James Harris, (The Daemon Lover)

No: 243; variant: 243C

  1. ‘O ARE ye my father? Or are ye my mother? Or are ye my brother John? Or are ye James Herries, my first true-love, Come back to Scotland again?’
  2. ‘I am not your father, I am not your mother, Nor am I your brother John; But I’m James Herries, your first true-love, Come back to Scotland again.’
  3. ‘Awa, awa, ye former lovers, Had far awa frae me! For now I am another man’s wife Ye’ll neer see joy o me.’
  4. ‘Had I kent that ere I came here, I neer had come to thee; For I might hae married the king’s daughter, Sae fain she woud had me.
  5. ‘I despised the crown o gold, The yellow silk also, And I am come to my true-love, But with me she’ll not go.’
  6. ‘My husband he is a carpenter, Makes his bread on dry land, And I hae born him a young son; Wi you I will not gang.’
  7. ‘You must forsake your dear husband, Your little young son also, Wi me to sail the raging seas, Where the stormy winds do blow.’
  8. ‘O what hae you to keep me wi, If I should with you go, If I’d forsake my dear husband, My little young son also?’
  9. ‘See ye not yon seven pretty ships? The eighth brought me to land, With merchandize and mariners, And wealth in every hand.’
  10. She turnd her round upon the shore Her love’s ships to behold; Their topmasts and their mainyards Were coverd oer wi gold.
  11. Then she’s gane to her little young son, And kissd him cheek and chin; Sae has she to her sleeping husband, And dune the same to him.
  12. ‘O sleep ye, wake ye, my husband? I wish ye wake in time! I woudna for ten thousand pounds This night ye knew my mind.’
  13. She’s drawn the slippers on her feet, Were coverd oer wi gold, Well lined within wi velvet fine, To had her frae the cold.
  14. She hadna sailed upon the sea A league but barely three Till she minded on her dear husband, Her little young son tee.
  15. ‘O gin I were at land again, At land where I woud be, The woman neer shoud bear the son Shoud gar me sail the sea.’
  16. ‘O hold your tongue, my sprightly flower, Let a’ your mourning be; I’ll show you how the liles grow On the banks o Italy.’
  17. She hadna sailed on the sea A day but barely ane Till the thoughts o grief came in her mind, And she langd for to be hame.
  18. ‘O gentle death, come cut my breath, I may be dead ere morn! I may be buried in Scottish ground, Where I was bred and born!’
  19. ‘O hold your tongue, my lily leesome thing, Let a’ your mourning be; But for a while we’ll stay at Rose Isle, Then see a far countrie.
  20. Ye’se neer be buried in Scottish ground, Nor land ye’s nae mair see; I brought you away to punish you For the breaking your vows to me.
  21. ‘I said ye shoud see the lilies grow On the banks o Italy; But I’ll let you see the fishes swim, In the bottom o the sea.’
  22. He reached his hand to the topmast, Made a’ the sails gae down, And in the twinkling o an ee Baith ship and crew did drown.
  23. The fatal flight o this wretched maid Did reach her ain countrie; Her husband then distracted ran, And this lament made he:
  24. ‘O wae be to the ship, the ship, And wae be to the sea, And wae be to the mariners Took Jeanie Douglas frae me!
  25. ‘O bonny, bonny was my love, A pleasure to behold; The very hair o my love’s head Was like the threads o gold.
  26. ‘O bonny was her cheek, her cheek, And bonny was her chin, And bonny was the bride she was, The day she was made mine!’