I closed and drew for my love’s sake
That now is false to me,
And I slew the Reiver of Tarrant Moss
And set Dumeny free.
They have gone down, they have gone down,
They are standing all arow –
Twenty knights in the peat-water,
That never struck a blow!
Their armour shall not dull nor rust,
Their flesh shall not decay,
For Tarrant Moss holds them in trust,
Until the Judgment Day.
Their soul went from them in their youth,
Ah God, that mine had gone,
Whenas I leaned on my love’s truth
And not on my sword alone!
Whenas I leaned on lad’s belief
And not on my naked blade –
And I slew a thief, and an honest thief,
For the sake of a worthless maid.
They have laid the Reiver low in his place,
They have set me up on high,
But the twenty knights in the peat-water
Are luckier than I!
And ever they give me gold and praise
And ever I mourn my loss –
For I struck the blow for my false love’s sake
And not for the Men of the Moss!