Friday, May 24, 2013

Tam Lin

I often feel as though I am not in phase with a certain sector of the fantasy community that I respect greatly (including such awesome people as Terri Windling, Grace Nuth, etc.) in that I don't care for English fairies, pre-Raphaelites, medieval decor, and a whole host of other things. (As I mentioned on Sunday.) Included among those "other things": ballads.

For example: when I listened to this rendition of Tam Lin-

- instead of being inspired to write about Lady Janet's trials as a headstrong young woman fighting for her love and her child, I proved exactly why I should never date:

Tam Lin

I want you to be afraid of me
When I lead you by the hand
Into the cypress grove, I want
You to think I am going to kill you.

"Watch," I tell you, and you cower
As I change: as my bones reknit
In strange ways, as I fall to hands and feet
Because after all I am but a wild beast

The ballads lied, my dear one
If I can, then I will hurt you
Whether you bear my child or not
Even though I do love you

But hold on as I transform again
Boar to bear to lion maned
Don't you dare close you eyes
You must see the blood in my claws

And when I turn to blackened coal
I want to singe your trembling hands
Go to the well, go meet the Queen
Her mandibles will form my name

If you want, then, you can betray me
Send me to hell on a white horse
I did hurt you, did I not?
I burned the skin from your palms

You know full well what I am inside
You watched my smiling fangs
I have been too long a prisoner
To be tamed by your gentle ways

The Queen is only an insect
I am the man and I am the beast
Be afraid, be afraid, my dear
Only then will I know that you love me.


Written April 2013.

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