Child's Ballads/58

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Child's Collected Ballads by Francis James Child
"Sir Patrick Spens", no. 058
one of the most popular of the Child Ballads (No. 58), and is primarily of Scottish origin.… The name "Patrick Spens" has no historical record, and, like many of the heroes of such ballads, is probably an invention.


A[edit]

a. Percy's Reliques, , I,

THE king sits in Dumferling toune,
Drinking the blude-reid wine:
'O whar will I get guid sailor,
To sail this schip of mine?'
Up and spak an eldern knicht,
Sat at the kings richt kne:
'Sir Patrick Spence is the best sailor
That sails upon the se.'
The king has written a braid letter,
And signd it wi his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spence,
Was walking on the sand.
The first line that Sir Patrick red,
A loud lauch lauched he;
The next line that Sir Patrick red,
The teir blinded his ee.
'O wha is this has don this deid,
This ill deid don to me,
To send me out this time o' the yeir,
To sail upon the se!
'Mak haste, mak haste, my mirry men all,
Our guid schip sails the morne:'
'O say na sae, my master deir,
For I feir a deadlie storme.
'Late late yestreen I saw the new moone,
Wi the auld moone in hir arme,
And I feir, I feir, my deir master,
That we will cum to harme.'
O our Scots nables wer richt laith
To weet their cork-heild schoone;
Bot lang owre a' the play wer playd,
Their hats they swam aboone.
O lang, lang may their ladies sit,
Wi thair fans into their hand,
Or eir they se Sir Patrick Spence
Cum sailing to the land.
O lang, lang may the ladies stand,
Wi thair gold kems in their hair,
Waiting for thair ain deir lords,
For they'll se thame na mair.
Haf owre, haf owre to Aberdour,
It's fiftie fadom deip,
And thair lies guid Sir Patrick Spence,
Wi the Scots lords at his feit.

   Child 58 B: Sir Patrick Spens

Herd's MSS., II, 27, I, 49.

THE king he sits in Dumferling,
Drinking the blude reid wine: O
'O where will I get a gude sailor,
That'l sail the ships o mine?' O
Up then started a yallow-haird man,
Just be the kings right knee:
'Sir Patrick Spence is the best sailor
That ever saild the see.'
Then the king he wrote a lang letter,
And sealld it with his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spence,
That was lyand at Leith Sands.
When Patrick lookd the letter on,
He gae loud laughters three;
But afore he wan to the end of it
The teir blindit his ee.
'O wha is this has tald the king,
Has tald the king o me?
Gif I but wist the man it war,
Hanged should he be.
'Come eat and drink, my merry men all,
For our ships maun sail the morn;
Bla'd wind, bla'd weet, bla'd sna or sleet,
Our ships maun sail the morn.'
'Alake and alas now, good master,
For I fear a deidly storm;
For I saw the new moon late yestreen,
And the auld moon in her arms.'
They had not saild upon the sea
A league but merely three,
When ugly, ugly were the jaws
That rowd unto their knee.
They had not saild upon the sea
A league but merely nine,
When wind and weit and snaw and sleit
Came blawing them behind.
'Then where will I get a pretty boy
Will take my steer in hand,
Till I go up to my tap-mast,
And see gif I see dry land?'
'Here am I, a pretty boy
That'l take your steir in hand,
Till you go up to your tap-mast,
And see an you see the land.'
Laith, laith were our Scottich lords
To weit their coal-black shoon;
But yet ere a' the play was playd,
They wat their hats aboon.
Laith, laith war our Scottish lords
To weit their coal-black hair;
But yet ere a' the play was playd,
They wat it every hair.
The water at St Johnston's wall
Was fifty fathom deep,
And there ly a' our Scottish lords,
Sir Patrick at their feet.
Lang, lang may our ladies wait
Wi the tear blinding their ee,
Afore they see Sir Patrick's ships
Come sailing oer the sea.
Lang, lang may our ladies wait,
Wi their babies in their hands,
Afore they see Sir Patrick Spence
Come sailing to Leith Sands.

    Child

C[edit]

Motherwell's MS., p. , "from the recitation of Buchanan, alias Mrs Notman, 9 September, ."
THE king sat in Dunfermline toun,
Drinking the blude red wine:
'Where will I get a bold sailor,
To sail this ship o mine?'
Out then spak an auld auld knicht,
Was nigh the king akin:
'Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor
That ever sailed the main.'
The king's wrote a large letter,
Sealed it with his own hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,
Was walking on dry land.
The first three lines he looked on,
The tears did blind his ee;
The neist three lines he looked on
Not one word could he see.
'Wha is this,' Sir Patrick says,
'That's tauld the king o me,
To set me out this time o the year
To sail upon the sea!
'Yestreen I saw the new new mune,
And the auld mune in her arm;
And that is the sign since we were born
Even of a deadly storm.
'Drink about, my merry boys,
For we maun sail the morn;
Be it wind, or be it weet,
Or be it deadly storm.'
We hadna sailed a league, a league,
A league but only ane,
Till cauld and watry grew the wind,
And stormy grew the main.
We hadna sailed a league, a league,
A league but only twa,
Till cauld and watry grew the wind,
Come hailing owre them a'.
We hadna sailed a league, a league,
A league but only three,
Till cold and watry grew the wind,
And grumly grew the sea.
'Wha will come,' the captain says,
'And take my helm in hand?
Or wha'll gae up to my topmast,
And look for some dry land?
'Mount up, mount up, my pretty boy,
See what you can spy;
Mount up, mount up, my pretty boy,
See if any land we're nigh.'
'We're fifty miles from shore to shore,
And fifty banks of sand;
And we have all that for to sail
Or we come to dry land.'
'Come down, come down, my pretty boy,
I think you tarry lang;
For the saut sea's in at our coat-neck
And out at our left arm.
'Come down, come down, my pretty boy,
I fear we here maun die;
For thro and thro my goodly ship
I see the green-waved sea.'
Our Scotch lords were all afraid
To weet their cork-heeled shoon;
But lang or a' the play was played,
Their hats they swam abune.
The first step that the captain stept,
It took him to the knee,
And the next step that the captain stepped
They were a' drownd in the sea.
Half owre, half owre to Aberdour
It's fifty fadoms deep,
And there lay good Sir Patrick Spens,
And the Scotch lords at his feet.
Lang may our Scotch lords' ladies sit,
And sew their silken seam,
Before they see their good Scotch lords
Come sailing owre the main.
Lang lang may Sir Patrick's lady
Sit rocking her auld son,
Before she sees Sir Patrick Spens
Come sailing owre the main.

D[edit]

Motherwell's MS., p. , communicated by Kirkpatrick Sharpe.

THE king sits in Dumferling town,
Drinking the blood red wine: O
'Where will I get a good skipper,
To sail seven ships o mine?' O
Where will, etc?p
O up then spake a bra young man,
And a bra young man was he:
'Sir Andrew Wood is the best skipper
That ever saild the sea.'
The king has written a bra letter,
And seald it wi his hand,
And ordered Sir Andrew Wood
To come at his command.
'O wha is this, or wha is that,
Has tauld the king o me?
For had he been a better man,
He might ha tauld a lee.'
As I came in by the Inch, Inch, Inch,
I heard an auld man weep:
'Sir Andrew Wood and a' his men
Are drowned in the deep!'
O lang lang may yon ladies stand,
Their fans into their hands,
Before they see Sir Andrew Wood
Come sailing to dry land.
O laith laith were our Scottish lords
To weit their cork-heeled shoon;
But ere that a' the play was plaid,
They wat their heads aboon.
Nore-east, nore-west frae Aberdeen
Is fifty fanthom deep,
And there lies good Sir Andrew Wood,
And a' the Scottish fleet.

E[edit]

Motherwell's MS., p. .

THE king sits in Dumfermline toun,
Sae merrilie drinking wine; O
Says, Whare will I get a fine skipper,
Wud sail these ships of mine? O
Out and spak an auld rich knicht,
And an ill death may he die!
Says, Young Patrick is the best skipper
That ever set sail on sea.
The king did write a lang letter,
Sealed it with his own hand,
And he sent it to Young Patrick,
To come at his command.
When Young Patrick read the letter lang,
The tear blindit his ee;
Says Wha is this, or wha is that,
That's tauld the king of me?
Altho he had been better than what he is,
He micht hae askt leave of me.
'But busk, O busk, my merry men a',
O busk and mak you braw,
For blaw the wind what airt it will,
Our ship she must awa.
'Drink, O drink, my merrie men all,
Drink o the beer and wine,
For gin Wedensday by twal o'clock
We'll a' be in our lang hame.'
Out and spak a pretty little boy:
'I fear a deadlie storm;
For I saw the new mune late yestreen,
And the old ane in her arm,
And readilie, maister,' said he,
'That's the sign of a deadly storm.'
Aye they sat, and aye they drank,
They drank of the beer and wine,
And gin Wedensday gin ten o'clock,
Their hair was wat abune.
'Whare wuld I get a pretty little boy,
That wants to win hose and shoon,
Wuld up to the top of my mainmast go,
See if he could spy land?'
'O here am I, a pretty little boy,
Wants to win hose and shoon;
I'll up to the top of your mainmast go,
Though I should neer come doun.'
'Come doun, come doun, my pretty little boy,
I think thou tarries lang;
For the jawe is coming in at my coat-neck,
Going out at my richt hand.'
But there cum a shouir out o the Norewest,
Of dreidfu hail and rain,
It made Young Patrick and his men
A' flat wi the sea faem.
O is na it a great pitye
To see feather-beds on the main?
But it is a greater pitye, I think,
To see men doing the same.
There's a brig at the back o Sanct John's toun,
It's fifty fadom deep,
And there lies a' our brau Scots lords,
Young Patrick's at their feet.
Young Patrick's lady sits at hame,
She's sewing her silken seam;
And aye when she looks to the salt sea waves,
'I fear he'll neer return.'
Young Patrick's lady sits at hame
Rocking her oldest son;
And aye when she looks to the salt sea waves,
'I'm feared he'll neer come hame.'

F[edit]

Motherwell's MS., p. , from the recitation of Mrs Thomson.

THE king he sits on Dunfermline hill,
Drinking baith beer and wine; O
Says, Whare shall I get a good skipper,
That will sail the salt sea fine? O
But out then speaks an Irish knight,
Sat by the king's right knee:
'Skipper Patrick is the best skipper
That ever my eyes did see.'
The king has written a lang letter,
And sealed it wi his hand,
And sent it to Skipper Patrick,
As he walked alang the sand.
'O wha is this, or wha is that,
That's tauld the king of me?
For tho it had been the queen hersell,
She might hae let it be.
'But busk you, O busk, my merry men all,
Sae merrily busk and boune,
For blaw the wind where eer it will,
Our gude ship sails the morn.'
'O no, O no, our dear master,
It will be a deidly storm;
For yestreen I saw the new new mune,
Wi the auld mune in her arm;
It's a token, maister, or ye were born,
It will be a deadly storm.'
'But busk, O busk, my merrie men all,
Our gude ship sails the morn,
For blow the wind whereer it will,
Our gude ship sails the morn.'
They had na sailed a day, a day,
A day but scarsely five,
Till Skipper Patrick's bonny ship
Began to crack and rive.
It's bonny was the feather beds
That swimmed alang the main,
But bonnier was our braw Scots lords,
They neer returned again.
Our Scots lords they are all laith
To weet their coal black shoon;
But I trow or a' the play was played,
They wat their hair abune.
Our ladies may stand upon the sand,
Kembing down their yellow hair,
But they will neer see Skipper Patrick's ship
Come sailing in nae mair.
Our ladies may stand upon the sand
Wi gloves upon their hand,
But they will never see Skipper Patrick's ship
Come sailing into the land.
O vour and o vour to bonnie Aberdour
It's fifty fadoms deep;
There you will find young Patrick lye,
Wi his Scots lords at his head.
Row owre, row owre to Aberdour,
It's fifty fadom deep;
And there lies Earl Patrick Spens,
His men all at his feet.

Child

G[edit]

Jamieson's Popular Ballads, I, , communicated by Scott.

THE king sits in Dunfermlin town,
Sae merrily drinkin the wine:
'Whare will I get a mariner,
Will sail this ship o mine?'
Then up bespak a bonny boy,
Sat just at the king's knee:
'Sir Patrick Spence is the best seaman,
That eer set foot on sea.'
The king has written a braid letter,
Seald it wi his ain hand;
He has sent word to Sir Patrick,
To come at his command.
'O wha is this, or wha is that,
Has tald the king o me?
For I was never a good seaman,
Nor ever intend to be.'
They mounted sail on Munenday morn,
Wi a' the haste they may,
And they hae landed in Norraway,
Upon the Wednesday.
They hadna been a month, a month
In Norraway but three,
Till lads o Norraway began to say,
Ye spend a' our white monie.
'Ye spend a' our good kingis goud,
But and our queenis fee:'
'Ye lie, ye lie, ye liars loud,
Sae weel's I hear you lie.
'For I brought as much white money
As will gain my men and me;
I brought half a fou o good red goud
Out oer the sea with me.
'Be't wind or weet, be't snaw or sleet,
Our ships maun sail the morn:'
'O ever alack! my master dear,
I fear a deadly storm.
'I saw the new moon late yestreen,
Wi the auld moon in her arm;
And if we gang to sea, master,
I fear we'll suffer harm.'
They hadna sailed a league on sea,
A league but barely ane,
Till anchors brak, and tap-masts lap;
There came a deadly storm.
'Whare will I get a bonny boy
Will tak thir sails in hand,
That will gang up to the tap-mast,
See an he ken dry land?'
Laith, laith were our good Scots lords
To weet their leathern shoon;
But or the morn at fair day-light,
Their hats were wat aboon.
Mony was the feather bed,
That flotterd on the faem,
And mony was the good Scots lord
Gaed awa that neer cam hame,
And mony was the fatherless bairn
That lay at hame greetin.
It's forty miles to Aberdeen,
And fifty fathoms deep;
And there lyes a' our good Scots lords,
Wi Sir Patrick at their feet.
The ladies crackt their fingers white,
The maidens tore their hair,
A' for the sake o their true loves,
For them they neer saw mair.
Lang, lang may our ladies stand,
Wi their fans in their hand,
Ere they see Sir Patrick and his men
Come sailing to the land.

H[edit]

Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, III, 64, ed. ; I, , ed. ; "taken from two MS. copies, collated with several verses recited by the editor's friend, Robert Hamilton, Esq., Advocate."

THE king sits in Dumfermline town,
Drinking the blude-red wine: O
'O whare will I get a skeely skipper,
To sail this new ship of mine?' O
O up and spake an eldern knight,
Sat at the king's right knee:
'Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor
That ever saild the sea.'
Our king has written a braid letter,
And seald it with his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,
Was walking on the strand.
'To Noroway, to Noroway,
To Noroway oer the faem;
The king's daughter of Noroway,
'Tis thou maun bring her hame.'
The first word that Sir Patrick read,
Sae loud, loud laughed he;
The neist word that Sir Patrick read,
The tear blinded his ee.
'O wha is this has done this deed,
And tauld the king o me,
To send us out at this time of the year
To sail upon the sea?
'Be it wind, be it weet, be it hail, be it sleet,
Our ship must sail the faem;
The king's daughter of Noroway,
'Tis we must fetch her hame.'
They hoysed their sails on Monenday morn,
Wi a' the speed they may;
They hae landed in Noroway,
Upon a Wodensday.
They hadna been a week, a week
In Noroway but twae,
When that the lords o Noroway
Began aloud to say:
'Ye Scottishmen spend a' our king's goud,
And a' our queenis fee!'
'Ye lie, ye lie, ye liars loud,
Fu loud I hear ye lie!
'For I brought as much white monie
As gane my men and me,
And I brought a half-fou o gude red goud
Out oer the sea wi me.
'Make ready, make ready, my merrymen a',
Our gude ship sails the morn:'
'Now, ever alake! my master dear,
I fear a deadly storm!
'I saw the new moo late yestreen,
Wi the auld moon in her arm;
And if we gang to sea, master,
I fear we'll come to harm.'
They hadna sailed a league, a league,
A league but barely three,
When the lift grew dark, and the wind blew loud,
And gurly grew the sea.
The ankers brak, and the topmasts lap,
It was sic a deadly storm,
And the waves came oer the broken ship,
Till a' her sides were torn.
'O where will I get a gude sailor,
To take my helm in hand,
Till I get up to the tall topmast,
To see if I can spy land?'
'O here am I, a sailor gude,
To take the helm in hand,
Till you go up to the tall topmast;
But I fear you'll neer spy land.'
He hadna gane a step, a step,
A step but barely ane,
When a bout flew out of our goodly ship,
And the salt sea it came in.
'Gae fetch a web o the silken claith,
Another o the twine,
And wap them into our ship's side,
And letna the sea come in.'
They fetched a web o the silken claith,
Another o the twine,
And they wapped them roun that gude ship's side,
But still the sea came in.
O laith, laith were our gude Scots lords
To weet their cork-heeld shoon;
But lang or a' the play was playd,
They wat their hats aboon.
And mony was the feather-bed
That flattered on the faem,
And mony was the gude lord's son
That never mair cam hame.
The ladyes wrang their fingers white,
The maidens tore their hair,
A' for the sake of their true loves,
For them they'll see na mair.
O lang, lang may the ladyes sit,
Wi their fans into their hand,
Before they see Sir Patrick Spens
Come sailing to the strand.
And lang, lang may the maidens sit,
Wi their goud kaims in their hair,
A' waiting for their ain dear loves,
For them they'll see na mair.
O forty miles off Aberdeen
'Tis fifty fathoms deep,
And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens,
Wi the Scots lords at his feet.

I[edit]

Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, I, 1; Motherwell's MS., p. .

THE king sits in Dumfermline town,
A-drinking at the wine;
Says, Where will I get a good skipper,
Will sail the saut seas fine?
Out it speaks an eldren knight
Amang the companie:
'Young Patrick Spens is the best skipper
That ever saild the sea.'
The king he wrote a braid letter,
And seald it wi his ring;
Says, Ye'll gie that to Patrick Spens,
See if ye can him find.
He sent this not wi an auld man,
Nor yet a simple boy,
But the best o nobles in his train
This letter did convoy.
When Patrick lookd the letter upon
A light laugh then gae he;
But ere he read it till an end,
The tear blinded his ee.
Ye'll eat and drink, my merry men a',
An see ye be weell thorn;
For blaw it weet, or blaw it wind,
My guid ship sails the morn.'
Then out it speaks a guid auld man,
A guid death mat he dee!
'Whatever ye do, my guid master,
Tak God your guide to bee.
'For late yestreen I saw the new moon,
The auld moon in her arm:'
'Ohon, alas!' says Patrick Spens,
'That bodes a deadly storm.
'But I maun sail the seas the morn,
And likewise sae maun you;
To Noroway, wi our king's daughter,
A chosen queen she's now.
'But I wonder who has been sae base
As tauld the king o mee;
Even tho he ware my ae brither,
An ill death mat he dee!'
Now Patrick he riggd out his ship,
And sailed ower the faem,
But mony a dreary thought had hee,
While hee was on the main.
They hadna saild upon the sea
A day but barely three,
Till they came in sight o Noroway,
It's there where they must bee.
They hadna stayed into that place
A month but and a day,
Till he causd the flip in mugs gae roun,
And wine in cans sae gay.
The pipe and harp sae sweetly playd,
The trumpets loudly soun;
In every hall where in they stayd,
Wi their mirth did reboun.
Then out it speaks an auld skipper,
An inbearing dog was hee:
'Ye've stayd ower lang in Noroway,
Spending your king's monie.'
Then out it speaks Sir Patrick Spens: 'O how can a' this bee?
I hae a bow o guid red gowd
Into my ship wi mee.
'But betide me well, betide me wae, This day I'se leave the shore,
And never spend my king's monie
Mong Noroway dogs no more.'
Young Patrick hee is on the sea,
And even on the faem,
Wi five-an-fifty Scots lords' sons,
That langd to bee at hame.
They hadna saild upon the sea
A day but barely three,
Till loud and boistrous grew the wind,
And stormy grew the sea.
'O where will I get a little wee boy
Will tak my helm in hand,
Till I gae up to my tapmast,
And see for some dry land?'
He hadna gane to his tapmast
A step but barely three,
Ere thro and thro the bonny ship's side
He saw the green haw sea.
'There are five-an-fifty feather beds
Well packed in ae room;
And ye'll get as muckle guid canvas
As wrap the ship a' roun.
'Ye'll pict her well, and spare her not,
And mak her hale and soun:'
But ere he had the word well spoke
The bonny ship was down.
O laith, laith were our guid lords' sons
To weet their milk-white hands;
But lang ere a' the play was ower,
They wat their gowden bands.
O laith, laith were our Scots lords' sons
To weet their coal-black shoon;
But lang ere a' the play was ower,
They wat their hats aboon.
It's even ower by Aberdour
It's fifty fathoms deep,
And yonder lies Sir Patrick Spens,
And a's men at his feet.
It's even ower by Aberdour,
There's mony a craig and fin,
And yonder lies Sir Patrick Spens,
Wi mony a guid lord's son.
Lang, lang will the ladyes look,
Into their morning weed,
Before they see young Patrick Spens
Come sailing ower the fleed.
Lang, lang will the ladyes look,
Wi their fans in their hand,
Before they see him Patrick Spens
Come sailing to dry land.

    Child

J[edit]

Miss Harris's MS., fol. 4, from the singing of her mother.

HIE sits oor king in Dumfermline,
Sits birlin at the wine;
Says, Whare will I get a bonnie boy
That will sail the saut seas fine?
That will hie owre to Norraway,
To bring my dear dochter hame?
Up it spak a bonnie boy,
Sat by the king's ain knie:
'Sir Patrick Spens is as gude a skipper
As ever sailed the sea.'
The king has wrote a broad letter,
And signed it wi his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,
To read it gif he can.
The firsten line he luikit on,
A licht lauchter gae he;
But ere he read it to the end,
The tear blindit his ee.
'O wha is this, or wha is that,
Has tauld oor king o me?
I wad hae gien him twice as muckle thank
To latten that abee!
'But eat an drink, my merrie young men,
Eat, an be weel forn;
For blaw it wind, or blaw it weet,
Oor gude ship sails the morn.'
Up it spak his youngest son,
Sat by Sir Patrick's knie:
'I beg you bide at hame, father,
An I pray be ruled by me.
'For I saw the new mune late yestreen,
Wi the auld mune in her arms;
An ever an alake, my father dear,
It's a token o diedly storms.'
'It's eat an drink, my merrie young men,
Eat, an be weel forn;
For blaw it wind, or blaw it weet,
Oor gude ship sails the morn.'
They hadna sailed a league, a league,
A league but only three,
When the whirlin wind an the ugly jaws
Cam drivin to their knie.
They hadna sailed a league, a league,
A league but only five,
When the whirlin wind an the ugly jaws
Their gude ship began to rive.
They hadna sailed a league, a league,
A league but only nine,
When the whirlin wind an the ugly jaws
Cam drivin to their chin.
'O whaur will I get a bonnie boy
Will tak the steer in hand,
Till I mount up to oor tapmast,
To luik oot for dry land?'
'O here am I, a bonnie boy,
Will tak the steer in hand,
Till you mount up to oor tapmast,
To luik oot for dry land.'
He's gaen up to the tapmast,
To the tapmast sae hie;
He luikit around on every side,
But dry land he couldna see.
He luikit on his youngest son,
An the tear blindit he ee;
Says, I wish you had been in your mother's bowr,
But there you'll never be.
'Pray for yoursels, my merrie young men,
Pray for yoursels an me,
For the first landen that we will land
Will be in the boddam o the sea.'
Then up it raise the mermaiden,
Wi the comb an glass in her hand:
'Here's a health to you, my merrie young men,
For you never will see dry land.'
O laith, laith waur oor gude Scots lords
To weet their cork-heeled shoon;
But lang, lang ere the play was played,
Their yellow locks soomed aboun.
There was Saturday, an Sabbath day,
An Monnonday at morn,
That feather-beds an silken sheets
Can floatin to Kinghorn.
It's och, och owre to Aberdour,
It's fifty faddoms deep;
An there lie a' oor gude Scots lords,
Wi Sir Patrick Spens at their feet.
O lang, lang will his lady sit,
Wi the fan into her hand,
Until she see her ain dear lord
Come sailin to dry land.
O lang, lang will his lady sit,
Wi the tear into her ee,
Afore she see her ain dear lord
Come hieing to Dundee.
O lang, lang will his lady sit,
Wi the black shoon on her feet,
Afore she see Sir Patrick Spens
Come drivin up the street.

K[edit]

Communicated by Mr Murison, as taken down from recitation in Old Deer by Mrs Murison.

IT'S when he read the letter ower
A licht lauch then leuch he;
But lang ere he wan the end o it
The saut tear filled his ee.
'O woe be to the man,' he says,
'That's tauld the king o me;
Altho he be my ain brither,
Some ill death mat he dee!
. . . . . .
. . . .
'For be it weet, or be it win,
My bonnie ship sails the morn.'

'For late the streen I saw the new meen,
Bit an the auld ane tee.
An it fears me sair, my good maister,
For a tempest in the sea.'
. . . . .
. . . . . .
Till up it rase the win an storm,
An a tempest i the sea.
. . . . . .
. . . . .
It's throch an throu the comely cog
There comes the green raw sea.

'Call upo your men, maister,
An dinna call on me,
For ye drank them weel ere ye tuke the gate,
But O nane gae ye me.
'Ye beat my back, an beat my sides,
When I socht hose an sheen;
So call upo your men, maister,
As they lie drunk wi wine.'
'Come doon, come doon, my bonnie boy,
An tak my helm in han;
Gin ever we live to gae to lan,
I'll wed ye wi my daughter Ann.'
'Ye used me ill, my guid maister,
When we was on the lan,
But nevertheless, my gude maister,
I'll tak your helm in han.'
O laith, laith was oor bonny boys
To weet their cork-heeled shoes;
But lang ere a' the play was played,
They wat their yallow broos.
O laith, laith was oor bonnie boys
To weet their cork-heeled sheen;
But lang ere a' the play was played,
They wat their hair abeen.
'O lang, lang will my lady leuk,
Wi the lantern in her han,
Afore she see my bonnie ship
Come sailin to dry lan.'
Atween Leith an Aberdeen
Lies mony a craig an sea,
An there it lies young Patrick Spens,
An mony bonnie boys him wi.

    Child

L[edit]

Motherwell's Note-Book, p. 6, Motherwell's MS., p. , from Mrs Gentles, Paisley, February .

OUR ship it was a gudely ship,
Its topmast was of gold,
And at every tack of needlework
There hung a silver bell.
Up started the mermaid by our ship,
Wi the glass and the comb in her hand:
'Reek about, reek about, my merrie men,
Ye are not far from land.'
'You lie, you lie, you pretty mermaid,
Sae loud as I hear you lie;
For since I have seen your face this nicht,
The land I will never see.'
We hadna sailed a league but ane,
A league but barely three,
Till all we and our goodly ship
Was all drowned in the sea.
Lang lang may our ladies stand,
Wi their seams into their hand,
Looking for Sir Patrick's ship,
That will never come to land.

M[edit]

Buchan's Gleaning, p. , "from a very intelligent old man."

THERE shall no man go to my ship
Till I say mass and dine,
And take my leave of my lady;
Go to my bonny ship syne.
When he was up at the top-mast head
Around could naething see,
But terrible storm in the air aboon,
And below the roaring sea.
'Come down, come down, my good master,
You see not what I see;
For thro an thro your bonny ship's side
I see the green salt sea.'
Lang lang will the ladies look,
Wi their gown-tails owre their crown,
Before they see Sir Patrick Spens
Sailing to Dumferline town.

    Child

N[edit]

Noted down from a female servant, by Joseph Robertson, July, 15, , Adversaria, p. 67.

OWER and ower by Aberdour
There's mony a cloudy stone,
And there is mony a gude lord's son
I fear will never come home.
Lang, lang will his lady look,
Wi her baby in her arms,
But she'll never see Earl Patrick Spens
Com walkin up the stran.
'I have a table in my room,
It cost me guineas nine;
I wad sink it in the sea
For ae sight o dry lan.
'There's a coast o green velvet on my back,
I got it for my fee;
But tho I wad gie ten thousan punds,
Dry land I will never see.'

O[edit]

Gibb MS., p. 63.

BONNY were the feather beds
Cam sailin ower the faem,
But bonnier was the sexteen lords
Gaed out and neer cam hame.
Lang, lang may the nourice sit,
Wi the bonny babe on her knee,
Ere ever she see her good lord come,
To pay to her her fee.
An lang, lang will the lady sit,
Wi the gowd fan in her hand,
Ere ever she see her ain gude lord
Come skipping to dry land.


58 P: Sir Patrick Spens

Kinloch MSS, I, .

FU laith, fu laith was our braw Scots lords
To weet their coal black shoon;
But ere the battle a' was foucht,
Their hats war weet aboun.
Out and starts the mermaiden,
Wi a fan into her hand:
'Keep up your hearts, my merry men a',
For ye're near the dry land.'
Out and spak Earl Patrick Graham,
Wi the saut tear in his ee:
'Now sin we've seen the mermaiden,
Dry land we'll never see.'
Down below Dunbarton castle,
Full fifty fathoms deep,
There lies a' our braw Scots men,
Earl Patrick at their feet.


58 Q: Sir Patrick Spens

Finlay's Scottish Ballads, I, xiv, from a recited copy.

THEN up an cam a mermaid,
Wi a siller cup in her han:
'Sail on, sail on, my gude Scotch lords,
For ye sune will see dry lan.'
'Awa, awa, ye wind woman,
An let your fleechin be;
For sen your face we've seen the day,
Dry lan we'll never see.'

R[edit]

Communicated by Mr Macmath, from Mr William Traquair, S. S. C., Edinburgh; obtained originally in Perthsire.

58R'TWAS late, late on a Saturday night,
And early on a Sunday morn,
That robes of silk and feather beds
Came floating to Kean-Gorn.