child.' 19 `And if I be with child, father, Mysell maun bear the blame; There's neer a knight about your ha Shall hae the bairnie's name. 20 `And if I be with child, father. 'Twill prove a wondrous birth, For weel I swear I'm not wi bairn To any man on earth. 21 `If my love were an earthly knight, As he's an elfin arey, I wadna gie my ain true love For nae lord that ye hae.' 22 She prinkd hersell and prinnd hersell, By the ae light of the moon, And she's away to Carterhaugh, To speak wi young Tamlane. 23 And when she cam to Carterhaugh, She gaed beside the well, And there she saw the steed standing, But away was himsell. 24 She hadna pu'd a double rose, A rose but only twae, When up and started young Tamlane, Says, Lady, thou pu's nae mae. 25 Why pu ye the rose, Janet Within this garden grene, And a' to kill the bonny babe That we got us between? 26 `The truth ye'll tell to me, Tamlane, A word ye manna lie; Gin eer ye was in haly chapel, Or sained in Christentie?' 27 `The truth I'll tell to thee, Janet, A word I winna lie ; Aknight me got, and a lady me bore As well as they did thee. 28 `Randolph, Earl Murray, was my sire, Dunbar, Earl March, is thine; We loved when we were children small Which yet you well may mind, 29 `When I was a boy just turnd of nine, My uncle sent for me, To hunt and hawk, and ride with him, And keep him companie. 30 `There came a wind out of the north, A sharp wind and a snell, And a deep sleep came over me, And frae my horse I fell. 31 `The Queen of Fairies keppit me In yon green hill to dwell, And I'm a fairy, lyth and limb, Fair ladye, view me well. 32 `Then would I never tire, Janet, In Elfish land to dwell, But aye, at every seven years, They pay the teind to hell; And I am sae fat and fair of flesh, I fear 't will be mysell. 33 `This night is Halloween, Janet, The morn is Hallowday, And gin ye dare your true love win, Ye hae nae time to stay. 34 `The night it is good Halloween, When fairy folk will ride, And they that wad their true-love win, Miles Cross they maun bide.' 35 `But how shall I thee ken, Tamlane ? Or how shall I thee knaw, Amang so many unearthly knights, The like I never saw? 36 `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. 37 `First let pass the black, Janet, And syne let pass the brown, But gript ye to the milk-white steed, And pu the rider down. 38 `I'll ride on the milk-white steed, On the side nearest the town; because I was a christend knight, They give me that renown. 39 `My right hand will be gloved, Janet, My left hand will be bare; And these the tokens I gie thee, Nae doubt I will be there. 40 `They'll turn me in your arms, Janet, An adder and a snake But had me fast, let me not pass, Gin ye wad be my maik. 41 `They'll turn me in your arms, Janet, An adder and an ask ; They'll turn me in your arms, Janet, A bale that burns fast. 42 `They'll turn me in your arms Janet A red-hot gad o airn; But haud me fast, let me not pass, For I'll do you no harm. 43 `First dip me in a stand o milk, And then in a stand o water But bad me fast let me not pass, I'll be your bairn's father. 44 `And next they'll shape me in your arms A tod but and an eel But had me fast, nor let me gang, As you do love me weel. 45 `They'll shape me in your arms, Janet, A dove but and a swan, And last they'll shape me in your arms A mother-naked man; Cast your green mantle over me, I'II be myself again.' 46 Gloomy, gloomy, was the night, And eiry was the way, As fair Janet, in her green mantle, To Miles Cross she did gae. 47 About the dead hour o the night She heard the bridles ring. And Janet was as g1ad o that As any earthly thing. 48 And first gae by the black black steed, And then gaed by the brown; But fast she gript the milk-white steed, And pu'd the rider down. 49 She pu'd him frae the milk-white steed, And loot the bridle fa, And up there raise an erlish cry, `He's won amang us a' 50 They shaped him in fair Janet's arms An esk but and an adder; She held him fast in every shape, To be her bairn's father. 51 They shaped him in her arms at last A mother-naked man, She wrapt him in her green mantle, And sae her true love wan. 52 Up then spake the Queen o Fairies, Out o a bush o broom: `She that has borrowd young Tamlane Has gotten a stately groom.' 53 Up then spake the Queen o Fairies, Out o a bush o rye: `She's taen awa the bonniest knight In a' my cumpanie.' 54 `But had I kennd, Tamlane,' she says, `A lady wad borrowd thee I wad taen out thy twa grey een, Put in twa een o tree. 55 `Had I but kennd, Tamlane,' she says, `Before ye came frae hame, I wad taen out your heart o flesh, Put in a heart o stane. 56 `Had I but had the wit yestreen That I hae coft the day, I'd paid my kane seven times to bell Ere you'd been won away.'
Whar they war aware o the Fairy King, A huntan wi his train. Four an twenty gentlemen Cam by on steeds o brown; In his hand ilk bore a siller wand, On his head a siller crown. Four an twenty beltit knichts On daiplit greys cam by; Gowden their wands an crowns, whilk scanct Like streams in the sky. Four an twenty noble kings Cam by on steeds o snaw, But True Thomas, the gude Rhymer, Was king outoer them a'.
Note 2: "Tamlane: an old Scottish Border Ballad. Aberdeen, Lewis and James Smith, 1862." I am indebted for a slight of this copy, and for the information as to the editor, to Mr Macmath.
Note 3: Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, II, 221-24, ed. 1802.
Note 4: Restoration from enchantment is effected by drinking blood, in other ballads, as Grundtvig, No 55, II, 156, No 58, II, 174; in No 56, II, 158, by a maid in falcon shape eating of a bit of flesh which her lover had cut from his breast.
Note 5: Volksleben der Neugriechen, pp 115-17, "from Chourmouzis, Krotika, p. 69 f, Athens, 1842." Chourmouzis heard this story, about 1820 or 1830, from an old Cretan peasant, who had heard it from his grandfather.
Note 6: The silence of the Cretan fairy, as B. Schmidt has remarked, even seems to explain Sophocles calling the nuptials of Peleus and Thetis "speechless", [unwritable greek text]. Sophocles gives the transformations as being lion, snake, fire, water: Scholia in Pindari Nemea, III, 60; Schmidt, as before, p. 116, note. That a firm grip and a fearless one would make any sea-god do your will would appear from the additional instances of Menelaus and Proteus, in Odyssey, IV, and of Hercules and Nereus, Apollodorus, II, 5, 11, 4, Scholia in Apollonii Argonaut, IV, 1396. Proteus masks as lion, snake, panther, boar, running water, tree; Nereus as water, fire, or, as Apollodorus says, in all sorts of shapes. Bacchus was accustomed to transform himself when violence was done him, but it is not recorded that he was ever brought to terms like watery divinities. See Mannhardt, Wald-und-Feldkulte, II, 60-64, who also well remarks that the tales of the White Ladies, who, to be released from a ban, must be kissed three times in various shapes, as toad, wolf, snake, etc., have relation to these Greek traditions.
Note 7: The signifiance of the immersion in water is shown by Mannhardt, Wald- u. Feldkulte, II, 64 ff. The disorder in the stanzas of A at this place has of course been rectified. In Scott's version, I, transformations are added at random from C after the dipping in milk and in water, which seems indeed to have been regarded by the reciters only as a measure for cooling red-hot iron or the burning gleed, and not as the act essential for restoration to the human nature.
Note 8: Possibly the holy water in D 17, G 32, is a relic of the water-bath.
Note 9: In the MS. of B also the transformation into a het gad of iron comes just before the direction to dip the object into a stand of milk; but we have the turning into a mother-naked man several stanzas earlier. By reading, in 331, I'll turn, and putting 33 after 34, we should have the order of the events which we find in A.
That Tam Lin should go into water or milk as a dove or snake, or in some other of his temporary forms, and come out a man, is the only disposition which is consistent with the order of the world to which he belongs. Mannhardt gives us a most curious and interesting insight into some of the laws of that world in Wald- u. Feldkulte, II, 64-70. The wife of a Cashmere king, in a story there cited from Benfey's Pantschatantra, I, 254, note 92, is delivered of a serpent, but is reported to have borne a son. Another king offers his daughter in marriage, and the Cashmere king, to keep his secret, accepts the proposal. In due time the princess claims her bridegroom, and they give her the snake. Though greatly distressed, she accepts her lot, and takes the snake about to the holy places, at the last of which she receives a command to put the snake into the water-tank. As soon as this is done the snake takes the form of a man. A woman's giving birth to a snake was by no means a rare thing in Karst in the seventeenth century, and it was the rule in one onoble family that all the offspring should be in serpent form, or at least have a serpent's head; but a bath in water turned them into human shape. For elves and water nymphs who have entered into connections with men in the form of women, bathing in water is equally necessary for resuming their previous shape, as appears from the ancient version of the story of Melusina: Gervasius, ed. Liebrecht, p. 4 f, and Vincentius Bellovacensis, Speculum Naturale, 2127 (from Helinandus), cited by Liebrecht, at p. 66.
A lad who had been changed into an ass by a couple of witches recovers his shape merely by jumping into water and rolling about in it: William of Malmesbury's Kings of England, c. 10, cited by Vincent of Beauvais, Speculum Naturale, iii, 109; Düntzer, Liebrecht's Dunlop, p. 538. Simple illusions of magic, such as clods and wisps made to appear swine to our eyes, are inevitably dissolved when the unrealities touch water. Liebrecht's Gervasius, p. 65.
Note 10: Cf. `Alison Gross'