Had I but known, Tam Lin, she said,
What this night I would see,
I’d have plucked out your two green eyes
And put in two of tree.
Now that I know, Tam Lin, she said,
What this night I did see,
I’ll pluck out your own babe’s heart of flesh
And put in heart of stone.
And now that I know that, I know how the Tam Lin story I’ve been meaning to write for years begins.
Some days, ballad-land makes the hairs on the back of one’s neck stand on end.