An Earthly Knight

I've long been fascinated by the ballad Tam Lin, especially the version sung by Fairport Convention's Sandy Denny. It tells of Janet, a king's daughter, who happens upon an elfin prince in the wood, falls in love and becomes pregnant by him. (these somewhat shocking plot devices are very typical of old English folk ballads) Tam Lin reveals to Janet that he not one of the fey- he is human, a cursed captive of the fairy queen and doomed to be her sacrifice this Halloween. Janet has but one hope of saving him- she must pull him off his horse and hold him tightly.

The fairy queen turns Tam Lin into all manner of beasts in hopes that Janet will loosen her grip- a snake, a lion, so on and so forth. Eventually he returns to his own form- a naked man. The spell has been broken. The fairy queen swears revenge, and disappears.

When you love someone, how long would you hold them as they became forms that you did not recognize, that frighten you? In our darkest hours we need to be able to rely on that one who will be constant, who will love us and protect us no matter what. I believe I have that power latent inside me... when I meet my earthly knight I will not let him go.

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